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  1. #1

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    My Knott's Haunt Review 9-22-12

    I attended the Mice Chat night at Haunt on Sept 22nd. First off a big huge THANK YOU to Norm for putting such a fantastic event on once again. I enjoyed the backstage tour of both Trick Or Treat and Dominion Of The Dead. My husband and I were in the first group. Just walking thru Dominion Of The Dead was fascinating. The artwork really s the main attraction of this maze NOT the vampires. (more on that later). The real downer was the "no picture taking". Last year we were allowed and encouraged to take pictures and video as we walked thru Dilerium. No biggie. I loved the buffet (the turkey beat out the chicken). Loved the self serve drinks instead of waiting helping yourself was a great option. Missed the souvineer bottles as in previous years. After all it is 40th year of Haunt but found out the Prescare dinner guests don't get any either. Bad move on Knott's part. Anyways the Trick Or Treat bags were a great bonus (more on this later).

    Onto the event:
    Once we entered we went to go grab our Fright Lane passes. Because so many were trying to redeem theirs they ran out but after a few minutes we were handed our lanyards (no wristband like last year). Anyways they dropped the rope and off we went.

    First up Evil Dead aka Log Ride: I thought it was good considering no outer sign like they had for Sleepy Hollow nor decorations either. Really good talent and I was screaming already. I really hope the talent keeps it up. 8/10

    Next up we decided to hit up Pinnochio Unstrung: I totally forgot what maze was here prior. I was definitely impressed and immersed in the world of puppets. From my first steps inside until I exited the talent was superb. I really hope they keep up the great job they are doing. Especially the "cage" moment. That was brilliant. 10/10

    Terror of London: the talent needs to step up their game in here. I did not like the ending (a letdown instead of a buildup). I miss 13 Axe Manor. I would love to see a new maze or else just an improvement in here. 7/10

    The Hanging: every year the Hanging beats out Bill and Ted's at Universal however NOT this year. I was actually bored watching it except for the ending. Bill and Ted is much much better. 3/10

    ---------- Post added 09-23-2012 at 10:46 PM ----------

    Continuing on

    Trick Or Treat: LOVE,LOVE the maze design. I enjoyed wearing my mask and going to the stands to get the mask stamped and some 40th items. Especially the second be where we were asked to say "trick or treat" and wear our masks. The maze itself I was able to ring the doorbell and really loved how we had to yell "trick or treat" to get the door opened. The talent could have been better plus the last room we did not get the benefit of the effect in here. Disappointed to say the least. Ths maze needs more talent. 6/10

    Endgames: I'm sorry but this maze does nothing for me. I had a had time finding my way due to it being very dark inside. It wasn't really scary. 4/10

    Dominion of the Dead: the best part was the art work and detail even in the dark I could stare at everything and still not soak it all in. The talent was lacking. I'm sorry these were billed as "hungry blood thirsty vampires" that don't sparkle in the sun these aren't Twilight vampires. However all they did was stand around either playing musical instruments or barely move. Little to no effort on the vampires part in here. I really had wished this had been themed to Twilight instead at least would have been better. I hope the talent really really improves because it makes me miss the original. Don't mess with a good thing. 5/10

    Dilerium: by far one of my favorites. I didn't care for this maze last year at all. However this year I found way more talent. They were top notch. I was definitely surprised for the better. The design is amazing. 10/10

    Fallout Shelter: I really wish that this mazes goes. It's boring. 3/10

    Slaughterhouse: a vast improvement over last year. Increase and great talent this year. I love the new maze layout. Definitey well done for the better. 8/10

    Virus Z: i hate doing this but with Universal and The Walking Dead this year this maze just fell short. It was better last year. I was definitely confused with the Carrie theming. 4/10

    Uncle BoBo's: This maze definitely needs to go. It was very short and definitely more laughs than scares. I'd love to see a new clown maze instead of the same old same old.2/10

    Dia De Los Muertos: I felt this maze to fall short as well. The jungle scene was changed this year but it just wasn't enough. Ever since Universal did La Llorona last year and this year (major improvement) this maze just falls flat. This maze definitely needs to go. 2/10

    Up next TRAPPED

  2. #2

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    Re: My Knott's Haunt Review 9-22-12

    I agree with most of your review, except Trick or Treat. Well, at least the first time we went through Trick or Treat was great. We got to do the final room with the "show", but the 2nd time we didn't get this. Hopefully they'll figure out a way to get this worked out so everybody get's to see it.

    Also agreed about the hanging. I found it incredibly boring and the whole "screen" thing was IMO a total cop-out. I thought it started off great but that was about it. Bill and Ted's was MUCH better this year (this was the first year I actually enjoyed Bill and Ted).

    Virus Z, you are totally spot on. I get why Carrie is there, but she's not a zombie so it made absolutely no sense.

    Glad you had fun though!!!


  3. #3

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    Re: My Knott's Haunt Review 9-22-12

    Thanks Gregg. Unfortunately they NEED to make sure the last room in Trick Or Treat happens each and every time. Maybe that's why I was just not impressed overall. I don't know. What I LOVED was the "tricksters" roaming theark throughout the event. They made for some great entertainment. I'm hoping when we go back on Oct 21st that improvements will have been made. What is interesting maybe because I was extremely exhausted but the monsters at Knott's seem top notch to me and creepy as all heck whereas Universal they're just there as part of the mazes/scare zones. What is strange is usually Universal tops Knott's but this year I just feel like I enjoyed Knott's more. I mean you can't compete with the maze design and detail at Universal because they are a movie studio.

    ---------- Post added 09-24-2012 at 01:20 PM ----------

    Ok onto TRAPPED...

    TRAPPED: this is Knott's VIP maze with an up charge. Advance reservations are suggested and the first couple nights have been sell outs. I can definitely see why. I'm greatful for Norm to get the slots he could for those of us willing to pay to experience this. However bad show for Knott's to sell the same time slots to the general public but hey what can you do. Also they gave everyone the same time slot when I figured we'd be grouped in 10-15 minute intervals but hey it all worked out.

    Luckily we only had 3 in our group because if there had been 6 there would have been a chance someone would have said the "safe word" and then it would have been game over for the entire group. We all were eager to make it thru and we did. The waiver they have you sign is hilarious. We were laughing hysterically from exhaustion. The rules are straightforward and I can see why the monsters/guides can touch you. It's impossible not to be touched. Definitely small enclosed spaces which the last room brought my biggest fear to life.

    WARNING MAJOR SPOILERS: if you haven't experienced TRAPPED for yourself and don't want it ruined then don't read the rest of this. If you have experienced TRAPPED or don't care then go ahead and read. Of course you are given a "safe word" to use if at any time while in TRAPPED you feel you can't continue you can say the "safe word" and then your entire group will be walked out of the maze. The "safe word" was "boysenberry". Our group I think totally forgot that word once we were inside.

    You enter and are greeted by a host who has you say the "safe word". It's a "safe word" free zen as well as explain a little about what you are about to experience. There are two tracks (only difference is in the puzzle room). Our group had Track A hopefully on Halloween we are going to ask for Track B. Anyways there's only 2 places where there isn't anyone telling you what to do to,advance to the next room. Our group worked rather quickly in each room getting stumped for a moment or two in a couple of places. One room was VERY obvious even with no one there giving us any help to advance. We made it out in 15 minutes believe it or not.

    You do have to touch a couple of things to advance. One room say a phrase very obvious and we were all engrossed in the projections and mirrors. The puzzle room not sure how we missed the "green button" at first. The nastiest thing ever though was drinking the "milk". And this is thepart thats more like Fear Factor by tasting what is supposed to be fried worms i believe.Of corse I was the one picked for this. The last room by far was my biggest deepest darkest fear. Now I know that nothing even can come close and I'm over this fear now. I loved how we all thought at first someone would have to go in the coffin but when the sheet started to move and a corpse sat up and cameover to us that was creepy. He opens a door in the wall and pulls out a drawer then eyeballs each one of us pointing at me to climb in and lay down on the slab. I reluctantly hesitated a split second. My biggest fear being enclosed in a crypt. I tried to get up but couldn't reach so he had to help me up. Mind you a thousand thoughts raced thru my mind as the door was shut. However it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Don't want to give out spoilers as to what happened next. Would I do it again? Of course I would. My husband was put in a bottom crypt and our friend in the coffin.

    Once we successfully finished that the end where they ake your picture. You do get a free 5x7 picture. It was definitely worth the money. I just hope that next year they change it up or they won't be getting repeat customers. The talent was definitey top notch. I really felt like I was in a horror movie almost like SAW where I couldn't get out. Kudos to Knott's for ths addition ths year.

  4. #4

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    Re: My Knott's Haunt Review 9-22-12

    Trick or treat was so detailed and intricate. The scares weren't there and the final scene was a letdown. Hanging was boring and the hot night air and humidity didn't help. I loved the old final scene with Virus Z but that maze is so well done I enjoy it everytime, Carrie included.

  5. #5

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    Re: My Knott's Haunt Review 9-22-12

    More Trapped Spoilers:

    Yeah, the coffin part was the worst for me. Ever since that one Tales from the Crypt where the guy get's buried alive, always been my worst fear. I wasn't going to do the "Mirror" thing but I admit, that room was pretty awesome.


  6. #6

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    Re: My Knott's Haunt Review 9-22-12

    The mirror room how could you not? I guess it brings me back to childhood with my younger siblings. We would turn the lights off I'm the bathroom, shut the door and chant but of course nothing happened. So for me that was amazing. Really glad they had that in there. I can imagine but I would have gladly taken the coffin over the crypt..lol I loved Tales From The Crypt. Guess I'm just sick like that.

    Since Universal has The Walking Dead Virus Z needs to go. It wasn't as effective.

    ---------- Post added 09-24-2012 at 01:36 PM ----------

    I forgot to mention the green witch she got me good. The park had just opened well those who had the Prescare boo-fet. Anyways we were headed to the log ride when she blended into the back of this tree. At first I thought it might be some decorations but I saw her face and hat and totally freaked out. Damn witch gets me in that same spot.

  7. #7

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    Re: My Knott's Haunt Review 9-22-12

    Wow, so many replies repeat what a dissapointment "The Hanging Games" was. I'm just curious, do you usually enjoy these hangings? I'm asking because I really haven't enjoyed any of them since they switched to this format in the 80's, but thought it was better than the last one I watched (7-10 yrs ago). Did anyone stay for the Midnight Green Witch Hanging-now that's a hanging!!!

  8. #8

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    Re: My Knott's Haunt Review 9-22-12

    The first Hanging I saw was four years ago and I was laughing the whole time. They have gotten progressively worse over the following couple of years and this one I had a couple of laughs but it was few and far between. Missed the witch hanging darn it, coinsided with my Trapped time.

  9. #9

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    Re: My Knott's Haunt Review 9-22-12

    Up until this year I really found The Hanging to be better than Bill and Ted's at Universal however this year the award for better show goes to Bill and Ted's at Universal. I found the Hanging to be boring and just bland.

    I only caught a glimpse of the Midnight Witch's Hanging from a distance while waiting to enter TRAPPED. I'm heading back twice next month including Halloween so I definitely plan on seeing it.

  10. #10

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    Sportdavid, I'm glad you asked about dissatisfaction with The Hanging. I did like it overall, but three years ago there was a funny bit with the Fantasmic dragon not working, and two years ago there was my favorite bit (out of four shows I've now seen in different years) where they parodied DCA's World of Color with garden sprinklers. They sang that Fantasmic was much better, so it was good natured. This year I wanted a Luigi's Tire drive by.

    Missed opportunities: I liked Techskip's suggestions of lampooning the occupy movement & Prince Harry in Vegas. they could have added William's wife, Lance Armstrong, and Rick Perry forgetting his third point (which could have killed him) and the new North Korean leader. And how about making fun of this summer's early music selections in Knott's own Ghost Town and then killing Raffi himself. At least for the show that 200 micechatters were attending. And would it kill CEO Matt O. to appear in one show and be "killed" while he is introducing himself?

    Last year was my favorite show overall.

    This year the writers seemed to be dumbing it down and they seemed less ambitious. (I enjoy raunchy humor, btw.) For example, the Avengers show up (bad costumes, no green Hulk) and they fight, but there were no funny jokes here that I remember. And then there is a medley of the years hits lip synched by actors pretending to be the artists and (predictably and unimaginatively) getting executed. Booooorrrrrrring. It seemed like they felt like they had to do this, and that no one in the cast doing this actually found it amusing. I didn't.

    I liked just about everything else in the show, so I still give it an enthusiastic thumbs up, but I'm concerned that it's not as fresh as it used to be.

    I thought the best stunt man last year was that shorter guy who appeared regularly in the cowboy stunt shows. I'd guess he's moved in to higher falls and more incendiary explosions.
    Last edited by jcruise86; 09-25-2012 at 08:28 PM.

  11. #11

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    Re: My Knott's Haunt Review 9-22-12

    That's very true. I was expecting some skits from Disney especially with Cars Lamd opening but nothing. Plus it seemed like this show was just put together at the last minute rather than thought out. What's interesting in Bill and Ted's is they almost took on what the Hangimg used to be like actually. I think that's why I was so disappointed in this years show at Knott's. There used to be more "killing off" of celebrities, movie themes, political figures, musical artists etc. But not this year. This year was a big 40th for Haunt yet the Hanging just didn't reflect it to me. Yet the rest of the park was great.

  12. #12

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    Re: My Knott's Haunt Review 9-22-12

    Can't wait to check out Bill and Ted this Friday. I agreed that the Hanging this year was boring!!!!! the only funny part was durning Batman and Bane voice.
    Last edited by SoCalbma; 09-26-2012 at 01:44 PM.
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  13. #13

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    Re: My Knott's Haunt Review 9-22-12

    Just a few of our observations. Kudos again to Knotts for another great year. Loved Pinocchio Unstrung. I still really like Terror of London, but it drives me crazy every year because its so historically inaccurate. The 10 Bells was not a bordello!

    Our group participated in Trapped. We loved how each room was devoted to one of our fears, germaphobia, food phobias, rodents, urban legends, claustrophobia, and death.

    I honestly could pass on The Hanging every year. Really don't find it very entertaining. We missed the witch hanging on Saturday because we were in Trapped, but we're going back on the 11th and will be watching it for sure. I've been missing that for many, many years.

  14. #14

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    Re: My Knott's Haunt Review 9-22-12

    Odd, but I didn't enjoy the Hanging at all on my first viewing, but loved it on the second viewing. Of course, it's all theater and every showing is slightly different than the last. Even the audience makes a huge difference as the first audience was mostly silent, but on the second night, the audience was going nuts and laughing nonstop.

    The mazes are quite the same — they are all live theater productions. I walked through Terror of London on my first visit and hardly saw a single monster. Yet on my second visit, I was attacked at every turn by volleys of damned monsters. Over the years I've learned that I can't possibly judge a maze by just one walk through.

  15. #15

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    Re: My Knott's Haunt Review 9-22-12

    ^ Great points Eric.


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