Today we're back with the conclusion of our Midsummer Scream coverage. If you missed our Day One coverage be sure to click here.
Today is highlighted by two awesome Halloween event panels from Knott's Scary Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain's Fright Fest, we also have more pics of the show floor and Hall of Shadows from Matt. Enjoy Boils and Ghouls!!
Written by Gregg Condon
Pictures by Matthew Nelson (Good pictures) and Gregg Condon (Bad pictures)
Since Six Flags Magic Mountain has a panel today let's take a look at the awesome decorations in their booth.
So many amazing things to see on the show floor.
We spent most of the morning hanging out in the Hall of Shadows and checking out the Decayed Brigade show. Be sure to check out our video of the show below.
Hanging out with Sally from Fear Station
Soooo ... story time. My son turned 18 in February. And I know many of you have met him, and he's kind of quiet, until you get to know him.
We have a great father/son relationship, but more than that we are really good friends. I was only 22 when he was born so because we hang out, play games, go to theme parks, etc. We've always just loved hanging out with each other.
This story begins as we headed out of the show floor to check out the kittens that were up for adoption ... innocent enough right?
So right next to the Kittens were the art galleries, etc, so we figured we'd check them out. And in this area was a show called "Urban Death". The show was JUST letting in so we figured we'd check it out. I did see that it was 18+ but (and this is TOTALLY my fault) I didn't really check out the description. So we headed in and the doors closed and the lights went out.
What followed was a show I would have probably found intriguing if I wasn't standing next to my 18 year old son. A show that he probably would have found intriguing if he wasn't standing right next to his father, and 150 strangers.
How to describe the show, it was a bunch of vignette's of what I assume is their normal show. Each one lasting 30-60 seconds. Some were funny, some disturbing, some made you think, and some, yes, contained nudity.
It was definitely one of those weird things and when we left the show I don't think either of us said a word to each other for awhile.
But the good thing was, as soon as it was over it was time for the Fright Fest panel!!
So lesson, Mom's and Dad's ... check the description of things before you go in. And kids, make sure your Mom's and Dad's check the description.
It wasn't that it was inappropriate for him, we don't shelter him like that, but it was just, as I said above, awkward. But it gave a great story and there doesn't seem to be any permanent damage done. ;)
It did make me want to see their full show though, so job done Zombie Joe's!! Hope we get to see you in October.
Let's check out the Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest panel ...
Before we get to the panel, let's talk about the event for a minute.
Fright Fest was an event, for the first 15 or so years was kind of an afterthought of Halloween events. While I've been an (almost) yearly visitor to Knott's Scary Farm for a long time, I'll admit I didn't go to my first Fright Fest until the mid 2000's.
And it's not hard to imagine that if Magic Mountain had a similar panel at a similar event 5 or so years ago, it wouldn't have been as well attended as this one was. This is a HUGE tribute to the amazing changes they've made to the event.
Just back in 2012 we were invited for a backstage tour of the Willoughby's Haunted Mansion re-do and that was really the start of the amazing transformation of this event. (one of these day's we'll revisit that tour in a Throwback Thursday post)
All of this is to just say THANK YOU to the management of SFMM for putting the $$ and talent into Fright Fest. And we can't wait to see what's coming this year.
Let's get on with the panel.
What's a panel without a few friends?
During the panel they announced an all new Maze - Aftermath 2 which will be located in the location where Deja Vu was as well as the all new Suicide Squad Scare Zone in DC Universe.
For more information you can check out the official press release as well as our Six Flags Magic Mountain update from yesterday.
The majority of the panel was spent talking about the history of Knott's Scary Farm, which is always amazing to hear. For those of us who didn't go in those early years (or weren't around then) it's amazing to hear the stories of how they did what they did.
There was also a huge portion spent on talking about how they create the audio effects for the event. Which I absolutely loved. I could listened to Adam talk about audio stuff for hours, and have already offered to buy him a beer after Haunt this year and do just that. Hope we can do that and maybe record it and have some fun talking audio stuff.
Then came announcement time.
First, Paranormal Inc is coming back (no surprise there) with a few minor changes, but nothing major.
Infected is also coming back with some pretty significant changes.
But the biggest changes announced were the elimination of individual skeleton key rooms in a set number of mazes. Instead there will be 4 "skeleton key experiences" scattered throughout the park called Slasher, Prey, Visions and Zozo.
To say we're excited about what we heard so far from Knott's Scary Farm is an understatement. We love these intimate types of experiences and if they don't take away from the other mazes, even better.
We'll find out more from Knott's Scary Farm on the 25th during their preview event. Cant' wait.
And with that there's the end of our Midsummer Scream coverage for 2016. It was an amazing event (not just an amazing first year event). Thanks to the entire crew for allowing us to play even a small part in the success of the event and I know there is going to be amazing things to come from this event in the years to come.
Today we're kicking off our Halloween coverage in a HUGE way with Day One from last weekends Midsummer Scream. Below you'll find some great pictures and video from the show floor, hall of shadows and three of the amazing panels that were held on the first day of this amazing convention.
Written by Gregg Condon
Putting on an event is hard, it takes a LOT of hard work. As we learned from a lot of the panels over the weekend, when it comes to a Halloween event the work for the next years event usually starts just after (or sometimes during) the previous years event. Putting on any large scale event is no different. The amount of planning and preparation that goes on takes a year, from booking talent, convention space, vendors, and in the case of Midsummer Scream, scare zones and mazes.
The fact that the team was able to do all of this in about 4 months is amazing. Even considering the years of expertise of those involved (and they are exceptional at what they do) pulling off what they pulled off in 4 months was amazing.
We arrived at the event about 30 minutes prior to doors open, usually a time when you find chaos and issues everywhere. Yet there was a calm and orderly general admission line, when we went inside to get our press badges there were only a few people in line. The staff knew just where to send us and we were ready to go with a good 15-20 minutes before the event opened.
This gave us time to catch up with friends, get some amazing pictures and plan our attack for the day.
First up was a walk of the show floor, which is the heart of any event of this kind. And this was our kind of event. So many amazing displays, merchandise and even mini experiences. We could have spent SO much money.
We then headed into the Hall of Shadows and without even realizing it we walked right into a Scare Zone ... at a convention. And it was amazing. You could tell the talent was having so much fun with it, and the entire event was just so calm and relaxed, no drama that we could see.
Be sure to check out our 360° video of Hall of Shadows. We will have additional videos with our day two update next week.
Our first panel of the day was "Frightful Attraction Design for Theme Park Audiences" and our first chance to thank the Midsummer Scream crew for all of their hard work.
This didn't have the feeling of a first year event and you could tell they were all (rightfully) proud of what they've created.
Oh yeah, the panel. It was amazing. Great talk about some amazing dark rides like Indiana Jones Adventure, Monster Plantation at SFOG, the Ghostbusters show at USF and of course the greatest scary dark attraction of all time Alien Encounter (I assume as sadly I never got to experience it).
Having the panel hosted by Rick West who's expertise and familiarity with both the rides and the panelists made it that much better.
After a quick lunch at one of the plethora of nearby eateries it was time for our 2nd panel of Midsummer Scream ... Queen Mary's Dark Harbor.
First of all, if you've never been to Dark Harbor, what are you waiting for?
Secondly, if you've never attended a panel about Queen Mary's Dark Harbor at one of these conventions, what are you waiting for? The cast of characters they bring out is amazing. Both at their event and at Midsummer Scream their actors get to bring their own personality and fun into the experience.
Throughout the presentation they talked about this years event (you can find all of that information here). Needless to say it's going to be amazing once again and we can't wait to experience this amazing event again.
Click to see the full update on what's coming to Queen Mary's Dark Harbor in 2016 ...
After some more time spent on the show floor it was time to head back into the ballroom and to check out the presentation for Halloween Horror Nights.
Unlike the other panels of the weekend nothing was actually announced at the HHN panel, but that didn't take away from the greatness of it. John and Chris so love what they do and it shows. They spent the hour (that went by way too quick) talking about the history of the "Big 4" Slashers that will be appearing at this years event.
And that's going to pretty much wrap it up for day 1. Be sure to check back on Monday for Day Two of Midsummer Scream.
In the meantime, be sure to check out the release for Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Freddy vs Jason coming to Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood and for Krampus coming to HHN Hollywood and Orlando.
Be sure to check back next week for the rest of our Midsummer Scream coverage and great panels from Six Flags Magic Mountain and Knott's Berry Farm.