The Protego Foundation, a Harry Potter-inspired animal-rights group, and its vegan allies have launched an effort to get Universal and Warner Bros. to provide fans with a vegan alternative to butterbeer.
May 4th (May the Fourth Be With You — get it?) has become the established excuse for all walks of Star Wars fandom to celebrate the spirit of the franchise by participating in special events, themed parties, one-day sales and exclusives and the like. Basically, flaunting their self-expression and letting their galactic freak flags fly.
Freddy, Jason and Leatherface all make their return to Halloween Horror Nights alongside their demented doll friend, Chucky, who hosts this year's Titans of Terror Tram through the Universal Studios backlot. There are more gruesome and heart-pounding mazes than ever before, including Saw, Insidious, Ash vs. Evil Dead, American Horror Story: Roanoke and "The Horrors of Blumhouse" featuring The Purge, Sinister and the upcoming Happy Death Day. However, perhaps the most inspired choice for a maze in the history of Halloween Horror Nights makes its debut this year. Based on Stanley Kubrick's psychological haunted-hotel film The Shining, guests make their way through the isolated Overlook Hotel as caretaker Jack Torrance and all of the hotel's previous inhabitants come out to play.
All photos by Jared Cowan.
Halloween Horror Nights runs through Nov. 4. Advanced ticket purchase is recommended, as event nights sell out. Tickets can be purchased here.
Follow Jared on Twitter at @JaredCowan1.
The Main Street Electrical Parade is the stuff of Disneyland lore. Enthusiasts and collectors have sought out bulbs from the original parade, and its experimental, synthesized score — which sounds like how it might feel to bounce around inside a kaleidoscopic pinball machine — is a far cry from any other Disney soundtrack. The luminous display of more than half a million lights, featuring some of Disney's most beloved characters, premiered along Main Street USA in 1972 and ran until 1996. Except for a brief stint when an updated version of the parade ran at Disney's California Adventure in 2009, the fan-favorite attraction has been absent from the Anaheim resort.
Disneyland had resurrected its famous nighttime parade for a limited time and it's looking (and sounding) better than ever. Catch it before its lights go out on July 18.
UPDATE: Disneyland's Main Street Electrical Parade has been extended through August 20, 2017.
All photos by Jared Cowan. Follow Jared on Twitter at @JaredCowan1.
Santa's Village, the alpine Christmas theme park near Lake Arrowhead, is something out of Southern California legend. Nestled among towering pine trees at the top of the San Bernardino National Forest at an elevation of 5,910 feet, Santa's Village originally opened in May 1955, about seven weeks before Disneyland. After entertaining and thrilling guests for decades, though, Santa's Village fell on hard times and closed its doors in 1998. The winter wonderland park then sat dormant, succumbing to the elements, as adventure seekers from all over were drawn to its abandoned log buildings, defunct attractions and overgrown walkways.
Thanks to new ownership and a painstaking, 30-month restoration and update, visitors can once again visit Santa's Village in the manner in which it was originally intended. Rebranded as SkyPark at Santa's Village, the theme park, which will be open year-round, boasts indoor and outdoor rock climbing, adventure bike riding, ice skating, personal meet-and-greets with Santa, live entertainment, a daily parade and all sorts of delicious treats to keep you warm on a cold day in the mountains. As the weather warms up, other outdoor activities such as zip lining, fishing and hiking will be made available — and you can still visit Santa.
We were invited for a preview of Santa's Village as both newbies and some who remembered visiting the original Santa's Village walked through the front doors for the first time in nearly two decades.
SkyPark at Santa's Village is open year-round from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas Day). Advance ticket purchase is recommended during the holiday season, as days are expected to sell out. 28950 Highway 18, Skyforest; (909) 744-9373, skyparksantasvillage.com.
This year's Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood resurrects some beloved horror movie icons: Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers and Leatherface. Among the familiar faces, though, are some brand-new tricks and treats on the Universal Studios backlot. Guests can experience the demonic possession of young Regan MacNeil inside The Exorcist maze. Fans of the hit FX series American Horror Story have the chance to get up close and personal with Twisty the Clown. The Christmas Krampus brings the holidays early to Southern California. Visitors can take a ride on the new Terror Tram, presented by horror mastermind Eli Roth, which drives you out to the backlot only to abandon you in the middle of a group of demented killer clowns. All photos by Jared Cowan.
Halloween Horror Nights runs through Nov. 5. Advanced ticket purchase is recommended, as event nights sell out. Tickets can be purchased here.
Follow Jared on Twitter at @JaredCowan1.