^That's what I was thinking. Looks much nicer than just slapping the park logo on the front of the train.
1: Lightning Run, 2: El Toro, 3: Maverick, 4: Xcelerator, 5: Voyage, 6: TTD, 7: Gold Striker, 8: El Loco (Vegas), 9: Millennium Force, 10: Kingda Ka Coaster Credits: 110 (89 steel, 21 wood); Last Coaster Credit: Raptor (CP) [8/22/14]; Last Park Credit: Waldameer [8/21/14] What a season pass??
Yesterday was the first ever Halloween Haunt Press Conference at Knott's Berry Farm, and TPR was there with David and Spears! Knott's put on this event to announce what's in store for Haunt 2013. They invited media and season pass holders to the Charles Schulz Theatre to reveal the mazes, scare zones, and shows that will entertain and scare you this Halloween season. The presentation was great, and the whole crowd was enthusiastic and excited for all the announcements - it was a lot of fun! Check out our full report below...
We're at Knott's Berry Farm to get the scoop on Haunt 2013!
Right after entering, we were greeted by a spooky host who pointed us to the Charles Schulz Theatre.
This was the line of season pass holders waiting to get in right before the theatre opened. Knott's has been doing a lot of special stuff to reward season pass holders lately (like morning ERT!), and this event was another great perk for pass holders.
The theater opened and the crowd funneled in.
Spears was in the Halloween spirit with her spooky spider ring. Even the weather got into the Halloween spirit - it was cool and drizzling outside - a rarity during the summer in So Cal!
As everyone settled in, monsters started appearing throughout the theater to scare guests.
This picture will haunt my dreams. He's looking right at me! Ahhhhh!
Lots of people got scared!
Jeff Tucker - Supervisor of Park Shows, Knott's Scary Farm Facebook guy, Author of "The Sixth Key," and white-sparkly-jacket-wearing-hero-of-West-Coast-Bash - came on stage to greet the crowd. Those who have seen Jeff on stage before know that he is always hilarious and he puts on a great show!
Jeff introduced (from left to right) haunt designers Brooke Walters, Daniel Miller, Timothy "Gus" Krueger, and Lara Hanneman.
They dove right in and started off by announcing the returning haunt mazes.
The first returning maze is Trick or Treat! You will once again get to trick or treat at the Witch's house to see the Witch, her tricksters, and the dead children she killed. This maze, along with all the returning mazes, will have some new surprises to keep them interesting for fans who have been through them before.
The next returning maze is Pinocchio Unstrung! An evil Pinocchio will once again be collecting dead bodies to cover his skin.
Daniel said Pinocchio Unstrung is, "Grotesque, twisted, and fun!" Only a haunt designer could say something is grotesque and fun!
Next up for the returning mazes - Delirium! I'm a fan of this maze, so I was happy to hear that it's returning. You enter the mind of a psychotic patient in an asylum and live her nightmares.
Endgames is also returning! It moved to a new location last year, and will remain in that location this year.
Also returning: The Slaughterhouse! This maze is the longest running maze currently at Haunt, and the beef on the menu is still not what it was advertised to be!
The Mine Ride will once again be turned into "The Witch's Keep." Last year this was an unadvertised maze for those who discovered it, and this year it will return once again. The Green Witch finds a cavern with energy that she uses to enslave everyone in the mine to do her bidding.
But enough about the returning mazes, here come the new mazes!
First up, Dominion of the Damned! Evolved from last year's Dominion of the Dead, this maze focuses on the King and adds more horror and more goth. There's also a deja vu theme - in one scene you will walk in and be seduced, and then in the next room that looks the same you will be murdered.
The next new maze is Forevermore!
Forevermore is a modern interpretation of Edgar Allen Poe's work. It's going to be extremely gory, and you will see the stories you know interpreted in a modern and horrific way.
Also new for 2013, Black Magic!
As a former magician and lover of magic, I'm excited for this maze.
You will tour a burnt out old theater, make contact with Harry Houdini and other demonic illusionists, and see an array of magic tricks gone wrong.
Next up, The Gunslinger's Grave!
Set in 1883 in the old west, a corrupt Mayor hires the Red Hand Gang to kill a local gunslinger who got too close to the Mayor's corruption. The gang burned down the gunslinger's house, killed his family, and thought they killed the gunslinger - but they were wrong - and now he's back for revenge. You will get to walk in the steps of the gunslinger on a path of revenge through the old west.
One neat thing to note about The Gunslinger's Grave is that when you are inside a building, you will actually be in a building, and when you walk outside, you will actually be walking outside. When you're outside, you'll feel dirt beneath your feet, and when you're inside you'll feel wood beneath your feet. This added level of realism should enhance the maze and make it seem more realistic.
Another new for 2013 maze: Mirror Mirror!
This one has the potential to be a standout maze. You will go through an actual mirror maze and have to find your way out with haunted touches throughout the maze.
The final new maze for 2013 is Trapped: The New Experiment!
Trapped was the extra scary, solve-puzzles-to-get-out, upcharge maze introduced last year. This year it's back - but it's totally new (no rooms will be re-used), longer, and even scarier than before. I loved Trapped last year, so I'm really excited to see what they'll do this year. Get your liability waivers and safe words ready! There will also be a Trapped VIP lounge that you can go in any time during the night if you've bought a ticket for Trapped that night.
On to the Scare Zones...
This year there will be 4 scare zones. Returning are Ghost Town, Carnevil, and Necropolis. New for this year will be Village of the Dead in Fiesta Village. As you can see in this pic, smoke began to appear on stage...
The lights turned green, monsters appeared, and all throughout the theater we could hear the cackle of The Green Witch!
She appeared on screen and announced that she will give everyone something to scream about!
The Green Witch will be back at Haunt this year - in Trick Or Treat, The Witch's Keep, and also roaming free with her band of tricksters.
Jeff Tucker fell to the floor and shivered in fear like a sissy little baby!
Knott's always has strong live entertainment during the year, and especially during Haunt. This year's shows will be Possessed - an opportunity for you to come face to face with ghosts, Carny Trash - a magician carny will take you on a tour of the legends of the carnivals, Cursed, The Blood Drums, Academy of Villains - they were featured on America's Got Talent, and of course, The Hanging will return.
The special guest for the evening was then introduced... Elvira!
Elvira said it was great to be back at Knott's after 12 years, and announced that she would be appearing every night of Haunt in the show "Elvira’s Sinema Séance!"
The monsters carried her luggage on stage since she'd be staying at Knott's awhile.
Jeff wished everyone a good night and that concluded the presentation.
The screen showed the Elvira and Knott's logos as everyone left the theater.
On the way out we took some pictures with the monsters.
Fans of R. Kelly's "Ignition" will know that, "after the show it's the after party." Lo and behold, outside there was an after party for members of the media. R. Kelly would be proud!
It was a scary after party!
There were props set up.
And spooky centerpieces on all the tables.
Of course Knott's pulled out all the stops and had food!
Lots of food!
All the desserts were so impressive!
But what's better than all the rainbows and all the unicorns in the entire universe? Free drinks!
And an ice dolphin OF DEATH!
Spears got wine!
It started drizzling, but thankfully some monsters were there to keep Spears dry.
We liked all the spooky flower displays they had.
You had to watch your back, because you never knew when someone would sneak up!
As night fell, there was lots of clowning around.
The clown tried to get Spears to look in his hat, but she refused!
Elvira came out and sat in a throne underneath the marquee.
Elvira posed for some photos.
Spears posed for some photos.
We were clearly having too much fun, because the night seemed to fly by, and before we knew it the letters were coming down on the marquee and the party was over.
Thanks Knott's for throwing such an awesome event and for inviting TPR to attend! We loved hearing about all the surprises in store for Haunt, and we can't wait to experience everything in the Fall! The first night of Haunt is September 26th... don't miss it! Thanks for checking out our report!
Last edited by ILoveRides on Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:15 am.
Looks like this is going to be the strongest haunt in a few years, good thing we were already planning on making multiple trips including on Halloween.
Gunslingers Grave sounds like my kind of maze, been waiting for an awesome Ghost Town/Old West maze. I'm assuming this will be where Fallout Shelter was? Maybe a new location in the middle of Ghost Town?
Academy of Villains was really great on AGT last year and I can remember my daughter and I saying they'd be great for Haunt.
I think they will make for great mazes, but at the same time I also feel like Knott's is trying too hard to be like HHN and drifting away from what they are best at: being "old fashioned" haunts. Having worked there from 2003-2008, I felt like the strength of Knott's is the talent having freedom to do almost anything with their characters. For example, I was a clown and in the Asylum...which meant I could be scary, fun, crazy, chase people through the maze because I fit in any room, and so on. Now all these mazes are more story based, so that flexibility goes away.
However, major props for Knott's for announcing everything so early and letting the hype build already!
Knott's put on a really great event in there. I think this will be Haunt's best year yet, judging by the line-up. It's great to see all of the lackluster mazes go by the wayside to make room for new ones that all sound like they'll be great.
I noticed that this year will feature two "firsts" for Knott's for the first time in MANY years. 1) There's no 3D mazes, which I find refreshing. They were getting tiring and it's good to see them go from 2 1/2 to zero. 2) This is the first time I've seen Knott's run a maze for only one year (Dominion, but I'm not counting Trapped). I'm really excited for this year and am glad to see Haunt become awesome again.
BTW, it was nice to see you both last night, David and Spears.
@Jew: The thing is, being "old-fashioned" with HHN rapidly gaining popularity would knott (Hehe) make them appealing for the GP or even the haunt fans. I appreciate the fact that they are going more towards a darker and aggressive approach which I feel they should move towards. My first year for Haunt was 2009 and since I've attended (Post-40th), I've noticed the monsters not caring for their roles and not getting into them. Unfortunately, I feel like this is a necessary evil since the monsters I have encountered (Especially from 2011) have abused their freedom to just be lazy and break character; there were a few good ones, but most of the monsters I have encountered just didn't care. Though others may disagree, I welcome this direction.
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