September 23, 2013 |
Success has finally caught up with Universal's Horror Nights as the gold standard of Halloween theme park events has grown too predictable, complacent and popular for its own good. After years of defining and redefining the bleeding edge of theme park terror, a combination of overwhelming crowds, shrinking space due to construction and a weak collection of haunted mazes delivered a triple whammy to Halloween Horror Nights this year at Universal Studios Hollywood. Photos: Halloween Horror Nights 2013 at Universal Studios Hollywood Crowds have become an increasing problem as Horror Nights has grown in popularity, but this year was unbearable.
September 21, 2013 |
My Top 13 list of Halloween mazes at theme parks around the world gathers together the most demented, disturbing and disgusting haunted attractions in one virtual place. Photos: Top 13 theme park haunted mazes in the world Think of the Top 13 as my version of a dream vacation if I had a bottomless budget and unlimited vacation time to jet around the globe to the best and most bizarre haunts. I've tried to include a sampling of mazes from each of the major theme park chains plus a few independents.
September 17, 2013 |
Magic Mountain is in the middle of a four-year expansion of Fright Fest that will see the Six Flags amusement park in Santa Clarita add more monsters, better mazes, additional nights and longer hours to the annual Halloween event. Photos: Fright Fest 2013 at Six Flags Magic Mountain Magic Mountain's Fright Fest is playing catch-up to the 41-year-old Halloween Haunt at Knott's Berry Farm, the granddaddy of all Halloween events, which itself is furiously trying to keep up with the upstart Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood, which has emerged as an unstoppable beast to be reckoned with in recent years. Magic Mountain's revamp of Fright Fest began in 2011 with the addition of Aftermath, a massive outdoor maze that significantly raised the bar for quality. A complete renovation of the perennial Willoughby's Haunted Mansion in 2012 saw the addition of elaborate visual effects and improved props and sets to a haunted maze that had grown tired and predictable over the years. This year Magic Mountain will convert the space used over the last 11 years for the woeful Jokester's Hideout into Toyz of Terror, a new maze that is expected to rival Aftermath and Willoughby's. And much like Willoughby's, Toyz will be located in a permanent year-round location that justifies the significant investment. Looking ahead to 2014, Magic Mountain has already announced plans to further improve Fright Fest with the addition of at least...
September 13, 2013 |
It looks like this year Knott's Halloween Haunt will finally drop the more-is-more mantra in favor of the right kind of more: more back story, more attention to detail, more monsters wearing custom masks and more intimate scares. PHOTOS: Halloween Haunt 2013 at Knott's Berry Farm After four decades of screams and scares, Halloween Haunt had gained a reputation for quantity over quality -- with unimaginative paint-on-plywood mazes, interchangeable story lines and monsters wearing store-bought masks.
September 12, 2013 |
Universal Studios Hollywood will be inundated with zombies as "The Walking Dead" takes over a haunted maze, a scare zone and the terror tram during Halloween Horror Nights 2013. Photos: Halloween Horror Nights 2013 at Universal Studios Hollywood I recently got a behind-the-scenes walk-through preview of "The Walking Dead" maze from Halloween Horror Nights creative director John Murdy and the hit AMC show's executive producer and makeup designer Greg Nicotero. After taking visitors through the zombie-infested streets of Atlanta last year, the all-new Walking Dead maze returns this year with scenes from the show's third season set in an abandoned prison and its rural Georgia surroundings.
September 9, 2013 |
Universal Studios Hollywood has announced plans for haunted mazes based on "The Walking Dead" hit TV show, "Evil Dead" film franchise and heavy metal trailblazers Black Sabbath for Halloween Horror Nights 2013. Photos: Halloween Horror Nights 2013 at Universal Studios Hollywood Doubling down on the success of "The Walking Dead" zombie juggernaut, Horror Nights will add a scare zone this season to the haunted maze and terror tram attractions returning from last Halloween. The 2013 version of the Walking Dead: No Safe Haven maze takes visitors inside the walls of the zombie-infested Georgia prison featured in the Emmy Award-winning show's third season.