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Tag Archives: Knott’s Scary Farm
2014 was a mixed bag of new, innovative attractions at Knott’s Scary Farm, along with the return of familiar mazes that fans have come to love over the more recent years. In this maze review, Theme Park Adventure takes a look at all of those returning attractions to Halloween Haunt and how they have fared compared to years past, as well as the newer mazes that were rolled out this year.
Since Knott’s Scary Farm offers so many walk-through mazes, they are on a several-year rotation once they debut (unless they are really poorly-received or one-off productions, such as studio-backed movie tie-ins). Generally, we lose two or three old mazes each season to make way for new attractions or mazes at Haunt. Some people bemoan this process, saying that Knott’s should introduce more new mazes each season and get rid of the returning ones faster, or simply only have them for a year. While we get that, it’s simply not feasible or doable, considering that the Knott’s Haunt design team is relatively small; Cedar Fair doesn’t provide a large enough budget to Knott’s to come up with upward of 10 new mazes each season, either. Considering the history of Knott’s Scary Farm, I honestly don’t think it’s something that the company needs to do now or any time in the foreseeable future; fans adore Halloween Haunt mazes, and the majority of people don’t have a problem with most returning for several years. Occasionally, mazes last even four or five years – however, that is very rare these days. By the time most mazes fade into the shadows and history books, we’ve had our fill and are ready for what comes next. Sometimes it’s a bummer to see mazes disappear, and they become the stuff of legend. Other times, mazes devolve into pale ghosts of their former glory (as we witnessed this year), and we’re glad to see them go away rather than continue a bummer downward spiral.
It sounds like you’re having a great Halloween season, just like we are! Yes, we visited our friends at Raymond Hill Mortuary in South Pasadena. Evil Twin Studios knocked it out of the park this season, and we can’t wait to share our review, images, and video clips with you in the weeks to come!
I have a question about your experience in Trapped. I went through it this weekend and had a blast. I wanted to see if your experience was a bit different, because my friends and I think there might be multiple routes. We saw people with duct tape on their mouths coming out of the experience, but we never got that.
My guess is that when groups come to the door with the unicorn on it or the bloody door, there is an option between the two. I wanted to know what door you chose. Also, maybe you can refuse to give the keys away to the hick at the top of the well.
Knott’s Scary Farm’s Halloween Haunt is the granddaddy of all theme park Halloween events. All theme park haunts and many industry firsts – such as the technique of “sliding” – can trace their roots to the age-old streets of Ghost Town in Buena Park, California. It is with great anticipation that fans wait for opening night each year, and as the fog billows and the wind begins to howl in the eaves of the Calico roofs, the excitement is almost palpable!
Due to the size and scope of Knott’s Scary Farm, the matrix of shows and attractions constantly evolves, with many mazes staying put for anywhere from two to five seasons. Each Halloween Haunt brings brand-new experiences as well, which fans get really excited about in the months leading up to the event. In fact, it’s become so popular for Knott’s to announce the new mazes each year, that they host a large-scale fan preview at the park itself to unveil all of the Haunt offerings during summer; it draws hundreds of the Scary Farm’s biggest fans, as well as a ton of media.
Knott’s Scary Farm in Buena Park, California, officially welcomed its first guests of the Halloween season on Thursday night, September 25th. One of the most beloved and highly-anticipated major theme park Halloween events in the world, Knott’s Scary Farm promised a season more intense and innovative than ever before with the introduction of new mazes, and interactive zombie shoot-em-up experience, and a maze featuring multiple paths that would give guests an option to choose their own destiny. Wrapped up with a really slick marketing campaign, Knott’s made it clear that it’s stepping things up, and ready to haunt the hell out of Southern California!
Each year, hundreds of ghouls fill the twisted mazes of Knott’s Scary Farm’s Halloween Haunt event in Buena Park, lurking in the darkness, ready to pounce on unsuspecting victims. They leer, they hiss, they scream, and they lunge; however, many of these creatures of the dark are fresh out of Scare School – a night of training outside and inside of their mazes that will prepare them for the season of screams to come. While a large amount of maze talent does return to work Halloween Haunt each season, there’s always plenty… new blood in the mix. That’s where Scare School comes in – to help returning veterans get mentally and physically limbered up for the task at hand, and to prep and pump up new talent for the experience they’re about to embark on.
Next month will mark a very special milestone for Theme Park Adventure – our 20th Anniversary! It’s hard to believe, but TPA was founded by Rick West in September 1994, and has been a leader in themed entertainment coverage both in print and online for the past two decades!
One of the cornerstones of Theme Park Adventure has been its deep ties with Knott’s Berry Farm. Covering just about every event at Knott’s since the grand opening of Mystery Lodge, TPA also pioneered many ways that Halloween Haunt is now showcased each year by fan sites and even internally by the Farm’s management team.
This year’s Knott’s Scary Farm conjures up unprecedented experiences and show-stopping entertainment, including the debut of Special Ops: Infected, where guests fight zombies in an interactive six acre war, and the return of Elvira – Mistress of the Dark in an all-new stage show.
Hunt Zombies in an All-Out War
This ambitious new attraction is the first of its kind in North America and will challenge guests to exterminate the infestation of zombies who threaten mankind’s existence. Armed with specially designed laser guns, brave groups of Knott’s Scary Farm guests will embark on missions, led by their Squad Leader – a loud-mouthed, take-no-prisoners commander charged with turning guests into soldiers. Groups must work together to fend off zombies and complete various missions before time runs out. If zombies drag their bodies too close, the un-infected’s guns temporarily deactivate, compromising the safety of the entire team. Soldiers with the deadliest aim will be celebrated with a tally of the number of zombies killed on a display board for other survivors to see each night in base camp.
On Wednesday, August 6, Knott’s Berry Farm held its second annual Halloween Haunt preview event for Season Pass holders in the Charles M. Schulz Theatre. More than one thousand of the Scary Farm’s most hard core fans made their way in the early hours of the morning to line up outside the park’s Main Entrance for wristband distribution, as the Haunt preview wouldn’t begin until 7 P.M. For die-hard fans, this mass unveiling of what the company has in store for Halloween is serious business.
It’s also very smart business, and Knott’s Berry Farm has seized the opportunity to turn their Haunt preview into an all-day affair. After all, once wristband distribution takes place outside the gates – where do you think most of those Season Pass holders are going to go on a warm, sunny day in the middle of summer? That’s right; into the park, where they spend the day eating, drinking, and hanging out with friends. It’s a smart business move, and very different than Universal’s method of slowly announcing its Halloween Horror Nights attractions one at a time via social media over a period of several weeks.
Mike Williams is a name that most casual Knott’s guests or even fans won’t readily know. However, if you’ve ever had a brush with a fast-talking wiseguy robbing the park’s steam train, or stumbled upon a kooky old miner shuffling around in the fog during Halloween Haunt berating people with his bullhorn, chances are, you’ve crossed Mike Williams’ path, or even been a target in his sights.
For nearly 30 years, Mike worked in varying capacities at Knott’s Berry Farm, from a cook at Captain Kelly’s Cafeteria, to a train robber in Calico, to a performer in multiple entertainment productions at the Farm. While he’s been an asset to Knott’s in each of those roles, none stand out quite as much as his reign as “Dusty Geezer” during Halloween Haunt for more than two decades. Outrageous, hilarious, and in the end, a friend to everyone, Mike’s contributions to Knott’s for the past 30 years have been the stuff legend is made of.