Disney Sets Opening Date for Avengers Campus in California

With the upcoming reopening of the beloved theme park, Disney announces the arrival of their new Marvel-themed land coming to California Adventure on June 4.

After being closed for over a year, Disneyland is welcoming guests with new safety measures, new capacity rules, and most notably–a new land. Originally planned to open in the summer of 2020, plans for the Avengers Campus were delayed due to the coronavirus. Now that the parks are reopening, Disney announced the long-awaited extension just in time for the summer.

Until further notice, California residents are currently the only ones who are permitted to enter the park and will be the first people to experience Disney’s latest attraction.

The area will feature two main rides–Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout and Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure. The former is an exhilarating drop tower dark ride (converted from the Tower of Terror ride in 2017), with the latter being a newly built Spider-Man interactive screen ride. 

Park goers can also look forward to immersive activities and entertainment from their favorite Marvel movies. We can expect to see the Sanctum, a walk through site that will incorporate ancient ruins, orbs, and mystic elements from Doctor Strange.

The Campus’ most notable building will be the Avengers Headquarters, donning the classic logo and a Stark Industries’ jet on the rooftop. Both of these attractions will likely feature entertainment and performances by park cast members.

Additionally, the featured restaurant, Pym Test Kitchen, will be based on the popular Ant Man series where guests can dine on futuristic snacks and food.

For more information on the Avengers Campus, you can visit Disneyland’s website here.

Written by: Nathalie Lum, Entertainment News Correspondent

Remembering Rapper & Actor DMX

Actor and Rapper DMX, whose real name was Earl Simmonds, passed away on Friday, April 9, 2021. He was 50 years old.

The Grammy-nominated performer suffered from “catastrophic cardiac arrest,” according to the Associated Press. He was admitted to a New York hospital on April 2 relating to an overdose and heart attack.

DMX has been on life support since and, according to a former manager, has been in a “vegetative state”.

The family released a statement reading, “Earl was a warrior who fought until the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart, and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world, and his iconic legacy will live on forever. We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time. Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle, and the man the world knew as DMX. We will share information about his memorial service once details are finalized.”

Late R&B singer Aaliyah’s mother Diane Haughton took to social media to paid tribute to DMX sharing “Earl you had and still have a heart of hold. You and Baby Girl will meet again with all the beautiful people we have lost. We will never forget your kindness. NEVER! Blessings to your family! Eternally! –Aaliyah’s Mom


Photo Credit: Screenshot of Instagram post from @aaliyah on Instagram

DMX, originally from New York, is known for memorable club songs like “Party Up (Up in Here)” and “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” was a staple in hip-hop during the late 90s and early ’00s.

Photo Credit: Joe Traver/Reuters
DMX performing at Woodstock in 1999.

The first five of his eight albums were all at no.1 on the billboard 200 album chart.

Albums included “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot” released in 1998, “Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood” released in 1999, “…And Then There Was X” released in 2000, “The Great Depression” released in 2001, and “The Grand Champ” released in 2003.

In addition to being a successful rapper, DMX was an actor who was a part of films like “Romeo Must Die” with Jet Li and the late Aaliyah, Exit Wounds, Cradle 2 the Grave, and Last Hour.

Photo Credit: Warner Bros/Everett Collection
DMX with Steven Segal and Eva Mendes in Exit Wounds

A few highlights from DMX is that he made the time to help the less fortunate.

In 2017 surprised a Philadelphia homeless support group; by giving a group of men advice. He also helped a family in Maine by purchasing back-to-school supplies for a couple of years.

DMX is survived by his 15 children and his mother. You can stream DMX music on services like Spotify and Apple Music.

Cover Photo: Getty Images

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

“Friends” Reunion for HBO Max on the Way

After a year of curiosity, we finally have an answer. The “Friends” reunion is on the way.

Production for the highly anticipated “Friends” reunion hit a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was supposed to film last year.

The reunion is officially on and starts production the week of April 5.

The original cast of Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry will take place on the original Warner Bros soundstage (stage 24) located in Burbank, California.

Photo Credit: NBC

Schwimmer, who played Ross on the beloved sitcom, confirmed the reunion on The Graham Norton by sharing, “I’m going to Los Angels – we’re going to be shooting the Friends reunion next week, I’m going to see everyone next week for the first time in many years.”

He continued sharing that “There’s nothing scripted, we’re not in character. We are all ourselves, although there is one section of it that I don’t want to give away, but we all read something.”

Photo Credit: NBC

“Friends” originally aired on NBC for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004. The original reunion was February 2020 with a premiere of May 2020 on HBO Max. However, due to the pandemic, everything was delayed.

You can re-watch every episode of “Friends” on HBO Max now and keep an eye out for the reunion’s official release date by following HBO Max on Twitter.

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

Indoor Concerts, Theater Performance, and Conferences Resume April 15

After a year of canceled concerts and theater performances, Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Friday, April 2, 2021, because the rate of people testing positive for the coronavirus has reached a record low, Indoor Concerts, Theatre Performances, and Conventions can resume starting April 15.

Testing or proof of vaccination for some of the events won’t be required; however, limits on the number of people admitted will be enforced.

Events requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test or vaccination can increase capacity limits compared to events that don’t.

Private indoor gatherings such as weddings, meetings, and conferences are only allowed if guests present proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the event or show proof of full vaccination.

Photo Credit: Jared Murray on Unsplash

Here are the new regulations on indoor live events beginning April 15 based on tiers.
(These apply to venues with a capacity of up to 1,500 people)

  • Purple Tier: Indoor live events or performances are not allowed
  • Red Tier: Capacity is limited to 10% or 100 people; however, if guests present a negative COVID test or show proof of full vaccination, capacity increases to 25%.
  • Orange Tier: 15% capacity or 200 people max; if guests present a negative COVID test or show proof of full vaccination, capacity increases to 35%.
  • Yellow tier: 25% or 300 people; however, if guests present a negative COVID test or show proof of full vaccination, capacity increases to 50%.

Here are the regulations for larger venues based on tiers:

  • Red Tier: Proof of a negative COVID test or full vaccination is required, and capacity is restricted to 20%
  • Orange Tier: 10% or 2,000 people capacity; however, capacity will increase to 50% if all guests present proof of a negative COVID test or proof of full vaccination.
  • Yellow tier: 10% or 2,000 people capacity; however, capacity will increase to 50% if all guests either show proof of a negative COVID test or proof of full vaccination.

Photo Credit: Screenshot of California Tier map from covid19.ca.gov

Verify your county tier here to see what restrictions are currently in effect.

Governor Newsom wants Californians to continue wearing masks and practicing social distance even with the easing of restrictions.

Will you be hitting up live performances or wait it out a bit longer? Let me know on Twitter or Instagram.

Cover Photo: Concert by Pien Muller on UnSplash

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA