Took a trip yesterday up to Roaring Camp and Henry Cowell state park in Felton, CA, to look about and then take the train down through the redwoods to Santa Cruz and the boardwalk. My main goal being to ride the three dark rides, the classic and very odd Cave Train Adventure, the Haunted Castle, and the newer Sally Corporation ride Ghost Blasters.
First up, looking around Roaring Camp and their general store....
Vintage Halloween graphics and beer! I'm sold.
Just don't ask him about the Elder Swear........
Yeah, I just made a Potter Puppet Pals joke. Why thank you, I am a nerd.
Hilarious train guy in-jokes.
Well, okay then.
Time to get on the train.
Fake severed deer head of unknown purpose.
And here we are! That was fast, wasn't it?
The standard log ride has a slightly interesting queue, kind of like the log ride at Knott's, but then is just a standard green plastic flume with nothing to look at.
I seem to recognize this monster from somewhere...
The Cave Train ride has the most influence, theming wise, of anything in the park, with the rockwork and waterfalls spreading to an extent throughout the kiddy area surrounding it.
And off we go into the cave....
Clacking, motionless, dusty bear welcomes you!
The ride itself is fun, if very odd. Highly crudely stylized cave people frolic at their own underground fair, with rides, a dance hall, a bar, a funhouse, and the like, followed by some jungle scenes and a trip through monster ice cave. The atmosphere of quirkiness is hard to capture in words and pictures, no doubt because of the lack of the weird combination attic/murky water smell that permeates the entire ride.
Off to Ghost Blasters, maybe 20 feet away.....
Ghost Blasters is a interactive shooting ride, a la Buzz Lightyear, though with the small problem of at least one of the blasters from each car I rode in not working properly...
Apart from that, it's a fun ride with some good gags and music, a fair amount of detail.
Boardwalk pad thai...maybe not the best idea for lunch.
Teriyaki chicken skewers were decent though.
Home of the famous surfing chicken riding a sentient hot dog.
Hamburgers: the choice of one-eyed children everywhere!
Time for the Haunted Castle.
And now, a carriage approaches, to take you into a poorly-lit and badly planned dark ride!
Overall, the current Haunted Castle ride is pretty poor quality. What interesting scenes there are, are horribly lit and barely visible. It's a standard spookhouse, with sudden lights going on to reveal props and loud noises combined with simple animation, and some of the props are decent, but overall you barely get to see them or the scenes within. Current plans call for the castle to shut down later this month and the entire building be razed, to be rebuilt with a brand new version of the Castle that goes underground, along with offices and retail/food service space. More photos from the interior later on in the report.
One of the Cave Train's residents appears to have escaped.
Ridiculously large donuts.
Frightwalk haunted attraction, which was basically the same as last year. Decent layout and some interesting scares, but can't compare with mazes from places like Knott's Haunt or Universal horror nights.
Theming from the really lame western interactive/shooting gallery film next door to Frightwalk.
The typical boat swing ride is themed to pirates, and some effort is made to have details that set it apart...
Hooray, Laffing Sal!
Links of interest:
Laffing Sal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmM9eVue9yc"]YouTube - Laffing Sal![/ame] (video not mine)
Then went inside to the Neptune's Kingdom/casino area, featuring pirate mini golf and video games...
My hands down favorite arcade game as a kid, and still fun to play.
Hardened, bloodthirsty pirates and scallywags want to get their hooks on ridiculous bling too, appearantly...
I do not know why this even exists. I am going to walk away now.
Strangely familiar robotic cat.
Random theming on the arcade area walls
Classic arcade game seemingly celebrating the return of the Great Old Ones.
Thar be churros! And a familiar font, for HM fans....
Another trip through the Haunted Castle.
And then back to Ghost Blasters.
Staring bust and "floating" candelabra...hm....
Through the non-operational rotating tunnel....
Then it was time to ride the train back to Roaring Camp...
Can't miss out on this!Went for a walk in the redwoods at Henry Cowell...
Hooray epic spiderweb!
Then out to dinner in nearby Boulder Creek.
Delicious smoked ribs with pineapple barbecue sauce. Om nom nom.
That wraps it up, looks like...hope you enjoyed!