As the sun sets over Buena Park, CA., Knott's Berry Farm -
America's 1st theme park - undergoes an unusual transformation on
select nights in September and October.
Photo by Noe Valladolid
First a weird fog fills the streets of Ghost Town ...
Then out of that mist comes all manner of monster ...
Each of them determined to frighten the bejesus out of
anyone who was brave enough and/or foolhardy enough to buy a ticket to the 39th
annual Halloween Haunt at Knott's Scary Farm.
Copyright 2011 Cedar Fair Entertainment
Company. All rights reserved
JimHillMedia was lucky enough to score an invite to the
opening night of this year's Haunt. And as Noe Valladolid (JHM's photographer)
stood among the ghouls in Ghost Town, getting some shots just before rope drop
at 7 p.m. ...
... he couldn't decide who was scarier: All of the elaborately
made-up & costumed monsters who were lurking in the fog ...
... or the hundreds of die-hard Halloween Haunt fans who
had turned out for opening night. Each of them determined to be among the first
to sample the thirteen mazes & rethemed rides that Knott's scare-masters
have put together for this year's Scary Farm.
And once 7 p.m. arrived, that rope got dropped. And then people
quickly headed off in all directions. Some raced through Calico Scare so that
they could then experience one of Halloween Haunt's newest attractions,
"Invasion Beneath." Which takes this theme park's classic Calico Mine Train Ride
and then turns it into a terrifying attack from below.
Photo by Noe Valladolid
While still other zoomed to the very back of Knott's Scary
Farm so that they could revisit one of Halloween Haunt's more popular mazes of
the past, "Uncle Bobo's Big Top of the Bizarre in 3D."
But for pop culture fans, the real reason that they attend
Knott's Scary Farm annually is to see which celebrities and/or public figures are
going to get skewered at this year's Hanging.
I mean, where else are you going to see an elaborate parody
of "Under the Sea" from Disney's "The Little Mermaid" which features lyrics
like "Who lives in a body bag under the sea? SpongeBob Bin Laden."
Speaking of Disney and mermaids ... One of the annual
highlights of the Hanging is waiting to see how Knott's Scary Farm's writers make
fun of the Mouse. And this year ... Well, in one bit, they managed to mention
both "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" as well as DCA's newest dark
First Capt. Jack Swallows (i.e. Knott's Scary Farm's version
of Captain Jack Sparrow) enters and says "Oh, crap. I'm in the wrong theme
park." Then Calico Scare's Lawman asks Jack what he's doing at Halloween
Haunt. Swallow says that "I'm here for the fish lady." Which is the cue for
Knott's equivalent of Ariel the Little Mermaid to then come rolling out
Swallows then says "I need her to cry into my goblet. " The
Sheriff asks "And how do you plan on doing that?" And Jack replies "I'm going
to show her the last Pirate movie, savvy?" Ariel then chimes in "Are you taking
me to the Fountain of Youth?" Swallows reply is: "No, my dear. I'm taking you
back to the Mermaid ride at Disney California Adventure. Your break's over." The
Little Mermaid then asks "Are we going on stranger tides?" And Jack concludes
by saying "No, my dear. We're going down the 5 to the Katella off-ramp."
Mind you, if you're not a big fan of scares and/or Disney
jokes, there's always the food. And if you opt to take advantage of the Halloween
Haunt's Pre-Scare Dinner Special, you can enjoy a pretty amazing spread at
Knott's V.I.P. Boo-fet dinner.
As you might expect for a place that is famous for its
boysenberry pie, the Halloween-themed desserts that are featured at Knott's V.I.P. Boo-fet
are absolutely incredible. These include white chocolate skeletons resting in
milk chocolate coffins ...
... miniature edible Frankenstein's monster heads that are
filled with mint-flavored white chocolate mousse ...
... and white chocolate skulks with boysenberry brains.
Of course, if you don't like sinister sweets ... Well, you
could always grab a few Snoopy-themed cupcakes.
More to the point, if you needed a bit of a break from all
of the frights to be found at this year's Halloween Haunt, you could always go
check out Knott's Berry Farm's newest ride, WindSeeker ...
... which takes 64 Guests at a time 300 feet in the air. And
then - as it spins around - WindSeeker gives theme park visitors a commanding
view of Buena Park and much of Orange County.
Where - if you look closely - you can then spy the very
unDisney-like version of the Headless Horseman that haunts Sleepy Hollow
The 39th annual Halloween Haunt at Knott's Scary
Farm continues Sept. 29th -
Oct. 2nd , 5th - 9th, 12th -16th,
19th -23rd and October 26th - 31st.
For further information on hours, ticket prices and/or help with booking an advance
reservation of the V.I.P. Boo-fet, please visit the official Halloween Haunt
Special thanks to Noe Valladolid for providing most of the
images that were used to illustrate today's article.
i want to go to there