Archive for October, 2008

The 5 Spookiest Theme Park Attractions in Orange County (No. 1)

Want to scare yourself silly this October? Then join me for OC Metroblog’s five-part series, featuring the scariest, most demented, creepiest theme park attractions in our neck of the woods. It’s just in time for Halloween!

Number One: Snow White’s Scary Adventures


Touch the golden apple at the entrance to this fifty-eight year old attraction. The bone chilling laugh that suddenly permeates the air gives a taste of what lies in wait for those who climb aboard the ride from hell. Think I’m exaggerating? Read on… if you dare.

It all starts innocently enough with cute dwarves singing The Silly Song and cuddly woodland creatures populating Snow White’s forrest home. It isn’t long before the evil Queen reminds us, “Soon I’ll be fairest in the land” and before you can question her motives it’s off to the diamond mine. Oh look the pretty colors and the shiny jewels! What a wanton pleasure cruise this turned out to be huh? Wait. Are those vultures perched overhead? They sure do look mean.

Here’s where things get really dark. Two giant castle gates swing open and the evil queen whirls around lunging at your ride vehicle – only she has now magically transformed herself into a withered old hag! Unfortunately for you, it aint over yet. You escape the Witch by dashing through a dark, spooky castle where you catch a glimpse of others who tried to run from her only to be chained to the walls and left to die. You scramble though the dungeon laying eyes on the horrid Witch once again – this time with her brew of poison. Clearly she’s got murder on her mind.

Once outside you journey through the seemingly endless dark (and I do mean dark) forrest full of crocodiles and bats and menacing trees trying to reach out and eat you – just like in that movie Poltergeist. Every twist a new horror, every turn unrelenting! It’s all capped-off by the third appearance of the Witch, who after offering you a poisoned apple, attempts to crush you to death under a giant boulder. Alas, at the last moment you are saved by a lightning strike that causes the Witch to fall to a gruesome death…

And they lived happily ever after.


So why does it make the number one spot? Because Snow White’s Scary Adventures is a ride in which your (inner) child starts screaming and never stops.

Those who turn up their nose at the idea that this actually is indeed a scary ride, need to do me a favor: the next time you take a spin on SWSA, pretend you’re five years old. No really, dig deep and pretend you are five and then ride it with fresh wide eyes. No matter what your age Snow White’s Scary Adventures is thematically the scariest, most demented, creepiest theme park attraction in the county.

First off, you’re supposed to be Snow White. Never mind the fact that you also see the famed princess in the opening scene; this was added in the eighties to help confused Guests. Some people never caught on to the concept that by boarding the mine car dwarf’s bed/car they were about to live Snow White’s adventures for themselves – instead of just passively watching the scenery go by. If you want passive attractions, go ride Winnie the Pooh.

After that Witch jumps out at you for the first time it’s all down hill and your child is most certainly scared shitless. Sure, you think to yourself it wall be over soon and then you’ll take little Johnny or little Joanie on something quite and peaceful like the Storybook Land Canal Boats. Yeah good luck with that. My wife took her younger sister on this ride and she cried for an hour and refused to ride any attraction that was housed inside a building for the rest of the day. Fun for the whole family.

SWSA is notorious for terrifying children and scarring the feeble-minded for life. Kids who are just fine on Haunted Mansion are sent into hysterics by the likes of that damned Witch. The problem was so great that Disneyland actually changed the name of the ride from Snow White’s Adventures to Snow White’s Scary Adventures in an effort to give riders a better idea of what kind of terrors to expect.

The name change didn’t have much affect. Children are still horrified and Snow White still tops my list. It’s a story that starts out light and just gets darker and darker and darker until it ends with a violent death. Sure the good guys escape with their lives, but what fun is living when you’re going to have to pay for all that post traumatic stress therapy in the years to follow?

[Click here to read the Number two pick for The 5 Spookiest Theme Park Attractions in Orange County]

Happy Halloween and Weekend Family Fun

All right, I’m sure you all have plans already for the big night tonight, but what about this weekend? 

Cal State Fullerton, in conjunction with the Discovery Science Center and the Future Scientists and Engineers of America are holding a Fall Festival with a science and math twist at CSUF’s Titan Field on Nov. 1 from 9am to 2pm.   Dude, there will be pumpkin launching!  Go here to check out the official website.

And on both Saturday and Sunday from 12pm to 4pm, The Bowers Museum will be holding a special Dias De Los Muertos family event where you can get your face painted like a calavera, and experience Mexican music, cuisine, and culture, including the ofrendas that are synonymous with this holiday.  Oh, and did I mention the tamales?  Go here to get the official scoop.

Best of all, both of these events are freeeeeee!

Happy Halloween everyone!

I Appreciate The Idea, But…….

I’m starting a new series I’d like to call “I appreciate the idea, but…..” This comes after many, many times where I’ve seen something that I know was meant as something cute, or funny, or peaceful, but in the end turned out to be scary, rude or just plain weird. Then I’m left asking “Why isn’t anyone else here to appreciate how wrong this is with me?!?!” Now you can. I’d like to encourage my fellow MetBloggers to do the same. Let us allrejoice in people’s mis-guided efforts to make the world a better place.

This first one comes from a doctor’s office just outside the hospital I work at.

Heeby Jeeby Alert

Heeby Jeeby Alert

I know they were going for the “Oh look! Deer in the bushes! How cute! This MUST be a great place!!,” but everytime I walk by there, I see one of the deer out of the corner of my eye and my heart skips a beat! I start thinking I gotta run away from this beast before it eats me! So, thanks doctor. I appreciate the idea, but…….

No On 8 Needs Help!

With less than a week to go until the election, the No On 8 campaign could use some help. The Yes campaign recently received $2 million in donations, whereas the No campaign received approx. $250,000. We could use all the help we can get. You can donate here. I don’t have much to give, but I gave what I could.

I know there are a lot of people out there who believe homosexuality is wrong. And there’s nothing wrong with that. People have the right to believe what they want. But please don’t take away a right that every American should be able to experience. Marriage. Love crosses race, religion and sometimes even gender. Who are we to tell them any different?

My best friend (and best man for that matter) will be discussing this issue on 105.9 Power 106 this Sunday morning at 7am. I know it’s early, but your calls into the show could be enough to change some minds out there. It doesn’t take very many people to make a difference. Be one of those few.

It’s Freeeeeee! Part Who Cares Anymore…

Tomorrow October 31, 2008, Chipotle will be giving away free burritos from 5pm til closing.

But, your Halloween costume? It’s gotta be a burrito.   Dress as a burrito, get a burrito, simple.

The Chowhound board says all you need is a tinfoil hat, so it is only a tiny bit of foil needed, not a full-body aluminum wrap.  But hey, nobody’s stopping you if you want to go all out!

Will the Great Park Ever be Great?

The LA Times reports that the Orange County Great Park Board just voted to pay almost three hundred thousand dollars to a consulting firm to come up with ideas on just how to fund the improvements slated for the park.  This despite having spent 72 million of 200 million they received from the Lennar Corp. in the form of developer’s fees. 

And what did we get for that 72 mil? A crappy orange balloon and a small portion of a “preview” of what we are supposed to get. 

My hopes, they are not high.

It’s Freeeeeeeeee!!!!!1! Part Eleventy Billion & 1

Thanks to someone stealing a base during the World Series, Taco Bell is making good on their promise to give away free food!

Visit your local Taco Bell today between 2pm and 6pm and pick up your FREE crunchy beef taco!

That’s it!! Enjoy!

Are You A Halloweanie??

My apologies to joz at LAMetblogs. I promise I didn’t steal your “Halloweenie” line on purpose. :-)

P1010017, originally uploaded by suprdave89.

I am.

I have to admit. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays of the year. I love, love, love getting dressed up and going out to see what everyone else came up with that I didn’t. I love making my costumes from scratch, or at least putting something together that no one else has.


This year, however, thanks to an early morning school call-time the next day and limited budget, I’m recycling an old costume. I’m still gonna look better than everyone else though, don’t worry. ;-)

Every year I go to the West Hollywood Street Festival. There are over 500,000 people just like me with insane costumes, who really make me feel at home and not so weird. Plus I usually see many of my friends there. They have live performances on many different radio station stages of big name musicians too! My favorite was 2 years ago when Kevin Federline got boo’d off the KIIS stage. :-)

What do you like to do??? Are there fun things to do in Orange County??

The 5 Spookiest Theme Park Attractions in Orange County (No. 2)

Want to scare yourself silly this October? Then join me for OC Metroblog’s five-part series, featuring the scariest, most demented, creepiest theme park attractions in our neck of the woods. It’s just in time for Halloween!

Number Two: Black Widow’s Cavern (Calico Mine Ride)


You shouldn’t be surprised to find an offering from Knott’s Scary Farm’s Halloween Haunt towards the top of this list. The 36 year old annual event is the largest Halloween party of it’s kind in the world. Part theme park, part roadside attraction and part disgusting bloody mess – Halloween Haunt has come to define how modern theme parks celebrate the spookiest of holidays. When it comes to the specific attraction, the web site says “Dare to enter the old, abandoned mine, now overrun by deadly spiders. Get caught in the web of the horrific arachnids as you travel the train of terror on the old miner’s path of doom.”

What the hell does that mean? It doesn’t really matter does it? The haunted theme for the Calico Mine Ride changes every couple of years but the scares just keep on coming. This was the very first dark ride built inside of America’s (very) First Theme Park. It came online waaaaaaaaaaay back in 1960, five years after Disneyland flung open it’s doors. The rest of the year the venerable mine ride is nothing more than a cheesy and enjoyable journey of nostalgia but each Halloween it devolves into something far more frightening.

Imagine hopping in a mine train with open-seating and your back is facing away from all the action. Now imagine there are giant drooling fang-laden spiders and disgusting undead bloody zombie-spider-people literally crawling into the mine car with you. Not scary enough? How do you feel about the dark pitch black? What just brushed by your face? Was that a spider or a bat? Or was it something else?

So why does it make the top five? Because nobody does a pop-up scare like Knott’s Scary Farm. What’s only hinted at in the grave yard sequence in the Haunted Mansion comes to fruition in the Calico Mine Ride. If you have a fear of arachnids or a fear of ax-weilding freaks who jump out of the darkness into your lap while literally trying to lick your face, then you should probably avoid Black Widow’s Cavern (Calico Mine Ride) at all costs.

One of the scariest prospects is trying to figure out which gory piles of decimated human flesh throughout the attraction are real actors and which ones are mannequins or dummies. Of course the only way to find out for sure is to take a good long close look as you roll past; when one of them comes to life in an attempt to eat your face (causing you to wet yourself), you’ll know you’ve found an actor.

Part of what makes the scares so effective is the slow-moving nature of this attraction. You can’t run, you can’t hide and you can’t make a dash for the emergency exit. Unlike the rest of the mazes at Knott’s, you’re trapped in this mine car for the entire duration of the ride! Try as you may to avoid it, some revolting creature is going to slither past the back of your neck at some point. {{Shudder}}

I toyed with idea of calling the entire Halloween Haunt an “attraction” but in the end cooler heads prevailed and I made a choice that was more in keeping with the spirit of this series. Take note: this is the only attraction on the list that is part of a holiday overlay. If you have never been to Knott’s Halloween Haunt (seriously – everyone has been at least once) then be forewarned: it’s graphic, it’s gory and it’s terrifying. The performers at this event look and smell like renaissance fair enthusiasts, and that’s not a compliment. Also there is the real possibility that if the sociopathic performers don’t get you the old decrepit attraction you’re riding will fall apart at any moment. Nothing ruins a night of frightful fun like the very real fear of a gruesome accidental death on an aging dark-ride.

[Click here to read the Number Three pick for The 5 Spookiest Theme Park Attractions in Orange County]


[rant] I was cranking down Irvine Center Drive to work this morning when I almost wrecked because of dirt haulers flying down the road. Not one, not two, but five in a row. Between the sand and road crap being kicked up and the dirt and sand coming our of the trucks, I had to turn my head to even see or breathe.
Irvine Center Drive is not the cleanest stretch of road due to the fields, butbthe construction traffic has made it worse. I also thought those trucks were required to cover their loads.
I have an email out to the city of Irvine with my grievence, mainly because all of the road junk ends up on or near the bike lane, which affects me and other cyclists in a potentially hazardous way.


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