Home Page

Holiday in the Park 2016 Showcases Christmas and Coasters at Six Flags Magic Mountain

Holiday in the Park 2016The mention of Six Flags Magic Mountain may instantly conjure mental images of some of the best roller coasters in the world… and rightfully so. However, in recent years, Magic Mountain has really stepped up its game – as has many of the other Six Flags properties – and has focused a great deal of attention on special seasonal events such as Holiday in the Park.

Holiday in the Park transforms much of Magic Mountain into a festive winter wonderland of twinkling Christmas lights, whimsical walk-around characters, sweet treats, Santa Claus, and of course, amazing thrill rides. While many of our readers have Magic Mountain on their radar because of Fright Fest, it certainly should be noted that we really love what they do each year now with Holiday in the Park – and we think you will, too.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Knott’s Merry Farm 2016 Brings Classy Christmas Festivities to Buena Park

Knott’s Berry Farm certainly knows how to do holidays. Immediately following its world-famous Scary Farm event each year, the park transforms into a winter wonderland, becoming Knott’s Merry Farm. While you’d think the team behind the scenes at Knott’s would be exhausted this time of year (and you’d be right making that assumption), they go up and beyond to deliver an event that is nothing shy of world-class.

Merry Farm 2016 is the best we have ever seen the park look during the Christmas season, and we’ve grown up with Knott’s. Each year, Cedar Fair management works with Knott’s, raising the bar and really pushing everyone involved to dig deep and go big. The company doesn’t throw millions at the Christmas season the way Disney or Universal do – but they go head-to-head with those very companies by way of live entertainment and quaint, classy decorations that truly resonate with guests and create a gorgeous setting to celebrate the holidays in with friends and loved ones of all ages.

Read More »

Leave a comment

TPA’s Naughty & Nice Holiday Bash at Don’s Brings 2016 Mixers to a Festive Close

Earlier this month, Theme Park Adventure held its Naughty & Nice Holiday Bash at Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach. With more than 100 TPAers from near and far in attendance, the Christmas mixer was an evening to remember! Fans gathered at the famous tiki restaurant and bar on Pacific Coast Highway for several hours of socializing, cocktail libations, and outrageous nerdy fun as together, we embraced the Holiday Season and said goodbye to 2016 collectively.

While all guests at our mixers are considered special, this month’s gathering had an extra-awesome VIP in attendance – the Krampus! Thanks to our friend Bill Rude, who made a fantastic appearance as the ancient Christmas demon. Bill is the owner/artist behind 7 Hells: The Retro Horror Art of Bill Rude, and a friend of both TPA and Midsummer Scream, and an asset to the horror and haunt community in general. To the delight of TPAers, Krampus hung out for quite a while, taking photos with all of the naughty little boys and girls – and as far as we know… all TPAers from that night are accounted for! He even brought a sack full of 7 Hells gifts for our raffle. A huge thanks to Bill for hanging out and dressing up!

Read More »

Leave a comment

Grinchmas 2016 Brings Wholiday Cheer to Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood is trimming up the tree once again with its annual Grinchmas event, which continues to take place select dates now through January 1, 2017.

Grinchmas is of course, based on the classic book by Dr. Seuss, How The Grinch Stole Christmas! Universal Studios Hollywood has hosted the annual event for years now, and while aspects of it may be losing some of its luster, guests visiting the Los Angeles theme park certainly seem to enjoy the celebration.

The star attraction of Grinchmas is The Grinch, followed by all of the Whos that populate Whoville, which has a temporary home in Universal Plaza on the parks Upper Lot, as well as the more permanent set location on the Backlot, which is seen by guests riding the Studio Tour. Visitors on the Studio Tour stop at the set from the 2000 Ron Howard re-telling of the popular Christmas tale, and are treated to a short song and dance medley which features the beloved classic, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Sinister Pointe’s Not So Merry Holiday Haunt 2016 Delivers Adult Humor and Twisted Surprises

Sinister Pointe has always been on the cutting edge of innovative haunt-centric attractions here in Southern California. In 2011, the company broke through the traditional Halloween season barrier and introduced its Not So Merry Holiday Haunt concept for the first time – an adults-only event using the same footprint as the existing haunted attraction, but redressing much of it with Christmas props, costumes and soundscape. Everyone went nuts for the Holiday Haunt, and curious fans came from far and near to see the raunchy spectacle for themselves.

The Holiday Haunt continued for two more Christmas seasons in the company’s long-time location in Orange County before going dark after the 2013 Christmas season. In the years that followed, Sinister Pointe has explored other ventures and opportunities despite fans asking without fail each year if the Holiday Haunt would return. When Jeff Schiefelbein and his crew announced the return of the Not So Merry Holiday Haunt for Christmas 2016, fans were thrilled; we were too, as this over-the-top holiday attraction had also become one of our favorite annual events.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following story contains images and a video that are not suitable for children. Please exercise care when browsing in mixed company or around minors. Some of the content below is NSFW and will be considered offensive to some individuals. The embedded video is Age Restricted, as to add a layer of protection for our readers.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Sinister Pointe 2016: Fear the Mark Serves up Terror in Multiple Ways

Sinister Pointe 2016 - Fear the MarkSinister Pointe, a company that is renowned throughout Southern California and beyond for its highly-detailed, interactive haunt attractions. This past summer, Sinister Pointe thrilled fans at Midsummer Scream by announcing that they would be unleashing a new kind of terror for the 2016 Halloween season: a walk-through experience called Fear the Mark.

In 2015, Sinister Pointe produced an escape room type of attraction, rather than the traditional walk-through experience they’re most known and loved for; it was fun and well-executed, but definitely was a big departure from the type of haunt the company had produced for years. The announcement that the group was returning to its walk-through roots was very well-received by everyone in the haunt community. Knowing what Sinister Pointe is capable of, and understanding the creative need to move forward and try new things, we were very curious and excited as well to see what Jeff Schiefelbein and his team were going to bring to the table for 2016.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Queen Mary’s CHILL 2016 Features Enchanting All-New Alice in Winterland Theme

queen-mary-chill-2016_6One of the biggest holiday events in Southern California is CHILL, held each year at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. We went this past weekend to check it out, and although Mother Nature decided it was time for some much-needed rain here in the Southland, we had a really fun time exploring everything offered at this year’s CHILL. The popular winter event takes place just off the ship, including the massive dome where Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose used to reside.

In years past, the largest component of CHILL was its Ice Kingdom attraction – a collection of very impressive ice sculptures, including a reproduction of the Queen Mary’s bow and several ice slides for guests to enjoy. The ice sculptures were featured at the event for the past 4 years, and so, management decided it was time to change things up – if guests are coming back each Christmas season to enjoy CHILL, it’s got to be kept fresh and evolving, otherwise interest will begin to fade. Change things up is exactly what they’ve done this year with the introduction of Alice in Winterland, a large-scale walk-through interactive attraction developed for Queen Mary by Mycotoo, a creative design firm in Los Angeles. TPAers may recall that Mycotoo also developed this year’s new maze, Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising, for Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Santa’s Village in California Opening Date Set for December 2, 2016

sv4It’s been a long time coming, but it appears that Santa’s Village in the San Bernardino National Forest finally has an opening date – December 2, 2016.

When it was first announced that the beloved old theme park in Skyforest had been bought by businessman/realtor Bill Johnson in 2014, fans everywhere became very excited; rightfully so. After closing its gates in 1998, the defunct Christmas-themed park sat abandoned and neglected for years, its wonderful old rides and whimsical buildings falling into a sad state of disrepair and ruin. Vandals left their mark on the closed park, as did the harsh seasons on the mountain just miles from Lake Arrowhead. Over the years, occasional interest was sparked by news of a potential buyer – but nothing ever came of it. When the property was purchased by Johnson, that was a huge step in the right direction, giving us all hope that the little theme park might be restored and returned to operation with a lot of love and a truckload of investment money. The price tag in 2014 for Santa’s Village was reported to be in the neighborhood of $5-6 million. When the 154-acre property was purchased, we cautioned strongly beginning with our May 15, 2014 story about the park possibly re-opening that it would require a lot more than that to get the property back up to modern codes, rebuild its infrastructure, add new attractions, and hire a year-round team, along with seasonal employees.

Read More »

16 Comments

Rotten Apple’s Not So Enchanted Forest 2016

Rotten Apple 907 Not So Enchanted ForestFor the past 26 years, Halloween fans have flocked to Rotten Apple 907 in Burbank, California, to visit one of the most elaborate home haunts in Southern California. This year, the Rotten Apple team put its twisted spin on popular childhood tales, creating the Not So Enchanted Forest.

Entering the foreboding Not So Enchanted Forest through a storybook facade, guests stepped into a dark, heavily-landscaped woodland. A small footbridge carried folks over a babbling brook toward a small cottage in a clearing – but not before a spooky tree a la Snow White’s Scary Adventures or even the Haunted Mansion advanced menacingly! This set the stage perfectly for the family-friendly frights that waited ahead in the darkness of the Not So Enchanted Forest.

Read More »

Leave a comment

Fire and Law Tribute Days at Knott’s Return

Fire and Law Tribute Days at Knott's Berry FarmOnce again, Knott’s Berry Farm is offering free admission to the park for active fire and law enforcement personnel from November 28 to December 16, and then again from January 9 to January 31 as part of its annual Fire and Law Tribute Days promotion.

As a way of saying “thank you”, Knott’s Berry Farm extends this offer for free admission to active members of fire and law enforcement agencies plus one guest per valid ID. Branches included in this offer are: ATF Agents, Bailiffs, California Dept. Of Forestry, California Highway Patrol Officers, City, County, State and Federal Police (sworn officers and civilian employees/support staff), City, County, State and Federal Fire (sworn officers and civilian employees/ support staff), Correctional Officers, County Sheriff Officers, Ambulance Company Emergency Medical Techs, Department of the Youth Authority, District Attorneys, FBI Agents, Homeland Security, Police Explorers, Peace Officers, Probation Officers, Reserve/volunteer Fire/Law employees, Sherriffs, U.S. Forest Service Personnel, U.S. Marshals, and Wildland Firefighters.

Read More »

Leave a comment