Our review of the Haunted Hayride:
The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride has the most premium real estate for a haunt. Located in the abandoned zoo within Griffith Park, this haunt contains 3 premium mazes, which surround a Halloween carnival filled with activities and spooky characters. You can get tarot card readings along with astrological chart work, ride a scary-go-round made up of metal horse skeletons, and eat delicious vegan food. You can also hang out with some of the numerous strange characters lurking about in the pumpkin colored shadows within the park.
This year they have one less attraction leaving us with these three- the Hayride, House of Shadows, and Trick or Treat.
The Hayride itself isn’t on its best year. For one thing, you get off the hayride soon after it starts in order to go through a maze. This really breaks up the pace enjoyed on rides of past years where you are comfortably sitting and moving along the amazing sets. After the maze, we had to wait a while to get back on the hayride again which just felt like being in line again. I imagine this is even worse on a busier evening than the one we attended. The Hayride doesn’t have as many cool sets this year, or surprises. Long gone are the trees coming alive, bird men on stilts coming down at you, and the old woman pushing a baby cradle through a creepy cemetery.
While in line for the mazes, I was thinking about how I hope The Haunted Hayride has a long term contract for the park with the city. The reason being is that they are now in competition with larger events like Halloween Horror Nights. I was curious about whether Universal has tried to buy them out, or even worse take the park from them. My suspicions seemed reasonable once we got to the second maze, The House of Shadows, and noticed it is now a maze advert for Universal’s horrible film: Ouija. The House of Shadows was better this year though, because they were able to build a house in the center of the dark maze with the money from promoting Ouija. I understand that these types of events cost millions to operate. However, I hope that the Haunted Hayride doesn’t slowly sell their mazes to franchises every season, as this is the downfall of Halloween Horror Nights.
The biggest surprise of all was the usually lackluster Trick or Treat maze. They really stepped it up this year as you now walk through a mini village full of fun and unique characters. This one may have been everyone’s favorite for the evening.
I would like to add that the hay being used this year seemed to be different than the hay used in previous years. Everyone in our group was sneezing and having allergic reactions to the hay. Remember to take allergy medicine before you go!
The Haunted Hayride is undoubtedly on its way to becoming a very legendary Los Angeles Halloween attraction. I just hope that with their financial growth they can stay focused on what initially made them amazing: their creativity.
October 25, 2016