Knott's Scary Farm 2018 Review
Knott's Scary Farm kicked off its 2018 season on Thursday, September 20, and once again proved why it is considered the granddaddy of all Halloween events.
With nine walk-through mazes, a themed ride, three shows, a DJ dance party, a custom art show, a virtual reality experience, pop-up entertainment, and four scare zones, Scary Farm offers something for everyone! In addition to all of the seasonal offerings, most major rides and attractions are open!
The entire park has been decorated and the Scary Farm experience can be felt everywhere. From the lighting, to the decor, to industry leading talent, Scary Farm NEVER disappoints. No one does it like Knott's... no one.
Every year Knott's introduces a few new mazes. This year, guests are treated to two new offerings, both located backstage near Ghostrider.
In THE DEPTHS, a heavy fog drapes over an abandoned port village where ancient creatures lurk inside the pitch-black underground caves hidden below the seaside shores. Incredible props, moving rooms, and eager talent make this one of the best mazes Knott's has ever created.
Across the midway is the space-themed DARK ENTITIES. Teleport beyond earth and into a realm where the darkness is absolute. In the depths of space, a lone station faces terror beyond all imagination. An extraterrestrial mutation has invaded the station, and it’s on the prowl for new hosts. Once again, the Scary Farm creative team has outdone itself. Once inside you will forget the fact you are inside of a temporary maze and be transported, to what feel like a permanent attraction built by Disney or Universal.
Both mazes reinforce the fact that Knott's puts their all into creating unique, immersive, and professional experiences that even the guys up in Universal City haven't matched.
Also backstage is PARANORMAL INC., which continues to be a crowd favorite, and has been outfitted with an all-new ending. "Trick or Treat" continues to draw crowds despite overstaying its welcome with return Scary Farm fanatics.
Near the entrance to Camp Snoopy, PUMPKINEATER is back for a second year and is just as entertaining as the first. No noticeable changes were encountered.
Elsewhere in the park, DARK RIDE fits in perfectly to its surrounding scare zone. SHADOWLANDS and RED BARN offer updates that refresh and enhance the guest experience. With a new side entrance and outside barker welcoming those who enter, "Red Barn" feels brand new.
Unique to Knott's is the technically advanced zombie hunting maze, INFECTED: SPECIAL OPS, where guests use specially created guns to fire "head shots only."
No live talent have been placed inside the Timber Mountain Log Ride this year, but that doesn't mean you should miss it. The classic ride has been give a HALLOWEEN HOOTENANNY overlay with a musical soundtrack created by Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies. it is a ton of fun!
In comparison with other attractions, Knott's blows maze creativity and professional designs out of the water. With zero dead space, and no empty hallways, Scary Farm deliveries the best mazes in the business without intellectual property tie-ins.
THE DEPTHS PHOTOS
DARK ENTITIES PHOTOS
OTHER MAZE PHOTOS
LIVE SHOWS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Entertainment headliner Elvira is gone. Her "retirement" show last year was Broadway quality, and prompted fans to line up long before the doors to the Charles M. Schulz opened. Leaving a huge void, management replaced the spectacle with an improv show inside the venue, and brought back long-missed additional shows throughout the park.
Audience interaction is the key to HACKS, which features a team of improv comics acting out skits based on the content given to them. Although wildly entertaining (if the chosen audience members are willing), the venue is inappropriate and cannot match the large-scale Elvira shows of years past.
In the Bird Cage Theatre, magicians take the stage and offer family friendly acts. Pop-up experiences take place around the park and are not listed on the schedule. Look for the medicine wagon in Charleston Circle for a short, fun, and unexpected skit. Randomly throughout the night, dancers appear on the top of the Calico Saloon and perform to a high-energy version of "Thriller."
Snap a photo of the train conductor at the railroad tracks, watch the nightly procession in Forsaken Lake, and catch a glimpse of the witches and their hunter in The Hollow scare zone.
These pop-up shows are a highlight of the evening, and once again set the entire experience a bar above the competition. (I just wish they there on the schedule to share times with blog readers).
Stop by the Bizarre Bazaar to check out dozens of themed art pieces in the "Into the Fog" art show. While there, purchase a print of your favorite piece, and learn more about the artists behind the large wing photo op backgrounds that are scattered around the park.
Knott's popular pop culture parody show THE HANGING has been a staple of Scary Farm for decades. This year, politics are (thankfully) left out, and the usual crude humor and fight sequences are back.
The scare zones is what Knott's Scary Farm is known for and the street talent cannot be beat. The monsters of GHOST TOWN STREETS never disappoint, and are the focal point of the entire event. Over in THE HOLLOW (Camp Snoopy), the denizens prey on those passing through. The clowns of CARNEVIL (The Boardwalk) amuse while they terrorize.
There is no scare zone this year in Fiesta Village, yet the dance party remains. In its place is a brand new scare zone around the lake under Silver Bullet. FORSAKEN LAKE unleash gothic creatures, which have been ravaged by the dark and murky waters, as they wander their crypts preying on unsuspecting visitors, looking for victims to drag back to their watery graves.
The costumes are beautiful, the props fitting for the zone, and the talent are calmly creepy. The zone could definitely use more fog and a more noticeable soundtrack. Hopefully this improves during the season.
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS