Category Archives: Travel

Universal Studios Hollywood set to open much-anticipated arrival of “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem,” April 12, 2014

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., March 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Universal Studios HollywoodSM announces the much-anticipated arrival of “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem,” a 3D Ultra-HD movie motion-simulator adventure.  Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s worldwide blockbuster Despicable Me will come to life in Hollywood in an attraction modeled after the one in its sister park, Universal Orlando Resort® – with the addition of a few surprises unique to the Entertainment Capital of L.A.SM

“Based on the consumer feedback at our sister park, we expect the ‘Despicable Me’ ride experience to be a popular, family-friendly attraction for Universal Studios Hollywood.  The ride continues the story line of the main characters from the blockbuster film through all-new 3D Ultra-HD animation, together with an interactive ride vehicle system,” said Larry Kurzweil, President and Chief Operating Officer, Universal Studios Hollywood.  “In ‘Despicable Me Minion Mayhem,’ our guests will experience the hilarious and heartwarming characters of the beloved film in a whole new way.”

The fully immersive experience will debut in 2014 with the loveable cast of leading characters that have captured the laughter of audiences worldwide: super-villain Gru, his adorable girls (Margo, Edith and Agnes) and the unpredictably hilarious Minions.

“The ‘Despicable Me Minion Mayhem’ attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood will continue to push the creative envelope with its exceptional show content, sight gags, special effects and 3D digital animation.  The exterior treatment will feature even more thematic and colorful creative touches that will literally place park guests inside Gru’s world,” said Mark Woodbury, President, Universal Creative.

Guests will experience whimsically themed queues, preshow videos and comedic dialogue that set up the fundamental plot: Gru schemes to create more mischievous Minions from human recruits.

Guests will be transported into Gru’s house as they meander through his living room and encounter visual elements as seen in the film – including the moon-shrinking SR-6 shrink ray – while they zig zag through a zany adventure featuring Gru’s super-villain laboratory.  The exciting journey continues as they swerve, bounce and plunge to get through the frantically humorous Minion training mission while donning specially designed 3D Minion goggles.  Fun and frolic continue in a post-show dance party where Minion walkaround characters invite guests to strut their stuff in an impromptu Minion-inspired dance party.

“Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” was produced in collaboration between Universal Creative and Illumination Entertainment, and was recently honored as Best Animated Special Production at the 2012 Annie Awards, which recognizes Outstanding Achievements in the field of Animation.

Universal Studios Hollywood SM, The Entertainment Capital of L.A.SM, includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour; the CityWalk® entertainment, shopping and dining complex, the Universal CityWalk Cinemas, the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert venue, and the Gibson Amphitheatre concert and special event arena.  World-class rides and attractions include the intense, award-winning ride, “King Kong 360 3-D” on the famed behind-the-scenes Studio Tour, “The Simpsons RideTM,” “Revenge of the MummySM —The Ride” indoor roller coaster and “Jurassic Park® —The Ride,” as well as the award-winning, critically acclaimed mega-attraction, “Transformers™:  The Ride—3D.”

By Universal Studios Hollywood


Disney Parks Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of ‘it’s a small world,’ Invites the World to Join a Global Sing-along at

It's a Small World--Disney Parks is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its iconic a small world attraction with a global celebration that benefits UNICEF. Capturing the happy, peaceful spirit of children everywhere, the attraction, which debuted at the 1964 World's Fair, now entertains guests at five Disney theme parks worldwide. Fans around the world are invited to join the celebration at where they may record videos of themselves singing a small world and create virtual dolls in the style of those from the attraction. The celebration continues April 10, when hundreds of voices from the Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, Disneyland Paris in France and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort will be united in a global sing-along.

Sing the Iconic Song, Make a Digital Doll to Benefit UNICEF

NEW YORK/ANAHEIM, Calif./LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla./TOKYO/PARIS/HONG KONG – March 21, 2014 – In a historic, global event, guests and cast members at Disney Parks around the world will unite in song to

celebrate the 50th anniversary of “It’s a Small World,” the classic Disney Parks attraction that opened as a tribute to peace and hope at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Fans from around the world can join the festivities in a first-of-its-kind, online global sing-along at

On Thursday, April 10, 2014, hundreds of voices from Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, Disneyland Paris in France and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort will sing the unforgettable theme song of the “happiest cruise that ever sailed the seven seas.”

Fans around the world also are invited to join the global sing-along virtually. launches today as a “global hub” of music and harmony where guests may record videos of themselves singing the classic song and create virtual “it’s a small world” dolls to benefit UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). UNICEF provides health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more to children around the world.

” ‘it’s a small world’ has inspired hundreds of millions of people through its timeless theme,” said Tom Staggs, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Every moment of every day there are Disney guests enjoying ‘it’s a small world’ somewhere around the globe.  The 50th anniversary of this attraction represents a celebration of the shared optimism, hope, and humanity of people throughout the world.”

New Video Features People Around the World Singing “It’s a Small World”

To help announce the celebration, Disney Parks released a video featuring people around the world singing, dancing to and playing “It’s a Small World.” Filmed across six continents in more than 25 countries, the video features international “performers” – including bagpipers in Scotland, Bollywood movie actors in India, a firefighter in New York City, and members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir – to create one worldwide video.

That video and others will be part of the launch of, the global website for the attraction’s anniversary. Fans around the world are encouraged to participate online by recording on the Small World 50 website videos of themselves singing “It’s a Small World” and by creating virtual “it’s a small world” dolls to share with their friends through social media.

The Walt Disney Company will donate $150,000 to benefit UNICEF in honor of the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” plus $1 for every sing-along video recorded on and another $1 for every virtual doll created on the website, up to $100,000. Disney began its relationship with UNICEF in 1964 with the debut of “it’s a small world” at the New York World’s Fair. More recently, Disney and UNICEF have worked together to create a brighter tomorrow for thousands of children through programming that helps foster imagination and creativity.

Throughout the day, Disney Parks also will sponsor Google Hangouts that invite people from around the world to participate in the anniversary events. Fans are encouraged to visit for details.

Disney Store adds to the Golden Anniversary celebration with the “it’s a small world” doll collection, inspired by the original Fantasyland attraction, and stores nationwide will offer fans a chance to celebrate at “it’s a small world” events. From Thursday, April 10, to Sunday, April 13, children are invited to visit a participating Disney Store to take a journey on an imaginary boat ride around the globe, learning how to say “hello” in various languages and singing “It’s a Small World” along the way. Guests are encouraged to call their local Disney Store or visit to confirm participation and details.

The Creation of a Classic 

One of the most beloved attractions in the history of Disney Parks, “it’s a small world” is featured at all five Disney Resorts around the world. The original attraction premiered at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City, created by Walt Disney himself and WED Enterprises, which eventually became Walt Disney Imagineering (the creative masters behind Disney theme parks and attractions).

The attraction features a gentle boat ride through a Lilliputian land populated by colorfully dressed Audio-Animatronics dolls representing children from many regions of the world singing a simple song about universal harmony. A team of WED artistic geniuses, including Disney Legends designer Mary Blair and costumer Alice Davis, created its now iconic style.

In 1963, Walt Disney was asked to create an exhibit for the 1964 World’s Fair to salute UNICEF and children around the world. With Walt’s blessing, Marc Davis, one of the original Disney animators, designed the boat ride attraction through the regions and countries of the world. The first version of “it’s a small world” entertained and thrilled more than 10 million visitors in New York from 1964-65. In 1966, after some major enhancements, including an enlargement of approximately 33 percent, the attraction found a permanent home at Disneyland in California.

In the attraction, hundreds of dolls “sing” the familiar song, “It’s a Small World,” in five languages (English, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Swedish). Academy Award® winning composers Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, who won two Oscars® for their work on Disney’s feature film “Mary Poppins,” were asked by Walt Disney to create a simple, yet catchy piece that could be sung in many different languages while guests traveled by boat through the attraction. The resulting song, “It’s a Small World (After All),” became one of the most well known and happiest of all Disney tunes.

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Marco Missinato: ‘Profoundly Connected to Music’

Los Angeles Life and Style

As one of L.A.’s most in-demand musicians, Marco Missinato is no stranger to traversing the frequencies and dimensions of the universe with the ease of catching a flight to his beloved Hawaii or Aspen and many other cities where audiences often enjoy hearing the versatile entertainer’s music up close and personal.

With the looks and musical swagger evocative of The Boy from Ipanema, Missinato has been entertaining and inspiring audiences with his  romantic ballads and ethereal harmonies since moving to L.A. from his native Rome, Italy in the early 1990′s. Since that time, Missinato’s music has been featured in such television series as the original Melrose Place and Port Charles along with numerous theatrical productions and projects.

Through his recent projects and romantic melodies, Missinato explains that he seeks to inspire his listeners to open up to what he sees as their highest and truest selves. His goal, he says, is to reach for the inner depths of the soul through his music which he believes will allow people to feel and experience the powerful sound of music.

“Music is the door, the bridge between us and our soul,” says Missinato in his soft Italian accent. “It is like a ray of light which illuminates the darkness of  our fears and disintegrates all inhibitions.”

As Missinato’s music continues to evolve, he shares his journey in his newest project, Unfolding Secrets a work in progress, with music and cover design by Missinanto, orchestrations by Emanuele Arnone, and vocals by Kristin Hoffman.

“This is my latest symphonic contemporary classical album and I am very excited to share it,” says Missinato, adding that Unfolding Secrets, Symphony of the Heart can been seen on video. “I think you will enjoy it.”

Missinato shares a glimpse into his life’s journey, while exploring the man behind those good vibrations.

Beginnings: I started with a little flute and then as soon as was possible I got involved with keyboards and piano. Since the very beginning of my physical experience here on Earth I was profoundly connected to music. I started to play musical instruments around the age of 3. More then a personal talent discovery, it was a deep feeling of love occurring when music was playing.

Los Angeles:  I came in Los Angels in 1992. The very first year I was a full-time student at the Musician Institute in Hollywood. Soon after that I started to perform in restaurant and bars as a way to make money and produce the music that I felt inside.

Start:  When I first came in the USA back in 1988/89 (I was sent by magazines I was working with as a professional photographer) I felt an immediate sense of freedom and spaciousness. Therefore later I chose the USA as the ground platform for my musical creative evolution.

Family: The members of my family seem to have all strong artistic potentiality most often unexplored because the outside circumstances stopped them from pursuing it.

Music: All of the music and musical projects that I have created in the past as well the ones I am working in the present are coming from the same source. They are just different creative ways to express my passion and love for music. It gives me joy to express my connection with music in various ways. I like all genres of music as long as I sense, when I listen to their work, that the creative motivation of the composer, producer and artist are genuinely coming from their heart.

Inspiration: The art of composing music in my personal experience is a very mysterious process that I truly cannot explain with words. I seem to have access to it when I enter a state of no-mind. Sometimes the compositions that I create in this process sound very much like soundtracks and therefore can be used in movies and other medias. I have been performing in situations in which celebrities were present and I always had positive feed-back and enthusiastic responses. I love to give joy to people through music weather they are famous or not.

Collaborations: I have been very lucky to have wonderful musicians performing my music. Among them Chris Tedesco, David Goldblatt, Steve Tavaglioni, Ramon Stagnaro, Joe Rotondi to name a few.

Performances:  My focus when I provide music for events is to open the heart of people and have them feel more intimately connected with life so that they momentarily let go at their mind and connect fully with their heart and soul and have a uniting experience. By monitoring constantly the crowd I select the song or music composition that my intuition tells me is most appropriate for that specific moment. That too is a mysterious process that I simply allow to naturally unfold by tapping with my higher source.

Projects:  Among my latest projects I have just finished to produce a series of seven guided imagery meditation journeys entitled “Back to Life,” a blend of guided spoken words (by world renown healer Barry Bruder) and high-vibrational original music and sounds soon to be launched in hospitals, clinics and to be used as part of recovery programs in support of healing traumas, injuries, diseases etc. “Melodies From Within” is another series of CDs I am about to distribute on the market. It is a collection of original instrumental compositions for shooting the heart and soul. “Soul Journey” is a three-albums series of “Ambient” music was released in January 2010. My band “Naked Soul” will launch is planning its first live concert for healing which will be touring in USA, Europe and Asia. Among my past compositions “Pets Love Music” is a five-CDs series of music dedicated to Pets.

Art: Music is a very powerful and transformational art form and therefore the composer and the performer hold a great responsibility. They both must make sure that their melodies come from true non-ego source.

Goals:  My intent and my life purpose (other then self growth) is to create a profound transformational musical experience in a concert and album formats in order to uplift, support and inspire people to follow their greatness.

Speaking of out of profound experiences, have you ever done anything a little out of the ordinary? Yes, I did do parachuting twice. It was a wonderful freeing experience. My life is a constant expanding adventure as long as I keep being daring and stretch out from my comfort zone into the unknown and mysteriousness of life.

You are a brave soul! Embarking on a career in music can also be risky business. What advise would you offer for aspiring musicians? Follow your heart, your joy and your passion they are all the same: Streams of love coming from high source. It is life itself telling you which direction to take as it magically unfolds in front of your eyes.

Do you have any artists that you admire? I admire every person whose attempting to express him/herself through the heart and therefore through the arts (isn’t it interesting that heart and art sound so similar?). It does not matter if they are famous or unknown, if they sing or play or simply make art out of an ordinary jobs. I have strong admiration for anybody whom are choosing the courageous act of being true to themselves despite the streams of resistances that they have to face in their daily base life when they relate with the so called ‘common sense.’

Do you have any special memories that stand out in your mind from your childhood and also from any of your performances. Have you ever played any other musical instruments? More than memories it is the constant recurrent feeling of overwhelming joy, love and unity with the whole that I sense every time I allow myself the necessary vulnerability to accommodate higher levels of frequencies. I remember how in my childhood this process was effortless and achieved in a magical instant moment.  In the past I have been using other instruments to create music, like guitar, harmonicas, flutes etc.

Are there any musicians or artists from the past, such as  the Renaissance era or the past few centuries that you admire? When you listen to my childhood earliest compositions it will be obvious to you that somehow I have in me a strong connection with classical music. I cannot point you out specific names or time period because my relationship with music is not related to three-dimensional data.

Do you have any favorite movies or songs? There are may movies and songs that I love. “Cinema Paradiso” and its music by Ennio Morricone (just to mention one) has a simplicity and yet a profoundness that touches me at the core.

How does the notion of love and romance come through in your music?  Music when purely channeled offer the possibility to bridge oneself with the non-physical world and therefore dissipate the illusion of separation which leads to a feeling of love that is not weighted with neediness and sense of lack.

Any tips on how to discover art within one’s self through music or any type of art for that matter? You make art by simply following your joy. Any activity can become an artistic expression if joy and divine creativity are allowed. One can be a postman and if delivering mail is his true call it will become an artistic effort. Such a person every time will deliver the mail will have an healing effect on people. Also his/her way to deliver mail will be very unique and creative because it will be an action that is in deep connection with true source

What are your thoughts on time and space as far as what we as humans do with our time on earth? Time and space are a necessary and momentarily human perception which allow the soul to have a three dimensional experience. By choosing to enter this field of frequencies the soul creates the opportunity for immense explanation and self-awareness.

If you could transport your self to any time or place, past, present or future or anywhere in the universe, where would it be? I would probably choose a far light star in the future, the feeling of which it makes me feel at home.  

-Los Angeles Life and Style -Copyright, Los Angeles Life and Style, all rights reserved. 

A glimpse into Unfolding Secrets a work in progress, with music and cover design by Missanto, Orchestrations by Emanuele Arnone, and Vocals by Kristin Hoffman can be viewed by visiting: Missinato’s music and albums can be purchased online by visiting (soon to become, iTunes,, CD Baby and at

For more information about Missinato’s Unfolding Secrets, Symphony of the Heart and to see the video production visit: and


Amgen Tour Cyclists Garner Gov. Schwarzenegger Nod During Stop in Sacramento


Summary Report by Margie Anne Clark
Sacramento, CA – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today delivered remarks at the Sacramento finish line of the 2008 Amgen Tour of California. This is the third year for the Amgen Tour of California, an internationally sanctioned, professional cycling road race involving 136 riders from 27 countries.
The course covers nearly 700 miles in eight days and is run in seven stages, beginning in San Francisco on February 17 and ending in Pasadena
on February 24. Riders finished stage two of the seven stage race in Sacramento.
The cyclists will put pedal to the metal and cruise into Santa Clarita this weekend amidst cheering crowds and VIP events.Seen in the photo above, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger congratulating cyclists at the 2008 AmgenTour of California.Photo by William Foster, Office of Governor Schwarzenegger.

‘NANCY REAGAN – A Return to Camelot’


By Margie Anne Clark

SIMI VALLEY – Like a late 20th Century vignette of Camelot, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum opened a new exhibit, Nancy Reagan – A First Lady’s Style on November 10 in Simi Valley.The exhibit showcases more than 50 years of Nancy Reagan’s fashion, beginning with her 1952 wedding dress and concluding with the suit she wore for President Reagan’s funeral in June 2004.In recounting the Reagan story – starring two star-crossed lovers whose biggest double-billing played out on the world stage for all to see – Russ Jenkins, exhibit designer and owner of WRJ Design Associates LLC was on hand to give visitors an early glimpse of Nancy’s collection.“She was a tremendous example of a first lady,” Jenkins said as he thumbed through the pages of a pictorial book that is currently available for purchase at the Library. The colorful book puts into context many of the fashions that will be on display for the duration of the exhibit which runs through Nov. 10, 2008.“The public will be able to see the beauty of her gowns that she wore during their travels and wonderful dinners,” explained Jenkins, of Nancy’s carefully preserved and donated cache of Tulle, satin, gabardine and lace. “The dresses are absolutely spectacular and show the history and legacy of Mrs. Reagan,” he added.If fashion can be defined as a universal language of who we are and where we are going, then Nancy Reagan spoke it fluently – and with a radiance and grace that defined a presidential legacy. Indeed, Nancy’s timeless style during the Reagan years of the 1980s may well have served as an elegant reflection of her husband’s magnanimous optimism. “We are creating a nation once again vibrant, robust, and alive,” President Ronald Reagan once said during his second inaugural address on Jan. 21, 1985. Through it all, polished and poised, Nancy – whose charming allure never ceased to captivate her iconic husband throughout their 52- year marriage – was always by his side. Jenkins’ WRJ Design Associates LLC, is a New York firm that specializes in exhibition design. Jenkins explained that Imagery and architectural elements resembling the White House will carry the audience through the exhibit and highlight milestones of history. The exhibit will focus on Nancy’s duties as first lady, her philanthropic endeavors and the love story that she and the president shared. The glamorous and often poignant exhibit opened amidst a celebrity-studded private gala reception on Nov. 8 in Simi Valley. Diane von Furstenberg served as master of ceremonies appearing with such luminaries as James Galanos, Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta. Jenkins noted that the first lady’s collection includes pieces by Galanos, Herrera, de la Renta, Geoffrey Beene, Bill Blass, Valentino Garavani, Adolfo and Yves Saint Laurent. “Through her generosity in donating most of her closet, Mrs. Reagan has given us a wonderful opportunity to understand her role of representing our country. She was a tremendous first lady,” Jenkins said. “The display also showcases the incredible talent of the American fashion designer, while reflecting Mrs. Reagan’s taste of eye for style,” Jenkins said, noting that in 1988, the Council of Fashion Designers of America bestowed its Lifetime Achievement Award upon Nancy Reagan. In a written statement, the former first lady and actress, who went on to become an icon of American couture fashion at its finest, expressed her gratitude for the privileges she enjoyed during her White House years. “I am delighted that these designers are being recognized for their incredible talent. It was an honor to wear each of these pieces, and every gown, dress and suit brings back wonderful memories; moments in my life that I will remember and cherish forever.”