Knotts Berry Farm, located in Buena Park, California, home to the Peanuts gang and Boysenberries. This family friendly amusement park is a nice middle ground to the intensity of Six Flags Magic Mountain and the more role play based park that is Universal Studios. However, for the Halloween season Knotts Berry Farm strips down its family friendly barrier and transforms into Knotts Scary Farm. As with all the other parks the Halloween event is not recommended for children under 13, and for good reason.
On its opening night Kelly, and I spent six glorious hours at Knotts Scary Farm being terrorized by demonic clowns, wet pumpkin innards, and were consumed at times by complete darkness and fog. Our first stop however was to grab a couple of beers at the cocktail mixer in the park. Ugh I was so tempted to snatch that centerpiece.
Equipped with our priority passes and wristbands (can’t cheat the system here kids) we were on our way to explore the park. Right off the bat I noted how dark the park was. There are small spotlights here and there, or your area may be illuminated by maze lights or food stands, but otherwise you could be caught in total darkness. Caution is key here. I lost my group a couple of times when we would hit an area engulfed in dense fog.
Throughout your journey to the next ride or maze you may cross into one of several scare zones; Fiesta de Los Muertos, Carnevil, Ghost Town Streets, and The Hallow. I don’t remember journeying through The Hollow which makes sense since we didn’t have time to hit up The Hollow Maze. The Carnevil scare actors put their all into scaring folks and were extremely creepy, but the Fiesta de Los Muertos scare zone was more hauntingly beautiful than scary which may be what the park was going for.
We first crossed through Dark Ride, which we ranked our favorite of the night. Neon lights, fog, music, bloody props, and clowns may give you a sensory overload. It took a few minutes to walk through which is always a plus. Trick or Treat was a new experience for me. I’ve been going to haunted attractions since I was about 8 years old so I’m always looking for someone to evolve beyond clown themes since clowns don’t scare me. This haunted experience takes place inside of a dressed up house where you are given a faulty flashlight and have to make your way through to the end. Of course the light goes off at the end and once again you are engulfed in darkness trying to make your way through a tunnel or dark room to the exit.
Pumpkin Eater was disgusting. Whoever designed this maze should get an award. I really felt like I was walking through a giant pumpkin. There was a point where we came across hanging pumpkin innards and something starting dripping on us. Yuuuuuck! I had to get out of there! However, I did slow down a little when the floor started to vibrate at the end. It was a much needed foot massage.
The Red Barn creeped me out with its slaughterhouse like smells. This is not one for the vegan/vegetarian community.
Special Ops: Infected is another haunted attraction that is pretty new for me. This one is an interactive laser tag like experience where you get to “shoot” the zombies you encounter, but headshots only. Ya girl got 14 headshot kills!
Voodoo and Shadowlands were both set in cultural regions, New Orleans, and Japan to be exact. While I enjoyed the scenery and the effort of the scare actors they were the least memorable experiences.
Kelly and I explored all, but three mazes and I’m currently having regrets about not going through Tooth Fairy. The other two which sounds like it’s worth the wait is Paranormal Inc., and The Hollow.
Lastly, we made it to what is being touted as Elvira’s Last Show. It was her final performance of the night and I will say, damn she still looks amazing and she is still on it with the zingers. The entire production itself however was a little on the whomp whomp side. I wanted more of a cohesive spooky storyline as she went from dancing in a chorus line in one act to being “burned” in a pillar of wood in the next act. I didn’t get what it was supposed to be despite the mini video segments in between. As its only a quick 25 minute performance maybe something like this would have benefited if it were given more time. Once we left I felt completely drained so if I could do it over again I would have made the 9pm performance instead of the 11:30pm performance. The Hanging Fake Noose show was not what I was expecting either. Apparently, offensive is the real name of the show here. I just want to escape politics for one day this year, and it wasn’t going to be at this show. About five minutes into the show a crowd of people left either bored or turned off by the not so funny performance.
Knotts’ Christmas performances are always a joy especially the Peanuts ice skating show so I know that they can do better than this.
I was very disappointed when I found out that Montezooma’s Revenge was closed and had been for months now despite it still being featured on both the website and priority pass. Note, that Xcelerator is also closed and neither ride has a re-open date as of the date of this article. If Montezooma’s Revenge is torn down I may no longer consider a season pass to a park that I do enjoy.
All in all my first time at Knotts Scary Farm was a 7.5/10. I think I would have appreciated the evolution of Scary Farm had I attended in years past. We managed to get done the majority of the mazes and a couple of rides. Since we attended on a Thursday we didn’t get that extra hour that I believe was needed. With the highest price of $54, and the lowest price of $40 that I could find, Knotts is definitely worth the price of admission. It won’t put a huge dent in your wallet and you may be even able to splurge on a highly recommended Fright Lane Pass for Front of the Line access.
Knotts Scary Farm is currently running on select dates from now until October 31st. Click here for times and tickets.