Knott’s Berry Farm has been a leading Halloween event venue for a number of years now. But, with the growing number of haunted houses, extra ticket parties, and other scary options, how is Knott’s Scary Farm staying on top? The DAPs team got to experience this year’s event and how they have plussed it all to be a great haunt for guests!
Knott’s has some fun and scary mazes to wind your way through. Each year there are some returning favorites, and a couple of new ones to enjoy. The new mazes show off new technology and great effects that keep the event on the cutting edge. It becomes a cycle of bringing in new walkthroughs that become classics and letting some older classics graciously fade away.
This year, the new mazes were The Depths and Dark Entities. Dark Entities had the best story I have seen in Knott’s mazes to date. It may be because it was a heavy space theme, which I greatly enjoy. But, I think they did a great job of using the scenes as narration without much dialogue. Sometimes it is hard to figure out an exact story as you go through a maze, but this did its job well! And, again, is the best to date I’ve seen! There were some state-of-the-art maze effects incorporated that made me go “Wow!” A couple of animatronics were worked in well, while sensory pieces made this a very immersive experience.
The Depths was the team’s favorite. It had its story move fairly well, but Dark Entities did a better job. Still, it was a greatly detailed maze that had some of the best effects to mesmerize guests as they went through. We loved one room that utilized fog and lighting for a surreal, watery path. There was quite a few animatronics or puppets…we’re not quite sure. Either way, they surprised us in dark corners!
Besides the new mazes, the classics were enhanced with some new scenes. We loved the new ending to Paranormal Inc. and it elevated it towards the top of our list. It’s well worth making your way through just to see what happens in the end. And I won’t reveal what it is here.
The Hanging and some kind of show at the Charles M. Shulz Theater have always been mainstays of Scary Farm. Back is the Hanging, and at the Theater is a show called Hacks. But, there was more entertainment to watch throughout the park during the event! Over at the Birdcage Theater are magic acts with a rotating group of magicians. Rotating where a different magician is there every event night.
We got to see Dana Daniels and his bird Luigi at the Birdcage. Daniels is a comedic magician and did a splendid job at incorporating humor into the act. A lot of it may have seemed like a bumbling performance, but all of it was according to plan and made the prestige that much more grand. It’s a terrific place to catch a breath amidst some possibly intense situations outside the theater.
Over in the Fiesta Village is a dance party called Awaken the Dead. We loved the DJ for the opening night, and it’s a great venue to blow off some dancing steam. Hacks – Cutting Room Floor is a fun improv show, and is another good spot to get some rest before heading back into the fog.
The Hanging had another good satire show, even poking fun at Knott’s itself. Let it be said that Knott’s Berry Farm has a great sense of humor.
Forsaken Lake and a Timely Surprise
The newest scare zone is Forsaken Lake, which is located around the water under Silver Bullet. The team has enjoyed scare zones in the past, like Ghost Town and Carnevil. Forsaken Lake was our new favorite. A lot of it was the backstory that was never blatantly told, but we could detect a lot of it through ghostly character interactions. They even would come up and talk to us, getting us in on the act and atmosphere, though in a frightening way.
The real treasure for the area is a show stop that happens at certain times throughout the night. It starts with a New Orleans style funerary processional from the Fiesta Village entrance and makes its way to a crypt. All the while a very catchy song has the ghouls dancing in the street. I won’t spoil the surprise end to the short segment, but it’s a fun way to experience a great scare zone. From what we’ve heard, more of the atmosphere will be added throughout the season, so it’s something to go back and experience again and again!
We noticed some strategic change in atmosphere around the whole park. At the announcement night, it was said that all of the park would be one big attraction. There was great lighting, more decorations, and spooky sounds throughout to make it feel like an immersive and intense place to walk around. We loved all the environment changes and had a great time perusing through it all.
It is hard to pinpoint what we liked because we liked it all! There was so much to see and do we couldn’t do everything. We only got on one ride – Hang Time – which had special lighting for Scary Farm nights, but there were a few rides that were to be ridden in the dark!
There is great food to grab and eat! Special churros, chicken sandwiches, and pastries are great to enjoy. A special pumpkin chili had a great squash flavor to it. We loved a special pumpkin cheesecake, which was not heavy in either flavor.
A lot of it was incorporated into a special media-only portion of the event, but it’s available in certain locations, and at the Boofet. Which is to say, experiencing the special entrance, food, and fright lane I’ve got to say it’s all the way to go. The only other way I suggest is getting the special season pass before it’s sold out. We did not get to do every possible thing there is to do! It’s a lot! We loved the night, and can say definitely go this year! But, consider going more than once. We already are.
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