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Mystery Lodge

Theme Park Insider Reader Rating: 8 out of 10

Live show

Robert Niles
Editor

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Published: April 15, 2011

Mystery Lodge opened in 1994, one of the last attractions added to Knott's Berry Farm before its sale to Cedar Fair in the mid-1990s. Created by Bob Rogers' BRC Imagination Arts, Mystery Lodge uses a "Holavision" system that Rogers had previously used in the similar "Spirit Lodge" show for the General Motors pavilion at Vancouver's Expo 86 world's fair.

The show takes place in a theater that looks insider a Pacific Northwest Native American longhouse. An elderly storyteller greets you from inside the longhouse, where a fire burns in the middle of the room. As smoke from the fire twists into shapes, the storyteller believes to have seen an owl, a symbol of death. That prompts the man into a reflection upon his life, as he shares stories from his past, which collectively help illustrate the Pacific Northwest Native American experience.

Presented with great reverence, not to mention the "how'd they do that" effects (perhaps using 'Pepper's Ghost'?), Mystery Lodge surprises many Knott's visitors who stumble into the show looking only for a cool place to sit for a few moments. This is the sort of educational, yet effect-laden, show you'd expect to see someplace like Epcot, and not necessarily in what's become known as mostly an iron park.

Robert Niles
Editor
A can't-miss show, with outstanding stagecraft and a compelling message that's too often forgotten in modern life.
Denis Del Bianco
Very Nice show with livre visual effects. A must do.
Ed Miller
Some think that the elder is a hologram (holavision). I say to you he is not. He is a live person/actor who is in the room at the beginning and the end of the show. The technology they use, makes him disappear. I will not spoil the show and tell you how they do it, but the next time you are there, watch carefully.


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