Knott’s Scary Farm 2019

k_peek_2000

Veteran Member
Jul 2, 2013
2,299
Orange County, CA
Well they sure as heck fooled me lol. Wax Works sounds interesting (thouhg I am not a huge fan of Miller's mazes as they focus too much on gross out and less on scenic). Glad to hear Cooke is taking on the huge task of telling Sarah Marshall's story. The puppet show looked hilarious, certain people in the crowd seemed super pumped about this show (which plays regularly at Henson studios) coming to KSF.
 
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GhostHost85

Rookie
Jul 24, 2019
139
I am now a lot more excited for this year. I wonder why they bothered making fake signs instead of just waiting till after the announcements to finish them. I get it that it is a marketing thing, but only hardcore fans go digging for stuff like that anyway.

I don't care about the shows, but both of the new mazes have a ton of potential.
 

k_peek_2000

Veteran Member
Jul 2, 2013
2,299
Orange County, CA
Here's somewhat of a breakdown of both mazes with artwork (to the best of their abilities). They're threads so you have to click on the thing to see the artwork lol


 
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RealSync

Newcomer
Aug 24, 2019
2
Really excited for Origins! Looks like an amazing maze. This will finally rap up the ghost town theories. Ghost town will live forever. But the rumors of Ghost Town will be cracked. :rip:
 

ChaseTuff

Veteran Member
Aug 15, 2015
1,014
This is more of a general question than anything, but I've always liked (even has someone whose never been to Knott's) hearing who creates each maze each year. So is it possible to get like a general chronology of the current big maze designers of Knott's about every maze they've worked on?
 

Tobias

Member
Feb 25, 2014
931
I am now a lot more excited for this year. I wonder why they bothered making fake signs instead of just waiting till after the announcements to finish them. I get it that it is a marketing thing, but only hardcore fans go digging for stuff like that anyway.
In ways, you essentially answered your own question. Knott's knows people are actively looking for anything, so why not mess with them a bit? "Devil's Den in 3D", "Red Barn II: Gunslingerz Revenge". Anything to both throw people off course and/or make them flip out.

An look what happened, people were thinking this was gonna' suck etc, only for Knott's to pull the rug right out from underneath and reveal the actual mazes which sound great, and now everyone's hyped! It was a great play, plain and simple.
 
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Dykealiscious

Newcomer
Dec 28, 2018
79
Hey all one of my travel companions cannot make it and I prepaid their theme park tickets. Anyone want a scary farm ticket for the 20th CHEAP? (Also have an HHN for 19th and a disney park hopper.) Super cheap. I'd like to not waste them.
 

k_peek_2000

Veteran Member
Jul 2, 2013
2,299
Orange County, CA
Quick recap of the night. Origins is pretty damn amazing. The set design, the layout, it feels like an HHN Orlando maze in terms of how compact but immersive it is. Wax Works is just okay to me. It felt like a standard Daniel Miller maze with what appeared to be a bigger budget. Has a clunky/boxy layout. Though it does have a few really big moments. The Hanging, I really want to love what they did but it's got issues. The humor is on point as usual but there's a massive plot twist right at the end and it just ends. Audience members dont know how to react or realize the shows over. Overall it's still a really good year. Small improvements all around.
 
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GhostHost85

Rookie
Jul 24, 2019
139
After being disappointed with the new mazes from 2018, I was glad that I ended up really liking the new mazes for 2019. This is definitely the best new year for mazes at Scary Farm in a long time. I know this won't be the popular opinion, but I love Wax Works, and like it even more than Origins. Wax Works is really gory and creepy, and the talking devil head on the facade is cool. It is hard to decide between Wax Works and Dark Ride when it comes to choosing my favorite maze of the year. I might give that to Wax Works since it is new.

Origins is great also and the experience actually starts in the queue with multiple actors throughout it. The scenic is great and the maze is very immersive. However, it relied too heavily on screen type effects for my tastes. It is still a really good maze though and it has some cool easter eggs for fans of Knott's. Casual audiences will definitely prefer Origins over Wax Works, but as a hardcore horror fan, I think I prefer Wax Works. Still, they are both great new mazes and usually only one of the new mazes is great.

Outside those two, Paranormal, Special Ops, and Dark Ride are all still great. Sadly, the new ending for Dark Ride doesn't amount to much as the gift shop is a very tiny area. The preshow in The Depths makes the experience worse since not much happens during it and it makes the line move really slow. I find The Depths to be pretty boring till near the end, so bigger fans of the maze might appreciate the preshow more.

All in all, this is definitely better than last year thanks to the strength of the new mazes. Halloween Horror Nights is the best overall event this year, but since Knott's and Universal are both having good years, I think this is the best year for SoCal Haunts since 2016.
 
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Freak

Veteran Member
Jan 10, 2013
3,792
No man's land: SoCal
Went to Knott's last night. Did just about all of the houses except for Special Ops. It was easily a 2 hour wait and I didn't feel like waiting much longer at the end of the night. Here are my thoughts (Note some spoilers may be said):

Wax Works was an absolutely beautiful maze. While I did get a couple of good scares in it, the line was over crowded. The ridiculously slow conga line kind of killed it. Hopefully next time I go I can get a much better run-through. There were some cool interactive elements in the maze where you push a button and some effects activate. I think that's what slowed the line down was people trying to see those elements. Other than that, it's a eerily beautiful maze and I'm glad to see something besides ToT take that spot. I just hope I get a better run-through. C+/B-

I got a great run-through of Paranormal and Pumpkin Eater. As weird as it sounds, PA hasn't grown long in the tooth just yet, but I hope they make it a flashlight maze. All of the returns are great, but I will saw that I'm kind of over the Shadowlands. I'm ready for it to go. Dark Ride's returning rooms were neat, but tiny. The gift shop was so small that if you blink you miss it. You don't even notice the gift shop until you are already at the door and have to turn around to look at it! As for the freight elevator in the Depths, I will quote Egon Spangler from GB 2 and say that it was "short but pointless". All it managed to accomplish was make the line way longer. It was so useless I actually hope they remove that scene next year.

Now let's talk about Origins.....WHOA. This might be Jon Cooke's magnum Opus. This was Universal Orlando quality good. Easily. Scares were on-point, detail was absolutely there, scenic and effects were incredible....probably my favorite KSF maze ever. They even had the Haunted Shack and Catawompus monster in there! Huge love letter for old-school Knott's fans. They had one section where it looked totally convincing that you were in a Western Town in that small space. They even added some water drops from the roof to make it look like it was raining. Like, wow. The level of immersion was incredible in the maze. Not to mention that it was very long! They really maximized the space in this venue. This maze alone was worth the trip. Dare I say that this one maze was probably better than anything HHN has ever done? A++

Overall, I liked Knott's this year. It's a shame they can't really afford to do more than two really good quality mazes a year, but I'd rather have one that's pretty good and one that's outstanding then four or five good-to-okay mazes. While HHN is pretty good this year, just seeing Origins does make me a little frustrated that HHN could easily do better and do multiple mazes on that calibur, but they won't. Origins is the kind of sound stage quality house I've been looking for HHN to do but the only really good SS house HHN has done was AVP. With that said, I had a great time and look forward to going back.
 

k_peek_2000

Veteran Member
Jul 2, 2013
2,299
Orange County, CA
While HHN is pretty good this year, just seeing Origins does make me a little frustrated that HHN could easily do better and do multiple mazes on that calibur, but they won't. Origins is the kind of sound stage quality house I've been looking for HHN to do but the only really good SS house HHN has done was AVP. With that said, I had a great time and look forward to going back.
HHN Hollywood has to work with a shoe-string budget. The people funding the event know that the IPs are the driving force, not necessarily the quality and they give Murdy and his team the bare minimum to service the locals and that's it. Until Comcast decides to fund the event more, they're stuck with what they have. Also AVP had a doubled budget because it was there for 2 years (that was the plan all along, but they advertised it as "back by popular demand" on its 2nd year).
 

deadbydawn

Rookie
Mar 23, 2015
178
Knott's is fantastic this year. Origins is a masterpiece for old school Knott's fans and Wax Works is phenomenal. Dark Ride is still up there as an all time favorite.
 
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Chris Galindo

Veteran Member
Feb 22, 2015
2,126
LA
Saw a POV of Origins - that looks phenomenal! Scares even looked off guard and not out in the open which I dislike about the Knott's formula.
 
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DTH

Member
Nov 7, 2016
764
From what I watched, it looks pretty dang good!
Other than the TV screens, it's solid. I understand why they used it once on Paranormal but to think, "hey, let's use these a dozen times on a brand new maze in 2019 even though it looks awful" is kinda baffling. It would ruin the immersion for me, which they build up very well in this maze. My other nitpick is the witch on the rail without having a roof. Every scene felt perfectly in place as if you were exploring that town. I think the thing it truly has is a sense of environment and most importantly, it stuck to its theme. Most KSF mazes go off the rails by the end, but the end for this had a nice sense of claustrophobia. Would love to see KSF do an IP like The Descent. I also love the scares in here that are ingrained in, they seemed to really think out scare spots instead of trusting the monsters (sometimes a great thing, most of the time awful).

I watched half of Wax and got bored. Looks like a very standard maze for them.
 

MacMillian Crew

Veteran Member
Jul 16, 2016
1,141
My wife, her two sisters, 3 of my grad school friends and all their spouses, 2 old high school friends, and I went Friday, and for sure both Origins and Wax Works were incredible! Definitely more water gags in the latter house than expecting. The robotics in that maze were also unexpected and unsettling (e.g. the mannequin scare). Origins surprised us with the detailed sets and claustrophobic scares. The most annoying thing of the night, however, was the pre-show room for the Depths. I'm in the minority when I say that I'm just not a fan of their pre-shows for mazes (e.g. Shadow Lands, Paranormal Inc., etc...). Granted, at least Paranormal Inc. shortened their pre-show to prevent large line build-ups outside. But one of my friends, who went opening night, even told me the pre-show for the Depths was unnecessary and underwhelming, and waiting in the longer line for that maze just annoyed us. By the time we made it to the front and entered, we had realized, as we were walking through the mining section, that they stopped doing the pre-show room for the night, which made the wait in line seem like even more of a waste of time. In all honesty, I just wish Knotts would do the skeleton key room thing again like in past years, which allows the guests who buy that ticket option to go and see whatever pre-show they have access to for whatever mazes, while the rest of us and just immediately enter the attraction. I also have to agree with Freak about the new rooms in Dark Ride, as it wasn't till my wife looked back as we were exiting that she pointed out the "gift shop" room was way too small and easy to miss. Felt they kinda over-hyped that new addition this year. Returning mazes in general were fine, with Pumpkin Eater delivering the most aggressive scares to our group. Shadow Lands and Paranormal Inc both felt tired, as the actors, at least when we went through, didn't seem too into it. I hope Paranormal is on it's last leg next year. Dark Entities was meh, and I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be a short-lived maze next year as well. Even took a break in the middle of the night to watch the Puppet Up show and was not disappointed in the slightest! However, definitely reconsider taking kids into that show, as the subject matter made the jokes from The Hanging look like a high school stand-up night. But the new mazes, Pumpkin Eater, and all the scare zone actors made our experience entertaining so I'd say a pretty good year in general!
 
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DTH

Member
Nov 7, 2016
764
Pumpkin Eater just may be their strongest maze of all time as it has consistently been strong even after it's debut year. Usually mazes fade into obscurity, like Shadow Lands or Paranormal as you mentioned, but every time I've been, Pumpkin Eater always ranks the highest for me in overall scares I received that night. They must be stocking that place with veterans.
 
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MacMillian Crew

Veteran Member
Jul 16, 2016
1,141
Pumpkin Eater just may be their strongest maze of all time as it has consistently been strong even after it's debut year. Usually mazes fade into obscurity, like Shadow Lands or Paranormal as you mentioned, but every time I've been, Pumpkin Eater always ranks the highest for me in overall scares I received that night. They must be stocking that place with veterans.
The actors in that maze are extremely aggressive and persistent with scaring guests, sometimes repeatedly in the same room. Given that it may not be as high-tech as some of the other mazes, or filled with outrageous scare tactics, the actors are motivated to really push the boundaries in it with guest interactions.
 

k_peek_2000

Veteran Member
Jul 2, 2013
2,299
Orange County, CA
I've seen the most intense scares in Pumpkin Eater from the nights I've been, there's something about the atmosphere of it that makes people uneasy. Though it's my least favorite maze of the event personally lol.
 

GhostHost85

Rookie
Jul 24, 2019
139
I had a weak run through of Pumpkin Eater on opening night. I think being tall (6'4) makes it so the scare actors go after me a lot less. Magic Mountain scare actors probably go after me more than the scare actors at USH and Knott's do, which is something that I appreciate about Fright Fest.

I would rate Pumpkin Eater 7th or 8th place for Knott's mazes, my bottom three are Pumpkin Eater, Dark Entities, and The Depths.