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zombieman

Knotts Scary Farm 2018

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Hey, is anyone here planning on going to Haunt?  I stupidly forgot to get any park maps on my way out, so all I have is a tattered one.  If you are going, please PM me if you can pick up a few for me.  I would pay you for shipping and the trouble.  

Thanks much!

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Mini Review on my Trip... 10/14
AKA
Why I F#%!ng Hate KSF With a Passion
Okay, I don't hate it that much, and it's not even so much a Haunt thing, and more of an operations thing. TBH, I had really great run throughs on most of the mazes, which is a first when more than half usually are dead or lame. Also note: I specifically skipped Red Barn. I walked passed it maybe twice with a walk-on with plenty of time to spare (at those points in the night) and didn't even bother.

So I got there around 7:45 and parking was oddly packed. I had a feeling I was up for some trouble already as I expected it to be dead (hence why I wasn't in a rush to get there). I've done this before, shown up around even 9 and finished everything, but I gave myself an extra hour because I wanted to hit some rides. I wasn't in a big group or anything, so I figured I could get around pretty quickly, which I was looking forward to. Well, let's just see how Knotts can mess up my plans like always, shall we?! I'm bitter and petty, so I feel like ranting.

Hit Dark Ride first. I had a better run through than I did last year. If I recall, nobody tried to scare me last year, even semi-staffed. Tonight, it was minimally staffed, but I was more of a target. I liked it more than last year, but I still don't think all that highly of this maze. And I love dark rides in general, I feel like this maze should basically be my thing. The only way to flick my nerd geewiz-spot even harder is if this was a dark ride themed to Universal Monsters. I think it just comes down to the set and lighting... just doesn't look realistic to me, even during the backstage segments.
RANK: Average

I wanted to hit HangTime early in the night since I've never done it. Boy was that a friggin mistake. App said 35 minutes. Sign out front said 35 minutes. It was running 2 trains. I figured what's the worst that could happen? Brand new ride with this short of a wait?! Apparently they were letting in FOL people without a single bit of mercy. If there was even one person in that line, they went first without any delegation or deliberation. There was often 2 or 3 seats not filled, and they weren't calling for groups of 1, 2 or 3, just sent the train running. I got to the stairs to get on after an hour and 5 minutes of waiting. Double the wait. Alright, pretty bad, I'm pretty peeved but my night isn't ruined. Then the ride breaks down for 20 minutes right as I'm going up the steps. It's nearly 10 PM and all I've done is one maze. I waited it out even longer because I figured it's already been this long. The ride was just only okay, too... I'd rather have Boomerang, but that's just me.

Walked over to Shadowlands and it said 30 minutes but it looked pretty long, maybe even longer. WHAT?! Yeah right, I'm out of here, no way I'm waiting for that. I then figured I had very little time and I need to only hit the essentials because tonight is oddly packed. So I ran over to Pumpkin Eater. 30 miunute wait on the sign, but it looked way shorter -- was only a 14 minute wait. I'm already sensing these new signs are worthless, and line ops aren't being given info majority of the time. Anyway, best maze of the night for me. It was also my favorite last year. The overall tone and design is just creepy, with some great hiding spots, plus it was filled with talent all giving their best.
RANK: Great

Headed over to the Ghost Town backlot to hit The Depths. Advertised as a 30 minute line... was 50 minutes. What's even more infuriating is while I was stopped in line for a solid 10 minutes without moving a single inch, I was watching droves of people walk on to Trick or Treat as a WALK ON when that maze was advertised as an hour wait. W... T... F?!?!?! I figure okay... MUST hit that next while nobody is there because usually that thing is slammed. Fast forward to 20 minutes later and it's a 20 minute wait all of a sudden. Then... as I walk out of that maze... it's a WALK ON again. I have the WORST luck at Knotts. I am so done with this place it's not even funny. Anyway... back to the maze...
I liked it, didn't love it. It was FILLED with talent, which was a plus. I thought the best part was the giant shark, I wish I could've got a Jaws-esque photo-op with that thing. I feel like this maze truly utilized all of their available elements and scare tactics, plus new ones... I think the only thing missing would be a swirling vortex tunnel and a bungee man.
RANK: Above Average

For anyone who doesn't know, Dark Entities is hiding in the back corner of the event and it's not after Paranormal like that maze spot used to do. It was sporting a 5 minute wait but luckily was a walk on. Man, it was dead in here. Entire minutes walking through and not seeing anyone. Which sucks, because I was most excited to see this maze. I still love the set, I still think all the potential in the world is there. Bungee/cable cord scare was completely missing also. Having no line, hidden in the back corner, with no monsters in this maze, it already feels old and worn out, sadly. Like Knotts has given up on it, that we'll see a small re-theme next year that'll also fail and the year after that, it'll already be gone. It's a shame, the video I saw before was great, but from the reviews I've seen, it's never been consistent to live up to it's potential.
RANK: Below Average

I already said what happened about the line to Trick or Treat, so let's get to the maze itself. Man, this maze is so old, it blows my mind. I still kinda love it, and the flashlight gimmick is cool in some regard, but please replace this maze. Monsters were pretty great and were pretty consistent with revealing themselves in the light. I also was pointing the light every where to see if anything would react and I got some stuff to move, which is almost too subtle and would be scary if I was in there absolutely alone, but oh well, at least they're trying. I like the black light segment and when the light started flickering at the end, but it almost came too late. Plus it vibrated only twice, one of which was corresponding to a good Witch scare. I think there's so much they could do with this gimmick, but I also wonder what it'd be like to go in there completely in the dark and practically alone. Anyone ever try it?
RANK: Above Average

 

By this point, I only had an hour left. I figure I see Paranormal since it was right there. I was also noticing the park thin out a bit in crowd at this point, so that was nice, just too late. It said 45 minutes, was really only 20. At this point, everything prior felt like hell, so I was glad to catch a break with the lines. As everyone has said, opening video makes no friggin sense anymore. Is it me or does the maze in general feel shorter? I went through this without anyone behind me, which was really unnerving. I was on the left side and didn't notice a merge point either, so I felt like I was just heading through the abyss on my own here. Best scare is the electricity box scare, still, after all these years. Something primal in that one just makes you jump. There weren't any nurses in the new scene. The ending scrim effect was very cool though, probably some of the best scrim work I've seen.
RANK: Above Average

With little time left and after hitting all the main goodies, I decided to give Log Ride a quick ride. Luckily it was only a 13ish minute wait. I really do love this ride, my favorite flume. The Halloween decorations just make it even better. Although I do miss the monsters, I found myself thinking this was a highlight regardless. It's just a great atmosphere.

Ran over to Shadowlands to see how it was now... said 15. Was a walk on. I had limited time left, so this was a lifesaver. Truly, I wish I could've done Supreme Scream, Xcelerator, Mine Ride, Jaguar, Montezumas, Silver Bullet, and maybe even Ghost Rider like I intended, but oh well -- HangTime had to screw me over. Not like I would've done all of those with a real 35 min wait it said, but I could've done half because they were mostly walk ons aside from Xcelerator (20) and Silver Bullet (15) and obvi Ghost Rider (2 hours). Anyway, this is probably the best I've seen this maze, personally. The set seems to be wearing thin, but the monsters were relentless. It seemed jammed packed with someone, sometimes even 2 or 3 people, around every single corner and they were all targeting us the whole way through. Giant creepy girl scared me good at the end too because I almost walked into it thinking it was the way out. Each year this maze has done great, but I always expect it to go or think that it should. Maybe it has one year left in it if talent is always this strong...
RANK: Above Average

Ran over to Special Ops for the last treat of the night. It is what it is. Hasn't changed much. I still love it, but they really need to give it something new to give more appeal.
RANK: Average

Now, I had some GREAT run throughs tonight, like truly extraordinary ones. Haven't had that many scares at KSF in yeaaaaars and I'll fully admit -- more scares than HHN by a large margin. Operations drove me crazy-bananas-bonkers, but I got my scaresworth for the money I paid. Only ran into two mazes low on people, which I think is a huge improvement from what I'm used to. Regardless... I still love HHN more. Even with less scares. Scenic, lighting, total immersion just sells me more. I know not everyone agrees with that, some will just yell black walls, but I remember virtually nothing about most KSF mazes. It all meshes. I can hardly tell you which scare I got from which maze. Or even if I got scared in that maze in general, sometimes. There's a certain scene-by-scene distinctiveness missing. And I feel like all of it is just one long maze. KSF truly might as well be entirely black walls. I want to give props to certain scares or point out rooms, but half the time I can't because who knows when tf or where that happened or by what monster. It comes down to design and this aesthetic just isn't for me.

On top of that, I'm starting to hate Knotts like I hate Six Flags (not the haunts, just in general). I feel like I barely hit all the mazes (sans one that I purposely avoided), but it shouldn't have been that way. I can plan my night great if they just GAVE ME ACCURATE WAIT TIMES. And put them on the dang app. It's not that freakin' hard. And it's a major time waster to go back and forth physically if something isn't a wait time you don't like. Or to check a line board that says 60 minutes but is actually A WALK ON. They have the technology and they have enough employees to make it work. I felt like every employee had another employee hanging by them doing nothing. Like what, they need a spotter to do their job or something? They're all just talking, gossiping, cussing up a storm and not being helpful anyway, go order them to deliver out wait time cards or something. Man, this place is gonna end up on my no-fly list at some point... it'll go from "every other year" to "once a decade" and I don't want it to be this way... KSF was one of my first loves... they just need to get with the freakin' technology to make operations SMOOTHER for guests to have a more seamless experience.

Anyway... I had a great time in the mazes but a horrible time with the theme parks operations. But I can't wait to get back to HHN. That's my takeaway from this trip. That maybe I am just a bias HHN Fanboy. And I'll gladly wait in their 90 minute lines... because at least I know going into it, it's going to actually be 90 minutes.

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Good review DTH.  It's interesting that you find HHN wait times to be accurate, because in my review I pointed out how random they were for me.  At Knotts I had the Fright Lane, so I wasn't tracking wait times.

It sounds like if the wait times had been accurate, you would have found this to be a good year for haunt?

 

And you didn't happen to bring home any event maps that are in good shape did you?

 

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1 hour ago, zombieman said:

Good review DTH.  It's interesting that you find HHN wait times to be accurate, because in my review I pointed out how random they were for me.  At Knotts I had the Fright Lane, so I wasn't tracking wait times.

It sounds like if the wait times had been accurate, you would have found this to be a good year for haunt?

 

And you didn't happen to bring home any event maps that are in good shape did you?

 

I wouldn't say HHN times are accurate either, but traditionally I feel like they overestimate, which is a lesser of the sins. If I get in a line that says 60 minutes and it's only 30, it's a pleasant surprise. Posted as 30 and I wait 85 minutes, this is just cruel. 35 to 50, okay, this is getting annoying. Saying 60 but really a walk on is just poor and lazy to not even try, completely misguiding people into other directions, thus wasting even more time. At this point, I just find it egregious in both directions in overestimation and underestimation. Universal will overestimate 25%, rarely underestimate 15%, and the other 60% be spot on -- I think that's a pretty good track record. I feel like being spot on is very important for game planning your next move. Disney is oddly 90% accurate with their wait times...  [Except for the last hour at Universal and Disney... this I make an exception for because it's harder to determine]... so I literally know my next 3 moves and if anything changes, I can make an audible and come up with a different next 3 moves.

 

I definitely would say it's a good haunt year, or at least I had a pretty good run through for me, the talent was consistent and on fire most of the night. I've heard the exact opposite from people who went that same exact day, which is the nature of KSF and why I've always been somewhat negative towards it. I'm just glad and feel lucky that for ONCE in literally maybe a decade that a majority of the mazes I was targeted aside from 1 (Dark Entities because it was low on staff and they seemed bored in general, and Dark Ride just because they seemed low on staff). Downside is I just had to suffer through poor operations to get it. I'm not completely turned off from KSF yet and I imagine I'll be back in 2 years, but if THAT year goes bad again, I might not be going for 5-10 years between visits. Operations can not get lazy, that's my number one thing! I'm spoiled by Disney, clearly. But even SeaWorld and LegoLand are pretty decent with this kind of thing, so I don't know.

 

And I actually thought about getting you a map, but nothing stays anywhere near good condition once going through my pockets and my girlfriend didn't have a decent sized purse with her either, so even I have a cruddy map folded down into 4 with wrinkles everywhere.

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