California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

Pg 1175: Cedar Fair purchases land that CGA sits upon.
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Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

Postby jray21 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:51 pm

This past Friday, Theme Park Review was invited to California's Great America for the 2016 Haunt media event! This event gets better and better every year and this year was no exception! This year, there are 6 mazes, 5 skeleton rooms, 3 scare zones, 4 shows, and 2 experiences! This is a must see event, and is worth every penny. They seem to be investing more time and money into this event every year as it's getting better and better! The mazes are looking very good, with great decorations and great theming. The shows were professionally done, and the skeleton key rooms were a lot of fun! They really seem to be stepping up their game! The lines weren't too long, but I absolutely recommend getting the Fright Lane Plus. Not only do you get to go to the front of the line for each maze, but it also includes the skeleton key rooms. The upcharge for the plus versus the regular Fright Lane works out to about $2 per skeleton key room, and that is definitely worth the price! I won't give anything away, but "Dominated" was one of the funniest and best things I've ever done at a Haunt event. It had great acting, and was a lot of fun. That was worth the $10 alone! I know a lot of people complain about all the extra charges, but if it's your only visit, it's definitely worth the money! The Boofet is also a great deal with some great food! It's only $14.95 (which is amazing when compared to food prices in the park) for all you can eat delicious food, and some possible visits from some monsters.

We also got to preview the new addition this year, FearVR! According to CGA, FearVR is
A groundbreaking virtual reality horror experience, FearVR uses Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus to come face- to-face with the paranormal chaos unraveling around you. Disturbingly vivid sights and sounds invade all of your senses. Encounter the darkness that has taken over the medical staff during your fully immersive hospital stay.
The cost seems reasonable at $10, and it's a pretty unique experience. I was also surprised at how well the "moving" portion worked. They can take up to 16 people at a time, but with anything VR, it can take a little time to get through so make sure you plan accordingly. However, when we went by later in the evening, it didn't seem to have a long line at all. Also, it may be better to do it at night since the hospital takes on a more sinister tone when it's dark outside.

The mazes this year are:

Wax Museum Chamber of Horrors (Our favorite)
Roadkill Roadhouse
Dia De Los Muertos
inSanitarium
Zombie High
Toy Factory
CornStalkers
Madame Marie's Massacre Manor

The skeleton rooms are:

Bone Crusher
Dominated (Our favorite)
Vanity
Sorority Slaughter
Hoarder House (Disgusting, but really good)

The scare zones are:

Evacuate
Killer Clown Town
Lockdown

The shows are:

Academy of Villains
Blood Drums
Nytewalkers
Ringmaster's Sideshow

The experiences are:

FearVR
Haunt Boofet

DISCLAIMER: The mazes do not allow any photography or video at all. We were given special permission to take some pictures in Madam Marie's Massacre Manor for the event. Please respect the rules and do not take any photos or videos in the mazes.
CGAHaunt001.jpg
Waiting to get into the parking lot for our first Halloween event of the season!
CGAHaunt002.jpg
Here for the media day!
CGAHaunt003.jpg
We got our ticket, map, and Fright Lane Plus pass with a really nice skeleton key that will be added to our keychain after the event!
CGAHaunt04.jpg
Patriot looks really nice, and the spiderwebs add a nice touch to the death of Vortex.
CGA Haunt 2016 - 5 of 84.jpg
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When the fog really kicks in, this place is pretty creepy.
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The skyway was closed for winter, and to use the area for mazes.
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We will be trying this out later!
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After we entered, they took us straight to FearVR for a preview. It's the orange building to the right.
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Getting ready for FearVR!
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The is were you "sign in" for your appointment and pay the office visit co-pay.
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While waiting, Amy does the scarecrow pose.
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Inside the hospital, waiting to be called in to see the doctor.
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Amy's a little nervous about what they'll find during her checkup.
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You can tell how much I love hospital visits!
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This is one of the skeleton key entrances. They were really easy to find with flashing lights. This one was Hoarder House, which was absolutely disgusting, but really good!
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This is the somewhat recently renovated picnic area. It's used for 49ers games as well, and is a huge upgrade over what was here before. They said there are over 50 big screens!
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There is also a nice photo op for Flight Deck. Unfortunately, they weren't testing it yet, but it was running at opening.
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I'm pretty sure this is where the Boofet takes place as well, but tonight it's for the media preview!
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The food was really good!
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Elizabeth served some amazing lemon chicken!
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Prime rib for the media event! I don't think I'm going to be leaving!
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They had some nice cookies and desserts
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I loved, and fully support, the Vortex tombstones! a
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These cookies were amazing!
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You know Haunt is about to start when you see the fog.
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Finally getting dark, bring on Haunt!
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First up was Madame Marie's Massacre Manor! (TPR was given special permission to take a few pictures inside. Please respect the rules and do not take any photos or videos in the mazes)
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First maze of the year! They did a great job and we jumped quite a few times!
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The theming was top notch!
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One of the ghosts is ready for the next victims....I mean guests.
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Just a normal room. I'm sure there's nothing scary in here.
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Uh oh, it looks like we disturbed the maid!
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Run!!!!
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Lots of creepy voodoo/séance stuff.
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And of course, a murder victim.
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Next up was our first skeleton key room! This one was Sorority Slaughter. It was pretty fun and scary. We've never done these in the past, but won't be skipping them anymore!
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Here's a general overview of the rules.
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These "Phantom" characters are at the entrance of all the skeleton key rooms.
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This was the Lockdown scare zone. They did a great job, and the guy in the wheelchair was really fun to watch!
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Is that a propane tank I see? That must mean.....
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FIRE!!!!!
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I love the fog that they have here sometimes, but fire is much better!
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It's looks really cool with the fire bursts going all night.
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Obligatory entrance picture.
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The lighting and decorations were really good.
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Next up is Insanitarium! It was a good solid maze.
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The scare zones had some great lighting and fog effects.
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Here's our favorite scare actor of the night!
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Next up was Dia De Los Muertos. The guy under one of the market stalls scared me more than anyone else that night!
CGA Haunt 2016 - 52 of 84.jpg
Roadkill Roadhouse was another solid maze.
CGA Haunt 2016 - 53 of 84.jpg
This was the Dominated Skeleton Key Room. Definitely the highlight of the evening!
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The Nytestalkers put on a great show.
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This guy would swing out over the audience on these Mad Max style poles.
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They also had acrobats and trampolines (like the La Nouba WDW trampolines).
CGA Haunt 2016 - 57 of 84.jpg
Good riddance to Vortex and hello Patriot!
CGA Haunt 2016 - 58 of 84.jpg
This was the Bone Crusher skeleton key room. Not our favorite, but fun for those who have never experienced the effect inside.
CGA Haunt 2016 - 59 of 84.jpg
The blood drums put on a good show as well.
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The drummers had a zombie Mad Max style about them.
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And they had fire!!
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It was a very well done show, and was a lot of fun.
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This was the Vegan Maze, also known as the Chicken restaurant. ;)
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Evacuate was another scare zone. There were a ton of hiding places to scare the crap out of people.
CGA Haunt 2016 - 67 of 84.jpg
One of the scare actors ready to do his best to scare some unsuspecting victims
CGA Haunt 2016 - 68 of 84.jpg
This group couldn't get through the area fast enough.
CGA Haunt 2016 - 69 of 84.jpg
Cornstalkers is a classic CGA maze and had some good scares.
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One of the better drop towers around!
CGA Haunt 2016 - 71 of 84.jpg
Toy Factory was really good! While the song alone is scary enough to drive you insane, they had some great decorations and some great scare actors.
CGA Haunt 2016 - 72 of 84.jpg
Amy liked that CGA coordinated the lamp light colors to match her shoes.
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We finally got to ride Mass Effect and we loved it! They did an amazing job with this attraction, and we were really surprised at how good it was.
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Sorry for the blurry picture, but this is why you get the Fright Lane pass! This line was one of the longest of the night and we got to walk right in with no wait!
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Going back to high school is definitely a nightmare!!
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Wax Museum was our favorite maze of the night! It's a great concept that worked very well, and it was really interesting seeing all the exhibits!
CGA Haunt 2016 - 77 of 84.jpg
This was one of the Sideshow performers. He did a great job!
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Unfortunately, we didn't get to see Academy of Villains. I guess we'll just have to come back!
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They should keep the blood fountains around all year!
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The Nytewalkers closed out the event and gave everyone a high five goodbye!
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The fog was really creepy and cool at the end of the night!
CGA Haunt 2016 - 82 of 84.jpg
It was actually creepy walking out at the end of the night with pretty much everyone gone.
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Luckily, Amy's shoes will light the way out.
CGA Haunt 2016 - 84 of 84.jpg
Thanks for following along! This was an amazing event, don't miss it!
Last edited by jray21 on Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:58 pm.
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Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

Postby XSupremacy » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:58 am

Welp, I'm happy I got on Fear VR while it lasted. It'll be sad if they don't bring this back any time soon.
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Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

Postby gerstlaueringvar » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:39 am

We can't have nice things.

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Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

Postby RAWKIN_coaster38 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:09 pm

^Am I missing something? Why do you two say that? If there's some sort of news, you should post the news instead of just commenting vaguely about it.
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Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

Postby coasterbill » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:14 pm

Sure, Americans (specifically Californians) are doing what they always do and inventing things to be offended about so Cedar Fair caved (again) because apparently Halloween is a time where we need to focus on sensitivity and making sure we don't upset anyone while jumping out at people from behind depictions of bloodied, mutilated bodies and trying to scare the sh*t out of them.

I'll post the story here in it's entirety to save you the click to the OC Register's clickbait minefield of a website.

Knott’s Berry Farm and its parent company, Cedar Fair, announced Tuesday that they are shutting down the Halloween attraction Fear VR after the feature caused concern among mental health advocates, including Saddleback pastor Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, who sent an email to the park Tuesday.

Mental health advocates nationwide emailed Knott’s and Cedar Fair administrators expressing their concern over the last week, that the portrayal of a possessed girl in a hospital as part of a virtual-reality horror show stigmatizes and denigrates individuals with mental illnesses.

In a statement, the amusement park, which is renowned for its popular Halloween event, Knott’s Scary Farm, said its evening attractions during Halloween are “designed to be edgy, and are aimed at an adult-only audience.”

“Over the past week, we have heard from a number of people expressing concern that one of our temporary, Halloween attractions – Fear VR – is hurtful to those who suffer from mental illnesses,” the statement said. “Contrary to some traditional and social media accounts, the attraction’s story and presentation were never intended to portray mental illness.”

Since it would be impossible for them to address those concerns with Halloween just around the corner, theme park officials said, they have decided to shut down the attraction in Buena Park and at two other Cedar Fair parks – California’s Great America in Santa Clara and Canada’s Wonderland near Toronto.

The immersive attraction, which opened Thursday, was built around a girl named Katie who shows up at a medical facility. It was originally titled and marketed as "FearVR: 5150." That number refers to a section of the California Welfare and Institutions Code, which authorizes a peace officer or clinician to involuntarily confine a person suspected of having a mental disorder that makes them a danger to themselves or others.

Knott’s and Cedar Fair dropped “5150” on opening day last week after it created an uproar in the mental health community nationwide.

Kay Warren and her husband have become vocal mental health advocates after their youngest son, Matthew, committed suicide at age 27 on April 5, 2013. They have spoken out about his long struggle with chronic depression.

Kay Warren said the ride’s original name struck a nerve because her late son was “held on a 5150” several times when he posed a danger to himself.

When she heard about the ride Monday, she took to Facebook and Twitter urging Knott’s to shut down the attraction, Warren said. On Tuesday, she added, they sent “a respectful email to (Knott’s) and received a respectful response.”

“I’m so grateful (Knott’s and Cedar Fair) listened to the voices of the mental health community,” she said.

Warren said she understands that many park-goers or community members may wonder “what the fuss is all about" or even think it’s absurd to shut down the attraction over the issue of mental health stigma.

“But, I get that someone wouldn’t know what that’s like unless they have a family member or themselves going through this pain,” Warren said. “We wouldn’t use a person suffering from cancer or heart attack and leverage it to create a thrill ride. It glorifies stigma and exacerbates people’s pain.”

Other mental health advocates who tried to get the park’s attention with letters and emails said they are pleased with the outcome.

“I feel good about what happened here,” said John Leyerle, president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Orange County. “Thankfully, this attraction will no longer further mental health stigma.”

He added that his organization would like to continue a dialogue with Knott’s.

“By closing this ride down, they’ve moved things away from a negative place,” Leyerle said. “We see this as an opportunity to talk about this if they are open to that.”


If you're this much of a p*ssy, don't go to a Halloween event.

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Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

Postby WOFanatic » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:26 pm

coasterbill wrote:Sure, Americans (specifically Californians) are doing what they always do and inventing things to be offended about so Cedar Fair caved (again) because apparently Halloween is a time where we need to focus on sensitivity and making sure we don't upset anyone while jumping out at people from behind depictions of bloodied, mutilated bodies and trying to scare the sh*t out of them.

I'll post the story here in it's entirety to save you the click to the OC Register's clickbait minefield of a website.

Knott’s Berry Farm and its parent company, Cedar Fair, announced Tuesday that they are shutting down the Halloween attraction Fear VR after the feature caused concern among mental health advocates, including Saddleback pastor Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, who sent an email to the park Tuesday.

Mental health advocates nationwide emailed Knott’s and Cedar Fair administrators expressing their concern over the last week, that the portrayal of a possessed girl in a hospital as part of a virtual-reality horror show stigmatizes and denigrates individuals with mental illnesses.

In a statement, the amusement park, which is renowned for its popular Halloween event, Knott’s Scary Farm, said its evening attractions during Halloween are “designed to be edgy, and are aimed at an adult-only audience.”

“Over the past week, we have heard from a number of people expressing concern that one of our temporary, Halloween attractions – Fear VR – is hurtful to those who suffer from mental illnesses,” the statement said. “Contrary to some traditional and social media accounts, the attraction’s story and presentation were never intended to portray mental illness.”

Since it would be impossible for them to address those concerns with Halloween just around the corner, theme park officials said, they have decided to shut down the attraction in Buena Park and at two other Cedar Fair parks – California’s Great America in Santa Clara and Canada’s Wonderland near Toronto.

The immersive attraction, which opened Thursday, was built around a girl named Katie who shows up at a medical facility. It was originally titled and marketed as "FearVR: 5150." That number refers to a section of the California Welfare and Institutions Code, which authorizes a peace officer or clinician to involuntarily confine a person suspected of having a mental disorder that makes them a danger to themselves or others.

Knott’s and Cedar Fair dropped “5150” on opening day last week after it created an uproar in the mental health community nationwide.

Kay Warren and her husband have become vocal mental health advocates after their youngest son, Matthew, committed suicide at age 27 on April 5, 2013. They have spoken out about his long struggle with chronic depression.

Kay Warren said the ride’s original name struck a nerve because her late son was “held on a 5150” several times when he posed a danger to himself.

When she heard about the ride Monday, she took to Facebook and Twitter urging Knott’s to shut down the attraction, Warren said. On Tuesday, she added, they sent “a respectful email to (Knott’s) and received a respectful response.”

“I’m so grateful (Knott’s and Cedar Fair) listened to the voices of the mental health community,” she said.

Warren said she understands that many park-goers or community members may wonder “what the fuss is all about" or even think it’s absurd to shut down the attraction over the issue of mental health stigma.

“But, I get that someone wouldn’t know what that’s like unless they have a family member or themselves going through this pain,” Warren said. “We wouldn’t use a person suffering from cancer or heart attack and leverage it to create a thrill ride. It glorifies stigma and exacerbates people’s pain.”

Other mental health advocates who tried to get the park’s attention with letters and emails said they are pleased with the outcome.

“I feel good about what happened here,” said John Leyerle, president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Orange County. “Thankfully, this attraction will no longer further mental health stigma.”

He added that his organization would like to continue a dialogue with Knott’s.

“By closing this ride down, they’ve moved things away from a negative place,” Leyerle said. “We see this as an opportunity to talk about this if they are open to that.”


If you're this much of a p*ssy, don't go to a Halloween event.

Halloween events have taken such a soft turn since the early 2010's.

"Oh, you don't want to be scared? Buy this No-Boo necklace."

"Oh, you only want to ride rides? Okay, we'll tuck the scarezones into small, discrete areas of the park."

Oh, the shows are too racy for you? We'll cover up the dancers and lighten up the jokes."

The biggest problem is the parks catering to whiny, sensitive people. It's an adult atmosphere. I don't care if you're 6 or 36. If you can't handle a Halloween event, save us all the hassle and don't f*cking go!
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Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

Postby ImNotOneOfYou » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:33 pm

WOFanatic wrote:
coasterbill wrote:Sure, Americans (specifically Californians) are doing what they always do and inventing things to be offended about so Cedar Fair caved (again) because apparently Halloween is a time where we need to focus on sensitivity and making sure we don't upset anyone while jumping out at people from behind depictions of bloodied, mutilated bodies and trying to scare the sh*t out of them.

I'll post the story here in it's entirety to save you the click to the OC Register's clickbait minefield of a website.

Knott’s Berry Farm and its parent company, Cedar Fair, announced Tuesday that they are shutting down the Halloween attraction Fear VR after the feature caused concern among mental health advocates, including Saddleback pastor Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, who sent an email to the park Tuesday.

Mental health advocates nationwide emailed Knott’s and Cedar Fair administrators expressing their concern over the last week, that the portrayal of a possessed girl in a hospital as part of a virtual-reality horror show stigmatizes and denigrates individuals with mental illnesses.

In a statement, the amusement park, which is renowned for its popular Halloween event, Knott’s Scary Farm, said its evening attractions during Halloween are “designed to be edgy, and are aimed at an adult-only audience.”

“Over the past week, we have heard from a number of people expressing concern that one of our temporary, Halloween attractions – Fear VR – is hurtful to those who suffer from mental illnesses,” the statement said. “Contrary to some traditional and social media accounts, the attraction’s story and presentation were never intended to portray mental illness.”

Since it would be impossible for them to address those concerns with Halloween just around the corner, theme park officials said, they have decided to shut down the attraction in Buena Park and at two other Cedar Fair parks – California’s Great America in Santa Clara and Canada’s Wonderland near Toronto.

The immersive attraction, which opened Thursday, was built around a girl named Katie who shows up at a medical facility. It was originally titled and marketed as "FearVR: 5150." That number refers to a section of the California Welfare and Institutions Code, which authorizes a peace officer or clinician to involuntarily confine a person suspected of having a mental disorder that makes them a danger to themselves or others.

Knott’s and Cedar Fair dropped “5150” on opening day last week after it created an uproar in the mental health community nationwide.

Kay Warren and her husband have become vocal mental health advocates after their youngest son, Matthew, committed suicide at age 27 on April 5, 2013. They have spoken out about his long struggle with chronic depression.

Kay Warren said the ride’s original name struck a nerve because her late son was “held on a 5150” several times when he posed a danger to himself.

When she heard about the ride Monday, she took to Facebook and Twitter urging Knott’s to shut down the attraction, Warren said. On Tuesday, she added, they sent “a respectful email to (Knott’s) and received a respectful response.”

“I’m so grateful (Knott’s and Cedar Fair) listened to the voices of the mental health community,” she said.

Warren said she understands that many park-goers or community members may wonder “what the fuss is all about" or even think it’s absurd to shut down the attraction over the issue of mental health stigma.

“But, I get that someone wouldn’t know what that’s like unless they have a family member or themselves going through this pain,” Warren said. “We wouldn’t use a person suffering from cancer or heart attack and leverage it to create a thrill ride. It glorifies stigma and exacerbates people’s pain.”

Other mental health advocates who tried to get the park’s attention with letters and emails said they are pleased with the outcome.

“I feel good about what happened here,” said John Leyerle, president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Orange County. “Thankfully, this attraction will no longer further mental health stigma.”

He added that his organization would like to continue a dialogue with Knott’s.

“By closing this ride down, they’ve moved things away from a negative place,” Leyerle said. “We see this as an opportunity to talk about this if they are open to that.”


If you're this much of a p*ssy, don't go to a Halloween event.

Halloween events have taken such a soft turn since the early 2010's.

"Oh, you don't want to be scared? Buy this No-Boo necklace."

"Oh, you only want to ride rides? Okay, we'll tuck the scarezones into small, discrete areas of the park."

Oh, the shows are too racy for you? We'll cover up the dancers and lighten up the jokes."

The biggest problem is the parks catering to whiny, sensitive people. It's an adult atmosphere. I don't care if you're 6 or 36. If you can't handle a Halloween event, save us all the hassle and don't f*cking go!


The No-Boo necklaces are probably a way for parks to capitalize on people that don't like being scared, but I agree with the rest.
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Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

Postby RAWKIN_coaster38 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:47 pm

While I do think avoiding adding to stigma (for any stigmatized groups, whether it be mental health, race, gender, sexuality, or disability) is important, and I could agree with changing the name (although most people probably wouldn't even know what a 5150 is), I don't really see how this VR qualifies as adding to mental health stigma. Maybe someone who rode it could weigh in?
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Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

Postby XSupremacy » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:48 pm

I'm kinda pissed about this, because this could end up being a dangerous precedent. They should shut down Insanitarium because it makes fun of insane people. They should shut down Toy Factory because not all Toy factories are murder dens. Sorority Slaughter should be shut down because there is no fraternity slaughter. Killer Clown Town should be shut down because many clowns do not murder people
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Re: California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread

Postby XSupremacy » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:50 pm

RAWKIN_coaster38 wrote:While I do think avoiding adding to stigma (for any stigmatized groups, whether it be mental health, race, gender, sexuality, or disability) is important, and I could agree with changing the name (although most people probably wouldn't even know what a 5150 is), I don't really see how this VR qualifies as adding to mental health stigma. Maybe someone who rode it could weigh in?

I rode it on the media preview, and you're right. The only thing is that you are a mental patient and go in for a test. That is literally the only time it mentions mental illness
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