Pennywise the Dancing Clown Has Come to Town!
Now, I don’t want to spoil anything about this experience. If you managed to snag tickets, then hey, just wait till you get there and come back after if you’d like. I’ve had a lot of messages from people who didn’t get tickets and might not be able to go. Or, people who don’t live close enough to go. This bud’s for you. Cheers, creep babies.
A late Tuesday evening. The nine ‘o clock hour. As I make my way up Vine towards Hollywood, peals of old fashioned organ grinder music drift across the night sky. No, I’m not talkin’ about mashing up kidneys and livers. Organ grinder as in a street musician with a barrel organ, vintage carnival type music. Let’s be honest, that’s actually way creepier than grinding up some vital bodily organs. At the corner of Hollywood and Vine a carnival has blossomed. Something Wicked This Way Comes, only it’s brightly lit and the top of a giant clown’s head can be seen peeking over the barriers. This is the IT Experience Ch 2 Derry Canal Days Festival. The line wraps around the block, even at this late hour. Luckily, this is the standby line and if you have tickets… you get to bypass it.
The ticketed line isn’t a line at all. At least not at this time. A few minutes to wait for the metal detector and you’re in. A cockroach made its way through the standby line and it was sort of like the wave at a Dodger game, but it was made up of screams of terror as the roach picked its way through the crowd. You could very clearly see its path of destruction as people screamed and clamored to get out of the way. Fantastic. The real horror of the evening begins even before the scheduled horror can get under way!
Ok, first up… signing our lives away on waivers. Most people sign without reading. I however, cannot fathom this. At the very least, skim it for the love of all that is unholy! A row of ipads, releasing all liability etc etc, permission to be filmed, etc etc. Sign in blood and into the holding pen. A barker explains the rules of engagement and encourages carnival goers to see IT when it hits theaters September 6th.
And off we go… Roughly five minutes to play three carnival games. All free, you get a go at each one, time permitting. A ring toss, a bean bag throw and my personal favorite… a water gun balloon pop shoot out. Am I biased because I win this game every fucking time? Of course. Did I win this game at the IT Experience? You bet your Derry asses I did. It comes in handy for impressing my nephew, like a weird stupid human trick. I embrace it. But I digress. Winner Winner, hopefully not Pennywise’s dinner… trade in my water gun for a red ticket to be redeemed at the end of the night. We rotate through the carnival games. I suck at the ring toss but I’m ok with that. No fair winning all the prizes. I run out of time to do the bean bag toss which I don’t suck at nearly as much as the ring toss. We are ushered over to the mouth of the beast. But I manage to grab a quick photo with the giant photo opp ballon bunch. We all float at the Derry carnival…
Of course every instinct screams to NOT venture into the gigantic clown mouth, but that’s what we’re here for so enter we must. Carnival music drowns as the descent into the mouth of madness begins. The walk-through is guided, it’s fun, it starts off like a funhouse from hell and then gradually turns into scenes and set pieces from the movie. Apartment number five, a Chinese restaurant, the sewer down by the quarry, IT’s lair…. jump scares and gags and special effects and uncomfortable giggling and a whole lotta’ fun.
If you survive your walk through Derry, you will end up at a prize wheel where you can redeem your winning carnival tickets for a spin. My prize? Popcorn. Specially branded popcorn with Pennywise artwork. My only love sprung from my only hate? There is also a Hot Topic booth selling some limited edition merch not sold anywhere else. All in all this was a ton of fun and wonderfully done. High production value all around, totally immersive.. and it was FREE. How wild is that!? Thanks to everyone who put on this super cool event.
The experience runs through Sept 8th. Tickets are no longer available, but check their website to see if they release more. Standby line is open to all (18+), when I went on Tuesday night, people said they had waited about five hours. I imagine if you went during the week, during the day, the wait would be significantly less. Here’s their website
Important Note – KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!
Only very small or CLEAR bags allowed. Check the video for measurements. DO NOT bring a normal sized bag, you won’t be able to bring it inside.
Parking sucks, most lots are twenty bucks. The lot next to Katsuya is $10 flat after 6pm. And it’s not too far of a walk if you have to run your bag back to the car… but you won’t need to do that, right? Cause you read this thaaaang and you’re in the know…
And now, enjoy this spoiler filled feast for the ojitos. Please click on over to the YouTubes and subscribe, like, comment, share, all that good stuff that lessens my suspicions that my Mom is sweetly and secretly watching my videos on loop, on different computers, using different accounts. Thanks, Mom! And the rest of you… thanks for accidentally clicking on my Ted Talk *bows*