Something Old, Something New: Visiting The Cartoon Network Hotel
A few weeks ago, I drove down to MD to visit family for the weekend and on the way back home, I decided to stop off in Lancaster, PA for a quick stretch and sight seeing. Growing up, Lancaster was a big summer vacation spot for my family. We'd always stay there for the weekend, stop by the outlets, the local theater and enjoy some local food. It was a great place to visit and stay. One of the things to look forward to was always the hotel we'd ALWAYS stay at: The Continental Inn, a fine little motor inn right in the heart of town. As fun as it was to stay there, it was a wee bit outdated by say 1995. It was more of a motor inn you would've seen in a 1980s John Hughes road trip movie. The carpet, the decor, the game room, the...well...everything. I always remember looking forward to staying there but always curious what would happen if someone were to modernize and update it. Well...I think I got my wish thanks to Cartoon Network:
Wow...I guess be careful what you wish for...everything is so bright, modern and...cartoony!
Well, I'll be. The main lobby looks the same for the most part. Mainly because of those two spiral staircases that lead to the second level of the hotel which had just a few rooms. I always assumed those rooms were the special suites since they were on the inside. I was a little too excited and overwhelmed to ask if this was the case for the new hotel, so the mystery will live on. Unless I look at Yelp. But I'm a little too lazy to do so right now.
A quick slide to the right inside the main lobby will take you to the mini-store filled to the brim with so much Cartoon Network goodness ranging from Power Puff Girls to Steven Universe and Adventure Time. Much like a gift shop at any over the top sidetrip attraction, this was definitely a highlight for me. I can only imagine being a child and not just staying here at this overwhelming cornucopia of animated bliss but seeing all this amazing stuff. Obviously I had to grab myself a nice souvenir or two, which I'll share at the end, but it wasn't easy to stand here and not want everything. Ya know, because I'm a mature and fiscally responsible adult.
Ok, now the arcade. As I mentioned before, when it was in the hands of the Continental Inn, it was severely outdated. Imagine a bare arcade room with air hockey, Mrs PacMan and a game where you shoot deer and maybe an old soda machine that had about 3 options sold out at all times. Now, it's like walking into a Star Wars set...