I've been going to the Castle since I was knee high and my dad could spin a card trick. But he retired and moved out of town and I have my own family so I had to hunt down a guest pass. I couldn't wait to take my daughter so she could experience the magic like I had. We did the brunch of course because that's the only time children are allowed. I have to say this up front, if you're not going to be welcoming and warm to non-members, don't invite us in the first place. We were swiftly ushered into an outside line in the sun the way a warden might direct his prisoners. Upon entering, the very distasteful, freckle-faced girl taking money was either having a bad day or was just a nasty person in general. She never smiled, never looked at us and was snippy with every response to our questions. She and the coatcheck person immediately confiscated my camera (don't they know our phones take pictures now?) shot us over to the door to say Open Sesame but opened it before the words came out of her mouth so she didn't understand what was happening. :(. BTW, Be prepared to spend a small fortune. Non-members pay $8 for parking, $15 to get in and $37 for brunch- per person. Then if you're lucky enough to find a bartender, drinks are about $10. We were told that tickets for the Palace of Mystery would be distributed to our table and that because we weren't members we would be lucky if we got into more shows than that. Again, this dialog took place without eye contact. The noise level escalated as more families arrived. We were treated to a nice array of cold and hot entrees, salads and petite fours. Your meal includes, soft drinks, coffee, ice tea and mimosas. Kids can eat chicken fingers, french fries and waffles ($19). There's also an omelet station and carving station. The scrambled eggs had no flavor and the bacon was bland and chewy but everything else was tasty. The shrimp and lox were fine. The Sunday magic shows are geared toward the little ones and they delighted my daughter. It was her first live magic encounter (she's 6) and they had all the kids in the front two rows, calling them up on stage to assist. The magicians took care to entertain the masses offering loads of jokes that would go right over little heads. We were most impressed watching a 16 year old in the close-up room. The room is specifically for young magicians and they make great role models. We walked through the museum and took in all the surreal magic memorabilia and of course chilled with Irma the piano-playing ghost for a bit. She scared my daughter while charming her with the piano renditions of her favorite Disney princess songs. Some obnoxious tweens stood up and asked for Justin Bieber and Maroon 5 and One Republic and what do you know? She accommodated! Overall, a visit to the Castle is a must, especially if you can ignore being treated like cattle. As we left past the check in, the same woman was being snarky to a guest whose member was already inside. He left briefly to come back with someone else's name because she wouldn't let him in and it seemed to work. I needed to collect my camera and she snipped at me to wait my turn. No tip for you, Lady!
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