For the past six years the Season Pass Podcast has been bringing Halloween and Haunt audio to thousands of listeners. As for 2014, our coverage can only be explained as Gigantic! Enormous! Incredibly Packed!! We went BIG for Halloween this year, and if you want to know what happened behind the scenes of all the major haunted events in California, this is your station for scary fun audio. Below, you’ll find ELEVEN (11) podcasts devoted to this exciting season.
It all started with the first true themed haunted house experience at Disneyland.
Halloween started in August for 2014, thanks to the sophomore outing of the quickly growing Scare LA Halloween Convention in Los Angeles. Season Pass Podcast was there to capture the gossip, conversations, sounds, and excitement of the evolving multi-million dollar industry that has swept not just the state of California, but the nation. The huge convention was opened with a panel devoted to the haunted attraction that started it all. When Hinges Creak was a conversation panel that took place on the day of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion’s 45th Anniversary. Moderated by Doombuggies.com’s Jeff Baham, Disney Legends Alice Davis and Bob Gurr shared their experiences and excitement in bringing the world famous dark ride to life. The panel was a sensational celebration of insight and enlightenment (especially on the work of the late Mark Davis); however, TSPP wanted to learn more about the creative process and lengthy development in the tumultuous formation of the marvelous classic. Alice Davis shares her experiences of working with Walt Disney, Mark’s relationship with Walt and his inspirational efforts as an animator and Imagineer, and the difficulties of being a strong women in a position that was usually occupied by audacious men. Jeff also shares his story on the podcast and gives some thought on why the Haunted Mansion is so cherished. There’s much more to hear: “45 Years of the Haunted Mansion,” live from Scare LA.
Garner Holt wanted to create immersive experiences as a child.
During Scare LA, I was given the honor to moderate a panel with TEA Lifetime Achievement Recipient, MiceChat Contributor, self produced haunt master, and President of Garner Holt Productions, Garner Holt. I was also able to record the entire presentation to share with all of you — here’s “Garner Holt: I was a Teenage Haunter.”
Scare LA delivers in its second outing.
To wrap up all the happenings at the Scare LA Halloween Convention, Robert Coker, WinsomeWench and Fishbulb joined me in this extensive review on this one of a kind scare-fest-con. Take a listen as we summarize Scare LA.
First scares of the year come from a very haunted ship in Long Beach, CA.
From the Summer heat of Scare LA, we moved right into the Autumn chills of haunt season. TSPP starts its haunt coverage straight out of the gate with an experience that was new to the entire podcast team, The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor. Robert and I were joined by seasoned Dark Harbor veterans Dusty Sage and Fishbulb for a conversation about the uniqueness of Dark Harbor with Creative Director, JJ Wickham, and Co-Talent Director, David Wally. Not only were we all impressed by the breathtaking, scare-fully great environment of Dark Harbor, but we were all humbled by the passion of the team behind it. Here is “The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor with JJ Wickham and David Wally.”
Knott’s Scary Farm is STILL the “King of Haunts.”
From a ship that transforms into a theme park to the theme park that started the haunt industry; Knott’s Scary Farm has become an annual tradition for MiceChat.com and is the official home park of The Season Pass Podcast. Jeff Tucker joins the team to dissect the bold and new direction Halloween Haunt seized for 2014, and as always, set-up a stunning list of interviews for the show, which includes, the Mistress of the Dark herself, ELVIRA! It’s time to put two hours aside and take a long spooky listen to Knott’s Haunt 2014.
Want more Knott’s Haunt? MicePod member and TSPP friend Paul Barrie, of the awesome Window to the Magic podcast, gives Season Pass listeners a binaural “Audio Adventure” through all the major mazes at Haunt with his signature approach. So, put on your headphones and Surround Yourself with the Macabre.
Knott’s has a baby brother called California’s Great America: Halloween Haunt…and he’s growing up fast!
Knott’s Haunt heritage has influenced all the parks within the Cedar Fair chain, and none are more apparent than the little brother (a title given by CGA’s Entertainment Manager & Haunt Master, Clayton Lawrence), California’s Great America. Listen as Clayton and Public Relations Manager, Roger Ross, deliver what can only be defined as a “monumental leap” in the haunt world. Halloween Haunt has spread like wild fire into the Bay Area.
Six Flags in Northern California has also stepped up its fright game.
Less than a hour away from the startlingly improved California’s Great America, in Vallejo, CA, is the sister park of Six Flags Magic Mountain, known as Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. Like Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest for 2014, Discovery Kingdom has taken a large step forward in scare innovation. The park has upgraded every maze, show, and scare zone to create an impressive new frightening experience that now demands your attention. No longer can Discovery Kingdom’s Fright Fest be analyzed as a lesser haunt experience. TSPP covers all the keen upgrades to the celebration with Entertainment Director, Terry Overstreet, and appropriately titled Scare Master, Charles Laureano. Listen to how family fun converts to frightening fun at dusk.
Universal Studios Hollywood cements itself as the Premier Halloween celebration in California with its newest rendition of Horror Nights.
For the last eight years, Universal Studios Hollywood has taken the haunt industry and turned it into an authentic, real-life, horror-movie adventure…and what I mean by adventure is a terror-fying odyssey. Every maze that Horror Nights presents will provoke the inner horror movie geek in everyone. The event continues to improve year after year, with the greatest set design you will ever encounter in any theme park Halloween experience, and they never slouch in the special effects department. Horror Nights 2014 is Universal Hollywood’s best effort yet, by increasing the number of experiences and actors, along with a boisterous supply of life-size puppetry. John Murdy, Mr. Horror Nights himself, joins Robert and myself, to discuss the creative process of this year’s event and examine the importance of attention to detail with every experience produced. Learn how Horror Nights continues to bring great properties like Alien vs. Predator and An American Werewolf in London to reality.
MiceChat Podcast also dives into the world of haunted themed entertainment.
So, as stated earlier, we went BIG for Halloween in 2014, and if TSPP’s coverage of Halloween 2014 isn’t enough for you, MiceChat Podcast also covered both Scare LA and these great haunts. Tune in for Dusty Sage and my thoughts on the growth of this booming season.
Scare LA Review:
As a close to this sensational Halloween season, I cannot really determine what is the best haunted attraction available; but, I can say the Knott’s Scary Farm is the very best value on the market right now and if you want to experience Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights in its true form, you’re going to have to pay a pretty penny (general admission will only bring you frustration…especially on Friday and Saturday). Now that the season is over, I can finally get back to my family, focus on my day job, and get some sleep…oh man…sleep sounds good. Have a thrilling week.