Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Tripped: June 2011
Location: Phoenix - Tempe, Arizona
Man, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on here. I just sort of had to re-learn how to use this blog. Anyways - I’ve still got a backlog of posts ready to write up, so I guess I’d better do one today.
I moved to Los Angeles a few years ago and on my way across the country I decided that a good way to spend my time would be visiting the locations from one of my favorite movies, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
Surprisingly enough, Excellent Adventure wasn’t filmed in California. It shot in Phoenix and its surrounding cities. Somehow they managed to find palm trees and trick America into thinking they were actually in San Dimas. Which is weird, because San Dimas is an actual city in Southern California. (I almost wrote “SoCal” instead but quickly corrected that mistake.)
But here’s our trip…
First off is the famed Circle K where strange things are afoot in the cinematic San Dimas. You really don’t appreciate just how many damn Circle K’s there are in Tempe, Arizona until you’re looking for a specific one.
Now several internet sources reported a bunch of different Circle K’s to be Bill and Ted’s hangout spot, but most of them were wrong. I think we finally struck it rich on our third try. It looks relatively the same as it did when they filmed the movie except for some sensible changes. If you’re out trying to find this one yourself, remember - the one you’re looking for doesn’t have any gas pumps out front.
Also in Tempe, we’ve got the bowling alley that Napoleon gets thrown out of. Not pictured here is the pronunciation for “Tempe”. Your guess is as good as mine.
This location actually looked fairly identical to its 1988 self. It was pretty dark outside or I’d be able to show you some better examples. This place is located in a shopping center and is kind of a pain in the ass to find at night when you’ve never been there.
They filmed the interiors inside the same place, and the cool thing about a bowling alley is that it’s open to the public.
Unfortunately the uncool thing about a bowling alley is that it looks like every other bowling alley in the world and doesn’t give you very interesting pictures — especially when you’re comparing it to what it looked like over twenty years ago.
But some things do stay the same… or at least same-ish. This is Ted’s house in the film, which is located in Phoenix in the middle of a semi-sub division filled with houses that look exactly like Ted’s. Across the street are still lots of cacti like you see in the screenshot, but I couldn’t replicate the shot because it had to have been filmed from someone’s private driveway. They shot the interior scenes here, too.
So here’s where it gets confusing. This address is said by at least three different online sources to be Bill’s house from the movie. We actually flagged down a neighbor after circling the neighborhood for a half hour. He had no idea who Bill and Ted were, but had said that this house had been completely remodeled recently and the owners had spent a fortune on it. That explains the house but not the trees in the yard. Those are some fairly big ass trees. Shouldn’t they have been there in the 80’s? I mean… I’m not botanist, but…
Another victim of severe remodeling is the fictional San Dimas High School where Bill and Ted go to learn and do most triumphant presentations. This school actually looked pretty fancy and new. It’s in Scottsdale, Arizona and looks nothing like it used to. The only constant in both pictures (and the only reason we knew we were in the right place) was the big mural on the side of the building…
Which looks like that up close, in case you were wondering. Which I’m sure you were a little curious or you wouldn’t be reading this right now.
This school was also the location of the most excellent history report scene where Abraham Lincoln’s immortal words will live on… immortally. Sadly that auditorium has since been torn down and replaced by a newer, less non-non-non heinous version. So unfortunately we won’t be able to bring you pictures of that.
Moving on, we’ve got the Metro Center Mall in Phoenix. Watch out for your robes, dude.
Unlike Dawn of the Dead, we weren’t really able to match that many locations up to the movie. It looks a lot different and newer, with the only real indicators being its ceiling — which looks the same.
Like DotD, there used to be an ice skating rink here. Bill the Kid and Genghis Kahn got busted by the cops on it. That’s gone, along with a ton of other places.
The food court has been completely remodeled, but if you look closely you can tell that the basic layout is the same. The walls in our picture are straight and as they go towards the left, they start to turn inwards a bit. That’s the same as in the screenshot. Also, look closely in the picture from the movie. There is a “New Jade Chinese Food” restaurant standing as the first block in the food court…
This is standing as the first block in the same location from the movie. Pretty cool. It like.. totally has to be the same place. (Read that in an Alex Winter voice.) Also in the mall, which made us laugh, was this store:
I know it’s got some writing in the green areas, but ignore it and imagine that these guys own a shoe store in Bill and Ted’s mall.
That’s about it for our most excellent adventure through the world of Bill and Ted. We didn’t get to Waterloo yet or many Bogus Journey locations, but we’ll be updating with those at some point.
Until then… be excellent to each other — and party on, Dudes.
Uh… San Dimas High School Football Rules!