For reviews of the mazes in 2008, read below.
The season is upon us! The 2008 Knott’s Scary Farm maze/attraction and show lineup have been announced and the opening night has just about made its turn. The following information is an outline of our previews and reviews of this season’s mazes at the event.
Now again, please realize, the information below is simply ouropinions and definitely do not reflect Knott’s Berry Farm. We do make predictions but these are truly guesses. If they happen….cool….if not, oh well.
Shall we get started with the NEW mazes for this year? The text in RED is the official description, the text in WHITE were our previews and the text in BLUE is our reviews. Enjoy!
Slaughterhouse: Officially described as: Main Gate Area – “Folks from near and far come a-runnin’ for Farmer Willy’s world famous BBQ! Why you can smell the sizzling meat all the way from the interstate! Just take Exit I-13 and follow your nose! Venture through the Slaughterhouse where Farmer Willy will auction you off to the highest bidder, tenderize you with his chainsaw, and grind you into a tasty meat treat. Bone appetite!”
So many different ideas and thoughts come to mind when we hear the name, “The Slaughterhouse”. No matter what those thoughts are, they certainly have one factor in common: GORE. Yeah, we predict that this may be one of (if not THE) goriest maze in the history of the event. The Slaughterhouse is replacing “Red Beards Revenge” (sorry pirate fans!)
For you old time Knott’s Haunt fans out there, you may remember that in 1987, a maze named “The Slaughterhouse” was housed in the Beary Tales Playhouse in Camp Snoopy. The original Slaughterhouse was based upon psychotic butchers and was gratuitous in its gore and violence. According to the official description, it would certainly appear that we are in store for some sort of tribute to the cannibalistic gore movies of the 1970’s, but with a Knott’s twist. The character “Farmer Willy” sounds entertaining and it’s our opinion this maze is going to be a blast and expect it to be over the top and filled with tons and tons of blood and body parts. Since this is a new maze for 2008 (and if your stomach can handle it), be sure to hit this maze pretty early in the night!
REVIEW: In the most twisted way you can imagine, this maze was FUN, FUN, FUN!! The dark humor that Knott’s Scary Farm established back in the 1980’s and early 1990’s has come back full force in The Slaughterhouse! The artistic design and artwork (Farmer Willy’s BBQ logo, etc.) is just simply cool. Gore? Expect nothing less than over-the-top grinding, cutting, slicing and of course, butchering! Some neat effects take place in this maze that are unique – especially as YOU become the livestock! Of course the butchers and female “mama” characters are just as over-the-top as the gore! Hints of House of 1000 Corpses, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Motel Hell are all present in The Slaughterhouse – so fans of those movies, keep your eyes peeled. Hit this maze early!!
The Labyrinth: Officially described as: Balloon Race – “Take a journey through a forgotten forest, into the dark catacombs that lie beneath a ruined castle. The evil king has long since passed on but his cursed court still haunts the halls of the mysterious labyrinth. Don’t lose your way as you twist and turn through chambers unknown and vainly try to escape the menagerie of mythical monsters that roam the never-ending corridors”.
Evidently this appears to be a cool twist on a dark fantasy theme. Again, looking to the past of the event, we do know that the “Realm of Darkness” maze in Jeffries Barn at Knott’s in the early 1980’s was indeed fantasy based. Complete with masks from the Dark Crystal and hooded figures housed in castles and dungeons, the Realm of Darkness was the first fantasy-themed maze at the event. Now, considering that The Labyrinth is housed where Lore of the Vampire was previously, one could certainly imagine that some of the castle walls/corridors from the vampire maze could be used in The Labyrinth. However, beyond that, we really have no idea what to expect from this maze.
In the recent past, Knott’s has presented fantasy-based themes with mazes like Feary Tales. However, that particular theme was based more around fairy tales. The Labyrinth could go in so many directions (i.e., the movie, The Labyrinth, etc.) that the possibilities are endless. This maze is certainly one of the most intriguing for the 2008 season and one we are looking forward to greatly.
REVIEW: We LOVED this maze! There is a TON of amazing eye candy in Labyrinth that we really dug. Without giving too much away, hints from the movies “Labyrinth”, “Pan’s Labyrinth” are certainly present in this maze. However, most of the references to movies are very subtle, for the most part. One aspect that really caught our eyes were the costumes – everything from the forest characters to the dancers were pretty much walking on the beautiful category.
We were correct regarding castle walls, etc., but the layout and presentation of this maze was simply mystic, yet dark at the same time. Although this maze is fantasy-based – the scares are definitely present! Do your best to take the time to appreciate the décor!
Alien Annihilation 3-D Laser Tag: Officially described as: – The Lake (3D Laser Tag) “Begin transmission: – last entry log of deep space mining vessel Korova Matushka – ship has crashed – following homing beacon – discovery of alien ship – infestation imminent – send help – send help – end transmission. Lock and load for a descent into the depths of an alien war. Your only companion is your mega-round-thrust repeater rifle and the hordes of alien invaders that threaten to take over the planet. The air lock is opening – prepare for Alien Annihilation!”
Now, this is interesting. It’s bizarre to think that THIS theme is what is replacing Beowulf. One would have thought that with the castle sets from Beowulf that The Labyrinth would have ended up here. In Haunt Maze Designer, Daniel Miller’s interview on Ultimatehaunt.com, he was quoted as saying that he would like to revisit the alien theme….so here ya have it.
What are we expecting from this maze? Well, it could go a couple of different ways. The Dark Realm Laser Rage props (post-apocalyptic) may end up here and if they do, the sets will probably be pretty disrupted, to look like a city that has been “annihilated” by aliens. However, since this maze is being billed as “3D”, that puts a twist on things. With the 3D effects, the maze may be brightly colored, which it is sort of hard to imagine at this point. If you recall the length of the Beowulf maze, this maze should be fairly sizeable. We shall wait and see about this one….We suggest hitting this maze somewhat early in the evening due to the fact that since it contains “laser tag”, the lines could be lengthy.
REVIEW: Okay, we were wrong. Dark Realm props and decorations were not very present in Alien Annihilation (that we really could notice – except for afew of the costumes). This maze was actually pretty darn cool! Probably our least favorite of the new mazes for 2008 but this maze is FAR better than one or two of the old returning mazes.
This maze is longer than we anticipated which is cool! We did not participate in the laser tag portion of the maze, so if that’s your thing, do it up and have fun (just be prepared for the last couple of rooms!).
Some of the costumes and themes within Alien Annihilation were pretty darn intricate! We anticipate this maze to have a fairly long wait in line – so try to do your best to hit this early on in the night (especially if you want to participate in the laser tag!)
Quarantine: Described officially as: Fiesta Plaza – “In March 2008, the U.S. Government issued an emergency order sealing off an apartment complex in Los Angeles. A HazMat team was sent to investigate the quarantined building. Authorities have now denied any knowledge of the incident. The residents were never heard from again. There were no explanations; there was no evidence, until now. Experience the truth for yourself when you try to escape Sony Pictures’, Quarantine” [Link for official movie website]:www.containthetruth.com
How exciting!! A new maze presented by Sony Pictures. As you may recall, the Grudge 2 maze was presented by Sony Pictures and that went wonderful in 2006. The movie premiere was held at Knott’s, the maze won the fan vote for Maze of the Year in 2006 and the overall feeling was that it was a success.
Now we are faced with Quarantine. We suggest that when you have a chance, follow the link to the official movie site and check out the movie trailer. The movie looks pretty creepy and the setting (a quarantined apartment building) appears to be a perfect fit for a Knott’s Haunt maze. We can picture it now: Apartment building exteriors, interiors, hallways and corridors with monster and victim attacks awaiting in every corner! We feel this maze may be THE one to beat this year. We are really looking forward to this one!
Considering the fact that the movie opens worldwide in October, 2008, the film will be plugged everywhere. With that said, this maze will probably have VERY long lines….it’s our tip to hit this maze very early in the night.
REVIEW: One word: WOW. This maze, at least when we went through it, was simply mind-boggling!! Never before have we seen a maze presented like Quarantine at Knott’s Scary Farm’s Halloween Haunt.
There has been talk and rumblings about the Amusement Today “Golden Ticket Award” (in which Universal Orlando took the award this past year over Knott’s Haunt, who had it the year prior). It is our opinion that a ‘presentation’ like Quarantine can take that Golden Ticket back.
Quarantine was absolute chaos when we went through. The design and buildings and sets were all fantastic but became absolutely secondary to the monsters and the pandemonium that was taking place. Quarantine is a bit more theatrical than any maze present at Haunt, but not as much as a maze like the old “Lair of the Vampire”.
Do yourself a favor and hit this maze EARLY in your evening. By doing so, you’ll give yourself a chance to perhaps hit it more than once during your evening. We cannot say enough about this maze – we are still stunned.
CLUB BLOOD – GhostRider 2 – “Welcome to Club Blood where the music is hypnotic and the cocktails are bloody. In the dark underbelly of the city, human victims are drained of their life to nourish the children of the night. Join the hypnotic dance macabre and explore the dark side of the undead”.
The vampire mazes have a very long history at the Halloween Haunt. Beginning with Lair of the Vampire to Dominion of the Dead to Gothic Graveyard through Lore of the Vampire, the vampire mazes have had quite the run at the event – and Club Blood is the next chapter. Lore of the Vampire ended with the “Blade” and “Lost Boys” section and perhaps Club Blood is a spin-off from those themes and taken to the next level. The maze appears to be located back by the Asylum and so you can’t miss this one and it’s exciting to see what the next generation of vampires at Knott’s will bring in 2008!
REVIEW: We will be VERY honest here regarding Club Blood. This maze marked the first time (along with Corn Stalkers) that a maze from another Cedar Fair park was brought to Knott’s Scary Farm. We were able to actually view video of Club Blood from the other Cedar Fair park on Youtube.com prior to the 2008 Knott’s Halloween Haunt. To be quite frank, we were VERY displeased with what was shown on the video: Drug references from junkie characters in the streets approaching guests asking for “a fix” and “needles”, etc. This (in our personal opinion) is a step above your average everyday haunted hayride as far as “shock value” is concerned. In other words, it’s cheap and amateurish and (again, in our opinion) has no place at Knott’s Scary Farm’s Halloween Haunt. Also on the video were pregnancy scenes (we won’t go into too much detail here so as not to ruin your upcoming surprises – if you want to know that bad, you can view the video on Youtube.com) – which we were concerned about. Again, pretty tacky. Other parks NEED to rely on “shock” for their haunted attractions because they do not have the legacy that Knott’s has. We are not trying to take away from the other Halloween Haunts out there, this is just our opinions and our personal preferences.
With that said, we were BLOWN AWAY when we went to Club Blood at Knott’s Scary Farm. The monsters at the beginning were in your face with aggressive “Knott’s Scary Farm-type scares”. No cheap dialogue (that you wouldn’t have been able to hear anyway) and no drug references. As far as the pregnancy scenes – well, we think there might be a chance Knott’s will get SOME complaints, but to be very honest, it is presented in a way that is almost humorous and has a Knott’s twist to it that we did NOT see in the video from the other park. Also, the monsters were ALL into it (from the street scenes, to the club scenes, etc.) they were RIGHT ON THE MONEY. Bottom-line? Knott’s has struck again with a VERY cool new maze and a VERY cool way to carry on the legacy of vampires at Knott’s Scary Farm Halloween Haunt. This is NOT to be missed!!!
CORN STALKERS – Stage Coach Trail – “‘We’re not in Oz anymore.’ Dorothy has returned to Kansas, but she is not alone. Race through the cursed cornfield to escape the evil minions of the Wicked Witch. You can try to click your heels but the only way you’re going home is stuffed with straw and impaled by the Cornstalkers”.
This sounds very interesting! Wizard of Oz references? The imagination runs wild to think of the possibilities in a corn field at Knott’s Berry Farm! Scarecrows? Who knows? Cornstalkers marks the first time (that we are aware of) that Knott’s Halloween Haunt has ever used a corn field-type of theme. If this is done right, this may be an instant classic! If for no other reason that being curious – hit this maze early to see what it’s all about! How exciting!!
REVIEW: You know – this maze COULD be the dark horse in your pick for the Ultimatehaunt.com Maze of the Year, 2008. The presentation of this maze is very eerie and very creepy. It is NOT what we expected!
Just as with Club Blood, Cornstalkers appeared at other Cedar Fair parks prior to appearing here at Knott’s Halloween Haunt. We had seen the videos on Youtube of the other Cornstalker presentations at the other parks and although attempted to keep an open mind, we were less than impressed. It just seemed like something that was not going to be practical and would be a step above Dark Realm last year.
NO. That is NOT the case. Cornstalkers at Knott’s Berry Farm is REALLY creepy and is actually stressful going through it! It was scary!
Now, a couple of gripes: First and foremost: If you suffer from hay fever or allergies, THINK TWICE about going through Cornstalkers (or at least come equipped with something to cover your nose and mouth with!). This maze is made from REAL cornstalks and they are EVERYWHERE. You are forced to actually weed your way through at some points in very tight quarters, so consider yourself warned!
The other gripe is the Wizard of Oz references – it’s our opinion that they were on the weak side and were not really necessary for the maze. Defy Gravity!
Otherwise, the characters are REALLY cool and this maze is truly frightening! Go through this maze early (but at least wait until night time to get the full effect!
The Doll Factory: Official description as: Wilderness Dance Hall – “In an old, abandoned toy factory, the Marionette Murderer, a psychotic serial killer turns his beautiful victims into life-size porcelain dolls for his personal collection. Tour his twisted museum of death and disfigurement, and hope to escape his mechanical lair”
The Doll Factory simply dominated the world of the Halloween Haunt in 2007 and had an amazing buzz to it. This maze became a classic overnight! What can we expect to see in 2008 inside the Doll Factory?? Well, historically, Knott’s DOES make changes (sometimes major changes and sometimes minor) to the mazes that repeat year to year. However, in the recent past, not too many changes have been made to mazes like 13 Axe Murder Manor and Lost Vegas in 3D. What do we expect this year from the Doll Factory? Realistically, it will probably be very much the same as it was last year in 2007…..BUT, that’s not really a bad thing because it was awesome last year! As the fan vote for Maze of the Year in 2007, the Doll Factory should NOT be missed!
REVIEW: Well, The Doll Factory appears to be picking up right where it left off in 2007. This maze was on fire, the monsters were fantastic and the energy remains from last year. If you missed The Doll Factory last year and can make it through in 2008, you’ll be able to see what made this maze the fan vote for the Ultimatehaunt.com 2008 Maze of the Year. Enjoy!!
Killer Clown Kollege: Official description as: Xcelerator – “Welcome Freshmen to the greatest killing on earth! Make your way through the not so prestigious halls of Clown U. Step right up and experience a wacky, horn blowing deluge of messy make-up and mayhem. During your initiation into this fearsome Fraternity you may just laugh yourself to death!”
It is our prediction, that unlike The Doll Factory, we MAY see some changes this year to Killer Clown Kollege. To what extent, we have no clue. For all we know, it could be EXACTLY the same as it was last year, but the ideas for additional class rooms or dance clubs, etc. could easily be presented. Not to mention, with so many amazing props and decorations from the now defunct Carnival of Carnivorous Clowns, one would think that they could be brought in to decorate Killer Clown Kollege. We loved this maze last year and are looking forward to it again in 2008.
REVIEW: Okay, we were wrong. We could not really see any changes from 2008. Honestly, in many ways, it appears this maze went downhill a little bit from 2007! What a shame! Most of the Killer Clowns in the first half of the maze were pretty good but by the end, it just seemed there was not too much energy…? Hopefully that will change when you go through it this year!
Pyromaniax: Official description as: Log Ride – “A fire bursts out on the mountain due to a tragic accident at the resident Moonshine Factory. It seems the locals have been using toxic waste to make their libation, and now the lethal fumes are turning everyone (including the Fire Fighters) into murderous mutants”.
Man, what a let-down this was in 2007!! The description of Pyromaniax is better than the attraction itself last year! However, we blamed the construction of the Log Ride (to repair building damage) on the lack of themeing in Pyromaniax in 2007. Let’s hope that 2008 brings much, much more to the Timber Mountain Log Ride. We’ll keep our fingers crossed! No matter what, remember to head over to the Log Ride and the Mine Ride FIRST in your evening…..especially if not too many changes are made to the Log Ride’s theme – it won’t be worth a long wait.
REVIEW: Well, there is some good news and bad news with Pyromaniax for 2008. The good news is that there are some cool fire-ish effects that were not present at the 2007 version in the Log Ride. Also, there appears to be more of a focus on the backstory of the “locals” at the Moonshine Factory – with goofy-looking faces, etc., they were fun. However, the bad news is that other than that, we didn’t really notice very many changes AT ALL! In our opinion, a total miss! We think the theme is great but unfortunately, the theming itself is not up to the level we have seen in the Log Ride Haunt attractions of the past. Either way, DEFINITELY hit this first because a long line is NOT worth it!
Black Widow’s Cavern: Official description as: Mine Ride – “Dare to enter the old, abandoned mine, now overrun by deadly spiders. Get caught in the web of the horrific arachnids as you travel the train of terror on the old miner’s path of doom”.
The Mine Ride as “Black Widow’s Cavern” was great in 2007 and the Mine Ride as a Haunt attraction is certainly coming along, in our opinion. Spiders are a perfect fit for the Mine Ride and although the attraction was not littered with props in 2007, it is headed toward the right direction. One of the main factors for the Mine Ride is the monsters. As long as the Mine Ride is packed full of monsters, it should be a great time….Let’s see what happens this year.
REVIEW: The monsters were actually fantastic when we went through! There was a type of energy that really seemed to be established in the Mine Ride for 2008. Changes from 2007? Well – not really, but that’s okay! If you hit the Mine Ride early enough in your evening, you’ll miss the long lines.
The Asylum: Official description as: The GhostRider 1 – “In this home for the demented, the inmates pale in comparison to the bizarre behavior of the guards and doctors. Who is running this Asylum?”
Already an oldie but a goodie. Time sure flies in the world of the Mangler Asylum. The Asylum is the only maze that has been awarded the Ultimatehaunt.com Fan Vote for Maze of the Year (back in 2003 & 2004) and in 2007, this maze somehow, someway STILL has it! However, as far as what to expect this year?? Well, it’s our opinion that this maze will probably be very similar to what it was last year, so go through it again and love it, live it and really enjoy this maze that has already been established as a classic in the world of the Halloween Haunt.
REVIEW: We know for sure now that 2008 marks the final year of the Asylum (according to Todd Faux in the “Haunt Makers” videos found on the Knott’s Berry Farm website). Let’s put it this way: As far as the scenes and sets go for the 2008 Asylum, they are but a shadow of what they were when the maze made its initial debut. However, as far as the monsters go, they were just as crazed and insane as they ever have been. Do yourself a favor and enjoy this maze the best you can while it is still here. Definitely recommended!
13 Axe Murder Manor: Official description as: Mystery Lodge – “A once grand Victorian mansion now lies condemned and fenced off from the eyes of civilization. The gruesome axe murders that once occurred on the grounds have left the house filled with angry spirits, designed to seek vengeance on the living.”
13 Axe Murder Manor, just like the Asylum, is a living classic. We doubt major changes will be present in this maze for 2008. However, use this year to take the opportunity to take in the scenes of the “Manor”, enjoy the monsters and dig the amazing sets of this amazing maze! And maybe we’ll see an axe or two in 13 Axe Murder Manor in 2008!
REVIEW: We actually saw an axe held by a crazed female monster (in front of the house)! Just like the Asylum, we know that 2008 marks the final year of 13 Axe Murder Manor – which means, enjoy the sets, themes and monsters while you can because they will soon be lost in the fog and into the Knott’s Haunt history books! This maze is primarily the same as it has been in the past, so try and hit it a little early in the evening because it won’t be worth a LONG wait.
Lost Vegas in 3D: Official description as: Bumper Cars – “This condemned casino is ready for the wrecking ball, or did that already happen? Here, the only thing more frightening than the cocktail servers is the constant refrain of ‘Seven Out!'”
Well, unfortunately, we have never really been a big fan of Lost Vegas. Needless to say, we were somewhat disappointed that it made yet another return to the event for 2008. By all means, if this is a maze theme that you really like, then take this opportunity to soak in the amazing artwork and the offbeat monsters – they are out of control in this maze. Although we may not dig the theme, we cannot deny that the monsters and sets in this maze are incredibly vivid and entertaining.
REVIEW: Forget it!! Sorry Lost Vegas!! It is our opinion that this maze should have not come back this year! This maze is NOWHERE near the caliber of the other mazes at Knott’s Scary Farm Halloween Haunt. There was no energy when we went through and it simply seemed that most of the monsters were truly “lost”. However, there were SOME monsters that were over the top with excitement – perhaps they can pump up the maze? Our recommendation? If you have seen it before, you can skip it this year. If you want to see it still, do NOT wait a long time for this maze. Oh well – even the best can miss sometimes, right?
There ya have it, folks! Hopefully this outline will aid you when planning out your evening during the 2008 Knott’s Halloween Haunt! After your trip to the Haunt, let us know if you agree/disagree. EMAIL US. Have a hauntingly spooky time!