Six Flags Great Adventure's Fright Fest brings family fun during the day and frights by night in 2014.
Trip Report and Haunt Review
This past Sunday we had the opportunity to experience GADV's annual fright fest as a family for the first time. We wanted to find out if there was truly something for every age and fright tolerance and we came off seriously impressed.
Lets take a journey into the park.
Sadly there were only mums and 0.0 mummies in this pyramid. The fountain featured festive fall flowers.
Declining by Degrees- We were last here in August and this statue was completely clean of cobwebs. Mr. Six must be turning in his grave.
This is what happens to you if you try to drink from the delicious Hawaiian Punch fountain.
Awww.. CJ (who wants everyone to know he is a big boy now that he just turned 3) loved the Trick or Treat Trail. As parents we loved the way GADV handled it. You get in line, walk 10 feet, and they hand you a delicious bag of quality candy that is filled to the top. You don't have to make multiple stops at different stations while your child runs around in a sugar induced stupor. Thank you Six Flags from the bottom of my heart. They also had four characters with no lines for some great photo opportunities. CJ approves this message.
If you squint long enough this naturally occurring rock formation somewhat resembles a skull.
There were a number of temporary food locations featuring seasonal delights setup. Here you could just swing on over for some Kettle Korn.
The Boardwalk is transformed into the Psycho Circus scare zone at night.
If you aren't afraid of clowns eating you it's a great place to hangout and check out the side show acts that are exclusive to Fright Fest.
In an effort to be more environmentally sensitive, Great Adventure has replaced their LED lighting with the eternal flames of unfortunate souls.
Cucurbita pepo; Howden Pumpkin -Rich orange color with deep ridges and good, sturdy handles. Weighs 25 lbs on average. Sizes up reliably and is tolerant to Black Rot. Developed in the Berkshires of Massachusetts in the late 60's by JohnHowden, it remains the most popular pumpkin in its class among both commercial growers and home gardeners. *The More You Know
Nothing to see here, just corn having sex with a tree.
Nobody told them you are supposed to be SCARED at Fright Fest.Of note: Lisa thinks she is a rebel because she is wearing a Disney shirt. She also threatened to cut us.
Artsy shot of Road Runner pecking the moon.
After a day of family fun which included marathoning a frog hopper, it was time for some scares. Being the amazing mother and wife that she is, Kristin took CJ to a "scare free zone" at the front of the park while Lisa and I headed to the haunts.
The evening begins with The Awakening which is a pseudo parade where all the ghouls and zombies come out and walk to their respective house or maze. It's a cool way to see the costumes and makeup in good lighting.
We weren't allowed to take photos inside Wasteland, a trail located adjacent toNitro and themed to mutant botanists and SWAT teams (yeah we didn't get it either) So what follows are some photos of the scare actors taken during The Awakening. This trail has potential, but lacked in many areas. During our visit they were letting large groups in quickly which also diffused the scare factor.
3 out of 5 stars
We then headed over to the Movietown section of the park to check out Dead Man's Party. This is a high energy song and dance show featuring every single Halloween song ever recorded. In the history of time. Ever. I'm not really a show person, but it drew a huge crowd.
A few clever guests parked their cars on the lawn to get a better view of the show.
This photo actually scares me. On May 11, 1984 eight teenagers were trapped and killed in a terrible fire inside the Haunted Castle at Great Adventure. Some people claim they haunt the park. I took this photo with my DSLR aiming at location where the Haunted Castle once stood. This was the result.
Our first trail of the evening was Asylum. This is staged behind the former site of The Chiller and uses the old queue. Crazed mental patients have taken over the asylum and are torturing guards, doctors, and anyone else brave enough to make their way through the doors. The maze featured great fog effects, a few good jump out surprises and some of the most dedicated scare actors. We would give this trail
4 out of 5 stars.
The queue an hour before the trail opened. The lines can get 2 hours long very quickly (and this was a cold Sunday night). Our biggest tip of Fright Fest is to pay extra for the front of the line scare pass. It's worth the small upcharge and will allow you to experience everything in one evening.
I'm also not sure what I'm looking at.
Tons of hot chicks were out at the park this weekend.
New for 2014 was Crop Circles - This trail is located in front of the former water ski stadium area. This is a great spot for a trail as it is dark and tree covered. With an intergalactic theme mixed with traditional ghouls, we thought the maze was out of this world (I really need a better writing team). It begins with what seems like you are walking in a giant spiral of corn which is really disorientating. You are then led out into a few more open areas featuring UFOs and close encounters.
5 out of 5 stars
The last few mazes and trails all prohibited any photography at all (rules were different all across the park) So we'll just give you a quick rundown.
Located adjacent to the log flume, this trail was themed to voodoo and the sacrificing of children. Of course on paper, this sounds like a great idea.I mean who wouldn't want to be cursed for eternity while watching innocent children be killed? But it's execution (see what I did there?), left us wishing we hadn't sacrificed our time to walk the trail. We aren't sure what happened here. Our working lead is that half of the scare actors were out sick with Ebola that evening, but there were huge parts of this trail with no scare actors, or effects, or really anything at all. Maybe we just caught them on a bad night.
1 out of 5 stars
If you aren't familiar with this indoor maze, it's held in near total darkness where groups of 5 hold onto a rope containing a glow stick and are supposed to use that light to find their way through the maze. The scare actors all dress in black and most screams are of the jump out variety. Many people love this maze, but I like my steak rare and marinated for at least 24 hours in theming so Total Darkness is totally lame to me.
? out of 5 stars
The other indoor maze is The Manor. While the theme here is basically generic haunted house, each room is different with its own set of scares and characters. The Manor also features the best effects and highest production value of any of the mazes or trails. Pro tip: You can do either of the indoor mazes starting at 2:00pm. Check them out early to avoid long lines later at night. You might even want to walk through The Manor twice.
5 out of 5 Stars
We had an amazing day (and night) at Six Flags and found that going as a family with a young child totally works (as long as your significant other doesn't mind hanging out in a scare free zone once the zombies attack). There was truly something for everyone to do throughout the day and all parties involved left our park journey smiling with a great set of memories and probably a new cavity or two.
There are also a number of open scare zones I didn't cover this report so I'll leave you with my favorite; The fountain area at night.
P.S. Great Adventure is now offering one of the best deals it offers all year on Season Passes: $61.99 gets you in for the rest of Fright Fest 2014 plus all of 2015. You also get upgraded to a Gold Pass which allows for free parking and admission to all Six Flags theme parks (normally $94.99). That's a killer deal.