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Knott's Scary Farm 2012

It's the 40th Annual Halloween Haunt at Knott's Berry Farm

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It's the 40th anniversary of the Knott's Scary Farm Halloween Haunt.

It's the 40th anniversary of the Knott's Scary Farm Halloween Haunt.

Cedar Fair.
It may seem like theme parks have always had Halloween events, but when Knott's turned its theme park over to the dark side for Knott's Scary Farm 40 years ago, it started the trend. It is the oldest, one of the biggest, and among the best park scare-fests (with Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights generally leading the blood-soaked pack). It may not have the budget or the brand-name horror icons that the flashier Universal events boast, but Knott's is still scaring up quite a Haunt. 2012 highlights will include:
  • Trapped
    For a mere $75 ($60 online) additional charge, groups of one to a maximum of six hardy souls will be able to subject themselves to a new premium haunted maze experience which Knott's is promising will be so scary, it will require said hardy souls to sign waivers. I'm not sure whether the waivers will be gimmicks or actual legal documents; either way, for that kind of dough Trapped had better provide a legally freaktastic time.
  • Pinocchio Unstrung
    It may or may not be an intentional poke at Disney and its sanitized version (although it almost surely is), but Knott's take on the wooden puppet boy will be quite creepy. It seems lying is the least of Pinocchio's vices. After the Blue Fairy nixes his wish to become a real boy, the lad retaliates by rallying his fellow marionettes to slaughter humans (that'd be you, if you are foolish enough to visit this maze) so that he can use their flesh as a real boy suit. Ewww! The new maze sounds like a demented cross between Silence of the Lambs and Chucky. I'm guessing the puppets' preferred murder mode would be strangulation by string.
  • Endgames: Warriors of the Apocalypse
    Returning from its debut in 2011, this maze will take its cue from The Hunger Games. In a near-future world besieged by chaos and a severe case of the 1% holding dominion over the masses, gladiators will do the WWE one better and fight to the finish -- you know, as in no more, ceased to be, expired, gone to meet their makers -- in spectacles presented for the wealthy ruling class. It will be kind of like Wrestlemania for Mitt Romney types, except there will be no scripts, and the stakes will be considerably higher than championship belts.
  • Uncle Willy's Slaughterhouse
    I'm not sure exactly where Willy will be getting his supply of beef for his barbecue restaurant, but you might want to be on the lookout for prods and ominous looking saw blades when you visit this maze. And you might want to think twice before ordering the daily special at Mrs. Knott's Restaurant.

In addition to the 13 (of course, there are 13!) total mazes, the Haunt will offer 4 scare zones and a number of stage shows. The highlight will inevitably be "The Hanging," Knott's annual show which features a cheeky look at current events through blood-colored glasses. It will also be bringing back the "Midnight Witch Hanging," a mainstay at past Haunts. That may explain the green hag who is serving as the mascot for this year's event.

Many of Knott's rides will be open in addition to the Halloween hoopla. A spin on Ghost Rider, the park's wooden coaster, would be particularly apropos.

Quick Facts

  • Location: Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park, CA
  • 2012 dates: September 21, 22, and 27 to 30. October 4 to 7, 11 to 14, 18 to 21, 25 to 28, 30, and 31.
  • 2012 times: The daytime theme park closes each evening on Haunt nights and reopens at 7 p.m. as Knott's Scary Farm. The event continues until 1 a.m. (2 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Halloween.)
  • Age restrictions: Nobody would be refused admittance, but the Haunt is not recommended for children under 13 (or anyone else easily grossed out).
  • Snoopy's Costume Party, a daytime event geared to younger children, is included with the price of park admission and is offered on weekends in October.

Admission Info

There is a separate admission to Knott's Scary Farm. Tickets are $60 at the gate and, depending on the date, range from $34 to $52 if purchased online in advance. Group discounts available for minimum of 50 tickets (call 714-220-5163 for info). See Knott's official site for more ticket and event info.

Other admission options include a "Pre-Scare Boo-Fet" package as well as hotel packages.

Knott's Scary Farm Haunt photo gallery.

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