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  • Trip Report Halloween Attractions 2009

    So I have had a chance to compare some of the different haunted houses this year from Arizona to Knott's and overall Knott's won. Knott's Halloween Haunt was by far the best one out there. As far as intensity goes Knott's Haunt wins because the one's in Arizona rely too much on people being afraid of chainsaws which is good for people like my brother however Knott's is just intense because of how many actors/actresses they have playing the monsters. They don't really rely on chainsaws. I however, did not get to do the Nest yet and plan to do it next year. The Nest takes place in Avondale, AZ and is supposed to be amongst the 13 most scariest haunted attractions in the US. It's just Knott's was cheaper than the Nest this year. I did do Fear Farm which is also in Avondale, AZ and it was way better then AZ Scream Park and Festival of Fear. I rate Fear Farm a 7 overall. They had 4 mazes that took place in an actual corn field. I thought it was great, all except their Carnevil maze. That was their clown maze and it was just kind of lame. My brother ran through a lot of the maze called Chainsaw Mayham. Their best mazes were Chainsaw Mayham and The Asylum. Festival of Fear (Phoenix, AZ- Wet N Wild Waterparks attraction) I would say had one of the best 3-D mazes I have been to all Halloween season. Their lamest attraction was the Tunnel that they called a maze but really was just a tunnel. AZ Scream Park (Scottsdale, AZ) I felt actually a bit ripped off about paying $23 to get in and their mazes weren't really that scary. My brother didn't even scream once in any of their mazes. However, they did manage to improve from a Sunday to a Wednesday. I managed to go there on a Sunday and a Wednesday because the dust on the ground and in the mazes makes it really hard to breathe even for those who don't have asthma (I don't but I knew people who went who just couldn't do the mazes due to that). But still this season nothing compares to Knott's Haunt. Fear Farm with a few years practice may get to be as good as Knott's as far as intensity goes, however I think Knott's should learn how to do corn mazes from Fear Farm because this year the lamest maze at Knott's I would have to say was Cornstalkers. Well overall I think they all did good, loved Knott's Haunt and will definately return next year. Also will check out more Halloween events next year too. To all the Haunt monsters, you guys were great and keep it coming next year. You guys all rock. Loved it all. To everyone who either went with me and my brother or met up with us, I thank you for making it even more fun, the more people I can get to go next year the more fun it will be for all.

  • #2
    Re: Halloween Attractions 2009

    Umm... Dani... You might want to break up our many parts of AZ Haunted Housing to different pieces in the topic... You said it all right and I totally agree on the following...

    Wet N Wild - Great 3D effects for a maze in AZ billed as "3D"... the rest of it sucked

    AZ Scream Park - What a waste of $23 [that was the discounted price too] and despite cool effects in some mazes and the mazes being long it just was not scary [I didnt scream once and the only scary part was one chainsaw at the end of Goldminers Revenge and Alices House of Nightmares]... This place is recommended only for novice Haunted House guests who want to take on their "first Haunted House"

    Fear Farm - amazing and for $17 [again discounted] its a good deal for 4 mazes [3 of them are corn mazes]... Carnevil did suck and the other corn mazes Apocalypse and Chainsaw Mayhem were nearly identical except one kept Texas Chainsaw theme while the other was like Texas Chainsaw in the Future... The Asylum was also pretty awesome. Not as "in your face" as Knotts but they have lots of chainsaws in the corn and they put it close to your face... Like you can feel the vibrations when they try and stab you with the saw or put it near you in close quarters and I nearly had a heart attack at one point as I hate chainsaws.

    Knotts Haunt - Nothing in AZ beats this... at places in AZ they more or less pop out of the corner and scream, make a loud noise, etc... at Knotts they follow you, try and terrorize you, bombard you, and have more street monsters outside the mazes to group up and follow you... I hate to sound biased but Knotts does well on maze sounds, theme, lighting, and even scare tactics... So well that we kinda spoiled ourselves with the Micechat meet and now find that events in AZ are kinda not as good on the "overall experience" and scare factor!

    however to really make a good thread you should compare and contrast between the 2 and separate it... not make it a hodge podge of what was good and bad between different events... Although you are correct

    On a side note, Haunt was amazing last night and I am glad we decided on visiting that over "The Nest" on Saturday as the 11/1 price for Haunt was cheaper then "The Nest"... Many thanks go out to all the Monsters who were there and were scaring away... Best way to end the Haunt run... Also want to point out that Kritter was hard to find in Lockdown; however he so got me on the first walkthough... then on our second Walkthrough he had to literally shout out and I was like "ok someone on top of the Laundry Room scene was shouting TAMA... must be someone I know from somewhere" and then I went back and was like omg... I guess it is!

    Oh and Doll Factory did an amazing job and the talent in there was amazing all night on my 4 walkthroughs of it last night... Many thanks for last night also go to Elly and Ripper for meeting up with us for a run though of Doll Factory, Slaughterhouse, Uncle Bobo's, and Quarantine before ending the night and walking out the gates at the close of Haunt.
    Add me... I dont bite LOL!
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    Commence Dragulation... Dragulation complete!!

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    • #3
      Re: Halloween Attractions 2009

      Fear Farm [either Glendale, Tolleson, or Avondale, AZ (they are literally near the borders of all 3 cities)]

      For the event itself, they bill it as 4 mazes but in reality its really just 3 haunted corn mazes and 1 "Haunted House" style maze themed to an insane asylum [which was not as good as Knotts but the props in this one were still good and there was some pretty good scare tactics in it]... yeah only one of their mazes was like a Haunted House and the rest were trails of corn then a scene in the middle, then more trails of corn, then another scene, etc... and 2 of them were almost identical [apolcalypse and chainsaw mayhem]... But having said all that, for less than $20 you cant beat that price for 4 haunted attractions... and some of those those corn mazes had a lot of Chainsaws everywhere in those mazes and only one maze did not have chainsaws in it [Carnevil]

      The first one we did was Apolcalypse... it goes through the corn and theres people that come out of the corn to scare you and some of them had hammers, chainsaws, hillbilly tools, and other freaky stuff... and for the scenes there are parts you have to go through the inside of trailers sitting out in the cornfield, there were butcher scenes with a chainsaw guy inside, and even parts where you have to duck and crawl a part of the trail between parts of the corn, then the finale was the strobe light maze of jail cells loaded with 2 or 3 chainsaw wielding people who put their saws through the bars, were cornering you, and doing all kinda of stuff to prevent you from making it through the maze of jailcells and jailbars... The theme was basically a post apocalyptic journey through the cornfield with a backwoods butcher theme to it. The easiest way to describe it was Texas Chainsaw in the future...

      The second one we did was an actual Haunted House style maze and it was called "The Asylum"... it was just typical haunted house type of stuff but there was a claustro hall but the only difference in this one you had to crawl through it on your hands and knees. There was also a guy with the chainsaw at the end and it was very scary... like he put the saw right close to my face and I am good with everything in haunted events except for the chainsaws so this was hella scary! There was even a guy in the Asylum who was in character and asking to break one of our necks... he came up to me and started going as if he was trying to choke me and I was like backing away and was like omg! There was even a pitch black hallway where you could not see a thing... I liked this one the best since it was actually like a Haunted Maze and used all the standard maze effects. It also was the most different as it was not a corn maze like all the others. The reason I also like this was that the talent in the maze were in character which is something Knotts is great at and some people in this maze did what they could to make sure you screamed... including following you for a room or two. This one was a pretty good one and reminded me of one of the reasons why I enjoyed mazes at Knotts... The closest way to describe the talent in this maze was as a cross between the intensity of Quarantine at Knotts then mixing in props from "The Asylum" at Knotts, and then the energy of Talent from Slaughterhouse at Haunt this year... Blend those 3 things together and you have an idea of how Fear Farm didn with "The Asylum"

      The third one was the weakest and it was called Carnevil... pretty much you walk through the corn and into a scene with a bunch of clowns, 3D paint [except it wasnt a 3D maze], and there was just clowns and corn... nothing too crazy and thankfully there was not any chainsaws but this one was kinda dumb IMO, I wish it would have been amped up a little bit or I wish they could have done more with the Clown Theme as it just doesnt mix with a corn maze... It would be like Knotts keeping Cornstalkers and replacing the Scarecrows with Scareclowns and the characters from Bobo's. It just wasnt scary and I was walking out of it wondering why we even waited 30 to 40 minutes for it. However... if Knotts does decide to keep Cornstalkers for yet another agonizing year after the downfall it had this year... they need to take a cue from Fear Farm on how to do a corn maze right!

      The fourth one was Chainsaw Mayhem... pretty much it was the same thing as Apocalypse but the main difference was that it had more chainsaws... Like 6 or so chainsaws in it and it felt a little less Apocalyptic and more Texas Chainsaw inspired... Apocalypse and Chainsaw Mayhem were almost the same in regards to theme, just a difference in props mostly and the fact that both were backwoods chainsaw maniacs in the cornfield themes only one was more future and apocalyptic and the other was standard Texas Chainsaw... Also the entrance facade was kinda impressive... It looked like the Hewitt House from Texas Chainsaw remakes and you entered the cornfield in this one through a shack that wound up being a closet full of hanging clothes... and its yet another claustro hallway with all those clothes and then a chainsaw guy in the shack in a small part of it to start it off and because its in such close quarters, having the chainsaws in such close proximity was OMG! was about ready to freak and I only knew it would get worse... Continuing on through the trails you go through trails of corn, then another shack with different butcher stuff, then more corn, then another shack... one notable thing was bales of hay that turned into a tight squeeze and you had to squeeze your way through the hay... and the scariest part was the one shack where this really cute guy was holding a chainsaw [you could tell he was cute under the make up] and then he would block the way through the end of the shack meaning that you had to bypass him and his chainsaw and he put it as close as possible to everyone, including near my face yet again and then made a forward stabbing motion with it close to my side... that lead to some backroom in the shack and that was pitch black, then near the end through before the final winnebago in the middle of the corn you had to enter and walk through a small pig farm and there was a headless horseman swinging a sword at your neck, yes real pigs in the cornfield... then for the finale at the end of the trailrer more chainsaw people... this one was the scariest of them all... like the guy put the chainsaw yet again into my face and swung it all over and that was my cue to run forward and thankfully out the end of the maze!

      The only downside to Fear Farm was the fact that the lines took forever and each maze took like 45 minutes to do because of the lines... it was like waiting at the haunted house equivalent of Disneyland but I guess thats what the whole thing about going on a Friday night and the night before Halloween. Also the good thing about the lines being long like that is the fact there even is a line is because they do what they can to bring you through the mazes in smaller groups of about 10 to 12 maximum per minute or two. This helps space out the amount of people entering the mazes and keeps things still moving, but at the same time, keeps the groups spaced out enough for people to reset their scares and this is something that I really liked.

      As for talent... in most mazes there was a few notable scares and they do what they can to try and ramp up the intensity and make it awesome so I will give them that... they even kept trying to push the guests to the breaking point and I think they do well with this.. Maybe not on the scale of Knotts as it was mostly a one person at the time scaring you type of thing [except for asylum where some rooms had 2 or 3 people] but that one person at times can be intense and the mazes did have those few moments like finale rooms where they go all out and for that I can say they were one of the closest experiences we had and while not on the scale of Haunt when it comes to scare or mazes I still thought this event was hella scary!

      Also if you get bored or want to snack between the long lines, they have a midway type of area set up and stands selling all sorts of Fair style food like curly fries, deep fried stuff, and corn dogs... There were even 2 Killer Clowns [one with purple hair and one with green hair] with chainsaws walking around the Farm and tossing T Shirts and other prizes to people in the maze lines... then when not tossing stuff to people they were walking around revving up their chainsaws and scaring people... Then the place had heavy metal music playing on large speakers as you enter because the event is sponsored by KUPD which is Arizona's "Real Rock" and basically a radio station that plays heavy metal... I know for me the whole Metalhead thing really isnt my thing but I will say since the event is promoted and done by Metalheads, they do what they can to pull off a good event and out of Arizona events I would totally recommend this one for price, convenience, and closer scare factor. In fact during the rest of the year when Halloween isnt happening, they use the Fear Farm venue for metal concerts as my sister has told me of a few concerts she went to at Fear Farm.

      Anyhow... I figured that I would share my experience and say that if you happen to be in the Phoenix area around Halloween next year this one is a little fun and worth checking out... I wont lie that it may not be on the scale of Knotts Haunt or any of the other major ones but it was still pretty enjoyable for what it is and the price is a steal... with my KUPD red card I got $2 off admission and so it was only $17 for all 4 mazes... thats a good deal!
      Add me... I dont bite LOL!
      http://tamasurvivor.tumblr.com/

      http://www.youtube.com/tamasurvivor
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      Commence Dragulation... Dragulation complete!!

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