Tuesday, October 30, 2007

SoCal Halloween Maze Review

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Though I've slacked on the Halloween-themed blogging, I did make it to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood and Halloween Haunt at Knott's Berry Farm. Here's a quick recap:

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood
Five mazes, including the tram tour through the backlot, which wasn't as satisfying as last year -- you could still walk through the Bates motel and the flaming War of the Worlds plane wreckage, but there weren't as many zombies lurking about. The other mazes improved, however. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre maze was extremely detailed and, overall, the scariest, but there were some truly frightening moments in the Nightmare on Elm Street maze (one of the scare actors scared me so badly I fell backwards into the person behind me. Frankly, I'm surprised I didn't end up here). Overall, very quality experience. I was assaulted by chainsaws (sans chains) twice. What did it feel like? It tickles.

Halloween Haunt at Knott's Berry Farm
Though the TGI Friday's pre-game did not disappoint, the mazes did. Perhaps they're understaffed on Sunday nights because there was a noticable decrease in scare actors, in both the mazes and the scare zones. The new mazes were underwhelming (Killer Klown Kollege, Doll Factory) -- even, dare I say, dull. My favorite maze from past years, the Asylum, was structured differently and missing the scariest part of all -- the smoke-filled infirmary ward. The best mazes were (surprisingly) Beowulf and Pyromaniax (the log ride -- the premise was "disaster at the moonshine factory." Very disturbing.) I did notice that there were more animatronics this year -- at the expense of staff, maybe? Are all the good scare actors going to Universal? Next year I'll have to step up...

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