What to Know
Museum of Pinball
$40 Friday, $50 Saturday, $40 Sunday (weekend-long passes available)
Even if you can't remember your ultimate high score on your favorite pinball or arcade machine, and even if you can't remember the music that would play as you pulled the plunger, chances are solid you're a wizard.
Or, at the very least, a pinball wizard in your heart and in your mind, which means you're the sort of person who'd never pass up the chance to throw a coin in the slot when passing a glowing, ding-ding-ing artifact of yore.
But where to pass by hundreds of such machines? And, after paying one price, engage in freeplay on all of them, no slot-feeding coins required?
Answer: the Museum of Pinball in Banning. This is the pinball wonderland that isn't often open to the public, but when it is, it goes full and fabulous tilt, as it will do over the Oct. 19-21 weekend.
That's when Pinball Madness will set in, and, for a single price — a $40 ticket on Friday, a $50 ticket on Saturday, or a $40 on Sunday, or a weekend-long pass — you can try your wizard-powerful skills at an array of pinball and arcade machines, both of the decades-old and today-ish varieties.
Over 1,100 machines in fact, which is an astounding number, and likely bests any arcade any of us have stepped inside, ever.
Adding to the "madness" end of the bulb-blinky bash? A nightly costume contest, oh yeah.
Adding to the late-October-y feel of the pre-Halloween party? An on-the-move magician and a separately ticketed funhouse (which will actually pop up over the final weekend of the month, too).
Pinball people, this event is as huge as cheering on a pal as she goes for her personal high score, and then the high score on the machine, and then maybe the highest score ever for that particular game.
Perhaps, but if you super-dig pinball, you know that going bigger, bigger, biggest is part of the rush.
And speaking of the rush, best rush for a ticket to Pinball Madness now.
It's a few weeks out, but bet that a lot of fans'll make for the San Gorgonio Pass destination, from points all over.
Even now, in fact, bet pinball buffs are planning a full weekend trip at one of the largest arcade scenes around, in the Golden State or beyond. How are your plunger-pulling skills? Still know how to rock a pair of bumpers?
Yep. You're a wizard.