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Six Flags Fright Fest 2018 (Magic Mountain)

Discussion in 'Other California Parks' started by Wesker69, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. SpookySkeletini

    SpookySkeletini Newcomer

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    If anyone’s interested; I’m going to be there tonight for opening night, and I’ll post updates every so often and pics on my Twitter - the username is SSkeletini
     
  2. Freak

    Freak Veteran Member

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    I might go some night. Let me know how the three new mazes are!
     
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  3. Wesker69

    Wesker69 Veteran Member

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    I'm curious to hear your thoughts on the overall event, mazes, scarezones & Voodoo Dolls performances... Last year was REALLY good, with "Dead End" being the only weak link for mazes. I had friends that did media for the event tonight. They were underwhelmed, however did enjoy Aftermath, Reds Revenge & Hell Fest. Also enjoyed Exile Hill & City Under Siege scarezones. Otherwise. they were not impressed, nor did they have the best experience. So I'm curious to hear your take..

    The only night I can go is next sunday the 23rd. I don't care how the 3 new mazes are, I'm just wanting a good overall experience at the event in general.

    It seems like budget cuts are severely noticeable
     
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  4. SpookySkeletini

    SpookySkeletini Newcomer

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    So, having attended opening night, I thought that Fright Fest was pretty great overall. However, I have never seen an event so ill prepared for their opening EVER.

    Usually with the first night, not everything is quite finished, but it’s never as extreme as this. The scarezones, while most of them pretty solid with great talent and ambiance, some seemed to be really lacking with lighting and set pieces. The worst of it were with the some of mazes, as for whatever reason, they decided to have their fire inspections in the middle of opening night! Halting the lines for about 45 minutes! Just AWFUL. Hopefully all of this gets ironed out by the second weekend.

    The night really was saved by the high energy of the talent and their amazing makeup (best makeup of all of the theme park haunts, in my opinion) and the (mostly) solid mazes-

    Sewer of Souls was unexpectedly strong, and my personal favorite. Lots of gags are used in this - there’s a puppet scare, inflatable walls, a really great effect with mirrors just to name a few. There’s also a lot of oddball scenes that are weird, but unexpectedly cool and different. The 3D effect is kind of an afterthought in this one, as it really doesn’t do anything for the experience, so I wouldn’t bother with the glasses (as a matter of fact, they make everything a little blurry, ruining the details inside!).
    Talent was also nice and aggressive. Overall, it was great!

    Condemned: Forever Damned was visually amazing. There was so much detail everywhere, you can tell there was so much effort put into this. The effects were all top notch and had a lot of thought put into them, as you really feel like you’re squeezing (hint hint) through this disgusting house. The scares were alright, as you did have some just standing around in the open but also some curtain and drop window gags that are well hidden in the excellent theming. I’d visit this multiple times just to appreciate the effort put into the sets and detail!

    HellFest is the only dud in the lineup. There are mazes at HHN that feel like cynical advertisements, but nothing like this. Right off the bat the facade is pretty boring and low effort (even for Six Flags), and unfortunately that seems to foreshadow what’s to come inside. The entire maze is a very poor retooling of the attraction that sat in there before it, as half of the rooms are virtually unchanged. The new rooms are kind of pretty, but are designed poorly for scares, as they were either much to obvious, boring, or too open for the poor talent to work with. Some new effects looked alright, but they just weren’t scary as they weren’t well utilized. The maze also seemed to lack a soundtrack, which is odd. This felt like a poor, jumbled, half-hearted ad that Six Flags jumped on just for the cash, and I couldn’t have been more disappointed.

    The returning attractions (Red’s Revenge, Willoughby’s Resurrected, and Aftermath 2) were all pretty solid and were still going strong after years of being there. I didn’t bother with any of the shows, as none of them interested me personally.

    Though it definitely isn’t perfect, Fright Fest was still ultimately pretty strong. So strong that I would like to visit again in the season, as by then they should have all those annoying kinks worked out. All in all, it was pretty great this year.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
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  5. Rideguy70

    Rideguy70 Member

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    I replied on your twitter, but I attended a walk-through of the Condemed house about a week ago. That one was impressive, it looked to be Knott's level detail (which is also impressive, especially when it's all done in-house).

    I noticed that there was a LOT of construction going on at Hell Fest... in fact, at that time (a week ago, mind you) the facade still was Vault 666. When I asked management, they said it was 75% done with construction. So if you ask me, I can't believe they had it open at all.

    That said, I would hope that maybe in a few more weeks, they'll get the kinks out, put in more finishing touches (maybe the sound design wasn't even done yet?), the scareactors will find their rhythm, and maybe things will improve for Hell Fest. *fingers crossed*
     
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  6. SpookySkeletini

    SpookySkeletini Newcomer

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    I hope HellFest does get better as well, but unfortunately I don’t think there’s a lot that can save it.
     
  7. Wesker69

    Wesker69 Veteran Member

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    At least we still have a fun looking horror movie to look forward to!!!

    Whats funny is, my friends who did media last night enjoyed Hell Fest, but it was their first time attending the event, so they've never experienced Vault 666, so maybe Six Flags is hoping for more "new guests" vs "returning". Surprisingly, they hated Sewer, but of course they had the fire safety check thingy while waiting for that maze. -shrugs-

    ^This was highly noticeable on thursday. While at the park today, I noticed up on Exile Hill by Sewer, they now have chains & bones hanging from the trees..... instead of the normal white stretchy cobweb. It looks terrible. I'll post pics once I upload them. Also, they apparently DON'T have all of the Fright Fest merch yet (the excuse I got today: "well we're 365 now, so things will be slower & we did just open fright fest last night" :look: I pointed out thats not how things work & they had A LOT of merch last year for opening night/weekend).
     
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  8. DTH

    DTH Member

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    Guess I'll be skipping again, like always. Oh well.
    I can deal with poor mazes, but poor operations is a big no-no.
     
  9. Wesker69

    Wesker69 Veteran Member

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    Guess you'll never go to the park during non-haunt season ever either :rolleyes:

    While I will give the park SOME slack, I will be going with low expectations on sunday despite the event being really great & enjoyable last year. Its like last year was 2016's HHN, while this year is HHN's 2017 :look: Hopefully it was just opening weekend jitters & the event will have a better 2nd weekend. :shrug:

    Here is SOME merch pics... still no where near what they had last year, but apparently they're taking their sweet ass time with getting their merch shipments which is unacceptably terrible when your haunt event opened last weekend. Sorry for the crap quality, I was in a hurry...
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    Here are two of the special Fright Fest desserts that can be purchased while at the event (yes, you can use your dining pass "snack" for these)
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    ^"Spookies n Cream" dippin' dots & "Graveyard Pudding"

    I've got a few other "daytime" pics of event stuff, once i've gone through them I'll post them. Since some of the stuff wasn't up yet for opening weekend :deadhorse:
     
  10. DTH

    DTH Member

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    Actually, yeah lol I hardly go there anymore, sadly. I went there last year for the first time in maybe 4-5 years. It's such a horribly designed park, it's incredibly inconvenient doing anything or going anywhere in that place. It's like a half mile walk from ride exit to the next ride's entrance, I just don't get it.
     
  11. Wesker69

    Wesker69 Veteran Member

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    ^This. And sadly it is the same for Fright Fest... 3 mazes at the front, 2 on Samurai Summit, 1 next to Apocalypse in the back. (even though they have the space to have a maze between DC Universe & Tidal Wave like in the past. Just needs to be cleared out). Scarezones are just as bad- The next scarezone after Demon's Door to the right is not until DC Universe OR Screampunk District. If you go left, you don't hit another scarezone until AFTER you pass Viper. If you take the Honda Express up Samurai Summit, you have Exile Hill by Ninja & those 2 mazes. The other 2 scarezones are in Metropolis & the bottom half of the Roaring Rapids midway closer to Aftermath.

    This park is way too big to not have more scarezones or at least decorated & spooky lighting. Its a haunt event, but too much "dead space".

    Oh and to add onto the epic womp womp failure.... :thud:
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    ^The event opened last weekend.... and yet, there is still a ticket option "coming soon". And the event map is also still "coming soon" :thud:
     
  12. SpookySkeletini

    SpookySkeletini Newcomer

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    Yes, the park really is too big for it’s own good; however it’s a necessary evil if you’re gonna have 20 roller coasters built on this massive mountain. It’s just how it is, unfortunately.

    Adding more scare zones would probably hurt them, as they have trouble hiring talent so they’re very limited (in fact, just a couple of years ago they did have more zones, but half of them were completely empty because they didn’t have enough people to fill them with!).

    However that definitely doesn’t excuse the lack of lighting and decor in lots of stretches around the park. All you need is some spooky lighting or even some pumpkins or scare cloth. The missing ticket package is also ridiculous as well.
     
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  13. Wesker69

    Wesker69 Veteran Member

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    - Their failure is NOT having a multitude of flat rides/dark rides and/or shows to fill in the void between those 20 coasters. Let alone proper dining areas like Full Throttle Bar (the ONLY sit down table service in the park.... I'd even take something like 3 Broomsticks!)

    And yes, that is an issue when you have 3 other major haunt events competing nearby... and now a 4th with WB. The problem doesn't necessarily revolve around not being able to get enough scareactor talent, its just they want to be cheap & not hire as many as they should. They want the bare minimum. Just look at how the regular daytime park operations are being handled... always hiring, but never fully staffing.

    I saw extremely great potential last year when I attended the event, but their poor choices this year have made me less than impressed & I haven't even gone yet. lol
     
  14. DTH

    DTH Member

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    I used to think that maybe it had to do with how many coasters there were, but then I thought about other theme parks in So Cal, like Knotts. They have Silver Bullet really close to Sierra Sidewinder. Boomerang and now Hang Time, Coast Rider and Xcelerator are in a nice triangle next to each other, a half a minute walk at most to each other. Jaguar and Montezuma's literally loop through each other.
     
  15. Rideguy70

    Rideguy70 Member

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    Something to consider in the price point... Fright Fest is the cheapest by far, and I think that's their "in". As much fun as HHN, WB, DH, etc. are, they're also pretty dang expensive.

    The fact they've done as much as they have for the price they charge is actually quite impressive. To do a lot more would require a large ticket price hike, and to be honest, I don't think we'd really end up getting our money's worth out of it. SFMM knows their price point, and their place in the Haunt market. They just have to keep up, not necessarily be the best.

    I'm quite happy to be paying a much lower price, and get the quality we already are. It's a "budget" haunt, and in that realm, a good one. What other haunts out there give you as much as they do for that price?
     
  16. Chris Galindo

    Chris Galindo Veteran Member

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    Fright Fest is so fun and slept on. i like it better than KSF. If the scare actors were better trained this would no doubt be #2 in SoCal among the popular events
     
  17. SpookySkeletini

    SpookySkeletini Newcomer

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    Well I’d argue that Knott’s coasters are much more compact compared to Magic Mountain’s. You make a good point for Silver Bullet, but it’s literally placed “on top of” the park, and it sticks out like a sore thumb. SB is actually a good example as to why Knott’s shouldn’t get gigantic coasters at all.

    MM probably likes using all that space that they have too, so they spread out the coasters to make traversing the whole park worthwhile (though they should fill some of that in with flat rides or restaurants).
     
  18. Freak

    Freak Veteran Member

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    I’m hoping to stop by this Sunday evening but they close at 11. How crowded do you all think it’s going to be tomorrow at the time FF starts?

    I’m asking because tomorrow night will probably be my one shot to do that this year since their nights are so limited. I’m not going to get there until the event starts. Am I going to have to shell out the extra $$$$ just to see the new mazes?
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
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  19. Wesker69

    Wesker69 Veteran Member

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    So after working 12 days straight, yea... Fright Fest was a "no go" for me tonight. Really wanted to go, but I needed the rest. I'll try to hit it up another night. Blah.. Anyway, here are the pics I never got around to posting because... well... I worked 12 days straight lol.. :chainsaw:

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    Witches Lair (scarezone)
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    ^awkward signage placement is awkward.... just like the awkward scarezone placement in this HUGE open concrete area of emptiness infront of Justice League & Riddler

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    ^The "welcome to Ash Valley" sign wasn't put back up until AFTER opening weekend...

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    Sewer of Souls
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    ^The actual entrance for the maze, despite that great looking sewer drain opening out front.. :huh: Also... gee, I wonder who is sponsoring this maze :rolleyes:

    EXILE HILL (scarezone)
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    ^So this year, instead of the white stretchy cobwebs similar to the neon ones found in the "Nightmarez" scarezone they had last year... Now the trees have chains & bones... because sure why not. Its not like it isn't completely random or anything... oh wait. :rolleyes: As you can see, the chains & bones are not that noticeable even in the daytime. We all know that Six Flags fails in the lighting department, so you can imagine how not-so-visible this crap must be.

    What they should have done with the chains & bones is used them in their new scarezone "The Shadows", or hell... even in "Terrortory Twisted". Just not this part of the park... sigh.

    [​IMG]
    ^The chains were up on sunday... this pic was taken on monday morning :look::lol: Gotta love the quality & effort made here... they didn't get around to "fixing it" until tuesday. :deadhorse:
     
  20. Fallow

    Fallow Veteran Member

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    Impulsively decided to attend this for the first time! My thoughts & rankings:

    1) Willoughby's Resurrected: wow! This maze was legitimately impressive, with a litany of clever effects (some off the shelf, some more lovingly DIY) that together built a consistent, dread-inducing atmosphere. Really loved that the first few rooms were so quiet... you rarely see a maze embrace the value and creepiness of silence. Once the scares started, they were relentless and cleverly placed. The bathroom, fireplace, and organ setups were standouts, and the cast here was on-point. Easy favorite of the night.

    2) Sewer of Souls: Really strong 3D maze with effective projection mapping, gross-out elements, and physically-uncomfortable features. The air bladders are always a treat and well-used here, but I especially marveled at their use of the "endless floor" mirror gag! The use of puppets was also commendable for a haunt of this scale; I thought the giant rat was frankly more intense and animated than the wolves at HHN this year. Another enthusiastic cast that made great use of their disorienting environment.

    3) Red's Revenge: Beautiful, homemade Scary Tales-feel. The preshow was a nice touch that helped contextualize what follows. The scale of some of the sets were great, and I really dug the overhead, monologuing Red; a great sense of showmanship here. The cast could have been a bit more aggressive, as I felt the environments almost trumped their energy at times, but there were definitely a handful of strong scares here, especially from the wolves.

    4) Aftermath 2: Appreciate the effort on the preshow video, though the acting quality was pretty lacking. I was most enamored with the sheer scale and openness of the sets here... they absolutely do not skimp on the fog, and at times we were wandering around aimlessly, which led to some brutal scares. The fireballs led to a number of "wow" moments, as did the pockets of more contained, fog-infested quarantine areas. The only thing holding this maze back was the ratio of soldiers to zombies/monsters; two-thirds of the maze was (effectively energetic) soldiers telling us to run or keep moving, but I didn't really get "why" until the very end. The more Lovecraftian beasts were super compelling when they did appear, I just wanted more.

    5) Condamned: Not quite feeling the love for this one. It was packed with details and gorgeous, to be sure, and I really liked the amount of crouching and enclosed spaces we had to navigate, but the scares and cohesiveness just weren't there for me; it wasn't quite clear what the plot or conceit was beyond "random monsters in a house." Some rooms felt more "cool" but random than actually scary, like the mini arcade. Maybe we just hit at an off-moment.

    6) Hellfest: Echoing everyone else, this felt like a bit of a hobbled-together advertisement. The cast in here was really trying and I commend their efforts, but the maze design was all over the place, the scare placements so-so, and the main baddie kind of underwhelming (which doesn't spell well for the film).

    Many of the coasters ran in the dark and had very short lines; managed to get on Twisted Colossus, Scream, Full Throttle, Tatsu, and Goliath without waiting more than ten minutes for each.

    My biggest complaint is the scare zones; with the exception of City Under Siege, none of the scare zones were staffed. No joke - did not see a single scare actor in Nightmares, Shadows, Witch's Lair, or the steampunk one (there was a stilt exiting when we walked in). To anyone more familiar with their operations - what was going on here? Staffing issues? Feels disingenuous to advertise "new" scare zones when none of them are populated (and we were walking through from 8 to 10pm, not at the very beginning or end of the night). With that said, the clowns in City Under Siege were effective and entertaining; strong banter that distracted while another snuck up for a scare.
     
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