This past week was the long awaited return of Knott's Scary Farm. With our Scary Farm Passes in hand, we headed down to Buena Park to take in the first two nights of one of our all time favorite Halloween events.
Despite only 1 new maze, there was lots new to see. A few mazes had some entirely new scenes, new shows were to be found at every turn, and even a new scare zone. It felt amazing to be back.
Let's head into the fog.
Written by Gregg Condon
Below are our maze rankings and thoughts on each. Keep in mind, these are our first weekend rankings and are totally subject to change.
Origins: The Curse of Calico
Our favorite maze from 2019 definitely did not disappoint. It's basically the same maze you'll remember from 2019, but we're always happy to get more walk-through's of our favorites. The talent in here was amazing from the get-go and we fully anticipate this maze remaining solid throughout the season.
This is one of my top 10 ALL TIME Scary Farm mazes, and this year is amazing as always.
That said, we would LOVE to see some updates to a few scenes for 2022 as some other mazes had this year (more on that below).
Mesmer: Sideshow of the Mind
I have to be honest, we debated on even posting this video, because this maze has to be seen to believed. It's just SO good, and not AT ALL what you expect.
This is definitely a maze that needs to be experienced multiple times. Not really something that's going to give you "jump scares", but absolutely twisted and awesome.
I love this maze. LOVE IT! Have always loved it. But this year, the entire last 1/3 of the maze has been completely reimagined and it tells the story SO MUCH better. I love when they do things like this because it gives it entirely new life. Well done!
In it's second season, Wax Works is another maze that is pretty much identical to 2019, but that's not a bad thing at all. The cast in here is amazing, they play their roles perfectly and we can't wait to see this maze get even better in the weeks to come.
Another one of our favorite mazes, the elevator is not being used this year (although they definitely cram you into the pre-shows in Paranormal and Mesmer, so don't think it's a covid thing). There seems to be a lack of fog in the areas of the maze that need it (you know which ones) but this is still an incredibly fun maze.
Would love to see some new scenes in 2022 though.
Now in it's final season, Paranormal Inc is still incredibly fun (although the host failed to tell my wife to step away from the door in the pre-show on Friday and it dinged her right in the back, hard). So beware of that. No new changes in here, still incredibly fun but it's definitely time for something new.
I'm going to start with this. This maze has the potential to be amazing. I love the theme of this SO MUCH! But for some reason the execution just wasn't there opening weekend. This is a maze that could definitely use some reimagining next year. But it's still incredibly fun, it just needs some more talent in here.
Not included in our maze rankings is the return of Halloween Hootenanny. We all know what this is, it's super fun and is a great overlay of the amazing Timber Mountain Log Ride.
We had a great 2 nights at Scary Farm, it's so amazing to be back in the fog. We will be back soon!
We also have about 45 minutes of Puppet Up videos to post, we'll get those up over the next few days.
Did you attend Scary Farm opening weekend? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Today we have the first of a few updates from this years Knott's Scary Farm.
We attended all 3 nights of opening weekend and we are pretty confident when we say that this is one of the best years of Halloween Haunt ever (yes, we know it's not called that any more).
Let's head into the fog and check out this years event.
Written by Gregg Condon
After our almost 3 1/2 hour drive down on Thursday afternoon (yeah) it was nice to check into the Knott's Hotel and enjoy some relaxing time at Amber Waves prior to media check in.
We ran into some friends
Amber Waves looks great all decked out (and the service was amazing all weekend)
Technically taken Friday morning, but we have to share the entrance. =)
We're all checked in and ready to get our scare on
The fountain display is amazing this year
Let's start our walk-through of the mazes, because they were amazing this year.
Origins: The Curse of Calico
I honestly don't have enough adjectives to describe how amazing this maze is. It's got everything. Amazing talent. Incredible sets. A stellar story. Easter Eggs galore.
This maze tells the story of Sarah Marshall (not that Sarah Marshall) and the curse she set on Calico with her transition from human to, well, the green witch of course.
Even the queue line looks amazing
Picture slide-show of Origins
In ANY other year, Wax Works would have been the maze of the year, probably even moreso than my beloved Dark Ride during it's first year.
I've always been a fan of Daniel Miller's work, and I think it's safe to say this may be the best maze he's ever done. It's creepy, exciting, tells a great story and has so many hidden things in it that you have to go through multiple times.
We will be posting a tour we had of this maze in a couple of days.
Now in it's 3rd year, Dark Ride shows no signs of slowing down on the amazingness. Quite a few new things this year, including our favorite on-ride photo ever. We really do wish this was something we could buy.
Also waiting to see if there are any complaints on this yet.
Now in it's second year, Gus Krueger's Dark Entities is setting itself up as one of the strongest mazes of 2019. In fact, our last trip through this maze on Saturday night was easily our best time through this maze ever. And may be the most fun we've had in any maze so far this season.
Don't sleep on this maze, the talent is finding it's stride and there are a lot of great new lighting effects this year.
In it's second year, the stand-out new maze from 2018 is also not showing any signs of letting up on the fun and scares. Some new additions this year including a pre-show that may make waits a bit longer than they normally would be. So get to this maze early.
In fact, later in the night on Saturday they were skipping the new show scene altogether. So it will be interesting to see if it makes it through the season.
There are some mazes that are instant classics and yet others that kind of take a bit to hit their stride. Pumpkin Eater is one of those that really took about half way through it's opening season to hit all cylinders. But when it did, wow. This is a maze that has gotten better each and every year.
We didn't go through Paranormal on media night so no video this year (we'll post last years below). There weren't any additions this year but the amazing ending from last year is more than enough to keep this maze one of our favorites.
Still, we wouldn't be surprised if next year was the last go-round for this one.
Now in it's final season, Shadowlands is still one of the most visually stunning mazes at the farm. This one suffers from being the first of the "new wave" of mazes that have taken over the past few years. Still, it's a lot of fun and we look forward to getting our last tours of this maze on upcoming visits.
We didn't go through Infected on media night so no video on this one either. Infected is also in it's final season and again represents the first of the new wave of technological advances Knott's Scary Farm has implemented the past 5 or so years.
When we went through on Saturday it just didn't seem like there were enough zombies in the maze. We walked out with 8 and 9 kills respectively.
Our favorite video of Infected remains our "Gun POV" that we did a few years back.
We'll start off with the Hanging, the proverbial "love it or hate it" show every year.
I'll be honest, we're kind of in the middle this year. Unlike the last 2 years they didn't hang a "YouTube" or "Influencer" that 75% of the audience had to ask "who is that". So that was good.
But this years show in particular has produced some interesting discussions as to what the ending could mean for the future of this show. We'll just have to see.
Lastly, we want to take a second to talk about Puppet Up.
I'll be honest, we had no idea what to expect from this show and even on media night we basically just wanted to sit down and take a rest so we decided to do it in the theater. We really aren't "theme park show people".
So when we found ourselves back at the show the next 2 nights that should pretty much tell you how much we loved this show.
Basically it's "Who's Line is it Anyway" but with Puppets, complete with dirty language.
We love that Knott's has allowed the show to go all out. Hopefully there haven't been any complaints about the content because word is spreading about how good the show is. The crowds were bigger on each subsequent night.
On media night here is a great improv on an audience suggestion of a "Tiki Bar Fire at Disneyland". You can tell the cast truly understands Disney culture as this has reference to Annual Passholders, Pin Trading and much more.
The show also features some classic Jim Henson puppet acts. They seem to switch it up at each show, the early show is typically "I've grown accustomed to your face".
A highlight of each show is a performance of "Windy".
So that's what we've got from our first Scary Farm update. We'll be putting together more pics and video from outside of the mazes and shows for our next update in a couple of weeks. The scare zones are amazing as always and deserve their own time in the spotlight.
Last weekend was the opening of Knott's Scary Farm 2018 and we were privledged to be able to attend 2 of the first 3 nights of the event. And we can tell you, we're already looking forward to our next trip. It's simply amazing.
We got some great pictures both of the event and a couple of maze tours from the HorrorBuzz event thanks to Scott who attended. Enjoy!!
Written by Gregg Condon
Pics and Videos by Scott Linder and Gregg Condon
Welcome to Knott's Scary Farm
We'll start off with a tour of our favorite maze of 2017, Dark Ride.
It's pretty amazing in 2018 as well.
Be sure to check out all of our videos in this update, all in glorious 4k!
Slideshow of the tour
Next up was a tour of Pumpkin Eater, another of our favorite mazes of 2017. Which is also pretty amazing in 2018.
Thanks to Norm and HorrorBuzz for the awesome tour!!! And to Scott for sending us the pics!!
Not your typical red carpet
The fog is coming
Our first maze of 2018 was the all new "The Depths" which is seriously so fun. And very fun to shoot pics and video in. (Just remember, don't disrupt the monsters, maze security or other patrons).
As the sun goes down, the fog rolls in
Carnevil has always been one of our favorite scare zones, but this year it's just on another level. The addition of HangTime has really completed this area.
Halloween Hootenanny is back, no monsters when we rode on Thursday, not sure if they will be back this year.
But a fun, fun time for all!!
Paranomal Inc is back with an all new ending, which is fantastic!! This maze has NEVER been better.
Who else wishes this ride was open for Scary Farm?
The Hollows is fantastic
And Pumpkin Eater is the perfect fit for the scare zone
Gabe is ready for Trick or Treat Lights Out
Always one of our favorites, and was easily the longest wait all weekend.
The hanging was also back this year. Always a fun look back on the past year.
I'll admit, I'm getting to the age where I don't get some of the references. Eek.
The last new maze for 2018 is Dark Entities.
You could tell from the first weekend they are still finding their way a bit.
Like Pumpkin Eater last year, I get the feeling that as the weeks go on, the crew here is going to find their groove and this maze is going to be fantastic!!
The effects and Lighting in Dark Entities are great!!
Some pics from around the park
Thanks Knott's for another great year of Scary Farm. We can't wait to get back soon!!
Wow, where do we begin with Knott's Scary Farm 2017.
To say that Knott's Scary Farm is hitting on all cylinders this year would be an extreme understatement. From top to bottom this is probably the strongest Scary Farm in a decade. The mazes are amazing, the scare zones are amazing, scares around every corner and more fun and screams are lurking in the fog than ever before
Pictures by Matthew Nelson and Gregg Condon
Written by Gregg Condon
Welcome to Knott's Scary Farm
This year unlike the past few years, the entire park is full of decorations
Look at that beautiful glorious fog
New for this year, Trick or Treat Light's Out
They've taken what was already one of our favorite Scary Farm mazes and improved it by turning the lights off and giving everybody flashlights.
Back for it's third year is Paranormal Inc
The maze is still amazing. Only thing we'd say here is maybe for next year a different pre-show storyline. They've done an amazing job of freshening up mazes with tweaks and this one could use a couple of tweaks to make it even better than it is.
Still one of the most technologically advanced mazes at the farm
A behind the scenes look at how we film and shoot Scary Farm
Welcome to Knott's Berry Farm by day
Dark Ride by Night!!!
Honestly, we aren't sure what we can say about Dark Ride that wouldn't make it sound like we were just blowing Haunt Fog up Jon Cooke's ass
This maze is simply perfect. Take everything we love about amusement parks and scary events and mash them together.
We really felt like we were in an episode of Scooby Doo (not the crappy movie, the awesome original cartoon). It was just fun and scary and perfect.
We know a lot of you don't like scary things, but we implore you, go to Scary Farm ... walk through Dark Ride. You'll fall in love with it.
So a couple final thoughts on Dark Ride:
First, we can't believe this wasn't a concept that wasn't thought of before. It seems kind of like a no brainer. Why it hasn't been done before is beyond us, but we're glad it hasn't been because this feels fresh and fun.
Second, the cool thing about Dark Ride is, and I'm sure it's something the maze designers have already thought of, they can keep the general "theme" of the maze but they can change out the actual "Dark Ride" part of it. I mean, could you imagine them re-creating Knott's Beary Tales as the "Dark Ride" part? People would freak, in a good way.
All in all this is probably in my top 5 Scary Farm mazes of all time. And that's saying A LOT. Because there have been some amazing mazes throughout the years.
Ghost Town in the fog is always amazing
New this year
It's simply brilliant and fun both during the day and at night
Surprise, she's still here!!
Sometimes it's the little touches that make this an all around amazing event
Red Barn ... we really enjoyed it last year, some small tweaks and it's even better this year
Let the bodies hit the floor
Amazing decorations in The Hollow
You'd think after the heaps of praise we just did on Dark Ride that would mean the other new maze for 2017 Pumpkin Eater would have been a tremendous let down. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The amazing 1, 2 punch of these new mazes using classic scares scattered with new technology are amazing. You can really feel the difference between the two given their two designers but yet they both totally work in the grand scheme of Knott's Scary Farm as a whole.
So some final thoughts on Scary Farm 2017 ...
We know it's still early in the season, and we have a LOT of events to go to still, but it's going to be REALLY hard for any event to top Knott's Scary Farm. From the time you walk through those gates you are immersed in everything scary.
The team this year has really outdone themselves and the original quite frankly is still the best.
We were hard-pressed to come up with a maze ranking this year because everything was so solid. Even a couple of mazes we were kind of 'meh on last year had comeback years. It honestly seems almost unfair to rank these mazes.
Yes, Dark Ride was obviously our favorite, but everything else is really a solid #2. There is not one "bad" maze. We didn't have one bad experience in any of these mazes. All were filled with fun and scares. Each time we went through the mazes over our two nights of Scary Farm they were all solidly on-point.
So do yourself a favor, get to Knott's Scary Farm. You won't be disappointed.
This past weekend we FINALLY made it out to Knott's Berry Farm to check out this years Ghost Town Alive. Oddly enough for Fathers Day the park was pleasantly empty which meant a fun day for us and the awesome characters of Ghost Town.
Written by Gregg Condon
Welcome to Knott's Berry Farm
Be careful or you might find yourself in jail
Somebody stole the Catawampus
Or did it escape?
It was an absolutely gorgeous day at the park
We spent some time trying to solve some crimes and get edumacated ...
Maybe we'll find the Catawampus on Boot Hill
Excuse me sir, do you know where we can find Catawampus
After wishing up a happy Fathers Day the Calico Gazette broke the news that Mayfield has been captured. Fake News?
At the end of the day all is peaceful in Calico
There are also some projects going on around the park
Boardwalk BBQ is coming along quite nicely
Over on the other side, lots of room for something ...
Hopefully we'll hear what's going here very soon
Last but not least, some Scary Farm prep has begun
That's going to wrap it up for this update, we hope you enjoyed. This week we'll be heading up for our (mostly) "Great White North" trip with visits to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Sunday, Canada's Wonderland on Monday, Seabreeze on Tuesday and Darien Lake on Tuesday Night/Wednesday. Be sure you're following along all weekend.