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Monday, July 22, 2024

a visit to the forgotten fantasy

also during spring break, we scooped up the bean’s bestie and headed out to l.a. for a super fun outing.

luna luna originally opened in 1987 in hamburg, germany.  an artist named andre heller worked with 30 up-and-coming artists to customize rides and attractions and created this hybrid of art museum/amusement park that was only open to the public for one summer.  it was all packed up into 44 shipping containers and then somehow ended up in texas, lost for thirty years.

apparently, drake (yes, that drake) heard about it and decided that the world needed to see all of these works of art.  he got together with live nation and invested $100 million to acquire all of those shipping containers - unopened, basically sight unseen - and then put a team together to crack ‘em all open and get to work on restoring the pieces.  the first container they opened was packed full of merch - posters and shirts that had largely remained intact aside from a few pieces that had been destroyed by some kind of critters and/or weather.  and then as they continued going through the containers, they discovered more and more pieces from the lost theme park.  

it took two years for the team to reconstruct what they could, and almost 40 years after it originally opened, luna luna was once again available for the public to view and enjoy.  because of the fragility of the pieces, you can’t actually ride anything.  but it is really cool just to be able to walk around and look at it all.

there were storage lockers available, housed in one of the original shipping containers.

since their l.a. run was winding down, i’d chosen tickets for the time slot right when they opened for the day.  and sure enough, there was already a sizable line of people waiting to get in.  no worries, though.  the venue was pretty big, and there was lots of room to spread out.

and just as we’d anticipated, the exhibit was bright and colorful and lots of fun to explore.

it was weird and wonderful and fascinating, even for an art dullard like me.

there was a fun scavenger hunt that we played along with - for awhile, anyway.

this was originally a live performance that had people behind the wall, farting to make music.  here, with the restored artwork, they showed videos (with sound, of course) of what it was like back in 1987.

there was an entire wall covered in a chronological timeline of significant events in the world of art.  as you would expect, i zeroed in on all of the disney references.

there was a section dedicated to sharing the story of how the artifacts were found and restored, along with examples of the merchandise that had been recovered.  

the wedding chapel was open and available for ceremonies.  i briefly debated marrying the handbag i was carrying, but ultimately decided against it. heh.

the salvador dali piece was one of the few interactive displays that you could actually walk into.

to go with the farting exhibit, this seemed to be a piece dedicated to…poop.

the luna luna pavilion was covered in art by roy lichtenstein and contained a glass labyrinth that we were allowed to walk very carefully through.

this puppeteer strolled through the whole venue with various marionettes that the kids in attendance were fascinated by.

and that was it.

of course, there was a gift shop at the end.  you could buy one of those salvaged t-shirts from 1987, if you wanted to:

the bean picked up this super bizarre plush monkey butt.

and we snagged some souvenir tees and a couple of other things, too.

after all, if you don’t bring home some official merch, did you even go?

a visit to the forgotten fantasy

also during spring break, we scooped up the bean’s bestie and headed out to l.a. for a super fun outing. luna luna originally opened in 198...