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The Ray's do HHN, Haunts, and Fright Fest!


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This photo trip report will cover four California halloween events.

 

TPR's Knott's Berry Farm Haunt Event

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Fright Fest Event

TPR's Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights Event

California Great America's Halloween Haunt Event

 

First up is TPR's Knott's Berry Farm Haunt Event. This event included dinner, a meet and great with the Haunt creators, a daytime walkthrough of a Haunt maze, front-of-the-line passes, some goodies (t-shirts, soda bottle, etc.), early entry into the event, and a chance to win one of 4 monster makeovers! It was a great event, and we definitely got our money's worth! The food was incredible this year, and I ate way too much. The front-of-the-line passes helped out a ton on a few attractions, and it definitely was a fun event.

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Waiting in line to pick up our tickets, wristbands, and t-shirts.

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Ghostrider. Now that IS scary.

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The t-shirts all nice and new waiting for their new owners.

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Here’s your ticket and your t-shirt.

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Windseeker looks pretty nice in the background.

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Here is the infamous dirt construction lot. What could it be! Please, the fanboys have to know! Tell us!!!! It’s a 600 foot Intamin wingrider right? It’s gotta be!

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It’s neat to see the backstage areas of the park and how everything works behind the scenes.

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The façade for the new maze, Delirium.

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Eye see you!

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We are given the story behind the maze, and how it was put together.

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It looks really good!

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Bloody hole with a hidden face.

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I don’t even want to guess what this is!

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Stay clear of the teeth!

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Oh no, William is in the maze!

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Amy and Hector enjoy the sleek feel of the suffocation bags!

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Hector will take it any way he can get it.

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Watch out for all the bloody heads!

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I think they are telling us something.

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There really are monsters hiding under the beds!

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The bugs look really creepy!

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Watch where you are stepping!

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More nasty bug creatures.

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Really gruesome stuff!

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This is what happens to you if you miss the TPR bus.

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It’s alive!

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Like I said, anyway he can get it!

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Oh no Amy, what did you do?!

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Time for a nice TPR family dinner!

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Amy says hello to the patients.

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Pretty good monsters in this maze.

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Now that’s a headache!

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Amy enjoys all the morbid decorations.

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Lots of good theming and places for people to jump out.

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William in the chair of death.

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And outside they are already getting prepared for Christmas.

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The scareactors are preparing for their big night.

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We also got a tour of the costuming and makeup area.

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You get money for scaring the crap out of people. What a great job!

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They told us about how many costumes they have to put together, and how all of it is coordinated.

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Some costumes waiting to be used to terrify people.

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This is the makeup area where all the scareactors are made up for the night.

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Some scareactors get masks, while others have their faces painted.

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Putting on the finishing touches.

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Another scary walk next to Ghost Rider!

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Time for the Dinner! They had some turkey and cranberry sauce

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Some incredible Prime Rib! I must have had five servings.

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Corn and Vegetarian Lasagna.

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Ribs, mashed potatoes, and of course, the famous fried chicken!

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Some regular salad, pasta salad, and fruit salad.

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Everyone was enjoying their meal!

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Just one of my many plates!

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This newly engaged couple stop for a nice picture!

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The event is officially open and the scareactors start to do their stuff!

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But first, we get the crap beat/scared out of us on Ghost Rider!

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More creepy scareactors.

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Our messed up group for the evening!

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The Sleepy Hollow Mountain was AMAZING! By far my favorite attraction of the whole season!

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FYI, the amazing must see Pickle attraction closes at 1.

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This guy scared a crap load of people in line.

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Some theming in the area.

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Lots of Halloween and blacklight stuff to buy.

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Unsuspecting victims.

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And then they freak out and run.

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Now I headed back to costuming to watch the 4 winners get their scareactor makeovers. This area has a lot of masks and other random parts that would be a ton of fun to play around in.

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Robb is given his clothing to change into.

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Getting ready for they scareactor debut!

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They are ready to scare the crap out of everyone!

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Another look at their full costumes.

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Piers would probably approve of this cosmetic container.

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Robb had a really good spot in the graveyard, and scared a lot of people.

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They both did a very good job and I saw a lot of people getting freaked out.

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A nice victim for everyone to see.

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I really liked Terror of London. While it is getting old, it had a pretty good amount of theming, and was relatively long.

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Another mutilated body.

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Now it’s time for the hanging!

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Time to jump off and die!

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The Sheriff (?) gets the mob ready to go!

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Lots of fire and explosions

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The Donald and Obama go at it.

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Osama was a pretty popular target at a few events this year.

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Spongebob, Obama, Disney, and more!

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A tribute/bashing of Pirates.

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Ron Weasley and a Bridesmaid hit it off.

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Time for the hanging!

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Yay! "It’s" dead!

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Windseeker is fun, but it would be much better if it went this fast!

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I really like the lighting package.

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Watch out Amy, it's William!

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And that's it for Knott's Haunt! Up next if Universal Studios Hollywood HHN!

Edited by jray21
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Man, I am one Klassy (with a "K!") Broad!

 

Haha I hope I didn't scar that kid in line for Sleepy hollow for life! Although I don't think it did much damage as the event itself had tons of bodies ripped in half with their intestines hanging out all over the place and the story only involved one guy and a glass jar (AND I don't think I even used profanities!) haha I had a blast that night though, I can't wait to hang out with you guys again.

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^^Wish you could have joined us this year! Hope you have a great time!

 

^LOL, I totally forgot about the Sleepy Hollow "Nightmare Stories with Hector!" You didn't just scar the kid, you scarred everyone! That really was a great night!

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DISCLAIMER: Six Flags Discovery Kingdom does NOT allow ANY pictures or video to be taken in their mazes. I had permission and had a guide with me that would tell me when and where I was allowed to take pictures.

 

Last night I went to my first Six Flags Fright Fest event at Six Flags Discover Kingdom. I met up with Charles, an operations supervisor, and he took me around the park for pictures and to let me know all about their event (Thanks Charles!). I was extremely impressed with the operations team, and the park as a whole. The employees were very friendly and courteous, it was very very clean, and the food was very good. Everything was kept up pretty well, and the cycle times weren't too bad. It actually ended up being one of my favorite Halloween events of the season! I really liked the combination of animals, rides, and mazes. It was definitely worth a visit.

 

SFDK has a different set up for their halloween events versus their competitors. Mainly, they do not close the park and kick everyone out for the start of Fright Fest. Also, they have a lot of halloween activities for families. One other somewhat annoying thing is that to experience the mazes you have to buy a wristband at an additional cost.

 

Wristbands - In the end, I'm kind of indifferent about the wristbands. I can totally see the benefits and disadvantages to having the wristbands. For the customer, it can be really annoying, but because I had a season pass the event really would only cost me $15. That's a pretty good deal considering other companies charge a bit more, even if you are a pass holder (granted, you generally do get a lot more 'stuff' at other places). I think it may be better for SFDK as well. Knowing the area (I grew up in the area and worked in the industry for about 8 years), they probably get more people who go in for the day and then see all the mazes and think, $15 isn't too much, I can add that. Whereas, if they just closed the park and reopened it with a $30+ charge, possibly not as many people would do it. However, I think for a park like SFMM it would definitely be better off to close the whole park and reopen it at a separate cost due to their demographics.

 

VIP Wristbands - There is a weird thing with the wristband prices that has been mentioned before in other posts. A normal wristband is $15, and a VIP wristband is only $5 more. To me that is way too small of a price difference. At a lot of the mazes the VIP line was much much longer than the regular line. I was told, though, that it is deceiving because the line for the VIP line goes a ton faster than the regular line, and the regular line weaves a lot more where you can't see. I would honestly pay a lot more than $5 to add the VIP wristband. (yes Six Flags, I'm telling you a way I would spend more money)

 

Hours - The park was open from 12pm - 10pm. It was pretty much a normal day from 12-5, and then Fright Fest from 5-10. However, I do wish the event started later and lasted longer. It was way too bright when the Fright Fest events started. I wonder how many guests go through some of the mazes during the daylight hours and think it's not that scary and end up having that impression of the whole event. It really only started getting dark at around 7pm, so you had a little less than 3 hours to experience the mazes at their best.

 

Family Entertainment - For families they did a really good job. They kept the Looney Toon's Seaport open all night, and had Trick or Treating for the kids...FOR FREE!! That's right, FREE candy for the kids! I can't believe they are doing this at a Six Flags Park! That was a pretty cool surprise I didn't know about. I saw a lot of happy kids running around with their bags getting free candy. They also had a small hay maze, cookie decorating (up charge), story time with a pumpkin, halloween themed shows, some themed rides, and most of the rides stayed opened all night. I think they did a very good job at pulling off an event for everyone.

 

Scare Zones - The downside to having families is that there are really no scare zones. They have a very mild scare zone near the Looney Tunes Seaport, and then one called Blood Bath Bayou (BBB). BBB is advertised all over the park as a free halloween event, but I don't know if that is a smart move for the park. It's a scare zone, but with a maze like entrance. You wait in line just like a maze, and then it ends of being a very basic scare zone. Some guests may pass on paying for the other mazes because they think the free scarezone is an accurate reflection of the real mazes. I think they could do some scare zones, but could include some sort of "chicken" walkway for kids/families to use.

 

Pictures - While I wish SFDK would allow non-flash pictures in their mazes as a general rule, I'm glad that they officially state their rules and that they are uniformly applied. It is really annoying at places like Knott's and Universal where the rule states "no FLASH pictures" yet half the time, people in the maze yell at me and say 'no pictures.'

 

The Food - One of my favorite things about SFDK is the food. No surprise there . I honestly think this park has one of the best collections of food in the Six Flags chain. They have a lot of variety, and the outlets stay open pretty late.

 

The Scare-Actors - The scare-actors did a really good job overall. They seemed to have better restraint than at other places, and wouldn't just jump out at the first person who walked by, or only concentrate on girls. Some actors werea little too quiet with their shaker cans or other noise devices, but they were all still pretty good.

 

Mazes - The mazes were done pretty well. My favorite was the Slaughterhouse Pig Farms. It had a lot of theming, awesome lighting, and great scare-actors. The other mazes were really good as well, but they had a lot less theming. Some mazes, like Nightmare Manor and Scrapyard of the dead, had some pretty empty areas/hallways, but the actors were really good. They only have 4 'mazes,' Nightmare Manor, Slaughterhouse Pig Farms, Shipwreck of Horror, and Scrapyard of the Dead. That is a pretty low number, and I wish they had more, but they also have a ton of shows and rides to make up for it.

 

Shows - There are a ton of shows throughout the event. The animal shows tended to be the same, just with a different story line and the animal trainers would be dressed up in different costumes. Overall, I do think their animal shows are really good. They were fun to watch, but the Fright Fest themed shows were not too different from the day shows. There were a bunch of kid shows as well, but I didn't stick around for any of those. I did watch the Morty the Mortician show, the Dance Macabre, and the Final Freakout. The Morty the Mortician show was recommended to me, so I decided to watch it. I was very leery about it because it was a puppet show, but it was actually pretty funny. He was really good at making fun of people, so TPR would definitely like him Dance Macabre was a standard song and dance show. Nothing special for me, but I'm not too much of a show person. The one thing about the show that was a little odd were the song choices. I don't remember what the exact songs were, but they didn't seem halloween enough. They did finish with Thriller, but the other songs didn't seem to fit. I think a Hanging/Bill & Ted's style show would be better (for me at least), but they did a good job and a lot of people showed up for the show. The Final Freakout was similar to the Dance Macabre show (same cast), but they had a really cool fire dancer, and then some weird glow stick people routine.

 

Overall - I really did have an greattime and was really impressed with the entire event. I honestly thought it was going to be pretty bad (hey, it's Six Flags), but it really exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend that you stop by if you get a chance! Great job Paul, Charles, the Fright Fest crew, and the rest of SFDK!

 

Sorry for the novel, it's time for the pictures!

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It's time for SFDK's Fright Fest!

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Yay, Dolphin is on the menu today!

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The blood fountain is much better than some dolphin one!

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They had a few of these booths scattered throughout the park for people to buy their wristbands.

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Here is the map/schedule for the night. They had a ton of shows and attractions to see.

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This is the story telling pumpkin. There were a lot of kids who seemed to enjoy it, even though he did seem a bit creepy.

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This was the kids hay 'maze.' There were alot of kids running around it later, but I didn't want to look and feel like a pervet taking pictures of it with kids running around. Ok, so a guy walking around by himself with a camera looks like a pervert no matter what. :(

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The wildlife animal show had a nice halloween theme.

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Wow, I guess this one is a male!

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This show was really perfect for the kids, while still being entertaining for the adults.

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It was really cool that they had some animals for the public to pet after the show.

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This is the one part of the park that really needs something, but it's kind of too narrow for anything. It's a pretty long walk, and it only has Butterfly and 2 flats.

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Oh wait, it's looks like they've installed a climbing wall. Stupid parents.

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This is by far the best food location in the park. Why?

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Because they have awesome crepes and mini-doughnuts!!! I got a bacon, cheese, tomato, and avocado crepe, a strawberry and whipped cream crepe, and some cinnamon-sugar mini-doughnuts (they also have powdered, regular sugar, and plain doughnuts).

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Looks like the Walrus had a snack of a Mars Attacks alien.

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Random decoration in the park.

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The scareactors starting hanging out early...or it's just some local goths.

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I thought this was a prop for one of the butcher style mazes, but it was really a food cart! I think i'll pass.

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This was an advertised 'attraction.' You could play some M-rated game after 4:00. That doesn't really qualify as an attraction to me.

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This was their mild scare zone (a better picture later), but the conjoined twin baby was really creepy looking.

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I don't remember SFDK having a white wooden coaster. I should sue for false advertising and emotional distress.

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This is a weird random bulge covered in grass. Hmmmm....seems about the same size as the Killer Whale they lost a few years ago. Coincidence? (I actually have no clue what this is.)

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A closeup of the cool blood fountain.

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The first maze of the day was the Nightmare Manor.

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To the right is the VIP line, but it felt like you were going the wrong way. I saw a lot of people get confused and not know where to go.

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The fireplace scare is really really good.

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Another creepy room and some 'manor' theming.

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This hallway was full of mirrors, but the two times I went through it nothing happened. I could have just missed it though.

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This picture was taken with a flash. You can see how it ruins the mood. The colors are all washed out and you can see things you wouldn't normally see like the red tape. This scare actor really did a good job of not being seen at all and scaring people.

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This was a pretty creepy monster that would pop open pretty quick, but it was a little slow resetting before the next group.

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The mirror twins were awesome!

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You can't really tell in this picture but the light above is actually daylight creeping through. In some parts of the maze it made it much too bright.

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This thing was creepy, but didn't do anything when I went through. Don't know if it usually does though.

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Next up was Shipwreck of Horror. Here you can see where people may perceive that the VIP upcharge may not be worth it (I never tested the actual lines out, so I have no clue which one was actually faster.) The right side is actually the VIP line, and to the left is the normal line.

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I nice wall of skulls greets you.

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This was a really impressive audio animatronic. He would tell you the story of the maze and would remind you of the rules. It also helped to keep the groups staggered.

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More theming out front. They usually have some real sharks in here, but I didn't see any.

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This scareactor has a perfect place to jump out and scare you while you are distracted looking at the huge tank.

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This is a really creepy looking shark!

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Just when you thought you were at the exit and finished being scared.

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I never even noticed the really creepy looking skull face reflection until now!

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This is an example where the actors really did a great job. You totally expected someting to pop out of the porthole, but the scareactor was really good at waiting until the perfect moment, and popping out very fast.

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They did a good job blending the attraction with the maze.

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This is my scuba diving nightmare.

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Roar was also given some theming, although they forgot the sign that says, "Warning: Extremely rough ride. You may die!"

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The spider looked really cool while walking into the park, but you couldn't see it on the ride. I think it would be perfect right at the beginning of the covered part of the ride ;)

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The employees had some fun with the theming. There was something like "Zonga forever," and the X through 206 means "No/Anti Charles."

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Some people thought this sign meant you actually would enter through the exit.

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Next up was Scrapyard of the Dead. This also opened up way too early as there is no roof.

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The scareactors did a really good job even though it was still light outside.

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Even with it being way too bright, they were able to have fun with their characters and actually got in a few real scares as well.

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They could have used more junk for the junkyard (I know they have a ton of junk backstage), but they did a good job with making a lot of scary loud noises.

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She looked liked she wanted to drive that hammer into my head.

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He was waiting until I let my guard down to make a ton of noise with the steel drums.

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I did like the slightly see-through fencing. It added a bit of creepiness to it. I should have gone back later when it was dark to check it out.

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The employees use this wall to count down the hours until there shift is over!

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They did a good job with the makeup and costumes, especially given how light it is outside.

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Just waiting for it to be a bit darker.

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Next up was the halloween themed Sea Lion show. Pretty similar to the normal day show, but still one of the best shows in the park.

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The treasure at the end of the show that they find is actually candy that they give to the kids! Pretty cool!

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These were some really good characters you could take pictures with.

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Looney Tunes Seaport is transformed into the Twick or Tweat Trail during Fright Fest. A really cool FREE thing for the kids.

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This monitor at the blood fountain was turned up way too bright. It lit up the whole area, even during the shows.

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This is the 'mild' cemetery scare zone. The scare actors stay behind the ropes the entire time. They made this a tame one because it is right next to the kids area.

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Another cool looking area, but no characters.

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This is the Morty the Mortician puppet show. It looked like it would be really terrible, but it was actully pretty funny, and a fun little show.

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The dolphin show had different outfits and thmes, but nothing too drastic for halloween. I would've loved for them to do a show with body parts ;)

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Next up was the Dance Macabre show. Not too bad of a show, but the music choices could've been better (more monster mash and thriller type songs, and less pop and modern).

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This was a new attraction for the year that I totally forget to check out.

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They have a video to show the victim freaking out.

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It's $5 for a 2 minute motion simulator style ride in a coffin. It seemed somewhat popular. I'd be interested to hear from someone who has experienced it.

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Next up was the only true scarezone of the park, Blood Bath Bayou. It is advertised as the 'free' attraction for the event. The entrance looks like a maze entrance, and they would even stagger groups like a maze.

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There really wasn't too much more than this massive gator. It did look really cool though, but it would have been much better if it moved or had a mega-pirahna on the other side ;)

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This dude popped right up in front of me and scared the crap out of me.

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This is the end of the scarezone. It was a little too bright, a bit short, and not too much to it, but the scareactors did a pretty good job.

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Next up was my favorite maze of the night, Slaughterhouse Pig Farm. It's actually one of my favorite mazes of the year!

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This laundry drying area was much longer than most, and that made it a lot more effective.

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Even the actors in plain sight did a really good job at being creepy and scaring people.

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Another creepy thing about this maze was that you could see the scareactors running back and forth scaring people. It kinda looked like one of those movies in the woods where you randomly get glimpses of people running around trying to get you.

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This also seemed to be the most/best themed maze of the event.

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The lighting and fog looked incredible.

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Now we head inside the old motion theater! (Rumor is that everything is still there, and it would just need a quick rehab if they decided to use it again)

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Pretty good blood splatters and bodies!

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More gore, and the actual bubble/smoke(?) machine for the theater.

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Upstairs is where the projection room is....and death awaits.

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More fun theming.

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Some cool frozen bodies.

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This guy is just daring me to try and exit.

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While not a halloween attraction, SkyScreamer is brand new! It doesnt look very tall, but it was pretty fun. Some people have said that the shorter height compared to the other star flyers really isn't that noticeable. Either way, I like Star Flyers better than Windseekers. The Star Flyers are a little more thrilling to me.

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30 minutes to closing and they still had quite a few food places open, including my second favorite place, J.B's Smokehouse! The tri-tip sandwich is really good. They also had special cupcakes. They were pretty good, but nothing amazing. They were kind of pricey at $4 (I think), but they were big enough for 3 people to share.

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The last thing for the night was the Final Freakout. It was similar to the Dance Macabre show (including the same performers) but had added acts like the fire dance!

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They also had some funky glow stick people type routine.

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They had some good facial expressions!

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Isn't this the kid from Jurrasic Park that was told how a Raptor would eat him alive?!

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I must get this evil looking baby.

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This store front looked really good!

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They really didn't have much Firght Fest merchandise, but of course they had a ton of glow merchandise. Oh well, no magnet for my fridge.

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Thanks for an awesome evening! I will definitely be coming back!

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Fright Fest looks really awesome compared to last year! A huge step up! Last year, since Fright Fest was so ininspiring (mazes were medocire, scare zones overcrowded), and operations were so awful at the time, I decided to leave just a half-hour into Fright Fest. I have pretty much been very pleased with everything SFDK has done in the past few years; it has gone from being among the most terrible parks I have ever visited (even though it is my home park) to actually being a decent place to visit! However, the only bad thing that has happened to the park is Roar, and how brutal its gotten. It was once one of my favorite wood coasters; even as late as last June, I was perfectly willing to wait 90 minutes for it. Now, its not even worth a walk-on.

 

Oh, and one more question: Are the Medusa and V2 crews still doing fine? On both rides, dispatches have been horrendously slow, up until last August. I was shocked to see Medusa the crew NOT stacking trains! Are the crews still this good now?

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Fright Fest looks really awesome compared to last year! A huge step up! Last year, since Fright Fest was so ininspiring (mazes were medocire, scare zones overcrowded), and operations were so awful at the time, I decided to leave just a half-hour into Fright Fest. I have pretty much been very pleased with everything SFDK has done in the past few years; it has gone from being among the most terrible parks I have ever visited (even though it is my home park) to actually being a decent place to visit! However, the only bad thing that has happened to the park is Roar, and how brutal its gotten. It was once one of my favorite wood coasters; even as late as last June, I was perfectly willing to wait 90 minutes for it. Now, its not even worth a walk-on.

 

Oh, and one more question: Are the Medusa and V2 crews still doing fine? On both rides, dispatches have been horrendously slow, up until last August. I was shocked to see Medusa the crew NOT stacking trains! Are the crews still this good now?

 

When I went (October 9th) the V2 crew was doing good, but the Medusa crew was lacking, the waits for both rides weren't to bad though. And about Roar, I don't know about you, but I would MUCH rather Roar than Kong. And I thought Roar was running the best it had in along time yesterday, a little rough, but not to bad!

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The crews weren't doing too bad when I was there. The lines were pretty short, so it didnt seem that bad with them being a little slow. Kong is definitely a lot worse than Roar. Roar did seem a little worse than when I rode it last, but Kong was as terrible as always. Medusa was still running great though!

 

^it will be really interesting what they decide to do with the building/attraction. I hope they do something with it soon.

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Hey Joey - Thanks for posting the report. Looks like the park is really headed in the right direction with this event. Has any other TPR member had a chance to make it out, or plan on making it out this Halloween season to SFDK?

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