This past weekend we were invited out to Six Flags Magic Mountain to take in this years Fright Fest. Coming fresh off of a year off the event features two new scare zones, a few new shows and some updates to a few of the mazes that we've come to know and love.
Before we get into Fright Fest though, we've got a quick 2022 Coaster Construction update.
Written by Gregg Condon
Before we get into our Fright Fest Review, we have to start off with our honest assessment of the crowds. Because it played a big part in our overall enjoyment of the event.
For us, the event had crowds that we just were not comfortable with. If you are the LEAST bit concerned or have anxiety about the over-crowding of events or Covid, we unfortunately can't in good conscience recommend this event on a Saturday night.
Because Six Flags Magic Mountain does not close prior to Fright Fest beginning, there's no way to thin out the crowds. So what you get is:
While we experienced some kind of crowds at other Halloween events so far this year, nothing even came close to what we saw at SFMM. And this is still mid-September. We really do want this event to be successful, but it just didn't feel comfortable for us.
It will also be very interesting to see what crowds are like after October 7th when vaccinations/negative tests are required to visit theme parks in LA County.
All that said, there are some truly great things at Fright Fest, and if you aren't bothered by large crowds you will have a great time.
So let's get into the event shall we!
In case you missed it last week, we took at look at the Scare Zones and Merchandise at Fright Fest. So in this update we'll be looking mostly at the mazes, but a few other pics from around the event as well.
The event kicks off with Monsters Unleashed. And we love it!
I have to say, where our maze rankings for Fright Fest ended up was kind of surprising to us, in a good way.
Like all events this year, one issue we did experience at Fright Fest was a lack of actors in the mazes and scare zones.
But everybody gets a pass this year.
It's been tough for everybody to find talent, and we're just happy events are actually happening.
Now in it's 8th year (would be 9 if the event ran last year), Willoughby's Ressurected has addressed some issues we had in years past (lighting) and added some amazing new scenes and effects. It's definitely breathed new life into the maze (pun intended).
Vault 666 Unlocked
The other maze that had the most amount of changes this year was Vault 666. Gone is the "animal experiment theme" and it definitely has more of a "Haunted" feel now. TBH, the name of this maze probably doesn't fit too much any more and is probably due for an update in 2022.
This was the maze we actually saw the most amount of talent in, and they were fantastic!
Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising
Easily the largest maze at Fright Fest, this one too suffered from a lack of "scary" talent. There were a LOT of soldiers in here, like a LOT, but not a whole lot of monsters to scare you. I don't really think they need the guards/police in this one, just fill it all with zombies. The entire 2nd half of the maze was completely vacant of talent.
Still, this is an impressive maze and has some of our favorite scenery.
Sewer of Souls
A few years back this was one of our favorite mazes, not just at Fright Fest but at any event. They did move the entrance of the maze this year and change a few other things, but once again, the lack of any scares puts it pretty low on our list. It's still one of the more visually stunning mazes at Fright Fest. And for that we will always visit this one.
Don't want to sound like a broken record here, but I think we saw maybe 3-4 actors in this entire maze. And no Red in the climactic scene. This is another one that was revised a bit for this year (no pre-show) but is definitely in need of a major overhaul or retheme for 2022.
The idea of an abandoned/condemned house maze is something we absolutely love. And there was actually a lot of talent in here, maybe more than any other maze. But this one seems to be overly dark (like Willoughby's had been previously). A couple of lighting tweaks in here could greatly enhance this maze.
We also had a great time in the scare zones on Saturday, despite the crowds, and were able to see some of our favorite monster friends.
So that's it for our review of Fright Fest 2021! The talent this year is amazing, as it is every year. Despite the crowds they are giving it their all, because that's what they do!
If you are visiting this year, we do recommend going on a Friday or Sunday.
Have you visited Fright Fest so far in 2021? Let us know your thoughts below!