Tag Archives: Johanna Atilano

Voodoo Doughnut Debuts at Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles

“Good Things Come in Pink Boxes!”

The signature pink boxes, multi-colored icing, that iconic voodoo doll-shaped doughnut. The legendary Portland pastry shop Voodoo Doughnut has officially opened its first-ever California location at Universal CityWalk in Hollywood.

It’s no secret that Voodoo Doughnut may be the most popular doughnut shop in the world. I’ve read, watched and heard about this original Portland creation for years. From Travel Channel to friends boasting about their jelly-filled purchases, Voodoo has been a part of popular conversation for a long, long time.

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Universal Cinema Opens at CityWalk Hollywood During Star-Studded Ceremony

As one of the many new developments at Universal Studios Hollywood’s ongoing epic transformation, Universal Cinema is an exciting multi-million dollar renovation of its AMC Theatre at CityWalk. Boasting a state-of-the-art and contemporary design, the new theater incorporates the most up-to-date technology in audio and visual technology that truly breathes new life into the movie-going experience for guests.

Theme Park Adventure was thrilled to attend the official grand opening of this new venture. As part of the Universal Cinema grand opening, high-profile guests were able to celebrate with us including Ron Meyer, Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal; legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg; Jordan Peele of Get Out; Will Packer of Straight Outta Compton; producer Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions; and Karen Irwin, President & COO, Universal Studios Hollywood.

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Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Officially Opens at CityWalk Hollywood

Margaritaville at CityWalk HollywoodAs part of Universal Studios Hollywood’s epic transformation, CityWalk welcomed the official arrival of their newest restaurant and venue, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. At exactly 5 o’clock on Thursday evening, March 30th, Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band performed on the restaurant’s stage to celebrate the grand opening and first-ever Margaritaville in California with hundreds of fans, friends, and press with margaritas in hand.

While Margaritaville just made its debut in California, the Caribbean-themed restaurant is no stranger to the dining world and Universal. For many years, the restaurant has been celebrated and loved by fans around the world and has shown enormous popularity at destinations like Universal CityWalk at Universal Orlando Resort, the Las Vegas Strip, and 60 other global locations. I’ve never personally dined at a Margaritaville other than at CityWalk Hollywood, but have always admired the laid-back vibe and famous hand-crafted margaritas and dishes that they offer.

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Screenshot Productions’ The Rope 2016

rope-2I’ve been buried, re-lived my birth, discovered fear and explored the afterlife. Screenshot Productions has managed to put me into various realms throughout the year, and all have managed to affect me differently. My experience with Screenshot’s latest production, The Rope, was quite different than the rest – it was interactive. I wasn’t walking through alone, I was with others. We ran around and interacted, and I was pleasantly surprised with this vastly different approach than what I’m used to.

10:00 PM, and I’m alone in downtown Los Angeles. I was thrilled for once to see others parked and standing around me. Traditionally, Screenshot produces shows that require the guest to walk through alone, offering a unique, personalized, intense and intimate experience. As little as I knew about this certain production, I was curious to see how this would play out with different audience members in one show.

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Exploring Death and the Afterlife with Bardo Thodol and Screenshot Productions

bardo-1Southern California is a region full of immersive theater, haunted attractions, extreme horror experiences and themed entertainment where Screenshot Productions manages to add a unique touch to the industry with its emotional, raw, theatrical and (sometimes) terrifying shows to an already diverse scene. Whether it’s sadness, loss, anger, or fear, these are shows that evoke emotions in an unexpected way. Since 2013, I have overcome fear, and experienced my birth and death. But this time… it was about exploring the afterlife.

Inspired by the Tibetan Book of the Dead (Bardo Thodol), this experience by Screenshot Productions is described as a “multi-act immersive experience taking you through your own death and soul’s judgment in the afterlife.” My immediate reaction: I’m in. While I do appreciate and respect the non-horror type of experiences that Screenshot Productions produces, I definitely get drawn in and intrigued by the darker side. The scarier it is, the better, and I was ready for this.

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Bone Yard Effects Bringing Alice in Terrorland and a Host of Horrific Creatures to Midsummer Scream

alice in terrorland logoVeteran special effects makeup artist Larry Bones and his world-class team of artists from Bone Yard Effects will turn a host of volunteers into savage creatures that will roam the show floor and Hall of Shadows during this summer’s Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival held July 30 – 31 at the Long Beach Convention Center.

Bones, whose film credits include Congo, Outbreak and Shallow Hal, will oversee the transformation of dozens of volunteers throughout the weekend to populate the entire Midsummer Scream venue, from the ominous Hall of Shadows to the vendor/exhibitor show floor and beyond. For the past 10 years, Larry has overseen the makeup needs for Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights.

“We are thrilled to have Larry as a creative partner,” said Claire Dunlap, Associate Producer of Midsummer Scream. “The enthusiasm he’s had for our event since the onset is infectious. At launch Larry committed his full support for which we are ecstatic. Having Bone Yard Effects with FX Faces at the helm of our most anticipated portion of the show floor creates excitement for our organization and the thousands of guest who’ll get to admire – and be terrorized by – his amazing talents. Larry is providing all that his creative genius has to offer and it is a win-win for everyone involved.”

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Knott’s Berry Farm Joins Universal Studios Hollywood, Queen Mary, Six Flags Magic Mountain and Walt Disney Imagineering at Midsummer Scream

Knott's Scary FarmMidsummer Scream Halloween Festival proudly announces that it has secured the biggest names and brands in themed entertainment as partnering content providers for its debut event to be held July 30 – 31 at the Long Beach Convention Center.

Midsummer Scream is California’s premier Halloween, haunt and horror festival featuring more than 100,000 square feet of artisan vendors, live entertainment, specialty workshops, makeup demonstrations, a screening room, haunted attraction previews and experiences, a darkened scare zone and more.

Fans of all ages will be thrilled and captivated this summer by world-class panel presentations by the leaders in themed entertainment as they wow Midsummer Scream audiences with 2016 maze reveals, special guests and heart-stopping surprises throughout the final weekend in July at the Long Beach Convention Center.

Knott’s Berry Farm is the most recent major attraction to join Midsummer Scream’s world-class lineup, rounding-out the bulk of Southern California’s theme park/major Halloween events that draw millions to Los Angeles and Orange County each autumn.

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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!


A Tour of Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood With Supervising Art Director Alan Gilmore

Wizarding World Hollywood 2016_5589From 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.

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Parturition – a Beautiful and Emotional Experience is Born

ParturitionI walked alone onto Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood feeling rather emotional. It was dark, almost 2:00 AM, and I was still processing the beauty of what I just experienced. I felt confused as to why I felt so emotional about something that was supposed to be scary for most – it was really an odd feeling. What I experienced was Parturition – a “highly individualized 25-30 minute experience through the beginning stages of life.”

With such a vague description, most wouldn’t quite understand what type of attraction this is. I was fortunate enough to experience Screenshot Productions’ first show last October called Fear is What We Learned Here. It was unique, surreal, dream-like and completely mysterious. From what everyone thought would be another 18+, “sign this waiver” and “walk through alone” type of haunt, it wasn’t really that at all. I was really impressed by how professional and different the approach was, and was already immediately looking forward to their next production. It wasn’t a haunt. “Boo” scares didn’t exist there. Fear Is What We Learned Here’s intent was to play with your mind (and scare it) – not just physically. I had a sense of what to expect once I received information on Parturition, but this time it wasn’t about fear… it was about my birth.

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