We did a trek up to Six Flags Magic Mountain for their annual Fright Fest event. Since it is their big 30 Year Celebration, we wanted to experience everything. However, due to unhelpful staff and elongated lines just to get our haunted attraction pass, we had time for only the two most important attractions. Sadly, there were more delays along the way.
Read on if you dare…
Review: Six Flags Fright Fest’s New Mazes – SAW X
The SAW X maze title could be misleading, but to hardcore Jigsaw fanatics, it won’t matter. The walk-through’s title suggests it is themed for the latest installation of the franchise, released last September 29. It actually includes scenes from the other movies in the franchise, lots of them. The traps and props were decent quality – you can envision the actual scenes from the movies.
We had been warned by an insider that the maze was not 100% complete on the day of our visit; that source was correct. We noticed a wall with what appeared to be Tyvek material still waiting to be covered and some dangling cords. Parts of the maze were open air; the rest were tented, which was easily visible. From the exterior, it may look like this maze is inside of a building. Once inside, that illusion is ruined.
We found the lack of Jigsaw himself and his voice to be a bit disappointing. There seemed to be one scare actor, with a pig mask and robe – which basically is Amanda from the SAW franchise – popping out at us in each room. The actor’s robe was not completely buttoned, exposing his/her graphic tee, jeans, and sneakers. Things like this destroy the immersive aspect out of the experience; it’s okay for a home haunt but not for a theme park.
We did not expect much going into this maze as we knew it had issues (opening late with not everything finished). However, we did enjoy the props, and the acting of the victims in the the traps was definitely theatre worthy.
Our Rating: 3.5/5
Review: Six Flags Fright Fest’s New Mazes – The Conjuring
Ready for more delays? After being misdirected by park staff, we eventually managed to find the right line. Then an employee announced, “It’ll just be a few more minutes. The actors are taking their breaks and going to the bathroom and that sort of stuff.” This “sort of stuff” usually happens at a home haunt using volunteer actors, not at a theme parking charging $30 for a haunted attraction pass in addition to their regular admission price. After fifteen minutes, the walk-through restarted. Fifteen minutes may not make much difference to someone with a fast pass, but pity the poor regular pass holder who already have an hour wait ahead of them.
The first room of the maze was the most impressive as it was inside of Ed and Lorraine Warren’s occult collection of haunted objects. Of course, we saw the Annabelle doll staring at us as we went deeper in the room. A scare actress, presumably playing Lorraine Warren, did her spiel, and then one of the objects suddenly came to life, and she told us to run. We then explored the rest of the house on our own, coming in contact with characters from the movie.
Parts of this maze reminded us of the walk-through at Warner Bros.’ Horror Made Here, which remains by far the best Conjuring experience we’ve ever enjoyed. Some of the props looked extremely realistic; the maze’s second half, however, seemed put together with less decorated walls. It almost felt as if they ran out of time and just went with what they had.
Overall, we liked the first half of The Conjuring, including the skit with the Lorraine Warren character. Being inside of a building, the walkthrough does feel more immersive than the SAW X maze.
Our Rating: 3/5
Review: Six Flags Fright Fest’s New Mazes: Conclusion
It takes a lot of energy mentally and physically to navigate Six Flags Magic Mountain’s annual Halloween event: the long trek from the parking lot to the front, the uphill climb to attractions, the inconveniences from lines and unhelpful staff. There has also been a mishap or two the past few years, with a new maze not fully ready on opening weekend. Perhaps we should lower our expectations when coming to Fright Fest, but deep inside, we were genuinely hoping things would be different this year, especially for their 30th anniversary. However, that was not the case. We visited late in the season to give it a chance at completion, we should note that our visit was on October 21st. If you can overlook the things we mentioned above, then Fright Fest is okay for those who don’t wish to travel to the other Halloween theme parks. Overall, both IP mazes need work, and they still fall short compared to the other high-end walkthroughs. We rated only the two new mazes since we ran out of time for the rest of the park. Maybe our experience will be better in the near future. Who knows?