The Bite LA Brings Together Food, Creatures and a Lake for the 2020 Haunt Season

The Bite LA 2
Photo by Jessica Peralta

As part of the continual evolution of the drive-through haunt experience for Halloween 2020, The Bite LA has entered with a unique food crawl experience. 

A little bit drive-through, somewhat drive-in and a whole lot of monster, The Bite LA Halloween Food Crawl & Creature Safari offers haunt-goers an immersive, food-filled experience where they are literally served by ghouls. Clad in elaborate costuming, these creatures maintain a safe distance with the help of long-handled baskets where pre-packaged food is distributed right to your car’s window. The crawl takes place around the scenic Legg Lake at Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in South El Monte.

The Bite LA 5
The Bite LA takes place at Legg Lake at Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in South El Monte. / Photo by Jessica Peralta

“We knew that COVID was going to play a major role in any plans made this season,” said Justin Meyer, owner and creative director at Meyer2Meyer Entertainment, LLC, which put on The Bite LA. “We didn’t want to give up on our favorite holiday season, so we persevered and designed a program that was COVID-compliant, yet still interactive and fun. With our experience from Hayride, Campout and House of Spirits, we knew we could put together a program that people could enjoy from a moving vehicle and also focus on what we think people value most — food.” 

Meyer took some time from creature wrangling to answer some of our questions about The Bite LA and the future of immersive events.

The Bite LA 4
The Bite LA offers food with creature service. / Photo by Jessica Peralta

Halloween Every Night: You’re no strangers to live, immersive events. Can you talk a little bit about your most recent projects?

Justin Meyer: Justin and Melissa Meyer served as the creative director and COO (respectively) to Ten Thirty One Productions for about a decade, working on The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride and The Great Horror Campout. Meyer2Meyer Entertainment started about three years ago and has launched three attractions in that time — House of Spirits: A Haunted Cocktail Soiree, Kaleidoscope Experience, and co-produce Rated R Horror Speakeasy. The Bite LA marks M2M’s fourth project.

HEN: How does your event stand out? 

JM: Our format is very unique with a lot of variety in the experience. Our Flashlight Creature Safari is a drive around the edge of Legg Lake, with large monsters stalking the darkness. Our food crawl is a stop-and-go of scenic, creepy character interactions and of course food. And we finish off the experience with more food and a Virtual Campfire Ghost Story experience.

The Bite LA ends with a Virtual Campfire Ghost Story experience. / Photo by Jessica Peralta

HEN: What kinds of challenges have you overcome in developing an event like this? 

JM: COVID presented its own unique challenges, and designing an interactive event without physically interacting was tricky.

HEN: How has designing this event compared to your other immersive, horror attractions? 

JM: Every one of M2M’s shows has its own unique style, but all possess our signature focuses: quality food/drinks, amazing character and creature design by our Art Director Tanya Cyr, original music by composer Chris Thomas and always a variety of entertainment from outstanding artists.

HEN: Do you think COVID-19 has necessitated a new level of inventiveness in the horror community? 

JM: Absolutely it has. Everyone has had to adjust their standard scare tactics and show designs to stay in step with safely opening an attraction. There have been a handful of events taking the proverbial stab at it, and we’re excited to see what folks come up with. We’re sure they will all be unique.

The Bite LA 3
Creature residences are scattered through the Legg Lake park area ready to entertain and serve. / Photo by Jessica Peralta

HEN: Considering that many immersive events have gone toward physical contact and being more hands-on, has the industry really had to pivot and readjust how to make people scared? How do you think this may impact future events, even post-COVID? 

JM: There will be some PTSD fallout from COVID, for sure. People will be more aware and cautious of interacting physically, but we doubt that it will completely alter some of the more hands-on programs. People who want that experience will seek it out, regardless. This may get experiential experience designers more creative in their thinking about what an interactive program can look like.

HEN: How did you decide on this specific location for The Bite LA? 

JM: For a drive-your-car type experience, we knew that the location needed to be just right — a parking lot wouldn’t do. It took us some time, but we finally found our home at Legg Lake, part of the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area, and it’s scenic beauty will add a great ambience to the program.

HEN: Considering you’re serving food, has that added another level of challenge? 

JM: We’re working with an outstanding team to take care, stay compliant and keep all the food service safe.

HEN: Anything else you want people to know? 

JM: A quick note that we will have vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options for most of the food items, so if there’s a menu item you can’t eat or don’t like, feel free to order extra of something you do, to fill out your Bites.

We mostly ask that folks take time to read our COVID safety protocols and help us and all the attractions opening to follow the guidelines set forth, so we can continue to operate safely. So make sure you bring a mask!

The Gory Details
Open through Nov. 1, 2020
Legg Lake
750 Santa Anita Ave., South El Monte