Last week we wrote a little something about Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood. Although we are pretty excited about what is to come at that venue, Universal is definitely not the only game in town—if you are in Southern California, that is—and this year, Knott’s has queued up an impressive list of attractions for their Knott’s Scary Farm in Buena Park.
Right now, you can head over to their site and pick up—pun intended—a screaming deal on their yearly haunt. Season pass holders can get access to all 24 nights for only $65, while non-season pass holders can get the same ticket for $75. These prices for their venue are utterly unbeatable (or unkillable if we keep going with the scary puns). But why is this deal so amazing?
This year, Knott’s will be hosting 11 haunted attractions including their new Special Ops: Infected, which allows scarees to take down zombies in a sort of laser-tag setting. Of course, five of the attractions require purchasing the Fright Lane pass with Skeleton Key that is an addition to your ticket which is up to an additional $75. This is still not a bad deal if you can only make it out for one night. The single passes are less than $50 if you buy them online. That price doesn’t include the $20 for parking, but it is considerably cheaper than other venues, and looking at the lineup for what is to come this year, it looks to be a great deal.
One of the new attractions is called, Voodoo, which is designed to be a “choose your own adventure” for scarees. Their trailer for the attraction, posted earlier this month on YouTube, is creepily similar to the opening of last season’s American Horror Story: Coven, which had major components of Voodoo mythology throughout the show. The description on the site is brief and cryptic:
“Beware the cursed swamps of New Orleans, where mindless zombies trudge through the murky bogs in search of bloody sacrifices and demons use Voodoo curses to possess innocent souls. Choose your path carefully children, for one wrong turn and you will be hexed forever.”
However, this kind of attraction is genius. Many years ago (many, many), I attended a haunt back in Arizona called, Arizona Scream Park which features only four haunted attractions in one location that is almost out in the middle of nowhere. At the time, the total experience tickets were $25 and you were allowed admission once for each haunted house. However, one of the mazes was a “choose your path” asylum that had scares around every turn and often, scare actors forcefully divided the small group of 4-6, into groups of 2-3, sending them down different corridors. This was a brilliant design, because scarees chose to experience the maze again and again, just to get different results. I don’t remember how tickets were for one maze, but the design behind the “choose your own” scare maze brings scarees back to experience it again and get different results from their choices.
Although Knott’s isn’t charging per attraction, Voodoo is sure to be one of those attractions that scarees choose to experience again, which brings us back to the value of the tickets this year. While large production mazes at places like Knott’s and Universal are worth revisiting solely to admire the amount of work and detail that goes into their construction, Knott’s is definitely bringing a new edge to the scare season in regards to scarees returning to experience their work all over again. Hopefully this idea is executed well for such large crowds every night, and is definitely alluring to those who may be resistant to purchase the extra Fright Lane/Skeleton Key pass on top of their regular ticket. Whatever the case, a combo ticket and parking will run you less than $150 a person for 11 attractions, multiple scarezones, and several shows including The Hanging® and Elvira’s Big Top.
To top that all off, for less than $30 a person (when bought online), Knott’s features a Boo-fet that includes one of those souvenir cups that you can get refilled on the cheap, a buffet dinner, and early access to the park. This buffet is also brilliant for those of us who are expert scarees, and know that the point of the night where you have to fight your way through a Cinnabon line, or have to scarf down cardboard-like pizza really takes a good chunk of time out of your night.
All of these extra expenses do start to stack up, and what once looked like a $40 visit for a night of horror suddenly becomes almost $200, but tons of attractions, front line access, special “room” access in attractions, food, and cheap drink refills all night really do make it a tempting expense. Even if you cannot afford all the extras, the cost of the pass to attend every night is worth it and a great way to experience the whole park over and over.
This year, Knott’s is upping the competition on number of attractions and on price. Definitely worth checking out this year, especially if you have never been before.
Tickets to the park can be found here and the event begins on September 25th!
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