Fright Fest 2010
Posted 15 October 2010 - 12:22 PM
Truthfully, the park's family friendly nature puts it lower on my radar than most other haunts. Nothing ruins the scares more than a bunch of kids running around and blowing those whistles so you can't really enjoy the work of the actors. The decorations are usually good, but few new props each year (granted, they do not charge extra, so I can't really complain, but the mazes themselves need more work to justify continuing to charge for them). Compare it to Dorney's Haunt and outside of the haunts themselves, you can say they both have similar amounts of props visible to the public. The side shows help to compare against having haunts, but for those of us who love the haunts and scarezones, it's been very bad.
I do wonder why the mazes are so bad. I obviously do not refer to the actors (who do a good job despite what they have to work with, but instead on the efforts otherwise. Mazes being made of just covered fencing doesn't really work well, and having the wooden "hallway" for the Asylum last year was an improvement, but the lack of props and theming don't really explain the $5 extra charge. More importantly to me is the paths are always far too wide to work. I don't get that claustrophobic feeling I should when walking through a haunt, and when it takes an actor 5 steps just to get to me (as opposed to being behind a "wall" you are walking around), I feel bad for the actor having to work that hard unnecessarily. Since the layouts also seem to be quickly thrown together in just 3 weeks (unlike the month and a half I often see other parks use), it feels like the park is just throwing them together expecting us to just pay and enter no matter how good or bad it is. It's still popular as the crowds continue to show, but in just 3 years, Dorney far outclasses the park for scares with a much smaller park yet, they can offer 9 mazes (and 2 scare zones they call mazes). I also feel like I pass more actors in each zone than all of the free haunted zones at GAdv combined. It wouldn't really take much to improve it a lot, yet it seems like the improvements are really really small increments. If it wasn't for the shows like the sideshow acts, and now the Ghoulmaster show alongside the DMP, I'd wonder if they even gave much thought to FF.
Posted 15 October 2010 - 04:43 PM
^ I love Eastern State, but what I've heard is that it's lame compared to Bates Motel - I'll be visiting Bate's Motel in a few weeks so I can't wait to see the comparison!
Has anyone gone to GADV on Halloween? What's it like?
It's really exactly the same as any other day during Fright Fest. I'm actually surprised they don't do anything special for it but whatever
Posted 17 October 2010 - 09:09 PM
Posted 17 October 2010 - 10:01 PM
Eastern State Penitentiary, Philly
Blood Manor, NYC
Field of Screams (Haven't been yet)
Posted 18 October 2010 - 02:41 PM
Ghoulmaster's Ghosts is incorrectly labelled on the maps as 15 minutes. I think it hit closer to 30 mins and was late for the 4:15 (and we believe the 7:15) showings on Sat. but was pretty well done and did a nice job giving us extra characters to be familiar with by naming and giving backgrounds on a couple of the ghosts there. Could be a new way to merch some unique characters, but it did give a bit of a personal feel for them.
The DMP was a nice surprise. For the most part, the nice but long in the tooth choreography was changed around and the addition of more pyro helped keep it more exciting.
Escape from the Asylum was actually quite good, though it still felt underfunded. The actors were good and the extended wooden hallway prop was nicely done, but the "rooms" are just open areas with at least funny signs, and props along with the fog, but I can't help but feel that a true "asylum" feel with walls that look like you are inside a real building (or even inside an actual structure, though I suspect the town is still not open to that idea) would help a lot.
The graveyard being restricted to a one way path looked good too (though we never got there at night due to the insane crowds - Seeing Nitro's line up to the entrance sign is scarier than the trails). It did feel like many more characters were around than in past years, so that was nice to see.
Zambora got a nice upgraded show, but the lines are bad since it looks like they can only accommodate half the crowd that they could in the other location. The fire guys helped entertain the lines, though, and they were awesome (reminded me of the guys at Dorney last year).
Dorney's Haunt is actually pretty high up there, and I'd recommend it for people looking for scares as well. The Death Trap and Backwoods haunts did a really nice job with theming with fairly gory scenes that FF won't ever come close to, for example.
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