I’m the kind of person who watches scary movies when I’m home alone, who seeks out ghost tours when I travel to a new city, and who plans my Halloween costume six months in advance. So when I was offered the opportunity to visit California’s Great America Halloween Haunt 2016, I jumped at the chance. And I wasn’t disappointed.
Before you ride any rides or visit a slaughterhouse, shall we talk food? Beginning October 7, The Haunt Boofet will be in operation from 5-7pm nightly, serving up an all-you- can eat selection of salad, chicken, eggplant parmesan, roast vegetables, rice, CARVED MEAT, and assorted goodies like chocolate cake and sugar ghost cookies. Yum.
Let’s talk haunted mazes, the staple attraction of any Halloween playground. There are eight mazes scattered around the park and you need to visit them all. From Madame Marie’s Massacre Manor to Cornstalkers to the Wax Museum Chamber of Horrors; from the Toy Factory to Zombie High to the Insanitarium, you will find screams, thrills and nightmares. But let me highlight my two favorites: Dia de Los Muertos maze and the Roadkill Road House maze. You will not find a more beautiful labyrinth anywhere than what I discovered in the Dia de Los Muertos maze. Pay a little extra to get the 3D glasses before you walk in. The glow-in- the-dark artwork throughout is mesmerizing and gorgeous, even museum-worthy. The jungle portion of the maze is trippy, in a good way. For kids on the younger side (13 is the minimum age to enter the Halloween Haunt), this is the lightest on the scare factor. Everyone should experience this one! Now I have to confess that I did not anticipate how much I would love the Roadkill Road House maze. Gore is not usually my thing. Having said that, the actors were good and the sets were even better. If your nightmare involves lots of hanging meat and plastic sheeting, you have found your home.
So…… perks. You can purchase a Skeleton Key, which works not only as a Fright Lane fast pass to all the rides and mazes, it also gains you admittance to five secret rooms to be found in the park. Guarded by skeleton men in black top hats and white tails, these mini horror experiences are so fun. Visit Vanity (so pretty), Bone Crusher (can I do it again?), Dominated (yes, mistress!), Sorority Slaughter (bad girls gone mad) and Hoarder House (what’s that smell?).
Between the attractions are shops, food stops, and (you can’t avoid it!) three Scare Zones, street areas with lots of fog and things that creep out of it. Beware when passing through Killer Clown Town, Evacuate and Lockdown!
Kimberly is a writer for Jen is on a Journey. She is a returned Peace Corps volunteer, natural wellness proponent, synesthete, cheese lover, steering wheel drummer, seasoned book club member, weather wimp and bad tennis player. Her introspective travel writings have garnered the praise of several friends, two kids and a husband, a dog named Wolfie and a cat named Lavender. She was hatched and raised in Missourah, but has traveled the world and now hangs out in a beautiful little California valley, playing trivia, drinking craft beers, and belting out karaoke.
Press passes were offered, all opinions are 100% my own.