Campy, cheesy, cute, funny, and 100% awesome (and less than $5). A Halloween event that kids and the easily scared can enjoy.
There are so many “haunted” attractions in L.A, yet they all seem to include chainsaws, gore, & a mayhem! There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact that’s what we haunt-goers crave. But lots of us have kids and girlfriends that aren’t too fond of rotting corpses jumping out at you with machetes in the dark – I know right?
A few years back there seemed to be more attractions in L.A. area that were considered family friendly. Two amazing ones were Boney Island (shut down by angry neighbors even though they closed every night at 9pm!) and one of the best home haunts ever, The Halloween Haunting Grounds GROUNDS (made the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland look mediocre).
So thank God Griffith Park- known for it’s day-time kid friendly array of museums, carousels, and pony rides- has acknowledged this lack of wholesome fun! You don’t need to drive all the way to Disneyland or leave the house with more then $5 a person, because this event is right in L.A’s backyard!
Since 2001 Griffith Park has transformed their miniature train rides into a night time Halloween extravaganza. Griffith park operates three separate train rides throughout the year, for Halloween they overtook the miniature train rides located adjacent to Travel Town. Located in between the Forest Lawn Dr. exit and the Victory exit off of the 134 FWY on Zoo Dr. is the Halloween Train. This attraction is perfect for everyone. It’s intention is not to be scary, just fun and creepy. The entire ride takes about 15-20 min. to complete.
Once you have found the entrance you make your way to the ticket booth where a $5 suggested donation is asked of you.
The courtyard is filled with fun things to look at while you wait -from a giant cage filled with laughing zombie babies, to giant haunted mansion-style changing portraits, and even a life size talking skeleton that interacts with guests as you wait-it’s a sensory overload.
The trains you board look like something from Walt Disney’s private train collection- you sit aboard a scale replica with one leg hanging over each side, you can’t help but crack a smile.
So onto the actual ride. You know when you go to the Halloween stores and you see all the fun decorations and you wonder what it would be like to own and put them all to use? No worries, because that’s exactly what Griffith Park has done. It’s as if they took all the Halloween decorations from years back and assembled them into something amazing.
The train ride takes you through cramped fog and light filled tunnels, over bridges, through trees, and along the mountainsides. At points, the ride becomes so dark you wonder if your engineer is still aboard! I have to admit-I was a little weary of hillside stranglers and coyotes , c’mon were in the hills -but alas the scariest thing was the farting skeletons.
You encounter miniature ghost towns, aliens, spiders, skeletons, witches, pumpkins, pirates, clowns, cannibals , and any other Halloween related creature or theme you can think of. The best part is the flock of ghost’s riding their bicycles in the middle of a far away field- something that’s worth seeing by itself!
It’s campy, cheesy, cute, funny, and 100% awesome. This attraction is something of a nostalgic tradition. It’s something you could bring your kids to or your significant other and have a great time- and for the price there’s no excuse to miss this!
2009 GHOST TRAIN DATES: October 16-18, 23-25, 29-31
GHOST TRAIN HOURS: 7:00 to 10:00pm nightly.
$5 suggested donation