Happy Friday the 13th everybody!! Hope you all have some scary things planned for the weekend whether it's just watching scary movies or attending a Halloween event. Hopefully it's not something super scary like having to work.
Today we have another update from California's Great America where my wife and I made our first visit to their Haunt last weekend.
Written by Gregg Condon
Prior to Haunt we made our way over to the park in the afternoon to do some riding and check out the Great Pumpkin Fest.
Lots of graves to mark mazes and scare zones no longer with us
The Pumpkin Patch!! Super cute.
After heading back to the hotel for a nap it was time to head back to the park for Haunt
Believe it or not, in all our visits to this park, we had never been here at night. Weird right?
Our first maze of the night was Massacre Manor
We had actually gotten a tour of this earlier in the day and it did NOT disappoint
Cornstalkers was up next
Nothing creepier than walking through cornstalks ... we had a great time in this maze.
This looks like something
Our first "surprise" maze of the night. Seriously, I love this maze, may have been my favorite of the night. The song is catchy (it's in my head now) but the maze itself is just a whole lot of fun!!
Wonder if Ed Alonzo went back to Bayside?
This looks different at night ...
I know this is supposed to be Humpty Dumpty, and maybe it's because it's Friday the 13th ... but ...
Doesn't this look like Corey Feldman in Friday the 13th Part IV? Google it. Seriously. Do it now!!
Another really fun and inventive maze
Time for Ed Alonzo!! We've missed him at Knott's Scary Farm!!
Believe it or not, this was the only good shot I got of the show. You don't believe me do you? =)
The lighting and effects around the park were awesome
Definitely the "Grossest" of the mazes at Haunt
We also took a ride on Demon Re-Ignited!! Not only are the effects for the ride amazing, but I probably had the best ride I've ever had on it, at least in the past 15 years or so. It was running amazing.
Kudos to the park for not only adding some amazing effects, but for maintaining this classic coaster to such high standards.
If you missed our Demon Re-Ignited Behind The Scenes Tour earlier this week, be sure to check it out.
Last but not least was the all new Backwoods.
And if this is any indication of the future of Haunt, it's going to be one of those can't miss events for years to come. I thought the maze was a bit on the short side, but it was phenomenal nonetheless.
CGA's Haunt has an amazing entry area
Fire makes everything better
Probably my favorite picture I've taken this entire Halloween season
Overall we were very pleasantly surprised with Haunt. The event is a LOT of fun, the talent is into it and the mazes are unique.
One thing I will say is there needs to be more scare zones, they had a couple but they were kind of small. But other than that, we definitely recommend this event and can't wait to go back next year!
Well, it's official- California's Great America has elevated their special offerings yet again with the introduction of Demon: Ignited, a special reinvention of their classic looping coaster for Halloween Haunt. Much like Disney, who has made a successful model off of holiday overlays, Great America has taken the opportunity to elevate The Demon for a limited engagement. While most of the ride takes place out of site from the midway, the park was kind enough to walk us back for a special look into the reinvention of this classic attraction.
By Andrew Cunningham
So- first thing to know- there is fire.
I'm not talking about a little torch in the queue or something, I mean a full on fireball. You'll feel the heat as a fireball erupts just to the left of the train just before you dive into the Demon's cave.
Second thing to know- there's blood, and lots of it.
Just like the park didn't hold back on the fire, they certainly didn't hold back on the blood. The Demon's waterfall has returned, but this time with some sinister red coloring.
The combination of the fire, lighting effects, and blood red water makes for a colorful, spooky ride through the Demon's wooded area.
The fog and lighting really elevate the atmosphere. Aside from maybe The Matterhorn, is there a better looking Arrow coaster out there?
I can't think of any.
The tunnel that immediately follows the double loops also got decked out with some eerie interior lighting.
A train whizzes through the Demon's cave, with a bloody waterfall just above the rider's heads. So spooky and awesome.
Another train flying through the corkscrews in the dark.
The Demon cave also features projection mapping, but it was hard to capture a picture that did it justice in the dark.
But fire... did we mention fire? Yeah, it's pretty rad.
It's dark, it's spooky, it's bloody, it's fiery, it's The Demon: Re-Ignited. Check it out during Haunt at California's Great America.
Huge thank you to the wonderful team at Great America who made this update possible. You guys are doing so many exciting things, and it's always a pleasure to come down and check them out!
Hey there, Park Journey readers!
2017 marks the 10th year of Haunt at California's Great America, and ParkJourney was on had to check out the opening night festivities!
This was my second year attending Haunt at Great America, and I really enjoyed it. It's amazing how much this park has changed in the last couple of years, and the 2017 Haunt additions seem to indicate a continuation of that upward trend.
Written by Andrew Cunningham
Photos by Stephen Harrington and Andrew Cunningham
We start the evening by checking out Backwoods, this year's big new maze, which took over the Imax building previously occupied by Dia de los Meurtos. While Backwoods was noticeably shorter than its predecessor, the production value was far above any other maze that Great America has done.
Backwoods takes us to an old southern Bayou that is, unfortunately, overrun by Werewolves. The maze was unique in that it is built over a shallow water tank, and you walk from scare to scare over a set of wooden bridges that cross the water. The sets themselves were large, impressive, and void of any cheap plywood walls.
The park was kind enough to treat us to a lights-on tour of Backwoods. You can see from the pictures that the level of detail and production value was definitely heightened for this maze. It looked amazing with the lights off and actors in place!
Aes night began to creep in, the Haunt opening show took place over the Celebration Plaza fountains. The cloaked figure in the middle of the water is none other that The Demon!
It was cool to see a live Demon character in the park, as the other marquee addition for 2017 was Demon: Re-Ignited
The Demon is a true classic at California's Great America, the this year's Haunt brought fire, tunnel projections, and the return of the water features to the beloved coaster. I have to say that a night ride on Demon Ignited was incredibly enjoyable.
The park has also been hyping a re-recording of the classic Demon theme song by Tony Award winner James Monroe Iglehart. The new theme song was not ready to roll on opening night, but we will back next week to check it out again.
Great America has done a tremendous job with increasing their entertainment offerings over the last few years. This year for Haunt, Ed Alonzo's Psycho Circus of Magic & Mayhem returns to the park to take center stage.
We got to see the first trial run of the show, which was a lot of fun. I'm not a huge theme park show person, but I did find Ed's show to be an overall good time. He packed in several impressive magic tricks along with some PG-13 humor. I'd recommend seeing it if you have a full night to spend at Haunt.
While I didn't have time to take in every other maze or Skeleton Key room tonight (damn you, Caltrain schedule!), it did seem like the houses that I did were mostly the same from last year. However, the couple Skeleton Key rooms I experienced were different from 2016, which was fun.
Thanks for joining us for a look at the 2017 new hotness for California's Great America's 10th anniversary Haunt.
Halloween Haunt runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights from now until October 29th. We definitely recommend coming to check it our if you're in the Bay Area!
We'll actually be back at California's Great America for Haunt the next two weekends, so look for lots more from this amazing event soon.