This past weekend we were invited to check out the Los Angeles Hayride for 2016 which has undergone some pretty significant changes this year, all for the better as far as we're concerned.
Below check out all of the pictures and video of this years event below.
Written by Gregg Condon
Welcome to the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, a truly unique haunt in Southern California
While the hayride is always fun and unique, I have to admit that last years event was kind of a let-down. They had expanded to New York last year and it felt like the LA event was kind of an afterthought. While we had fun at the event, we just felt it didn't quite live up to previous years.
We are VERY happy to say that this is most definitely not the case in 2016.
Hmm, where should we start first?
Let's go check out the Hayride of course
In order to get the proper number of people in each tractor they pre-load you in cages prior to the ride, where of course you're given a safety spiel.
Below is our highlight video of the Hayride, which had an all new element this year, the ability to actually leave the ride and do a maze in the middle of it. And it worked brilliantly.
The sets seemed much bigger and better this year
Some incredible effects
Once you leave the safety of the tractor it's open season
Welcome to the secret society
Back this year is the always fun Scary Go Round
The past few years the LA Haunted Hayride has tried a few different kinds of mazes, some worked, some didn't but all were unique.
This years version is not only unique, but also is a LOT of fun. It's basically Trick or Treating through a small neighborhood and you actually get candy.
Of course, tricks could be in order
The sets and talent are fantastic
And some nice old school special effects as well
Be careful where you knock
Trick or Treat?
The blackout maze is also back and was also much improved this year. Not only was there the maze part where you can totally get lost but there were some nice show scenes added that really added to the overall experience.
As always there was a celebrity black carpet and the LAHH was kind enough to send us some pictures.
Overall this is a return to form for the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride and if you've been putting it off this year, don't. It's a great night of fun in Griffith Park.
For more information on the LAHH you can click here for the press release, also be aware that there are some Groupon offers available for you to check out.
Today we've got our review of The 17th Door which is back for it's Sophomore year.
This was one of the breakout events of 2015 and so far it seems that it's just as popular in 2016, if not more popular. If you want to experience this event be sure to get your tickets online, you can find out more about The 17th Door here.
We've attempted to give as few spoilers away as possible, but if you'd like to go in with fresh eyes you may want to read this once you've experienced The 17th Door.
Written by Rose Costello
Pictures courtesy of The 17th Door
Let me start off my review by saying that for most people The 17th Door will affect them more than it did myself and my husband Matthew Nelson. We have gone through "extreme" haunts and experiences so to us this just wasn't as intense. I would recommend buying the "Speed Pass". Unlike most places you have an hour window which to arrive. Also the "Speed Pass" did take us 30 minutes from the time we walked into line to the time we actually went inside.
You will need to sign a waiver. Read it because most if not all of the things it mentions does happen to you or one or your group. There is a safe word you can say and you have a choice of exiting the room or actually not wanting to finish. There was no way I was going to say the safe word. Once you sign the waiver you turn it in and get your hand stamped before walking into the appropriate line
The 17th Door is NOT and I repeat NOT your typical haunted house walk through. No you will be touched, asked to do various things or at times the entire group will. I was disappointed that this year they claim there are 6 more rooms so to me that would be a total of 23 rooms and a mini escape room. However there were only 18 numbered rooms with the last being a photo op of your entire group not just those who you came with so bad move there since I do not want to buy a picture with strangers in it.
Ok onto the actual experience. This year is the second year The 17th Door returned. We follow Paula once again this time in her Sophomore year of Gluttire University where she is pregnant. The 17th Door touches on her drinking, bulimia, sexual abuse/molestation and various other subjects so be warned.
The mini escape room is fun except you only get 2 minutes yes 2 whole minutes to accomplish 4 various tasks. We did not finish in that time mainly because it's hard to see and just not enough time. Now if we had 5 minutes that may have been enough time to solve all 4.
I don't want to give away much for those who haven't gone. Let's just say there are definitely bugs. So if you or anyone in your group is afraid of bugs this room maybe where the "safe word" is said. A couple of the rooms have nothing to do with the story line and felt "out of place".
However the acting was excellent and I felt like I was more in an interactive play in most rooms than scared or anything else. There are at least it seemed to me more pigs than last year. I kept waiting for more things to happen/do with each room but unfortunately the most intense happens early on.
Also it seems that a lot of the rooms only one or two people get picked to do something. There are rooms the entire group does. The beginning is intense let's just say I will leave it at that. Also I got picked in one room because I was laughing. I should mention that you will be touched. It is part of the experience.
Overall I would say that they need to eliminate the repeatable rooms from last year. Make it fresh. It's the second year. No need to have the same theme in the room. The story line is great though. I am curious if they will continue with the theme of Gluttire University for two more years but I would personally like to see a fresh new story line. I would say if you haven't been to The 17th Door to not miss it if this is something you'd like to experience. There were a lot of first timers there last night. If you've been last year I'd still say go because you will see the differences and similarities. Anyone who wants to really know what happened can ask but I just don't want to give anything away.
Last week we headed out to the opening night of the always amazing Queen Mary's Dark Harbor and of course it doesn't ever disappoint.
This year we actually didn't delete all of our maze walk-throughs so we've got video of most of the mazes for you and of course some amazing pictures of the event and the Slider show.
Written by Gregg Condon
Pictures and Video by Scott Linder and Gregg Condon
Welcome to Dark Harbor 2016
You don't say?
A panoramic view of the event, click to enlarge (that's what she said)
Because we have SO many videos and pictures to share from this always amazing event, we're doing things a bit differently this year. We've separated the mazes out into slideshows to make it easier to load the update and still see all of the amazing pictures.
Our first maze of the event was the always amazing Soulmate which had some major changes for 2016
We are slowly but surely upgrading our audio/video equipment and Soulmate was the first time we used our new microphone
As you can see below, we had some really amazing interaction with the actors in this maze.
Problem is, with a microphone, you have to remember to actually turn it on. Which through the full 9 minute walk-through of the maze didn't happen. So while the visuals in the maze are amazing, there is no audio.
We're thinking of eventually doing a "commentary" of the maze, and we may do that if you all would like to see it.
In lieu of the video, enjoy these amazing pics of the maze.
Next up was B340 which also had some awesome changes for 2016 and really fills out the 3 amazing mazes on the ship.
Some amazing pictures of B340
Be sure to check out our full walk-through of this amazing maze (yes, with audio).
The always amazing Lullaby
The Neverland Swings are back this year and we were actually able to get a POV this time.
This year the all new Intrepid is in the dome, while we were initially a bit confused by the maze, our 2nd go through later in the night actually made a bit more sense as the maze goes through the building of the Queen Mary by the Iron Master.
One of the best things about Queen Mary's Dark Harbor is taking a break to check out the amazing slider show.
Every year Circus is one of our very favorite "mazes" not just at Dark Harbor but at any event. And it's actually a maze. As you'll see in our video we totally got lost a few times.
Our last maze of the event was the always amazing Deadrise which is in a new location this year, which means some changes to the maze.
The talent in this maze has been together for SO many years, and it shows. They work so well together and simply love what they do. This is one of those mazes we do a few times every visit because it's just so different each time.
Be sure to spend some time hanging out at the exit of the maze, these guys are always entertaining and love scaring people.
Overall this is another amazing year for Dark Harbor, the talent at this event is simply second to none, they've got so much freedom to develop their characters and just all seem to love what they do.
The sideshow has also changed locations this year and as you can see they've added a much bigger show area.
To say that we recommend Dark Harbor would be an extreme understatement. An amazing night of fun and scares is in store should you choose to take in this event. We HIGHLY recommend getting the Front of the Line pass as the maze as they only let a few people in at a time. You can upgrade at the event, but we highly recommend getting it before you go as you'll save a few bucks.
Thanks again to Queen Mary for having us out and for continuing to put on an amazing event each and every year. For more information on Dark Harbor 2016 be sure to check out the full event information here.