Theme Park Adventure Departs From ScareLA Halloween Convention

ScareLA Halloween conventionWe regretfully confirm that Theme Park Adventure is no longer associated with ScareLA Halloween convention in any way. We are unable to answer any questions about the convention’s current operations or future plans, nor are we going to make any further statement at this time regarding the extremely difficult decision we’ve made to resign as two of the event’s producers.

We appreciate the support of the haunt community, and will always be incredibly proud of what we accomplished as a team over the past three years. Sadly, that has come to an end, and we are just as disappointed about that as our friends throughout the industry are.

Thank you all for the outpouring of love and strength during this extremely challenging transition. We promise that we have not abandoned this great community, nor are we fading away. Theme Park Adventure is stronger than ever before, and remains dedicated to the Southern California haunt community and beyond.

We are family. Always have been, always will be.

— Rick West & Johanna Atilano

Fans can follow Theme Park Adventure via social media on Facebook, Instagram (search our posts with #ThemeParkAdventure), Twitter, and Periscope for live streams of our travels and special events!

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Backwoods Maze 2017 Home Haunt a Non-Stop Powerhouse of Impressive Sets and Lurking Monsters

Backwoods Maze 2017 home haunt was definitely one of the highlights of the Halloween season. Theme Park Adventure has long-supported this talented family of haunters, and their creation simply gets better and better each year.

This particular home haunt can be found at 1912 North Pepper Street in Burbank, not terribly far from the local airport or world-famous movie and television studios. What helps Backwoods remain so low-profile, is that the majority of the haunt – a densely-propped maze of twisting, turning, tight corridors – takes up the family’s entire backyard, allowing them to tweak and work on the attraction throughout the year. The front yard during Halloween serves only as a showcase for some of the props that Jeff and Taylor Gustafson have added to their amazing collection of horror memorabilia over the years, from tombstones bearing famous monster/slasher names, to a life-sized Freddy Krueger figurine and more. The front yard display merely serves as a distraction while guests wait in line – a line that often stretches down the sidewalk, due to the home haunt’s popularity.

The maze itself is what we refer to as “haunt stew” – a series of themes and ideas all kind of thrown together to create one crazy experience. Typically, we’re not huge fans of this formula – especially now, when storytelling has become such a rich facet of haunting. In the case of Backwoods, we’ve actually fallen in love with its eclectic aesthetics and general “WTF” style. It’s kind of like a junkyard nightmare – massive cyborg warriors, alien creatures, plague doctors, and animal-human hybrids all coexisting in something that resembles a Sanford and Son hell of sorts. And in this case… it works. Guests have absolutely no idea what terrors they’re going to come face-to-face with around each corner; nothing makes sense, nor is anything predictable within the Backwoods Maze.

While the Gustafsons have the luxury of tinkering with their Backwoods Maze all year long, it’s still a tremendous labor of love that takes a lot of time to maintain – and resources. By resources, we mean cash; haunts take a lot of money to create and keep alive, yet this family has done so for years now – giving joy to the community here in Los Angeles each Halloween season. There is no entry fee to Backwoods Maze, but donations are always welcome and accepted – which we highly condone in this case. If you missed Backwoods Maze 2017, there is always the 2018 season to look forward to; it may seem like a long way off, but I assure you, it will come sooner than you know it, and the Backwoods team will be waiting for you with new props, creeping monsters, and more outrageous stuff to terrorize you with!

Huge kudos and love to this family and their extended team for giving the Los Angeles community the gift of a truly unique and outrageous haunt. We’re big fans, and cannot wait to see the continued evolution and success of this amazing home haunt!

  • Rick West

Be sure you’re following us on social media so you can keep up with all that TPA has to offer! We’re on Instagram at @themeparkadventure, Twitter and Periscope at @TPAMagazine, and on Facebook.

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

Backwoods Maze 2017 POV Flow-Through Video:

Backwoods Maze 2017 Image Gallery:

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

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

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

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

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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