Odyssey Fun World

Last month while on vacation in Chicago, my wife, kids, and I made a detour to visit Odyssey Fun World in Tinley Park, Illinois.

We’ve been to Odyssey Fun World a few times now — it’s about a 10 minute drive from my Grandmother’s house. One of my favorite things about the front of the building are those smaller, “kid only” doors on the front of the building.

The ground level of Odyssey Fun World looks a lot like most other modern arcades, with ticket redemption games covering the majority of the prime real estate. There are a couple of small, kid-friendly rides inside, toward the rear is a giant jungle gym that costs a few dollars extra, and upstairs is an indoor laser tag arena. For the most part, everything else downstairs accepts tokens and returns tickets.

Above is a shot of the ground floor, taken from the upstairs level. What else is upstairs, you might ask?

One of the first things you come to is this line of retro fighting games. In case you can’t make out the titles, that’s (from left to right) Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat 3, Tekken 3, and X-Men vs. Street Fighter.

The row behind those games contained Missile Command, Donkey Kong, a Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga combo cabinet, and several other classic games, including a dedicated Trog machine.

Yeah, baby! Unfortunately there were only two pinball machines, and the other one (Star Wars) was out of commission. I still had a good time playing a few rounds on this one.

And with all this retro gaming goodness around them, where do you think my kids were?

That’s them, drooling at the ticket redemption booth. Why they would rather plunk token after token into crane machines and kid-friendly gambling devices is beyond me. What could they possibly have worth trading in those tickets for?

A Tron Legacy movie stand up? For only 30,000 tickets? Excuse me … I have a few more rounds of Skee-ball to play.

One of the main reasons I wanted to visit Odyssey Fun World again was that I heard that they recently purchased an updated set of the Rock-a-Fire Explosion animatronic band. Just my luck, the day we visited the band was “out to lunch” (read: broken). I did find this video of the band performing at Odyssey Fun World though. Maybe they’ll be back together the next time we visit.

Rob O'Hara

I'm into old video games, old arcade games, old computer games, writing, photography, computer/network security, and of course, the 1980s!

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