Monthly Archives: October 2015

Flying Dinosaur Coaster Announced for Universal Studios Japan

Flying Dinosaur Coaster Universal JapanUniversal Studios Japan will be celebrating its 15th anniversary on March 31, 2016. As the 1st product to celebrate its 15th anniversary among many, The Flying Dinosaur with a combination of its creativity and technology of Universal Studios Japan, will be opening this coming spring, as the highest flying coaster the world has to offer*.

Vowing to “bring the best of the world to Japan,” Universal Studios Japan will be doing just that with their latest flying roller coaster development. It’s the longest of its kind in the world*, featuring a combination of sudden drops and climbs, with overwhelming G-force generated by the world’s highest top-to-bottom elevation*, all taking place in an enchanting Jurassic Park setting. Unlike conventional sit-down roller coasters, the flying roller coaster has passengers flying at great heights like a bird, dangling face down to experience the thrill of a lifetime from head to toe.

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Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon Announced for Universal Studios Florida

Race through New York Starring Jimmy FallonThe host of America’s No. 1 late-night talk show will soon get his very own theme park attraction at Universal Orlando Resort.

In 2017, Jimmy Fallon – host of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and one of today’s funniest comedians – will be the star of a brand-new hilarious ride experience at Universal Studios Florida called, Race through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon. Guests will enjoy the full Tonight Show experience as they’re transported to Studio 6B to race against Jimmy in a crazy adventure that only he could imagine.

Jimmy and his creative team are working closely with Universal to develop the ride’s storyline and bring his vision to life. The experience will seamlessly blend the playful and irreverent world of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon with the incredible technology and imaginative storytelling for which Universal Orlando is known.

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Wizarding World of Harry Potter Interactive Website for Universal Studios Hollywood Unveiled

USH original WWoHP Key ArtWith just one click, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter comes to life, transforming computer screens and smart phones around the globe into a virtual tour of the land as Universal Studios Hollywood launches the official website for the West Coast’s much-anticipated entertainment experience, opening in Spring 2016.

Hogwarts is coming to Hollywood, and the dynamic new website will sweep guests through Hogsmeade village to explore the place where magical spells and magical creatures meet dark villains and daring heroes within the soon-to-open The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters, brought to life in the Warner Bros. films, and being masterfully recreated with impeccable detail into a fully immersive land.

Stylistically designed to be authentic to the tone and feel of the Harry Potter films, the website invites guests to virtually sample the land’s many shops, establishments and attractions through an artfully recreated parchment map.

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Boot Hill Home Haunt 2014 Brings the Old West to Irvine

Boot Hill 2014-104514Each Halloween season, Boot Hill rises from the grave and brings Old West terror and mayhem to the otherwise-friendly streets of Woodbridge in Irvine, California. One of the most elaborate home haunts in the Southland, Boot Hill is a visually stunning mixture of high-tech spookery and good old-fashioned jump scares that is family-friendly and can be toned up or down on the fly, depending on the age of visitors.

I have a hand in the legacy of Boot Hill; I co-created it with Shea Foley more than 15 years ago, writing its back story and developing the look and directing the custom soundtrack that was done for us by my long-time pal, the insanely talented Andy Garfield. Back then, it was pretty much unheard of for home haunts to have custom scores written – however, it was something we all just wanted to do; it felt like the right thing to do, to support the story. In a lot of ways, I think Boot Hill was ahead of the home haunt curve, taking its cue from the legendary Hallowed Haunting Grounds that existed once upon a time in Studio City, California.

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Perdition Home Haunt 2014 Brings Gore and Terror to Yorba Linda

Periditon Home 2014-105803There are a very small handful of home haunts in Southern California that take on the daunting task of re-inventing themselves each Halloween season. Perdition Home in Yorba Linda is one of those – and we absolutely love this team of haunters.

By definition, “perdition” is a state of eternal damnation – punishment after death for sinners and evildoers. In the terms of this home haunt, that perdition takes on the form of a maze – nightmarish in content, with violent, really unsettling scenes that reveal themselves to guests traversing each twisted hall and corridor.

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House of Shock Resurrected and Open in New Orleans!

House of ShockThe New Orleans-based House of Shock Haunted House and Halloween Festival is back for its 23rd installment, presenting The Resurrection. Originally set to close the doors after the 2014 season, The House of Shock has been given new life thanks to a spirited response from the local community. The House of Shock is open through Halloween night.

For 2015, The House of Shock presents The Resurrection brings two new terror-inducing events to New Orleans. The Bordello of Freaks is an all new attraction in the style of old carny freak exhibitions with a House of Shock twist. Laff in the Dark is an all-out 3D clown assault: a nod to old school fun houses, specifically the Pontchartrain Beach Fun House of the same name. Clown-a-phobics beware, as Laff in the Dark has more scares per square foot than any other event of its kind. Additionally, The House of Shock’s main attraction has been carefully renovated to create a whole new experience that still holds true to the classics that made it unique. This may be best represented by the immense, brand new entrance constructed to pay homage to the infamous LeBeau Mansion – the Arabi plantation home that burnt down in 2013.

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Haunted Reef Returns to Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas

Haunted Reef Mandalay BayRattling chains, haunting music and fearsome predators return for the annual Haunted Reef at Shark Reef Aquarium inside Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino with decorations, pumpkins, costumes and trick-or-treating.

Community Day is Friday, Oct. 30, when children 12 and under who visit the aquarium in their Halloween costumes will receive complimentary admission and sweet treats.

United Blood Services will be on site during Community Day for visitors interested in donating blood. Guests 17 and older who give blood will receive complimentary admission. To make an appointment contact United Blood Services at702-638-7400 or visit unitedbloodservices.org and enter sponsor code: SharkReef.

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26th Annual Military Tribute Returns to Knott’s Berry Farm November 1

Knott's Military Tribute 2015Knott’s Berry Farm continues its tradition of honoring the brave men and women who have served in the U.S. military, both past and present, with free admission during its 26th annual Military Tribute. Knott’s is the only theme park that has continuously offered free admission to veterans and active military personnel in honor of our nation’s Veteran’s Day holiday.

The free-admission offer applies to all U.S. veterans, retired and active military personnel and their spouse (or one guest.)  Up to six additional tickets may be purchased at Knott’s Ticket Booths for only $25 each from November 1 – November 20 and for $30 each November 21 through December 20, 2015.  Military personnel may also purchase additional tickets at a participating local Military ticket office.

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Zombie Joe’s Urban Death: Tour of Terror 2015 Delivers Shock, Humor, and Plenty of WTF

Tour of Terror 2015 (2)For the past couple of years now, one of the most edgy, shocking haunted attractions in Southern California has been Zombie Joe’s Urban Death: Tour of Terror, in North Hollywood. A cross between a maze and theatrical production, Tour of Terror is unabashedly twisted adult in nature, and is at times too much for some folks to wrap their heads around.

Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group is a really fun, low-fi production company that puts on multiple shows year-round here in Los Angeles that are all fairly adult in nature. The troupe at Zombie Joe’s consists of men and women of all ages – each of them obviously loving what they do as they constantly push the envelope with avant-garde performances in the small North Hollywood space not far from Hollywood, Burbank and the surrounding communities. Despite their small, bare-bones space and productions, every night is a who’s who when it comes to fans of Zombie Joe’s. Drawing from the entertainment industry, it’s not uncommon to see players in the film and television business, as well as themed entertainment groups in the audience, or socializing on the sidewalk along Lankershim Boulevard at midnight.

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Spooky Hollows 2014 Home Haunt Delivers a Swamp Full of Frights

Spooky Hollows 2014-104292One of the coolest home haunts we visited in 2014 was Spooky Hollows, which is located in the San Fernando neighborhood of Van Nuys. This elaborate set-up is headed up by John and Tracy Cassella, along with fellow haunter Christopher Els and a dedicated team of Halloween aficionados that have chosen a quiet, unremarkable street to unleash their special brand of holiday horror on once a year.

More than a standard front yard display, Spooky Hollows takes guests on a terror trip around the property, along the sides of the house and through the backyard, which has been transformed into a swamp – as well as gnarly greenhouse and ultimately, a hot zombie-filled mess that leaves guests running for their lives!

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