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Author Archives: Rick West
Flashes of a familiar facemask blur the line between reality and film. The roar of a chain saw inside a darkened, deteriorating farmhouse is deafening. You are being hunted. Moving past the rotting remains of other victims, you find your escape blocked by an immovable force. A force that has only one purpose – complete and total destruction.
This year, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre – one of the greatest horror films ever made – will come to life as an all-new maze at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 26.
From the creative minds of CreepyLA and Theme Park Adventure, comes an all-new chapter in terror: Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival. This weekend-long celebration of everything Halloween, haunts and horror makes its debut July 30-31 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California.
Midsummer Scream features more than 100,000 square feet of event space that will showcase vendors, makeup demonstrations, stage presentations, live entertainment, a screening room, haunted attraction experiences and more.
“We’re combining all of our talents, production knowledge, and years of experience to create an amazing show that we know fans are going to love,” said David Markland, Executive Director of Midsummer Scream. “Each week from now until our July debut, we will be announcing more participants and unveiling different aspects of the show that are going to have people counting down the days with great anticipation.”
We 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
Universal Studios Hollywood brings the most popular show in cable television history to life in Summer 2016 when AMC’s Golden Globe award-nominated television series, The Walking Dead, sets up permanent residency at The Entertainment Capital of L.A. in an all-new immersive, cutting-edge attraction.
Universal Studios Hollywood has worked collaboratively with AMC’s The Walking Dead for years as a signature Halloween Horror Nights maze. This newly enhanced venture will take the highly sought-after experience from a seasonal, limited time offering to an authentic 365 day opportunity, raising the bar for themed walk-through attractions.
Drunken Devil (formerly Drunken Devil Productions), a company based in Los Angeles with a focus on producing events in Downtown, is bringing a burlesque and magic variety show to Redline Bar in Downtown Los Angeles. This event marks the first production of Drunken Devil’s 2016 Season.
Entitled Villains & Vixens: A Vaudeville of Vexing Voodoo & Voluptuous Vices, this show will feature Drunken Devil alums Scarlette Fox (LA Sirenes) and Harley Harpurr (The Dollface Dames), performing a variety of seductive and sensual burlesque numbers, sure to delight and dazzle guests.
In addition, magicians Micah Cover (The Magic Castle) and Scott Michael (Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor, Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre) will bamboozle audiences with unbelievable feats of magic and mystery.
The show, which features a bayou black magic/voodoo aesthetic, will be hosted by none other than the Drunken Devil himself.
Want to design a theme park? Over the past century, theme parks have created worlds where pirates still loot Caribbean towns, where daring adventurers explore booby-trapped temples, and where superheroes swing from New York skyscrapers – and allowed us to step into them too. This is a book about how to design those fantastic places, and the ingenuity that goes into their creation.
This is a handbook for the practicing designer, a textbook for the aspiring student, and a behind the scenes guidebook for the theme park fan, drawing on hundreds of interviews with accomplished designers from Walt Disney Imagineering, Universal Creative, Merlin Entertainments, and more. Theme Park Design & The Art of Themed Entertainment explores everything from the stories, themes, and characters that theme parks bring to life, to the business models, processes, and techniques that allow them to do it.
From the door knobs to the aged walls and textured flooring. From original merchandise to table tops in Three Broomsticks. These authentic details are an integral part to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and Supervising Art Director Alan Gilmore has a story to tell behind it all. Gilmore worked on the Harry Potter films as an Art Director, and was brought on to work cohesively with Universal Creative to bring Hogsmeade to life and help translate the film design into a real place.
“I’ve learned so much with them [Universal Creative]. It’s been a really fascinating journey for the last seven years with us working together,” Gilmore explained to a group of us as we walked together into the Wizarding World.
The butterflies are fluttering, the birds are chirping, and the nectar plants are in. This week, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Butterfly Jungle opens to the public, and the excitement is palpable. Thousands of butterflies from more than 20 species will flitter around guests as they make their way through the tropical Hidden Jungle aviary. Safari Park visitors will get the chance to see butterflies from Asia, Africa and Central, South and North America—including the electric blue morpho, the exotic giant owl, and the brilliant orange Julia. There may even be a surprise species or two this year.
“We are always pleasantly surprised if we get an unusual species that is on our import permit, and so will our guests be,“ said Michael Mace, curator of birds at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “With 20 species of butterflies, there’s every color, shape and size for everyone.” Guests will also be mesmerized by the lush greenery and many exotic birds that populate Hidden Jungle, such as red-crested turacos, African pygmy geese and beautiful sunbirds.
Six Flags Magic Mountain, the undisputed thrill capital of the world, today announced final details for The New Revolution, North America’s first fully-integrated Virtual Reality (VR) roller coaster from Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus, to develop a multi-dimensional virtual coaster experience. The Valencia-based theme park stays true to its history of launching coaster thrills to new and unprecedented levels of exhilaration by immersing riders in a completely virtual world. From the moment riders board and don Samsung Gear VR, the traditional roller coaster experience is transformed. High-definition imagery and storytelling syncs with the unique track configuration creating a one-of-a-kind seamless “real world” to “virtual world” thrill ride experience. Riders now become co-pilots seated in the cockpit of a true-to-life fighter jet, flying through a futuristic city while virtually engaged in a battle to protect the Planet against alien invaders, all while racing over the 3,500 feet of twisting, turning, looping coaster track.
Soon, you will be transported to an island shrouded in mystery and legend. It is a lost world where adventure – and the unimaginable – will challenge you in unforgettable ways.
When it opens this summer at Universal Orlando Resort’s Islands of Adventure, Skull Island: Reign of Kong will bring the next generation of the King Kong legend to life. You will be thrust into an exotic world filled with the menacing, the intense – and the wildly entertaining. A powerful storyline, a stunning 3D experience, innovative technology – and the unexpected – will pull you into one of Universal Orlando’s most massive adventures yet. This is a multi-dimensional experience filled with surprise – all wrapped into what will be one of the longest Universal ride experiences ever created.