It's a lot like last year. Monster Stomp was the same songs, same performance, same gags, although I didn't like the new vampire guy as much as the old (first because he was a larger person with round facial features rather than sharp edges, and second because he liked to scream his songs instead of singing them. But others liked him).
And it was still a good show. The dancers did a fine job, the female singer was able to sing on-key, and the knife rhythm people were still in rhythm.
Franken Rock was different from last year, and entertaining if not a bit loud. No oddly dressed characters, a lot more singers, and some wicked guitar player who was a real hit with the girls at the table next to ours (I wonder if they were friends).
The mazes were about the same as last year. I find the BG mazes less intense than the ones at Cedar Fair parks. I presume this is on purpose. I also notice that they have a lot (a LOT) of costumed monster types all through the park, and still they have multiple non-costumed ushers throughout each indoor maze.
One new feature that looked really cool is a "spider" scare zone between Ireland and France. Watch above you, if you dare. We went through while it was still light enough to see what was going on, and they were still testing the mechanisms, but it was already scaring the squemish.
Pompeii I felt was the same as always. And I didn't notice anything different about the other remaining indoor mazes (Hunted, Bitten, and the Catacombs). The clowns I believe were gone last year, but I still missed them, and the scare maze they built last year in Corkscrew Hill was gone since they have Europe Air running.
Cursed (the outdoor maze) felt about the same as well. Harvest Hollow (the zone after bitten/hunted) on the other hand, had a make-over, and was a longer and more winding path. It wasn't well-covered with scare people though, although a couple of the women stalkers did well in my opinion.
We had arrived late (about 5:50pm), because though we left at 2pm from the DC area, there was a horrific crash on I-95 south that turned it into a parking lot (we ended up skipping out and over to rte 301).
Still, we were able to do every maze, and two of the shows. We did not catch Jack is Back this time though. If we had just had another hour we probably could have.
Tomorrow my daughter and I start scaring people at Kings Dominion, and I hope traffic is better.
I just realized I should re-post this as a discussion board entry.
If you are afraid of Rats stay away from the France area. The entire area of France near Griffon is decorated with rats all over the place. During the night every so often starting this coming weekend they will have live rats crawling over a rope in France. The cage where they keep the rats and have them crawl out of on ropes is where the statue usually stands as you enter France. This past Friday they were unable to have the rats out as the temperature in the cage where they will stay was to hot and had reached temps over 120 degrees because it was so hot on Friday.
Frankenrock is better then last year and the music is all 80s music.
There are Halloween decorations throughout England, Ireland, France, New France & Germany. There are very few decorations in Italy. England is decorated with a lot Crows, Ireland with a lot of Pumpkins, France with rats, New France with Werewolves.
It wasn't busy Friday night and the tour guide told me at 7:30 that the guest count at time was around 8500 people.
I'm thinking about going on the Saturday before Halloween, October 30. That depends on money though.
I have never been there on Halloween weekend. I imagine it's very crowded.
I thought it was pretty slick having employees scattered throughout the park to scare people. If you were coming from the direction that you could see someone, it was funny to see people's reaction when a scare would be tried.