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Jim Hill
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Though small in comparison to -- say -- a Univeral Studios Hollywood or a Disney/MGM, there's still plenty of entertainment opportunities to be found on your "Foxploration." These include:

  • Go behind the scenes at a real working movie studio with a walk down Canal Street, an actual film set that depicts a typical street scene in Lower Manhattan.
  • Cinemágico, a series of interactive exhibits which allow "Foxplorers" to experience hands-on movie making. Exhibits here illustrate many of the techniques used in the creation of visual effects, make-up and computer animation.
  • Titanic Expo. This exhibit is the real heart of the "Foxploration" experience. It features hundreds of the props, sets and costumes that were used in the making of the blockbuster film. If you're a "Titanic" nut, this facility alone makes a trip to Fox Studios Baja a "must do" the next time you're in Southern California.

What may make your visit to the "Titanic Expo" gallery particularly memorable is that -- often -- the guided tours in this space are given by Rosarito residents who actually worked as extras on the Cameron film. This folks can give you some great inside stories about what it was like to work on this $200 million production.

  • Xavier's School for the Gifted -- kids (who can sometimes get pretty bored after spending a few hours with Mom & Dad looking at dusty old movie props) finally get to blow off some steam by bouncing around inside an "X-Men" themed play area. This building features a wild array of gadgets that can be used to fire, drop or throw the 50,000 specially designed foam balls found inside this facility. (Just a tip to those who don't like being used for target practice by 10 year old boys: This may be the one part of the "Foxploration" experience you may want to skip.)

The tour also includes a large display of vintage props and costumes used in the creation of classic 20th Century Fox films. Among these is the massive but ornate fountain featured in the dancing-in-the-park sequence from the studio's 1969 release, "Hello, Dolly!" There's also an outdoor amphitheater right nearby where -- on weekends -- local musicians perform.

And -- if that hot Mexican sun gets to be too much -- you can always head to the food court, where you can grab a Coke or a cold Tecate beer. Visitors are also invited to try delectable edibles from Tepoznieves, the famous Tijuana ice cream shop featuring traditional Mexican ice creams and sherbets. Those who are feeling a little less adventurous can munch on pizza from Domino's or grab a sandwich from Subway.

Again, please keep in mind that you're not talking about a theme park version of Tinsel Town here. Fox Studios Baja is a real working movie studio. One that -- in spite of the epic movies that have been filmed here -- is built on a somewhat modest scale. So don't expect to find any thrill rides or stunt shows here. What you will let get to see, though, is some real Hollywood history: the place where "Titanic" -- the highest grossing film in history -- and "Pearl Harbor" -- the film that Disney hopes will eventually out-gross "Titanic" -- were filmed.

Fox Studios Baja -- featuring its "Foxploration" behind-the-scenes tours -- is open to the public:

Summer Hours: Thursday through Monday, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Regular Hours: Thursday through Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Ticket Prices (which include your entrance fee as well as the guided tour):

  • Adults $12.00
  • Seniors $ 9.00
  • Kids 3 through 11 $ 9.00
  • Kids under 3 FREE

To learn more about Fox Studios Baja and its "Foxploration" tours, contact the facility's main office at:

Foxploration
Km 32.5 Carretera Libre Tijuana-Ensenada
Centro Turístico Popotla
Rosarito, B.C., México, C.P. 22710

From U.S. toll free 1 866 FOX BAJA (1 866-369-2252)
Or check out their web site at http://www.foxploration.com/

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Editor's Note: Last month we started a contest to name Jim Hill's column. The winner would receive the Emporer's New Groove DVD. Unfortunately, Jim hasn't been satisifed with any of the entries he's received (though many have given him a chuckle), so he's decided to stick with the simple "Jim Hill Column" for now. We'll randomly pick one of the entrants to receive the DVD and announce it next Tuesday.

-- Jim Hill

Jim Hill can be reached using the Talkback form below or by emailing him at [email protected].

Jim Hill is this guy who lives 'way out in the woods of New Hampshire. (Hey, it's not like he wants to live there. But the Witness Protection Program has got rules, you know.) He has one beautiful daughter and three obnoxious cats. When he's not looking for real work, Jim writes about the Walt Disney Company and related matters for LaughingPlace.com, AmusementPark.com, "Orlando Weekly" and Digital Media FX.

The opinions expressed by Jim Hill, and all of our columnists, do not necessarily represent the feelings of LaughingPlace.com or any of its employees or advertisers. All speculation and rumors about the past decisions and future plans of the Walt Disney Company are just that - speculation and rumors - and should be treated as such.

-- Posted May 22, 2001

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