Fright Fest this year is a massive success with huge cinematic mazes, scary steampunk fun, and the most thrilling stage show of any theme park yet! Unlike Universal and Knott’s, which require guests to exit and then come back in with a separate night ticket, Fright Fest flows seamlessly from day to night entertainment.
Starting at 7pm, Monsters flood into the park through the SINISTER CIRCUIT scare zone which jolts to life like Frankenstein’s monster. Thousands of pulsing electric lights cover buildings and a huge canopy overhead. Stilt walkers and wild freaks from the DC Universe terrorize guests from all sides as intense music and sirens blare.
The Stage Shows
Don’t miss UNLEASHED, a mind-blowing unforgettable show with performers that defy the laws of gravity! Daring aerialists spin from delicately balanced hoops high above the stage. Provocative dancers surround the audience, on stage and in the aisles. UNLEASHED is sexy, dark, and mesmerizing. The performers will have you holding your breath as they execute dazzling and dangerous stunts. Driving music pounds the lyrics, “let the bodies hit the floor” and I wondered if they actually would. If someone were to make a show out of a demon’s steampunk circus nightmare, this would be it! I loved it.
HIGH SIERRA HYPNOTIST is back. Always fun, this comic stage show uses audience participation to sensational effect. The hypnotist takes volunteer guests on stage and asks them to perform, which they do quite willingly. It’s hysterical fun, especially if you can persuade someone in your group to volunteer!
VOODOO NIGHTS is a fun dance party located in the Full Throttle Plaza. I am never sure what I’ll stumble upon here. Monsters dancing, dancers onstage, DJs spinning Halloween and popular music, or large groups doing the Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” moves. Super enjoyable for dancing or just people (and monster) watching.
WILLOUGHBY’S RESURRECTED. This is a classic Victorian haunted mansion with all the disturbed inhabitants of the Willoughby family waiting to see you. Walk through this one before you hit THE WILLOUGHBY’S GARDEN OF DARKNESS. The end of the house maze leads out into the garden where the terror continues…
RED’S REVENGE. This is one of the newer mazes and the sets and production values are incredible. My favorite part is the winding path through the woods where the wolf is hiding around almost every corner. I also love a section where I had to push through some hanging clothes. Am I hiding in a closet? Where are you, Grandma?
THE AFTERMATH. A truly epic maze, this sprawling set is outdoors with huge buildings towering above you. I love this one and always make time to go through it more than once! The design is so monumental, that every time I walk through, I see something new. Huge fireballs scorch the sky as guests wander past zombies and wrecked vehicles including a graffiti-scrawled cop car. Look around for the plane crash scene. Aftermath is one of the largest mazes in SoCal and it isn’t just the size that makes it so impressive. The level of detail seen here easily rivals the theatrical authenticity of Universal mazes. It’s outstanding!
CHUPACABRA. Set inside a mission-style building, this maze has beautiful alters and eerie women wailing, followed by nightmarish crunching animal sounds. Beware of the Chupacabra, an animal who is waiting to attack. Set inside and outside, it’s fun to walk outdoors and look up at the moon… Then, walk back inside, and see the moonlight dancing through small cracks on the walls. It’s beautiful and ominous.
VAULT 666. Enter the abandoned medical facility where gruesome and beastly experiments have been hidden away. The most nauseating and awful animal-human hybrids live inside, waiting to escape or seek revenge for their tortured existence.
TOYZ OF TERROR 3D. Using 3D glasses, it’s confounding fun to navigate through the twisting factory of broken and demented toys. Possessed dolls and menacing teddy bears lean up against the walls waiting to pounce. Uneven floors, gaudy neon paint, and a few funhouse tricks make this maze feel like a trippy alternate universe. I always end up crashing into the walls in this one, especially while trying to make it through the spinning room. Even if I look straight ahead, the dizzying effect always manages to get the best of me before I can cross the room!
The Scare Zones
There are SEVEN scare zones this year. The best of them are TERRITORY TWISTED which is a Screampunk area full of steampunk monsters. A feature of this one is the cool animated projection on the front of the theater where UNLEASHED is performed. Watch out for the mechanical spiders.
Don’t miss NIGHTMARES – A TWISTED FANTASY where blacklight is imaginatively used to transform the area. This felt like something out of a surreal children’s book as I walked past huge glowing flowers and trees dripping with green. I was so entranced that I tripped and almost fell down the hill while trying to take a photo. So, watch your step! It’s amazing.
Of course, all of the rides at Magic Mountain are in operation during Fright Fest including TWISTED COLOSSUS, which riders will tell you is worth the price of admission! Select rides offer “thrills by night” as you ride in the dark with the lights off.
The best of these, is a ride sponsored by CALL OF DUTY BLACK OPS 3, called SHADOWS OF EVIL, THE RIDE. This has almost an entire maze built inside the ride queue! Stepping into the film noir world of gangsters and zombies, this special presentation is based on the game’s new Zombies map. There is a club and several other scenes inside. There is also a photo-op with a zombie just outside. He’s behind bars, but if you aren’t careful, he still could scratch! Don’t miss this one.
For 2015 Fright Fest has created an event that should absolutely thrill every haunt lover. Combining the grand narratives found at Universal with the smaller interactive carnival joy of Knott’s, they’ve truly stepped up with a brilliant production this year.
I also have to applaud Scott Ramp’s Scream Team who create the monster makeup. Every year they continue to impress and this year is no exception. The monsters look great even up close and in the daylight. A magnificent accomplishment. Big applause to Fright Fest. I can’t wait for next year!
Fright Fest maze wristbands are available for $15 for season pass holders and $20 for non season pass holders. Express maze passes which offer front of line access are available in limited quantities at the park. Ask when you arrive.
Magic Mountain ticket must be purchased separately.
For more details, check out Fright Fest online.