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Tag Archives: Knott’s Scary Farm
ScareLA, the Southern California Halloween convention, is excited to announce its expansion to a new venue, the Pasadena Convention Center for the event’s 2015 edition on August 8 and 9, 2015. The move will increase the con’s show floor to over 100,000 sq. ft. to accommodate a growing list of vendors, attractions, and entertainment. Tickets presale is scheduled to launch within the following week with aggressive discounts for fans and e-mail list subscribers.
“ScareLA 2015 is off to a great start with our expansion into the Pasadena Convention Center,” said Lora Ivanova, ScareLA Executive Producer and Co-founder. “What that means for our fans is: more spooky vendors, easier access to classes and stage content, bigger interactive haunt exhibits and hotels within walking distance for anyone coming from out of town or wishing to make this a true mid-summer Halloween staycation. Our team is busy curating our 2015 programming and cannot wait to share our scary passion with Los Angeles this August!”
Theme Park Adventure has been covering Knott’s Scary Farm’s Halloween Haunt each year since 1994. In fact, I often refer to the mid-late ’90s as the “Golden Years of Haunt”. Knott’s began its annual spook fest in 1973; over the next decade, it would grow into a Southern California tradition, attracting thousands of guests each night. By the time TPA was embraced by the Haunt family in 1994, the Scary Farm was a must-do event for scores of Halloween fans, and we were in the thick of it all, snapping away with cameras and letting our video tape roll.
One of our favorite things to do back in the day was spend hours in Ghost Town, watching the street monsters roam about and do their thing – whether it was scaring guests senseless, acting corny, or simply pulling off outrageous gags with each other and passersby… often at their expense! In short, because I could go on for hours, the Ghost Town Streets monsters of yesteryear were much different than they are today; it’s not a matter of who or what was better. In 1997, when these four pictures were taken, Knott’s was a very different animal than it is now. In 1997, Halloween Haunt was caught somewhere between its gritty origins and guerrilla-style production and the multi-million dollar spectacle that it is today.
Can I buy a DVD, or better yet, a Blu-ray of your 2014 Knott’s Halloween walk-throughs of all the mazes, without the big white TPA logo in the lower right ?
How much would that be?
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.