Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest boasts of largest budget and mazes yet at preview of their 2014 lineup.
Director of Park Operations, Neal Thurman unveiled plans for the biggest Fright Fest budget ever to an invitation only crowd at their “Black Carpet Preview” last Thursday. Plans include “massive new attractions and upgraded immersive experiences” around the park.
Three all new mazes featuring theatrical sets and state-of-the-art technology will join the line-up of popular returning attractions. Scott Sterner, Entertainment Manager and Fright Fest Producer, explained that they are moving away from “black wall” mazes to more exciting “scenic experiences”.
Sterner led a construction tour of VAULT 666. This impressive new maze is their largest indoor attraction covering over 4000 square feet. In VAULT 666, a dark “Island of Doctor Moreau style laboratory” has gone wrong. A cast of 40 actors includes demented doctors, sicko scientists, and human-animal hybrids lurking in the claustrophobic rooms and hallways. I saw the maze without any actors or sound effects and still felt my adrenaline levels rising as I followed Sterner through the maze. He revealed the carefully constructed spaces for actors to control effects and pop out above and below waist height. As he gleefully explained, “we want the monsters to get you when and where you least expect it”.
RED’S REVENGE is a wicked spin on the fairy tale of Red Riding Hood. Co-Designer Tony Brauner explained that Red hunts you and the Wolf through the forest, past her throne, and into her lair. This maze includes the biggest and most detailed sets ever built for Fright Fest. Red chases and hunts you until you reach Red’s Domain, where she has her final revenge.
WILLOUGHBY’S GARDEN OF DARKNESS is a brand new maze that expands the storyline from the popular returning haunted house maze, WILLOUGHBY’S RESURRECTED. GARDEN OF DARKNESS meanders through the Willoughby garden where more demented family members are waiting to meet you.
Popular returning maze TOYZ OF TERROR was great fun last year. For 2014, it is presented in 3D. Special effects artists have given it a brand new coat of paint to enhance the disorienting funhouse experience.
Creative Director, Mark Wing, said that all seven SCAREZONES in the park have been enhanced with improved lighting effects and thematic props.
CITY UNDER SIEGE known for psychotic clowns, returns to the DC Universe area.
EXILE HILL is located at Samurai Summit next to the WILLOUGBY’S RESURRECTED attraction where zombies and members of the Willoughby family promise to “scare the bejeezus out of you”.
NIGHTMARES: A TWISTED FANTASY is a blacklight zone. Famous Stories of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Hans Christian Andersen transform under blacklight into “evil demonic entities”.
ZOMBIE XING is again located in front of the Golden Bear Theater with more zombies than ever before.
WASTELANDS next to the popular returning AFTERMATH maze continues that theming with post apocalyptic zombies and ghouls roaming the streets.
The TRAVELING SCARE SQUADS are adding more ghouls than ever. These freaks will show up everywhere in the park, including ride queue lines. Nowhere is safe!
RAVENSTITCH is a brand new scarezone. This Western-Steampunk area is populated by “a society of larger than life ravens and scarecrows”.
Finally, two new scarezone characters were introduced. Brilliant 22 year Fright Fest veteran Scott Ramp’s new creation, the Queen of Hell is a creepy diminutive female monster with flesh covered horns. She is accompanied by her stilt-walking Demonic Warrior Protector. Makeup and prosthetics on both looked fantastic even in daylight. Fright Fest continues to have some of the best makeup in the business. All characters have full movie-quality prosthetics, this isn’t just face paint!
Fright Fest is proud to be one of the best values in Southern California, since park goers can party in the park all day and stay to watch the transformation to night time activites. There is a separate charge for mazes, but all scarezones are included in the regular day ticket. During the day, kids Halloween crafts have also been expanded Trick or Treating (sponsored by Snickers) will also be back.
FRIGHT FEAST, an all-you-can-eat buffet returns with an exclusive horror-inspired magic show. And VOODOO NIGHTS, a high-energy musical stage show will light up the plaza in front of Full Throttle. Scott Sterner explained, “our goal is to present the full throttle excitement, but on a stage”. This live music and DJ dance party features non-stop music and fun from 7pm to closing. The STAGE HYPNOTIST act, one of my “don’t miss” performances last year, is also coming back. So, if you missed it last year, you’ve got another chance!
Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest runs every Fri, Sat, Sun from Sept 27 to Nov 1st. Hours are from park opening until 1am Fri & Sat and to 11pm on Sundays.