Knott’s Berry Farm previewed their 2019 Halloween Haunt last night. More promotional event than press junket, the preview came across like an entertaining stage show, complete with energetic musical numbers to excite eager fans; nevertheless, some interesting tidbits of information were revealed. There will be two new mazes, four returning scare zones, and some additions to the returning attractions.
The new mazes are: Waxworks and Origins – The Curse of Calico. The former is riff on the archetypal horror-movie plot in which a madman creates mannequins by dipping human victims into wax. The maze is set to feature elaborate prosthetic makeup to portray the resulting “artworks” and some impressive production design, including imposingly large “brick” facade to create the sense that visitors are entering a real building, not an amusement park fun house.
Origins – The Curse of Calico will provide the back story of Knott’s Scary Farm’s mascot, the Green Witch, sentenced to hang in the ghost town of Calico, on which Knott’s Berry Farm is based. The game plan here is to exploit the theme park’s own history and western motifs and to create a maze that will blend with the Ghost Town Streets scare zone and the annual show, The Hanging.
The returning mazes are Shadowlands, Special Ops: Infected, The Depths, Dark Entities, Dark Ride, Pumpkin Eater, and Paranormal Inc. Special Ops: Infected will feature a split path with a new scene. Dark Ride will have a new exit that takes guests through a gift shop. Dark Entities will attempt to intensify the scare factor with enhanced effects.
Note: This will be the last year for both Shadowlands and Special Ops: Infected.
The four returning scare zones are Forbidden Lake, CarnEvil, The Hollows, and Ghost Town Streets. Forbidden Lake, which debuted last Halloween, will be expanded, with more set pieces.
There will also be a new show, Pup It Up: Uncensored, from the Jim Henson Creature Shop. Basically, this is Muppets doing improve comedy, but the gimmick is that the live audience will see both the show as it would appear on a TV screen (that is, puppets only) and the off-screen antics of the live performers manipulating the puppets.