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Review: Scream Break at Six Flags Magic Mountain

Scream Break offers a small-scale version of Fright Fest, with scares themed to Spring Vacation.

Scream Break turns out to be a scaled-down version of Six Flags Magic Mountain’s annual Fright Fest, at a scaled down price. The scares are cleverly themed to Spring Break, lending a distinctive flavor that distinguishes them from their Halloween counterparts.

The results are immensely enjoyable, but the entertainment options are so limited (basically, half a dozen rides and two haunted houses) that fright fans will have to assess whether the separately ticketed event is worthwhile, depending on how much they enjoy roller coasters and/or dance music after the scares have been exhausted.

Scream Break Review: Set Up

Running for three hours after Six Flags closes its doors to daytime visitors, Scream Break is confined to two adjacent sections of Magic Mountain, the Full Throttle Plaza and the DC Universe. The rest of Magic Mountain looks dark, and upon arriving through the main entrance there are no decorations or scare zones to indicate anything special is happening.

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Both DC Universe and  Full Throttle Plaza offer music and rides, but the scares are mostly segregated to the latter area. Live music and DJs are advertised, but we saw only later on the sparsely attended night we visited). The rollercoasters include Wonder Woman, Batman, Full Throttle, Scream, Goliath, and Twisted Colossus. In addition, there is a themed cocktail available in the Full Throttle Sports Bar: the Spiked Skull on the Beach, which is offered in alcoholic and nonalcoholic versions.

Scream Break Review: Full Throttle Scares

The only two walk-through attractions, Condamned and Vault 666, are adjacent to the Full Throttle Sports bar, along with a scare zone inhabited by stilt-walkers, sliders, and some sociable if undead undergrads. The Spring Break theming is obvious not only in the characters haunting the scare zone but also in the rebranding of the haunted houses: “Condamned: House Party” and “Vault 666: Initiation.” The settings remain much the same, but the ghoulish inhabitants are quite different.

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Condamned: House Party is the star attraction. The house party theme allows for a boisterous atmosphere that contrasts nicely with the horror, creating a walkthrough experience that feels totally different from the Halloween version. Toga-wearing party guests shout and dance with wild abandon, distracting you from the scares about to pounce from behind walls or out of the shadows, and there is an exuberant sense of humor on display: a skeleton in the rafters holds an empty beverage cup, suggesting too much partying led to his demise; a hole in the wall features not a jump-scare but a megaphone blaring: “TURN THE MUSIC DOWN!!”

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Vault 666: Initiation is a clever idea, turning the demonic haunted house into a sinister fraternity initiation, but the result is not quite as distinctive from its Halloween incarnation as Condamned: House Party manages to be. There is only so much that can be down to mask the setting as a fraternity house, so it’s up to the cast to shoulder the Initiation theme. The effectiveness depends largely on your encounters with the characters: embedded within a large group, you might experience little more than familiar (if effective) jump-scares, but if you are lucky enough to be singled out for special attention, you may really feel as if you are being initiated into a satanic coven. (We went through twice, and the second time was much better thanks to exactly this sort of one-on-one interaction.)

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Overall, the Full Throttle area provides an isolated pocket of enjoyable horrors. The scare zone is a blast, thanks to the characters, and the haunted houses manage to distinguish themselves from their Halloween incarnations: Vault 666: Initiation is at least different, though perhaps less sinister; Condamned: House Party is an outright improvement – one of the most enjoyable walkthroughs in recent memory.

Scream Break Review: Conclusion

Scream Break delivers enjoyable scares in limited supply. The attractions effectively exploit the Scream Break theme; we just wish there were more of them. Depending on crowd size, haunt-seekers can get through the mazes in an hour or two; after that, there is not much to do if you are not interested in rollercoasters or dancing.

What’s available would definitely be worthwhile as value-added entertainment – say, for an additional fee on top of the regular admission price (as happens during Halloween), allowing visitors to get a full day’s worth of entertainment at Magic Mountain and then a little extra something after dark. Whether the attractions add up to the price of a separately ticketed event is something that fright fans will have to decide for themselves.

Six Flags Magic Mountain Scream Break Rating
  • General Admission Tickets

Rating Scale

1 – Avoid
2 – Not recommended but not all bad
3 – Recommended
4 – Highly Recommended
5 – Must See

With its frightful entertainment cleverly themed to spring vacation, Scream Break would definitely be worth a small upcharge to Magic Mountain’s usual ticket price, but whether they is enough to justify a separate admission is something that fright fans will have to decide for themselves. The ticket price is reasonable, and parking is free, so if you’re looking for three hours of nighttime fun on the weekend, this could be for you. However, we doubt there is enough to make it worth a return visit, so we do not recommend the 14-Night Extreme Break Pass.

Scream Break continues at Six Flags Magic Mountain on weekend nights (Friday-Saturday-Sunday) through April 16; hours are from are 9pm to midnight only. This is a separately ticketed event; Scream Break tickets do not include admission during daylight hours. Single Night Tickets are $39.99; 14-Night Extreme Break Pass is $159.99. The address is 26101 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia, CA 91355. For more information, visit: the official website.

Scream Break Review: Photographs

Steve Biodrowski, Administrator

A graduate of USC film school, Steve Biodrowski has worked as a film critic, journalist, and editor at Movieline, Premiere, Le Cinephage, The Dark Side., Cinefantastique magazine, Fandom.com, and Cinescape Online. He is currently Managing Editor of Cinefantastique Online and owner-operator of Hollywood Gothique.