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Please rank 2019's Scary Farm mazes & shows IF you actually saw them live.


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  • Please rank 2019's Scary Farm mazes & shows IF you actually saw them live.

    Also, how was the Boo-fet?
    And the scare zones?
    And the art exhibit?

    But mostly the mazes & shows--please rank your favorites!

  • #2
    [Sorry--outdated post, so I deleted it. But the NEXT one, #3 below--has a link to my all-time favorite Micechat trip report!]
    Last edited by jcruise86; 09-22-2019, 02:21 PM.


    • #3
      Best trip report EVER! Thanks, Micechat!

      With nine mazes, four scare zones, and four different shows, Knott's Scary Farm Halloween Haunt is an epic night of entertainment. Join us as we brave the fog to bring you the scary best from


      • #4
        ^thanks. that was an amazing write up. looks like this year will be awesome! (except for the puppet show)
        Big Thunder Ranch > Galaxys Edge


        • #5
          Originally posted by BigThunda View Post
          ^thanks. that was an amazing write up. looks like this year will be awesome! (except for the puppet show)
          The Micechat reviewers (in the trip report linked above) LOVED the Puppet Up! show. I did too.
          Last edited by jcruise86; 09-22-2019, 02:22 PM.


          • #6
            . . . So did Robert Niles, though he noted it has little to do with Halloween.
            Maybe that's a little more acceptable at Knott's than it is at Universal
            where their "nothing to do with Halloween" dance show is their ONLY Horror Nights show. Weak.

            Robert Niles, September 20, 2019 at 12:09 PM: "Henson being there was definitely a surprise. Knott's has pretty much stuck to horror
            with its mazes instead of pursuing the crossover appeal that Universal has with houses such as Ghostbusters and Stranger Things.
            But it's always had a strong comedy element with its shows, and Puppet Up! might be its best yet
            Last edited by jcruise86; 09-22-2019, 05:12 PM.


            • #7
              YAY, my 6th post (out of 7) on this thread!

              So the Boo-fet was back, in my opinion! Very good food, and probably the best staff I've experienced at a Boo-fet. Thanks to the Boo-fet deal, we were able to do the four early entry mazes all within half an hour when most were just allowed to enter the park, which is pretty great since last week we only got through 5 total mazes at Universal. GO KNOTTS!!!

              As I stated on another thread, we really liked The Hanging (despite it's lack of an ending), and Puppet Up!, which I'd like to see again and again.

              The Ghost Town Scare Zone is the best scare zone in the history of our solar system.

              CarnEvil is also outstanding. These clowns have distinct personalities and have apparently been attending acting classes. One stood in front of us smiled, then started drooling into the ground. TALK ABOUT COMMITMENT!

              The Hollows is also excellent, but don't encourage people to attend a gathering at 8:45 unless you've actually worked out something entertaining with special effects. I was unwilling to return at midnight for whatever they were doing then because the 8:45 meeting stunk. But otherwise, great actors.

              Did Knott's steal scare actors away from The Queen Mary's, Dark Harbor? Till this year, I'd considered them the best.
              We failed to notice the Forsaken Lake. My bad.

              Now for the reason you clicked on this thread--to read a ranking of the mazes!

              1. Wax Works. My favorite and my daughter's least favorite. But I'm making this list so it's #1.

              2. Origins: the Curse of Calico. Brilliant! The best theme-fitting maze ever attempted in S. California outside of Dark Harbor. Congratulations, Knott's!

              3. Dark Ride. At the risk of sounding British, this is also brilliant! Perhaps the best idea for a maze ever, and Knott's keeps improving it.

              4. Pumplin Eater--OUTSTANDING in every way. Yes, the 2019 Scary Farm is the best Halloween event I've ever attended. If MiceChat pays, I'd be happy to fly to Universal Orlando to decide which is the best Halloween event in the USA.

              5. Paranormal. Yet another reminder why Knott's' original mazes are better than Universal's guaranteed to fail attempts to recreate Hollywood movies in mazes with 1% of their budgets. (But I did love your original Pandora's Box, U.H.Wood.) We arrived alone, and the crew working this maze let us experience the first room all by ourselves--always a treat! I don't think we saw others besides the cast the rest of the maze either.

              6. Dark Entities: my daughter liked it. A fine effort by the actors. A worthwhile, fun maze.

              7. The Depths. Another one that my daughter liked more than I did. Sill worthwhile.

              8. Shadowlands. Having been through this in past years, it felt like going on Disneyland's Tower of Terror after first riding the original at WDW and wondering where's the hallway?! Knott's: never bring back a maze unless you can improve it. Shadowlands might still be pretty cool for people who hadn't seen the even better versions of it in 2017 & 2018. (Was this maze around before 2017? I forgot.)

              Special Ops--sorry this is the one maze out of 9 that we didn't experience this year. We loved this two years ago. We went at the end of an evening and managed to enter when there was no line. This year we didn't feel like waiting an hour.

              BTW, THANK YOU, KNOTT'S for not including any fecal odors in your mazes as some idiots at Universal do. Oh, you think the smell of excrement makes it more like the real world for you? Maybe you need to clean your parents' bathroom. (And if you've taxidermied your mom & dad you need to turn yourself in.)

              Favorite little discovery this year: sugar free Boysenberry punch! Mix with a few ounces of the original in the free-to-refill plastic bottle from the Boo-fet for just enough sugar to help walk back to the hotel at the end of the night.

              Great restaurant within walking distance of Knott's (Just north of Medieval Times on Beach Blvd: Portos! Yes, a branch--an even bigger & better branch--than the original--of the great Glendale restaurant!


              --Tom Sinsky
              Last edited by jcruise86; 09-22-2019, 06:13 PM.


              • #8
                My rankings, from favorite to not-so-favorite.

                I should say up front that every maze was fully and competently staffed throughout the evening, even past midnight. Every single maze, even #9 on my list, gave me what I go to Haunt for and I bought the Haunt season pass so I will be back for more. Also, the parking and unlimited drink perks from my regular Knott's pass are still valid at Haunt.

                1. The Depths - The opening is a great illusion and the laser haze areas are interesting. And -- Shark!
                2. Dark Entities - Fun to see an alien maze back at Haunt and past midnight I found myself wandering through this one completely alone, accompanied only by the (really effective) scare actors.
                3. Dark Ride - Still really good. I still remember the "hiding spots" from two years ago, though.
                4. Wax Works - Good addition, and rather long, IIRC.
                5. Origins - What I'd call a "narrative maze" (as opposed to everything else being a "thematic maze"). The mayor outside was a nice touch. Mayor: "Does anyone want to accuse the witch of crimes?" Guest: "She turned me into a newt!" Mayor: "Well, I see you got better."
                6. Infected - Kind of sad to see it go. I do fairly well at it.
                7. Pumpkin Eater - Never been a fan of this one, but I kind of "get" that it's "Adventure Thru Pumpkin Space" as we shrink down to the size of a pumpkin and go in.
                8. Paranormal Inc. - Too familiar at this point. Isn't the grainy video "paranormal" fad over?
                9. Shadowlands - Heavily themed mazes are good, but I've always felt that something "intricately themed" like this one gets lost in the requisite darkness.

                Shows: Conjurers at the Bird Cage Theater - Really funny magic/comedy act from Dana Daniels. As much as I like magic this is the first time I've ever gone to a magic show at Haunt. Is this a rotating line-up of magicians?
                Puppet Up! - Thoughts in other thread (it's okay, but could use more Haunt focus).

                Scare zones: I only spent any appreciable time in the Ghost Town scare zone but they were coming at me through the thick fog like there's no tomorrow.

                Haunt Mazes and Effects of Yore I Still Miss: Mirror Maze! Malice in Wunderland, Alien Attack, Carnival of Carnivorous Clowns 2000 (under the dead roller coaster), walk-through rotating cylinders in mazes, and the "3D" gimmick (ChromaDepth).


                • #9
                  Ooooo I will be back for this one. I'm doing the attractions in waves LOL
                  The nice thing about the season pass


                  • #10
                    I went this past Saturday and Origins was number 1. Its an Incredible maze. Wax Works was number 2. Very, very well done and Paranormal # 3, I just love it. Pumpkin eater #4. Dark ride #5 and the rest just sort of blended together. The Boofet was a little better this year than last. They had vegetables this year that were pretty good. Overall I thought it was a great time and a good haunt.


                    • #11
                      From my Scary Farm visit on Sept 27th

                      Maze Rankings:

                      #1: Origins the Curse of Calico: Easily for me the best maze they've done so far. Loved the references to Ghost Towns past like the Haunted Shack and the randomly placed Catawumpus monster.The tie in the maze has with the scare zone and The hanging felt kind of cohesive.

                      #2: Wax Works: Basically what would happen if you gave Daniel Miller the chance to do his version of Doll Factory.

                      #3: Infected: Ranked it as 3rd because its a personal favorite of mine for the past 5 years. While i'll be sad about this year being its last it will give us a fresh maze next year.

                      #4: The Depths: The new elevator scene was a great start to the maze though they could improve with making the floor shake to simulate the descent.

                      #5: Dark Ride: Loved the faux t-shirt souvenir gag at the end.

                      #6: Pumpkin Eater: Still a solid maze in its 3rd season.

                      #7: Paranormal Inc: I thought this year would be its last but i guess the new ending they introduced last year gave it new legs. Still a fun maze

                      #8: Dark Entities: The changed lighting and the energy of the monsters is an improvement.

                      #9: Shadowlands: In its final season, the maze while beautiful has seen better days.


                      Food seems to have improved and took advantage of the free digital photo offer with a monster before I went in. Since you only get one free photo you'll have to make a choice since the photographer will have taken multiple shots.

                      Fright and Fast Lane

                      First time I got the Fright Lane since they merged it with the regular Fast Lane. It also gave me the chance to ride Hangtime for the first time since I wasn't able to ride it last year. Maze wait times seemed to have averaged between 45-55 minutes during the night. The fright lane cut the wait to around less then 10 minutes for Infected and most cases immediate entry for others.

                      Scare Zones

                      All scare zone monsters were on their game when I went.


                      Puppet Up!:
                      I was laughing a lot! Pretty fun show

                      The Hanging: So I guess this is the final year for the Hanging. They made some changes at the end compared to the first week and they added in a projection saying RIP The Hanging. I guess the combination of guest satisfactory and the ever changing "PC" culture finally caught up to the show. I myself enjoyed the Hanging in the 10 years I've been going to Scary Farm.

                      Overall Scary Farm Thoughts: This was definitely one of their strongest seasons ever

                      The world is a treasure trove of places.
                      The colors of Earth, Sea and Sky. Beauty i'm told, is ours to behold. In the wonderful world of color.
                      Indy Ride Count: 2211
                      World of Color Count: 74


                      • #12
                        I went last night for my very first time at Scary Farm. Last month I went to HHN at USH for the very first time, which was also my very first time at a haunt event (you can check out my review in the Universal thread if you are interested, which you are not).

                        Going in, I had an assumption that KSF would be scarier than HHN - mainly because everyone kept saying that HHN this year was perfect for first-timers or those who are looking for an experience more than an all-out scare. But overall, I didn't really find KSF to be all that scary. HHN has relentless jump scares, which I guess can be tedious or annoying but they're still effective. And maybe it's because I'm going solo through a maze or I'm not a screaming teenager, but I felt overwhelmingly ignored inside the mazes and in the scare zones. It also could be that at HHN I felt like there were more small groups going through, letting the vignettes in each room develop as we went; at KSF it was much more often a steady stream, so even the separations at the doorways didn't matter because you knew what was potentially coming. Question for the regulars: was this a this a busy late-October night thing or a pretty typical KSF thing? (When I went to HHN it was opening night, Friday the 13th, so it was PACKED - I basically waited 30 minutes or less for everything at KSF last night)

                        I will say that from a maze quality standpoint, KSF is far superior. You can tell that the budget is less, and the technology is less-advanced, but it's still better somehow. They somehow translate the quality/charm of the park as a whole into the experience - you can tell that they really care about making it fun/enjoyable for the guests. (BTW, I would say the same thing about Knott's at Christmas vs. USH or the big D, so I'm not surprised I feel this way about Halloween)

                        Finally - THANK YOU for no cell phones or flash photos. That was greatly appreciated.

                        OK, to the maze rankings. Mine are obviously a little different because everything here was new to me:

                        1. Paranormal Inc. This maze was incredible. The opening scene with the ghost was very effective. The unexpected scares (hello guy hanging upside down from the ceiling, creepy nurse hanging out behind the doorway when you go "back in time", and completely invisible girl who WHISPERED IN MY EAR OH MY GOD WHAT IS HAPPENING?). I also got to go through first on this one, which basically meant I was alone (the cabal of teenagers behind me were very afraid and very slow so I had to keep looking behind me to make sure I was going the right way), so that really helped keep everything a surprise, as well. I also came back and did it again at the very end of the night - and it was still awesome.

                        2. Shadow Lands: maybe it's because I've been watching a lot of Japanese horror on TCM this month (please find a way to watch House if you haven't), or just finished watching the Terror on AMC (which had a Japanese angry spirit bend to it), but this one was just fantastic. There were people on bungee cords swinging at you and a giant puppet demon monster (when I saw that thing for the first time I said "Yes!" very loudly. This was the other maze I went through twice. (Cool to see the first time I went through, a girl swung through the air at me, but the second time, she did the crab walk toward me - glad I got to see both)

                        3. Origins: I really love this maze. The outside entertainment was great, and I loved the recreation of Calico inside - especially the haunted shack throwback, the witch spinning around the room above us was awesome, and can I say CATAWAMPUS! Yes! The only thing I didn't like were the video screens. Wished I could have done it a second time.

                        4. Dark Ride: I have nothing bad to say about it. It was my favorite until I went through the three above this one. Which makes it fourth.

                        5. The Depths: The first maze I went to at KSF. I really loved the atmosphere, the elevator, and the ship/kraken(?) combo. Just amazingly detailed and cool. But there was nothing scary (when I went through).

                        6. Wax Works: I think this one had the best story setup from the video playing and the demon speaking to you on the building. And there were a few times when I turned a corner and saw these disgusting amalgamations and said "Whoah" like Keanu. But another one that wasn't very scary.

                        7. Special Ops Infected: Hey, laser tag! Ok. A very different experience than the other mazes. The kid behind me was yelling the whole time like he was on a headset playing Fortnight ("I got you! Headshot! #%&#%#!"), which diminished the experience. I did think this was a better zombie maze than Walking Dead at HHN.

                        8. Pumpkin Eater: I guess I missed the story? So it was a little disjointed for me. I also decided I'm not a fan of outdoor mazes (I need that roof!). But I did have the best interaction with a scarer here, where some guy just randomly (finally!) jumped out at me around a corner and I flinched. And the guy started laughing and got in my face and whispered "I got you!". That's fair.

                        9. Dark Entities: Meh. Spaceship. Aliens. Rogue robots. Ok to look at. No scares. Can't dance to it.

                        Also saw the Hanging as my only show of the night. I'd never seen the Hanging before so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. That wasn't it. I was basically watching the whole time with my mouth "hanging" open. (Just a bit of gallows humor) It was fun! I liked it. Not all the jokes landed. But whatever, it was silly and mildly offensive - nothing I have ever experienced at Knott's before so unexpected but fun!

                        Thank you if you made your way all the way through!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cookie Boat View Post
                          I felt overwhelmingly ignored inside the mazes and in the scare zones. It also could be that at HHN I felt like there were more small groups going through, letting the vignettes in each room develop as we went; at KSF it was much more often a steady stream, so even the separations at the doorways didn't matter because you knew what was potentially coming. Question for the regulars: was this a this a busy late-October night thing or a pretty typical KSF thing? (When I went to HHN it was opening night, Friday the 13th, so it was PACKED - I basically waited 30 minutes or less for everything at KSF last night)
                          I'm a middle-aged guy who's usually solo and I get jump-scared a lot in the mazes and scare zones. I went several times early in the season and at least a couple of times I walked through Dark Entities entirely alone and just about every monster came at me.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bigcatrik View Post
                            My rankings, from favorite to not-so-favorite.
                            1. The Depths
                            2. Dark Entities
                            3. Dark Ride
                            4. Wax Works
                            5. Origins
                            6. Infected
                            7. Pumpkin Eater
                            8. Paranormal Inc.
                            9. Shadowlands
                            Since I went seven times over the course of the season I need to revise my list. I routinely went through five or six mazes every visit, but visited all nine on both my first (end of September, second week of Haunt) and last (November 2nd, closing night) visits. I was impressed that all the effects and animatronics seemed to stay in good running condition throughout the entire Haunt season despite the throngs of people experiencing them at such close range, and the mazes seemed fully staffed regardless of day, time of night, or how far into the run it was.

                            1. Dark Entities - Moves up to the top since it was reliably dark and scary and most of the time had a short (or no) line due to its secluded location. Win/win all around.
                            2. The Depths - Loses the top spot due to the variability of whether the elevator opening scene ran or not. It was used more often than not, but without that opening some of the mystique was missing. Every one of the giant octopus's tentacles stayed in action to closing day, though, and the reliable rocking ship was always a welcome funhouse throwback.
                            3. Dark Ride - Went through every time. Still love the juxtaposition of fake attraction/real attraction/what?
                            4. Origins - Only went through on first and last visits due mostly to longish lines, and its ranking could fall depending on what's new next year.
                            5. Infected - I got a run through as the leader and it was more fast and fun that way, but my score was lower.
                            6. Paranormal Inc. - Some interesting effects throughout made me second-guess my original ranking.
                            7. Wax Works - Not bad by any means, but the others just had something more.
                            8/9. Pumpkin Eater/Shadowlands - Tied. Walk-on line levels made me visit several times over the season (and more than mazes 4-7) but they're still not really my thing.

                            Shows: The second magician I saw (Chipper Lowell, third week) stayed for the rest of the run and I didn't feel the need to revisit that show. I finally saw a complete show of The Hanging (second visit) but never felt compelled to revisit it. It was about what I expected from the little snippets I'd seen in previous years. Pop culture jokes, stunts, etc. The stunts were the most impressive part.

                            I went to Puppet Up every time, sometimes multiple times a night and, yes, it was a very funny show but I *still* wonder what it was doing at Haunt. There were hints at the last show that it might be back next year, but don't quote me on that (more monsters, please). Most of the cast wore unobtrusive costumes on Halloween night which was a nice touch.

                            Speaking of Halloween night, I went on Halloween for the third or fourth time and it's really a great place to be if you have nothing else specific going on. Crowd levels are moderate to low and the online/coupon discount is good if you don't get the pass. But Halloween is on Saturday next year (skipping Friday due to leap year) so I don't know what that will mean.

                            And speaking of Saturday, for the first time I went on a busy Saturday at the height of the season (October 19) and it was really pretty bad. Maze lines went up to posted 2-hour waits and the ride lines were packed (Hang Time said 195 minutes!). I still was able to get through several mazes by showing up at rope drop, and the scare zones were not as packed as you'd think, but I wouldn't have wanted it to be my only visit of the year.
                            Last edited by bigcatrik; 11-03-2019, 05:48 PM.


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