*spoilers here if anyone plans to visit the Haunt this month*
Well I lost my camera, so unfortunately there's no photo TR to be had, but figured i would write this to give people an idea of what Wonderland's Haunt is like this year! I'm not too experienced with amusement park Halloween events, so keep in mind this is written by someone who hasn't been to events such as Halloween Horror Nights
It was definitely an improvement over last year, which was rather mediocre in my opinion. Of the 10 mazes from last year, one was removed and 2 were moved and given a major overhaul, along with a new maze being added. Last year's lame vampire show was replaced with an even lamer show called Psycho Circus. Anyways, here are my reviews of the individual mazes (sorry if they're a bit long, I tend to write a lot more than I need to):
First up was Blood on the Bayou, this was our brand new maze, and it was just awesome. As the name suggests, this maze is based on the Louisiana Bayou, and actually has you walk through the swampy area, along with a few houses with rooms dealing with Voodoo magic. The entrance to the maze is in somebody's home and has some usual haunted house scares, but then you walk out the backyard and onto a boardwalk with loose boards that actually sink down when you step on them. As you continue, the fog gets thicker until you go into the actual swampy area. It is very foggy in here, but that it what makes it work. If you look down, you can see the surface of the bayou's water, along with some "islands" popping up here and there. In the distance you can make out trees through the fog, it actually looks (and smells!) like a real swamp. As you continue down the boardwalk, weird slimy looking scareactors appear in the fog and jump towards you. You pass through a creepy looking gazebo thing, continue on for a bit then the path turns into a back porch. You enter the house attached to it, and find a room filled with voodoo things, scareactors shaking weird things, and has what looks like dried bodies hanging from the ceiling. You exit this house and go back through the swamp, passing a tree with a bunch of bodies and skeletons hanging from it, then continue through the swamp. The rest of the maze is similar to the first part, passing through a house and the swamp, by the end the swamp is very foggy, and the lights do a great job of showing the trees through the fog. Definitely my favourite maze I've seen at Wonderland, the swamp rooms are absolutely stunning.
Next up was Blood Shed, one of the relocated mazes. Blood Shed was originally in the theatre that Blood on the Bayou is now in, and was understaffed, long, and mediocre. This year it is probably the most intense maze at the park, slightly shorter, and is generally a great improvement. The maze is based on a barn full of posessed farmhands and rabid animals. Hands will grab you through spaces between boards on the walls, actors will jump out from every place imagineable, and some passages are so dark you can't see two feet ahead of you, making you rely on feel to get through. The music here changes as you get deeper into the barn, the most notable is the chicken coop, which has a very intense and loud sound clip of what sounds like chickens being slaughtered. The only slightly annoying thing in this maze was that one scareactor was showing off a freshly decapitated head to all the guests, and blocked their path for a good 10-20 seconds, causing a huge line to form, and once somebody stops for even a second, the line will back up and go slowly for the rest of the maze. This was great the first time we went through, since we were the only two people in there, but the second time through there was a large line caused by it.
Cornstalkers was third, and was moved from along a path in the back of the park to the forest surrounding our rapids ride. The change was a vast improvement. Last year this maze was short, and basically just sucked. This year however, it was darker, longer and had a great atmosphere throughout. Obviously themed to a cornfield, the scareactors were doing a great job of blending into the corn and hiding behind stalks of it. They even added a split path (labeled "Dead" and "More Death", lol.). Some parts of the path got so full or corn, you actually had to push stalks apart to pass through. After a year it has gone from from being a lame maze to a great one! Good job Wonderland!
Miner's Revenge was next on the list for us. This maze is themed to a mine that had a cave in, causing the miners working here to be trapped and die, without anyone sending rescue teams for them. They are now back from the dead to seek revenge on those that did not help them. This was my favourite maze last year, but only has some slight tweaks this year. Last year one of the tunnels was pitch black, but had boxes randomly placed, meaning you would randomly walk into a crate without seeing it. They added more lanterns to that tunnel, which helps a lot. Another room has muddy ground, and fog pouring in from between the rocks (they placed this where the waterfall in White Water Canyon is, nice use of the rocky wall there). They added a split path to this maze as well, with a scareactor directing you where to go. One path has you ducking through tunnels to get through, while the other path has you squeeze through walls and corners that get thinner and thinner, nicely done. It has a great finale, of a tunnel that keeps shrinking and shrinking, complete with cobwebs that will get stuck in your face and hair. Once you emerge from the small end of that tunnel, you enter a long tunnel heading up with a bright floodlight aimed directly at you, causing you to see nothing but the light, and a few silhouettes of people ahead of you (seeing the people in the light looks amazing by the way). You must continue "walking towards the light" until you get to the end and emerge back into open space. This maze also had the best scare of the night, just as I was coming through the shrinking tunnel, I went to swat a cobweb out of my hair while a scareactor jumped right in front of me, I must have jumped a foot! Still one of my favourite mazes.
Clowns at Midnight was next, a maze themed to a circus where all the performers died in a fire, and all I will say is that it is the worst maze there. It used to be half decent, but they changed it last year to be "3D" and now it just plain sucks. They couldn't even put together a good mirror room (they did in another maze, keep reading!). Terrible maze, should have been removed. Nothing good to say about it.
Mother Noose was the next maze we did, the other maze they switched to "3D" last year. Guess what? It's horrible as well. Wonderland should just keep away from the gimmick of 3D, it doesn't work here. The scareactors were doing well though, which redeems it slightly. The Queen of Hearts in the Alice room was great. Another maze that should get rid of the 3D gimmick or be removed for a better maze.
After those two suckfests we went to Red Beard's Rage, themed to a pirate ship that disappeared one night, but has now mysteriously reappeared, with the pirates being stuck halfway between life and death, unable to live life, but unable to die. While not the greatest maze, it still wasn't terrible. It had a few cool rooms, like one where you cross the deck of the ship, and if you look up, you see a starry night that looks beautiful. Another cool room is one with a bunch of portholes, and if you look out, you see a bluish coloured room with bubbled and a few scareactors that looks like sea creatures, it looks really cool. The scareactors were doing a great job here, with many of them working with eachother, with one leading you right into another to pack a one-two-punch. Great job from the scareactors here, good maze.
Next up was Kingdom of Carnage, a castle maze where the prisoners were tortured in various ways. This maze was pretty much tied with Red Beard's Rage. Some cool rooms like walking outside through the courtyard, pushing a bunch of chains out of the way, only to come face to face with a scareactor, and rooms with the various torture machines and victims. Nothing stands out too much, but still a solid maze.
Our second last maze of the night was The Asylum, which was shockingly themed to an asylum. Not much has changed since last year, but last year the scareactors were not very good when I went. This year they were much better, and a few really stood out. The ones behind bars and glass/plastic walls were great at looking insane. This is the maze that had an actual GOOD mirror room, the group ahead of us went into a dead end, so we walked past them laughing, then one of the scareactors was blocking the correct path, and pointed to what looked like a different path, so I went where he pointed. Needless to say, I walked right into a mirror, turned around laughing at my stupidity while the scareactor laughed and screamed I GOT YOU I GOT YOU! in a hysterical voice, sounding like someone in a mental asylum would. That was defintiely one of the highlights of the night for me.
Finally, we did Club Blood. As you all know, it is themed to a night club run by vampires. There were a few references to Twilight that I laughed at, and the main dance floor room was really well done. Too bad the vampire cage dancers don't really do much for a gay guy
. I'm not sure if the other versions of Club Blood have a split path with one being the "normal" path out of the dance floor and one being to the VIP section, but ours does, and I was a bit upset when we were never let into the VIP section last year. Well this year we did, and it was pretty cool in there. You see people being brainwashed in the back, and some people stuck in chairs watching sheep on tv screens (is this a reference to Twilight vampires not drinking human blood? I laughed when I thought of it, but not sure if it was intended or not). Overall a good maze, didn't notice any changes from last year though. The one way mirror that looks into the dance floor is pretty funny to look through later in the maze where you see the guests walking through and staring at the vampire chicks
. Anyways, one of the better mazes at Wonderland again this year, and hopefully it will change a bit more next year so it doesn't become boring and too repetitive.
Psycho Circus, the show, was just terrible. If you want to see girls in skimpy outfits pole dancing (and a guy fully dressed for about 5 seconds), a guy get a broom shoved up his A$$, Justin Bieber, Lindsay Lohan, and jokes about how stupid Americans are, come see it. That was basically everything the show had to offer, and was not funny at all. The older couple sitting next to us looked understandably disgusted after the show, the show description is "Mayhem reigns at the Psycho Circus where rockin' freaks meets creepy comedy. There were no freaks and no "creepy comedy", all there was was pole dancing and lame jokes. Oh well.
The park atmosphere was a lot better than in previous years, with many more people in costume walking around, and more fog, but not enough to obscure your vision. Some of the outfits near the front gates are just stunning, especially the "rennaisance" like ones with the white masks. Don't know how else to describe them, but yeah.
Well, I told you I tend to write a lot, sorry about that! Hope you enjoyed my long A$$ review, thanks for reading!