Knott’s Scary Farm 2017!

Knott’s Scary Farm 2017

By Erin

*We attended Scary Farm as media for purposes of this post. All thoughts and opinions remain our own!*

It’s that time of year again! Knott’s Scary Farm is here, the most haunting Halloween event in Southern California, returns with frightening scares and innovative thrills for its 45th season. The fully transformed park will feature 13 uniquely haunted mazes and attractions, including the return of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, for her last performance as she bids farewell to the Scary Farm crowds with an all-new show. Knott’s Scary Farm is here on select nights through October 31st. This year’s experience has all the ingredients of a truly terrifying nightmare, but unlike most dreams, Knott’s Scary Farm is a nightmare you can’t wake up from. What are you waiting for? Come join in on this nightmare you won’t soon forget!

The new season will bring unnerving nightmares to life as it debuts three all-new, unique haunted attractions, each introducing new menacing storylines and heinous never-before- seen characters.

Dark Ride (New for 2017)

Guests will journey through an abandoned carnival ride where cruel characters still linger in the shadows in Dark Ride, Knott’s Scary Farm’s newest maze. The carnival attraction has become a refuge for sideshow freaks and now those shunned performers have created an ominous world where they plan to unleash terror on those who enter. Dark Ride will lead brave visitors through a treacherous path and into the bowels of a long neglected attraction as sinister shadows and horrifying scenes cast darkness over the once pleasant ride.

Pumpkin Eater (New for 2017) 

Daring guests will attempt to survive the wrath of the murderous 7-foot tall creature that haunts the old woods surrounding The Hollow in this year’s new maze, Pumpkin Eater. The notorious creature is on the prowl, hidden within the dark confines of the haunted town he once terrorized. To escape the sinister Pumpkin Eater’s wrath all who enter must go on a quest through the silent town of victims, face a cave of crawling insects and solve the labyrinth of thorns that blocks the only way out.

Trick-or-Treat: Lights Out (New for 2017)

Scared of the dark? Returning more sinister and twisted than ever before, guests are invited to step inside the Green Witch’s haunted home and venture through its dark pathways in Trick or Treat: Lights Out. Armed with only a faulty flashlight, brave visitors must face the terror of the Green Witch’s house completely in the dark. Featuring new state-of-the-art effects, unexpected scares and other eerie surprises, Trick-or- Treat is back to terrorize like never before.

Returning Favorites

Returning for the last and final year at Knott’s Scary Farm, Elvira is back with a new spectacular farewell show, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. The exclusive performance will pay homage to the Queen of Halloween’s celebrated comedy-horror film, complete with musical numbers, dance and humor. Knott’s Scary Farm will be the exclusive home of Elvira for her final performance this Halloween season. You won’t want to miss this! It’s your last chance to see her.

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A Day of Play at Great Wolf Lodge Southern California

A  Day of Play at Great Wolf Lodge Southern California

By Donna Biroczky

Last week, I got to fulfill a dream for my kids: visit Great Wolf Lodge here in Southern California! The state’s largest indoor water park, Great Wolf is a resort like no other. Fitting for kids of all ages, including us adults that love water slides, once you park your car – or leave it with the valet – you’re good to go for your entire stay, without ever leaving the property!

Great Wolf Lodge opened in Anaheim in February 2016, joining a double-digit list of other GWL water parks scattered throughout the United States and Canada. Once you walk through the distinctive entry, you’re in a new world. The entire property is themed after an enormous lodge, from the massive fireplace to your left when you enter the lobby to the decor in the rooms. And then the rooms themselves have to be seen to be believed. Rooms are designed with families in mind, and with the latest addition of 18 new Deluxe Wolf Den King Suites, larger families can now all stay in one suite together.

Great Wolf Lodge SoCal

Deluxe Wolf Den King Suites include a built-in wolf’s den with bunk beds for the kids and special animations that respond to MagiQuest wands (available downstairs for purchase when you enroll in a game of MagiQuest), a king-size bed in a private room for mom and dad, and a queen-size bed and sofa sleeper in the main suite area. Each of the two rooms has its own full bathroom, so no sharing or going between rooms in the middle of the night. There are also other levels of rooms available, extending your lodge experience all the way through your visit. Bunk beds, in-room refrigerators, wi-fi, murals, TVs and more, it’s no wonder this is a very popular family destination!

Speaking of middle of the night — Great Wolf Lodge is like a city in itself, with activities and things to do 24/7. The Northern Lights Arcade is open overnight. Another fun activity to play during the day is MagiQuest. It’s an interactive role-playing game, where players assign themselves a name, pick a wand and topper, and head off around the property to fulfill certain tasks. If you’ve never played the game, you’re in for a treat. A full game can take 6-8 hours to complete, but it’s a fun game even if you don’t complete all the levels. Great Wolf Lodge has added on a new knighting ceremony that takes place twice a day (2pm and 7pm) for those who have defeated Charlock, the evil dragon, so be sure to keep room in your schedule to attend if you do play all the way through!

New to Great Wolf Lodge in Anaheim is the Wine Down Service, designed solely for the adults in the group. The signature wine, cheese and dessert pairing program allows parents to “wine down” after a full day of busy activities once the children are asleep. Pairings include Kids Snoring, More Pinot Noir-ing (chocolate truffles and a velvety Pinor Noir) and Rekindle the Bonfire (dark chocolate-covered strawberries with a bottle of Chloe Prosecco) are sure to make your night more special once you’re in your room for the night. Even better, they don’t knock on your door so the kiddos aren’t woken up; you will receive a text to your phone announcing its delivery, so you can sneak out and grab it without any surprise visitors for your “wine down” enjoyment!

General Manager Phil Cunningham has listened to guest feedback throughout his tenure at the lodge to provide guest enhancements and new activities. The day we visited was his last day at the Anaheim lodge, but he leaves the location in good hands. My son went over to thank him for all he did, and he had an engaging conversation for several minutes. My heart always melts a little when an adult, particularly one so busy and in-demand, takes the time to speak to a child or teen and listen to his or her gratitude and joy. Thank you, Mr. Cunningham! You left an impression on my son!

Chef Hany Ali also does an amazing job of ensuring all guests do not go hungry. The Lodge Grill restaurant served us all lunch during our visit and wow, did we all eat well. The children had a buffet available, including everyone’s favorite, gourmet mac and cheese, finishing off with small jars full of candy, like gummy bears and mini M & M’s. My son ate off the adult menu but he’s still a kid inside and that jar of candy was the perfect end to his meal.

The adult food was beyond compare. We started with a butternut squash soup served inside of an acorn squash. Seasoned perfectly, with a velvety consistency, this soup was a wonderful way to start our five-course meal. Next on the menu was an arugula salad with a bread stick, goat cheese, roasted peach slices and a small personal jar of salad dressing. We were all ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the presentation of all the courses — every piece of serving ware seems purposeful yet appealing to the eye.

Our main course was grilled sea bass, which literally melted in my mouth, over risotto, and veal with microgreen topping served over buttery grits. An array of roasted vegetables, such as heirloom carrots and shiseito peppers, sat in between the two protein courses. It got really quiet for a while as everyone enjoyed the food. Dessert was a beautifully plated roasted apple tart and house-made strawberry ice cream. We were so full by then but who wants to send back a dessert plate with anything on it?

One very big deal to know about meals at the Great Wolf Lodge is that they keep everyone’s dietary and medical needs in mind. If you have a child with food allergies, please advise the staff when you book. You will be provided your own special chef to ensure all your child’s food is completely safe and meets their needs and preferences. Isn’t that amazing?

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Knott’s Soak City Waterpark Kicks Off with a Splash!

Knott’s Soak City Waterpark Kicks Off with a Splash!

By Erin

*We were invited to the media day, courtesy of Knott’s Soak City for purposes of this post. All thoughts and opinions remain my own*

Last weekend was a scorcher! Good thing for us it was also the opening weekend for Knott’s Soak City . There’s no place I would have rather been than floating around the lazy river to keep cool. It was the perfect weekend for Knott’s Soak City Waterpark to kick off with a splash for the summer season to start an unforgettable summer season running through September 10th. It is Orange County’s largest waterpark and is the perfect destination to cool off during summer as it debuts two brand new water slide towers with seven new slides, Shore Break and The Wedge. Plus, Soak City has undergone a 2-acre expansion and thematic renovation, which includes new shaded seating areas, spacious cabanas and a newly remodeled Longboard’s Grill. So go grab your swimming trunks and sunscreen and plan a fun day at Knott’s Soak City Waterpark! Let’s take a look at what’s new and some of my favorite things to enjoy at Soak City!

SHORE BREAK

Shore Break towers over seven stories high and offers six different thrilling water slide experiences. Four of the slides will have guests climbing into an exhilarating Aqua Launch chamber which will send riders on a vertical free fall through a series loops and curves. When you climb into the chamber you await the chamber’s floor dropping from beneath their feet sending you on a high-speed free fall down a 60-foot tall slide and through a series of exhilarating drops and daring loops. I was way to chicken to try this one.

Shore Break also offers two dueling tube slides which riders go zipping through adventurous drops and turns as they soak up the warm summer sun. Now this one I can do!

THE WEDGE

The Wedge will take up to six riders on an exhilarating trip down on an open-raft ride as they descend down hair-raising twists, turns and unexpected dips. Now that one I’ll ride again and again. The Wedge was my favorite of the new additions.

LONGBOARD’S GRILL

Longboard’s Grill  returns for the 2017 summer season after a complete remodeling and expansion which now offers a newly redesigned sleek restaurant layout.  While Longboard’s theme remains the same, the menu includes new and delicious items such as fish & chips, hand breaded chicken tenders and assorted wraps. Classic favorites like grilled burgers and hot dogs are also available. A new shaded outdoor seating area has been added by the restaurant’s entrance, welcoming diners to fuel up with delicious meals as they take a break from the sun. I really love all the new shady spots at Soak City!

CABANAS

If you really want to get most out of your stay, you will want to rent one of these for the day! As part of the water park’s expansion, additional spacious cabanas and seating areas have been added to the park’s blueprint. Guests can relax and unwind in the new row of cabanas which will be conveniently located across the new Shore Break tower. A new seating area equipped with lounge chairs will allow guests to relax in the sun and is also located near the Shore Break complex.

WHAT ELSE?

The park has attractions for the whole family, from a fun zone for the little ones called Gremmie Lagoon to thrill slides for the adventurous and the Sunset River for the not so adventurous who just want to sit back and relax and float down the river. Make sure you don’t miss these fun attractions.

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