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    Photos from Ghost Blasters (inside the Great Canadian Midway)

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    As I mentioned yesterday, we went to Niagara Falls last week to play. Along with going to Wizards’ Golf, we also went through Ghost Blasters. I tried to take some photos with my phone. But it’s hard as I’m moving and still trying to beat my wife’s score! 🙂

    Anyway, here are some photos (some are blurry) of inside Ghost Blasters. You can certainly get a sense of the colouring and theming.

    Ghost Blasters in Summer 2008

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    One of my favourite attractions on Clifton Hill is Ghost Blasters. This is the “dark ride” inside the Great Canadian Midway. You sit in a little cart that takes you around a circuit where you shoot at targets. When you hit a target, different parts of the set move. I admit it… I’m not very good, but I still enjoy it. My 6-year-old son on the other hand hates it! I try to get him to go on with me, and the only way he will do it is if he covers his eyes with one hand and shoots with the other hand. Honestly, the attraction isn’t scary at all. I guess he’s just a wimp (he must get it from his mother) 🙂

    Anyway, recently they started to hand out 3D glasses to wear. I didn’t know that the ride was 3D, but apparently that was an option that was never taken advantage of.

    I thought things looked quite good with the glasses on. They didn’t jump way out at you, but it gave some more texture to everything.

    One of the most recent times I was on the ride, since my son was covering his eyes with one hand and shooting with the other, I shot a video with one hand and shot the ghosts with the other. Of course you can’t see any 3D effects, but you get an idea of the quality of the glow-in-the-dark effects.

    I did a quick search for any other Ghost Blasters videos, and came across one from a Ghost Blasters at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (the Niagara Falls version looks much nicer.

    Niagara’s Clifton Hill continues to fascinate

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    From the Chatham Daily News:

    Niagara Falls is not only the honeymoon capital of the world but also a very popular fun capital for young and old alike.

    And contributing in a large way to the fun events is HOCO Fun By the Falls, a company that owns and operates a number of rides and venues in Clifton Hill. Among them is the hugely popular Niagara SkyWheel, Zombie Attack, Wild West Coaster, Movieland Wax Museum, Ghost Blasters Dark Ride, Dinosaur Adventure Golf and Wizard’s Golf as well as a go-cart track.

    Twitter updates for 2010-11-04

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    • This was taken yesterday morning on Clifton Hill. Things are pretty slow around here mid-week… http://twitpic.com/33ut6w #
    • I don't know how long this has been there, but I've never noticed this "scoreboard" outside Ghost Blasters (inside http://twitpic.com/33ur50 #
    • RT @SafariNiagara: 2011 Season Memberships on sale soon for Christmas… stay tuned! #

    New “Fun Pass” on Clifton Hill

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    Late last week (Thursday or Friday I think), the Fun Pass offered for many of the Clifton Hill attractions was expanded. Prior to this, for $25, the Fun Pass used to include the following:

    With the change the Fun Pass now is $30 and includes all of the above but also includes entrance to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum. For $5 it’s a great value as an individual admission to the museum is over $10. I guess the question is… are people willing to spend $30. For a family of 4, that is an extra $20 plus tax?

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    $1.00 Museum Day for Cystic Fibrosis

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    I’m not sure when this started, but for several years now there has been an annual day for some of the local attractions let locals in for $1 (+ tax I think) and the money is collected for Cystic Fibrosis. This year, the day is Sunday, January 13 from 10 am to 5 pm.

    There are more than a dozen attractions that will be participating:

    1. Ripley’s Believe it or Not!
    2. Guinness World of Records
    3. Haunted House
    4. Brick City
    5. House of Frankenstein
    6. Criminal Hall of Fame
    7. Rock Legends Wax Museum
    8. Tussaud’s Waxworks
    9. Movieland Wax Museum
    10. Fun House
    11. Cosmic Coaster
    12. Ghost Blasters Dark Ride
    13. Bronto’s Adventure Playland
    14. Mystery Maze

    To get the $1 price, you must have proof of Niagara Falls residence.

    Clifton Hill Fun Pass

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    I recently found a Clifton Hill Fun Pass on the ground. This is the combo/extra value pass that is available on the south side of Clifton Hill (the HOCO properties). For $25 you get access to 1 mini-putt (Dinosaur Park or Galaxy Golf), the Movieland wax musuem, the Niagara SkyWheel, the 2 attractions in the Great Canadian Midway (Ghost Blasters and Cosmic Coaster) and some tokens (instead of admission to the Falls Tower Ride). It’s a very good deal and the attractions are fun.

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    Things to do in Niagara Falls: Great Canadian Midway

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    Over the next few entries in this weekly feature, I’m going to write about the 3 arcades that are in the main tourist area. Calling them arcades probably isn’t fair. When I think of an arcade I think of a small dark area crammed with video games and pinball machines. The arcades in the tourist area are giant, open spaces with classic video games, bowling, sports simulators, and more. The 3 operations are the Great Canadian Midway (HOCO Limited), Marvel Superheroes Adventure City (Canadian Niagara Hotels), and SkyQuest (Skylon) (also called Skylon Entertainment Centre or Skylon Fun Centre). To start of the series, I’ll write about the Great Canadian Midway.

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    Prior to 2002, HOCO Limited used to have their Dinosaur Park Miniature Golf and Dazzleland Arcade right at the street on Clifton Hill. When construction started, the miniature golf course was moved to a portion of the Comfort Inn Clifton Hill parking lot, and Dazzleland was taken out entirely. In its place a huge Boston Pizza (largest in Canada) and a 60,000 square foot entertainment complex was built.

    Inside Boston Pizza (the upper level) is a bar and games area called Sports Zone which is essentially a continuaton of the games downstairs. Upstairs are several Bowlingo lanes, a sports simulator (soccer, hockey, pitching, etc) and many other sports-related games. Although there are a couple of things that younger children would enjoy, the games are mostly for the teenager or adult crowd.

    Downstairs is where most of the games are, and this is really what is considered the Great Canadian Midway (GCM for short). It’s quite an impressive site as you walk in and you see such high ceilings lit up and games as far as you can see. There are 2 rides inside the GCM that cost more to go on. Cosmic Coaster (previously called Fun House Express and FX Thrill Ride) is a roller coaster motion simulator and Ghost Blasters is a black-lit ride where you shoot at targets that are ghosts. I’ll cover both of these in future postings.

    There are games for people of all ages. There are games that are very easy that are aimed for the small children. They have miniature versions of some of the more popular games such as Skee-ball that is about 1/3 the size and little basketball hoops. There are the traditional carnival types games such as spraying water at a target to make a boat move along a track, a hammer drop game to see how “strong” you are, and more. There are also many of the “pusher” games that are almost like casino games. These games consist of a platform full of tokens with a small bar constantly pushing at the edge of it. As you drop tokens onto the platform, the pusher may push that token into another token, causing some tokens to fall off the platform. In this case, and in almost all of the other games, you get tickets for how well you do in the game.

    As can be expected, the prizes you get when you redeem the tickets are pretty useless, but everyone still gets excited about it anyway. If you spend enough money and earn enough tickets, there are some big prizes such as DVD players and more.

    Inside GCM is also a snack bar and public washrooms. There is also an entrance to the Wendy’s on Clifton Hill.

    Overall I think that the Great Canadian Midway is a fantastic place to visit. The games are fun and my 2 kids love it. I’d highly recommend it to anyone.

    Niagara Tourism Expo

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    The biggest mall in the Niagara Region is The Pen Centre, located in St. Catharines. This weekend (Saturday and Sunday) they are having a Niagara Tourism Expo. There are many of the regional entertainment destinations that have tables and/or displays setup. HOCO was there promoting their Clifton Hill attractions (they were even giving away free passes to Ghost Blasters or the FX Thrill Ride) as was Ripley’s Entertainment. There was also a table setup promoting Aladdin Jr and Avaia. I also saw displays for Oh Canada Eh? and John Daly‘s Thundering Waters Golf Club.

    The displays are up tomorrow (Sunday) as well, so if you have a chance, stop by and see what’s there. I’ve picked up some material that I will be posting later.

    Complimentary Passes

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    Over the last couple of weeks we’ve received complimentary passes for the following attractions:

    We’ll post our thoughts on each as we go.

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