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    KSF's 40th featuring DTH316, Presented by Sony. A review (10/4)

    Preface
    In the year 2000, I attended Knotts Scary Farm's Halloween Haunt for the very first time. That night, it was myself, my cousin, my uncle, my brother and my grandma, who was awesome enough to take us. She actually has started to take my little sister, who is about the same age I was back than. For the 40th, I wanted to recreate that a bit, but the only person I could get to go was my cousin. Along with us this year is my girlfriend and one of my friends who also happened to be celebrating his birthday.


    Since 2000, I've attended Halloween Haunt every year except 2007, which makes this my 12th year, and considering I went twice in 2001 and 2009, this is my 14th time attending. Like most of you, Haunt has become a tradition. In some ways, it was my obsession. But like some of you... that changed in 2007... when I first attended Universal's Halloween Horror Nights. It was like Knotts didn't even matter anymore, but it was hard for me to believe that. So for the next 2 years, I tried desperately to cling on to whatever love I had for Knotts' funky event... but HHN eventually won my heart and now that's my new tradition and obsession.


    Fast forward to now, and at the point prior to attending Knotts 40th, I was fed up with the event and not even willing to give it a try this year. "Next year," I said, "so then most of the mazes will feel fresh instead of the same junk every year." I was truly going to stick to that, despite all the new stuff they were coming out with this year. It didn't matter what it was, I wasn't going, and financially for myself it made sense... but Knotts had a secret weapon: The Evil Dead... my all time favorite horror film. EVER. When that was announced, I was in. Almost like they just KNEW that'd be the one thing to get me to come after practically promising I wouldn't. So I bit the bullet and bought a ticket.


    After dwindling down to mediocrity, can KSF redeem itself with it's 40th Haunt? Or will it just be another disappointment?


    Prologue
    Knowing Knotts is beyond empty on weekdays, we didn't even bother to leave early. In fact, we left home at around 6:40 and didn't get there until 7:40. No traffic, no parking issues; all seemed to be going very well. We headed to the park and got wand checked with zero wait. We entered and already, something felt.... off. Since we were next to it and it had no wait, we did Silver Bullet at 8 PM on the dot. Right after, we cut through Calico Square and headed to the log ride. Then the bomb dropped... the one SINGLE reason me, my cousin and my girlfriend went (my friend for his bday was just going for a good time either way)..... the Evil Dead Log Ride.... was CLOSED. We were told later in the evening it should be open. I'll spare you the torture of how many times we went back to check on it only to find it was still closed and that it remained closed for the rest of the evening. I can't even begin to express how major of a bummer that was. It wasn't until 11 PM that they just basically said, "it's not gonna open tonight, probably won't even be open tomorrow." I asked what was wrong with it, out of pure curiousity, and the guy gave me the dumb *** smug answer, "broken." Anywho, we went on with our night despite this major disappointment. In fact, the entire event was so underwhelming, I won't even bother with a paragraph review and will just stick strictly to the grading rubric answers. There's not much to say about these mazes anyway.


    Uncle Bobo's Bigtop of the Bizarre
    At 8:17 PM with no wait.
    Talent: 2. Maybe 2 or 3 clowns trying in this entire maze. It was staffed completely.
    Set Design: 3. This maze looks so cheap, it's embarassing.
    Sound Design: 8. I like the music and the music cues when applicable, I'll give it that.
    Monster Design: 8. They're clowns. Some were funny, some were demonic. It fit for the theme.
    Scares: 2. As I said, hardly anybody was trying. One really good one just as I was exiting to the new (?) outside segment. Walked out stone faced though.
    Special Prop/Set: 4. Some special set pieces, but it all looks so cheap, it's like, who cares?
    Improvement: 5. I like the new outside scene (I think it's new...).
    Fun: 4. With no effort from the talent, I was bored for 3/4 of the way.
    Story: 5. I'm not sure WHAT the story is here other than traveling through a big top, but I suppose that's fine.
    Personal Bias Bonus Points: 0. I've always disliked this maze and don't care to even give it sympathy points.
    41 out of 100 'F'-


    Dia De Los Muertos
    At 8:27 with no wait.
    Talent: 1. One or two people trying.
    Set Design: 3 Another horrid 3D maze where everything looks beyond fake and cartoony.
    Sound Design: 5. It's okay.
    Monster Design: 5. Decent looking monsters in here.
    Scares: 1. One scare that worked the entire maze. I think it was the swinging body room.
    Special Prop/Set: 3. Lots of stuff in here but it's fakeness ruins everything.
    Improvement: 4. Shortening maze really works. Before it was too long, but I'm glad it's much quicker.
    Fun: 2. I was pissed to be going through this travesty of a maze AGAIN.
    Story: 3. I don't know, who cares.
    Personal Bias Bonus Points: 0. WHY did this even live passed it's premiere year? END IT ALREADY.
    27 out of 100 'F'---


    Terror of London
    At 8:43 with a 5 minute wait. The line stretched out and zig zagged through the entire queue area but was very quick.
    Talent: 8. Lots of attempts and interactions, just hardly any good scares.
    Set Design: 8. Very good quality for a Knotts maze but I'm starting to notice there's LOTS of blank walls.
    Sound Design: 8. I've always loved the sound in this maze, from the music to the background voices.
    Monster Design: 6. They fit the theme but it's not much special.
    Scares: 7. Got a few good ones in here. At the entrance, the bar, the graveyard and the whorehouse and just before the lab. They were all rockin' it.
    Special Prop/Set: 7. The screaming grave worked today! Yaaaay!
    Improvement: 6. I actually like the shortened version of this maze. I always felt it was too long. However, I don't like the layout of the new lab.
    Fun: 8. Things finally felt like they were picking up at the Scary Farm.
    Story: 8. Decent enough.
    Personal Bias Bonus Points: 8
    74 out of 100 'C'


    Pinocchio Unstrung
    Got in at 9:05 after a 13 minute wait. It zig zagged quite a bit off to the side of the building but it was fine.
    Talent: 9. Amazing talent in here. Major kudos to the marrionette girl.
    Set Design: 8. Unfortunately, it looked too much like a Knotts maze for me but there are some incredible set pieces.
    Sound Design: 8. Very creepy atmosphere brought on by the music.
    Monster Design: 10. All very nice in here and fit the theme perfectly. Never saw anything oddly out of place.
    Scares: 7. Not many scares but I did get a good few. Random guy behind a picture and a few out of nowhere ones.
    Special Prop/Set: 8. Loved the little puppet in the beginning until his transformation at the end of the maze.
    Improvement: 6. For a Knotts maze, this is a semi-improvement. Not as good as I think it needs to be though for it to be REALLY good.
    Fun: 9. I was having a good time in this one, enjoying all the little things. Only downer was it wasn't as scary as I thought it should be.
    Story: 10. LOVED THE STORY HERE. Also, there's a little narration thing while you're waiting in line.
    Personal Bias Bonus Points: 10. It felt worth a go through and I love the idea of it but I think they could've gone a little harder with the scares and with set design overall.
    85 out of 100 'B'


    Mine Train
    This was oddly the most fun I had the entire night. Something about telling a subtle story about the Green Witch and cleverly tying it into everything just worked for me. There were more props and mannequins with masks and lighting than people lead me to believe. Also loved the glory hole with the witch's shadow. I don't know, I just thought this was a really great use of the mine ride and it was honestly better than last year's Invasion Beneath. Ofcourse, don't expect anything. There's no scares to be had in here (the "spiderwebs" coming down got a lot of people though). So for going through, thinking it was just going to be a regular mine ride, I was pleasantly surprised. I might add, as we were boarding, we saw Elvira going through the crowd toward the Calico stage but it was only 9:15. When we got off, she wasn't on stage or around anywhere.


    The Hanging Games
    Still, no Elvira as promised. The Facebook page specifically said she'd be out for the 9:30 show but she did not make an appearance at all. And appearing 15 minutes before the show, well what's up with that? Very disappointed in that aspect. As for the show this year? It's SO BAD. Probably the worst Hanging I can remember. The behind the curtain thing only has ONE good gag and that's Snooki's baby. Everything about the show this year just falls flat. I was seriously missing Bill and Ted at this point...
    F


    Fallout Shelter
    Got in at 10:10 with no wait. The new path to the maze confused me... but oh well.
    Talent: 4. Some tried, most didn't.
    Set Design: 7. I always thought this was a decent looking maze.
    Sound Design: 5. I honestly can't remember but if I don't remember it being good or bad, I guess it's in the middle.
    Monster Design: 7. A lot of freaks in here!
    Scares: 3. Bleh. C'MON.
    Special Prop/Set: 7. A lot of animatronics but they all look beyond fake but at least there's alot of them.
    Improvement: 2. Did this even change this year?
    Fun: 4. I didn't care going through.
    Story: 9. I think the progression of the maze is actually pretty genius.
    Personal Bias Bonus Points: 10. I really liked this maze it's first year and I think it had a decent run but it's time is over. I'll enjoy the little memories I've had with it.
    58 out of 100. 'F'


    Tricksters
    First encounter with the Tricksters while eating. One JUMPED onto this couple's table while they were eating and stole their straws. The couple looked pretty annoyed afterward. Saw the Tricksters later in the night. They had a bunch of maps balled up (I'm assuming from stealing them) and lobbed it to us like it was a present. Honestly, I think the Tricksters are annoying, from what I saw, and do some really juvenile crap even if it is all in the spirit of good fun. I don't necessarily enjoy them and all the people we saw them encounter didn't seem to be having fun when they interacted with them. We saw them maybe 3 or 4 times throughout the night in various areas. And what's with putting their masks on the SIDE of their heads?


    Slaughterhouse
    Went through at 11:10 with no wait.
    Talent: 5. Mostly everyone lazied about. Gotta hand it to a few monsters trying to scare though. Seriously, I'll just say this right now, EVERY maze there were lazy monsters. I can honestly say there wasn't a single maze where the whole crew was on fire. Very disappointing and sluggish night as far as the talent was concerned. It was at this point that I officially gave up on expecting anything from the monsters.
    Set Design: 8. Very dark and grim maze! I dig a lot of the sets, but like Pinocchio, they still had that cheapish Knotts feel to 'em.
    Sound Design: 8. Actually felt SCARY to go through the maze, just not many people scaring...
    Monster Design: 7. Caught a lot of recognizable masks in here. I gotta frown upon that just a little...
    Scares: 6. Ehhhhh... waah waah waaaaaaaah. Too bad, LOTS of opportunities.
    Special Prop/Set: 9. In dark lighting, some of the stuff didn't look too bad.
    Improvement: 9. It was like 90 - 95% different from its previous years without losing it's tone or lessening the maze. Taking away a point for bored talent though.
    Fun: 10. I really enjoyed catching all the new details and such, plus some of the monsters that did try, I really appreciated it.
    Story: 10. I think this idea works very well but it's time to retire it.
    Personal Bias Bonus Points: 10. I'm really happy they decided to give us something practically new for this location. I miss the old entrance but ya know, at least it was DIFFERENT.
    82 out of 100. 'B'-


    Virus Z
    Went in at 11:25 after about a 10 minute wait.
    Talent: 8. A large amount of talent TRYING. Only the zombies hardly ever acted like... zombies. Oh well, at least they tried. There was actually two people tag teaming in the bus, so I was excited about that.
    Set Design: 8. Always thought this was a good looking maze.
    Sound Design: 9. I was trying to listen to a lot of what was being said on radios and such. Really adds to the maze.
    Monster Design: 6. Some cheap lookin' zombies but it could be worse.
    Scares: 7. I think I got some in here and I enjoyed it quite a bit.
    Special Prop/Set: 5. I... don't... remember much of anything special prop or set wise but this isn't really a maze that calls for it.
    Improvement: 5. The talent has stayed consistent, although declining, over the years. The new ending takes away some of the allure of the maze though.
    Fun: 10. I enjoyed this one quite a bit.
    Story: 10. It's simple and it works. As for the Carrie thing, don't think of it as something intruding into the maze. Think of it as a double feature. You get Virus Z and a Carrie scene at the end. The entire thing shifts tone anyway, so it didn't effect the maze one bit. And I really dug the Carrie room for what it was. Interesting way to promote a movie; just next time it shouldn't be so shoehorned.
    Personal Bias Bonus Points: 10. I still love this maze, just not as much as I used to, but I give it props for being one of the few mazes I don't mind seeing return year after year.
    71 out of 10. 'C'-


    Trick or Treat
    Went in at 11:52 after a 7 minute wait.
    Talent: 9. Practically everyone was trying in here except for a few rotten eggs. Would've been damn near perfect aside from that. MAJOR props to the skeleton guy in the last room giving SO much energy as people entered. He even kicked toward someone's head -- that made me laugh because I've never seen someone try that for a scare lol.
    Set Design: 10. Top notch. This is how mazes at Knotts need to start looking like. Pinocchio and Dominion both have their moments, but this actually looked pretty near Universal quality aside from a few minor hokey things. But I really loved the sets in here, definitely the best of the new batch.
    Sound Design: 9. Very nice.
    Monster Design: 8. Tricksters are boring to look at but it fits the maze... but you also got the Green Witch, so she's actually pretty cool looking, I think.
    Scares: 8. Some good scares in here but nothing hardcore.
    Special Prop/Set: 10. The frickin' witch was FLOATING at the end.
    Improvement: 10. This is where the future of Knotts needs to head towards.
    Fun: 10. Loved this maze so much and was so happy to finally get some damn quality.
    Story: 10. Really great story that ties everything so well together. The final room with the little scene was so AWESOME as well. I was very impressed with Knotts and how this was all done. This maze made the night semi worth it.
    Personal Bias Bonus Points: 10. Major improvement, major innovation, major quality, and major fun. Kudos.
    94 out of 100 'A'


    Endgames
    Went in at 11:57 with no wait.
    Talent: 1. Oh my God. So dead in here which is CRAZY because it looked fully staffed.
    Set Design: 5. Bare but it at least looked better than last year.
    Sound Design: 3. Random loud music. Yeah.... doesn't count.
    Monster Design: 5. It was okay.
    Scares: 1. I got one somewhere near the giant rock monster.
    Special Prop/Set: 9. Mister Giant Rock Monster plus a few others.
    Improvement: 7. I enjoyed this more than last year, despite it being pretty bad this year. That shows how much I HATED it last year.
    Fun: 7. Despite nobody trying and no scares, still had fun walking through. And the picture at the beginning... I guess added to it. Waste of time though.
    Story: 8. Decent story.
    Personal Bias Bonus Points: 8. There was improvement, I had fun and I wanted to boost the points up to at least give it a D but it's just not possible.
    54 out of 100 'F'


    Dominion of the Dead
    Went in at 12:02 AM with no wait.
    Talent: 8. Um... well, this is hard to judge. They all were doing what they're supposed to be doing... it's just not scary...
    Set Design: 4. I feel bad doing this... but there became a point toward the later haf where it was JUST pictures on blank walls. Everything seemed fine until I was walking through LARGE areas of black walls with a random picture slapped on.
    Sound Design: 10. Oh, loved the music in here.
    Monster Design: 8. The vamps weren't the most creative but they fit the theme.
    Scares: 1. Some still looking violinst came to life and made me jump. That was IT.
    Special Prop/Set: 10. Just for the artistry alone with the pictures, plus there's a few things here and there.
    Improvement: 3. This is very far off from what Knotts should be doing. It was an interesting idea just executed VERY poorly. And more set design, SERIOUSLY.
    Fun: 10. Despite not being scared, I enjoyed walking through it. Like actually being in a painting at points and/or observing live art.
    Story: 7. Solid story, needs to have scares amplified.
    Personal Bias Bonus Points: 7. Very mixed feelings on this. It deserves another shot though.
    68 out of 10. 'D'+


    Delirium
    Went in right after Dominon. Walked through the middle to avoid the picture taking.
    Talent: 8. MUCH better than last year when it was unpopulated.
    Set Design: 8. Some very good sets, just bogged down by a lot of things that look too beyond fake.
    Sound Design: 5. Can't remember it being good or bad.
    Monster Design: 7. Some were creepy, some were basic. All fit with the theme though.
    Scares: 5. Got some scares in here this year, but some attempts just fell flat.
    Special Prop/Set: 6. Some cool looking stuff, some too fake for it's own good.
    Improvement: 8. Feels pretty much the same as last year, just with more alive talent.
    Fun: 10. I remember enjoying this one.
    Story: 10. Very odd and creepy nightmareish maze.
    Personal Bias Bonus Points: 8. Improvements, for me and some actual scares with fun to actually be had in there. Just not as intense as it needs to be.
    75 out of 10. 'C'+


    Final Moments
    After, we just walked around for 45 minutes looking for stuff to do. We could've saw Unearthed, but at this point I didn't even care anymore. Did Supreme Scream with no wait. Earlier in the night we did Jaguar, which was fun, as well as Sierra Sidewinder, which is just freakin' crazy sitting in the front. At 12:50, we decided to do Trick or Treat one more time. We made it all the way across the park and got there at 12:57. CLOSED. C'mon, really? An entire group of people waiting to be let in just ringing the doorbell, and nothing. None of the staff nearby said a thing either, just kept going on with their business.


    Epilogue
    Knotts disappointed me on so many levels this year, it's just beyond sad. Evil Dead is obviously the number 1 thing but being that it's the log ride, these things happen. But Elvira coming at a earlier time than announced, the FULLY staffed mazes lacking real talent, closing ToT early, to a whole number of things that I'd rather just stop now. Knotts hasn't changed much. There are hints of improvement sprinkled throughout but it's CLEAR that it won't get to the level it NEEDS to be at for quite awhile. Despite the improvement, this is probably one of, if not, my least favorite year I've ever been. Just a dud in nearly every single maze, it's just depressing. I dig the icon attempts though and hopefully we get more of that. SO GLAD I opted out of Trapped because whatever disappointments in there would've just made it all the worse. Even if it was good, I would've been sad because everything else wouldn't be of the same caliber. Now here's something I thought I'd never say... even Ghost Town Streets was lacking this year. We went through entire stretches of fog without a single person attempting to scare us. The only scarezone with active talent was CarnEvil, who kept it up even when people weren't around. So Knotts... this is it. Goodbye. So long. I won't be returning for at the very least 2 years and if I have it my way, 3 or 4 years (......... obviously there's a few things that'd probably get me to come back...). It didn't even feel worth the measly 36 bucks this year and that's a bad sign. I can't wait for Knotts to actually get GOOD again, but I know that won't be for a very long while.

  2. #2

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    Re: KSF's 40th featuring DTH316, Presented by Sony. A review (10/4)

    Wow, that was brutally harsh... But honestly, I agree with most of your review. I have always loved Haunt and have gone intermitently since the first years of operation (yes, I am that old ;-) ). And I have faithfully attended Haunt the last 4 years. I have to agree that I was mostly disappointed with this years effort. The lack of decoration and atmosphere around the park this year was truly heartbreaking. I sort of understand why Raffi is mandatng the change to separate day guest experience from Haunt event show but c'mon this was ridiculous. And after all the hype for the 40th Anniversary I was expecting at least a better effort by the Haunt staff. Not sure if I'll make the trek from Arizona again next year just to attend Haunt.

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    Re: KSF's 40th featuring DTH316, Presented by Sony. A review (10/4)

    I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. What is strange I had friends attend the same night and they reported thy rode the log ride. I wasn't there so I don't know for sure. What I see is I understand the lack of decorations because they do want a separation of day guests from Haunt. What I do NOT get is the fact it's rival Universal just puts up signs letting day guests know an area (scare zone) is decorated for Horror Nights and I have found the day guests there actually dig the setups. They stop take pictures and video. Sure it's not the same in daylight but the idea is there. It's just a great way to promote the event.

    I went to Haunt on opening weekend actually Sept 22nd. I really felt the new mazes (with exception of Dominion of the Dead) to be excellent. Plenty of scares, talent doing their job. I wrote a review on here so won't go back into detail. The mazes I'd LOVE to see go are Dia De Los Muertos, End Games, Fallout Shelter, Uncle BoBo's and Virus Z. We did Trapped and it was worth the extra charge by a long shot. We saved Trapped for the end of the night which was the best idea. I found Ghost Town far scarier this year with the fog, darkness, monsters roaming the street scaring guests. You couldn't see if it as a regular guest or a monster until thy were in your face. When we went into Camp Snoopy to use the restroom and head to Virus Z there were monsters in the area. It was dark and I loved the fact they were actually doing one heck of a job including waiting for victims outside the restrooms.

    I thought Knott's did a great job this year with Haunt. Sure it is the BIG 40th but they did add 3 new mazes this year. The addition of Trapped with its success I really hope it returns next year but totally new. As much as I was disappointed the mine ride had no monsters in it what they have done with it s just brilliant better than the crap from last year.

    Every year Universal has beaten Knott's in my opinion. However this year Knott's came out on top of Universal in my book. Universal is way overpriced (we had front of line passes every visit), too crowded. The monsters do a great job inside the mazes but there is horrible line control compared to our Knott's visit. There's not much else at Universal oh ya one show. So there will always be an issue of crowds until they add more things. This year was just blah to me. I don't play video games nor seen the movies for Silent Hill. I do give credit to Walking Dead maze and Terror Tram though. I just felt Universal was ok but just somehow off to me.

    I love the fact you can purchase the Trick or Treat bags even though they are $15 now. I know the cards and the keychain are about $5 each. I am tempted when we go back to get another one. It made the build up of the maze fun and while going thru it even more so when having to put our masks on in a couple rooms.

    We usually go to Universal more than Knott's however the year we are going the same number of times to both. I'm sorry you feel the way you do about Haunt. I know after my next two visits I'm going to ave withdrawals for the year.

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    Re: KSF's 40th featuring DTH316, Presented by Sony. A review (10/4)

    Went to the haunt with the micechat group and had the same feeling towards what Knott's is doing. There is little or no effort to surprise or startle you. They have seemed to be speeding all their effort on the design of the maze and how the talent interacts is treated as an after thought. That coupled by the returning year after year of worn out, past their prime mazes has left me rather bored.
    I went to Universal for the first time last night, and it reminded me of how Knott's used to put the Scary in Knott's Scary Farm. The mazes were designed for the talent and their interactions with the guest and, not designed for the sake of design and we will figure out where to place monsters later and what to have them do. After this last trip to Knott's I was thinking that maybe I needed to take a break from it, and after visiting Universal that idea became that much more evident.
    I think it is time to switch my alliance to Universal until Knott's wakes up and realizes what made it once the premier Halloween experience. The king is dead, long live the king!
    Last edited by Neff man; 10-06-2012 at 10:50 AM. Reason: Spelling errors

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    Re: KSF's 40th featuring DTH316, Presented by Sony. A review (10/4)

    Wow. That's sad that you feel that way. See I'm the complete opposite. To me the lines going into the mazes are so horrible and backed up that I end up standing in the same spot for minutes taking me out of the intention of being caught up in a maze. Sorry my opinion here. It happened both night's that we had front of the line passes. The poor employees trying to keep the lines moving because they weren't. It's a shame that Universal needs to figure that out because it is a huge negative for me. I go into a maze to forget where I am and be totally submersed in a storyline, place, details etc but with Universal I'm finding it is getting worse and worse every year. They other need to figure out how to make the experience walking thru a maze more enjoyable or I see I'm going to be sending less and less time at Horror Nights.

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    Re: KSF's 40th featuring DTH316, Presented by Sony. A review (10/4)

    I completely disagree with almost everything you wrote. Admittedly I'm a Knott's booster, but I'm heading to the park soon for my fourth Haunt visit this season. I can't get enough of the mazes and the monsters. Universal isn't even on my list anymore, but this year's Knott's Scary Farm was amazing with its detail and scares.

    I'm sorry you didn't like it, but it's Halloween Haunt all the way for me!

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    Re: KSF's 40th featuring DTH316, Presented by Sony. A review (10/4)

    Quote Originally Posted by lynxwiler View Post
    I completely disagree with almost everything you wrote. Admittedly I'm a Knott's booster, but I'm heading to the park soon for my fourth Haunt visit this season. I can't get enough of the mazes and the monsters. Universal isn't even on my list anymore, but this year's Knott's Scary Farm was amazing with its detail and scares.

    I'm sorry you didn't like it, but it's Halloween Haunt all the way for me!
    My big problem with the direction that I see Knott's has taken is a lot of attention to the look of the maze, and little attention to the scares. I personally found the mazes to be lacking in intensity, the talent for the most part added little to the experience for me and I can say that I was not even startled once at Knott's even in Trapped. Universal had me jumping all night, and I believe it is because the mazes are designed with the interactions of the monstered in mind and how the will surprise you. I found very little of this at Knott's.
    Not everyone is looking for the same type of Halloween entertainment. For me Knott's is not giving me the experience I am looking for. I enjoyed the experience of all of the Universal's mazes, I would have liked a smaller crowd so that I could have gone on some of the mazes a second time, but that is a problem of too few event nights and too few mazes for the size of the crowds.
    I am not knocking Knott's. It is their party and they have been throwing it for 40 years and they can take it in any direction they want, I just loved the Haunt of old and am finding the current offering lacking what I crave. Universal left my cravings satisfied and next year I will return, Knott's, not so sure.

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    Re: KSF's 40th featuring DTH316, Presented by Sony. A review (10/4)

    I completely agree with madmonkeygirl on this. I went on Sept 21st and I really felt that Knott's knocked it out of the park this year (and I've been going for the last 10 years+). The addition of the Green witch this year was definitely appropriate and the Midnight Witch Hanging was amazing....kinda made up for the crappy regular Hanging show earlier.

    I know a few of the mazes have to go (Dia De Los Muertos, Uncle Bobo's clown maze, and definitely end games), but a majority of the mazes had wonderful scares and the talent going all out. Seeing my wifey getting to the verge of tears in a couple of very claustrophobic moments in mazes was worth the price of admission alone for me. And the surprise set scares got me as well (I won't spoil anything)...much props to Knott's for doing something different this year.

    The Ghost Town experience was dark, moody and scary with lots of scare actors around. The Zamora the Torture King show was okay, but his side kick was very annoying throughout the show. The Evil Dead log ride was okay, but the appearance of a splitting image of Ash was amazing and I absolutely loved the ride even though there were minimal scares all three times I rode (I am also a HUGE Sam Rami fan and WORSHIP the evil dead franchise!!). I'm very sorry you missed it and as an Evil Dead fan, it it worth it to visit if only to see the cabin in all it's glory. lol

    Overall I loved it waaaayyyy more than Universal this year (I went to Universal the next day) with the crappy crowd control, low level scares and rather uninspired scare zones. Even my wife walked through all the mazes without a problem with the exception of the Walking Dead maze and Tram Ride which most definitely upstaged knotts in Every respect!

    I'm sorry you had such a bad time at Knott's, but I am already planning my return to Knott's with no future plans to return to Universal. To each their own. Thank you for the review though....you are an awesome critic. Cheers!

  9. #9

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    Re: KSF's 40th featuring DTH316, Presented by Sony. A review (10/4)

    I dig everyone's opinion and think they're entitled to 'em. I'm also glad people are getting good experiences this year; it's just sadly I did not and for the last couple of years, it's been sluggish overall. Each major Haunt (KSF & Universal) has their own aspects that make them unique and worth going to, but I'm just not digging KSF's game anymore. Maybe I've just outgrown it and find Universal's tactics to be better. So in the end, will I have to say the cliche? "It's not you... it's me." buahahahaha

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