Knott’s Scary Farm 2011 Review / Photos / Pics / Mazes – Opening Night – September 23, 2011
If you want to be scared out of your wits at the world’s first, largest and longest running Halloween event, the mazes, rides and monsters at Knott’s Scary Farm 2011 will exceed expectations!
We attended opening night (as a public service to you, our dedicated followers) to check out the 13 mazes, dozens of rides, numerous scare zones, and plenty of drink offerings to provide this report. We also soaked all of the knowledge we could from Ted Dougherty of ultimatehaunt.com, the ultimate guide to Knott’s Scary Farm.
Knott’s Scary Farm 2011 Mazes
Let’s get straight to business- the mazes (that is why you want to go to Knott’s Scary Farm, right?). Much like 2010, the lines for mazes were no more than 5 or 10 minutes, putting us in a good mood before we even stepped foot into these fright inducing haunted houses. Expect those lines to get longer as Halloween gets closer, but lines will likely not exceed one hour at most. That other well-known Halloween event in So Cal can be known for lines that exceed two hours (yes, really).
Knott’s launched three new mazes this year, including inside the Calico Mine Ride (Invasion Beneath) and another by the name of Endgames. The third, Delirium, was our favorite. To enter, you simply get in line for Lockdown, and the end of that maze brings you to the beginning of this Delirium. One memorable hallway has air-filled cushions on each side, with a monster (real or fake?) at the end. The lighting and sound in this new maze do a great job to set the tone of horror.
3D is hotter than ever, and Knott’s took notice by continuing three mazes in 3D. The best 3D maze is Uncle Bobo’s Big Top of the Bizarre in 3D. The 3D glasses play off the florescent colors in the maze to bring everything to life in a new and bizarre way. Even the monsters appear more “in your face” than they really are.Dia de los Muertos
Our second favorite 3D maze was Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), which uses wild imagery of the dead and jungles to delight your visual senses. Knott’s describes Fallout Shelter as “3D,” but the 3D effects don’t live up to those in the other two mazes. Luckily, this haunt is still well done, with incredible distractions and visual effects that keep fans wondering where the real monsters are!
While this is just our two-cents, we say give the 3D glasses away for free and collect them at the end, rather than charge $1 for them, since the mazes really can’t be enjoyed in their full glory without the glasses. That being said, fork out for the $1 and get the glasses.
Don’t be fooled by the term “new” or “3D”- some of the best mazes at Knott’s are the same ones that have been scaring fans and drawing big lines for years.
One of our favorites is Cornstalker, which is a superb recreation of a haunted corn maze like those found in the mid-west and other areas with large corn fields. The distractions of the repetitious corn fields creates the backdrop for scares around every corner. Spoiler Alert: This maze even includes a monster that swings in from a dark corner!
Another classic is the Doll House, which uses childhood imagery of dolls and childhood games to return fans to a time where everything was perfect, except that everything isn’t. This maze had the longest line this year and last, and for good reason.
If you think you’re walking between mazes, rides and shows without being messed with, think again. These trained professionals know where you’re looking, and where you’re not. Knott’s allows their actors to show some real personality, whether that means saying what they want or working in teams with their fellow scare-actors. Expect the unexpected from the scare zones! Our favorite is Ghost Town due simply to the amazing backdrop provided by the already spooky feeling of the western-theme, with the heavy fog providing just the distraction that encourages these monsters to fester in the dark.
Rides, Coasters and Attractions
One of the best features about Knott’s Scary Farm is what makes Knott’s Berry Farm great- the rides! Silver Bullet and Ghostrider (expect a long line) are some of the best. Windseeker opened just a month ago, so the wait, which we believed to be about 45 minutes, was a bit longer than we were willing to wait for. Knott’s is one of the first theme parks in the world to have this suspended swing ride that lights up for the entire park to enjoy.
Shows are another big attraction for Haunt. We checked out the Psycho Circus of Magic and Mayhem, which featured a comedy, magic and dancing show. The host kept the crowd laughing from the beginning, and worked well with audience members, no matter what the audience would do to throw him off. Even set mishaps couldn’t throw off the dancers, who quickly worked around the issue as the show carried on.
Drinks / Bars / Beer Gardens
Unlike that other So. Cal. haunted theme park, Knott’s is not dry. In fact, the park boasts four bars in the park and two outside. One of the bars in Ghost Town had excellent music, lighting and dancing, making the night-clubbers among us feel right at home. A beer will set you back $9, or $11 for a 24 oz. refill of their collectible cup. The beer gardens also feature a full bar for those of you looking for mixed drinks.
Tickets / Parking
Ticket prices are $34 – $51 presale online and $57 day of event. The drive back to the I.E. will be about 30 to 60 minutes, depending upon where you live, which will be without traffic (and probably traffic free on the way there as you go against traffic). Parking is $15, though clever folks report that free street parking is nearby.
If you’re looking for the full Halloween experience at an affordable price (considerably less than other major attractions in So Cal) with shorter lines and plenty of roller coasters, Knott’s Scary Farm can’t be beat.
Knott’s Scary Farm 2011 Preview / Mazes – August 30, 2011
World’s first, largest, and longest running Halloween haunt returns with new mazes, new shows and a new scare zone starting September 23, 2011!
Knott’s Scary Farm is preparing for the witching season, the annual opening of the world’s largest Halloween celebration in the world – Knott’s Halloween Haunt. Starting September 23 and running for 28 horrifying nights the typically family friendly theme park will transform itself for its willing victims into 160-acres of sheer terror.
Knott’s Halloween Haunt continues to be a top choice theme park for Halloween, offering a whopping 13 mazes, seven hair-raising shows, four horrific scare zones and 1,000 roaming monsters roaming throughout the entire park.
With this many mazes, rides, and monsters, coupled with short lines (especially at the beginning of the season), Knott’s is perhaps the best bang for your buck in Southern California. To boot, it’s just 25 minutes from Corona.
Mazes (Haunted Houses)
Knott’s is home to more haunted houses than any other Halloween event in Southern California, hands down. The lines move quickly, so you really can do all of them in one night.
- Delirium: In the deep recesses of the mind, on the clouded brink of insanity, lies the hellish wasteland of delirium; a place so gruesome that your imagination fails to comprehend the horrors. Illusion and paranoia are your only anchors to reality. Welcome to your worst nightmare!
- Invasion Beneath: Live from Knott’s Berry Farm: Details are sketchy but eyewitnesses report that the Calico Mine Ride has been invaded by creatures of unknown origin through a large fissure in the earth’s core. The creatures possess advanced weaponry and are extremely hostile. The military has just infiltrated the mountain to try and rescue the survivors and combat the violent attacks. Stay tuned.
- ENDGAMES: Warriors of the Apocalypse: The world as we know it has ended. The survivors in this barren desert have scavenged to rebuild society. The rich and the powerful have turned all others into slaves for sport. Enter the post apocalyptic arena where gladiators are forced to battle to their deaths for entertainment. Are you game?
- Locked in a cement grave for decades, hidden deep below the depths of the lake, an abandoned “Fallout Shelter (in 3D)” is crawling with human /genetic hybrids, toxic mutants, and a host of nuclear freaks all hungry for carnage. Grab your Geiger counters and put on your radiation suits these residents are ravenous.
- Ghosts and ghouls, witches and goblins, long legged beasts and things that go bump in the night are all at your heels as you travel through the night through “Sleepy Hollow.” Specters and phantoms and legends of long ago haunt the living. Can you outrun the Headless Horseman? Can you keep your wits, or will you lose your head as well?
- Welcome to Pleasanton – Population: Zero. The highly infectious “Virus Z” has turned the entire town into cannibal zombies and you’re this week’s special. Hordes of bloodthirsty corpses roam the small town in search of fresh meat. Help has arrived, but they are not on a rescue mission – they are here to wall off the entire town from civilization.
- The inmates really are running the asylum in this nightmare prison, “Lockdown: The Asylum,” and insanity reigns supreme. The inmates are out of their cells and their minds. And don’t scream for help, this hostile takeover has the authorities running for cover!
- Step back in time and into the fog-filled streets of London where a host of infamous characters are on the prowl terrorizing city dwellers. Step lively or you may fall victim to Jack the Ripper’s blade or Dr. Jekyll’s twisted experiments as Big Ben rings out in “Terror of London.” God save the Queen…..and you!
- Venture into the forbidden jungle of El Chupacabra where sacrificial blood rains down from the sky. The screams of La Llorona, the Weeping Woman, echo around you and the creatures of the night crawl from their crypts – “Dia de los Muertos,” the “Day of the Dead” has arrived!
- Step right up! Don’t be shy! Welcome to “Uncle Bobo’s Big Top of the Bizarre in 3D.” Inside you will find a villainous variety of vaudevillian visages to vex even the most valiant voyeurs! It’s the greatest slaughter on earth with clown carnage galore!
- Folk’s from near and far come a-runnin for Farmer Willy’s world famous BBQ! You can smell the sizzling meat from miles away. And now you can learn his secret first hand as you enter “The Slaughterhouse.” Farmer Willy will think you are prime beef as he sets out to auction you off to the highest bidder, tenderize you with his chainsaw, and grind you into a tasty meat treat. Bon Appétit!
- It’s harvest time and the crop is you in “Corn Stalkers.” Plunge into rows and rows of rotting corn and try to evade the blood thirsty monstrosities seeking to impale you on their razor sharp scythes.
- A trip to “The Doll Factory” reveals a twisted museum of death and disfigurement as you are pursued by the Marionette Murderer, a psychotic killer who turns his beautiful victims into life-size porcelain dolls. If you haven’t been and don’t mind killing the surprise, check out the video below:
Heart pounding? If not, Haunt’s Scare Zones will take care of that! These dark, fog-filled, face-to-face monster encounters stretch throughout the Park and will sneak up on you before you have time to take a final breath.
- New Scare Zone- The backstreets of Ghost Town are shrouded in moonlight darkness and fearsome howls pierce the silence. In a blur of crimson teeth, werewolves stalk the “Gypsy Camp” seeking revenge for an ancient gypsy curse. Will you be the canine’s next meal?
- Back for its sophomore year is, “Necropolis,” a vampire world of flesh and machine, of gears and steam. Journey through the streets of this steam punk influenced city of the dead and discover the only truth in town: Blood is power.
- There is no place quite like “Ghost Town,” home to a whole cast of night stalkers including the notorious Sliders who lurk in every fog-filled corner. You can’t see your hand in front of face as you try and navigate thewinding streets that may just lead to the graveyard!
- Knott’s Boardwalk is taken over by “CarnEVIL,” where the freak show is the main event and clowns crave your undying attention.
A trip to Halloween Haunt would not be complete without the shows! See one, see them all – Knott’s entertainment offers so many twisted choices.
- In the Ghoul Time Theatre Ed Alonzo offers up his “Psycho Circus of Magic and Mayhem.” This self-proclaimed Misfit of Magic brings slight-of-hand, slight-of-mouth and slight of mind to this insane, psycho-sensory production.
- The Wagon Camp will see the return of “Putz’ Prank Party”. Nobody performs prop comedy like Marty Putz does. This show is a serious dose of crazy, zany, frenzied comedy. Over the top funny! Can you say, “Chubby Bunny”?
- At Necropolis Theatre guests can watch the ghoulishly great performance of Street Drum Corps “Blood Drums” show. This high energy drumming quartet is known for their unique blend of amazing percussion skills with ordinary found objects. Knott’s historic Birdcage Theatre will be the location of a brand new show that takes a look at Haunt past. “Haunt Wonders of Technology” is a tongue-in-cheek, comedy and special effects show that will spotlight some favorite mechanical and automated friends from past Halloween Haunts.
- In the Boardwalk Ballroom, “Zamora’s Sideshow of the Horrors” returns. Zamora, the King of Torture, amazes audiences with his mind blowing, invasive, self-inflicted pain and torture. The new Gypsy Camp area will present “Cursed” featuring the magical and hypnotic powers of the Gypsy dancers.
- And of course no Haunt would be complete without the legendary “Hanging®” in Calico Scare. This year’s Hanging “Cowboys & Aliens and Superheroes Oh My!” finds the good citizens of Calico and the Lawman trying to rid the town of the evil that has invaded it!
All of the 411 – Tickets, Prices, Discounts, Coupons, Dates, etc.
The Halloween Haunt at Knott’s Scary Farm is a special ticket event not covered by regular Knott’s Berry Farm admission or a Knott’s Season Pass. Ticket prices are $34 – $51 presale online and $57 day of event. Check out the dates earlier in the season and on Wednesday/Thursday nights for the cheaper tickets (and shorter lines!).
Haunt tickets are availble online at www.knotts.com and by phone at Knott’s Haunt Line (714) 220-5000. No guest costumes or re-entry.
Still not sure which haunted attractions in the Inland Empire and Southern California you’ll be visiting? Check out our preview online!