Just Published: Theme Park Insider: 2016 Year in Review
We reserved the VIP Pre-Scare Dinner and after a so-so buffet, entered the park 30 minutes before the gates opened. This is also something that should be taken advantage of. We promptly headed for Red Moon Massacre on the log ride, which was a large improvement over last year. I got some good scares. Next we decided to hit one of two new mazes. This one happened to be The Grudge 2, which is only going to be at Knott's this year to promote the upcoming film. Well, I don't know how the movie is, but this was in my opinion the maze of the year. The set design was beautiful and the talent were really into their roles. Especially, one girl who kept twisting her body into odd shapes. This is a must see maze this year.
Next we went to the Dark Realm Laser Range, which is kind of hard to review. You only get 7 minutes and the guns are clunky, but one could have a good time if they liked laser tag. The interactive element is a nice touch. Next was Red Beard's Revenge, which improved on last year's dreaful maze. The staff was more into the theme this time, and I actually got scared a few times. Very nice set design in here. After Red Beard's came Cavern of Lost Souls, the least satisfying attraction at Haunt. If your idea of scary is hanging strings meant to feel like cobwebs and some guy with a shaker can every 3 or 4 minuted, then go ahead and have fun, but the ride is understaffed and pointless. That said, some of the talent did try really hard to make the tough environment work and they deserve props.
Following that was the next new maze, Lost Vegas in 3-D. Lots of fog? Check! Great sets? Check! A fun score? Check! Too bad it was understaffed. Still, it's a good time, and I hope I just went through on an off night. After Vegas, we went to 13 Ax Murder Manor, which, like last year, is amazing. The music, sets, talent, costumes, everything. It all comes together perfectly, placing 13 second to The Grudge 2 for maze of the year. Hatchet High, a really short maze came next. It basically hasn't changed at all since it came to Haunt, so if you've already seen it and you're running short on time, you could probably skip it.
Walking backstage, we came upon the "double maze" combo of Feary Tales in 3-D and The Asylum. Feary Tales was a very short maze, but the colors used are disorienting and fantastic. The one problem is that it is somewhat overshadowed by the breathtaking Asylum which follows it. Ah, The Asylum. Bloody cells, straightjackets, and the Bulemic Research Clinic. The scariest maze of the night, yet just behind Grudge and 13 because I had trouble enjoying it due to how hot it was inside.
The last two mazes were Lore of the Vampire and Terror Vision in 3-D, two mazes which didn't really stand out this year. Both feel short and understaffed, and the talent in Terror Vision seemed to stand around a lot. However, Lore came out on top of the two simpty because we were the only group going through at the time and every monster that decided to do something had only us to scare. Plus, the huge guy at the end is a great way to finish a maze. Terror added nothing new from last year, and was simply mildly entertaining.
The shows we saw were the 9:30 Hanging, which was funny as usual, the 10:30 Hacks, which I liked more last year, and the 12:00 Putz Prank Party, which was hilarious. The scare zones were top-notch as I expected and since we had so much time, we even rode Xcelerator, Silver Bullet, Supreme Scream, and the Screamin' Swing, although the last one was a waste of money due to its length.
Overall, another fantastic year at Haunt! Only 12 more months until I return.
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