Six Flags Great Adventure Fright Fest
1 Six Flags Boulevard
I went to this with a bunch of co-workers and have never really been to a major theme park styled haunted attraction so I didn't know what to expect.
At first I wasn't sure if they had built anything in terms of a haunted house or if they just had people dressed up wandering around. We got there with regular tickets but to get into the haunted rides they required an additional ticket which is a pretty steep price when all is said and done. Either way, we were in and ready for fun.
The first thing you see is the blood fountain with red colored lights in the area right after the gate. They had skeletons surrounding the fountain and various props and actors roaming around.
Most of the actors were carrying a newer, True Value, shovel in which they drug on the ground or scraped on the ground to scare you. I started to realize this was a common theme at this haunt and odd because most haunts use fake rubber tools and props. We immediately got something to eat and while we were eating in this area there were two girls hysterically screaming and crying over the various undead actors wandering around. I was really surprised this was that upsetting to them but then again they seemed young.
There were five different haunts located throughout the amusement park and we hit all of them while riding various rides. I will break them up into the various sections and names given by the park.
This was located near the Gotham roller coaster ride in an area that is normally closed off at Six Flags. This ride was basically a maze with no ceiling made with wood and metal and with very little detail. You walk through this basic cue line and see various scenes of what was supposed to be a mental hospital. But, with little detail and sporadic air props it's tough to create the effect. There were several actors and actresses but only a few, specifically two demented girls, actually playing the roles to the full extent. There was one girl hanging upside down who was pretty creepy and another propped up on bed acting creepy and sexy in a twisted mix. There were some random bodies on thin wooden beds, a fake janitor closet with new mop buckets and worn brooms, a toilet scene which was a toilet and fake barbed wire coming out in every direction covered in fake excrement. This walk-through was very short and it was open above so I was just thankful that it was not raining. There were really no surprise scares and only at the end do the actors try to jump out and surprise you. During the walk-through it seems like the actors screech at you but more so to actually creep you out.
This ride was another walk-through style ride in an outdoor area located over by Nitro and Congo Rapids. We came upon an actor who gave us a little speech in a strange accent and told us to look out for a shovel full of dirty money or nuclear waste (it was hard to hear). We wandered around in a wooded area that was completely scattered with blue 55 gallon barrels that were supposed to contain nuclear waste. This area was also poorly detailed and the barrels and tons of darklight led lights seemed to be the majority of the budget. There was, however, a really neat tank like vehicle they had as a prop inside this section but only had it covered in graffiti and trash and not active. There was also a mushroom house right before the exit that had a powerful smoke machine inside. There were two actors that tried to scare us as we left but we were completely disinterested at that point. Okay guys, on to the next luke-warm haunt ... some of the group at this point gave up on the haunted rides and wandered off to ride the bigger thrill rides.
Crop Circle was located around the Skull Mountain type roller-coaster and was another outside walk-through similar to the others with a hintof alien invasion. We began walking through this and the girl I was walking next to was a little scared because she does not like aliens. The beginning was basically chain link fence that was completely covered in corn stalks and this was the entire set design through most of the walk. We began to follow the path which went into a twisting circle where there was this girl singing "pop goes the weasel" in the middle of the circle. We then followed the path where we came upon a creepy scarecrow actor hiding in the corner. We then came upon some alien style lights that were above and some dance music, so my co-workers decided to do a little jig. We then saw this dead alien creature laying in straw next to his crashed ship and further down we saw another alien in a crashed ship with a 50's style alien ship. These were the only two notable props and once again a very minimal style walk-through ride.
These rides were located near a carnival midway where there were many dressed up clowns running around and scaring people all night. In fact, I am surprised they did not have a clown themed haunted ride, but either way it's fine. This haunt was actually in a building of sorts and not outside like all the previous ones we went through. We began in a room that was circular in nature with fake pictures/ windows on every side where a guy dressed like a vampire (prepackaged Halloween store costume) gave us some rules and warnings of doom. Another guy runs out of a door that opens and falls on the floor in order to scare us, but in this case his timing was a little off and he did come off looking silly. We began to go around this maze with various scenes of a haunted house style manor and this was actually the best detail in this park so far in terms of a budget and actually trying to style a haunted theme attraction. They had some cracker style electrical exploding scares and some crazy air powered animatronics that stuck their heads out of pictures and did various things like bang their heads back and forth or up and down. There were some other weird creatures that would extend out at you or shake. There was this live actor young kid in a high end fake coffin that would pop out as you walked by. There were a couple more house scenes with some creepy actors and actresses and various haunted house style stunts, but overall this was fairly short and we were out before we knew it.
This ride will be easy to describe because it was an indoor walk-through black maze with no lights except for some glowing red exit signs. The best part was that you all go in together and your party all holds on to a knotted rope. I kept making jokes that we were dopes on a rope as we wandered through this maze. It reminded me more of a team building exercise then a haunted ride. There were a couple actors inside but overall a giant black maze in darkness.
In conclusion, these haunted attractions were terrible in terms of production, direction, stunts, acting and imagination. It would have be fine if they didn't charge extra for them, because they are just phoning these haunts in. I have seen so much better at many small local places with little to no budget and not the purse strings of a major theme park. The most terrifying thing of the night was the King Da Ka roller coaster, and I guess if you have a ride like that, who cares about haunted houses.
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