The Legend, Drew, and Clint Novak join forces to talk about Drews trip to Yellowstone. Legend talks about going to RAW, and Clint sees fluffy bunnies. We also make a big announcement!
Knott’s Berry Farm’s Ghost Town will celebrate its 75th anniversary with two major offerings next summer. The centerpiece of the summer 2016 celebration is the interactive entertainment experience, Ghost Town Alive!, which immerses guests in new stories and adventures in the familiar town of Calico. The west is about to get even wilder when GhostRider returns from a major restoration project with all new trains that will gallop along over 4,500 feet of new wooden track.
In summer 2016, Ghost Town Alive! will allow guests young and young at heart to live the west through inventive new ways to interact with characters and environments as each day, a different story will unfold throughout all of Ghost Town. From pledging one’s allegiance to notorious bandits, to saving the day alongside courageous cowboys, guests play an active role in shaping the events of the day. Every evening, the day’s story culminates with a town wide celebration of 75 years of Calico.
Walter Knott’s love for the Wild West was evident in the attention to detail that he put into the peek-ins peppered throughout town. Next summer, select peek-ins will be transformed into authentic working establishments, and guests will be welcomed to step inside. At the Barber Shop, guests can walk in and meet Calico’s trusted barber who’s rife with town gossip.
In the Sheriff’s office, guests can try their luck at a game of cards with the sneaky Sheriff and other Calico townsfolk. Here, guests can also decide whether they join the lawmen to hunt down the bandits or choose the criminal life and end up with their face on a handmade wanted poster.
In the heart of Ghost Town, the Barn will close on April 4, and when it reopens for Ghost Town Alive!, it will have been transformed into a working horse stable where guests can visit with Calico’s friendly equestrian team.
Construction is underway on a new Calico Stage, which will open across the train tracks from its current location, in the area Screamin’ Swing formerly occupied. The stage, themed after an old abandoned mine, will feature an all-new show for summer 2016. The standing viewing area for the new stage is nearly twice as large as the current viewing area, ensuring even more guests can enjoy seasonal live entertainment. The new venue is scheduled to open in Spring of 2016. When the new Calico Stage opens, the space that the existing stage and viewing area currently occupy will become Calico Park. Here, guests will enjoy a shady respite from the hustle and bustle of the Town, with a small stage for live performances, and twinkling lights adorning the trees after the sun sets. Calico Park is set to open in Summer 2016.
Adjacent to Calico Park stands the iconic Calico Saloon, which will feature a raucous new show next summer. A new western stunt show in Wagon Camp will also debut in summer 2016. Both the Calico Saloon and Wagon Camp will close in early 2016 in for renovations and new show preparations.
Ghost Town Alive! will take interactive storytelling to new heights when it debuts next summer, and for guests really seeking to achieve some heights, they should look no further than to the return of the beloved classic wooden roller coaster, GhostRider. Since 1998, GhostRider has been giving white-knuckle rides to even the toughest cowpokes. It still looms over Ghost Town as the longest, fastest and tallest wooden rollercoaster on the West Coast.In September 2015, work began to completely restore and preserve this classic wooden rollercoaster. The project is a partnership with Great Coasters International and includes re-profiling and a complete woodennre-tracking of the entire 4,533 ft. long track. All of the coasters trains will be replaced with state of the art new Millennium Flyer trains designed to look like mining cars, each with gold, silver, or copper accents. As part of the construction, the mid-course brake run will be removed, allowing riders to enjoy a relentless, ride from the moment the train descends the first 108 ft. drop to the moment it returns to the station’s new, smooth magnetic brake run. “GhostRider was the last attraction commissioned by the Knott family, and this restoration project ensures that the family’s final gift to the park will continue to thrill generations of thrill seekers to come,” said Raffi Kaprelyan, Knott’s Berry Farm’s vice president and general manager. “Seventy five years ago, Walter and Cordelia Knott created a place where guests could live out their dreams of the Wild West, and I think they’d be very proud of how it continues to resonate with guests of a new generation.”When GhostRider re-opens, the queue will snake past Panning for Gold, which returns to its original Ghost Town home next summer. The return to its former location will allow for a more spacious panning experience, which means a more comfortable experience and better photo ops to capture the moment when a loved one strikes it rich! In 1940, Walter Knott looked for a way to entertain and educate hungry guests waiting for hours to dine at the iconic Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant.
Ghost Town was born from Walter’s passion for providing restaurant patrons with unique entertainment and fondness for Wild West. The area celebrates the California-bound pioneers that crossed the desert by covered wagon, just as Walter’s family had back in 1868. Brick by brick, building by building, the old west town of Calico came to life in 1941 and has been visited by millions for the past 75 years. While reflecting on Ghost Town in a letter written in December 1954, Walter Knott wrote, “I [am] very proud of this place we have built. You know we never fully enjoy the things we love until we share them with those we love.”Next summer, Knott’s invites families to share in Ghost Town’s anniversary celebration with the ones they love, and make new memories in the old west.
Universal Studios Hollywood Rolls Out the Red Carpet to Celebrate
“Halloween Horror Nights,” Kicking Off Today and Continuing on Select Nights
Through November 1, 2015
Universal City, CA, September 18, 2015 – Universal Studios Hollywood marked the opening of the highly anticipated “Halloween Horror Nights” with a celebrity-laden red carpet premiere, as Southern California’s most extreme horror event brought together the sickest minds in horror to immerse guests in a living, breathing, three-dimensional world of terror. “Halloween Horror Nights” continues on select nights through November 1, 2015.
Attending celebrity guests included actors Tyrese Gibson, David Arquette, Barry Bostwick, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Frankie Grande, Tara Reid, Dylan Minnette and Ty Simpkins as well as recording artist Travis Barker, who were joined by Insidious cast members Leigh Whannell, Lin Shaye and Stefanie Scott, and members from the award-winning hip hop-dance crew Jabbawockeez, who will debut an all-original show as part of this year’s event.
“Halloween Horror Nights” 2015 features a slate of new mazes, an exciting hip-hop dance show, a new cutthroat Terror Tram experience and terrifying Scare Zones, including “Guillermo del Toro Presents Crimson Peak: Maze of Madness,” inspired by the visionary filmmaker who directed, co-wrote and produced the upcoming Legendary and Universal Pictures feature film; “The Walking Dead: Wolves Not Far,” inspired by season 5 of AMC’s critically-acclaimed, Emmy Award®-winning television series; “This is the End 3D,” the first-ever 3D horror-comedy maze, based on the hit movie starring James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill; “Insidious: Return to the Further,” based on the bone-chilling Insidious film trilogy; “Halloween: Michael Myers Comes Home,” inspired by the original classic slasher film, Halloween, directed by renowned horror filmmaker John Carpenter; “AVP: Alien vs. Predator,” back by popular demand and inspired by Twentieth Century Fox cult sci-fi franchise; and an all-new backlot experience “Terror Tram: Survive the Purge,” inspired by Universal Pictures’ popular franchise film series. An electrifying all-new show featuring the highly-accomplished, hip hop dance group, Jabbawockeez, universally recognized as America’s best dance crew also debuts.
Adding to the event’s intrigue, Universal’s most popular rides and attractions also will be open to guests, including “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem,” “Transformers: The Ride-3D,” “Jurassic Park–In the Dark,” “The Simpsons Ride” and “Revenge of the Mummy–The Ride.”
A unique element to the this year’s “Halloween Horror Nights” is the premiere of the demonic short film One Night in Hell, featuring an original soundtrack by Brian May, legendary guitarist and songwriter for rock group Queen. The video will be screened for guests in the queue lines as they await entry to the mazes.
Tickets to this year’s event are available for purchase at www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com/hollywood, including a Front of Line ticket option that enables guests to enjoy priority access at each “Halloween Horror Nights” maze, Terror Tram and theme park attraction. Advance purchase is recommended as event nights will sell out.
For more information about “Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Studios Hollywood, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com. Join the “Halloween Horror Nights” conversation using #UniversalHHN on Facebook at Halloween Horror Nights – Hollywood and Instagram; Twitter and Periscope @HorrorNights. Add username HorrorNights on Snapchat for nightly live content, and watch the terror come to life on Halloween Horror Nights YouTube.
“Halloween Horror Nights” dates are: September 18, 19, 25, 26, 27, October 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 29, 30, 31, and November 1, 2015.
Universal Studios Hollywood, The Entertainment Capital of L.A.SM, includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour; the CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex, the Universal CityWalk Cinemas and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert venue. World-class rides and attractions include the renowned, behind-the-scenes Studio Tour featuring the intense “King Kong 360 3-D” attraction and the all-new “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” thrill ride as the Studio Tour’s grand finale. Other popular rides include the 3D-HD adventure, “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and immersive “Super Silly Fun Land,” the critically-acclaimed mega-attraction, “Transformers™: The Ride-3D,” “Revenge of the MummySM—The Ride,” “Jurassic Park® —The Ride” and “Springfield,” hometown of America’s favorite TV family, adjacent to the award-winning “The Simpsons RideTM” and the “Nighttime Studio Tour” which runs on select evenings.
We had visited Lagoon in Farmington, UT last month and learned a lot about the park while there. We filmed this Documentary while we were there to show you the History and some of what you can expect to see today.
Interesting news coming in from Walt Disney World as they plan to ban selfie sticks from the entire park .
This is a scale model that one of our fans has shared with us. Be sure to check out his Youtube videos going over the creation and the details of the model.
“This model will sit in a 7.5 foot by 5.5 foot base built by carowinds. The model is built in 4 sections and is halfway complete. The model is in HO scale. I am recreating the model to exact specifications and replicating it exactly as it looked when demolished. I plan to have it 100%finished by the end of May this year and have been working on it since October 2014.”-Joshua A.
Haunt Review: California’s Great America, Santa Clara, CA
During my Journey’s of Haunt visits I made a visit up to California’s Great America. The Halloween Haunt event starts at 6pm and it is not a hard ticket event. That being that if you purchase a park ticket for the day ($38.99). California Great America is a nice fun park Located in Northern California and is right next door to the 49ers stadium.
We visited the park on a Saturday and it was not too crowded during the day but at night is when all the craziness began. Around 7pm the park was starting to really show crowds through out the entire park and the lines for the mazes started to get insanely busy. Most of the Roller Coasters were an hour to a half hour long. Compare this to 20 min wait lines during the day time. Most of the mazes lines were 2 hours long all evening long. After being frustrated with how slow the lines were moving I decided to buy a “Fright Lane” pass. A Fright Lane pass will run you about $40, you gain access to the Skeleton Key Rooms and will allow you to jump right to the front of the line. After I purchased my Fright Lane pass I headed to my first maze and was surprised to see there was a very long and very slow moving line. I ended up standing in line for this maze for about 25-30 min. Even with the Fast Lane I was standing in line. The Skeleton Key rooms have seemed to be the big offender here. They can only take so many people per hour and it will really jam up the Fast lane line. You can ask to skip the Skeleton Key room and you wont have to wait as long but to even get close enough to an employee to request to skip the skeleton key room is even a challenge. Just a warning, if you are going on a Saturday, be prepared to stand in line! Also with this park your Fright Lane pass is only good for one jump to the front of the line and skeleton key room visit. They punch your pass as you visit mazes and your not allowed to revisit them unless you stand in the general line.
The front entrance was decorated with I believe 8 HUGE pumpkins surrounding the lake and had very large fire explosions that would go off at random one pumpkin at a time. It would also die off and not do anything for a while then all 8 would explode bigger than ever and scare pretty much the whole front of the park. Pretty fantastic!
The Gauntlet: The Gauntlet was a clown styled scare zone with your typical clown make up and a few on stilts. There was very to hardly any themeing in the area besides the Clowns themselves, a few Circus Carts, and music. As always, most people are terrified of clowns and delivers a few really good scares here and there. Nothing real amazing to report from another Haunt Clown style Scare Zone. Over all Score for this zone 4
Ironworx: This was a steam punk styled zone and was only about 30 feet long. It was inside of a short covered bridge and had a few characters inside. There were a few things hanging around the bridge such as chain link and some gears. As always there were smoke machines filling the area and some music. It may be the shortest and smallest scare zones I have ever seen at a Haunt so far. Over all score for this Zone 4
Underworld Alley: This was located over by the Demon Roller Coaster and was sprawled out even past the area they designated for the talent. I had seen scharacters located a little outside of this area scaring guests. There was a covered Alley you could walk through with black rubber drapes, smoke, lights, some props, and music. I did not actually encounter any scharacters inside of this Alley in all my passes. It was an ok themed area. Overall rating 4
Dia de los Muertos: This maze was themed in the Mexican Day of the dead with glowing paint through out the maze. You were given glasses (did not have to pay) for the fun 3d effects. There were some great use of the paint and the 3d effects and then other areas it fell flat. The maze layout was ok and the decorations were very limited in spots. Over all rating: 5
Roadkill Roadhouse: This was a Hillbilly themed maze where they were cooking roadkill for their guest. A grotesque maze with blood gore and all the fixins of any good Hillbilly maze. The idea is not very original from any other parks previous Hillbilly/inbred/redneck style mazes. Over all rating: 6
SKELETON KEY SPOILERS! They bring you into a kitchen where we had a Paula Dean like Character tell us to eat one of two choices or we were not leaving the room. The choice was a shot of blood (Noway, especially after my experience at Kings Dominion) and Bugs. I took bugs and when we all went to take out shot of bugs or blood I just poured it down the front of my shirt. I did not want to be fooled again. Ya I chickened out but that blood experience has scared me from ever doing any of these eat this or drink that stunts ever again!
Carnevil: Another clown maze once again at a Haunt. Imagine that? this one was very empty. No one really around to scare you. I felt like I was just wondering through a poorly decorated clown maze. I really hope parks start to take into consideration of entertaining their guests through a maze. Especially after standing in line for over an hour. I am glad I had fast lane on this one. The Clown mazes are my least favorite of mazes at most parks. I did see one good one this year which I will report on in a later review. They had a Skeleton Key room but they had some how missed our whole group to wave in.
Wax Museum Chamber of Horrors: I will give the park credit. This is a unique idea I have not personally seen at any park before. You walk through a museum like setup with frozen wax sculptures. Some of these sculptures turn out to be real and if your jumpy, will give you a good startled. There were different types of historical characters and fictional characters. Not a bad idea and plays on the classic “I didn’t know that was real!” reaction of most mazes. This one is just full of them. Overall rating 7
Mirror Mirror: This is a maze made of complete mirror, once they allow so many people in they close it off and your trapped inside. You attempt to find an exit while scharacters track you down. You are inside with maybe 20 guests who are all trying to escape. Spoiler alert, there is no exit. They only allow you to exit when the time is up and they open the exit mirror. A great idea they had was to give all guests plastic gloves so they don’t smear the mirrors as they try to feel their way through the maze and see if their passage is a mirror or open. Not very comfortable gloves but makes the maze a better experience. I had done this exact maze before down at Knotts Berry Farm in the previous year but they did not have the gloves. Overall rating: 7
Zombie High: A school has been over ran with Zombies and you have to make your way through the carnage. Not a bad designed maze. All cedar fair parks are now using this format at several parks. It seemed very familiar to the others I have visited. Students half eaten or infected jump out to scare you. You will see classrooms, janitor closest and a neat auditorium scene with a nice scare in there. Overall rating: 7
Toy Factory: This was maybe the most obnoxious maze in the park. The music was so repetitive and just pulsates through out the maze. scharacters dressed up as stuffed toys and other kids toys wonder the halls to scare you. Bloody stuffed bears and rabbits nailed to walls, a room of dolls, lots of toy usage through this maze. Overall rating: 7
Skeleton Key Room SPOILERS! Its a large walk way with inflatables surrounding you.Also known as a claustrophobia room. It was half deflated in most of it and dead on the middle section sadly. I love these though and can be quite fun. This one was white in color as opposed to the blacks ones I am use to seeing.
CornStalkers: This is a maze designed to look as though your walking through corn fields and farm type scenes. Most of this maze was way to open and the lighting was aimed terribly. I really hated this maze and I just walked through it bored. I do like these mazes when done right (Tons of parks do this design) and this was by far the worst. Lets hope next year they noticed their flaws and will fix them. This maze was a very very very long maze and if it was shortened up and condensed into a tighter area it would be much more a success. This maze had one of the longest lines in the park too and sure glad I wants in line for this one with everyone else. Overall rating: 5
Skeleton Key SPOILERS! You are asked to go into an area surrounded in corn stalks and two hill billies, one with his scalp half cut off, who instruct you to find the key in one of the pumpkins in the area. The pumpkins are full of goo and I dug through a fair good amount of them. Turned out he had the key on him the whole time and it was a big scam. Not sure if this is what happens every time but that’s what happened to me.
Madame Marie’s Massacre Manor: This was a maze designed to look like a creepy oldmansion. I don’t remember much more than that. A few scharacters popping out here and there to try to give you a good scare. I remember something with a girl sitting on a bed being creepy but that’s all I really remember. Not a bad maze though. Overall rating: 6
Skeleton Key SPOILERS! This was by far their best skeleton key room and possibly best thing they offered in the entire park. You are escorted into a room with a round table. On the table are 6 round white globes. You are instructed to put your hands on the globe infront of you and whatever you do do not take your hands off the globe. The host leaves and music starts to play. You hear some chanting and lighting effects kick in. The lights then die and you’re in complete darkness. Once the lights kick back on its a strobe light and their is a creepy girl on the table doing back bends and getting in the guests face. The room then goes dark and when the lights come back up she is gone. Really cool idea and really liked it!
With the park being so busy I did not get a chance to see any of the shows so unfortunately I will not be able to give you any opinions on these. They offer 4 shows. Blades of Horror, NyteWalkers, Academy of Villains and Ghostly Glow Party. I did see Ghosty Glow Party and its basically a Dj and techno music in a small courtyard in the park where you can dance.
Fun House Express: This was a 3d motion show that shows through out the month of October. Its a wacky fun and dated show takes place in a large theater setting. It does go on for a quite a while. I waited in line for a long long time even with fast lane. The capacity is tiny with the show being so long. Overall rating 5
The evening was ok and not a total drag but there were a lot of disappointing moments. The park is still figuring things out and I am hoping to see improvements from them in the coming years. The fact that the event does not cost any extra and passholders can enjoy the haunt with no additional charge is pretty fantastic. Making it one of the more affordable of the Haunts I have visited. Find out where California Great America’s Haunt falls in the next few weeks when the ultimate show down of all the parks that I have visited get the big line of who was the best!