Tag Archives: Christmas

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.

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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.

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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.

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L.A. Zoo Lights Ranks on 2015 USA Today 10Best List of Holiday Tradition Destinations

LA Zoo Lights Water Show - PHOTO CREDIT: Jamie PhamL.A. ZOO LIGHTS, which heralds a new standard for nighttime magic at the Los Angeles Zoo through Sunday, January 3, 2016, is named one of the Best Zoo Lights 2015 in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards.  10Best local experts and editors picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.  L.A. ZOO LIGHTS, in only its second year, was selected #10.  An instant hit when it debuted last year, attracting more than 170,000 people, the dazzling wonderland returned in 2015 to top visitors’ “holiday tradition” destination list with a trove of awe-inspiring new lights and displays for an even brighter atmosphere of wonder and delight.

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Disney Parks Unforgettable Christmas Celebration Airs Christmas Day on ABC

Disney Parks Unforgettable Christmas LogoThis Christmas, Disney Parks celebrates not only the joy of the holiday season, but the unforgettable family moments it has helped guests create over the past sixty years. Disney Parks Unforgettable Christmas Celebration airs Friday, Dec. 25, 2015 (10:00 am.-12:00 p.m ET; airtimes vary; check local listings) on the ABC Television Network.

Now in its 32nd year, the unforgettable Christmas special welcomes back Robin Roberts of ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA) as lead host. Reporting from the Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, Roberts is accompanied by Jesse Palmer, who joins the event for the first time as a correspondent. New to the GMA team as a special contributor, Palmer shares key parade updates in the midst of the action on Main Street, U.S.A. Janel Parrish, star of the ABC Family hit show Pretty Little Liars – which will debut under the new network name, Freeform for its winter premiere on Jan. 12, 2016 – serves as music correspondent alongside Stitch from Cinderella Castle.

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