Carnival games fill Dungeon with fun

You have to understand how weird it is for me (an adult male with no kids) to go to the Fun Dungeon at Excalibur.

The Fun Dungeon (Fungeon, anyone?) is a permanent carnival of midway games. Spray water into a frog’s mouth to win a stuffed animal. Throw darts at balloons to earn a space alien doll.

As much as I like the Fungeon, I always feel as if people are staring at me, as if I were Michael Jackson, like: What’s that grown man doing around these kids?

For that reason, I never go alone. My mother and I took my nephew there. He never wanted to leave.

I took a date there once and won a giant stuffed elephant by knocking over three toy blocks with the toss of a little beanbag.

(The secret to knocking over three blocks with a beanbag is by throwing like a boy. Adults throw with feet planted parallel to the platform. But to win, try throwing like a kid on a pitcher’s mound: the wind up, the stretch, the strike.)

Call me crazy, but I love carnival games. And maybe you adults can relate to this: It always makes me think of happy memories.

For me, the Fungeon recalls the time my great-aunt Jessie took me to a carnival in rural Arkansas when I was a kid. I won a radio by winning and yelling “bingo.” It was a terrible radio, but a win is a win.

(Jessie, a World War II nurse, then drove me to a restaurant where red telephones graced the tables, for us to call waitresses for more ketchup. The world seemed wondrous that day.)

Then there was the time, a few years ago at the Santa Monica Pier carnival, when I won a giant Peter doll (Peter from “Family Guy”) for an actress named Kelly Carlson from the TV show “Nip/Tuck.” Yeah, she’s stinking hot.

I threw a softball at milk jugs after she asked me to win her that Peter doll. I zestfully made a fool of myself, handing the prize to her cloyingly. She looked horrified, but still hot.

And Fungeon always makes me think of the movie “The Jerk,” in which Steve Martin works as a goofy carny and sings with Bernadette Peters a love song: “I know, with the dawn, that you will be gone, but tonight, you belong to me.” (Then Bernadette Peters pulls out a trumpet, logically, and plays a solo.)

Little things have changed at the Fun Dungeon. The beanbag-toss wins you a big “Angry Birds” bouncy ball. The game of shooting water into a ship’s mouth gets you a stuffed skunk, or maybe it’s a cat, or a beaver, or some other stuffed animal of undetermined origin.

As always, there’s the Whac-a-Mole, air hockey, ring toss, video games, and tickets to redeem for a Nintendo Wii (30,000 tickets) or a Tootsie Roll (five tickets).

So, since it’s sort of a family-friendly holiday week — and families often ask me where to take kids — I think you should consider the Fun Dungeon, as long as you’re not a Michael Jackson.

Doug Elfman’s column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Email him at delfman@reviewjournal.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Famous Infinity Mirror Room is open in Las Vegas
Yayoi Kusama's "Aftermath of Obliteration of Infinity" mirror room is open at the Bellagio in Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Glittering Lights dazzles Las Vegas
The Glittering Lights holiday display is shining at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Mat Luschek/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Skybar at Waldorf Astoria lets you sip your way through Las Vegas history
Skybar At Waldorf Astoria Lets You Sip Your Way Through Las Vegas History (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Stan Lee in Las Vegas for Madame Tussauds unveiling
Stan Lee Las Vegas speaks with the Review-Journal's Chris Lawrence about his love for his fans and shared universes. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ultimate Belgium Waffle Sundae at Lavo
Lavo at the Palazzo serves a 16-scoop ice cream sundae that costs $800. (Rochelle Ricahrds, Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A New Zip Line Is Opening On The Las Vegas Strip
A New Zip Line Is Opening On The Las Vegas Strip (Janna Karel lLas Vegas Review-Journal)
You'll need a keen eye to find this secret bar on the Las Vegas Strip
You'll need a keen eye to find this secret bar on the Las Vegas Strip (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"The Lion King" roars into Las Vegas
New music club 172 brings loud luxury to Las Vegas
New music venue at the Rio brings rock ’n’ roll and food together at intimate club. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fans fear for Zak Bagans’ safety in Las Vegas Halloween TV special
Fly Linq zip line time lapse
Fly Linq zip line timelapse
Shaq opens Las Vegas restaurant, Big Chicken
Shaq opens Las Vegas restaurant, Big Chicken
Robert Deniro And Chef Nobu Talk About The Success Of Nobu
Robert Deniro And Chef Nobu Talk About The Success Of Nobu (Al Mancini Las Vegas Review-journal)
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center (Janna Karel/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recycled Art and Cute Dogs at Summerlin Festival Of Arts
Recycled Art, Cute Dogs Abound At Summerlin Festival Of Arts (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like