Monthly Archives: December 2013

Walt Disney Birthplace Preservation Project

Concept art depicting Disney's restored birthplace

Concept art depicting Disney’s restored birthplace

Theme Park Adventure is excited to get the word out about a monumental restoration/preservation project that is underway right now in Chicago – the transformation of the home that Walt Disney was born in, into an iconic landmark returned to its original appearance, complete with historical, educational and fun content to be explored and cherished by generations of Disney enthusiasts of all ages! This project is asking for public funding – and they are well on their way; however, they need everyone’s help in realizing this special dream! It’s only fitting that on December 15th, the anniversary of Walt Disney’s death in 1966, that Theme Park Adventure celebrates this remarkable project with its readers and TPAers everywhere in order to celebrate the life and eternal spirit of this very special man! Please, read on and contribute whatever you can – and help spread this link and the word everywhere you can online…

“On behalf of the Disney family, we are so pleased to see Walt Disney’s historic birthplace and family home being restored to its humble origins in the City of Chicago,” said Roy Patrick Disney, grandson to Roy O. Disney and Walt’s great nephew. “The outpouring of support and excitement we’ve seen from both city officials and Disney fans alike has been simply wonderful, and this is truly a fitting way to honor both Walt and Roy O. Disney, the pioneering brothers who forever changed the face of family entertainment, and, of course, will forever be two of Chicago’s most prominent native sons.”

Roy Patrick Disney
Grandson to Roy O. Disney and Walt’s Great Nephew

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REVIEW: Mirror, Mirror 2013 Knott’s Scary Farm

MIRROR_MIRROR_2013_29632013 was a banner year for Knott’s Scary Farm. Between the return of Elvira to some of the most high quality mazes the event has ever seen added to the mix, our hats are off to the team behind Halloween Haunt for really pushing forward and expanding the horizon in Buena Park, California. As is the nature of the beast, some designs that look great on paper are ultimately a challenge to pull off in reality. Such was the case with Mirror, Mirror…

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REVIEW: Alone: An Existential Haunting 2013

ALONE_2013_6541Located in a nondescript building at the Odd Fellows Temple in Downtown Los Angeles, Alone: An Existential Haunting was described as “one part interactive theater, one part psychological haunting”, where guests had to be over the age of 18, sign a waiver, and experience it completely by themselves. I was immediately intrigued at this new haunted attraction, and hoped it would be similar to Blackout Haunted House, but something more supernatural in nature, without “torture” elements.

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Knott’s Scary Farm Pinocchio Unstrung 2013 Review

One of the biggest maze debuts last season at Knott’s Scary Farm in Buena Park, California, was Pinocchio Unstrung. Designed by Halloween Haunt veteran Daniel Miller, Pinocchio Unstrung received huge praise from hard core fans and industry figures alike, including Disney Imagineering Legend Tony Baxter, who said the maze was stunning, and “Disney quality” in its execution. Definitely a great debut year for Pinocchio; the real proof is in how well a Haunt maze ages over the seasons. With great anticipation, fans looked forward to seeing Pinocchio Unstrung return for 2013…

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REVIEW: Trapped: The New Experiment 2013 Knott’s Scary Farm

TRAPPED_2013_2319In 2012, Knott’s Scary Farm added a new attraction to their Halloween Haunt line-up for its 40th season: Trapped. The premise of Trapped was that small groups, or even individuals, would venture into the most adult-oriented maze experience ever created for the Buena Park event in Southern California. It was an up-charge attraction, which many — Theme Park Adventure included – questioned, with a $60 price tag. The doubts anyone had however, were quickly extinguished by the immediate and on-going success of Trapped for the entire 2012 Scary Farm season. We all knew this attraction would return for 2013, and it did. Trapped: The New Experiment was announced this past summer, and fans waited with great anticipation and anxiety for Halloween Haunt to begin.

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The Backwoods Maze Home Haunt 2013

I’ve said this over and over lately – the line between home haunt and pro haunt has become increasingly blurred over the past several years, as folks become more savvy and technology becomes more easily accessible to the general public when it comes to Halloween. Such is the case with The Backwoods Maze, a home haunt of epic proportions in a quiet neighborhood in Burbank, California.

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Christmas With The Chimps at Lion Country Safari

image001On Sunday, December 15th, tune into The Travel Channel at 7pm for “Xtreme Xmas”, featuring Christmas with the Chimps. During this annual event at Lion Country Safari, Santa delivers presents to all the chimpanzees while park visitors watch. Marketing & Public Relations Director, Jennifer Berthiaume looks forward to the event, presented by ChimpanZoo, every year stating, “this segment is a great prelude for those at home, who have not yet been able to experience this WILD holiday celebration. It’s definitely unique and we’re thrilled to be featured on The Travel Channel.”

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Perdition Home Haunt 2013

One of the things that I have said numerous time in the past couple years is how sophisticated and professional home haunts are becoming each passing season. Whether a crazy extravagant tech fest, a highly-detailed yard scene, or an honest to god maze, Theme Park Adventure has seen the art of home haunting improve and mature so greatly in just the past few years that it’s really exciting to see what comes next! One of our favorite home haunts is Perdition Home, located in Yorba Linda, California. This group of haunters constructs a full-scale maze in their driveway each Halloween, and it is nothing but badass!

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Elizabeth Banks Lights up LEGOLAND California Christmas Tree

13LegoTreeActress Elizabeth Banks took time out of her busy schedule to help Santa light the world’s largest LEGO Christmas tree at LEGOLAND California Resort at the 11th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in Carlsbad, California.

Banks, a mother of two, stars as the voice of “Wyldstyle” in “The LEGO Movie” being released on February 7, 2014, and currently stars as Effie Trinket in the hit movie, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” At the ceremony, Banks presented a check from LEGOLAND California Resort for $10,000 to LA’s BEST (Better Educated Students for Tomorrow) which provides a safe and supervised after school education, enrichment and recreation program for elementary school children ages 5 to 12 in the City of Los Angeles.

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The House at Haunted Hill 2013

IMG_6161One of the most outrageously amazing home haunts Theme Park Adventure has ever seen is The House at Haunted Hill, located in a quiet neighborhood in Woodland Hills, California. As Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights is the must-see large-scale haunt spectacle each year in Los Angeles, House at Haunted Hill is the must-see home haunt spectacle in the Greater LA Area every October.

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