Review: Castle Dark 2021
Castle Dark has emerged once again, returning to normal haunting after the difficulties of the 2020 pandemic. This year, they offer four scare zones and three mazes. Just east Chino Hills, they are reasonably close Dark Harvest Haunt and Fear In 3D. With proper planning, serious haunt-seekers can hit all three in one night.
Castle Dark 2021 Review: Scare Zones
The Inferno is a cult-themed scare zone that haunts you near the entrance. They are definitely outside the first bathroom in the park. So if you feel like taking a potty break, you’ll have to go through them first!
Dark Harvest probably had the creepiest actors in the Scare Zone, looks wise. They were the type that stays still or walks slowly and has you assuming that they won’t be coming after you.
In Streets Of La Sierra, you would find scare actors themed as Dia De Los Muertos characters because of the location that they are in. It just worked out naturally like the next Scare Zone with clowns and a circus maze to follow.
The Midway is always a crowd favorite. It has clowns, performers, scare actors that make fun of you and even semi-contortionists. These clowns and circus/freak show folks cover a large area. If you want to get to the maze, you better be brave enough to get through them first.
Castle Dark 2021 Review: Mazes
Home Sweet Home featured a tour of the home of a redneck/Hillbilly family that’s completely deranged and unstable. They tell us to watch out for Daddy because he’s having a bad day. But really we have no idea why he’s so dangerous; instead you should watch out for Mama! Mama’s throwing projectiles.
Mr. Tubb’$ Twisted Circus is a returning circus themed maze conveniently located behind The Midway Scare Zone. In this maze, we encountered killer clowns and talent from a traveling circus or freakshow. This was a memorable maze because of its color, a giant cotton candy explosion display and the funny improv from the clowns.
Unfortunately, Phobias was dark when we visited.
Castle Dark 2021 Review: Conclusion
Castle Dark is a deal if your intent is to go for both the rides and for the Halloween entertainment. Though the talent works hard for the most part, the entire experience still needs work to equate to the level of other theme park haunt attractions. We would love to see signage of where to go for each maze because we found ourselves walking around helplessly to find them. This is the 2nd time that a maze has closed without any notification when we attended; which makes it hard to justify the value at the end of the day. However, if you love scare actors and scare zones; we found the most joy interacting with the actors in each scare zone and seeing the actors work in their respective mazes.
Castle Dark 2021 Ratings
Though it is great that Castle Dark is once again open for business, we expected more from this comeback season. We did not anticipate a maze going dark, which has happened in the past, with no advance warning. We recommend calling to confirm that everything is open before making the trip.
Castle Dark continues on weekends in October. Admission starts at 34.99 and includes rides. Castle Park’s address is 3500 Polk St, Riverside, CA 92505. For more info, visit: castlepark.com.