Halloween News: How to visit Knott's Scary Farm, plus, Michael Myers is coming to Orlando

August 28, 2014, 11:24 AM · Where Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood had a bit of a complicated plan, Knott’s Scary Farm’s game plan is very straight forward: Don’t stop moving.

Ghost Town

This isn’t survival advice so much as it’s advice to help you retain your sanity. If you go early in the year (as I have the last two years) the lines at Scary Farm are (typically) fairly manageable. I have seen the other side of the coin. Hour long waits for mazes you’ve never heard of, jam-packed with screaming teenagers and other monsters, and shoulder-to-shoulder crowds throughout the park.

With a little bit of planning (and luck) you can avoid the effects of the crowds, even if you can’t send the teeming masses packing on any given night.

Keep moving in which direction? Truthfully, it doesn’t much matter. If you got there when the park opens you have a chance to beat the crowds by heading to the left. Note: LEAVE EARLY -- traffic on Scary Farm nights on the 91 can somehow make the 91 an even WORSE place to be. You should be outside the gates about 20 minutes before the event begins so you can get the best possible jump on the crowds.

That being said, if you arrive at the park late (shame on you), you’re better off heading towards the back of the park to pick off those mazes before the crowds make their way there. Once the back has been cleaned out, you can head up front to wait in the likely expansive lines. I’m sorry.

The benefit from hitting the left side of the park first (based on the maze cluster from last year) is that there are so many mazes on that side of the park. If you get there early enough, you can hit four or five mazes within your first hour, giving you a lot of breathing room to make sure you can finish the rest of the event before closing time.

If you find yourself needing to prioritize your time (in other words, “wow, is ____ worth waiting 40 minutes?”) here is a list of what I found to be must-dos last year and what I project to be must-dos this year.

- Voodoo: New for this year, Voodoo sounds conceptually interesting and quite possibly impressively thematic. Billed as having a choose-your-path element to it, Voodoo is one of the mazes I’m most looking forward to in 2014.

- Special Ops: Infected: Also new for this year, the laser-tag inspired zombie apocalypse experience is something I am cautiously optimistic about. This could be a very bad maze with very long lines - or it could be great! Maybe!


- Forevermore: A returner from last year, Forevermore follows the path of the Nevermore Killer, a serial killer who plays out the writings of Edgar Allen Poe in his work. This was one of my favorite mazes from last year, based more on thematics than scares. It’s a fun concept and has, apparently, been expanded for the 2014 event.

- The Witch’s Keep: As much show as it is maze, The Witch’s Keep is one of the best mazes Scary Farm put on last year. When everything’s clicking, this maze puts on one hell of a show - it’s also the first maze you’ll find while heading around the left side of the park. It’s a great place to start off your night.

- Dominion of the Damned: This was the scariest maze of 2013 and I hope that it remains as such in 2014. The scares were clever and inventive, the theming was very impressive and the maze was loaded with actors who all seemed to be on the same page. This maze can be found in the maze-cluster on the left side of the park and is, in my opinion, a must-do.

In addition to the mazes, Knott’s has made shows a big part of their event. The Elvira show last year was kitschy and funny, but I have never been much a fan of any of the other annual shows Scary Farm puts on. The Hanging is a must-see for many, as actors skewer (and otherwise kill) celebrities who did things We Don’t Like in the past 12 months. So if you think Justin Bieber is fresh comedic ground, I would make time for this show.

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In other Halloween event news: Halloween Horror Nights Orlando has now unveiled their full lineup, with the addition of a haunted house based on John Carpenter's 1978 classic horror film Halloween.

We’re mere weeks away from the start of the events -- where will your Halloween season begin?

Replies (5)

August 28, 2014 at 11:46 AM · We're going to do the Pre-Scare Dinner the night on the night we go to Knott's Scary Farm. How would this impact our touring plan? I get the impression that the early entry allows us access to the mazes closer to GhostRider.
August 28, 2014 at 1:20 PM · @Tim: You are correct! Just loop around towards Ghostrider and follow the perimiter of the park all the way around. You shouldn't find many lines until you start getting back towards the front of the park again.

Have a great time!

August 28, 2014 at 5:46 PM · Good to hear! This will be our first visit to Knott's Scary Farm so we wanted to make the most of it (without the added expense of Fright Lane, although I admit that the Skeleton Rooms sound nifty). Our home parks are Cedar Point and King Island so I am interested to see the event that has had such an influence on all of the Cedar Fair Halloween happenings.

We'll also be doing Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood. Your recent post about HHN will definitely come in handy there as well. Thank you!

August 28, 2014 at 5:49 PM · I think you're referring to Trick or Treat and not the Witch's Keep. The Witch's Keep is the overlay of the Calico Mine Ride that doesn't contain any scare monsters. Another new maze called The Tooth Fairy will probably be quite popular as well. It replaces Delirium and is connected to the same line as Dominion of the Damned. First you experience Dominion of the Damned and then you go right into The Tooth Fairy.
August 29, 2014 at 12:45 PM · @Tim: I hope you enjoy yourself! The Skeleton Rooms are a nice bonus, but don't feel like you're missing out on too much.

@Anonymous Human: You are right, my mistake. I got the names mixed up.

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