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Halloween 2019 Review: The Haunted Hotel’s “Disturbance”

After 28 years, the Haunted Hotel of San Diego is undergoing a temporary disturbance. Unable to house guests in The Gaslamp district, they have taken their show on the road and set up shop in Mission Valley for Halloween 2019, where haunt goers who can’t make it to the bustling streets of downtown San Diego now have an opportunity to check-in for a “pleasant” night’s stay.

What’s new for this season? Fans of The Haunted Hotel know that it was one long maze in an “underground” setting, where things went to hell after a dangerous descent in an elevator. Now rebranded as “The Disturbance,” the single walk-through has been split into three, giving each section a more clear-cut definition: Kill-Billy Chaos, 3D Freak Fest, and The Haunted Hotel. The split also prevents any confusion about why Kill-Billies and Killer Clowns were inside The Haunted Hotel in the first place (visiting relatives in the city perhaps?).

The Haunted Hotel’s Disturbance 2019 Review: Mazes
The Disturbance 2019 Review
Blood Bayou, formerly “Kill-Billies”

Kill-Billy Chaos (which was renamed to “Blood Bayou” on site) makes the most sense as an independent maze. We entered the home of some cannibalistic hillbillies, hence the term “Kill-Billy.” As we continued on in the property, we were constantly interrupted by the the Kill-Billies, who looked at us while they salivated.

The second half gets a bit confusing. Somehow we ended in a lab and then either a quarantine or detention facility. The maze wrapped up in some sort of torture chamber. Though we did not quite get how it transitioned, we still appreciated the multiple scare actors they had in each room. It was full of action throughout.

The Haunted Hotel 2019 Review
3D Freak Fest

In 3D Freak Fest, we got to walk through with 3D glasses, which is something old school that we don’t often see anymore. What happens when you let a bunch of circus freaks run wild? The result is 3-D Freak-Fest. This walk-through features a maze within a maze, meaning you’ll have to eventually find your way out if you want to leave. Devious and demented clowns may direct and show you the way. However, will they send you to a “dead”-end?

San Diego Halloween Haunts 2019 photographs
The Haunted Hotel is rebranded as Disturbance this Halloween.

In The Haunted Hotel, you descend to the basement in the “hellavator” with your gracious and friendly zombie-mutant maintenance man. During our descent into “hell,” an automated voice repeated herself: “Elevator Malfunction…Please evacuate the hotel immediately.” I think the zombie-mutant maintenance man took us to the wrong floor. The maze took us to all the major rooms you would find in a luxurious hotel. The downside of the luxury was that everybody has been turned into a zombie. From the boiler room to the kitchen to the bar to even a couples love suite – you may find yourself checking in permanently.

The Haunted Hotel’s Disturbance 2019 Review: Conclusion

Since The Haunted Hotel’s Disturbance is located farther north for the time being, it is actually much closer to The Haunted Trail at Balboa Park and Scream Zone in Del Mar. This makes hitting all three more feasible, which we did. It is rare to see a multi-haunt attraction in a mall parking lot these days. We appreciate the old school vibe it gives off on top of some of the classic scares inside the walk-throughs. Also, splitting the maze into three allows for better storytelling compared to previous years. Though we would like to see Blood Bayou’s theme geared more towards the title,  we enjoyed the other two mazes, and both had story lines that made sense.

The Haunted Hotel's Disturbance 2019 Ratings
  • 100%
    The Haunted Hotel - 100%
  • 95%
    3-D Freak Fest - 95%
  • 85%
    Kill-billy Chaos/Blood Bayou - 85%

Bottom Line

Plenty of free parking, three haunts for the price of 1, more defined storylines, and plenty of photo ops with the cast.

We hear there are still vacancies at the Haunted Hotel for the following dates: October 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, November and 2. Hours vary by day. The Disturbance is located at 1288 Camino Del Rio N.  San Diego, CA near the Target at the mall. GA is 24.99 and VIP is 39.99. For up-to-date tickets and logistics, visit: hauntedhotel.com/schedule.


Media Correspondent, Videographer, Photographer @Hollywood Gothique, Halloween Fanatic.