Southern California Which Halloween theme park

Edited: September 8, 2018, 7:22 PM

Hi There

I'm planning to take my older daughter to Cali and hit 2 of the Halloween parks up.
We're for sure sure doing Universal but we can't seem decide whether to do Magic mountain Fright fest or knotts Scary Farm.

We will likely be getting fast passes so just looking for some feedback so anyone that has been to both Fright fest and Knotts Scary farm in the last 2 years that could give their 2 cents on the overall experience. Not concerned whether it was busy just more about how good the mazes , scare , organization was.


Replies (10)

September 9, 2018, 5:08 PM

While I skipped the events last year, I did both SFMM's Fright Fest and Knott's Scary Farm in 2016. Between those two, I would absolutely opt for Scary Farm (which I actually prefer to even Universal's event). Scary Farm has more mazes of better quality, as well as a couple shows and quality scare zones throughout the park. It isn't as scary as Universal's event, but should be frightening enough for those who just want to have a good time and don't need to be borderline traumatized.

Of the four mazes still present from my last visit (Paranormal Inc., Red Barn, Shadow Lands, and Special Ops: Infected), all but the Red Barn are very good mazes (Red Barn is good but not great), with Shadow Lands being perhaps the best maze I've seen Knott's produce. While I didn't make it out last year, I've also heard really good things about both Dark Ride and Trick or Treat: Lights Out (despite the original Trick or Treat being one of the weaker mazes). Lines for the mazes can get long, but if you avoid Friday or Saturday it shouldn't be too difficult to do everything in one night (Fright Lane is necessary on those nights, or any night if you want more than one trip through the mazes).

There is one exception in which case I'd recommend Fright Fest over Scary Farm: If you plan to visit SFMM while you are in Southern California anyway but wouldn't otherwise be doing Knott's, stick to Fright Fest. Unlike Scary Farm, Fright Fest is included with admission to SFMM so there is no need to purchase a separate ticket (a maze pass is required for mazes, but it is only around $15). The mazes at SFMM are actually reasonably good given the significantly lower budget, with most comparing to a middle tier maze at Scary Farm (the best are Willoughby's Resurrected and Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising), and in general the lines at SFMM tend to be shorter. The downside to SFMM's event is that the scare zones are somewhat weak, with only a few actors in each and minimal props. If you're there mainly to be immersed in a haunted environment and want to be kept on your toes all night long, Fright Fest might not quite fit that bill. If you'd like to mix quality mazes with some of the best roller coasters ever built, however, you won't go wrong with this event.

Personally, I'll be doing both Fright Fest and Scary Farm this Haunt season. I haven't decided yet whether I'll do Halloween Horror's not a bad event, but it's not cheap.

September 10, 2018, 10:42 AM

thats great information. I honestly want to do the rides at six flags but the scary farm and knots. If you buy a fast pass to any of these parks on a sat or sunday and got there early would you be able to do every maze ?

September 10, 2018, 2:18 PM

Fright Lane at Knott's or a Gold Maze Pass at SFMM will easily get you through all the mazes in one night on pretty much any night. On Saturday, it is essential if you want to do everything. If you go on a Sunday, you'll likely be able to get them all in without one, though it would be useful if you want to do the mazes more than once. Halloween Horror Nights requires the front of the line pass on almost any night in order to do everything in one evening...that event gets completely mobbed.

Have you visited Universal Orlando? If so, you may want to consider doing a morning & afternoon at SFMM for coasters and then an evening at Universal for HHN. Almost everything at USH also exists at USO, so it isn't necessary to visit the park during regular hours if you've been to Universal in Florida. That would leave your other day open for Knott's.

September 10, 2018, 6:52 PM

Consider Queen Mary. I haven’t been but I heard great things about them. Unlike Universal and Disney, they are all much cheaper.

September 11, 2018, 8:28 PM

thanks everyone

AJ I have done USO but that was like 4 years ages we were thinking of getting the 2pm entry for Universal and Horror nights . An saving the other night for either Knotts scary Farm night or FFMM day and night

September 12, 2018, 5:29 PM

Queen Mary is always my favorite. Sure the production value might not be as high, but in a way it doesn't need to be (specifically when the ship itself provides the design) While it's crowded, it's nothing like the theme parks.....Plus, as it's been mentioned, the price is much cheaper.

The mazes on the ship are long & you're able to walkthrough areas that are normally closed to the public.

Plus, they let smaller groups in, so the scares are more effective.

If you're going specifically for scares, I think Queen Mary is personally the best.'s important to note a couple of things. After the mazes....there's not a ton left to do. There's a couple of smaller themed shows & a swing (form MJ's Neverland ranch), so you won't have the option of rides or attractions.

But scare wise, I think they are the best.

September 12, 2018, 9:06 PM

jamiew, would you be visiting Knott's during the day as well, or just for Scary Farm? Honestly, I don't recommend Knott's Scary Farm if you or your daughter haven't experienced Knott's Berry Farm proper. The event benefits a ton from knowing what the park is normally like, as elements of it play off of it. Additionally, unless you have Fast Lane you'd have a hard time doing both the haunted attractions and the rides in one evening. Yes, going during the day does require two separate tickets, but you'd be missing a ton by only seeing the park during Scary Farm.

If the choice is between just doing Scary Farm or doing a full day at SFMM, I'd pick SFMM. If you can do a full day at Knott's, however, I'd go with that option.

September 14, 2018, 1:08 AM

Great thanks AJ and Jay . AJ Whats your 2 cents on the queen Mary . Plan is for fast passes for both parks Universal and ( FFMM OR Knotts Scary )

September 14, 2018, 1:42 PM

I've never done Dark Harbor at the Queen Mary before, so I really can't say what the event is like. I've heard good things from friends that have, with most indicating that it's a more intense experience than the theme park haunts. However, like Jay said, there isn't that much here other than the mazes, so if you're looking for an event with variety it might not be the best option. If you're just looking to get scared, however, it would probably be great.

Personally, I'd probably recommend Queen Mary if you have time to add on a third event, but I wouldn't choose it over the theme park events (especially if you have any interest in the regular theme park attractions as well).

September 14, 2018, 9:44 PM

thanks AJ

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