REVIEW: LOS ANGELES HAUNTED HAYRIDE
Since getting a 2 million dollar investment on the reality tv show Shark Tank, we have seen LA Haunted Hayride have a severe set of growing pains. It’s unclear if the money has somehow negatively affected it or if they just lost interest in living up to the quality of their previous Haunted Hayride experiences. After the investment they started another hayride in New York. So perhaps there focus is now on that location? There are a lot of questions that I have so let’s start with the obvious….
People go to the Haunted Hayride for a HAYRIDE. That is their strength and what sets them apart from other attractions. Why have they thrown a maze into the middle of this experience for the past two years? It’s disruptive because it breaks the momentum of the ride. (Also, people love the hayride because they don’t want to do mazes.) This maze is uninspired, and takes away from the pacing established by the hayride. In past years there were so many creative elements and characters along the hayride: trees that would come to life, demons that would bounce above you, a mourning mother in a cemetery pushing a baby stroller while staring you down from the darkness... There is a long list of memorable sights from past years. So why did they choose this year’s theme to be clowns doing a bunch of thrown together things?
The clown themed hayride, outside of a few cool things like a human marionette vignette, is very unimaginative. The worst moment is when the hayride pulls up to a punk rock clown biker club. Here you have to sit through watching clowns lip sync to a bad punk song about "clowns, stitches and bitches". In the background there’s a drum set which isn’t even assembled correctly and some Black Flag graffiti with 6 bars instead of 4. The enormous lack of quality control makes the ride underwhelming compared to the great work they were doing only a few years ago.
The dark maze isn’t even worth mentioning. Don’t do it. However, the Trick Or Treat maze is excellent. Within this maze you travel door to door to various spooky doorsteps. When you knock at the doors, various creatures come out to give you candy or a good scare. All of the creatures were really well done and enjoyable. This is a really original idea and was surprisingly more fun than the hayride.
It's not all bad though. We really liked the beautifully decorated park, the Scary Go Round, the food truck which caters delicious food by Doomies, and the free parking. If you do plan on going to the Haunted Hayride, it’s a good idea to go when the park opens. The monsters involved in the production run up to the gate and scare everyone. Remember to take a dust mask so you don’t have a coughing fit from the dust in the hayride maze.
The conflict about this event is that it is no longer good or bad. The Haunted Hayride has had some really great years, but not these past two. It has become a lukewarm event in a city surrounded by mazes which are more affordable and better executed. If you can afford to go to this event, you should - just don’t be too disappointed if you compare it to previous years.
October 12, 2017
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