California Coaster Kings attended the Opening Night of this year’s spectacular Knott’s Scary Farm! Thanks to the Fright Lane and Skeleton Key passes we manage to visit all shows, all mazes, all Skeleton Key rooms, and all Scare Zones! This year’s event had 11 ‘mazes’, two of which weren’t exactly ‘mazes’. Either way; In this particular review article, we’re looking at the 11 mazes the event had this year. Each is rated in 4 categories: Length, Scare, Set, and Experience. Each will also have a quick review!
The four ratings exist of a Length Rating, which relates to the length of a maze, the longer the better. This doesn’t necessarily mean physical length of walking through the maze, but may also indicate there are plenty of different scenes and the maze felt long. The Scare Rating is exactly what you think it is, how ‘scary’ does a maze get, is it gruesome, does it create a bunch of jump scares, etc. The Set Rating looks specifically at the job done regarding the theming of the maze, how immersive were the sets, how many different scenes, etc. And then last, but definitely not least… the Experience Rating. Which is mainly based off of the overall feel of the maze, was it a extreme, did it leave you breathless, etc. The overall experience, combined with the other three factors creates a Final Score for the maze.
Pinocchio Unstrung – Length Rating: 9 Scare Rating: 7 Set Rating: 8 Experience Rating: 7 FINAL SCORE: 7.75
Pinocchio Unstrung, though a tad different from last year, is an average maze for the event. It’s not among the best, but it’s definitely not the worst either. Due to its length this maze is very enjoyable, theme is clearly established, and though staying in the realm of the Pinocchio story, there are plenty of scenes, and a great finale! Though in general the maze failed to scare me, there are definitely some nice jump-scares through out the maze, as there seem to be a lot of hiding spots for the scare actors. In addition, the maze exists out of a ton of narrow, smaller, dark hallways, which makes it feel as if you’re alone in the maze, rather than seeing a group of 20 people in front of you. Overall, it’s a fun maze, and due to its length well worth an average wait. – Pinocchio Unstrung features a Skeleton Key Room. To keep Skeleton Key rooms a surprise, we will not be talking about what happens in the Skeleton Key room. (Skeleton Key Room Rating for this maze: 7.5)
Black Magic – Length Rating: 8 Scare Rating: 8 Set Rating: 8 Experience Rating: 8 FINAL SCORE: 8
Black Magic was a very solid maze again this year. Feeling VERY similar to last year, the maze features plenty of different scenes, different ways of scaring guests, and very elaborate theming. In addition, the theme is well established throughout the maze, so guests know exactly what sort of thing is going on. This year the previous-skeleton key room was used as a regular room which was actually very crucial to setting the tone for the maze. Last year, Black Magic featured a Skeleton Key room where a Houdini Seance went horribly wrong. Guests sat around the seance table as Houdini’s spirit was called. He then appeared in the mirrors and everything went to hell inside. For those without a Skeleton Key, that was hard to figure out without the seance. This year, that room was part of the maze, immediately establishing the theme. I’ve always been a big fan of Black Magic, it’s a solid maze, with a perfect mix of scenes, length, and theme. Can not be missed when at Scary Farm!
Forevermore – Length Rating: 9 Scare Rating: 6 Set Rating: 8 Experience Rating: 7 FINAL SCORE: 7.5
I said this last year too; you need to know your Poe to understand a lot of what’s going on in this maze. The maze itself greatly improved though. With several strobe-light scenes, plenty of darker scenes, and seemingly more actor involvement, Forever more has improved. Nonetheless, I’m not a very big fan of this maze, due to it’s layout. There are huge sections of just long straight hallways and ramps, and it gets a tad boring, and you see the scares coming ahead of time. The sets though are great, lots of different scenes, gruesomely bringing out what Poe once wrote. Another nice aspect of this is the audio in the maze, which is pretty much an audio book, reciting parts of Poe’s stories. Due to Forevermore’s length, the maze is worth checking out. It’s the longest maze at Scary Farm. – Forevermore features a Skeleton Key Room. To keep Skeleton Key rooms a surprise, we will not be talking about what happens in the Skeleton Key room. (Skeleton Key Room Rating for this maze: 5)
Voodoo: Order of the Serpent – Length Rating: 8 Scare Rating: 8 Set Rating: 9.5 Experience Rating: 8.5 FINAL SCORE: 8.5
WOW! This maze is back, and I still love it to death! Besides an all new Skeleton Key Room, the maze has also undergone plenty of other changes. Guests can no longer choose their own path, but that does make for a longer maze experience. The sets are by far the best of any maze at Knott’s Scary Farm due to swamps. Actually walking over wooden planks in and out of huts, and over water. It’s fantastic. – Don’t forget to occasionally look, and see what’s lurking IN the water! – This year, a bunch of new scenes were introduced, as well as good amount of new scares. The first half of the maze is in the swamps, and second is on a sand filled shore. Overall this is the most visually pleasing maze at Knott’s Scary Farm, and a must-do. No doubt. – Voodoo: Order of the Serpent features a Skeleton Key Room. To keep Skeleton Key rooms a surprise, we will not be talking about what happens in the Skeleton Key room. (Skeleton Key Room Rating for this maze: 8.5)
The Toothfairy – Length Rating: 8 Scare Rating: 8 Set Rating: 9 Experience Rating: 8 FINAL SCORE: 8.25
Toothfairy is back by popular demand! Now in all honesty, when it was first introduced in 2014, it failed to exceed my expectations. This year, I loved it! Knott’s added a lot of scenes, including a feel-your-way out scene, and just overall the maze was way better! The maze felt very long, which was due to the incredible amount of different scenes, little hallways, etc. I did like how the focus was extended to a wider theme, which meant that there’s something terrifying for everyone. The maze does lack actor-scares, I felt. There are some good scares by actors jumping out at you. But a ton of actors are just there to set the scene and make things look gruesome. Nonetheless, I thought Toothfairy was very strong this year, combined with Voodoo and Paranormal in the same plaza, creating a very strong line-up in that area! – Toothfairy features a Skeleton Key Room. To keep Skeleton Key rooms a surprise, we will not be talking about what happens in the Skeleton Key room. (Skeleton Key Room Rating for this maze: 8)
Gunslinger’s Grave: A Blood Moon Rises – Length Rating: 7.5 Scare Rating: 7 Set Rating: 8 Experience Rating: 6 FINAL SCORE: 7.13
Where as the Gunslinger’s Grave was the hidden-gem maze in 2014, that I personally had in my top 3, it scored lowest in this year’s ratings. The Gunslinger’s Grave: A Blood Moon Rises is a spin on the original Gunslinger’s Grave, with pretty much an invasion of werewolves. But the theme failed to be well-established. It’s incredibly unclear what’s going on if you’re a guest that hasn’t done any research prior to attending the event, and the overall touches around the maze just felt unfinished. As where I absolutely love the theme of a western maze, going through mines into a western town, I would’ve left out the werewolves. They were either animatronics or non-moving statures. The amount of scares weren’t up to par with the opportunities there were to scare guests, and overall I left the maze dissapointed. Though it’s a cool theme, and pays tremendous homage to the real Knott’s theme, this version isn’t developed well enough. Don’t make this maze a priority. Though the lines may be short for it, then it’s always good to tackle it, especially on busy Saturday Scary Farm Nights.
Paranormal Inc. – Length Rating: 9 Scare Rating: 9 Set Rating: 9 Experience Rating: 9 FINAL SCORE: 9
And here we’ve got a maze that blew all of us away! Receiving the highest ratings in this year’s Knott’s Scary Farm Maze Ratings and Reviews is the brand new Paranormal Inc! This maze is themed after the ghost-hunting practices of Paranormal Inc. as they’re at the Hayden Hill Sanitarium. The maze starts with a pre-show, which was incredibly well done, and include some stunts, great theming, and acting. The maze then instantly becomes a choose-your-own-path maze. Both paths return to a single path 1/3rd through the maze. The maze had incredible theming, a great amount of different scenes, and a perfect combination of effects scares as well as jump scares by actors. The maze felt a tad sci-fi like, which is a genre that’s hard to convey in a maze, but Knott’s Scary Farm did a wonderful job. I would say this maze should definitely be a priority during your visit to Knott’s Scary Farm, it is elaborate, long, well-themed, different, and fun. It’s a great overall maze.
Trick Or Treat – Length Rating: 7 Scare Rating: 7 Set Rating: 8 Experience Rating: 8 FINAL SCORE: 7.5
This maze, standing out more last year, is now overshadowed by way better mazes at the event. Nonetheless, I love Trick or Treat! This maze features a general Halloween theme, and throws in the Knott’s Scary Farm’s distinctive Green Witch character, for a short but very fun maze. In this maze as well, some of the scenes were changed from last year, and overall the maze has improved. There aren’t a whole lot of scares in the maze, but I personally like to look at this maze as a fun one. There’s no need for insane terror, this maze is a bit of a breather for most! Be aware, I’m not the only one that likes this maze a lot! The lines are pretty much always long for it, so make sure to tackle some highlight, longer, mazes first!
The Dead of Winter – Length Rating: 7 Scare Rating: 8 Set Rating: 9 Experience Rating: 9 FINAL SCORE: 8.25
There are people who love it, and then there are people who don’t… I personally am a big fan of this maze. I looked forward to the Dead of Winter for a while, and was definitely not disappointed. I must say, my first impression was from going through the maze alone, without other guests near-by, and upon my second visit realized a bit of the scare factor is gone when guests are being surprised right in front of you. Nonetheless, this was definitely my hidden-gem love of this year’s event. The Skeleton Key room is very cool, and the start of the maze is perfect, not spoiling much, but mirrors can be deceiving. The theme, though lacking a clear story-line, is very unique, and worked great if you ask me! There’s only a single dark scene in the maze, and the rest is an icy landscape with bodies below the ice, and yetis in their caves. Now I understand this is one of those hit or miss mazes, but for me it was a huge hit, and I advice you to definitely visit it! – Dead of Winter features a Skeleton Key Room. To keep Skeleton Key rooms a surprise, we will not be talking about what happens in the Skeleton Key room. (Skeleton Key Room Rating for this maze: 8)
My Bloody Clementine – Length Rating: 9 Scare Rating: 8 Set Rating: 8 Experience Rating: 8 FINAL SCORE: 8.25
Now this is what I call a ride transformation done right! The Calico Mine Ride is transformed into My Bloody Clementine for this year’s event, and it was fantastic! Guests board the ore-cars and go off into the mines where a bunch of new light effect are utilized. In addition there’s a crazy amount of fog, special audio, image mapping on screens and rocks… and… LIVE ACTORS. I had an incredible ride on it, and even though the theme is not very well-established upon entry to the ride, the experience was great, and the theme becomes clear a few minutes into the ride. It’s something entirely different, and very fun! I advice all of you to check it out when at the event!
Specials Ops: Infected- Patient Zero – Length Rating: 9 Scare Rating: 7.5 Set Rating: 9 Experience Rating: 8 FINAL SCORE: 8.38
Last but not least… Special Ops: Infected – Patient Zero. This year the live zombie warfare interactive game featured more scare actor zombies than ever before! In addition, unlike last year, the entire course is one large circle now, rather than two courses in the same space. Guests will use upgraded laser guns to shoot at the zombies and gain points, if zombies come near you, you will lose lives on your gun, in addition, you need to digitally reload the gun! The quality of this already amazing experience went up a bunch, and it’s a highlight can’t-miss attraction at Knott’s Scary Farm! Make sure to get your reservation AS SOON AS YOU ENTER THE PARK, or you won’t be able to experience Special Ops: Infected- Patient Zero! And you’re not gonna want to miss running through caves, over bridges, in and out buildings, in a fight against hundreds of zombies!
Overall, this year’s Knott’s Scary Farm event is outstanding! I had a blast last year, and wasn’t sure how they were going to top that, but they did. In every single way possible. Each maze that returned has been upgraded and has become a lot better than they already were (except for Gunslinger’s Grave)! Overall the best maze of this year’s event was Paranormal Inc., which was closely followed by Voodoo: Order of the Serpent and Toothfairy. I personally advice everyone to also make sure to visit the Dead of Winter, as it’s a unique theme, and I absolutely fell in love with it! – Make sure to make your way to Knott’s Scary Farm this year everyone, one of the best (if not THE BEST) Halloween Events in the WORLD!
Thank you for checking out the Maze Ratings and Reviews of Knott’s Scary Farm 2015, we will have the Shows and Scare Zones Reviews LIVE soon, so check back! In addition, share your thoughts of the mazes with us below! What’s your favorite?
Our Halloween 2015 Page is also LIVE. This page gathers all California Theme-park Halloween coverage on ONE simple page, and is an ultimate guide to use! Click on the banner to be redirected and prepare your Halloween trip! (All Halloween Horror Nights Reviews and Ratings are also found there!)