Without a doubt, KNOTT’S SCARY FARM is firing on all cylinders in its 45th (!) year. We sampled every maze, scare zone and show offering for this year’s iconic event, and we are completely serious when we say you can’t miss it. For Halloween and theme park fans everywhere, this year’s Scary Farm is the event to beat. Lines can get long, but even if you don’t opt for Fright Lane front of the line tickets, here are the top 10 things you just can’t miss!
New for 2017, this maze takes you into the world of a broken down amusement park dark ride where monsters, crazed employees and God knows what else want to make sure you don’t get out alive. This was far and away the best maze in the park (and there are some great mazes this year) especially if you’re a Disneyland fan, with callouts to the Haunted Mansion and Snow White’s Scary Adventures. The creativity here is really unchecked, with fantastic scene after fantastic scene, a game cast, fun animatronics and even the ride “track” beneath your feet. Take your time in this maze, it’s worth it!
This returning maze is strong as ever, with lots of atmospheric creep and attention to detail. Beautiful Japanese-inspired sets and costumes make this one a stunner. It’s located in the far corner of the park, behind Xcelerator, and easy to miss if you’re not paying attention. In fact, we walked right by it and when we asked for directions, a helpful demon clown stopped to tell us that it was “just past the Matterhorn, next to Mickey’s Toontown.” Thanks a lot demon clown.
Another returning maze in the cluster of mazes behind Ghost Town, Paranormal Inc. pulls out all the stops. A show scene starts the maze with some thrilling aerial work and in-room effects (keep your party next to you or you will lose them!), and soon you’re wandering through an insane asylum full of demons and ghosts. This is the most sensory of all the mazes, and *spoiler alert* the inflated tunnel freaked us out!
This new maze in Camp Snoopy actually puts you through the innards of a possessed pumpkin, complete with dangling giant pumpkin seeds and a 7 foot tall pumpkin monster. It’s silly but surprisingly well thought out and a lot of fun. Some good scares in this one, and who doesn’t want to push through giant pumpkin seeds while pumpkin covered monsters menace you? Beware – you will get a little wet in this one.
SPECIAL OPS: INFECTED
Every gamer’s dream – in this maze next to Mystery Lodge, you’re handed a big old gun and get to shoot at zombies who react to your shots as you go, racking up points like a demented Buzz Lightyear attraction. It’s low on big scares, but it’s a lot of fun to shoot at zombies and save the world from infection. Yeah that’s it, you’re saving people! It’s noble work, shooting zombies. Beware, the line on this one moves slowly and waits can really build up.
ELVIRA’S FEARWELL SPECTACULAR
The real Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, is saying goodbye to Knott’s Scary Farm. She’s long been a staple and will be appearing twice nightly in the Charles M. Schultz Theater with a cast of dancers every night of the event. Make time to see it – she’s hilarious and this is your last chance! The dancers are fantastic and the infamous rain curtain gets put to good use in the finale.
TRICK OR TREAT: LIGHTS OUT!
Our group was divided on this maze, but ultimately, it’s more psychologically scary than anything else. The popular Trick or Treat maze through the Green Witch’s home returns, but this time the lights are turned off and all you have is a very unreliable flashlight to help. The gimmick does wear thin after awhile, but it’s pretty fun when the flashlights start to give out and screams ensue. I missed the maze’s original finale with the flying witch – hopefully it’ll be back next year.
This returning maze still has great sets, effects and costumes, but felt a bit tired this year. We still really enjoyed it, but if you’ve seen it before and get pressed for time, going through it from finish to start this year doesn’t really make it feel that different. We were humming “Friend on the Other Side” the whole way through!
TIMBER MOUNTAIN LOG RIDE HALLOWEEN HOOTENANNY
Available during regular park hours as well, this overlay of the classic log ride is a lot of not-so-scary fun, with a new soundtrack by Krazy Kirk & The Hill Billies (you may know them from their previous gig as Billy Hill & the Hill Billies).
Getting into the Scary Farm spirit is easy at the Boo-fet, and Knott’s has really been upping their food game recently. Besides, you can’t get scared on an empty stomach! We got to sample goodies from Knott’s culinary team and we were not disappointed in the quality and creativity of this year’s offerings.