The online community was invited up to Six Flags Magic Mountain on Saturday October 5 to check out the offerings for Fright Fest 2013. We got to experience the Fright Feast with the Willoughby's and go through the mazes on our own.
The park also gave us some extra passes to hold a Twitter contest that most of the online sites had some fun with. Overall it was a great night.
Full review of the event is below the pictures.
Starting next year the park will be having blackout days on Saturdays during Fright Fest for the regular Season Pass (the Gold Pass will not have any blackout days). Not sure if this move is to eventually have the event be a separate ticket event like Knott's and Universal but if it is ever going to be separate the park needs to improve on a few things. Below is my review of the event and the individual mazes.
Each year since I've been going to Fright Fest the park has taken little steps to move in a more positive direction. Two years ago it was The Aftermath and last year it was the complete re-build of Willoughby's and the introduction of Blackout. There were no leaps ahead this year technologically speaking but the extra scare zones really make the entire park feel like one complete event.
Fright Feast with the Willoughby's
This is a great start to the event. It looked like there were two seatings and there is an included magic show. The food was great, a huge salad bar along with some "best of" menu items from the park. Definitely recommended.
The Mazes were kind of a mixed back this year with a couple of highlights and sadly a couple of lowlights.
This was the 2nd year for Black Widow. It's pretty much the same as last year, a good "starter" maze, the talent tries hard which is always a good thing.
Willoughby's Haunted Mansion Resurrected
This was the breakout maze from last year technologically speaking. The maze still looks great, I noticed a couple of new things. Talent was kind of sparse when we went through but it was a great time.
This has been one of my favorite mazes since the year it was introduced. Lots of space for the talent to work in and fire make this a maze to not be missed.
The Tidal Wave "maze" is back. The talent does the best they can with the space they have to work with. I think this maze would work better as a "treat trail" similar to what Disney does for their family themed Halloween events. The event is sponsored by Snickers. Give everybody a trick or treat bag, have 5 or 6 "stops" in the queue and everybody's happy.
Weepy Hills Insanetarium
This maze replaced the long in the tooth "Lecter's Slaughterhouse" that overstayed it's welcome by a few years. I had high hopes after a clever preshow talking about Weepy Hills Sanitarium. Sadly the layout seemed identical to Lecter's and the maze was very dark. Even if there was stuff jumping out of us we wouldn't have seen it. This maze didn't work at all. Hopefully some adjustments are coming in the weeks ahead.
Last year "Blackout" was actually my favorite maze from any of the SoCal Halloween events. It was perfectly executed. This year the maze has moved over to the much bigger Magic Moments theater. The maze still works but the "claustrophobia" feel of the maze from last year is gone. This could easily be fixed with some black cloth over the top of the maze path because at many times you could see clear to the ceiling of the theater. Still, this was a great maze and I'm thrilled it's back. It also includes a few twists that weren't there last year.
Toyz of Terror
New Maze replacing Jokester's hideout. The sets look fresh, some great effects but some of the things that made Jokester's stand out (the show rooms and 3D) are gone. This maze was also kind of a dud.
Like Black Widow this is a great "starter" maze. A great theme, some talent that really seems to want to get it right.
Overall the event is great considering that if you have a Six Flags Season Pass it's basically included. Only the mazes are extra. I can't recommend the Front of the Line pass enough. At only $35 it's worth it. Especially if you have a season pass.