Knott’s Scary Farm in Buena Park kicks off September 25th for another year of thrills and chills. My hubby has been serious fan of Halloween Haunt at Knott’s Scary Farm his entire life. He has been attending annually since 1988 and has come up with some tips for first timers and even those that may have gone in the past.
Here is his list:
1. Go early in the run. In the first few years of The Haunt, the event was held only on weekend in October. In the 80s, this meant that you only had 8 chances to go. I learned back then that going on the first night was always the best bet. These days, Scary Farm often begins at the end of September. The first weekend is always the best time to go, especially the first Thursday or Friday. If you can’t make it during the first weekend, definitely try to get there on a Thursday during the rest of the run. You can often get to experience all the mazes within 2 hours of rope drop and then you will have plenty of time to catch some shows and repeat visits to your favorite mazes.
2. Do not ride the regular rides. With the exception of the Timber Mountain Log Ride and Calico Mine Train (which is decorated for Scary Farm), you can experience the rest of the rides any other time during the year. Maximize your time by focusing on mazes and the special shows created just for Knott’s Scary Farm. The rollercoasters will be there later, the mazes won’t.
3. Be sure to see Elvira! She performs nightly in the Ghoul Time Theater. This year, the show is called “Elvira’s Big Top.” This show along with The Hanging are recommended for mature audiences, although I would say that Elvira’s show has become much tamer compared to The Hanging, which pushes the envelope more and more each year. It’s best to catch the first Elvira show of the night, because many people will not have made their way to the back of the park by that time. There will be a small wait and you can get close to the stage. As for The Hanging, wait for the last show, which is typically the least crowded of the evening.
4. The best way, in my opinion, to experience all the mazes and not miss any, is to move about the park in a clockwise pattern. That is to say, start by heading south toward the mazes by Ghostrider. These days there are 4 mazes in that direction. From there, you can cut through Ghost Town and hit the two by Bigfoot Rapids, from there you can watch Elvira and then go over the Boardwalk for it’s maze. After that, you can ride the mine train and log ride or go straight to Fiesta Village to experience the Fiesta De Los Muertos scare zone and then head to Gunslingers Grave. For 2014, a new experience has taken over Camp Snoopy, Special Ops: Infected. Groups of 12 will be taken through a path for a laser-tag experience with zombies. The best part is there is no up-charge for the experience, the bad part is you should try to make reservations for a time when you get there. There is a standby line as well, but it can be quite a long wait.
5. If you cannot make it on a slow night and have no option but to attend on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night, I highly suggest getting the Fright Lane pass, which come with an optional Skeleton Key – giving you access to a special room experience in several of the mazes. This way, you will guarantee yourself a chance to see everything. I’ve heard from far too many whom have gone on busy nights and only made it through 2 or 3 mazes, which is frankly a tragedy for the time and money spent.
Lastly, eat funnel cake and drink boysenberry punch. It’s simply a must! The event is best for older children (13 and up) or it can make a great date night idea. This year you can also buy a Scary Farm Pass, giving you access to the park on every night. I highly recommend it! Check with the Knott’s website for more information. See you in your screams!