Fun On The Farm

Posted in family fun on October 4th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I think most people have fond memories of visiting a special family fun place in the fall.  The pumpkin farms that my husband and I grew up going to are much different now – his has closed down, and mine has expanded beyond the family-owned small operation into a little carnival of sorts; I visited a few years ago.  It was fun, but not the same.  We’ve since moved away from the place of our youth, and we are happy to have found a fun place in NW Ohio to make memories with our own kids: Leader’s Family Farms.

Leader’s has something for every age group: 2 haunted attractions for the older crowd, and for the family: mini-golf, a petting zoo (complete with exotics –  more on that later!), hayrides, a hay maze, slides, chicken coop shooting, and a corn maze.  For the little ones, there are bouncy castles, a moo-train, a hay-climber with tunnel, and a corn box.  The under 5 kids area is really fun, and it’s all free!  My 2-year-old and my 3-year-old had a blast over there for hours, even if my son came home with a diaper full of corn – it was worth it!  Actually, he still had corn coming out of his coat the next morning at church but again, it was well worth it!  Here is a video of him playing in the corn box in case you’re wondering what I’m talking about.  The video pans to the rest of my kids, and finishes with my 3-year-old crawling through the little kids’ tunnel:

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My husband took my two oldest girls and their friend into the haunted corn maze.  This was a big deal because this thing is SCARY!  It is the best (read: scariest) haunted house in the area, and my daughter’s friend wanted to go in it, so we convinced our daughter to go as well (they’re both 10).  Thrill-seeker little sis (age 6) really wanted to check it out, so she went too.  They might have been REALLY scared, but they all made it out, and no one cried or tried to back out at the last minute!  I wish I could have seen them in there, but the little ones were WAY too young for something like that, so I stayed out with them.  I didn’t mind too much since the exotic petting zoo was free – I hung out there for the hour and a half or so that it took my family to get through the haunted house.  They had goats, sheep, alpacas, a teeny-tiny little pig, a camel (just a fuzzy baby, not his full height even though he was taller than I…  I was wondering how old he was, and I found out he shares a February birthday with a fellow tangenteer…), and some kangaroos.  They also had some other baby animals (a fox for one) and some parrots, but they could not bring them out because the weather was terrible – windy, cold, and rainy.  But I got to pet some kangaroos and even feed them – I think it was the first time I’ve ever touched a kangaroo!  They were good-tempered, soft, and really interesting to see up close and personal.   I  think the petting zoo people got sick of me, and I would have hung out more by the country band which I also liked, except that the weather was so terrible that it was hard to even enjoy the band – we all just wanted to  stay out of the wind and rain.  Look how little this pig is:

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And here is more of the kangaroos and of the camel:

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The hayride goes out way back into the forest, and luckily we rode it in between rain showers.  The tractor even drove through a small creek bed that was partially filled – it looked like we were going to get stuck in the water:

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My kids all liked it, even if there were some concerns about tipping on the steep hills going down into the forest – but we didn’t tip.  I can’t wait to take my  son on the hayride in our town in a few weeks -there are spooks that jump out from behind the trees there, and given his fascination with monsters lately, I know he’ll have a blast!  I brought out the Halloween costumes last night for the kids to pick through to find what they’re going to be for Halloween, and my son found a Friday the 13th Jason hockey mask and insisted on going to bed with  it.  😉

I must also add that Leader’s is a family-owned farm; we struck up several  conversations with the owners,  and they are extremely nice and caring for their customers.  The farm opened a little late when we visited because of  the rain, so they gave us free passes to come back again – as busy as our Octobers are (this one being no exception), I think going back to Leader’s when the weather is better is a MUST!!  By the way, I was this close to taking home a straggler from the petting zoo.  Only time will tell if I am able to resist next time we visit…  😉

My men on the hayride:

And my girls…  note the beautiful NW Ohio countryside in the background.  The scenery will only get better as the leaves change a little more and the sun comes out:

Zip Line Zaniness

Posted in Kids on October 15th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Autumn brings about a whole new breed of fun family things to do: pumpkin farms, hay rides, apple picking, playing in the leaves, corn mazes, haunted houses…  the list goes on and on.  A few weeks ago, during a visit to a local farm which boasts such fun fall activities as a corn maze, petting zoo, hay ride, and haunted corn maze amongst other things, my kids had a blast with the zip line.  It’s all fun and games, as they say, until someone gets hurt…

And while no one was seriously injured during the filming of the following video, my 2-year-old daughter has decided that the zip line is no longer for her.  When you watch the following video, you’ll see why.  Her 5-year-old sister goes first and has a blast, but poor little Disney didn’t fare so well.  Don’t worry if your instinct is to chuckle – she wasn’t hurt, just a little frightened.  After all, people must find these types of things funny.  Isn’t that the reason why America’s Funniest Home Videos became a show filled with video clips of people getting injured?

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Putting The Fun Into Labor…

Posted in Travel on September 6th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Well, it was a last-minute attempt at a Labor Day outing with friends, and even though we strayed from our original idea of going to a Lake Erie-area haunted house and drive-thru zoo, we had LOTS of fun!

We went to the Toledo Zoo, always a great zoo, even if this Labor Day Saturday of 2009  equated to being one of the most crowded we’ve ever seen that zoo.  It was just over 80°, so the animals weren’t all that active, but we did get to see Louie, the “baby” elephant (who is now 6 years old and awaiting the completion of construction of his very own zoo exhibit area) lying down and taking a break, which was cool.  We also saw one of their huge hippos swimming in the underwater hippo-quarium, which is always a treat because you can see a humongous hippo swim right past up close.  After the zoo, we ate at one of our favorite places in the Toledo area – Nick’s Cafe on Reynolds (not sure if it’s actually Toledo or the suburb of Maumee).  But the place is just north of Ohio’s turnpike, I 80/90, and they have great food and almost unimaginable portion sizes – are they used to feeding GIANTS?!?  Unfortunately for Nick’s, the place was empty, but this is (just) one of the reasons we go to Nick’s when  we’re in the area – they have GREAT food.  Besides, you try withstanding the crowds to get a table at the Olive Garden on a Saturday evening, especially with 4 starving kids!

After dinner, we were going to head to another nearby Toledo suburb for a free exotic animal / magic show, something right up our alley.  But the combination of the big weekend, crabby kids and crowds at the zoo caused our driver and his wife to veto that great idea, so luckily we hadn’t told the kids since it sounded like fun and they would have been disappointed (no matter their exhaustive state) to miss it.  But we’ve learned that over-doing it with little kids along is always regretful, and so we happily prepared for our journey home after we gorged ourselves and piled leftovers into boxes at Nick’s.  But we grew distracted by a strip-mall across Reynolds from Nick’s Cafe, and that’s how we finally discovered what Nickel World of Toledo really is…

We had seen it in the strip-mall before, but we had always busily assumed that it was the 2009 incarnate of the early 20th century 5 and dime store.  On Saturday night, we discovered that Nickel World is actually a family entertainment place, filled with many arcade, skill, and video games!  They have a unique business model – they charge an entrance fee of $2.50 per person, and then they sell $5 bags of nickels for use on the games.  Most of the games are just one nickel to play, some are two, and there’s even a large selection of FREE games!  The place is so cool; what a great concept!  For about $25, our party of 4 adults and 5 kids were easily entertained for at least an hour, PLUS the kids took home quite a bounty of prizes with the 5,000 tickets they were able to rack up in just that hour!  Nickel World has just about every type of video game you can think of – two  types of Skeeball, multiple Crane Games, ball-roller games, basketball shooting games, racing games, Bozo Buckets, even air hockey as well as FREE! vintage arcade games like X-Men, Bust-A-Move, Dueling Dragons, and many more…  We had a GREAT time, and Hubby and I are dying to return on a date night to fight, race and out-shoot each other without distraction from the kids!  The only thing is that they are closed on Tuesday nights when we have our date nights…  oh well, perhaps we can reschedule.  If you are in the Toledo area, you have to check out Nickel World on Reynolds (US 20) – a rarity for an awesome value in family entertainment in this day and age of recession!  And while I’m on the topic, Nickel World reminded me of another cool arcade-type place in South Bend, Indiana.  Megaplay has two indoor mini-golf courses, as well as lots of video games (some of the classics are free) and even an inflatable  jousting area where they hold tournaments.  I’ve never had the pleasure of participating in something like this, but it looks like lots of fun.  If only I had discovered this sport before my sense of balance expired…  I did see an indoor inflatable jousting space at another place in Toledo that we visited a few months ago.  This place was pretty cool – they had adult-sized bouncy slides and ladders to climb, and my husband and I bounced down the slides and ran around like little kids until the unfortunate voices of reality (muscle strain and fatigue) made it loud and clear that we had better take it easy…  But I can’t remember the name of that place or where exactly it is, and I can’t find it on the internet.  Probably a bad sign that we were the only ones there at the time, I hope it hasn’t closed down, but that’s a lot of why it was so much fun – my kids weren’t getting run over by eager older kids, and hubby and I weren’t laughed out of the place by nasty teenagers…

So…  back from my tangents.  We had a really nice and safe Labor Day weekend free from any of the speed traps we encountered in previous years.  Hope yours was safe and fun also!  God Bless!

The Haunting In Connecticut

Posted in Movies on March 31st, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , ,

We saw The Haunting in Connecticut at the movie theater for date night (after refusing pizza from “Carlos Zambrano” at the mall pizza shop – seriously, the guy looks just like the famously hot-headed Chicago Cubs pitcher!) and the movie made for a pretty good ghost story.  I had heard it was based upon a true story, but after seeing it, here is my guess on what about the movie is true:  a teenage boy has cancer, his family rents a house (a former mortuary) near the hospital where he is receiving treatments, and they had strange happenings while staying there; probably due to stress or lack of sleep or even just plain exaggerations but not hauntings, is my guess.  This is the basic plot of the movie, but I left out many events that could not have possibly happened in real life and would also be considered spoilers, so I will not go into details.  I will say that the movie opens with all kinds of vintage photographs of deceased people – I know this because of my friend who attended a lecture on the subject.  I had wanted to go with her, but we found out about it last minute and I relunctantly had to pass.  But my friend went and came back with all kinds of interesting info which is how I knew what the pictures were that opened the movie.  For instance, many people back then (the movie takes place in the 80’s, but the pictures were from the early 1900’s) didn’t have their photograph taken often, so when a loved one passed away, they would get their family portrait taken with the deceased – better late than never, I guess?  Not only that, sometimes they would pose as if the person was still alive – kind of morbid by our standards today, but then again, things are very different and taking pictures is so much more common; it’s difficult to imagine past attitudes about this.

But The Haunting in Connecticut is a very entertaining, edge-of-your seat nailbiter with plenty of startles.  To its credit, it’s scary and creepy without the gore.  Worth checking out, if you like that sort of thing, but not one of my favorites – it did give me some ideas for a haunted house though…  Now if I can just remember them until 2010 when we actually have the time to DO the haunted house…

My Bloody Valentine 3D

Posted in Movies on January 18th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s almost embarrassing to admit that I saw a movie called, “My Bloody Valentine 3D“.  But the reason I’m writing a blog about it is because I actually liked it.  A true slasher film; the grisly violence was excessive.  But I actually didn’t find myself rolling my eyes at the constant gore fest, which is what I did during the last few movies in the Saw franchise.  In the poorer quality Saw movies, some of the violence doesn’t really even make sense.  It’s almost like they’re trying to see how far they can go, how shocking they can be, and what they can get away with, even if it’s not integral to the plot.  My Bloody Valentine 3D actually has a well-developed, interesting plot.  If you don’t pay attention to the newspaper headlines that come out of the screen in the beginning of the movie (very cool 3D effect – definitely more on those later), the plot might actually be hard to follow.  I know, a good plot is unheard of for a slasher flick, but I was even left to piece together some plot details after the movie was over.  Not that it was too hard to follow, just a lot of continuous action that makes it difficult for one to think about character relationships and how they relate to the plot while also watching the movie.  So for my best attempt at a plot synopsis, here we go…

Harmony is a small mining town where everyone knows everyone else, and the mine is the lifeblood of the town.  The filmakers very successfully give the audience a good feel for the sleepy little mining town.  Decades ago, there was an accident in the mine which was initially blamed on the owner of the mine, Hanniger.  When it was found that the victims of the mining accident were actually brutally murdered, it was blamed upon the sole survivor of the accident, Harry Warden, who is left in a coma.  A few decades later, he wakes up and slaughters 22 people, including a group of teenagers having a party at the mine.  Four of the revelers make it out alive, and flash forward 10 years to now.  Hanniger’s son (he was one of the 4 survivors) returns to the town as a new rash of murders unfold, and he finds himself accused of the brutal crimes.  There’s actually more to it than that, but this kind of gives you an idea about the movie.  The plot and direction of the movie allow the audience to never be sure who to suspect of the murders, and there are various twists and turns.  Very well done for a horror movie, especially one belonging to the slasher genre.  Now on to the 3D effects…

3D does not often work for me because my eyesight is very uneven – I have near perfect vision in my left eye, and terrible vision in my right eye.  But I was sure to bring my eyeglasses, which kind of levels the playing field for my eyes, and so when I wore the 3D glasses on top of my regular eyeglasses, the 3D worked very well.  I’ve been to various 3D shows at Disney World and Universal Studios, and I would say those are the best of the best – but even they don’t always work for me; sometimes I have to squint to be able to see the 3D.  But now it seems there have been some advancements in the technology, and it’s clear the movie industry wants to showcase these advancements given the rash of 3D movie previews I’ve seen in the theaters recently.  Among the 3D features that will be out in 2009 are: Monsters and Aliens, Up, Disney’s a Christmas Carol 3D, Ice Age 3, and Toy Story in 3D.  But anyway, My Bloody Valentine 3D was very cool – the entire movie was actually in 3D for me, and all I had to do was sit there – no fiddling with glasses, no squinting…  and that was a first for me.  The murderer’s weapon of choice is a miner’s ax, and there were many times it would actually appear to come out of the screen (along with disgusting bits of gore, of course)!  Besides that effect, other things about the movie were cool because of the 3D as well; even scenes that consisted exclusively of dialogue.

As one reviewer on imdb.com mentioned, My Bloody Valentine 3D does not take itself too seriously – and that’s a good thing.  In fact, a few months ago when we first saw the movie’s preview and tagline “Nothing says ‘date movie’ like a 3D ride to Hell!”, we thought it was a joke…  you know, one of those “previews” that actually ends up being a commercial.  But it was for a real movie, and so we couldn’t resist venturing to the big city to utilize a  free voucher we had gotten on a previous visit to see the otherwise expensive 3D ride to Hell.  If you are a fan of horror movies, My Bloody Valentine 3D is a must-see.  I’m not sure how this movie would translate to a regular screen.  It might still be a good horror movie, but given the 3D effects, it was nothing short of awesome!  I would almost classify it as a sort of haunted house experience, except you’re sitting in a seat and not walking around.  If you look at it that way, the $13.50 price tag ($11 matinee) would be a bargain for the over 90 minute experience compared to admission at most haunted houses.  Of course, haunted houses don’t have the extra-long, very gratuitous nude scene, which I could have definitely done without, but since that’s my only complaint about the movie, overall I would definitely consider it an afternoon well-spent with hubby (no we did not take the kids to this feature!)  After all, nothing says ‘date movie’ like a 3D ride to Hell!  Apparently so!

Vacation Diary – Chapter Three

Posted in Travel on October 31st, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, Oct 21 – We visited Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and the Out of Control Magic Show at Wonderworks.  Universal and Islands are right next to each other, but there is a lot of walking between the two.  A lot of walking and not so much for the kids.  But they did have fun, especially Disney who got to see Barney Live.  I missed the Animal Actors show this year, but I was more in the mood for rides, and we got to ride plenty.  The new Simpsons ride is actually better than I expected.  It’s the old Back to the Future ride except you are now riding through Springfield.  The waiting area is themed well, and you get to watch little Simpsons snippets while you wait – talk about making the time go by fast!  The ride is very cool, and you actually feel like you’re riding around Springfield.  The Mummy ride is still my favorite thing in both parks, and it’s as cool as I remember.  I especially like sitting near people who haven’t been on it before – it’s a blast to see the reactions to the haunted house meets roller coaster.  Over at Islands, we got positively soaked to the core riding the Bluto boat ride, but that was expected because I rode it twice – those huge raft rides are my favorite type of water ride.  My 4-year-old Sammie hated it, much to my surprise because she was just playing in the sprinklers at Epcot the night before.  But she felt better after going on one of the kids’ favorites, the Cat in The Hat ride.  Our two-year-old loved that one too.  We were a bit strapped for time and didn’t get to try some of the coasters and other rides I’ve never been on over at Islands, but oh well, we still had fun.  And my husband got chosen again (4th time now) to be an “actor” in the skit they do before the Earthquake ride which is now known as “Disaster”.  They redid it and added a cool hologram of Christopher Walken.  And they chose my husband to be the “hunky” lead actor – but then, I always knew that 🙂

The magic show was a lot of fun and it made me want to produce something like it locally for our community theater.  It’s kind of like stand-up comedy AND magic in one, with lots of audience participation.  My husband, daughter, and our friend were all chosen to go on stage, and I filled up the camera’s memory card trying to record everything.  And a note to Jamiahsh – you really don’t know me well enough by now to not point at me when they’re asking for volunteers?!?  You are so lucky he didn’t pick me – I would have blamed you and had your head!  Just kidding…  well, kind of, but don’t do that again!

A Twisted Episode of Survivor

Posted in Kids, Travel on September 29th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I had a wonderful weekend.  It all started with another visit to a haunted house on Friday night.  Although I enjoyed my previous haunted house experience at Ghostly Manor earlier this year, I just wasn’t feeling the Halloween vibe enough to subject myself to scariness – I didn’t sleep well the night before and little sleep makes me feel claustrophobic – weird.  But anyway, the haunted house was actually a haunted corn maze and they had other things to do at the farm, so I enjoyed myself immensely hanging out with my kids and the coolest teenager I know.  There is just something about farms that make me feel an inner peace; something that was illustrated again during the weekend – more on that in my next post.

Literally a cornfield in the middle of nowhere, Leader’s Family Farms has things to do to keep all ages entertained.  There were even a few things we didn’t even get a chance to try after spending so much time being lost in the corn maze.  Next time I will have to check out the hayride and the coop shoot – I have a special affinity for hayrides because they remind me of the week-long vacations to a dude ranch I took with my family as a kid.  But one thing about Leader’s that really impressed me was their ability to make appealing and fun attractions without the large budget or the mechanical reliance that a major theme park would have.  The “Barnyard” or family area had several things for the kids to play with: bouncy castles, a zip line, haystacks to climb on, a hay maze, slides – all physical activities which would guarrantee kids’ exhaustion giving the parents some “mommy-daddy time” at the end of the evening – the problem is everything was physical for Mommy and Daddy too, and like the DJ noted, “I don’t know who is getting tired out more – the parents or the kids!”  But that illustrates my point about the ability to entertain every age group without spending big bucks – and that is true for both the patron and the establishment.  Actually, let me back up for a minute and go off on a tangent – the purpose of the site, right?  🙂  Why do they call it a hayride when you’re actually sitting on straw?  I learned from a display at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo that hay is green and made from grass.  Straw is yellow and made from wheat.  So the kids were climbing on straw stacks, they played in a straw maze, and people were enjoying straw rides…  doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as hayrides, I guess…

But back to Leader’s – they had a DJ, who hosted Karaoke and played wedding-style audience-interactive songs like Hokey-Pokey, The Chicken Dance, YMCA, and Shout.  I was trying to teach Disney (my almost 2 year old) the YMCA, but she only liked the part where we clapped.  Maybe next time we will get down on the dance floor – this time my other girls were too shy and tired was I.  My insanely brave (or psychotic, depending upon who you ask) 4-year-old Sammie was intent on going into the haunted house, and my husband was actually going to take her in, but before she could even enter, she was frightened away from the experience by the scary music alone.  We got a cell phone call just as we were entering the corn maze, and so we retreived Sammie and let her enjoy the experience of the corn maze, which ended up being what I would describe as a twisted game of Survivor.  Take 4 kids, all under the age of 9, into a corn maze and wander around in the dark for over an hour.  No bathrooms, no snacks, and you only have enough stroller for two of them, so the other two have to walk.  It was fun, but also quite an experience.  I would love to go back and explore the maze – without kids though.  And when I got home, I looked at an aerial photo of the thing, and now it all makes more sense.  Here is where I spent my Friday night:

You enter at the small white building at the bottom of the picture and go left.  Where we really started losing it was around the back tire and the spoiler of the race car.  You can see how many forks and circles there are in the paths in that area.  And again, while in the thing, I had no idea what it looked like because I didn’t think to check a map before going in.  I would also bring a flashlight next time; well, maybe not if I didn’t have kids to worry about.  We were using our cell phones for light, but then the other half of our group who went into the haunted house called to see where we were and when I said I didn’t know, the cell phone lost service – adding to the stranded feeling we were experiencing.  I must have stashed my cell phone on top of the stroller really quick because my daughter had turned backwards in her seat and was falling out, so after I fixed her, I frantically searched for the cell phone with no luck – apparently it had fallen off the stroller in the corn maze.  So when we finally got out, I had to tell the staff that I lost my cell phone in there.  As they laughed at me, they asked if it was on vibrate or silence mode – “Of course it is!”  I said, because it would have been too easy to find it otherwise, and let’s face it – a lost cell phone in a corn maze wouldn’t be funny if you could call it and hear it ring.  So a small black silent cell phone lost in a corn maze in the dark?  Forget it.  They did call me the next day though, saying that they did eventually find it, probably with the light of day.  Well, anyway, the corn maze with 4 little children in the dark was quite an experience.  Not horrible, but not recommended…  quite an experience – I can only describe it as having felt like I came through an ordeal after we got out…  it was kind of like being stranded in the wilderness, not knowing when rescue would arrive.  Sure, there are “corn cops” and all you have to do is yell, but I don’t know how they’d hear you and I honestly didn’t want to be the group that yelled for help.  We did it on our own, and for that, we got the satisfaction of accomplishment.

Well, I’ve rambled about that long enough…  I had fun.  I loved the serenity of the farm at night, and it was a beautiful night weather-wise.  It was cool but not cold, and being in rural Ohio meant that we were navigating the maze under a canopy of thousands of stars…  I would love to go back and explore the maze without worrying about the kids being hungry, thirsty, having sore feet or having to go to the bathroom.  And someone remind me that if I have any more kids, a corn maze is NOT a good activity for a pregnant woman – too much walking and not enough bathrooms.  This post is so lengthy I’ll have to save our alpaca farm adventure for the next post…  stay tuned!

Coolest Coaster

Posted in Travel on September 22nd, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I got an email today called “What do you remember?” – it’s a list of tv shows that aren’t on anymore.  You add your name and a show you used to watch to the list and send it on.  It made me think of a kids’ show I used to love called, “The Roller Coaster Gang”.  I wasn’t totally positive that was the name of the show, however, so I did a google search – and that’s how I found what sounds like the coolest roller coaster ever!

It’s called The Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster, but unfortunately for me, it’s on the other side of the world at the Warner Bros. Movie World theme park in Australia.  It’s a haunted house / roller coaster combined, and here is the press release about it that so intrigued me:

November 30, 2002
Guests will be treated to a hair-raising journey complete with laser lighting and sound effects, animatronics and a kaleidoscope of colour, depth, height and trickery of dimension this holiday season thanks to the Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster Ride.

A $13 million indoor rollercoaster ride inspired by the first feature film shot at Warner Roadshow Movie World Studios on the Gold Coast starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr., Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini and Rowan Atkinson, the Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster Ride is not a ride for the faint hearted.

Featuring carefully replicated coaster cars from Scooby-Doo the film, guests enter the creepy dimly lit courtyard and move into the heart of Spooky Castle, where ghouls, gargoyles and the odd talking suit of armour may appear!

Housed in a 25 metre high building, the Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster Ride features two distinctive experience zones, thrilling guests with different aspects of laser lighting.

While the laser lighting embraces and creates the entire illusion, maintaining it throughout the experience and simultaneously performing for multiple audiences moving through three dimensional space at high speed, the ride continuously alters direction, velocity, elevation and trajectors.

Warner Village Theme Park Chief Executive John Menzies explains that Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster is a world first and is a unique combination of two different types of entertainment experiences.

“Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster is completely innovative, no other ride in the world can be compared to this combination of experiences – the classic haunted house utilising the latest technological advances and lighting and sound effects and the adrenalin pumping thrills of an indoor rollercoaster,” said Chief Executive John Menzies.

The first experience zone further develops the Spooky Castle theme into a ghost train ride featuring the best in traditional movie inspired themeing and amusing animatronics.

Just as guests begin to think their journey is nearing conclusion, they find themselves drawn up over 17 metres into the castle’s creepy tower. This unsettling experience heralds their reversed entry into the rides second zone as guests are then pushed into a darkened void.

Disoriented in the dark, riders are now subject to the will and influence of the ghouls and gargoyles that Scooby-Doo warned of earlier.

Then, it’s time to be afraid…..be kind of afraid!

Perched precariously on an elevated turntable the car is turned 180 degrees to face the fate awaiting its anxious passengers.

Transfixed by an apparently infinite tunnel of emerald green laser light the riders are lurched forward into the shimmering abyss as the Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster Ride propels riders through infinite voids, passing ghost-like through shimmering walls, floors and ceilings of light and speeding into tunnels of green swirling mist.

Finally, plunging over seven meters on the adrenalin-pumping journey, guests are hurtled towards a grotesque creature and the ‘ring of life’.

The Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster Ride with its ever-changing web of penetrating green laser beams, bumps, breathtaking drops and special effects thrills and excites every rider.

The multi-million dollar blockbuster, Scooby-Doo, was filmed at Warner Roadshow Movie World Studios on the Gold Coast in 2000/2001 and is the highest budget production ever filmed in Queensland to date.

Join Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Gang for the scariest, spookiest, spine-tingling rollercoaster ever created – Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster Ride.

Visit Warner Bros. Movie World on Australia’s Gold Coast – where movie magic happens everyday!

I’ve never heard of Warner Bros. Movie World, but it sounds pretty neat.  Too bad I didn’t make it over there a few years ago – I also found out they used to have a Marvin the Martian 3-D movie, but they replaced it with Shrek 4D.  That stinks; I would have liked to see that; I’m a big fan of Marvin the Martian.  Oh well, hopefully by the time I get to Australia they’ll still have the Scooby-Doo coaster.  If only we could increase the budget we have for the haunted attraction we’re building by a few million so we could add a coaster…

And I didn’t end up using “The Roller Coaster Gang” as my show to put on the list.  By the time I was done being distracted with looking up Australian thrill rides, I thought of another show I put instead – one whose title I was sure about.  Belle and Sebastian was a Nickodeon cartoon that was about an orpaned boy named Sebastian and his big white dog, Belle.  Each episode would follow the pair (along with a small dog named Poochie who would fit into Sebastian’s pocket) as they ventured through the mountains looking for Sebastian’s mother.  People would always mistake Belle for a ferocious dog or sometimes even some kind of snow monster.  I loved that show – wonder if Sebastian ever found his mother? 

Terrorizing Tangents

Posted in Current Events, Travel on August 17th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

After the drive-through animal safari (see my previous post).  We were SO ready for dinner, but instead, we headed to Ghostly Manor in Sandusky, Ohio, hoping to beat the Saturday night crowds.  It’s weird because it’s a haunted house that’s open year-round, and it’s in the middle of a roller skating rink / arcade.  You pay your admission, and then you wait in line for your doom (insert evil laugh here).  Someone raps at the door to signal your turn in the haunted house, and let’s be honest – it’s so much better than we could ever do at the haunted house (or haunted tour, as we are calling it) that is planned for October’s weekends in Williams County Ohio.  But, we have a teeny-weeny budget, so how can we possibly compare?  Also, we cannot have narrow corridors (nor the “birth canal hallway”; something they had that I was not thrilled with, but would be a very scary tool if we could work with it.  But I wouldn’t want to really try because it totally seemed like a lawsuit waiting to happen…), so that makes it a different type of haunted house to begin with.  But anyway…  they say it’s the 4th scariest in the nation and I believe them.  Although I have to admit to being curious about the top 3 haunted houses on that list…  what is so scary?  Let me know which haunted houses are rated the scariest; as soon as you find out.  I do know that while traipsing through Ghostly Manor, I grabbed my husband’s shirt (he was in front of me), and I didn’t let go…  I let him lead me through the birth canal, past the skeletons and falling maggots, and I actually pushed him (hard!) past the vibrating floor boards (another something we can’t do because of low budget).  He ventured through the lair several times after that without me, and I don’t know what his experience in the Ghostly Manor was like without my pushing, shoving, and screaming, but he said it was better with me along…

Either way, it was a really fun day, and we came home with lots of ideas for our haunted tour.  Ours will be touring in October, so check it out on October 10-11, 17-18, 24-25, and 31-Nov. 1 in Bryan Ohio.  See ya then!!!!!