ODDITIES – Jurassic Planet at the LA County Fair – CA


I’ve never been particularly interested in dinosaurs, but I heard about Jurassic Planet and my curiosity got the best of me. I’m glad it did. 

For only a small $5 up charge to your fair admisssion you can walk among 40 life sized realistic animatronic dinosaurs. It pretty darn cool! I know they aren’t actually real dinosaurs (except for a few live creatures on display such as an emu, alligator and tortoise), but they seem pretty real if you let your imagination run wild. I found myself wanting to pet them and at one point talking in “baby talk” to a few adorable animatronic baby dinos. 

I really enjoyed Jurrasic Planet and wanted to share it here. I also recorded a bit of my experience which you can watch from YouTube below. 

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ESCAPE ROOMS – Maze Rooms: Magic Kingdom – California

MAZE ROOMS: MAGIC KINGDOM


Maze Rooms is a staple in the Los Angeles escape room community. Their rooms are buyouts, so you don’t get stuck playing with random strangers. They consistently open quality rooms throughout the city and do a great job of making each new room even more spectacular than the last. Magic Kingdom is no exception. It is one of the newest rooms in the Maze Room family and it is outstanding!
Upon entering the game I literally found myself giggling like a child and spinning around to take everything in. It is one of the most beautiful games I’ve played. I especially love the whimsical theme.The storytelling is fantastic. You are immersed in a complete story that has a beginning, middle and end in which you play the lead character. The best part, the puzzles make sense in the story!!! That is such a rarity and I was thoroughly impressed. The set/decor is outstanding. The use of technology in the decor is brilliant and unlike anything I’ve seen in other escape rooms. The puzzles are creative and unique with no traditional locks. The sound and lighting are on point. It’s fun for all ages, too. (Although there is one slightly physical moment that at least one person must do, so consider that when you assemble your group.) The overall creativity in this game makes this escape room stand out from the rest.

I can’t say enough good things about it…HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!

2016 Los Angeles area Halloween haunts & events list

Below is a list of Halloween events and haunts in the Los Angeles and surrounding areas in no particular order with links to their sites.

HAUNTS

The Tension Experience  *** <My Review>

Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights (HHN)

Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest ***<My Review>

Knott’s Scary Farm

Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor

Sinister Pointe

Motel 6 Feet Under 

Creep Los Angeles

Delusion (initial run sold out)

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

Beware The Dark Realm

Reign of Terror (ROT)

Screenshot Productions The Rope

Zombie Joe’s Underground Urban Death

Unbound Productions Wicked Lit

Coffin Creek

Talladega Frights

Haunt at Heritage Hill

Field of Screams

The Fleshyard

17th Door

Scream Kingdom

Castle Dark

Scandia

Fear Station

All Saints Lunatic Asylum

Way of the Shadow Haunted House (2016 dates: 29, 30, 31)

RC Haunt

CookHaunt (New Location: Anaheim at the Pumpkin patch – catty corner from Cinema City)

Dead Zone 805

Hyde Street Haunt

HOME HAUNTS

Rotten Apple 

Boot Hill

The House on Haunted Hill

The Backwoods Maze

The Klownhouse

The Haunt at Daisy Avenue

Opechee Haunt

Van Oaks Cemeterey

The Haunt with No Name

Gothic Hills Cemetery

Spooky Hallows

 

FAMILY EVENTS (not scary)

Boney Island (magical yard display)

Mickey’s Halloween Party

Boo at the Zoo

Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch

Rise of the Jack o lanterns 

Shawn’s Pumpkin Patch

Pa’s Pumpkin Patch

Cal Poly Pumpkin Festival Pomona

Pumpkin Liner

Sleepover at the Natural History Museum

Happy Harbor Halloween

Scarium of the Pacific

Knott’s Spooky Farm

Kidspace Children’s Museum Pumpkin Festival

Halloween Spooktacular City of Pico Rivera

Slightly Spooky Stories at Descanso Gardens

 

EVENTS

Heritage Square

Shriekfest

Blackthorne Screamfest

Drunken Devil Witches Ball

Hollywood Monster Night

West Hollywood Carnaval

Long Beach Zombie Fest

Crown City Theatre Company Nosferatu (theatre)

Maverick Theatre Night of the Living Dead (theatre)
OUTSIDE OF LOS ANGELES

Legend of Sleepy Hollow 

High Desert Haunted House

Scream Zone *** <my review>

The Tension Experience

The Tension Experience

THE TENSION EXPERIENCE

I first heard about The Tension Experience in late February from friends that described it as an interactive haunt. The thing that drew me in and got me obsessed with checking their website and social media was the puzzles hidden throughout. I didn’t label The Tension Experience in the title of this blog as I normally would because honestly I don’t know how to describe it. It’s not a haunt or a puzzle game, it’s an…experience. So far I’m not clear of the purpose of it all, nor am I concerned, I’m just enjoying the ride. 

The Tension Experience website allows participants to complete a fairly lengthy, personal questionnaire. After that everyone’s experience is unique. So far my journey has allowed me to have a few email and phone interactions with the OOA Institute that resulted in a live meeting in downtown Los Angeles.

I will do my best to describe my experience exactly as I remember it. 

My meeting took place on April 30th at 8:05pm. I was given very specific instructions to arrive at a designated location alone and wait for my cell phone to ring. I waited on the corner near the bus stop watching people arrive and depart for several minutes when I heard that glorious Dr. Who theme song (my ringtone) begin. 

I answered and the voice on the other end instructed me to raise my right hand. I stood on the corner with my hand raised high above my head as a young, nicely dressed woman approached. She embraced me in the kind of hug your grandmother gives when she hasn’t seen you since last Christmas and started telling me how excited she was for me. She gripped my arm tightly and we walked arm in arm like schoolgirls down the dark Los Angeles sidewalk. After a short walk she paused, had me sign a waiver and then asked if I trusted her. I assured her I did and she handed me a hood to place over my head. She then gently guided me through a doorway, down a hall and into an elevator. While in the elevator that felt as though it was traveling to a basement she continued to compliment me until I asked her name. This seemed to fluster her a bit and she explained to me very thoroughly that her name, Talia, was not important and she was the lowest of the low. Then she left me alone outside of the elevator still blinded by the hood to contemplate why I deserved Enlightment and wait for someone higher up to fetch me.

While I stood alone in the darkness with my thoughts someone approached and whispered the question, “What makes you so special?” Then after some pause stated, “I don’t think you are special.” Then they vanished.

After what seemed like an eternity, someone approached me and grabbed my shoulders to push me quickly down more hallways to a room where I was placed in front of a mirror still wearing the hood. I was asked why I had come. Then over the next several minutes I was allowed to remove the hood but only gaze directly at my reflection in the mirror while handing off my cell phone and answering questions being rapidly fired my way. “What’s your name?” “What have you done to improve yourself today?” “What have you done to improve humanity today?” “Are you a good person?” “Who is your best friend?” “Who knows you better…your best friend or your cell phone?” “Are you a good person?” “What’s the worst things you’ve every done to another person?” “What’s your biggest regret?” “Are you a good person?”  Then I was told by a male voice that it only takes 2 minutes to completely download the information from a cell phone and they had done that. I was instructed to replace the hood on my head and shoved back down the hallway that smelled of burning candles to have my phone placed in my hand as a woman’s voice told me that they were not who they seemed and gave me instructions to look my attendant in the eyes and say something specific once my hood was removed. I was then passed off to Talia and escorted in the elevator and back to the entrance. We had a quick exchange and then I was heading back with instructions not to interact with anyone between there and my car. The entire experience took about 40 minutes.

I was not allowed to mention anything of my experience until after all applicants had completed their experiences that evening. Lucky for me I only had to wait about 15 minutes. 

It was all quite exciting and fun. Well, that first moment when my phone was removed from my hand was a bit stressful. It’s not everyday unlock my phone and give it to a total stranger. 

I was surprised to find the above photo of myself hooded in front of the mirror in my photo gallery. 

I have since been checking The Tension Experience forums and sharing stories with other participants about their experiences with the OOA. You can visit the forum and even participate once you create an account on the site. Participants also discuss theories about the experience as well as plan meet ups and discuss puzzles on the site. It’s quite a community. 

If this blog post has peaked your interest be sure to check out the site. Anyone can be part of the online action, however live events appear to only be happening in the Los Angeles area. Not only is it a unique and thrilling experience, so far it’s been free. 

You will only get out of The Tension Experience what you put into it. So join the community and get active. 

Update 1: I received this tweet tonight which has me excited for what’s to come. 

Update 2: The OOA is always watching!!!  Within minutes of posting this blog and sharing it on Twitter (around 2 am) I received a surprising call on my cell phone from a blocked number. The mysterious voice on the other end called me by name and then proceeded to tell me something to the effect of my account of the event had been noticed and I had done some good in light.

UPDATE – END OF INDOCTRINATION 

NEW BLOG POST

ASCENSION 

CALIFORNIA ESCAPE ROOM LIST

Below is a list of the Escape Rooms I’ve played roughly in order of MY favorite to least favorite. Note: I prefer strong storytelling and immersion, especially in horror, paranormal & magic themed escape rooms, so my preferences may be different than yours. Feel free to write to me Twitter @christinebarger or Instagram @TheHauntGirl  GROUPED BY REGIONS:  LOS ANGELES AREA, “THE VALLEY”, ORANGE COUNTY, INLAND EMPIRE, HIGH DESERT, VENTURA COUNTY, PALM SPRINGS, BIG BEAR, SAN DIEGO, SAN FRANCISCO

LOS ANGELES AREA ESCAPE ROOMS

Maze Rooms: Magic Kingdom

60out Escape Rooms: Outbreak

Quest Room: Bloody Elbow

60out – The Orphanage

Maze Rooms: Sky Odyssey

Quest Room: Red Giant

Maze Rooms – The Abyss

Quest Rooms – Perfumer

60out Escape Rooms: Titanic

Enigma: The Will

60out Escape Rooms: Wizards Workshop

Maze Rooms: One Way Ticket

Maze Rooms: Lunar Station

Enigma: Apartment 205

Escapedom: The Lair

Enigma Escape Rooms: The Seance

Exit Game: The School of Sorcery

Quest Room: Cannibals Den

Quest Room: Da Vinci’s Challenge

Escape Hotel – Attic

60out – Alice in Wonderland

60out: Zen Room

Fox in a Box – Dracula the Final Hour

Get the F Out: The Virus (I played the old Burbank location)

Maze Quests: Queen Anne’s Revenge

Exit Game The Ai

Exit Game The Villains Lair

Hatch Escapes

60out: Jumanji

60out: Grandma’s Masterplan

Two Bit Circus – The Lost City

Maze Rooms: World of Illusions

Roomescape LA The Bank

60out Escape Rooms: Casino

Countdown Live Escape: Krampus (Now 60 Out)

60out Escape Rooms: Doctor Psycho

Evil Genius Escape Rooms

Exit Game An Hour To Kill

Maze Rooms: Secret Mission

The Mummy Escape Game (created by SCRAP)

Escape Hotel: Agent

60out Escape Room: P.U.T.I.N.

Escape Room LA: The Theatre

Enigma: Crime Scene

60out – Nautilus

60out: Amityville

Enigma: Secret Temple

60out Escape Rooms: Ghost Ship

Two Bit Circus – Space Squad in Space (played twice)

60out Escape Rooms: The Mystery of Senator Payne

Roomescape LA: Prison

Countdown Live: Tiki Palace

Trapped in a Room with a Zombie & Still Hungry

Maze Rooms: Castle

Escape Room LA: The Detective

Mobile Escape Room LA: MacGuffins Cocktail Room

Maze Quests: Clinic

60out: Da Vinci’s Secret

Countdown Live: Pandorus (Now owned by 60out)

Roomescape LA: Bunker

Exit Game: The Lab

Escapedom: Den of the Occult

The Laboratory Escape Room

60out Escape Rooms: Quest in a Box

60out – Cartel DEA Undercover

Escape Room Long Beach: Bad Blood

60out – Houdini

Horror Escapes L.A. Captive Chamber

Escape Hotel: Day Care

Maze Rooms: Motel

Mobile Escape Room LA: Sleep Study

Roomescape LA: Zombie

MagIQ Room: Secrets of Wizardry

Escape Room LA: The Alchemist

Maze Rooms: FBI

Captured LA: The Starlet Killer

Logiquit Secret Agent Room

MagIQ Room: Pirate’s Den

60Out Escape Rooms: Hangover Game

Fox In The Box – Tesla

Escape Hotel: Witchcraft

Logiquit: Warehouse of Jack Travis

Logiquit The Laboratory of Dr. Lev Pasted

Escape Room LA: The Cavern

Escape Hotel: Jack Reacher

Escape Haus LA: Masquerade Ball Room

Logiquit: CSI Room

Escape Room Treasure Hunt: The Alchemist’s Lab

EscapeIQ: Alcatraz

*Maze Rooms: Cosmos Game

*Virtual Room LA

*Two Bit Circus – The Raft

* These are VR Games with escape room elements

“THE VALLEY” LOS ANGELES ESCAPE ROOMS:

The Basement (Basement, Boiler Room & Study)

The Courtyard at The Basement

The Elevator Shaft at The Basement

Maze Rooms Pirate Bay

Cypher

It’s a Doggy Dog World

Haunted Recording Studio

Escape Chronicles – Testing Facility

Nodus 805 Escape Room

Chronicles – Smugglers Tunnels

Paniq Room: Bunker

Amazing Escape Room: Mystery of the Red Dragon

Arcane Escape Rooms: The Hideout

Horror Escapes – Trapped

Horror Escapes – Ringmasters Quarters

Amazing Escape Room: The Starlight Lounge

Amazing Escape Room: Escape the X Corporation

Unlocked Escape Room: The Professor’s Basement

Amazing Escape Room: Operation Desert Storm

Great Redemption

The Bunker Experience

Arcane Escape Rooms: The Agency

The Room Live Escape Room

Maze Rooms: Demon Hunter 

Paniq Room Insane Asylum

ESCRooms

Hollywood Escape House: The Royal Indian Dungeon

S.H.A.D.I.E. Grove Escape Room

Enchanted Escape Room

ORANGE COUNTY ESCAPE ROOMS:

CrossRoads Escape Game: Hex

Mission Escape Games

Unlocked Escape Room

Puzzle Workshop: CSI Hollywood

Puzzle Workshop: Secrets of the Illuminati

Crossroads Escape Game: Funhouse

Eskape Rooms: Operation Dream State

Escapade Games – The Last Experiment

Escapade Games: Zoe

The Escape Bus

Dead Ringers (by The Escape Bus) This is a 2 person game, where the partners compete against each other.

TrapZone Escape Rooms

Detectives Society Escape Rooms: Da Vinci’s Lost Workshop

EscapeX Rooms: Casino

PuzzleMazement Escape Room: Professor S!

PuzzleMazement Escape Room: Paranormal

Kaein LLC: The Alien

Puzzlemazement: The Dollhouse

Red Lantern

The Cromwell Estate

Square Room: Harry Potter

Kaien: Time Machine

Escape the Place: The Chamber

PuzzleMazement Escape Room: Saving Christmas!

Legend X Iteration

Brainy Actz

INLAND EMPIRE ESCAPE ROOMS:

MurderCo

Mind Trap Escape Room: Gold Rush

Wizards & Wires: The Curiosity Shop

13th Room – Chapter 2

Mind Trap Escape Room: Conspiracy

Trapped! Escape Room: Sector 13

Mind Trap – Excalibur

Mind Trap – Operation Longbow

Trapped! Escape Room: Puzzlemaster

Get a Clue Room Escape: Uncle Thaddius’ Attic

The 13th Room

Open Door Escape Games: The Study

The 13th Room: Alchemy & Wizardry

Back Alley Escape – HUT51 STE

The 13th Room: Jack the Ripper

The Game Maker Escape Room (temporary room at Coffin Creek)

Get a Clue Room Escape: The Toy Shop

Broken Chains Escape Games: Caught In A Rumple

One Way Out: Bank Heist (now Exodus)

Unity Escape Rooms: The Cabin

Unity Escape Rooms: The Temple

Real Escape Room: Bomb

One Way Out: Apocalypse (now Exodus)

Real Escape Room: Crazy Secret Laboratory

 

HIGH DESERT ESCAPE ROOMS:

Escape the AsylumEscape This! Mosi’s Curse

CENTRAL VALLEY ESCAPE ROOMS:

Xcape Room Fresno: Murder Scene

Rooms of No Return: The Classroom

Breakout Fresno: Sabotage – Code Red

The Great Escape: Mafia Bomb Squad

Bakersfield Escape Room: RESCUE

Bakersfield Escape Room: Winter Fall

Rooms of No Return: Dead Silence

Real Escape: Bootlegger Warehouse

Real Escape: Wizards Lair

VENTURA COUNTY ESCAPE ROOMS:

Excido: StudioExcido: Casino

House of Clues: Pirate Ghost Ship

The Ultimate Escape Rooms: We Are All Mad Here

PALM SPRINGS ESCAPE ROOMS:

Escape Room Palm Springs: Dark Shadows Room

Escape Room Palm Springs: Saw Room

Escape Room Palm Springs: Titanic

Escape Room Palm Springs: Mystery Room

Escape Games at the River: Baker Street Mystery

BIG BEAR ESCAPE ROOMS:

Mountain Room Escapes Big Bear

SAN DIEGO ESCAPE ROOMS:

Great Room Escape San Diego: Houdini’s Hidden Workshop

Quicksand Escape Games: China Town

Steal and Escape

Quicksand Escape Games: The Diner

The Unlockables

Divergent Realities The Informant

Escape Game SD: Japanese Thriller Room

Quicksand Escape Games: The Speakeasy

The Entrapment3rd Day Escape: Harvest Motel

Escapology San Diego: TH3 C0D3

Enigma HQ

Clue Avenue: Villain’s Lair

Mighty Awesome

Great Room Escape San Diego: The Lab

Nightwalker Caverns Escape Room

Escapism: Art Gallery

3rd Day Escape: Hourglass

Escape Room Police

School of Hard Locks: Art Class

SAN FRANCISCO AREA ESCAPE ROOMS:

Omescape: Forgotten Treasure

Palace Games: Houdini

Omescape: Kingdom of Cats

Escape SF: Escape from Antique Room

Omescape: Omega

MODESTO ESCAPE ROOMS:

Spookador

LOCATION CHANGES

49 Boxes

 

R.I.P.

These are rooms that I have played in California but are not currently available:

The Purge Truck

Countdown Live: Psycho

Countdown Live: Spaceship

Countdown: Mrs. Jezebel’s Tea Party

School of Hard Locks: Halloween Room

CatCon Animal Planet Escape Box

Exodus: Quake Escape

Exit Game: The Chamber

Captured LA (old location)

Paniq Room: Creepy Cemetery

X Room Victorian Mansion

X Room Court in Session

X Room Escape the Wonderland

X Room Curse of the Mummy

Trapped! The Chamber

Trap House (Think Tank)

Square Room: Mario Brothers

Real Escape Room: Treasure Island

Countdown: Special Event Beta Test

Kaien (the game we beta tested, but isn’t open yet)

School of Hard Locks: Principal’s Office

SCRAP Real Escape Game Escape from the Cursed Forest Event

SCRAP Real Escape Game Escape the Magic Show

Salvation Room: The Inferno

Amazing Escape Room: Black & White

Ace Escape Game The Pharaoh’s Treasure

SCRAP Real Escape Game: Escape from the Time Travel Lab

The 13th Room (ScareLA mini-game)

Trapped! Escape Room: Jailbreak 

Room of no return: Jail

Mysterium Escape Room

Escape the Night (VidCon)

The Cromwell Estate (Midsummer Scream mini-game)

Crossroads: The Asylum (ScareLA mini-game) *This game will be available in Oct 2017 at Crossroads

Escape Room the Movie pop-up at Escape Hotel

Escape From Godot

Funhouse Escape 60 Minutes to Curtain & Another 60 Minutes to Curtain

 

ESCAPE ROOMS – Maze Rooms: Lunar Mission – California

MAZE ROOMS LUNAR MISSION

Maze Rooms - Los Angeles, CA, United StatesMaze Rooms - Los Angeles, CA, United States

The theme “Lunar Mission” lends itself to a high tech atmosphere, and this Maze Room does not disappoint. This is NOT a traditional escape room. This is an immersive interactive experience. There are NO number locks or Sudoku, the puzzles are incredibly woven into the theme and simply feel like actions you must take to accomplish a goal. I found it to be a challenging room particularly because of the amount of teamwork needed. This is not a room you can do alone (and yes I have done rooms alone). I love the blend of mental and physical puzzles combined with the required teamwork to accomplish the steps throughout the mission. It’s incredibly well designed. One of the things often overlooked by escape room companies is the finale. They seem to feel that escaping is enough and forget to really complete their story, but these guys even cover that and it’s one of my favorites. The production value is incredible. One of the best I’ve seen. It feels as though it was created by a movie studio. The set construction, decor, lighting, sound design, puzzles and story are all top notch. I really can’t say enough good things about the Lunar Station Maze Room.

Your team must work together to retrieve a very important item and escape the Lunar Station in time. Part of the team is stranded on the Lunar Station and the rest are sent up in the ship on a rescue mission. You must work together to land everyone safely and get them into the Lunar Station, get what you came for and, escape as quickly as possible. It’s like being in an action film set in space!

We played during the first week it was opened and it was just my husband and I playing. I was in the Lunar Station and he was my knight in shining armor…err…um..spacesuit…coming to save me. One of my favorite things about the experience was watching him light up like a kid at Christmas when we’d succeed at puzzles and received the payoff. It was really wonderful to see him so excited to pretend to be an astronaut for an hour.

The owner is very passionate about his business and expressed excitement for his next room, as well. I don’t want to give any spoilers here, but I can’t wait to go back.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!

Also this escape room has a family friendly theme. (No psychos here.)