Location: 1103 S. Main Street, Lombard, IL 60148, USA.
Important update, February 2014:
Enchanted Castle have now removed all their pinballs. When we last visited in October 2013 they had just moved them into two new areas close to the go-kart track, but it seems they have now decided to remove them altogether.
We have retained our original report below for reference, so you can see how Enchanted Castle used to provide pinballs.
Report by Dan Marquardt
Enchanted Castle in Lombard, Illinois (a suburban town west of Chicago) recently added eighteen pinball machines to their elaborate and well-maintained entertainment complex. The location is easy to get to from either I-355 or I-294, by exiting on Roosevelt Road. Enchanted Castle is at the intersection of Roosevelt Road and Main Street in Lombard, Illinois.
Enchanted Castle opened in 1983 and has had a few pinball machines over the decades. I remember my first visit there was twenty-five years ago to play the then new Williams Cyclone.
Recently they bought eighteen pinball machines and placed them all together in one room of the complex. Finding a location with one or two pins is a rare experience, so finding a place with eighteen of them all looking and playing like new is almost too good to be true. The collection comprises all Stern pins, with the exception of one Sega.
The collection has a nice variety of Stern pins made since 2001, including all the most recent titles. They have some Stern pins I never seen before, such as Dale Earnhardt Jr. LE and NBA. They also have some of my Stern favorites which I have not played in a long while, such as Monopoly and CSI.
The pins were all in excellent condition. I very recently played many of the pins there and there were no mechanical issues with any of them. The playfields and glass were also extremely clean.
An important part of playing a pinball machine for me is the sound, so it was awesome that the volume on the pins at Enchanted Castle are kept fairly loud. The AC/DC pin really has the volume cranked up, which added a lot to the fun of playing it.
The spirit of Pat Lawlor can be felt in the room, with five of the six pins he designed for Stern available to play.
A clever touch in the room is a giant video screen playing a Transformers movie behind the Transformers LE pinball machine.
When you look up from the pin while playing it, you see the Transformers movie playing on the wall behind.
Having all the pins together in a separate room is nice because the complex is geared towards little kids, so grouping all the pins in the separate room cuts down on having a bunch of youngsters running around while playing you are playing the pins.
The games were priced at $1.00 a play but they all offered three plays for two dollars which made my money go further. The token machines gave out a bonus of twenty extra tokens if you inserted a twenty dollar bill. 100 tokens instead of 80 for my $20 was a great deal.
Enchanted Castle also has a restaurant that had a few beers on tap, but the beer was not allowed in the pinball room. Bottled soft drinks sold there can be brought into the pinball room though.
I talked to Elena Ruane, Vice President of Marketing at Enchanted Castle, and she said they are committed to featuring a large selection of pinball machines at the location. She said she is happy with the results of adding all the pins so far and she hopes that the word will spread to pinball enthusiasts that they have a large collection of well-maintained modern pinball machines.
I could be wrong on this, but I don't think there has been such a large collection of pinball machines on location in the Chicago area since the 1970s. I really hope the pinball room is a big success for them. Having somewhere in the Chicago area to play such a large collection of pins is a real treat.
Pinball machine list:
Enchanted Castle now has Jersey Jack Pinball's new The Wizard of Oz, and two new Stern Metallica games to play as well.
Thanks to Jason Fare for the update and Dan Marquardt for the picture.
© Pinball News 2013