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Exploring an Abandoned Hotel in Southern California
March 31, 2010 4:17 PM   Subscribe

Exploring an Abandoned Hotel in Southern California [via mefi projects]
posted by dunkadunc (66 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
So I'm a bit of Disney Nerd, but is it not supposed to be obvious that this is the queue for the Tower of Terror ride?
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 4:19 PM on March 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


Mirrors on the ceiling? Pink champagne on ice?
posted by darkstar at 4:21 PM on March 31, 2010 [6 favorites]


Was that hotel built to house visiting spaghetti farmers?
posted by Nothing... and like it at 4:21 PM on March 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pink champagne OF TERROR!
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:21 PM on March 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


It does look suspiciously like the tower of terror ride.
posted by Lord_Pall at 4:23 PM on March 31, 2010


How the heck do you get a job as a film location scout? Talk about a sweet gig.
posted by mullingitover at 4:25 PM on March 31, 2010


The last line:

And if you ever have the chance to visit the hotel for yourself someday, I’d avoid the elevators if I were you. They’re very unreliable.

Well, it suckered me in before I came back to read the comments here. Also, the comments there say the same thing.
posted by GuyZero at 4:25 PM on March 31, 2010


It's not suspiciously like it, it is the same ride, I've ridden it dozens of times and taken many of the same photos.

From the blog
From the wiki article for Tower of Terror

Is this an attempt at a day-early April Fools joke?
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 4:26 PM on March 31, 2010


Previously, on LostMetafilter.

It's cool that he's here now. Scouting-ny is an amazing blog and I'm glad to see it getting some more exposure.
posted by kdar at 4:27 PM on March 31, 2010


Why are the lights still on? Who's paying the electricity bill?
posted by Balisong at 4:28 PM on March 31, 2010


so the caretaker makes sure the electricity is still on and the lightbulbs are changed, yet cant sweep away some of those cobwebs?
posted by clarenceism at 4:29 PM on March 31, 2010


Already, huh? Batten the hatches for The Day The Internet Sucks...
posted by rusty at 4:29 PM on March 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Tower of Terror vs. an Abandoned Hotel in Southern California
posted by gman at 4:29 PM on March 31, 2010


dang it, balisong.
posted by clarenceism at 4:30 PM on March 31, 2010


wahwah
posted by anoirmarie at 4:30 PM on March 31, 2010


Damnit.

I'VE BEEN HAD!
posted by dunkadunc at 4:31 PM on March 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


... (sad trombone)
posted by dunkadunc at 4:32 PM on March 31, 2010


Yeah, didn't look nearly as deteriorated as you normally in these abandoned buildings.
posted by delmoi at 4:34 PM on March 31, 2010


this isn't even 3rdrate.
posted by gman at 4:34 PM on March 31, 2010


What a lovely place.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:35 PM on March 31, 2010


At very least, let this be a lesson to all of us not to believe ANYTHING for the next, oh, week or so.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:36 PM on March 31, 2010


Scouting NY has been covered before (1, 2, and 3), it's a keen site. Otherwise, this is kind of shady (unless 3rdrate is actually Scouting NY) and an early April 1st prank.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:39 PM on March 31, 2010


Yay! It's amateur hour in Pranktown!

This* is always the worst day of the year.

*Tomorrow, for many of us.
posted by basicchannel at 4:39 PM on March 31, 2010


See? See? This is what happens when I read the links before the comments! I get my hopes all up and then they get DASHED TO PIECES.
posted by graventy at 4:39 PM on March 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


I, for one, was immediately tipped off by the signs. No way text would be that clear seventy years ago.

Oh, and I've been on the ride, too.
posted by reductiondesign at 4:41 PM on March 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


How the heck do you get a job as a film location scout? Talk about a sweet gig.

Cute story about Brett Haas, who first worked as a scout on Last Of The Mohicans. He was on holiday, wandering around a quaint little town in North Carolina, enjoying the fresh mountain air. Sat down in a park to enjoy the sunshine and the bird song, and something struck him as perfect about the place. He whipped out his big old cellular phone and dialled Robert Zemeckis, a friend of his father's. "Robert," he said, "You have to check this out, I am sitting on the most amazing bench!" Robert flew out right away to look at it, and agreed. And thus the opening scene of Forrest Gump was born.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:43 PM on March 31, 2010 [6 favorites]


I should tell you I also consider Pranktown to be an awful place.
posted by basicchannel at 4:43 PM on March 31, 2010


It's April 1 in Australia.
posted by infinitewindow at 4:48 PM on March 31, 2010


When some random indie band decides to do an album entirely of Eagles covers, these photos should be in the accompanying booklet. Hotel California, indeed!

On reading the comment stream... AAARGH! I thought those tree trunks wrapped around the balcony supports looked all Disney! AAAARGH!
posted by hippybear at 4:48 PM on March 31, 2010


And if you ever have the chance to visit the hotel for yourself someday, I’d avoid the elevators if I were you. They’re very unreliable.

Nice.
posted by mollywas at 4:54 PM on March 31, 2010


Not the frigging VELVET ROPE in the corner of this shot?

Also: 3rdrate isn't ScoutingNY?
posted by dunkadunc at 4:54 PM on March 31, 2010


I saw this this morning on Scout's blog, and halfway through the post, I spent about 20 minutes trying to Google what this hotel was based on the few nuggets of information he let slip. It wasn't until I got to the end that I caught on. Well played sir.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:56 PM on March 31, 2010


It's April 1 in Australia.

Oh, hey, nice going, Sassy Spoilerpants :P
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:05 PM on March 31, 2010


dunkadunc: "... (sad trombone)"

Sad Trombone
posted by Splunge at 5:08 PM on March 31, 2010


This town is coming like a pranktown
All the clubs have been closed down
This place is coming like a pranktown
Bands won't play no more
Too much fighting on the dance floor
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:09 PM on March 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


My thoughts: "Whoa, that's pretty big to be boarded up since 1939....Why's it look all clean? Did they take these pictures after restoring it? Holy shit the luggage is still there! That's crazy! Wait.... It's all been restored. My ass it's been boarded up since 1939. 'Caretaker'? there's a caretaker? who the #$% is the caretaker? " Then I clicked back to metafilter. "Oh this is some Disney thing."
posted by water bear at 5:10 PM on March 31, 2010


When I noticed the spider webs in the lobby, I thought "wait, why wouldn't the caretaker have cleaned up the spider webs?" -- so at least I wasn't wholly taken in. But now I am sad that this isn't real.
posted by davejay at 5:29 PM on March 31, 2010


March 31st day joke. Got me. Nice work.
posted by Rashomon at 5:51 PM on March 31, 2010


This is why I should never do anything on the internet between noon on 3/31 and noon on 4/2. Dang pranksters.
posted by subbes at 6:08 PM on March 31, 2010


That's not nearly as bad a Poisson Rouge's lame April Fools joke. (For anyone following that link after April 1, it is a splash screen stating the site has stopped operating that after about 30 seconds dissolves with the sound of laughter to show the regular site.) It had my 5 year old daughter hysterical and she now refuses to visit the site until they take "the joke" as she calls it down.
posted by TedW at 6:09 PM on March 31, 2010


Oh, feh--the "1917 A.D." font rang such a bum note that I immediately knew this was a hoax. Pull the other one, Scout.
posted by Scram at 6:48 PM on March 31, 2010


*sniff*

Is that the warm smell of Colitis rising up through the air?
posted by sourwookie at 7:04 PM on March 31, 2010


Colitis?

Colitas?

Well, they are full of shit...
posted by TedW at 7:13 PM on March 31, 2010


Damnit.

I'VE BEEN HAD!
posted by dunkadunc


No! You're supposed to say "I thought you guys would see through this pretty quickly; thanks for reaffirming my faith in the MeFi detective squad."
posted by TedW at 7:18 PM on March 31, 2010


I'm putting on the Bioshock soundtrack and turning out the lights.

This should be fun.
posted by toekneebullard at 7:31 PM on March 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


It had me going up until the first lobby shot. Didn't even question the "caretaker keeps the signs in good shape so the place can immediately re-open again" part and took the fire part as it came, but that first lobby picture gave it all away.

This is a pretty cute little post, all things considered, and I bet if this had been done as anything but an April Fool's post, the backlash wouldn't be nearly as severe.
posted by Spatch at 7:35 PM on March 31, 2010


Ha! I wasn't ready for 4/1 just yet.

I LOVE 4/1 and the internet.

Here we go! Wheeeeee!!
posted by toekneebullard at 7:44 PM on March 31, 2010


This is a Bioshock 3 ARG. The obscured text on the 'Keep Out' sign reads "The Management of New Market Assures Trespassers They Will Die Swiftly. This Facility is Not Under Federal Control." All the interior shots and some of the exterior ones are screenshots; all the actual photographs (of the signs etc) contain pieces of a puzzle both in the metadata and in the actual pictures. When solved it points to a 90's-era-design hotel website with a login screen; they haven't been able to find the login details yet but several sections of the website are marked "Under Construction" with seemingly badly-animated signs that look a bit like Big Daddies.

When you play a song over the signs animation, the movement of the hammer/drill highlights certain words from the lyrics like a karaoke machine. If you do this with "Hotel California", it seems to spell out a clue as to where/how the next part of the ARG will happen, although there's some argument over exactly which words are picked. So far they've only got the starting section: "We're no strangers to love / You know the rules and

so

do

I
posted by Drexen at 7:55 PM on March 31, 2010


Silly me. I read the whole thing thinking "that sure looks like the tower of terror. I guess that's where Disney ripped it off from."

Ha!
posted by DrumsIntheDeep at 8:14 PM on March 31, 2010


I Stumbled this earlier and was surprised and faintly contemptuous that the other Stumblers who had left comments at that point seemed to be completely taken in. That's the problem with Metafilter: it's difficult to keep up the warm feeling of superiority one gets when strolling through the more populous highways of the internet.

(Can one stroll through a highway? Is it a mixed metaphor? Will people notice? See, that's what I'm talking about.)
posted by frobozz at 8:32 PM on March 31, 2010


Oh joy, April 1. Now with their advantage of the Internet, I have idiots from around the globe trying to annoy me.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:52 PM on March 31, 2010


Oh, feh--the "1917 A.D." font rang such a bum note that I immediately knew this was a hoax. Pull the other one, Scout.

Yeah, completely wrong. That plus the faux weathering of the stucco exposing completely effed-up brick courses with bad mortaring, the stucco texture itself (not actually weathered in any way), the tools hung up outside the tool shed next to a faux-finish trash receptacle... all wrong.

I was disappointed, to say the least.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:09 PM on March 31, 2010


Now if you need anything, anything at all, just pick up your personal in-room telephone and talk to me. My name is Chet. Although we do provide privacy for the residential guests, we are also a full-service hotel including complementary shoeshine. My name is Chet!
posted by kirkaracha at 10:21 PM on March 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was tipped off by the signs, too.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:03 AM on April 1, 2010


I was totally suckered when I saw this yesterday, and also spent about fifteen minutes googling trying to find the location, wondering how the hotel could have a magnificent view of the Pacific and also be situated amidst "Southern California's newest suburbs." And I still didn't catch on when Google turned up nothing! "Oh, well, I guess the internet missed this disaster that killed 50 rich and famous people in 1939."
posted by something something at 9:46 AM on April 1, 2010


I was tipped off by the fake stucco holes, the vines, and that stupid story about luggage and then confirmed by that little elevator bit at the end.
posted by ghharr at 10:25 AM on April 1, 2010


Tipped off that a caretaker would risk his job to allow the friend of a friend to take and publish photographs of the caretaker's presumably unique workplace.

Also, WHO could resist opening those suitcases?? Not me.

These gloves would be dirty and moth-eaten, no? If dust is inside that glass case, then mites and bugs too?

Also, giant chunks of (non-Spanish Revival style) embellishments like this? Where the heck did they fall from?--the stucco building that looks newer and cleaner than most of the 1960's stucco all over So. California? And that square, public amenities-style (as opposed to metal, cylinder) trashcan near the shed? And the quaint tableaux*?

*The idea that people escaping from a fire would first neatly fold their coats and replace their teacups and stemware onto their trays beside the neatly tucked newspaper seems to me a caricature of "Class" that I'm not sure more suggests that "olden days people" (especially the wealthy ones) WERE JUST BETTER, or the Hieronymus Bosch-Meets-Norman Rockwell Disney magic that although the past was treacherous and dangerous (thus we're so lucky to have a frozen banana on a stick while riding on this conveyor belt), there were still plenty of AW, SHUCKSY moments to let you know what's really important is keeping a smile in our hearts.

I wanted to believe!!!
posted by applemeat at 4:19 PM on April 1, 2010


Oh hell, I don't believe I fell for this...especially since I was at this very theme park, and on this very ride, last SUNDAY...

I guess that's why I was looking at the pictures and thinking "why does that look familiar?...yeah, that IS something you'd expect to see on a movie set...huh..." I suppose if I'd stood in line for a bit and looked around at the lobby instead of grabbing my FastPass and running right up the stairs, I would have caught on at the first indoor picture.

And the part about the end about the "unreliable elevators", GAH.

Still...well played.
posted by zbaco at 9:28 PM on April 1, 2010


Ha, man some of you guys took this soooo seriously! I swear, the idea that ANYONE would nitpick this to prove it as a hoax (1917 font = inaccurate - Wow! The scrutiny of the Bush draft dodger files!) was never in mind when I wrote it. I honestly thought a comment like this - "I was tipped off by the fake stucco holes, the vines, and that stupid story about luggage and then confirmed by that little elevator bit at the end." would actually just read "I was tipped off when I saw the first picture and realized it was the Tower of Terror." I mean the entire thing is ridiculous!

Next time, I'll just post the Zapruder film and you guys can explain the whole magic bullet thing. ;)

Nick the Scout
posted by 3rdrate at 9:55 PM on April 1, 2010


Dude, not everyone knows what the Tower of Terror looks like. It's not quite the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty or something.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:23 AM on April 2, 2010


p.s. Dude, Digg is over here.
posted by applemeat at 6:05 AM on April 2, 2010


man, i saw this the other day when i was looking at mefi on my phone and i was all like "oh man i LOVE pics of urban spelunking!!!" and i was just waiting for a good time to settle in that old pc for some uninterrupted abandoned building voyeurism.

i have never been on the tower of terror ride either (or to CA for that matter).

but i got very suspicious with the first photo of the 1917 plaque... it just looked too new and clean, even for a caretaker.

a good joke i guess but hey 3rdrate - why don't you try not being such a dick about us dweebs not getting your prank?

i was ok with being had until i got to your comment. now you've made me angry at people i don't know (you) on internet and i haven't had any coffee yet.
posted by sio42 at 6:25 AM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not angry! Read the above quote and imagine a faceless stranger smiling rather than glaring and yelling.
posted by 3rdrate at 8:56 AM on April 2, 2010


We didn't think you were angry, we thought you were laughing at us.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:17 AM on April 2, 2010


Not at all, was just defending myself for not putting together a more airtight hoax. Next year...
posted by 3rdrate at 9:25 AM on April 2, 2010


All right. No hard feelings then.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:02 PM on April 2, 2010


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