In 2012, Knott’s Scary Farm designer Brooke Walters stunned fans and Theme Park Adventure with her then-newest maze creation, Trick Or Treat. It was our favorite addition to the event as it celebrated its 40th Haunt, with a classic old school Halloween theme combined with the current Green Witch character push that Knott’s has placed front and center now for the past two seasons. Knowing that Trick Or Treat hadn’t changed much between 2012 and 2013, we were eager to experience it again for a second year in a row at the Scary Farm!
In years past, Knott’s has changed its mazes; the most notable coming in 2012 when General Manager Raffi Kaprelyan told the design team he wanted the Haunt mazes to be shorter and pack a bigger punch detail/theme/scare-wise. Several existing mazes were simply truncated, and in some cases, not for the better. Over time, Scary Farm mazes change as well due to footprint alterations, new designers inheriting them for one reason or another, and simply the wear and tear of time itself. Time can be brutal for mazes; Dia De Los Muertos is a very prime recent example of a design that started out as a gorgeous Haunt attraction and in just three years, we saw it deteriorate into something very different than it started out being. Knowing this can and does happen to Halloween Haunt mazes is always lurking in the back of our minds; so with fingers crossed, we entered Trick Or Treat on opening night this year at Knott’s and hoped for little or no change.
The good news is, Trick Or Treat remained virtually untouched from last year’s version, which is great for fans of the maze. The bad news, if there is to be any, is that the maze was not plussed in any way for 2013, leaving guests with an almost identical copy of what Trick Or Treat was in 2012 when it made its amazing debut at Knott’s Scary Farm. However, that’s not terrible – and in fact, we’d rather see no change to mazes than see them decline as so many have in the past. Trick Or Treat was my personal favorite maze at Knott’s since the original Dominion of the Dead, which debuted in 1995 at Halloween Haunt. And now that I have experienced Halloween Haunt 2013, I can say that Trick Or Treat remains my favorite maze. It’s theme, design and just overall flow is really impressive to me and I love the throwback feel of the whole thing.
For those unfamiliar, Trick Or Treat is a maze that strongly incorporates the whole Green Witch/Tricksters character push that Knott’s has embarked on since last year. Located in the Gypsy Camp area of Halloween Haunt right next to Ghost Town, Trick Or Treat features an early to mid 1900s feel, taking place in an old home that looks like a stereotypical “haunted house”. Legend has it that the Green Witch lives there, luring children into her home each Halloween, where she traps them and kills them, turning them into her minion – or Tricksters – that carry out her will and wreak havoc on the rest of Halloween Haunt and its guests each season. The story is fairly complicated and somewhat lost in translation to most guests, but it works on a general level. Perhaps a scene that actually shows the Witch casting her spell or commanding her Tricksters would be more on the nose, and give guests a crystal-clear understanding of what’s happening would be a welcomed addition to the maze in 2014 (assuming it returns, which I hope it will). Other than that, Trick Or Treat is amazing in every way – the design is something that Brooke should still be very proud of; it’s unique and very special at the Scary Farm, and we hope it remains part of the lineup for a while longer.
One major aspect of Halloween Haunt mazes that does change from season to season is talent. You can have an amazing maze environment and a lousy crew that absolutely destroys the experience and runs it into the ground. Luckily, that was not the case this year, and the men and women that made up the 2013 Trick Or Treat team did an excellent job! The Green Witch talent was amazing and spot-on, which you will see in our video, and the Tricksters were solid in all of their taunting and trouble-making shenanigans! Kudos to the Trick Or Treat crew!
And that’s Trick Or Treat in a nutshell! It’s an amazing maze that remains my personal favorite at Knott’s Scary Farm. From story and design to special effects and fantastic characters, Trick Or Treat is a beautiful Haunt attraction that embodies the spirit and spooky fun of the season without resorting to gore or terribly in-your-face terror. It’s a throwback maze, and we absolutely adore it!
What are your thoughts about Trick Or Treat? Join in the discussion below and share with fellow TPAers about what you think of this maze!
– Rick West