Tonight, we attended the Knott’s Scary Farm preview event – a now annual presentation that brings both media and specially-selected season pass holders together to see what Knott’s Berry Farm has in store for its upcoming Halloween season. The night began a little later than intended but was underway without too much trouble. The presentation took place at the Charles M. Schulz Theatre inside Knott’s Berry Farm and was emceed by Jeff Tucker, the park’s Entertainment Supervisor.
The event started off by talking about by talking up the season pass the park is offering for their haunted event – and at $80 dollars, it is not a bad deal. Then the event switched over to returning mazes, shows, and attractions. Fan-favorite haunted houses like “Voodoo” and “Trick or Treat” will get new rooms within their haunted walls to scare guests while Elvira will be back with a whole new show. Strangely, the Mistress of the Dark herself didn’t show up to this preview event, which was odd as it felt like the audience expected her to walk out on stage during the segment on her show.
The park’s traditional “The Hanging” stage show is back, this time with tons of audience participation. Apparently, guests will be able to choose the outcome of certain parts of the show (I am assuming by applause). The subtitle for the show this year is “Straight Outta Calico”, which points to its always tongue-in-cheek razzing of the year’s best (and worst) pop culture phenomenons.
Another high point of the event came when designer Jon Cooke showed off the new laser guns being utilized within the park’s Special Ops: Infected attraction. Last year, I felt the guns were a big detractor to an otherwise excellent experience. This year, Special Ops: Infected will feature each guest having his or her own hitpoint level, respawns, gun upgrades, and more! These new guns have a ton of features and I can’t wait to try it out again this season.
Also worth mentioning was “Paranormal Inc”, an interactive haunted house where guests go on their very own ghost hunt. Not much was mentioned about the technical details of this attraction, but it sounds like a great concept and seemed to be what they were focusing on for a high-end haunted house in lieu of “Trapped”, their up-charge maze which is not returning for 2015.
*Update: The information I reported on “Paranormal Inc” is not quite correct. It will be more of a traditional, walk-through haunted house. My apologies for the inaccuracy.
The new maze, “Dead of Winter” is set in an icy wasteland filled with undead Vikings and felt similar in theme to the White Walkers of HBO’s Game of Thrones series. Finally, the park’s Green Witch character showed up with a new band of cohorts. Instead of “The Tricksters” running around making mischief throughout the park, we are going to be treated by the evil whims of the “Deadly 7”.
Also of super-cool note is that, for the first time in quite a while, the Calico Mine Ride attraction will be filled with monsters this Halloween season in a Western-inspired haunted ride/maze called “My Bloody Clementine”. This drew huge applause from the audience as having monsters in both the mine ride and log ride were essential parts of Halloween Haunt/Knott’s Scary Farm’s past.
After the presentation concluded, media and VIPs were escorted up to the theater’s observation deck where we had themed goodies. My compliments and thanks to the Knott’s Berry Farm marketing folks who made our visit possible as well as the catering staff.
Overall, this year should be a strong line-up for Knott’s Scary Farm visitors to experience and we can’t wait for opening night. Knott’s Scary Farm runs from September 24th, 2015 through October 31, 2015 with tickets starting at $39.99. Checkout their official website for more information.