Six Flags Magic Mountain had an impressive 7 mazes for their event, even if their locations are all on one side of the park. Now I didn’t do the mazes as many times as I would have liked, but that's what happens when you have great coasters with no waittimes! Easy distraction lol. Anyway, I was very curious to see what kind of quality I’d find from the mazes at this event since most of my haunt experience has been at Universal’s HHN event for the past 13 years. The closest thing to Fright Fest I had been to was Cedar Point’s “Halloweekends” back in 2003 (which I did enjoy). So I was looking forward to experiencing the Fright Fest mazes. For the most part, I was NOT disappointed at all...
VAULT 666 (3 times)
This was a really cool maze that actually pulsed the line due to two “pre-show” rooms. It was meant to be a genetics lab where they were creating hybrid creatures or whatever. I don’t exactly remember the backstory, but I liked it a lot. It reminded me of HHN Orlando’s maze “HAVOC: DOGS OF WAR” in 2010, only this was less “super-soldier milItary” & more “Resident Evil Umbrella Corp”. The set details were pretty great & had some fun effects, as well as a lot of air blasts. Definitely one of the better mazes & had some decent scares.
TOYZ OF TERROR 3D (3 times)
Oh no, the dreaded 3D maze of doom! This actually was one of the better mazes at the event, as well as one of the better traditional 3D mazes I’ve ever been through. Like VAULT 666, this maze featured a “pre-show” room before letting you loose. The set details were amazing, even all the artwork on the walls (as well as floor) was amazingly well done. It was very impressive. THIS HAD A SPINNING VORTEX TUNNEL OF DOOM!!!!! There was even a few ramps & lopsided tilted floors too! There were a few scenes that reminded me of HHN Orlando’s 2009 maze “Child’s Play: Friends Till The End”. I really enjoyed this maze a lot. A few good scares to be had too!
RED’S REVENGE (2 times)
This maze was tucked away backstage, but the quality of it was pretty damn awesome! There was so much set detail to be found within this maze it made me want to do a photo-tour . Like the other two mazes, this one also had a pre-show room, which was a fun little backstory video. This maze was so twisty as far as its pathway goes, it was a little disorientating, but in a good way. Quite a few scares, but so much set detail! The ending was very similar to HHN Orlando’s maze “Scary Tales: Once Upon A Nightmare” from 2008. Instead of encountering the Evil Queen looking down upon you from her tower, it was Little Red Riding Hood herself. I absolutely loved it! Wish I had done this maze more times.
DEAD END (1 time)
So this was the NEW maze for this year and it was trying a new-ish concept. It was a maze in complete darkness with only an effects-driven flashlight that would turn off at times, become a blacklight, red light etc randomly. I know Knott’s Scary Farm attempted something similar with their “Trick or Treat” maze this year, but I didn’t get a chance to go down to their event this year HHN Orlando had done something a little similar with two of their mazes in the past (2005’s “TERROR MINES” & 2006’s “PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS: UNDER CONSTRUCTION”), except instead of a flashlight it was a construction helmet with a light. Basically a very early version of what was attempted with this maze. I only did this maze once & while it had a few good scares here/there, I wasn’t that impressed with it. I know that if they tweaked it heavily for next year, it might be better, but it was something “new” they were trying. It almost reminded me of HHN Orlando’s scarezone “NIGHTMAZE” from 2011, only as a maze.
WILLOUGHBY’S RESURRECTED (3 times)
This maze had a decent facade and some pretty great set details. The scareactors were good too, some more interactive than others. One scareactor reacted to my HHN Hollywood event hoodie that says "Come Play With Us" by saying "Stay! We'll play with you!" Got a few scares here/there. Due to its “mansion” setting, it reminded me of HHN Orlando’s maze “SCREAMHOUSE: RESURRECTION” from 2006. This maze had some nice tall sets, but a few empty spaces that could’ve been retooled.
CHUPACABRA (2 times)
This maze was probably the weakest, but maybe slightly better than “DEAD END”. It felt like it suffered from a budget cut, but still had a few decent set details while the rest of the maze was like an after thought. I did however get a few good scares while going through, but as I said this was kinda “meh”. I’d say this will be replaced next year.
AFTERMATH 2: CHAOS RISING (4 times)
OMG! This maze was THE BEST maze of the event! It was by far my favorite! It was an outdoor maze with some really great set details! Great lighting, effects & a flamethrower! This was a virus outbreak zombie maze set in the city of Ash Valley & it even had a military vibe too. It even had a few alternate pathways! A little disorienting like Red's Revenge! It was a LONG maze with great scareactor talent. I would’ve killed to do a photo-tour of this maze. I hope this is back again next year because it really was amazing!
So the event had two shows & a DJ area (Club 6-Feet Under)... Now I never did make it over to the DJ area, but each time I passed by, it was pretty uneventful over there. It was tucked away in the corner next to “Battle For Metropolis”, so it was fairly easy to miss. They also offered a new “Ghoulish Grub at the Pub” dining experience, but only 4 select Saturdays in October, so didn’t get to check that out either night. There was a “hypnotist” show in the Golden Bear Theatre, but I skipped it. As for the entertainment that was NOT to be missed...
This was by far one of the best entertainment offerings for a haunt event & it was continuous throughout the night! It featured a DJ, a live drummer, dancers, & occasionally a live band. Now I never got to see the band perform, BUT I did get to enjoy the “Voodoo Dolls” do their thing. They even had costume changes. The guys were hot, the girls were sexy, and the music was enjoyable. It was very much a party atmosphere. I loved this continuous show. Was able to get a pic with the Voodoo host & the drummer!
Even though I only got to attend the event two nights, I definitely enjoyed my first “Fright Fest” experience. Can’t wait to go again next year! Now due to my unfamiliarity with the event, I did miss “THE SURGE” where the monsters are let loose at the beginning of the event back in the DC Universe area. I also missed “ESCAPE”, similar to HHN Hollywood’s “Chainsaw Chase-Out”, but with all the monsters invading Demon’s Door for you to pass through on your way out. The great thing about Fright Fest though is that only the mazes require an upcharge fee, so it’d be very easy to just go & enjoy the streets a few nights since the event is included with park admission (minus the mazes of course). I’m bummed I didn’t get a hoodie or a tshirt, but I definitely will next year. While a haunt event at a Six Flags park tends to be the butt of every joke, I will say that I was very impressed with what I experienced. Definitely a worthwhile way to spend a night or two during Haunt Season!
My only real complaint, aside from the lighting that I mentioned earlier, is the complete under staffing as far as scareactors go. Obviously its not easy to staff events like this, especially when you have bigger competing haunt events needing scareactors too. Then of course there is budget. If Magic Mountain could double the amount of scareactors, they’d definitely be set. The event itself is well done for what they have to work with. Hopefully with the park becoming a year-round park, next year’s event can get the bigger budget it deserves. Eitherway, I will most definitely be making a few visits to Fright Fest 2018!