Six Flags Magic Mountain has really stepped up their game. I can conclude that they have improved immensely. Their new mazes are amazing, and their old ones sure had me scared again. The overall level of Fright Fest has increased, and I think it’s time SFMM is being recognized for their event, it’s at the level to fairly compete with Halloween Horror Nights and Scary Farm. Let’s take a look at the ratings and reviews of the mazes of 2014.
I’ll be giving each maze 3 ratings and a total rating. One rating based on how scary the maze is, one based one how well the sets/scenes look, and one based on the overall experience and impression it made. Some of the mazes have what we call a ‘free-skeleton-key-room’, in which guests gather in a room first, where something related to the maze happens first, after which they’re sent into the maze. These did not influence the scores and will be discussed separately.
Chupacabra: Scare Rating: 7 Set Rating: 7 Experience Rating: 7 FINAL Rating: 7
- The maze never seems to have a line, but I’m starting to understand why. There are simply a lot better mazes out in the park. Chupacabra does have a great soundtrack, and the maze has indoor and outdoor sections to it. It seemed as if they decided to turn off the lights this year, as there were several parts where guests had to find their way through pitch-black hallways. Additionally, the amount of fog used this year was phenomenal too, leaving guests wondering what direction to go at several points.
Toyz of Terror 3D: Scare Rating: 8 Set Rating: 9 Experience Rating: 8 FINAL Rating: 8.3
- Wow, FREE 3D glasses! Who’d ever thought that Six Flags Magic Mountain would do that? (Since Jokster’s Hide-Out 3D glasses were $1 each). The maze has some good surprising elements, as last year, with many narrow hallways, and a lot of bright colored rooms everywhere. Though the overall layout of the maze hasn’t changed from last year, the maze has been repainted with 3D painting techniques. And it really worked out, a piece of art I’d almost say. But be warned, it is very disorienting, and with several fun-house elements already in the maze, make sure to mind your step! Overall the maze wasn’t as scary as I remember it being last year, but it looks fantastic with the 3D effects, and overall it’s a very fun maze with lots of elements not found in other mazes.
- Pre-maze room: Guests are gathered inside the toy factory where the owner gives a little speech, right before the door opens to enter the maze, the toy-factory owner jumps out of the wall towards the crowd. It’s a fun little introduction to the maze, in which the background story is told. Something I prefer, since mazes at Halloween events can get pretty weird.
Willoughby’s Resurrected: Scare Rating: 8 Set Rating: 9 Experience Rating: 9 FINAL Rating: 8.7
- Don’t know how, but due to the many scenes I always end up getting scared several times. This maze is one of my favorites. It’s always a fun experience, and there are plenty of actors throughout the maze. Additionally, guests often walk elevated over the scenes, meaning that scare actors often hide behind small walls and then jump up. The maze is long, which is always a plus. And even though it doesn’t have a specific finale room, the last two rooms have animatronic creatures, are full off scare-actors, and are dark. The ending is probably the most interesting and scary part of the maze. Willoughby’s resurrected was one of the best the last couple of years, it still is very good, though there are many new mazes that are amazing as well!
- Pre-maze room: The one room that ALWAYS gets me. Before guests enter the maze, each party is entering the room independently to be presented the rules. As the rules of the Willoughbys is presented, a loud noise, and air effects suddenly scare guests, as an animatronic head slams against the wall. Meanwhile a picture is taken. Many don’t have a clue what’s to come and it scares a lot of guests! (Once guests exit the maze, the photo has been processed and can be purchased for $10).
Total Darkness: Scare Rating: 7 Set Rating: 6 Experience Rating: 8 FINAL Rating: 7
- This maze is a fan favorite (look at the picture of the line on opening night!). The maze hasn’t changed from last year when it comes to the layout. And I never found the maze scary. That is due to the fact that even if actors hide around corners, which happened more in Black Out than in Total Darkness, they’re not scary, because you have simply no clue where they are, and you move at an insanely slow speed bumping into walls. The set is slightly boring, of course, since it’s all black walls. The ending is where the points are claimed, the collapsing (inflating) walls guests have to plow through are great! The experience rating though went up, as it’s almost as if you’re trapped. This year, there are no tiny flashlights distributed… good luck moving faster than 0.5 miles per hour and not running into walls! (Line was all the way down to Scream! On opening night!)
The Aftermath: Scare Rating: 8 Set Rating: 9 Experience Rating: 8 FINAL Rating: 8.3
- The Aftermath never fails to impress. Never. And it sure wasn’t disappointing this year either. In fact, the maze has a new scene towards the end, where many more actors hide to scare you. The lighting inside the stadium this year was pretty bad. The theming is wonderful, but the blue, purple, and green lights were missing around the cars and set pieces. They did though decide to make the tunnel of endless thick fog even more disorienting. They turned off almost all lights, but pumped in more fog than ever before. I found myself moving at a speed of below 0.5 miles per hour, lost total track of where I was and ran into walls about 5 times. This tunnel isn’t even that long. But it’s insanely awesome, I absolutely love getting stuck in there, having no clue where the tunnel ends, and hearing other guests scream for directions, welcome to the aftermath ladies and gents. Though the helicopter didn’t work the first night, it’s now back! The soundtrack was a bit hard to hear, and the actual maze was pretty fog-less, the flame-thrower and new scene made up for it again. You can never go wrong with The Aftermath!
- Pre-maze room: It’s not a room, but the concept is the same. Guests will be gathered around the Aftermath-lady (What I call her), that tells what happened to the city, and gives advise on how to run away from the zombies. She then tells everyone to get out of her face and enter the Aftermath. Another crew member than opens the huge slide door for people to enter the stadium, where a couple of actors eagerly wait to scare guests, then the actual maze begins with that insane fog tunnel described above.
Willoughby’s Garden Of Darkness: Scare Rating: 8 Set Rating: 7 Experience Rating: 9 FINAL Rating: 8
- This is a very interesting new maze. The old exit is now the entrance, and vice versa. The set is very simple, and there isn’t anything to it but endless hedges and camouflage living plant-actors. Funny enough, it had me scared pretty good! There are several very dark alleys, and the maze itself is very long. The fact that it’s such a simple idea, but yet it scared so many guests, proves that a maze doesn’t have to be super-elaborately themed to be of quality. I found myself going on it multiple times, as the lines are pretty short, and came to realize that it’s a fun replacement of Black Widow. It’s an alternative spin on the ancient hedge-mazes, Fright Fest style of course.
Red’s Revenge: Scare Rating: 8 Set Rating: 9 Experience Rating: 9 FINAL Rating: 8.7
- Red’s Revenge… where to begin… This maze surprised me, beyond believe. I saw the concept arts before, and I was really worried they weren’t going to pull it off. Wow, was I wrong. The maze starts in a little village, with wonderful scenery. The maze has lots of different scenes, and is set up similar to a sound-stage. High ceilings, large set pieces, and several cottages or rooms that guests pass through. There are plenty of actors, and lots of places they hide in. The maze is so incredibly detailed that I went through it multiple times and kept seeing totally different objects I almost swore I didn’t see before. The maze has a great mix of beauty and scare, and several of those famous Red Riding-hood elements. The trees in the forest are all very detailed, and wonderfully looking. Overall, this maze impressed me, and represents the quality of Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest. The lines move quickly due to the simultaneous use of two pre-maze scare rooms. (Described below).
- Pre-maze room: Groups of about 20 guests at a time will enter one of the 2 pre-maze rooms were a TV is located. The host will ask everyone if they know the tale of Red Riding-hood. Most people nod ‘yes’, and the host will go on. He tells everyone that a crucial part of the story was failed to be told, and he starts the video explaining the background story of Red’s Revenge. Then, towards the end of the video, a similar effect as Willoughby’s takes place, as a wooden box in front of the TV starts shaking and makes loud noises as it blows out air. Guests then exit the room on the other side, and enter the small village. It’s awesome that the park installed 2 pre-maze rooms, to accommodate the crowds. Clever. The rooms are very nicely detailed, and even the TV’s are cover with vegetation. A great start to a great new maze!
Vault 666: Scare Rating: 9 Set Rating: 9 Experience Rating: 9 FINAL Rating: 9
- I saw it at the preview for Media a couple of months ago, and in full action it didn’t disappoint me. The maze is put in a small building, but has lots of cool elements and scenes. Due to the narrowness of the maze, you will be scared at several points. The mazes uses many animatronics to scare people, and they won’t stop! The detail is pretty incredible, and several scenes such as the opening scene (discussed below), the blood-scene, and the closing scene are simply amazing. This maze has a bit of it all, and is very different from any other maze at the park, it’s one of these mazes you need to experience for yourself.
- Pre-maze room: Guest will enter with about 20 people at a time. Before they enter the security room, guests get to hear the background story. The lady form Vault 666 explains that the research facility is working with creating a mix between humans and animals. But, she explains, before guests can enter the facility, they will need to go through a security check. She explains how it’s crucial, since someone brought in a banana ‘last week’, which caused a lot of chaos. Guests then enter the security check point, which is an elaborately themed room with lots of screens. Suddenly the security guard jumps away from his seat to hide as the alarm goes off. The lady comes running in and tells everyone to flee the opposite way, and that all will be fine in the end. This is where guests enter the facility.
Overall, as I mentioned before, Six Flags Magic Mountain stepped up their game, BIG TIME! The mazes were phenomenal this Fright Fest.
What’s your favorite maze of 2014? Please share this review with your Fright Fest, and Theme-park loving, friends! Don’t forget to comment below!
For all Knott’s Scary Farm 2014 Maze Reviews; please click here. For all Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Fright Fest 2014 Maze Reviews, click here. For all California’s Great America Haunt 2014 Maze Reviews, click here.