REVIEW: BONEY ISLAND
October 19, 2018
REVIEW: BONEY ISLAND
Los Angeles rabidly tears and claws at creative entrepreneurs who seek to bring originality, artistry and innovation to their communities. For example, one year Delusion (@enterdelusion) was visited by the Fire Department which led to the premature end of their season of performances. More recently, we learned that the Bob Baker Marionette Theater’s (@bobbakermarionettes) historic building is going to be demolished to make room for more “luxury housing”. Los Angeles is a city rich with history, yet it continues to cannibalize itself - demolishing historic buildings and destroying community hubs. Some are gone forever, and some claw their way back - bigger and better than ever….and this is where Boney Island (@boneyisland) enters the picture.
Every October for the past twenty years, Emmy Award winner Rick Polizzi (producer of the Simpsons) turned his Sherman Oaks yard into a unique, carnivalesque interactive attraction called Boney Island. This site contained the largest ensemble of mechanical skeletons in the world, along with singing bushes, a tree fort, and a skeleton maestro who conducted a choir of jack-o’-lanterns in tandem with a dazzling neon water and light show (created by family friend Rex Danyluk - a professional liquid engineer for Aqua Dazzle). Stepping into Boney Island was like stepping into a magical universe in which skeletons from the Golden Age of Magic performed tricks in a circus sideshow setting, complete with visual marvels akin to Disneyland’s World Of Color.
Boney Island’s yard display was free for all who visited. Created with love and intense dedication, this unique attraction was a wonderful Halloween experience for everyone to enjoy, regardless of age or income. To our great sadness, Boney Island went on hiatus between 2008-2011, to then come back and meet an abrupt end in 2017, closed down by some city officials following complaints from a neighbor. Thousands of people were devastated and the news hit the haunt community hard. Things looked grim when Rick started posting pieces of Boney Island for sale on Ebay - seemingly putting the nail into the mischievous skeletons’ coffins for good.
Between then and now we aren’t sure what happened, but at the end of this summer it was announced that Rick and his volunteers were re-opening Boney Island as an addition to Griffith Park’s amazing and historic Ghost Train. Not only were they bringing back one of Halloween’s greatest attractions, they were also partnering it with another very special all-ages favorite.
While some may feel the pangs of nostalgia as they think about Rick’s empty yard, we think that the 2017 attempt to end Boney Island created the catalyst for a magnificent new attraction. With the relocation to Griffith Park, Boney Island’s new space is much larger and therefore allows for a more expansive setting for displays and attractions. In addition to the classic Boney Island sets, there are skeleton themed game areas, professional magician shows, and multiple new surprises. Our favorite new attractions are “Hauntington Gardens” and “Deadwood Forest”: blacklight forests and gardens in which plants, animals, and psychedelic visuals create a surreal and delightful walkthrough experience. The artistry, mechanics, and design of the new Boney Island is perfection and feels right at home next to the talking animatronics and visual feast of its neighbor, the Ghost Train.
We guarantee that you will love Boney Island in its new home as it has stepped up to greater levels of creativity and entertainment on par with any theme park attraction. Rick Polizzi has surrounded himself with people from Aqua Dazzle, Universal, and Disney to bring back to life the experience that makes Boney Island so special - a world in which humerus mechanical skeletons perform magic tricks, play music, and fly above your head. The crew (human and skeleton) of Boney Island proves that they know how to get under your skin and pick at your funny bone - leaving you charmed and entertained as you walk out of the gates of one of the greatest attractions in Halloween history.
October 19, 2018
#haunts #losangels #griffithpark #livesteamers #ghosttrain #laghosttrain #boneyisland #simpsons #haunters #hauntsofla