THEME PARK ADVENTURE – LATEST NEWS AND FEATURES

Theme Park Adventure has been an industry standard for fans and professionals alike for the past 23 years. Predating the internet, TPA began as a printed newsletter that reached enthusiasts around the globe as we covered such stories as Luxor Las Vegas’ First Anniversary, the construction and opening of The Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland Resort, the creation of Blizzard Beach at Walt Disney World, and the Farewell Season of the Main Street Electrical Parade in Anaheim. At the same time, Theme Park Adventure was also unintentionally becoming the pioneer of covering Halloween events, such as Knott’s Scary Farm in Buena Park, California. Over the past two decades, TPA has indulged in the haunted attraction industry, from small home displays to professional stand-alone Halloween events and major theme park productions such as Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights! Our fan base consists of many haunt enthusiasts and producers – an unintentional portion of the themed entertainment industry that we are thrilled to be a part of on an on-going basis! TPA owners Rick West and Johanna Atilano are both professionals within the themed entertainment industry, making this site not only an incredibly fun hobby, but a valued and important part of their lives; a creative and informative extension of who they are and what they do professionally. Rick and Johanna also co-produce Midsummer Scream Halloween Convention. Theme Park Adventure has become more than just a magazine or fan site; we are a community of creative individuals who share a love of entertainment, theme parks and the spookiest season of them all – Halloween! We invite you to sit back and enjoy all that we have to offer here, from stories and reviews to videos and image galleries; partake, discuss, and become part of the TPA community we we take you on a ride through the past, present, and the future!
All material on this website is Copyrighted © Theme Park Adventure and may not be reproduced for commercial use or altered in any way without the written expressed consent of Theme Park Adventure or the companies that have provided material to Theme Park Adventure for media exposure purposes only.

Universal Studios Hollywood Announces First-Ever EVE Celebration to Ring in the New Year

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One of the biggest nights of the year – New Year’s Eve – just got bigger in Los Angeles! Universal Studios Hollywood has just announced its brand-new EVE celebration, the perfect way to count down the last hours of 2017, and ring in the first of 2018 throughout the theme park.

Guests enjoying Universal Studios Hollywood have the entire day and evening to experience its world-class attractions and shows, including Grinchmas as well as Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which features the brand-new Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle show every 20 minutes or so after dark. At 9pm, EVE begins, radiating throughout the park from three unique entertainment hubs as DJs and live entertainment mark the final hours of 2017.

EVE’s three uniquely-themed party zones will be found throughout the theme park – at Universal Plaza, just steps away from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter; Simpsons Plaza, in front of The Simpsons Ride; and an area adjacent to Jurassic Park: The Ride down in the Lower Lot. As the final moments of 2017 slip through the hourglass, and the clock strikes 2018, the festivities culminate with a spectacular fireworks display.

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Knott’s Scary Farm 2017 – A Spectacle 45 Years in the Making

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The screams and thrills of Halloween may have faded into the fog, but the memories of Knott’s Scary Farm 2017 linger here, as we continue to reflect on the amazing experiences we had this past season. Our videos from Haunt 2017 have been up on our YouTube channel for weeks – but we definitely have photos and thoughts to share, as fellow fans.

I’ll start by saying what everyone already knows and what we’ve been saying since September – Knott’s Scary Farm 2017 was absolutely stunning on all fronts. This “review” is going to be a love letter to the Haunt and the folks behind it, past and present.

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Holiday Magic Comes to Universal Orlando Resort in Big Ways for 2017 Season

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The 2017 Holiday Season is in full swing at Universal Orlando Resort, and this year’s offerings are the biggest ever for the company. Theme Park Adventure was in town for the debut of Universal’s Christmas celebration, so we were able to stop in and check some of it out!

For years, Universal Studios Florida has hosted its Holiday Parade, featuring Macy’s balloons and a wide variety of performers on the ground, dazzling the thousands of fans who line the parade route each day to catch a glimpse of this Central Florida tradition. This year, Universal’s Holiday Parade has been taken to spectacular new heights (literally), with awesome floats, characters, and massive balloons featuring favorite films such as ShrekDespicable Me, and Madagascar. We staked out a spot along the parade route in the New York section of Universal Studios Florida (where else would we watch from!?) and watched as the crowds became several people deep in each direction in the hour or so leading up to step-off time. It was surreal for us to actually be there to see a parade that TPA has posted about for years on behalf of the resort – and it didn’t disappoint!

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Into the Black 2017 Offers Rich Storytelling and Personalized Terror

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Into the Black 2017One of the most-anticipated new haunts of 2017 has made its debut at the Fairplex in Pomona: Into the Black. This multifaceted attraction is heavy on storytelling, culminating in a rather large haunted “maze” walk-through that guests must venture into… alone.

Larry Bones and his wife Cheryl, along with lots of talented folks from their company Bone Yard Effects, Inc. have partnered with many seasoned haunters – including the team from Hollow Studios – to create a unique haunted attraction for a region that is extremely competitive and already full of a myriad of haunts, from sophisticated yard displays and stand-alone immersive experiences, to world-class theme park Halloween events. The Into the Black team knew it was going to be challenging entering a marketplace that not only is the most diverse on the planet – it also has the most sophisticated and demanding fans anywhere.

The good news is, Larry isn’t new to the industry. In fact, many fans may recognize his name for his work well before Into the Black was a thing. For 11 years, Larry and his team of talented artists supplied the makeup prosthetics and effects for Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights.

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Southern California’s Beloved Home Haunt Boney Island Closed Permanently

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Boney Island 2017This one hurts. Not only is it personal, it is a sobering wake-up call to the entire SoCal haunt community in general. Boney Island, the beloved, family-friendly home haunt in Sherman Oaks has been cancelled; permanently shuttered, thanks to a couple of uncooperative neighbors and city officials that saw an opportunity to make some money, rather than stand behind an event that brought so much happiness and good to Los Angeles. The announcement of Boney Island’s closure just days before its 2017 season isn’t the end of the story – it’s the beginning of something much, much bigger and important that everyone needs to be aware of.

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Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest 2017 Review

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It’s been a big year for Six Flags Magic Mountain. This summer, the thrill park in Valencia, California, opened its first dark ride ever – Justice League: Battle for Metropolis. Also this summer, Magic Mountain announced that it would be open 365 days beginning in January 2018, putting it on par schedule-wise with nearby competitors Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott’s Berry Farm, Disneyland Resort, and both LEGOLAND California and SeaWorld further south. Now that we’re well into the Halloween season here in Los Angeles, Fright Fest 2017 is in full swing, scaring up fantastic attendance and spooky fun for guests of all ages!

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Halloween Horror Nights 2017 at Universal Studios Hollywood Review

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Halloween Horror Nights 2017 is well underway at Universal Studios Hollywood, bringing with it a bevy of monsters and a laundry list of intellectual properties, with The Shining at the top of most everyone’s “curious to see” list.

As has been the case for more than a decade, Halloween Horror Nights here in Southern California has been spearheaded by John Murdy (Creative Director), and Chris Williams (Art Director), with a dedicated and very talented team behind them, helping to make these collections of living nightmares a reality each year. HHN is one of the biggest events in the Southland, attracting tens of thousands of hard core haunt fans to the Hollywood area each night as they pour through the gates, eager to have terror unleashed on them.

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Sleep No More Alumni Bringing Waking La Llorona to San Diego for Halloween 2017

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When you think of San Diego, you think of gorgeous beaches, college coeds, Shamu, and Comic-Con. At Halloween, there are a handful of well-established haunted attractions across the city, but nothing much in the way of immersive, theatrical-style experiences as you find in Los Angeles and elsewhere. That’s about to change with Waking La Llorona, a multi-sensory, fully immersive theatrical presentation that happens to you – all around you – alone.

Waking La Llorona premiered this August in San Diego at a sold-out workshop production that was presented by The Old Globe through the generous support of The San Diego Foundation Creative Catalyst program – an organization that provides career opportunities for local professional artists so that the entire community benefits culturally through the arts. This production is set to run once more at the La Jolla Playhouse as part of their Without Walls Festival next month. The buzz that Waking La Llorona has already created has led to those performances at WOW already being sold-out. We have not personally experienced this production, but have been told by numerous friends and colleagues how absolutely fantastic Waking La Llorona is; and it should be. Several of the key people that have created Waking La Llorona were responsible for producing the cornerstone theatrical experience Sleep No More in New York City.

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Exclusive Behind-The-Scenes Preview of The 17th Door Extreme Haunted Experience

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Southern California is home to the most diverse assortment of haunted attractions in the world, from major theme park events to stunning home haunts and stand-alone experiences. When The 17th Door made its debut in 2015, it took the haunt community by storm, immediately garnering media attention and huge social buzz due to its extreme and brutal content.

Created by husband and wife team Heather and Robbie Luther, The 17th Door followed the exploits of an ill-fated young adult – Paula Barclay – as she attended college at Gluttire University, where she battled real-life demons and horrific situations ranging from bulimia nervosa (binge eating and purging) and drug/alcohol abuse, to mental anguish and even rape. In short, The 17th Door showcased real-life horrors, rather than zombies, vampires, or iconic serial killers. We have often described The 17th Door as a “Hell House” type of experience, without the religious hammering at the end, in an effort to save your soul from the evils of this world and eternal damnation. Truly, this particular haunt is unlike anything we have ever experienced.

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Rotten Apple 907 Home Haunt Needs Community Support

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It’s been a really rough year for the team behind Rotten Apple 907, one of Southern California’s greatest home haunts. Located in Burbank, the team – led by Diane and Preston Meyer – has been a staple of the haunt community since 2003. Recently, the team encountered a nasty setback from Mother Nature in the form of a flood, which wiped out a lot of their materials where they were being stored on a property in Acton, California.

Props, walls, and other components necessary for their annual haunt were either destroyed, washed away, or covered with filthy debris and mud. To add insult to injury, while the Meyers were waiting for the water to recede enough to try and salvage their stuff, a bee colony moved in and made themselves a hive, which also had to be taken care of.

To say that 2017 has been a rough one for Rotten Apple 907 and its team is an understatement. These are good people who create a tremendous attraction – with a new theme – each and every year, with all of their proceeds going to local charities. Since 2003, Rotten Apple 907 has donated thousands of dollars to people in need. And, as luck would have it, now they are the ones in need.

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