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wrs28330

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  1. On May 20th, Theme Park Review was invited to the official kick-off of the Knott’s Berry Farm 100th Anniversary Celebration! Starting May 21st, "The Knott's Family Reunion" looks to reunite family and friends in a safe and fun environment after a year-long closure due to COVID-19. Patrons can experience the brand-new Knott's Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair, meet 3 new characters, and enjoy Knott's Summer Nights with live music, DJs and food and drink specialties. In addition, the theme park is planning a nightly ceremony featuring multiple attractions lighting up the evening, ending with a special moment with the redesigned illuminated K-tower. Park décor celebrating 100 years can be found all over the park, including special photo settings that pay homage to favorite attractions from the past. The anniversary celebration runs through September 6, 2021. Visit knotts.com to plan your visit! Thank you for the Knott’s team for inviting us, and congratulations on 100 years! “100 years of history, before your very eyes, So come and join the jamboree, beneath the western skies. 100 years of history, with all the old-time charm, We’ll celebrate together at Knott’s Berry Farm!” It's great to be back at the Farm! 100th Anniversary decorations can be found all over the park. Fun photo opportunities abound, like this recently retired "K" from the top of the K-tower. Here is a look at the new K-tower, as seen in a "Welcome back" message: I know several TPR members who would *love* this photo op! A very popular photo op was of this tribute to The Haunted Shack. Whittler along with two characters from Knott's Bear-y Tales will great Guests during this family reunion. The Charles M. Schultz theater has been renamed to the Walter Knott theater in honor of the Knott's Berry Farm founder. Of course, you can't miss the new Knott's Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair attraction! And of course, it wouldn't be a Knott's event without food! Here are my two favorites from the kick-off event. Pulled pork mac and cheese... ...and the classic Cookie-wich with vanilla soft-serve between two freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies! Congratulations again to Knott's on 100 historic years, and thank you for inviting us! We'll see you at the Farm!
  2. Theme Park Review was invited to experience the Knott's Taste of Boysenberry Festival on Saturday, March 6, in what is a welcomed return to SoCal theme park food and drink events! The tasting card has raised $5 in price compared to the last event to now be $45 for adults with 5 food tastings. We have seen a $5 bump each time the event carried a new seasonal theme, and my personal hope is that $45 is the top price, at $9 per item. Junior tasting cards remain at $20 for 3 food tastings. Here are two helpful tips for attending the event: -We recommend arriving at noon for the start of the event, as the crowd level picks up throughout the day. -Many food items can be found at multiple food locations, so check to see if one of your desired items can be found at a location off the beaten path. The event is currently scheduled to run on select days through May 2, though with the newly announced restructuring of the California COVID-19 Tier system, we may see a change to these event dates as theme parks may be allowed to operate attractions as early as April 1 (no joke). To plan your Boysenberry overload, visit this link for more details: https://www.knotts.com/events/taste-of-boysenberry-festival We love these continual Knott's food festivals, giving us a reason to come back again, and again. Thank you so much to the Knott’s team for your hospitality! We are so excited to be back on the farm! It's the "berry" best time of year to visit! The Mayor of Calico officially welcomes each and every TPR member upon entry, and will personally address you by your TPR screen name! Starting off with Beyond Meatballs with a Boysenberry BBQ sauce and a Boysenberry/Cucumber/Pineapple Aqua Fresca. The Meatball dish was great, and getting to build your own stuffed pita was fun. The Aqua Fresca was incredibly refreshing. Next was my absolute favorite dish from the event, and might even be the best dish I have ever enjoyed at Knott's Berry Farm: Etouffe, Shrimp, and Boysenberry Sausage over rice. This dish had such a great variety of textures, incredible seasoning, and is the perfect portion size. This is a "must try"! Mexican Street Corn Chowder, with fun Boysenberry tortilla strips. Some sort of loaded pizza is always offered at Knott's food events, and I usually skip them for much more interesting options, but I acquiesced by trying the Boysenberry BBQ Carne Asada Pizza Slice, and I didn't regret it! The Boysenberry flavor is just barely noticeable on the carne asada, which is great, because the flavor of the onion and cilantro help you enjoy a dish that doesn't leave you with a boysenberry overload. The Philly Cheese Fires were nice, but I could only get through about half of it before the white cheese sauce congealed and caused all the fries to mound together. I very much enjoyed the flavors, but a little less cheese sauce may be in order. (I know, it's blasphemy to ever suggest *less* cheese...) Red Concha with Boysenberry Ice Cream was great! I normally get desserts which have boysenberry soft serve at these events, where the soft serve starts melting pretty quickly. But since this dessert has boysenberry ice cream, it didn't melt at all! I totally recommend anything that has the boysenberry ice cream over the soft serve. Let's take a quick break from the ingestible boysenberries to enjoy the visual boysenberries: Consider yourself educated: As day turns to night, a final few items remain to be enjoyed. Pastrami Sandwich on a Pretzel Bun. Perfection speaks for itself. A dense and rich boysenberry cheesecake. And of course, the Fun Bun! This is a deep-fried cinnamon roll covered in a boysenberry glaze. A winner every time! Thank you again to the Knott's team for inviting us to enjoy the Boysenberry overload!
  3. Can't wait to see everyone for this awesome event!
  4. They have background music that plays through their normal park speakers, which is themed to each area. It is set to the perfect volume to be "full and present", where we are still able to hear the performers talk to us along the route.
  5. On Sunday, November 22, Theme Park Review was invited to experience the Knott's Taste of Merry Farm event, the next in a wonderfully endless string of events at Knott’s Berry Farm! The tasting card has raised $5 in price compared from the last event to now be $40 for adults with 5 food tastings. Junior tasting cards remain at $20 for 3 food tastings. The value of this additional bump can be seen in the plentiful park decorations, and wonderfully creative entertainment spread throughout the entire park! A few tips if you are going to attend the event: -We recommend arriving at noon for the start of the event, as the crowd level picks up throughout the day. -Many food items can be found at multiple food locations, so check to see if one of your desired items can be found at a location off the beaten path. -The food lanyard is handed to you with the hole punch at the top of the card, causing you to have to awkwardly turn the car to read it. However, there is now a secondary hole punch on the bottom of the lanyard so you can flip the card around and easily read it from your perspective. We love these continual Knott's food festivals, giving us a reason to come back again, and again. Thank you so much to Miranda and the Knott’s team for your hospitality! Plan your visit quickly if you are interested, as only a few days are still available! Visit this link for more details: https://www.knotts.com/play/events/taste-of-merry-farm We are so excited to be back on the farm! We started with Cupid's Corn Chowder Soup. Rich and hearty, with great flavor. Prancer's Pesto Chicken Pizza: The pesto flavor was loud and proud, making for a great slice of pizza. Tater Tots topped with turkey, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce. Once I mixed all the toppings in with the tots, I found myself smiling when I would compose a "perfect bite"! Gyro with butternut squash slaw, tzatziki, and pickled red onions in naan bread. Loved this Indian/Middle Eastern dish. The slaw and tzatziki helped classify this as a "lighter" dish compared to many of the others, which helps you pace yourself instead of quickly giving you a feeling of "I'm entirely too full and I'm only on my second food item!" Cold Salmon Winter Salad. Another "lighter" dish, packed with a ton of flavor. Featuring a decent portion of salmon, I consider it to be the most premium ingredient at this festival. Back to Thanksgiving! Vixen's Turkey Burger with cheese, cranberry mayo, and stuffing on a pretzel bun with fries. This is it! This is the winner! Ding, ding, ding! Better than the tater tots from earlier, all these Thanksgiving ingredients just work so well on a pretzel bun. Rudolph's Winter Pear Lemonade. Totally refreshing, and the right option as the thought of having another food item after everything else at this point was too much! Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Bar. Everything about this is perfection! Ending with Comet's cinnamon bun with a maple glaze and candied pecans. This was the closest thing to the famous Knott's Fun Bun, for this festival, and was a pure sweet delight! A perfected ending to the foodie feast bestowed on me by the Chefs of Knott's Berry Farm. Here is a look at the non-food highlights of the event. First, we loved dining on the bumper car platform! Up the ramp to the Charles M. Schultz theater, you can meet a few Peanuts members. This was a live 50s/60s radio broadcast that was amplified across the entire Boardwalk area of the park. So much punny holiday humor! Our absolute favorite entertainer was hanging out underneath the Hangtime coaster. Douglas Fir was trying to sell a tree with "a lot of character" to the passers-by. He had us laughing for quite some time as we sat nearby enjoying our food. We ended the day with a stroll through Camp Snoopy to enjoy the wide array of holiday decorations. This continues to be such a nice touch, as everyone seems to enjoy the playful scenic elements in this area. This looks even better at night! Snoopy hopes to see you all soon this season!
  6. On Saturday 11/21, Theme Park Review was invited to see the Six Flags Magic Mountain Holiday in the Park Drive-thru Experience. It’s rare for park patrons to get to drive through a theme park, so this was such a treat! We arrived at 5:30pm, before the normal first reservation time of 6:00pm, and were directed through the Toll Plaza, through the Guest Parking Lot, and we queued in the Employee Lot. Along the way, we encountered many employees who were waiving, and joyfully greeting each car. Clearly, the SFMM team is thrilled to have patrons back at their park in any fashion. Our journey began with a short drive through a back-of-house area, and were then welcomed by a Holiday in the Park marquee as we drove into DC Universe, and passing Batman: The Ride. As you can imagine, lights of all sizes are placed through the entire park. Several uniquely themed areas throughout the park were featured, and the variety was greatly welcomed. There were an unexpected number of performers of all kinds throughout the park, contributing towards more personalized interactions to which theme park customers are accustomed. Fortunately SFMM, had a robust amount of Holiday in the Park infrastructure from past years, and from what we could tell, additional equipment and holiday décor featured this year will serve this seasonal event well into the future. Congratulations to the Six Flags Magic Mountain team on such a wonderful event, and thank you for inviting us! Event information can be found here: https://www.sixflags.com/magicmountain/events/holiday-in-the-park Enjoy the photos, noting that any of the photos below of excellent quality were taken by TPR member John Tanaka; thank you John! As the sun sets on quiet coasters, winter magic is ready to come to life! First heading back-of-house, here sits a remind of a time where "We like to party." We were a featured car in the longest vehicle parade ever! The Underground area featured our favorite soundtrack at the event with a more grunge take on in the holidays! Heading into the Rapids Camp area. It wouldn't be a "Six Flags day!" without these two critters! Mrs. Claus nicely lit across from Bugs Bunny World. We would have loved to see these Toy Soldiers doing some of their great routines from previous years. Holidays of the Future! The event ends with cars passing by Scream, as the reindeer seemingly pull Santa up the lift hill. Thank you again to the SFMM team, and congratulations on a great event!
  7. On Saturday 9/26/20, Theme Park Review was invited to experience the Knott's Taste of Fall-o-ween event, the next in a wonderfully endless string of events at Knott’s Berry Farm. The event runs Fridays – Sundays until November 1. To experience the event, a tasting card must be purchased in advance at knotts.com, and includes entry into the park. The tasting card has raised $5 in price compared from the last event to now be $35 for adults with 5 food tastings, and Junior tasting cards for patrons ages 3-11 is up $5 from the last event to now be $20 with 3 food tastings, and a trip through the Camp Snoopy Trick-or-Treat Trail. A few tips if you are going to attend the event: -We recommend arriving at noon for the start of the event, as the crowd level picks up throughout the day. -Many food items can be found at multiple food locations, so check to see if one of your desired items can be found at a location off the beaten path. -The food lanyard is handed to you with the hole punch at the top of the card, causing you to have to awkwardly turn the car to read it. However, there is now a secondary hole punch on the bottom of the lanyard so you can flip the card around and easily read it from your perspective. We love this new and simple addition! We love that Knott's is bringing seasonal event to life every few months, encouraging patrons to come back every so often. Thank you so much to Miranda and the Knott’s Team for your hospitality! It's Fall-o-ween time! We have our tasting card ready to go! First was a great chicken taco from the Fiesta Village area. We highly recommend the Open-faced Reuben Sandwich! Amazing Pastrami Tots! We tried the vegetarian meatball slider with sweet potato waffle fries, and love it. The Graveyard Funnel Cake. The Ghoulish Pumpkin Bun is a must! Cookiewich with Pumpkin Soft-serve Ice Cream is another winner! Cookies and Scream Whoopie Pie. Hey Lucy! We loved seeing the Peanuts pals out! We noticed even more entertainment than the previous event. Let's take a look at the Trick-or-Treat Trail included with the Junior Tasting cards. The trail beings by Montezuma's Revenge. We loved all the decorations on the trail, including a substantial amount of scenic pieces from Halloween Haunts of past. Of course, there is candy! Thank you again to Knott's for inviting us for the wonderful fall fun!
  8. On Sunday 8/23/20, Theme Park Review was invited to experience the Taste of Knott's event at Knott’s Berry Farm. Even with the rides closed, it felt so great to step back into a SoCal theme park again! Knott’s was ready to open their annual Boysenberry Festival back in March, but it of course came to a halt. The Knott’s Marketplace was eventually able to reopen, followed by the reopening of the Calico Ghost Town area of the park with the Taste of Calico special event. Expanding on the success of that outdoor event, Knott’s started celebrating the most popular dishes from around the park on August 21, with this new Taste of Knott's event. From Mexican-inspired cuisine in Fiesta Village, to BBQ items from Spurs and the Boardwalk, and even dishes pulled from the Knott’s Berry Farm Cookbook, there is so much to enjoy! The event runs Fridays – Sundays until September 13, with Friday/Saturday set as 12:00 – 9:00pm, and Sunday hours as 12:00 – 8:00pm. We were easily able to experience the entire park and all the food in 5 hours. You could complete everything in as short as two hours, or enjoy the entire operating day if you wish. To experience the event, a tasting card must be purchased in advance at knotts.com, and includes entry into the park. The tasting card is $30 for adults with 5 food tastings, and Junior tasting cards for patrons ages 3-11 is $15 with 3 food tastings. Tasting cards are date specific. Before we get to the pictures, we want to commend Knott’s Berry Farm for two incredible factors: Firstly, the thoughtfulness in the overwhelming number of tables placed throughout the entire park was wonderful! This directly contributed to such a relaxing way to enjoy the wonderful food and atmosphere. Secondly, we want to praise the Knott’s team for their creativity and adaptability in finding a way to bring a small part of their operation back to life (and bring Knott’s back to its roots)! The employees seemed so happy to be back at work, and went out of their way to say “welcome back” and “thank you for being here with us today”. We hope this sets the foundation and leads the way for similar SoCal parks! Thank you so much to Miranda and the Knott’s Team for your hospitality! We have our Tasting Cards in hand and are happy to back in the park! So...let's talk about tables for a minute... ...as far as the eye can see... ...and in the shade too! You can see where existing tables are being used, as well as a ton of brand new tables. Clear signage at the booth. Booths were well spread out around the park. The same item was available at multiple booths around the park, which is much more efficient than past Boysenberry Festivals. Now, on to the food! Mac and Cheese with even more cheese! Chicken slider with chips. An amazing portobello mushroom sandwich. Seriously, carnivores like me usually dismiss the veggie-friendly food items, but this is a perfect example of not counting out the veggie fun! A full ear of Corn on the Cob with boysenberry butter and cotija cheese. BBQ brisket sandwich with coleslaw. Our favorite item: Blue Velvet lemon cookiewich with Vanilla soft-serve ice cream. Boysenberry Smoothie. There are three different locations for this item, and with its popularity, it takes a while for a new batch to be ready. We recommend going to the Wheel Wagon Pizza location since it is of the beaten path, and it looked like they had the most smoothie machines. The event featured several solo performers in Calico. These performers brought such a wonderful energy to the area. DJs could also be found at stages around the park. It was also great to the Blacksmith still hard at work. Lastly, there is a Relax Zone in the outdoor queue of the defunct Mystery Lodge. No frills, but a nice half-shaded area for those who need it. A nice touch for sure. Welcome back to the farm! Thank you again to Miranda and the Knott's team! Visit knotts.com to plan your visit!
  9. The Knott's Boysenberry Festival is back for 2020 to celebrate the park's historic roots with their annual food-inspired event that highlights the little berry that started it all! Running from March 20 through April 19, the festival will feature more than 75 new and returning boysenberry-inspirited creations. In addition to the food and drink items, the festival will also feature a variety of entertainment and activities for all to enjoy. The Tasting Card will work a bit more guest-friendly this year with the ability to choose 8 of the 26 following options: 1. Boysenberry Mimosa (New) 2. Boysenberry Basil Lemonade (New) 3. Boysenberry Beer Cheese Soup topped with a Boysenberry Drizzle and Brown Butter Croutons (New) 4. Brussel Sprouts topped with a Boysenberry Balsamic Dressing and Bacon (New) 5. Beef Tips with Boysenberry Mashed Potatoes (New) 6. Boysenberry Chicken Mole on Cilantro Rice (New) 7. Boysenberry Sangria 8. Boysenberry Cajun Shrimp over Grits (New) 9. Boysenberry BBQ Chick Drumsticks (New) 10. Boysenberry Steak Chili with a Boysenberry Cornbread Muffin (New) 11. Samosas with Boysenberry Chutney 12. Bork Bao Bum Dumpling with Boysenberry Kimchi and Nam Pla (New) 13. Boysenberry Shrimp Ceviche with Tortilla Chips (New) 14. Boysenberry Smoothie (New) 15. Homemade Chips with Boysenberry Onion Dip 16. Boysenberry sausage on a Bun 17. Elote with Boysenberry Mayo, Cotija Cheese, and Boysenberry Tortilla Crumbles 18. Mac and Cheese Bites with Boysenberry Ketchup (new) 19. Glazed Donut Holes with Boysenberry Ice Cream and topped with a Boysenberry Coulis (New) 20. Boysenberry Bread Pudding topped with Boysenberry Coulis and Crème Anglaise Sauce (New) 21. Pastrami Sandwich on a Pretzel Bun topped with Boysenberry Mustard (New) 22. Boysenberry Macron (New) 23. Churro rolled in Boysenberry Sugar (New) 24. Boysenberry Cookiewich (New) 25. Boysenberry Beer 26. Boysenberry Wine With such a variety of options, I anticipate a much more successful spreading out of guests around the festival instead of the pre-fixe menu which had longer lines. The Tasting Card is $40 ($38 if you have a 2020 Season Pass). Make sure the items you select have an individual price of higher than $5, or a value of what you perceive to be higher than $5 so you get your moneys worth. Although we took our own food photos at the Boysenberry Festival media preview this past week, the provided images look much better than our night photos. We will feature the provided photos of the food items so you can get a better sense of the high-quality food items. Let's eat! Welcome back to the farm! The Knott's family is ready to show off their boysenberry-inspired items for this year's festival! We made our way through Ghost Town towards the Wilderness Dance Hall for the festivities. Cordelia Knott was busy making her famous pies alongside the park's culinary team. Snoopy was also ready to bake some pies! Boysenberry Mimosa & Sangria Boysenberry Beer & Wine (The beer is Shock Top with boysenberry instead of orange. The wine has a much more present boysenberry flavor than then beer.) Boysenberry Shrimp Ceviche with Tortilla Chips (Very refreshing, especially if you go on a warmer day.) Boysenberry Elote Brussel Sprouts with Bacon Samosas with Boysenberry Chutney Mac and Cheese Bites with Boysenberry Ketchup Boysenberry BBQ Chicken Drumsticks Boysenberry Beer Cheese Soup (A favorite amongst those in attendance.) Pastrami Sandwich on a Pretzel Bum topped with Boysenberry Mustard. Pork Bao Bun Dumpling with Boysenberry Kimchi (The kimchi is very spicy.) Boysenberry Chick Mole on Cilantro Rice Boysenberry Sausage on a Bun (One of our favorites from last year.) Boysenberry Steak Chili with Boysenberry Cornbread Muffin (The chili is good, but the Cornbread Muffin was amazing!) Boysenberry Cajun Shrimp over Grits (This was our absolute favorite item at the preview! The shrimp was flavorful and tender and the grits were buttery and just perfect!) Boysenberry Macarons Boysenberry Cannoli Boysenberry Cookiewich Boysenberry Bread Pudding Glazed Donut Holes with Boysenberry Ice Cream These are about 1/3 of the festival offerings, so be sure to check out the event yourself from March 20 to April 19. See you at the farm!
  10. Totally agree, it was such a fun night! I had totally forgotten about the dead rat!
  11. When my friend and I went to Japan in 2017, he loved the toilets so much that he ordered a bidet attachment kit for his home throne via Amazon while we were still on the trip. It was waiting for him when we got back to the states. A rather common story you hear from travelers to Japan.
  12. I can't decide between Chocolate or Strawberry, so I will just have to try both! How about one on the way into the park, and another one on the way out of the park?
  13. Theme Park Review was invited to the opening day of Knott's Scary Farm 2019, and we were thrilled to return "into the fog"! This year the event highlights include 9 mazes, 4 Scare Zones, The Hanging, and Puppet Up! Uncensored. Two mazes are retiring this year (Special Ops - Infected & Shadowlands), with two others that debuted (Wax Works & Origins - The Curse of Calico). Nine mazes is down from the numbers we have seen in past years, but we believe that the quality of those nine mazes has greatly increased in the scenic quality and possibly the length of several mazes as well. We greatly appreciate the "less mazes, but higher quality" formula! The Scare Zones are enjoyable paths to travel between mazes, and offer a somewhat more personalized interactions. The Hanging is of course a Scary Farm staple, and we look forward to the show settling in a bit more after the opening weekend. The pop-culture references are vast and so varied, that each person can expect to "get" at least half the references. Some references were from news stories that broke three days before Scary Farm kicked-off, so it is really impressive that the writing and show changes happen up until opening night! Puppet Up! Uncensored is housed in the Schultz Theater, and was a really enjoyable way for our group to end the night! After traversing the park for several hours, it was great to sit and relax, and enjoy a wildly irreverent shows. This show features the adult side of the puppeteers of the Jim Henson Company. Combining puppetry skills, adult themes, and improvisation, this 30 minutes show left us laughing the entire time. Even if puppetry and improv are of no interest to you, there is plenty in the show that you may still find *very* enjoyable; we highly recommend it! Thank you to the wonderful Knott's Team for inviting us to another wonderful event, we wish you a great Halloween Season! Knott's Scary Farm runs on select nights through Saturday, November 2. https://www.knotts.com/play/scary-farm We are ready to head back "Into the Fog"! Our rating: 5/10 - There are many nice scenes, but a few of the scenes with characters on rigging were unnecessary and not well utilized. "In its final year: Enter the hair-raising maze and fight off demon samurais whose souls are cursed to rot within the depths of purgatory." Our rating: 9/10 - This maze has lived a long and happy life through different incarnations, we are sad to see this interactive maze sink into the abyss, but understand it is operationally difficult getting enough patrons through the maze. "In its final year: Enlist and arm yourself and your squad with specially designed laser guns to embark on a mission through the city to find the zombie infection cure. The last stand is now!" Our rating: 6/10 - We enjoyed the story line, but found many hallways to be void of characters. Those that we did encounter did a great job driving the story. "A realm where the darkness is absolute. A space station faces terror beyond all imagination as an extraterrestrial mutation is on the hunt for new hosts." Our rating: 6/10 - Some elements were a hit, and some were a miss. There is a great "creep" factor compared to other mazes where if you are "on the path of the dark ride" you can hear the dark ride music, and when you are in a "backstage area" of the dark ride, it is silent. That was a great level of detail that we appreciated. "Journey through an abandoned carnival ride where cruel carny folk still linger. Venture down a treacherous path of sinister shadows and horrifying scenes." Our rating: 8/10 - The first room (though greatly shortened from past years to help with efficiency) is worth the wait on its own! "Demonic spirits of the murdered victims have been detected throughout the mysterious halls while evil medical staff prowl for new patients to torture." Our rating: 6/10 - We appreciated the cohesiveness of the scenic and costume design for this maze. The story line is straight forward with no real surprises. "Escape the Pumpkin Eater's wrath by navigating your way through a cave of crawling insects and solving the labyrinth of thorns." Our ratings: 8/10 - With a nice story line from start to finish and a few great effects, this maze is one of the stronger of the event. "Find your way around ominous caverns to discover if the superstitions are true or not. But be warned, all who have entered have never resurfaced." Our rating: 7/10 - This reminded us of one of our favorite mazes "Doll Factory". The costumes and performers really make this maze inventive and enjoyable. "Blood curdling screams can be heard echoing the halls as victims are submerged into a scorching hot cauldron of wax. Escape or become the newest masterpiece." Our rating: 10/10 - This maze pays homage to the most famous monsters of Scary Farm lore. As the title suggests we learn the backstory of these monsters, in what we believe is one of the best mazes in recent Scary Farm history. We love that the experiences starts before you even enter the maze. "Doomed to roam Ghost Town every Halloween season, discover the birth of the legendary Knott's Scary Farm monsters in this terrifying new maze." Puppet up! in the Schultz Theater. Here are the real stars of the show! The monsters of the Ghost Town Streets are quite a group of characters. The "other" ghost bride. Thank you again to the Knott's team! If you enjoy the Origins maze, you may enjoy The Hanging even more this year.
  14. Theme Park Review was invited this past week to experience a brand new and unique addition to the highest-ranked escape room company in Southern California. Cross Roads Escape Games sits a few miles east of the Disneyland Resort and now features three rooms with three completely different experiences. “The Fun House” is a traditional escape room, but is described as self-aware and pokes-fun at itself and other traditional escape rooms. “The Hex Room” is what put Cross Roads Escape Games on the map, having players take on one of six specific characters in the story. In addition, “The Hex Room” requires each player to fully participate, as everyone starts in an individual room. The creators ask: “Can you survive a horror film?” If you are thinking this sounds like they are rewriting what an escape room can be, you’re right. We were invited to experience the newest addition to the Cross Roads Escape Games portfolio, The Psych Ward. We were told that The Psych Ward wasn’t an escape room, and we didn’t ask more questions as we wanted to be surprised. The five people in our group were comically institutionalized to get into the experience, complete with outer-layer hospital gowns and patient wristbands. The basics of the game: After a brief talk down with our Orderly, we were privately given our individual diagnosis of “sane” or “insane”. We were lead into a room with walls consisting of endless puzzles and tasks like those which would be administered in a psychiatric institution. It was explained that our group was comprised of both sane and insane individuals. The individual’s goal was to complete as many tasks as possible to earn points. The group goal for those who were “insane” was to convincingly infiltrate the “sane” patients. The group goal for those who were “sane”, was to determine who the “insane” patients were, and prevent them from collecting points. Layers: Wow, the layers of strategy for this seemingly simple experience are endless. Even with an hour of game time, it is nearly impossible to experience and complete all of the activities in the room, which is totally fine, because unlike traditional escape rooms, the “them vs. us” game play is more important than the actual completion of puzzles. Surprises: 1. Just when we thought we had settled into a rhythm about 10 minutes into the game, another element was introduced which made us question each other and caused doubt of sanity between our group members. This lead to a game-within-a-game, which brilliantly triggered a funny emotional rollercoaster. 2. A rather freaky mystery contraption. 3. An awesome “meltdown” finale. Back to Reality: After our hour in The Psych Ward was complete, our group was in disbelief of what we had just experienced. They were right, this was *not* an escape room. It was something between immersive theater, an escape room, and something out of a SAW movie. One aspect that was blatantly obvious was how incredibly hard-working the game master (the Orderly) has to be, to create an environment where we can successfully complete puzzles, as well as focusing on the primary objective of determining each other’s sanity. The game master is there to offer hints but also to help you get secret points within the game. This helps to create doubt amongst the players. All the game master can do is nudge you in the right direction, but it is up to the players to actually complete the tasks. The game master has some way to influence the game and send players in a helpful direction, but it is ultimately in the players' hands. The Creators: Cross Roads Escape Games owners/operators/designers Luke and Madison Rhoades, sat down with us after we experienced their most recent addition and we talked at length. When asked what sets Cross Roads Escape Games apart they identified set design. They both come from a theater background, and when they played escape rooms early on, those rooms had almost no production value. Their lackluster experiences inspired them to open up their own rooms; they knew they could create rooms with high production value and incredibly immersive experiences. They explained why The Psych Room isn’t a traditional escape room: The Psych Room combines the best elements of each of the following - o Board Games – Strategy: Werewolf / Mafia game with the “who is who” trust/betrayal o Immersive Theater – In-game actor and the Meltdown finale o Escape Room – Puzzles, and your team’s ability to complete the tasks and feel accomplish as you move through the game. How to succeed: They are seeing that if participants “fight for their side” and do a great job of convincing others that you are sane, your side does well. People who are passive tend to lose. Occasionally you will have assertive “king pins” on each side, which will result in a close game. Other times you will have only one assertive person, and everyone else in the room will say “okay”, and that side will win. Sometimes that one assertive person will be controlling the game so long that everyone else turns against them in the last few minutes of the game. They say that so many variables exist which makes each game unique. You are the star: Madison says: “We are trying to make people feel like the star of their own movie. Escape rooms can touch on, when 1 person may solve only one puzzle during the game, and they get excited with that solve, but it’s just not enough. When you are in the Hex Room, you have your own character, and you are the star. The Psych Ward is similar, where each person gets their own gown and diagnosis. There are choice to be made, it’s up to each player to decide what they want to do. Each time the game is played it’s totally different, because it depends on the type of people you have in your group.” Plan your experience: Visit https://crossroadsescapegames.com/ , and pick the experience best for you! Thank you to Luke and Madison for inviting us to experience their newest hit! We can't wait to see what the future has in store at Cross Roads Escape Games! Welcome to Cross Roads Escape Games! Final Count: Insane - 2 patients, Sane - 3 patients, Survived Dr. Griffin's experiments - 5 patients! Like lab rats, he has put you inside his twisted experiment of paranoia and challenges you to figure out who to trust and who to betray. Dr. Griffin has created a social experiment for a select group of patients. Some of these patients he believes are sane, others, completely insane.
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