Knott’s Scary Farm Opening Night 9/22/16 Report

New Scary Farm Logo 2014

It’s finally here…. the 2016 edition of Knott’s Scary Farm!  Every year, it is hard to think it will be better than the previous year, but YES it is bigger and better than ever.   The new Skeleton Key rooms, the new and returning mazes, The Hanging, the Elvira Show, and the new FearVR experience made for a packed evening, and I was fortunate enough to get to attend the opening night this past Thursday.  The park was pretty busy for a Thursday night.  As always, Knott’s are gracious host, and we were treated to beautiful reception to keep us going for the awesome evening ahead.

First on my agenda was to hit the four Skeleton Key Rooms.   As you may remember from past years, the Skeleton Key Rooms were parts of larger mazes. The people who had keys were directed into the rooms as part of the overall maze experience.  Now, the key rooms are completely separate experiences, with great care given to detail and story development.

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There is so much to see and absorb as you go into the Key Rooms.  I really would have liked the opportunity to explore them more than once.  Slasher takes place in a single room with lots of strobe light effects, and a gory body hanging overhead.  Prey is a deranged pig farmer story, where they give you a lantern to try to escape becoming dinner.  Visions is in the Haunt Museum, and talks about the hanging that created the Green Witch.  ZoZo is a ojia board based story, with a very impressive ojia board taking center stage.

The mazes are always unbelievable, and this year is no exception.  I got to go through Forever Winter, Wendigo’s Revenge and The Gunslinger’s Grave: A Blood Moon Rises.

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Honestly, I ran out of time as I focused on the Key rooms and shows and did not see all the mazes.  I will look forward to going back soon with my Scary Farm pass and hitting the rest.  I did get to see Gunslingers Grave A Blood Moon Rises.  Set in the old west, the story from last years maze is continued, without the shootout scene.  The action is intense, and the wolves are very realistic.  In The Dead of Winter the Wendigo’s Revenge, the witch is now dead.  The effects in this maze are more dramatic than ever, including blast of cold air, and the frozen floor.

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FearVR is a brand new, state of the art virtual reality experience that includes visual, sound, and sensory effects.  I had tried a similar VR experience at ScareLA this summer, but this was so much more.  It begins in the waiting room of Meadowbrooks Institute, then you are taken back for your exam.  You are placed in a chair, put on your headphones and VR goggles, then they strap your arms for “safety”.  I won’t describe what happens next, except to say there are physical, visual, and auditory effects combined in such a manner as to make the experience seem completely real.  What they could consider adding would be scents to go along with the experiences at hand. The experience is submersive to a degree I had never experienced before, and I highly recommend this new way to explore alternative realities.

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The exam chair: this photo is actually from California’s Great America, thanks to my coworker Jeremy. The chair, curtains, and entire set up are pretty much identical at Knott’s Scary Farm.

From the Knott’s Scary Farm website it is described as:  “A groundbreaking virtual reality horror experience that uses Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus to come face- to-face with the paranormal chaos unraveling around you. Disturbingly vivid sights and sounds invade all of your senses. Encounter the darkness that has taken over the medical staff during your fully immersive hospital stay.”

The experience does require an additional fee and is not included with park admission or Fright Lane with Skeleton Key. The cost is $10 or $15 per person depending on the night of your visit. The experience is approximately ten minutes long including a pre-show and four minute VR experience. Be sure to make a reservation on the night of your visit, as space is limited, by visiting the ticket kiosk located outside The Dead of Winter: Revenge of the Wendigo maze.

09/28/16:  In response to an outcry from the community, Knott’s has elected to discontinue this experience.  

The Hanging was hysterically funny, but not for the younger audiences.  Elvira Danse Macabre includes great dance performances, and the stand up segments were really funny.  I love how she laughs at herself when she flubs a line!

Watch for another, more detailed review of all the mazes, and also visit the Knott’s Scary Farm website for all the info.  https://www.knotts.com/scaryfarm/blog

Thank you to Knott’s Scary Farm for once again providing Southern California with a superb Haunt experience.  Happy Haunting!

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