Saturday, October 18, 2014

Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns - going to see thousands of carved pumpkins as Descanso Gardens

Welcome to Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns at Descanso Gardens. To get into the Halloween spirit, I threw out the invite to all our friends to join Theresa, Ian and I to go see over 5000 carved pumpkins. As usual, Jacob and Ruston were quick to accept!

We braved Friday afternoon traffic driving through downtown Los Angeles and made our way to the gardens. The entry to the event is timed which will hopefully keep the crowds down.

Always early to everything, Jacob had enough time to grab us all dinner. We sat outside the gardens at the picnic tables while we watched the sun set and got ready to go see the pumpkins.

Let's head inside!

This way. There is loud spooky Halloween music playing in the background.

The first table we see are a couple carvers showing people how they create these cool jack-o-lanterns. This is where we ran into the first traffic jam as well. It probably wasn't a great idea to bring the stroller. It's dark and people could not easily see it.

Next we came across these beautiful "flowers" with bulbs and leaves made from pumpkins.

The grounds are scattered with tons of these funny face pumpkins. I'm sure that's how they're getting up to 5000 pumpkins.

We continue until we see our first scene with the Invasion of the Jack O'Lanterns.

I like the wall of pumpkins back there with a space ship carved out of it.

Next we see a model of the solar system.

Time to see some really detailed carvings. Video Games is the first set.

I really like the detail on some of these. The Mario Kart and Link pumpkins especially.

A pumpkin tree.

Spooky skeletons rising from their graves.

A sea monster pokes its head out of a fountain.

Mother Goose watches as Humpty Dumpty sits on a wall.

Next were a set of pumpkins from lots of superhero and fantasy movies. Of course Frozen was represented. Of course there's Anna and Elsa, but I was happy to see Marshmallow too.

And Spider-Man looks pretty awesome.

Next we're headed to Hollywood Blvd. Each of these pumpkins has its own star underneath it.

How many do you recognize?

So many there's even a second part.

I spy dinosaurs behind you! Good thing Ian's safely asleep.

Whaaaa? He's too excited to sleep!

A giant tyrannosaurs.

These giant carvings were pretty sweet!

Kardashians huh?


We run across a few heads preserved in liquid.

And find a few more skeletons.

Now these are the kinds of pumpkins I think I could do.

Following the path we run into Dorothy and her friends with the yellow brick road and Emerald City in the background.

I had to see how they actually do these pumpkins. I turned on my flash and lit up the surfaces to see what was going on. Plenty of other people were using their flashes while taking pictures, so I didn't feel bad.
Alright these are obviously fake pumpkins. That was disclosed on the website that they wouldn't all be real. The outside looks to have some sort of black stencil on it and that's what you're really seeing. I wonder how much carving there really is to these.

Next we see a tribute to LA Sports.

Maleficent shows up.

And here's a Chinese calendar.

Almost finished. The cast of The Big Bang Theory shows up.

And finally there is a tribute to some of the people we've lost this year. It was titled "In Memory".

And that's it. By the way, the employees will not take a photo for you. You'll have to rely on the kindness of strangers.

So, what's my review of The Rise? Tickets were a little expensive at $28 per person. If you were willing to show up later in the night they could be had for $16 a piece. It was nice that entry times were staggered, but I think we all felt it was a little bit crowded, especially with a stroller. To walk through everything took us a little under an hour. Overall, I think it was a little pricy, but obviously there is enough demand to justify it. I'm happy that I went to see it, but I don't think I'll be back next year.
I am inspired to create my own soon!

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