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Two Experiences - One Location

Universal Studios Hollywood

Where the Magic is Made

Amusement parks have traditionally been the go-to destinations for parents looking to entertain their kids and make family memories with the expected wait lines, amusement park food, and often times short dismal rides. Universal Studios Hollywood, however, has managed to break that mold and surpass expectations.

Not just a theme park, Universal is an actual movie making lot with studios onsite where production of television, streaming service, and movie theater productions are being made regularly.

The tram tour is iconic taking you through the back lots showing visitors where some of the most memorable movies have been filmed including Jaws, Psycho, and Jurassic Park.

Using newer technology including 3-D and immersive interaction, and virtual reality (VR), Universal's top-tier rides found in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Transformers, The Simpsons ride and, King Kong 360 3-D are like no others.

The rides are exceptional for a variety of reasons including duration (much longer than traditional indoor track based rides), the express access is worth the additional fee to jump the line and enjoy the magic Universal creates with each of its unique entertainment offerings.

Smartly designed, the walk through Universal is not difficult at all. Along the way from one part of the park to any other (divided into upper and lower sections) there are refreshment stands, sidewalk presentations from known characters and tons of backdrops to fill your Instagram account for days.

Start your day off with the world famous tram ride. Never a let down, the tram tour comes with lively hosts who entertain with cheesy jokes, fun factoids, and once in a while you may spy a celebrity or two actively working on new productions.

Reasonable pricing and tons to do before and after your day visit, including dining, shopping, movies, and music at the adjacent City Walk, make Universal Studios the perfect family adventure spot year round.

For tickets and special events, visit UNIVERSAL

Halloween Horror Nights Returns

Halloween lovers rejoice! Universal Studios Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights - Never Go Alone has returned and is now open through October.

The masters of the Halloween scare zones and mazes has seven mazes and the transformation of the backlot experience into the Terror Tram!

Mazes include Halloween 4 - The Return of Michael Myers, The Curse of Pandora's Box, The Exorcist, The Walking Dead, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House.

The realism of each maze design is what sets Universal Studios Hollywood apart from any other Halloween themed event. You know the stories, you know the characters - you just don't know where they lurk and what they have in store for you around each corner.

And since you are going to be scared to death you might as well go out with a bang - like visiting a hellish night club called Inferno in Demon City .

On your way to your farewell drink and dance, be on the look out for the any on e of the Silver Scream Queens led by the Bride of Frankenstein. Of course you will still need to deal with the Chainsaw Rangers, a band of marauding chainsaw-wielding maniacs wearing grotesque animal masks!

Select dates are available for ticket purchases. Visit HALLOWEENHORROR for more details and purchases.

SeaWorld San Diego ​is a Summer Must!

Summer 2021 would not be complete without a trip to SeaWorld in San Diego, California.

Over the years SeaWorld has evolved into a top-tier themed park combining adults rides (rollercoasters) with kid friendly rides and areas (Bay of Play), shows, educational programming, live music, and adult entertainment and lounge areas.

Pricing is still a bargain when compared to other themed parks and SeaWorld has some of the best specials around for summer  including a 3-for-1 ticket offer, which includes admission to SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego Zoo, and San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Though it has had it share of public relations challenges over the past few years with regards to animal treatment, as charged by activists, the new SeaWorld has revamped its shows to include educational components that are seamlessly integrated and showcase the exhaustive protective treatment they have for all animals under SeaWorld's care.

The educational components are great for adults and kids alike and feature useful information on the species and calls to action for audience members to help protect and preserve the environment.

Also new for 2021 is Cirque Neon World - watch as performers showcase their acrobatic skills, dancing abilities, and breathtaking athleticism all performed to worldbeat music, surrounded by elaborate sets, and complete with brilliant costumes, and sensational makeup. 

If you want to get your groove on, SeaWorld has  

Club Sea Glow featuring high-energy DJs.

And for the kids there is the Ignite fireworks finale along with the Electric Floating Acts featuring imaginative characters, artists, acrobats, and entertainers roaming all throughout the park. The live music performances including the Static Shock pop-rock and high voltage brass band are a hit with kids who are able to dance and sing-along to their favorite songs.

For those adults who want to unwind, there is Glow Bar - a vibrant outdoor lounge area with luminous cocktails, alcohol-infused fruit sorbet, and other treats.

Finally, SeaWorld San Diego is offering free tickets to U.S. military veterans for themselves and three guests to visit the park through December 24, 2021.  U.S. military veterans and retirees must register online at in advance

and verify their proof of service through the qualification process. 

For tickets, special promotions, and information on attractions, please visit 


Hortencia Olmos

June 2021

As the dog days of summer slip into fall and kids return to school there’s still time to have a memorable summer experience – and the good news is you won’t have to go far!

Welcome to staycation 2019 and the Downtown Los Angeles explosion of exploration. The epicenter in DTLA is the JW Marriott Hotel.

First remove any previous notions you may have of what a hotel is because the JW Marriott reimagined the experience for business travelers, families and weekenders looking to relax. And boy did they nail it!

Amongst the newer developments in DTLA, the JW has a glitzy geometric glass exterior and is perfectly located at L.A. Live - the nerve center of social interaction.

Tons to do around the JW including a concert at either the Staples Center or Microsoft Theater, eateries including Wolfgang Puck, Katsuya, Rosa Mexicano and Shaquille’s, dance at the Conga Room, explore music history and present at the Grammy Museum, or people watch along the corridors that connect each venue.

The real excitement, however, is to be found inside the JW Marriott’s expansive lobby and entrance areas. It has the liveliness of Time Square in New York during the day and the robust party vibe of the Vegas strip at night.

Enjoy a meal and drink at the neon infused Glance Lobby Bar. Decorated with vibrant colors and boasting one of LA’s most delectable menus, it’s a great spot to meet with friends before or after a concert or Lakers game, or to simply enjoy on a date night.

Be sure to check with the concierge’s desk and ask about any current promotions including free wine tasting, vouchers for a free movie at the Regal Cinemas, or free popcorn from Lucky Strike (bowling).

The amenities of the hotel are impressive with spacious rooms featuring impressive views of the city. The JW Marriott has perfectly balanced classic elegance with a modern touch. Yes, the décor is trendy, but the underlying feeling you get from entering the hotel is classy and sophisticated, both timeless features.

Staff is more than willing to serve and accommodate needs and are amongst the friendliest ever encounter by this writer.

Now that you are situated, your staycation can get underway.

Refresh yourself by lounging poolside with the sun doing its magic of replenishing the spirit. DJs and servers are the norm on weekends.

You may want to rejuvenate at the Spa Sanctuary featuring a unique Garden to Glamour Treatment known as the Watermelon Vodka Tini Body experience. Also, the staff at the spa are experts at providing CBD facial and body treatments to relax your muscles and ease any tension – these are a must try.

Once you are ready to take on the nightlife be sure to include a stop at WP24 on the Ritz-Carlton side of the JW. Located on the 24th floor the restaurant bar combo has stunning views of downtown and has an abundance of rich appetizers on one end and full meals at the other. The bar features abstract specialty drinks your waiter will be more than happy to share with you; if you really want a memory try the Hot Child in the City drink made with Mescal.

An absolute must experience is the JW’s Mixing Room. A bar, restaurant and dance club rolled into one with live DJs playing music of all genres to the delight of visitors. Meet new friends, enjoy a romantic night with your special friend, or, as I did, meet one of the members of a band just coming off stage from their performance at the Staples Center.

The great thing about the JW is it doesn’t feel like a hotel, instead you get the sights and sounds of colorful city inside, the vibrancy of a club or music festival outside and the attentiveness of staying with family.

Pricing for rooms varies and there are local and monthly promotions available. Based on the amenities and offerings of the JW and where it is located, stays are reasonably priced and affordable.

If you are still looking for that summer getaway, we recommend the JW Marriott in the Los Angeles area. And don’t forget Labor Day is just around the corner!

Summer at the JW Marriott includes:

Tiki Thursdays at The Mixing Room – every Thursday classic tiki cocktails, Polynesian bites along with live entertainment and vintage luau décor. Tiki Thursdays happen every Thursday through Sept. 5th.

Ice Cream Bike – the popular JW Marriott Los Angeles ice cream bike and floral installation returns offering a classic Instagram photo opportunity in the hotel lobby. Guests will enjoy complimentary ice cream samples every Friday, 4-5 pm, starting July 12th.


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