REVIEW: KNOTTS SCARY FARM
Since 1973 Knott’s Berry Farm has been transforming their park into Knott’s Scary Farm for each Halloween season. The park, which started with an old western theme, is built for this type of attraction. Through the years the mazes and scare zones have expanded and improved, providing inspiration for many other theme parks and back yard mazes which we have grown to love.
To begin, this year is the last year for Elvira’s live show, which has been running on an off since 1982. I am on the fence caring about this because as rumor has it, she has been butting heads with the theme park for a while because they refuse to let her be in complete control of her own show. The show itself didn’t feel inspired or even much like a farewell, instead it incorporates great comedic Elvira moment’s sprinkled between pointless Las Vegas dance group routines set to dub step remixes. I honestly don’t mind her leaving as I hope she can be in charge of her own show somewhere else. However it wasn't all bad.
Knott’s Scary Farm hosts 9 original mazes this year. All of them are superior to their competitors at Universal, which is largely due to the lack of corporate interference. All of the mazes and scare zones are original ideas unique to the park. This makes it easier for the writers, art directors, and builders to have the freedom of expression in bringing their visions to life without major branding interference.
Our highlight of the night was Trick or Treat – home to witches and ghouls and the heart of Knott’s Scary Farm. This year all the lights are out as you go through with a flashlight wirelessly connected to each room where it randomly strobes, changes colors, or turns off. This is something I haven’t seen before and greatly enjoyed its execution. Their new maze "Dark Ride" was up there on our favorites as well.
All of the other mazes were equally enjoyable for us with the exception of Special Ops: Infected, in which you are given a gun and run around shooting zombies. While I never cared for this wannabe GI Joe meets Walking Dead attraction, I can see why it’s so popular since every teen in the park loved running around shooting zombies.
Additionally to Elvira’s show and the mazes, they are running most of their coasters, including the Ghost Rider. This is a beautiful wooden coaster dimly lit by orange lights as it travels at high octane speeds. The Ghost Rider by night has always felt like the start of the autumn season, and it was nice to have it back and running this year.
Knott’s Scary Farm is the best out of all the Halloween theme park events. If the past 40 years are any indication, they are going to continue to build and expand on original ideas for years to come to the delight of visitors far and wide. Knott’s Scary Farm is the perfect way to begin and end the Halloween season in southern California.
November 01, 2017
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