This past Sunday we made our 3rd and final visit to Fright Fest 2015 at Six Flags Magic Mountain. It's always an odd feeling when we get to the end of Halloween season because we love it so much, but by this point we've done all of the updates and media days and we just go to have fun.
But this year we got a special opportunity to say goodbye to one of the long-running mazes that is leaving Magic Mountain - Aftermath.
Written by Gregg Condon
Before we get started we wanted to send out a congratulations to the Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest team. There are far too many to name here but you know who you are. =)
This past Saturday they sold out Fright Fest with about 35,000 guests in the park and they actually had to close parking at 8:15pm as well as extending the hours the event was open. .
While this sounds like an absolutely crazy night (it was) all indications are that the staff and guests were amazing and everybody had a great time. It's also telling of just how much this event has grown and improved over the past few years. 5 or 6 years ago the event would get busy, but selling out, not really something that would happen. Extending hours? Unheard of. So again, congrats to all involved with Fright Fest. Your hard work is showing and the word is out there. Can't wait to see what you come up for 2016!!
One of the mazes that really ushered in this new era of Fright Fest was Aftermath. Utilizing the old Action Theater (I actually remember when they had Dolphin and Diving shows here ... and I just aged myself) it quickly became one of our favorite mazes in all of Southern California.
All that we've been told is the maze is leaving. We aren't sure if it's for another maze or something else. Any rumors that are floating around out there are just that ... rumors. It'll be another 10 months until we know anything definitive so it's not worth worrying about right now. (but you are going to anyway aren't you?) ;)
Before we get to the pictures our walk-through of the maze from last months media night.
Thank you to the PR staff of the park for walking us through the maze for one last look. We hope you enjoy.
I remember the first time we went through this maze I was worried we were going to fall in the pool. (wonder if it's even still there)
Still one of very few mazes to have fire in it.
Waiting for the next victim
This was a good scare
Really hope this is saved somehow. Who remembers where this used to be?
She's coming to get ya ...
Thanks again to the park for setting up our walk-through. We'll miss Aftermath but can't wait to see what you come up with next.
We also of course went through the rest of the mazes and scare zones and had another amazing night at Fright Fest. Below some more pictures of the Scare Zones.
You have 3 nights left of Fright Fest and this is your last chance to see Aftermath. For more info check out the parks website. If you missed our Fright Fest review and update click here.
We don't usually like to wait more than a few days to get reviews of events out, but we wanted to make sure we did this event justice.
You'd think that with no new mazes for 2015 SFMM had just sat back and rest on the success of 2014, but that was hardly the case as you'll see below.
Written by Gregg Condon
This year Magic Mountain decided to focus on improving the overall event instead of just adding a few (really awesome) mazes as they did in 2014.
Most of the time when a park takes away it's best scare zone and replaces it with a new theme you'd have to question it, but not for this park.
Sinister Circuit remains one of the best Scare Zones in any of the theme park haunts.
The talent here has been together for so long and have so much fun. During opening night and our return visit the following week we spent a lot of time here just enjoying the monsters. And we'll probably head back just to hang out in the scare zones at least once more before the event is over.
Not to be outdone, the new scare zone near Twisted Colossus "Terrortory Twisted" is probably the best new Scare Zone the park has done ... ever. It really raises the bar for this event and we can't see what they do with future scare zones.
The other scare zones are great as well with our favorite being Nightmares. They've done away with some of the smaller scare zones and seem to be concentrating more on the larger ones. With Aftermath leaving (more on that below) we're very interested to see what they do with the scare zone in that area and obviously depending on what happens with that area will impact that scare zone.
But the mazes themselves are still amazing. I think our favorite of this year was once again Aftermath, which has been near the top of our list for any event since it's inception.
Six Flags Magic Mountain announced last night that this would be the last year for this particular maze, which of course starts rumors as to what is to become of this area. We simply don't know, it could just be for a new maze or for a new attraction for this area of the park. This is a huge plot of land so it will be fun to see.
Red's Revenge was pretty much the breakout maze of last year and this year is absolutely no exception. We still love the crowd control that the park does that insures a smooth walk-through and no stopping in the maze.
Be sure to check out our walk-through of Red's Revenge below.
Vault 666 and Toyz of Terror are also back and remain crowd favorites and although they are polar opposites in terms of theme they are great mazes with lots of scares, great sets and amazing talent.
Willoughby's Resurrected was also back and for us, this was probably the best it's been since it was, well, resurrected. The talent, effects and theme really worked great and when your son get's scared this much ... well, it makes for a great time.
The last two mazes Chupacabra and Garden of Darkness while still fun need some updates. They simply are the "older" mazes of Fright Fest that haven't been upgraded to the new modern sets and design.
While we think Chupacabra needs to be retired (and it's possible with The New Revolution coming next year) we do like the theme of Garden of Darkness, but it just needs more "garden" and not just walls. Still, these two mazes are still fun and the talent in each is fantastic.
And this of course doesn't even get into the rest of what the park offers and that's the rides, coasters, re-theme's of rides and more.
Be sure not to miss Fright Fest this year, only 9 days left!!!
Today we take a look at Fright Fest at Six Flags Great Adventure. By all indications they've really stepped up their game this year and Chris was there on their media night.
Thanks again to the staff of Great Adventure for including us in their event, see below for the amazing report.
Written by Chris Con
Park Journey recently had the opportunity to tour Six Flags Great Adventure’s new 2015 Fright Fest offerings and we were seriously impressed with how the Fright Fest team kicked nearly everything up a notch this year.
It felt to us that nearly ever aspect of the event was plussed this year, but for our group, the brand new haunt “Big Top Terror: Forgotten Carnival in 3D” was the star of this fright filled circus and this center ring headliner is so spectacular that if you’ve missed a Fright Fest in the past few years, you need to immediately stop reading this and drive to Great Adventure. It’s that good.
(Full Disclaimer: If you are reading this on Tuesday morning at 8:00am- Do not drive to Great Adventure right now unless you really enjoying camping and waiting. If so please post photos on facebook. Thanks in advance)
But then it gets dark……………….. And we get impressed……
The Awakening is Great Adventure’s pseudo parade and the true beginning of Fright Fest; where each group of ghouls moves from beyond the grave to their designated scare zone (it also might be a good way to get your children less scared of zombies because it’s still light out. or you could have them binge watch The Walking Dead.
We promise we won’t call CPS) We decided to watch this event from the “Demon District” which is essentially the (bleeding)heart of Fright Fest and where you should be once your grandfather clock strikes 6pm. Following the Awakening is “Dead Man’s Party” which is a choreographed dance and singing show themed to what else? Zombies and the undead and awesome (we are huge fans of theming to awesome).
But here is the kicker. It’s literally a “DISNEY” level show. Yes, you read that correctly, Six Flags can go “full on” Disney with theming, costumes, choreography, level of talent, pyrotechnics, and sales of “things that glow”… It is not to be missed.
So….. I know what you want.. I can read your mind…”But what about the Haunts?”
Great Adventure has always billed this event as “thrills by day” and “frights by night” so we’ll briefly recap the “free candy by day” (and not out of some scary white van) part. Last year, we shared in a lot more detail what it’s like to bring the “height and age challenged” to Fright Fest and I encourage you to click here to see awesomeness.
The day events include a great trick or treat trail that allows the mini people in your family to get free candy as well as meet with the Looney Tunes Crew and take photos. It’s perfect for the kids. The other events during the day that are Halloween related include a magic show (that we missed. and I love magic shows) , a juggling act, and line dancing with your favorite zombies by the (filled with actual human blood) fountain. So if your crew involves the lunch box aged set, there is a A LOT to do that they will absolutely love during the day..
So last year Great Adventure introduced a new trail.. I believe it was called crop circle (but I’m truly too lazy to google and verify my claim, so that’s what we are running with here)… It kind of sucked. It was just like a lightly alien themed trail with a whole lot of corn… I would give it two “Mehs” up. - but wait there’s more .
This year we have two brand new trails and “crop circle” (or whatever it was called) has left us for another planet.
Lets start with our second favorite haunt trail at Great Adventure EVAR. Blood Shed (see what they did there? )… So I had to google this, because the trail is completely different then what it’s supposed to be about. I’m told via the great folks at Six Flags Public Relations that theme is supposed to be a crazy plastic surgeon that does terrible things to his clients (What if Bill Cosby was a plastic surgeon?) that some how ends up creating “pig men” (it’s like a choose your own adventure story on meth I guess) …
But the way we experienced it was a corn filled maze like “crop circle” with much better theming and more scares. As I spend way too much time visiting haunted houses, I fall deeper in love with trails laid out like Blood Shed. Using the corn and a secondary path system for the “ghouls”, you are provided with “pop up” scares out of nowhere. Which to me is amazing (and way better than Kardashian pop up shops which to me is terrible).
Could not figure out the theme, but the trail is laid out so well that
Blood Shed gets 4 Scary Stars
So, HI AGAIN WORLD CLASS LEADING THEME PARKS.. Hey Universal. Whats up?
What if I told you that my local, regional park could knock it out of the park with a maze that was as good or better than anything you’ve ever done.
To me, this haunt was a game changer. From the starting layout (the person that tells you the rules and distributes glasses) to literally every scene. I know some people dislike “3d” glasses because they disrupt your equilibrium and they clearly aren't 3D and you can also see things in 3D because you are a person and you (most likely) have two eyes.. But this one is great.. Each scene and set up work perfectly together.
The use of “3d” UV paint is perfect. The scares ares are so strong, that we had 100 percent of the ladies (that have done stuff like this before) actually scared.. A LOT. To me, this is the best thing that Six Flags has done at any park for fright fest. I can’t say it enough.
Game changer. Five Stars- Unless clowns like stars, then 0 stars. Also. Clowns.
The Rest. (in peace)
The Manor- Arguably the most themed and one of the oldest mazes at Six Flags. Lots of money was spent to build this one and it works and we love the theming
The Asylum- Must have caught this one on an off night - (to be fair there was a group of 12 year old girls in front of us that were holding hands so the ghouls must have been spent)
Good concept but 2.5 stars
Wasteland- I want to like this trail.. The leading “mutant general” that engages the line is awesome. He’s been doing this for the past three years and I literally should fill out a comment card to “acknowledge an employee who embodies six flags fun”. the rest of the trail had me wishing the river raft ride was open. Getting that wet = actually scary to me .
Total Darkness- Totally Lame - This is the maze that needs to go . Pretty sure it was staffed by three people and if your major fear is walking into the person in front of you than this is your maze.
Scare Zones always rock at Great Adventure. From the Butcher scare zone in Wild West Town to the engaging of fright virgins at the fountain, We absolutely love those areas. Hat tip to Great Adventure for allowing ghouls to roam free.
Let's take a journey in the way back machine, way back to June 2015. The idea of hosting an event was presented to us along with Kurt from the Coaster Guy and Rob from Metro Atlanta Coaster Club. What transpired was 4 crazy months of planning, 1 epic day of fun and a lifetime of memories.
This is the story of the first ever "Mountain Madness".
Before we get started on our epic day of fun a few thank you's have to go out.
First and foremost, to the 54 people who came out ... THANK YOU!!! Obviously we couldn't have done it without you. Sure our minimum was originally 100 and sure we had to cut down on ERT due to the lower number, but I think it's safe to say that for those of us there, it wasn't even noticeable. By the time we got over to Twisted Colossus for our ERT everybody was all smiles and the event was off to a great start.
Secondly, to our sales rep Debbee. I know I probably wasn't the easiest person to deal with because I'm a control freak and wanted nothing more than to put on an amazing event. But it was great working with you and we can't wait to start working on Mountain Madness II (more on that below).
Thirdly to my Park Journey family (Chris, RD, Matt) and my family ... thanks for not letting me jump off a roof the last few weeks. =)
And last and most certainly not least, to the SFMM employees who put up with us and gave us an amazing time. The Twisted Colossus Crew. Mark Wing for the amazing Toyz of Terror 3D tour. Our group of managers for the Twisted Colossus Tour. The food prep managers and workers. The Demon's from Demon's Door who joined us for dinner and Tweety, yes, we had freaking Tweety at our dinner. Thank you so much!!! You made our event better than we could have ever imagined.
Alright, now that that's out of the way, how about some pictures of our awesome day!!!
Everybody started arriving at about 8:15 for a day of fun, but first, we had to park. =)
Everybody waiting to get in and have fun, and we're just excited to see if we actually could pull this off. =)
Our day started off with Twisted Colossus ERT, and this is pretty much what it looked like for the entire hour. No lines, everybody switching seats, 3 trains, dueling and lots of smiles and cheers. Pretty sure anybody who wanted a front/back/middle ride got one.
After the park opened everybody spread out to do their own thing and I kept getting tweets and texts to the effects of "I know you said the park would be dead today but I didn't realize it would be THIS dead".
Sure, we made things harder on ourselves holding our event on a Friday, during the school year, but the fact that everybody was able to ride or not ride in a park that wasn't busy was something we were very excited about. =)
It was great seeing people having fun on random rides throughout the day
Or even having fun while riding no rides. =)
Enjoying non-existant lines and fancy rebuilt Ninja trains (it's seriously beautiful)
Our first tour of the day was of the Fright Fest maze Toyz of Terror 3D with the amazing Mark Wing.
If you don't know Mark, you should. He started off in the parks operations and I remember him from way back when. He moved over to Entertainment/Creative and has been one of the major driving forces behind Fright Fest (his first maze was Aftermath).
Next up was our amazing Twisted Colossus Tour which we were able to announce a few days before the event. To say that this tour was awesome would be a major understatement. We'll just let the pictures below speak for themselves.
The fact that the supervisors giving our tour were on the line with the ride crew to make sure we could get dueling pictures was just another great touch.
And then magically, like we'd planned it or something it was time for dinner.
Wow, our name on a sign. Like we're legit or something. =)
Dinner was amazing, not just the food but they sent over Tweety and some awesome Demon's from the Demon's Door scare zone.
Our very first event group picture with some friends in the background. I'm pretty sure Kurt has a better version of this.
After a great time eating, relaxing and chatting with a lot of people it was time for Fright Fest to begin.
And lastly, it was time for one last "group" moment for the event. A night ride on Gold Rusher. This wasn't arranged by the park or anything, just a fun time on a classic ride. Everybody was pretty tired by this point but we still managed to have a great time on the ride.
And shortly after that our first event came to an end.
Thank you again to everybody who came out, it was all we could have hoped for and more.
We hope to announce our next event very soon, no later than December or January. We just have to make sure everything we have planned can be worked out but the park is ready for us again.
We learned some things from this first event that we'll definitely be taking into the next one, such as the day of the week. Our next event will definitely be on a Saturday. =)
Hope you all enjoyed the event and the re-cap. We hope to see you all at Mountain Madness II in 2016.
Thanks to Jeff and Brent for the additional pictures!
Hey everybody, below is the final schedule for Mountain Madness coming up TOMORROW!! If you have yet to get your tickets, click here, for the rest of you, see below!!!
Due to lower than expected ticket sales we did have to make some concessions in order to still have the event (see below). Trust us, we feel terrible this came at the last minute so to compensate we will be providing donuts, fruit and croissants upon your arrival to the park. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us. Keep in mind this is our first event and it's definitely been a learning experience for us. We have been committed since day one to bring you the best event we can and we feel we've done that. Trust us, we'll be taking what we've learned and using it for our future events.
If you will be posting on Social Media during the event be sure to use #MtnMadness and tag the park. @sfmagicmountain on Twitter and @sixflagsmagicmountain on Instagram.
8:30am - Parking Opens (Parking is Free until 9:00am)
8:30am - 9:15am - Donuts, Fruit and Croissants at the front entrance
Due to the shortened ERT (see below) we'll be bringing in some Donut's and Croissants for everybody. We can't bring these into the park so we'll be at the front of the park near the drop-off area. Come join us for some snacks and time to hang out before our crazy day. (see below for where we'll be meeting)
* ERT Wristbands will also be handed out at this time
9:30am - 10:30am Morning ERT - Twisted Colossus
Unfortunately due to lack of ticket sales ERT had to be cut down. But with only approximately 50 of us getting a lot of rides in during ERT won't be a problem at all. We apologize for the last minute change in schedule on this, but this is why we're bringing donuts and croissants. =)
10:20am - Park Open for Gold Passholders
Feel free to head out to to the rest of the park to get some early rides on Full Throttle, X2 and Tatsu or keep riding Twisted Colossus.
10:30am - Six Flags Magic Mountain Opens
Enjoy your day in the park. After our ERT on Twisted Colossus we suggest heading back up to the front of the park to ride Full Throttle, X2 and Tatsu. Although the day will not be very busy these rides still tend to get lines.
3:00pm - Maze Tour - Toyz of Terror 3D
Meet at the tree in front of the Full Throttle Sports Bar at 2:50pm and we'll have our maze tour at 3:00pm. One time with the lights-on and then with show lighting and 3D glasses.
4:30pm - Twisted Colossus Tour
Meet in Scream Plaza at 4:20 as we get a great 45 minute tour of the all new Twisted Colossus
5:30pm - Dinner at Paradise Picnic Pavilion
We will be having dinner at the Paradise Picnic Pavilion which is located near Road Runner Express and Tweety's Escape in Bugs Bunny World
* Fright Fest Wristbands will be handed out during dinner
7:00pm - Fright Fest Begins
After our dinner we will walk over to check out the "Opening Moment" of Fright Fest in the Sinister Circuit Scare Zone (DC Universe) and then enjoy Fright Fest after that.
(tip: You will have front of the line passes for the mazes but on opening night, Vault 666 was the longest line for Front of the Line. We suggest heading here first)
10:00pm - Group Ride on Gold Rusher
Just for fun, we'll meet across from Gold Rusher at the Waterfront at about 9:50 and all make our way for a take-over of Gold Rusher. We won't have front of the line for the rides so we'll have to arrange it so we can all get on the same trains. This is a great ride at night and with a bunch of friends it will be even better.
1:00am - Fright Fest and Magic Mountain closes.
We'll see you for Mountain Madness II in 2016!!!