Creators of fantasy worlds capture the hearts of viewers and gamers in countless ways. These worlds are innovative, visually stimulating, skillfully crafted down to the finest of details; so many different aspects draw our attention. Over the years, one prevailing force that adults love and seem to not get enough of is the nostalgia factor. Whether we collect vintage toys, watch classic movies, read some fun facts of 20 year old television shows or play old-school video games, we look for ways to please our child at heart.
Wouldn't it be great if we could travel into those fantasy worlds that we grew up loving as kids? And not just visiting a theme park attraction. Imagine if you could ride a dragon, fly through space, swing from tree to tree, or gallop your way through your old time favorites for whatever reason you choose. That's what this article is all about! So pack up your plastic Ninja Turtles lunch box, strap on a pair of moon shoes over your pumps, hop on your hover board so you don't miss the Magic School Bus to infinity and beyond with me to my top 5 locations for the ultimate kid fantasy tour.
Sidenote: I'm going under the impression that once you get to these places, you blend into the surroundings to assimilate to the optimum level and hope that you will do the same as you imagine yourself in these locations.
The X-Mansion (X-Men)
Whether you're a boy, girl, white, black, blue, green, or orange; I don't think there has ever been a child alive who has not wondered what it would be like to be a superhero or have special powers. I for one always fantasized about what it would be like to possess supernatural gifts even to this day (personal favorite being energy blasts). In the world of the X-Men, almost every power you can imagine exists: telepathy, ice powers, healing abilities, teleportation, shape shifting; you name it, it's there (....probably).
Now just because I have powers, doesn't mean I have complete mastery over them. And even if I did, why would I want to put myself at life-threatening danger just to see what I can do? Solution: The Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. Small perk: basic education. Big perk: Learning how to use your powers both in the classroom and the biggest test of all - The Danger Room. I can't tell you how many times I've thought up different scenarios of going through a Danger Room course and training till my power level was well over 9,000. To go to a place where I can train to be the best like no one ever was would be awesome to say the least.
Hogwarts (Harry Potter)
Anyone who knows me may find it odd that I've added not one school to this list but two; but honestly, Hogwarts is a must see for almost anyone and everyone. Harry Potter has one of the biggest fan followings whether people are fans of the books, movies, both, or Emma Watson, there's a lot of things to love about this franchise. Hogwarts itself has so many attractions, it's hard to pinpoint what the best one would be to witness up close and personal. Here's a list of things I would love to see/do if I were to be at Hogwarts:
- play a game of quidditch on the field
- explore the various secret passages behind the paintings
- play a game of Marco Polo in the chamber of secrets
- have a sparring duel in the great hall
- go through the 7 underground chambers that held the sorcerer's stone
- grab a butter beer at the Hog's Head Inn
- attempt parkour on the moving staircases
- drag race with flying cars through the forbidden forest and around the Whomping Willow Fast and Furious style
The list can go on and on but I figured I don't want to be a complete tourist with my visit.
Speaking of being a tourist, this is one place where I wouldn't mind doing the typical touristy cliches of taking picture after picture and bust out that obnoxious selfie stick that seems to be everywhere nowadays. Jurassic Park was meant to be a theme park attraction and seems to have kept its high curb appeal with yet another movie coming out more than a decade after the first installment.
In my younger years, dinosaurs were everything. The names of dinosaurs were my first 4+ syllable words to understand. Instead of inspiring to be a policeman, doctor or fireman, I wanted to become a paleontologist/archaeologist so I could discover new dinosaurs. But to see real life dinosaurs? That was literally THE dream in my younger years (and still to this day, to an extent). If I could stand on top of a triceratops wearing my Blue Ranger costume while holding out my prop power-morpher is just one of many top-geek-out bucket list dreams.
Toontown (Who Framed Roger Rabbit)
Growing up in the 90's, Saturday morning cartoons was the best thing to look forward to once the weekend rolled around. Cartoons in general consisted of probably 70% of the movies and television content I watched. From the classics of The Flintstones and Scooby-Doo, to 90's toons such as Rugrats, Animaniacs and Hey Arnold, I watched them all and loved every minute of them. However, as a kid I always questioned why I rarely, if ever, saw my favorite characters crossover into other shows. Sure there were some overlap (the numerous times in Animaniacs and Tiny Toons for example), but not enough to quench my thirst for more crossover adventures.
With that in mind, I was ecstatic when I saw such a place did exist in the world of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. For those unfamiliar with this movie, first of all: WATCH IT IMMEDIATELY. Second: this movie took place in a world where toons and humans lived in the same universe. Out of work characters like Betty Boop got normal jobs, while others like Dumbo would be under contract to work for a different company for an amount of time. The big thing that this movie brought us were the crossovers between Disney and Warner Bros. Scenes with Daffy and Donald Duck trading comedic blows, Bugs and Mickey exchanging witty banter, it was cartoon/movie that probably would not happen today where everything is politics and "who owns the right to what." How cool would it be now to have see a brain off between Dexter and Jimmy Neutron, a game of capture the flag between the Recess crew and the Rocket Power crew, a showdown between Pokemon and Digimon, and countless other counterpart match ups. To be able to explore a world like that where EVERY cartoon character lives, jokes, and breathes would be everything a kid could ask for.
Halloweentown (Nightmare Before Christmas)
As a kid, the most exciting time of the year (besides your birthday) were holidays. Even as adults we look forward to those special days where we have an excuse to let loose and enjoy some much needed time away from the everyday stresses of normal life. One of the best holidays (and one of my personal favorites) is Halloween. The only time of year where you can dress up as whatever you want and are rewarded with candy for doing so. The day where the creepy and scary come out in full force and are welcomed with (mostly) open arms and the "weirdos" who enjoy such things are loving every minute of it.
Much like how people have a set of movies that are a must watch around Christmas time (mine being Elf and How the Grinch Stole Christmas), I have to watch Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas once October rolls around (heck, even for Christmas too). This movie really captured the essence of what Halloween was when I was little. The creepy characters, the oddities that were deemed normalcy, even just the song "This is Halloween" playing in my head while writing this article gets me in the mood. Not only can you explore the Halloween World but venture into the forest and what do you find? Magic portals that take you to all the other holiday worlds, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, all of them are at your disposal! All the big holidays (American holidays) are at your finger tips. I would love to take home some souvenirs from my trip in the form of Cupid's bow and arrow, the Easter Bunny's basket, St. Patty's pot of gold, a Thanksgiving turkey and Santa sack load of Independence Day fireworks for a super-mega Holiday-Day.
So there you have it! My ultimate kid fantasy tour! Hope you enjoyed the ride and thought it would be just as awesome as I would. Got something on your mind, leave it in the comments!