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The Magic Years
Disney through the eyes of teens
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Adrienne Krock, editor
Knott’s Scary Farm - "The Ultimate Halloween Hangout"
Once a year, scary ghouls and goblins come out to haunt and scare the mortals. Whether surfacing from the bottom of a murky swamp, rising from the dead or haunting a house, these spirits come together for one reason: Halloween. For this special occasion, Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park turns into “Knott’s Scary Farm” for a bit of holiday horror. From ghost towns to the underworld, Knott’s Scary Farm portrays the fear in all of us when we see a full moon rise or watch a scary movie. It is almost guaranteed that anyone visiting Knott’s Scary Farm during the Halloween season will leave with a heart pounding with fear and excitement.

Knott's Halloween Haunt - Promotional art © Knott's Berry Farm
Promotional art © Knott's Berry Farm

[A word of caution: Although Knott's Scary Farm seems fun and amusing, it is not appropriate for all ages. The emphasis is on “scary,” because that is what this park is. Not only are the rides terrifying, but there is rarely a section in the park where you can get away from the walk-around performers dressed as monsters who pop out at you from every location. There are some areas of the park that are relatively tame, but to get from one place to another you may end up traveling through one of the more frightening locations like Ghost Town or The Swamp, near Reflection Lake.

Not only is it scary, but it may be inappropriate for younger audiences. In the show, The Hanging, there were many disturbing and controversial remarks that were amusing to older viewers, but which would be inappropriate for younger viewers. Whether the event is suitable for young audiences depends on each person. If they can handle being scared then you might consider taking them with you. Regardless, I suggest leaving anyone under 10 at home.]

My friend and I decided to visit Knott’s Scary Farm this year. Neither of us had ever been to attended this event before, so we were nervous, to say the least. We bought our tickets beforehand at Ticketmaster, which was great because tickets were sold out when we got there.

The roads around Knott’s Scary Farm were very congested when we arrived. Finding parking was difficult, but we finally found a spot on the northwest side of the park. My friend and I were the first to enter through a side entrance near Fiesta Village. When we began to walk through the park, I could not help noticing how well they re-themed the different areas of Knott’s Berry Farm.

I experienced seven attractions: Boomerang, Big Foot Rapids, Hammerhead, Wave Swinger, VertiGo, Army to the Underworld, and Red Moon Massacre. Boomerang was the first attraction I boarded, and it was the perfect thrill to jump-start my evening. Not only was the line short, but I sat in my favorite seat in the back row. After Boomerang, we rode Hammerhead and Wave Swinger, which are two exciting yet less-intense attractions. The most exciting attraction I rode that evening was the newly built VertiGo. Though the line was long, it was well worth the wait. VertiGo was nothing like I ever expected in a ride. As if blasting upward and back down like MaliBoomer at Disney’s California Adventure were not enough, the seats pivoted so I was literally face-to-face with the ground.

Knott's Halloween Haunt - Promotional art © Knott's Berry Farm
Promotional art © Knott's Berry Farm

The two Halloween- themed attractions I rode were Army to the Underworld and Red Moon Massacre. The Calico Mine Ride by day, Army to the Underworld was a train ride through the underworld. This attraction was exhilarating and entertaining, but also eerie and scary. The line for the attraction was very long, but when we boarded the train it all seemed worthwhile. The creators of this attraction made no allowances for riders to make small talk or relax, because the minute the train moved into the first tunnel, creatures of the dead began to rise and frighten us. Army to the Underworld was excellently themed inside the mountain and featured great effects. I felt I had traveled to the fiery inferno in the depths of Earth as we traveled over boiling lava pits and smoky craters in the little mine train vehicles. The most enjoyable effect of the ride was a dragon’s head that popped out at us from behind a rock. It was amusing to watch the faces of the people sitting next to me when things and creatures jumped out at them.

The other Halloween attraction I went on was Red Moon Massacre, normally The Log Ride. The line for this attraction was very long, and though not as fun to ride as Army to the Underworld, the attraction was decently redone and entertaining. The plot for this attraction was not as well thought out as it could have been. I think the attraction was Little Red Riding Hood’s terrifying ride through the forest to grandmother’s house. I felt more vulnerable on this ride since the “half-eaten wolf people” jumping out at us had fewer people to frighten in one car. When climbing the final hill, I expected an incredibly dramatic and terrifying climax to end the ride, but it was simply Little Red Riding Hood waving a feather at us as we plummeted to the lagoon below.

Knott's Halloween Haunt - Promotional art © Knott's Berry Farm
Promotional art © Knott's Berry Farm

Knott’s Scary Farm is known for its terrifying mazes. This Halloween they featured nine of them, but we only walked through two: The Inquisition and Horrorwood Fright Festival. Neither were overwhelmingly horrifying, but entertaining in a spooky ghoulish way. The Inquisition was a maze inside the old Bear-Y Tales Playhouse. It displayed the murderous and torturous chambers used during the dark side of humanity. Horrorwood Fright Festival featured gruesome and disgusting horror movie stars. Monsters and murderers like Freddy Krueger, Frankenstein and Jason lurked about the “Decapitation Theater.”

Knott’s Scary Farm featured four different horror areas: The CarnEvil, Gauntlet, The Swamp and Ghost Town. The CarnEvil offered carnival zombies, monsters and of course Boardwalk themed rides. The Gauntlet (normally Camp Snoopy) conveyed the sinister side of humanity. Located near Reflection Lake was The Swamp, the second scariest area in the park. Completely covered in fog, we never knew what was waiting and lurking to jump out at us. Saving the best for last, Ghost Town was the most entertaining area of the park. Monsters with kneepads slid on the ground and scared unsuspecting visitors, and werewolves pounced down from high windmills into the middle of the crowds. The performers behind the monster masks were also funny and great to talk to, something I never thought I would find outside of a Disney park.

Knott's Halloween Haunt - Promotional art © Knott's Berry Farm
Promotional art © Knott's Berry Farm

Knott’s Scary Farm produced many stage shows for the special evening, and the one I saw, “The Hanging starring Crypt Keeper,” was also the most entertaining. At first it seemed to be low- budget, but it was a truly entertaining and hilarious show. Amid all the violence and monsters were performers who imitated famous celebrities, from Anne Robinson of The Weakest Link to Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Destiny’s Child, Pink, N’Sync and Backstreet Boys. Even Disneyland was parodied. In one scene, the lights began to flicker and dim. Something was draining all the energy from the park, but what could it possibly be? The audience heard faint chords of the Baroque Hoedown growing as mimic floats and costumes from Disney’s Electrical Parade glided across the stage. When the parade reached center stage, sparks flew and the bulbs exploded. “Look kids, it’s a rolling blackout!” one of the monsters screamed as another chased the performers off stage.

Overall, Knott’s Scary Farm was very fun and exciting, even though it was crowded and I didn’t get on as many rides as I wanted. The walkaround monsters, mazes and hilarious show all added to what makes Halloween great, and what sparks the horror in each of us. Knott’s Scary Farm is a must- see for the Halloween season, and I expect to return their next year for as much fun as I had on that one eerie night in October.

- Christopher


Coming Soon:
"The Matterhorn Bobsleds - The First Disneyland Mountain"


Christopher's Knott's Trivia: This year’s mazes at Knott’s Scary Farm were: Curse of the Spider Woods, The Underground, Alien Attack, Lore of the Vampire, The Inquisition, Malice In Wonderland, Carnival of the Carnivorous Clowns, Horrorwood Fright FestEvil, and Blood Bayou.


Have any questions, comments or suggestions for future columns? Drop me a line at coolkids@mouseplanet.com. I'd really enjoy hearing from you!

Promo art © Knott's
Promo art © Knott's

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hi!
My name is Christopher.

I am thirteen years old and live with my family in Southern California. I am currently a high school student, and an avid fan of Disneyland Resort. Other than visiting the "Happiest Place On Earth," I have numerous hobbies, the most significant of which is acting.

Acting has always been a major hobby of mine. I have been participating in numerous plays, movies and productions all of my life, and hope to eventually accomplish my dreams of becoming a famous actor. Some of my recent works include productions of The King and I, Shakespeare- Enough Already, and Ebeneezer. Other than acting, I enjoy playing the alto saxophone for my high school jazz band, playing the keyboard / piano, listening to music (especially the Rent soundtrack), and visiting the Disneyland Resort.

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