Changes have certainly taken place at the Halloween Haunt for it’s 33rd year, 2005. With additions like the Silver Bullet Mine Town and The Dark Realm for the Scare Zones and 13 Axe Murder Maze and Feary Tales in the mazes, a definite mixture of entertainment and frights are presented. We will provide more information later on in the season so as not to display too many spoilers.
Let’s cut right to the chase and dive into the maze lineup for 2005….
Curse of the Spider
Believe it or not, this maze actually is fantastic! Surprised? Well, it should not be a big surprise. The reason being is that half-way through the 2004 season, while other mazes were noticeably lacking, Curse of the Spider maintained a sense of creepiness and provided great scares for us last year.
For the 2005 season, the Monsters certainly picked it up a few notches and we were really entertained. What seemed to be a new forest area at the beginning of the maze sets a really great tone for the scenes to follow. One of the great effects we noticed was the ‘fur’ walls….you really have to see it….er…I mean ‘feel it’, to believe it.
Different music was provided as well in certain areas…almost rock-type music. Aside from the rock music in a spider-themed maze, the overall experience was awesome. THANK YOU for entertaining us and scaring us. The overall ‘creepiness’ of the close-quarters throughout this maze keeps you on the edge the entire time!
Cavern of Souls
Calico Mine Ride
Ya know….we really, really wanted to love this theme. Anytime the Mine Ride is presented with a new theme, we LOVE it……except this year. If you look back into the years in the Halloween Haunt history on this website, you will see that a previous theme existed in the Calico Mine Ride named “Cavern of Carnage”. The particular theme back then was similar to what we see during Cavern of Souls: Undead Miners.
Well, unfortunately, in our opinion, the prior theme in the 1990’s was a real hit and this year was a real miss. Firstly, it’s always been a big thing (whenever a new theme is in the Mine Ride) to see what will be in the Glory Hole. Sorry….this year wasn’t quite right. Basically, this was a modified Peek-In/cheap prop showcase, simply because all of the props/miners just had the masks on and some spooky lighting was provided. Not to mention, what was up with using some of the same costumes from last year mixed with the western theme? Hmmm…?
Another thing that was not quite right was the scares. The Monsters were obviously trying but something was really missing. In the three cars we could see, not one of the Monsters scared a guest throughout the entire ride unfortunately. Now….they WERE trying, but silence and amateurish “spookiness” doesn’t quite fit within the world of Halloween Haunt. Somewhere, somehow, something lost its punch. Lord knows they were trying, but to wait two hours on a sold out Saturday night…..don’t waste your time. GO EARLY in the night!!! To be honest, we cannot recommend spending a long time in line for this attraction.
The best part of the attraction is the Monsters at the exit of the ride.
Red Moon Massacre
Timber Mountain Log Ride
The fun thing about this ride was actually seeing some of the effects/props from Kingdom of the Dinosaurs being placed in the Log Ride. Keep your eyes peeled and see if you are able to spot any of the props for yourself.
The Log Ride is still rockin’ hard with those werewolves. In fact, some of the props appeared to have been repainted and even touched up a bit (for example, the huge werewolf whose mouth you enter into toward the end of the ride). The talent that were present were practically jumping up and down to get us to notice them, but they are easy to miss.
This brings to mind….we saw some old footage during the making of Season of Screams from the 1980’s where a Monster in the Log Ride had two huge hand cymbals (from marching band) scaring guests. That might be a good start for the current residents of this Haunt attraction.
Unfortunately, the Log Ride once again is suffering from lack of Monsters. Over the years, we pretty much know where the ‘hiding spots’ are for the attraction and it seemed that they were only about half staffed.
On the bright side, they brought back the censor ‘horn’ honk. If you don’t know what that means, hopefully you’ll find out. That’s probably one of the great scares in the ride. You cannot miss this attraction however, it’s not worth a long wait. Be sure to go early on in the night!
Temple of Sacrifice
Hey, ya know what? The talent of this maze were working really hard for an attraction that has such a terrible reputation. The sets are definitely minimal and are a repeat from last year.
It’s sort of interesting to think what Knott’s really has planned for this lowly attraction. It has not done very well at all but it keeps coming back. It almost seems that this attraction would be better fit for a daytime sort of an experience because as hard as they may try, it’s not up to par with the other ‘scare’ attractions for the event.
However, if this review peaks your interest, be sure to make a b-line right to the attraction at the beginning of the night because to wait for this attraction longer than a few minutes is simply something we cannot recommend.
Carnival of Carnivorous Clowns in 3-D
WOW! The clowns are certainly back in full force. Forget this maze if you have a clown phobia because this maze is truly on fire!
We were very impressed with the maze this year. It had the same sets (well…from what we could see) as the last couple of years, but it was just really working well. The clowns were as nutty as ever getting scares left and right and the 3D effects were amazing.
The one complaint we could come up with is the music (or lack thereof). Some of the classic tunes that helped to define the maze when it debuted in 2000 no longer are presented. What a shame.
Aside from that, we give this a big two thumbs up. Don’t miss it!!
The good-gone-bad theme at its peak in Hatchet High. Going from the principal’s office, the locker rooms, the jocks, the cheerleaders, science nerds….this maze has it all…even killer undead prom queens.
Parts of this maze were really scary while other parts were difficult to figure out what was happening. Areas of the maze were so dark, you could not appreciate the sets that were present. Nevertheless, the monsters have been entertaining in this maze since 2003.
This maze truly seems unchanged and we felt the same way about it in 2003 as we do now….
“Some people will walk out enjoying it and getting a kick out of the theme, while others will walk out wondering what the heck they just went through. We’ll let you decide!”
Red Beard’s Revenge
An enormous amount of hype about this maze existed before it was released to the public in 2004. Unfortunately, at the time, it fell a little short of expectations. However, this year was a large improvement.
Some of the Monsters worked well, while others were trying to talk and yell at us through their masks and it was impossible to hear what they were saying. With regard to the talent of this maze, the largest difference compared to last year was the fact that there were so many more Monsters this year. Great improvement! The sets are awesome in this maze as well. The floor tipping back and forth is definitely a great effect.
If you walk too fast through this maze, it’s easy to miss all of the tiny details in the design. If you have the opportunity, take your time to go through the maze to enjoy the sets and the talent of the monsters.
Lore of the Vampire
What can we say about this maze that hasn’t already been said? The talent were great and there were plenty of vampires everywhere.
The layout may have some minor changes to it this year but it’s basically the same. The bottom line is that after all these years, the vampires have become a staple at the event and certainly offer a different type of scare experience. The music/soundtrack was a little low when we went through but definitely by the time you arrive to the ‘dance’ section, the place is really rockin’. An awesome maze and as always, the vampires of the Halloween Haunt are a MUST see!
This maze was a HUGE improvement from last year. The layout is different and the soundtrack is AWESOME!! Rooms providing take-offs of Bat Man, American Idol, M.A.S.H., etc. are all present and again, really awesome with the soundtrack.
The 3D effects really are amazing in this maze and very eye-poppin’. The Monsters are crazed in the maze and were all over the place….very exciting. Scary? Well….not really scary in the creepy sense, but the monsters definitely will keep you on your toes. In our opinion, WAY better than its debut year in 2004. You can’t miss this maze this year!
One word: Amazing! This maze was simply incredible. The 3D effects and the eye candy in this maze are mind-blowing.
Now, if you ever had the chance to go through Mother Noose’s Scary Tales, the theming in this maze will definitely take you back in time….even up to the book entrance for the maze.
The only confusing thing about this maze was that it is really difficult to identify what tale you are supposed to be going through at times. Billy Goats Gruff, the Pied Piper and others are present. The Snow White themed area is fantastic, even down to the colored jewels of the dwarves mine. If we knew more about what the particular stories were, we would reference them, but it’s very difficult. The dragon area was awesome….even with the fog-breathing dragon. See if you can spot out all of the stories and let us know!
Of course, the old Humpty Dumpty from Mother Noose’s has made a come-back, so be sure to watch out for him.
Overall, this maze was simply incredible when we through. Congrats to Knott’s for keeping on top with amazing attraction!
Walking straight from Feary Tales to the dark and dingy Asylum. Has this maze passed its prime? We’ll let you decide. In our opinion, it’s not as effective as it was the past two years, but it still packs a punch.
The lighting, again, was so creepy in this maze that it worked as if it was its own character. The designers for the Asylum really have an awesome handle on the lighting of this maze. It really goes to show how important every aspect of a maze is in order to help in the overall experience. It’s not just the Monsters nor is it just the sets. In our opinion, it is the combination of everything working together to make a total experience.
We will say, just like in Red Beard’s Revenge, some of the monsters were yelling saying things through their masks and it was very difficult to hear what they were saying….in fact, it was impossible. As far as the shock and punch of the Asylum…we’ll let YOU decide if it’s still there or if it has gone off into the Haunt clouds.
13 Axe Murder Manor
This maze is simply a beautiful maze to look at. First off, it’s huge. It’s about as long as Blood Bayou, but this maze is taller and just a bigger attraction.
The first thing that grabs you is the exterior of the house toward the beginning of the maze. Very much like the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California.
The Ghoulish Gallery portraits throughout the hallways of the interior are very, very cool and really add a different element of theming to the maze.
The larger rooms like the library, the séance room and the dining room have A LOT to look at, so try and take your time going through the maze to appreciate and dig what the decorators have put together.
We’ll keep this review a bit vague because we don’t want to ruin the surprises, so just go through the maze and really appreciate all of the incredible detail put into this attraction.
The worst thing? Well, we went through and there were not very many Monsters in the maze. Perhaps since the maze is so large, it was difficult to staff….? Maybe that aspect will be better for you when you go.
This line is SUPER long, so go early on in the night!