Petco Park Interactive Zone is a collection of small-scale off site events, all officially a part of San Diego Comic Con, taking place in what is usually a parking lot for baseball enthusiasts headed in to catch a game.
During Comic Con, however, the parking lot is transformed into a whole world of its own. Walking through the Interactive Zone offers a truly bizarre feel – it’s as though you’ve been transported to another world, one where all of your favorite television shows and movies have come to life to form their own mini carnival.
We had a number of media opportunities in the Interactive Zone and had a blast experiencing them – or in one case, literally finding our way through a terrifying maze – to bring back this report. Because the attractions were more small scale than some of the other off-sites, they don’t warrant their own articles. However, combined, they paint an interesting picture of what fans were able to experience, and what you may have missed, from some of this year’s big television shows and movies.
Adult Swim Fun House
This one was a weird one, and it’s the one we started out with. The Adult Swim Fun House was new to San Diego Comic Con last year and made its triumphant return to the Interactive Zone to spread the fun to a whole new year’s worth of attendees. Fans enter through the front of a gigantic bounce-house-looking pink and black castle and are immediately greeted by a number of weird, creepy, and sometimes hilarious actors and characters. Each room has a different theme, some funny, some scary, and some downright odd. Your goal in the Fun House is to find your way through the castle, experiencing different rooms as you choose paths throughout the castle, and eventually finding an exit.
We experienced many rooms, most of which were…. well, weird. A living room featuring a “large” man dressed as a baby. A hallway filled with dozens of human hair ponytails hanging from the ceiling. A mirror maze. A neon-lit mushroom forest. Lots of holes in the walls to put your hand into, feeling disgusting and creepy things.
Seeking our freedom, we finally “lucked out” and found an exit… into a cage. To get out of the cage, you’re forced to sing karaoke. This writer can’t sing and doesn’t do well making a fool of himself in front of crowds, so I played the “I’m media so I need to capture all of this on film” card while I forced one of my writer’s to do the singing for me. Fortunately for him, another group of individuals joined us, grouped up and together sang a Beastie Boys song to win our freedom. It could have been worse – at least we didn’t exit through a cat’s “behind”. (Yes, that’s one of the possible exits.)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Launcher
We received a press release just days before the convention inviting us to come tour and use the Ninja Turtles and Pizza Hut branded tank-sized Pizza Laucher. Naturally it piqued our interest, but due to scheduling conflicts, we weren’t able to arrange an actual tour.
Instead, we stopped by the launcher during our visit to the Interactive Zone and watched several convention goers use the launcher. Sitting atop the pizza-throwing beast, fans can aim and then launch foam pizza at bad guy Ninja Turtles targets. It was a clever promotion, that’s for sure.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For had the most impressive installation at the Interactive Zone, and that was mostly due to the incredible city skyline they had erected behind the numerous old-school cars they brought to showcase.
The skyline provided a backdrop for a number of vintage cars, all parked in a row, each having been featured in the first or second Sin City film. The cars were cool, the backdrop was cooler, and both made for a great photo opportunity.
Fans had a chance to line up to test drive a new racing video game from inside of a brand new car. We didn’t experience this ourselves but several fans who exited the experience seemed to have had a great time.
Another scheduling conflict prevented us from having the time to do this Sleepy Hollow experience, but it still looked nifty. The team behind the television show built a Sleepy Hollow inspired red shed, upon which the Sleepy Hollow logo/town name was painted. In front of the installation were two Headless Horsemen (their costumes were great) taking photos with fans in front of a Sleepy Hollow town sign. Fans could go inside the red Sleepy Hollow barn to experience another virtual reality experience, having to run from the Headless Horseman in the world of Sleepy Hollow.
Other installations were featured in the Interactive Zone, such as the Boxtrolls food truck which sold food cooked with actual bugs. We definitely didn’t try that, but the line for those looking to try the food was quite impressive. Alienware also had a giant game demo SUV set up for fans to enjoy.
Be sure to check out the rest of our SDCC coverage! While these installations seem relatively small, there were some massive off site events we attended and covered at this year’s convention, including the Hunger Games Captiol Gallery, the Game of Thrones: Survive the Realm experience, and more!