Thursday, October 13, 2016

Knott's Scary Farm 2016: Trip report & review

A decade ago, what started off as a spontaneous trip to Knott's Scary Farm has turn into an annual tradition. I love Halloween and our annual voyage to Southern California to visit the Halloween themed parks. It's something that I look forward to every year.

For our 10th annual Halloween trip, I decided to commemorate our trip by having a custom pin made for everyone. It's a mash up of Knott's & Disney.

We boarded on time, but were delayed on the tarmac for a bit.

Had a free drink thanks to Anh's drink coupons.

After a few years of visiting SoCal in October, John wanted to try Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles again. We really enjoyed it and use to visit it annually. At that time we were visiting the Long Beach location as that was the closest location to Knott's. It was only fit that for our 10th annual trip that we revisit the restaurant. Fortunately for us they opened a new location in Anaheim that was a lot closer for us.

Alex who moved to SoCal a few years ago, has been meeting up with us annually for Knott's.

Eclipse: lemonade, fruit punch, and O.J.

Fried chicken giblets

It was nice to have our friend Alvin and his wife Catherine to take time to drive down from L.A to meet us for lunch as they usually do every year.

Phillip's butter with a side of waffles. That's a ridiculous amount of butter.

After lunch we headed to our hotel to check in and to start our pre-game drinking at the Haunted Lounge located at the Knott's Berry Hotel

I always thought check-in was at 3 pm, but I guess it's actually at 4 pm. We usually arrive in the afternoon and rooms are rarely available early. Check out is at noon and I'm pretty sure people are sleeping in cause they were probably at Knott's Scary Farm until 2 am.

We checked in our luggage and headed to the bar.

The new haunt shooter for this year is The Venomous Apple and the new cocktail is The Sadistic Gun Slinger which was a take on an old fashion (it was really good)

Food wise there was nothing new on the menu from the previous year.

Another Haunted Lounge shot glass to add to my collection.

It was Jensen's first time going on our trip. Cheers! for some reason she reminded me of someone.

Lol.... Jensen's friend showed up.

Wicked Watermelon.

All of the Vodkas are kept cold in the refrigerated display cabinet.

Jason and Nicole made it back again this year for their 4th year in a row.

Around 6:30 am ran upstairs to gather everyone up so that we can head to the park.

I would invite my brother every year and he would decline. He finally gave in and joined us in 2009 and I believe he has gone with us every year since then.

Once we got into the park we headed straight for the General Store. We had Fright Lane passes so we had to get our lanyards and wristbands so that we could cut in line.

This year we opted to get the Fright Lane, which allows you to cut to the front of the line on all mazes and includes a one time access to 4 skeleton key rooms. Which was the main reason I purchased the Fright Lane at a steep price of $110 each. (spoiler Skeleton Key rooms are not worth it)

It was Tammy's first time to Knott's also and she's not a fan of scary stuff. The excitment on her face is priceless.

Included in the Fright Lane is a collectible Skeleton Key.

The staff at the General Store were awesome and very helpful in getting our passes and wristbands. I had some spare pins so gave one to the staff.

Here's our group for this year's trip minus Jack who had a wedding and won't be joining us until tomorrow and Robyn who's deathly afraid of scary stuff and always stays at the hotel. Jensen's brother who just recently moved to SoCal for school met up with us Knott's also.

I read a lot of reviews before our arrival and was advised to visit the Skeleton Key rooms first, since the 4 rooms were the only mazes that we couldn't cut in line.

Our first Skeleton Key room was Prey. It's suppose to be an actual maze where you navigate through with a lantern that is controlled wirelessly to turn on/off at period of times. While navigating through the maze there are monster stalking you. I was super excited for this maze, it sounded amazing, but was very disappointing. I was so hyped about the Skeleton Key rooms and have been hyping up all my friends prior to this trip and our first Skeleton Key room was a total dud. If it was the length of an actual maze it would have been great, but it was like a 2 minute experience and it wasn't even a real maze.

After Prey we headed to the next Skeleton Key room. Getting to the next key room we had to venture through camp snoopy which was the location of Knott's new scare zone The Hallow. It was dark & and full of fog. My second favorite scare zone.

Hopefully Slasher would be able to redeem the Skeleton Key room where Prey fell short.

We entered the room and were told not to sit on the crates or mess with anything. Right when we walked in, they shut the door behind us. We stood for a few seconds and Jason somehow opened up a crate revealing a tunnel. I'm like awesome this leads to another room. This must be like Trapped, a past maze that Knott's used to do where you had to figure a way out. So we went through and ended up outside. We were confused. It all happened in a matter of seconds. So we waited for our other group to go through Slasher and I asked what is suppose to happen. They told me a series of things happen in the barn and then you exit. So I guess we missed the whole thing cause we weren't suppose to find that tunnel until later, but our second group did say that we didn't miss anything great and it was another 2 minute experience.

After a huge let down by another Skeleton Key room we headed off for some drinks & a turkey leg. Phat was determined to get one.

After two huge let downs, I decided to skip the other two Skeleton Key rooms and head to Infected Black Ops.

Infected Black Ops used to be by reservation ticket only, but this year they made it into a full blown maze. So fortunately for us we had Fright Lane and walked to the front of the line. We waited like 1 minute before we were off on our mission blasting zombies.

Infected was great, I was very impressed. They did an amazing job of transition people through the maze from room to room and we never caught up to the group ahead of us. I wished they implemented this system to all their other mazes. It was great.

The guns have real time kill, deaths, and kill streak displayed. Jason won with a 22 Kills and 0 death. I got 12 Kills and 1 death.

This looks familiar for some reason.

We just happened to walk by bumper cars and saw no line so we hopped in.

Mr Son seems to be having a hard time. Maybe he drank too much. Lol.

I must admit these were the slowest bumper cars I have ever been on.

Texting and driving.

We couldn't help but laugh at how slow these bumper cars were.

As we were walking by Calico Square The Hanging was about to start so we stopped to catch the show. I was a bit surprised by who they hung this year, maybe because of the political stuff going on, I thought it was obvious that it would be someone political, but it wasn't.

Snack time!

I never noticed that the lights of the Calico Mine Train changed colors.

Slushy and Ice Cream sandwich.

Now slushy on the floor, so just ice cream sandwich.

I have heard a lot of great things about Shadowlands one of Knott's new mazes for 2016. We headed straight there and used our Fright Lane.

Shadowlands was as amazing as everyone said it was. You definitely have to put this on the top of your list if you're visiting Knott's Scary Farm. It was dark and had some great scares.

Carni games commence.

While her husband plays carnival games she opted to sit on the floor.

Winner winner

Time for dinner at Panda Express!

This year I planned our trip to avoid Columbus Day weekend. So the park was a lot slower than usual.

Ghost Town is my favorite scare zone. So much fog you can barely see in front of you

and you guys like this lurking in the fog.

We tried lining up for Visions another Skeleton Key room but the line was super long and we weren't willing to wait. So we ended up going through Infected one more time. We had to utilize our Fright lane and I liked Infected that much. I lost to Jason again. This time he got 24 kills 0 death and I got the same score of 12 Kills and 1 death, I even got the rapid fire perk also.

We also went through Dead of Winter which was a lot better than last year. They made the light a lot darker and we also went through Red Barn another new maze for 2016 and that one was okay. Nothing too great about it, but the decorations were great.

Around midnight we left Knott's. I think this is the first time I have ever left this early, but we had to get up early the next morning and thought everyone can use the extra hour of sleep.

I did get a scoop of Butter Pecan ice cream though, never had it before and it's amazing. Literally taste like butter and pecans.

Overall Knott's Scary Farm 2016 had it's highs and lows. The Skeleton Key rooms were a huge let down. Infected & Shadowlands were amazing. Fright lane in my opinion is not worth the price. Maybe on a Friday or Saturday when it's really crowded, but for me I just can't justify the $110 ticket price when general admission is $35. I think next year we go to Universal Halloween Haunt. I haven't been in years so it would be a good change.

Tomorrow we're off to Disneyland.

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