Tag Archives: theme parks

To Universal Studios Hollywood

Darlene and I made a quick, three-day trip down to Universal Studios Hollywood last week — to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, of course!  While we were there, we also visited the La Brea Tar Pits and Griffith Park and tried to get to Mann’s Chinese Theater (but it was closed off for a movie premiere) – all places I hadn’t seen for 30-40 years and new for Darlene.


The main attraction was of course Universal Studios and we decided to buy their “VIP Tour” tickets.  These are guided, 12-person tour groups that start with early access to the park after an included breakfast.  You get an extended tour of the back lots (two hours rather than the normal 45 minutes) via a single-car trolley instead of the usual tram.  This back lot tour includes getting out and walking around some of the sets and potentially sound stages and working sets (depending on the activity that day) as well as visiting part of their props and costumes warehouse.  You get escorted “priority” access to the various rides and shows (bypassing the lines or enjoying reserved seating) and a really wonderful buffet lunch in a separate VIP dining area.  The VIP passes cost nearly three times as much as the normal pass but we had read reviews from a lot of folks saying it’s a fun and worthwhile experience and now we would agree.  Here’s someone’s detailed description from 2012.

We also took a nice tour of Paramount Studios the following day before catching our plane home.

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In Memory of Gina Grandolfo

I’m posting here to share a collection of images of Gina that I’ve gathered together in this photo stream:

I’ll add to it if I find more pictures.  Here’s information on her memorial life celebration, this Sunday, March 20th.

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Orlando Amusement Parks

Clay and Patty and I went out to Orlando early (ahead of our FileMaker Developer Conference) to visit a few of the amusement parks.


We also got to see a space shuttle launch from the FileMaker Dev conference:


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FileMaker DevCon @ The Magic Kingdom

This year, FileMaker’s annual Developer Conference was held at Disney’s Coronado Springs in Orlando, Florida. We also visited the Magic Kingdom and Disney/MGM Studios parks.  One amusing highlight was a session of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” filled with FileMaker trivia questions answered by our Dev Con attendees.

This collection of photos comes from several sources — mostly from Clay. (Thanks Clay!)

Click through for the full gallery:


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Descending on Disneyland

Clay, Patty, David and I descend on Disneyland and meet up with my college friends Corey and Hoan, as well as Mike (Buck) and Gina.  I’ve just scanned in these old pictures and I haven’t been able to narrow down the date.  I’m pretty sure it was a little before June 1996.

Click through for the full gallery:


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