Last week we were invited behind the black curtains for a sneak preview of Knott’s Scary Farm final dress rehearsal’s the night before 2010’s first Halloween Haunt. About 1000 monster’s were being escorted through the park by security for last minute placements and scare tips. As the sun set over Buena Park on this seemingly calm evening all the ‘scare-actors’ were building with anticipation for opening night; jumping in place, preserving their screams, and making sure all hair and makeup was in place. Not even a walkie-talkie across the park was quiet.
“We need audio in Corstalker’s, over.”
“Rodger that, Scareforce7!”
The creative team was in full force in making sure every single thing in the park was ready for action. “Attention to detail is what makes this event so successful”, says maze designer Daniel Miller.
Knott’s divides their dress rehearsal’s into two separate nights. They divide the maze staff/crew/monsters in half so that they can alternate nights to view each others mazes and see what everyone is bringing to the plate.
We caught up with the crew on the 2nd and last night of dress rehearsals. We lined up with ‘monsters’ not dressed that night they would be viewing their neighboring maze’s and see their fellow monsters at work. It was one big, happy, demented family.
Not gonna lie, it was pretty bizarre to walk through a maze filled with half eaten zombies hell bent on scaring the crap out of me while shoveled in between MORE monster’s who share the same goals, only they were not dressed up tonight- unsettling for sure!
The energy was out of this world. You would have thought Knott’s was pumping red-bull into the fog machines to get these guys going the way they were.
I even overheard a Haunt official mentioning to the crew that the fog was to be turned down as guests would not be able to find their way out; AWESOME! A scare was not to be missed among the mazes we previewed. It didn’t matter if someone had to jump off a wall, drop to the floor, or yell bloody murder! These guys where determined to scare us one way or another.
We were lucky enough to catch a sneak peak of a now finished CORNSTALKERS, VIRUS Z, SLAUGHTERHOUSE, LABYRINTH, and FALLOUT SHELTER. All we can say is WOW, WOW, AND WOW! Knott’s two brand new mazes for 2010 are FALLOUT SHELTER and VIRUS Z, both absolutley flawless. FALLOUT SHELTER (located underneath JAGUAR) was one of the longest mazes I’ve ever walked through at Knott’s. It was a mix of black-light, animatronics, and pure terror! Very much in the vein of Carpenter’s “THE THING”. VIRUS Z also provided extensive sets and a minimal soundtrack to lure guests into the small abandoned town of Pleasanton, (movie theater, school, and all) which happened to be overrun by zombies. We can’t wait to view these mazes again as guests, from what we believe-This will be one of the best year’s Knott’s has ever had.
Haunt is now officially open, visit Haunt.Knotts.com for tickets and dates.