We are at The Bite LA Holiday, and I clutch a cloth sno-ball in my hand, primed for the next snowman to show itself. We slowly pull up alongside an illuminated igloo, a projection of snowfall dancing on the side. The Tran-Siberian Orchestra’s “Wizards in Winter” hums through my body, my heart pulsing with the drums. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I see a snowman with a bandana and a mischievous grin pop up from behind a makeshift wall. I aim my sno-ball, and let it fly.
The Bite LA Holiday
The Bite LA Holiday, produced by Meyer2Meyer (House of Spirits), returns to Legg Lake, and maintains the high quality of immersion and craftsmanship from Halloween’s extraordinary The Bite LA. The one-to-two-hour (depending on initial wait time to enter, and the speed of the cars ahead) drive-thru experience has guests slowly driving continuously through four distinct areas: the Snowman Sno-Ball Fight, Holiday Gnome Village, Stocking Stuffer Sweets Crawl, and Stories and Songs with Santa – each with its own dedicated radio station, theming, characters, and interactivity.
Like previous Meyer2Meyer events, The Bite LA Holiday is anything but traditional. Attendees won’t find typical holiday iconography, like a nativity scene or even many Christmas trees, but guests will marvel at the intricately designed sets, surprising characters, and delicious sweets. This is one of, if not the, best winter drive-thru experience.
Snowman Sno-Ball Fight
Starting off The Bite LA Holiday is the Snowman Sno-Ball Fight. Here, each guest receives a bag with three cloth sno-balls to throw at live snowmen hiding in the area. The snowmen, each with its own personality (one was dressed in cammo, while another looked like a ninja), hide among inflatable igloos awash in lights, playfully interacting with the cars and egging guests on. Small backdrops are utilized for projection imaging reminiscent of snowfall to enhance the atmosphere, and the rock covers of Christmas classics on the radio get guests pumped up. The sno-ball fight is a surprisingly fun (and difficult from inside a car) activity to include in the experience.
Holiday Gnome Village
The next stop in The Bite LA Holiday is a hidden gnome village called Winkle. Guests are greeted by an in-character guide that excitedly describes the Winkles that live in the village – they look like large mushrooms with long, grey beards – and encourages attendees to listen and look out for them along the trail up ahead.
Reminiscent of Meyer2Meyer’s 420-friendly Kaleidoscope Experience, the Winkle area is trippy, weird, and simply adorable – even though it doesn’t fully fit within the overall “holiday” theme. The impressively fleshed-out story of the Winkles plays over the radio like a nursery rhyme, and the multi-colored lights sparkle and camouflage the Winkles hiding among the larger-than-life mushroom decorations. The Winkles themselves come to energetic life when spotted, bringing smiles to passersby. They titter and dance as guests wave, occasionally honking a hand-held horn in their excitement. This unique area and the lively creatures within are sure to delight the kids – and even adults (like myself) – in your car.
Stocking Stuffer Sweets Crawl
The main portion of The Bite LA Holiday is the Stocking Stuffer Sweets Crawl. Here, guests pass through nine different stations, receiving their pre-selected choice of dessert item from the menu. Much like The Bite at Halloween, each station is a beautiful set brought to life with a live performer in an intricate costume. Every actor engages with guests in their own way, perfectly reflecting their character and inviting attendees into a slice of their world. An ornament dances shyly around an ornate library; a Scrooge-like character grumbles to guests about being woken up, oblivious to the ghostly figures behind him; a yeti briskly moves around its igloo in fits and starts, no wonder my camera couldn’t get a good photo of the enigmatic creature; and a quirky toy-maker tinkers around his shop, asking if he was the one who made my phone. Each character tells a story in the brief time it takes to pass a snack through the car window with a basket.
Did I mention this is a Sweets Crawl? At each of the nine stations, guests will receive their choice of dessert from a menu given upon entrance. While guests can pick from any of the three lists, the Naughty menu is for guests who are a more exploratory with their tastes (mini egg-nog cupcake); the Nice menu is for more traditional bites (chocolate cupcake); and the third menu options are Gluten/Vegan-free (ginger snap cookie). All of the bites are passed via a basket through the car window, alternating sides, and individually wrapped. While this strategy is likely easiest due to safety and sanitary precautions, we do miss the warm, fresh-made treats from Halloween; a warm chocolate chip cookie would be a nice inclusion. However, it’s a pleasure to be able to save these pre-packaged items for later in the week, as there is so much wonderful food to enjoy!
The Sweets Crawl also comes with decorative stockings for each guest to collect their treats in, and the choice of either hot chocolate or hot apple cider. Some of the delicious treats to choose from include a rich cinnamon donut bite, mini-peppermint cupcake, chocolate and caramel pretzel, a sweet-and-salty brown butter rice crispy treat, and a decadent Peruvian chocolate brown, among others.
Stories and Songs with Santa
The Bite LA Holiday concludes with a drive-in-style parking lot with a large screen projecting Christmas music videos, stories, and more. A live performer, dressed as Santa, interacts with the programming on the screen, while guests can park, relax, and enjoy their treats safely. The Stories and Songs with Santa portion is best for younger kids, who might have already eaten all their sweets by this point and are in need of more entertainment. Adults and the driver can either enjoy the pre-recorded entertainment over the radio as well or are free to leave. The Stories and Songs with Santa video is about a twenty-minute video loop, so guests shouldn’t see anything repeat during their dessert.
The Bite LA Holiday is experienced from inside your car, with your windows down and masks up. The performers, ushers, and security also wear masks, but there are a lot of items being passed between the car and outside. All of the desserts on the Sweets Crawl are pre-packaged and individually wrapped, passed between the costumed (masked and gloved) characters via a basket through the car’s window. As mentioned earlier, there are nine different stops where guests will receive some kind of item. While The Bite LA Holiday appears to be doing all it can to be Covid-safe, please take this into consideration when purchasing your tickets.
The Bite LA Holiday is a successful and non-traditional celebration of the winter season. Meyer2Meyer maintains their reputation of stunning and imaginative creature designs, and thematic and immersive entertainment. While the wait of The Bite LA Holiday might be long upon entrance, the experience more than makes up for it in delicious treats, wonderful atmosphere, and playful encounters. The Bite LA Holiday is a must-do!
Check out The Bite LA‘s website for more information; purchase tickets HERE. For more winter entertainment, bookmark our Los Angeles Holiday Guide; for events to enjoy from the safety of your own home, follow our Remote Immersive Experiences Guide.