by Adam Fagenson
Nestled in a warehouse in Downtown Los Angeles, Bucket Listers and Superfly created The Family Guy Experience. On the heels of successes like the Malibu Barbie Café and the Outside Lands Music Festival, the immersive experience giants collaborated for an amusing visit for both average Joes and seasoned Family Guy fans. The experience is the brainchild of Derek Berry, Bucket Listers’ Head of Experiences. While he enjoyed creating The FRIENDS Experience, he emphasized how he wanted his next project to feature “something to do” besides just snapping photos with props and set pieces– and Giggity Golf provides exactly that. Referencing his collaboration with Superfly, Berry notes, “We pride ourselves on creating experiences that our community of 15 million+ fans won’t find anywhere else. The opportunity to partner up on the creation of this concept was a no-brainer. There couldn’t be a better dream team.” Sure, the Family Guy Experience has plenty of spots to snag goofy pictures for Instagram. The tongue-in-cheek gags and unique dining options make their experience worth the twenty-seven dollars for admission. Let’s dive in– we promise not to spoil the experience too much.
A meticulously designed minigolf course consumes the majority of the space. Undoubtedly the biggest draw for the event, each of the nine holes features a well-loved Family Guy scene or setting. An interactive greatest hits of the series’ most memorable locales, the first half of the holes take place inside the warehouse. Here, putters play through life-sized recreations of the Griffin living room (with a working television), Chris Griffin’s room (Evil Monkey included– a must-see), Stewie’s room (featuring one of his inventions, made interactive), and more. QR codes stand at the start of every whole; each plays a scene from Family Guy on your phone to keep you in the know or entertain you while waiting for the party in front of you to finish putting.
The outdoor section of the golf course puts guests into a bird’s-eye view of the famous Spooner Street in Quahog, Rhode Island. One of the trickier holes to putt roams near tiny recreations of the Griffin house and those of the Quagmire, Brown, and Swanson houses– with miniature characters to boot. Although Quagmire is notably present in the hole, none of his adult-oriented crimes are present. The space is kid-friendly enough for parents wanting to visit the experience without risking their kids seeing something they shouldn’t.
While each outdoor hole holds a wow factor, the eighth hole is truly the hole to remember– a recreation of the kick-line finale from the series’ intro theme. It serves as the finale for the course except for Hole 9, which is purposefully prohibitively challenging. Be ready for a Meg encounter there if you even notice the hole.
The Drunken Clam and Eat My Junk
The second-biggest draw to The Family Guy Experience has to be The Drunken Clam, another impeccable recreation from the show. For those looking for Griffin-esque brews and fun cocktails, this is the place to go. Although the bar sits away from the seating area, it’s a fantastic recreation of the Drunken Clam of the show, with a dartboard, wall banners, and T-shirts for purchase.
If you’re hungry, the Eat My Junk Food Truck is a few steps away after the golf course. The menu features dishes accurate to Peter Griffin’s taste in food, including a few of his greatest inventions, such as Hamburgers with Jelly Donuts as Buns and Hot Dogs as Straws, also conveniently life-sized. Also featured are Panini Car Sandwiches– surprisingly more palatable than combining a hot dog with Cadbury eggs and peanut butter cups may sound at face value.
Making It “An Experience”
Even if you’re not a Family Guy fan, there is a wealth of funny details scattered about are sure to make you laugh. Probably the most enticing amongst them is the “Do Not Push Button” made famous early in Family Guy’s run. Pressing the button won’t lead you to being karate-chopped and thrown to the floor, but something happens– you’ll have to find out for yourself.
The course’s soundtrack isn’t full of in-show cues. Instead, it’s a slew of references to songs mentioned in the show– everything from Peter singing “Axel F” from Beverly Hill Cop to David Bowie and Mick Jagger’s “Dancing in the Street” make those who “know” appreciate the craftsmanship from Bucket Listers’ and Superfly’s artists even more. If you’re anticipating a cheap playthrough with heartless plywood cutouts, this is hardly that; every square inch is painted, sculpted, and serves to make the experience one worth a visit for an entertaining thing to do for anyone in Greater Los Angeles.
How to Get There
The Family Guy Experience is located at 613 Imperial Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, near the Arts District. Online reservations are open and available from September 27th through November 15th. Street parking for the event may be difficult– although a flat-rate facility is available two blocks away for $12. The Family Guy Experience is an All-Ages event, although younger kids may not get many references to the raunchier aspects of the show. After 9:00, the space only allows those aged twenty-one and over. If you want to catch up on current Family Guy episodes, the twenty-second season is now underway on the Fox Network. Previous seasons are available on Hulu, Freeform, and FXX on the following day.
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- Web Page: Family Guy Experience (Bucketlisters)