Sean: Knott’s Scary Farm is back and it is better than ever! This year’s lineup of amazing mazes is seeing some of Knott’s best work and there isn’t a single maze that felt weak. The best mazes of the past few years have returned, and this year’s new mazes are unique and solid additions. Let’s get to rating and reviewing them!
How we rate and review:
The four ratings exist of a Length Rating, which relates to the length of a maze, the longer the better. This doesn’t necessarily mean physical length of walking through the maze, but may also indicate there are plenty of different scenes and that the maze felt long. The Scare Rating is exactly what you think it is, how ‘scary’ does a maze get, how gruesome it is, if it creates a bunch of jump scares, etc. The Set Rating looks specifically at the job done regarding the theming of the maze, how immersive the sets are, how many different scenes guests encounter, etc. And then last, but definitely not least… the Experience Rating. Which is mainly based off of the overall feel of the maze, was it a extreme? Did it leave you breathless? etc. The overall experience, combined with the other three factors creates a FINAL SCORE for the maze. (Out of 10, 10 being: “absolutely unbelievably amazing”, 1 being: “Don’t even bother visiting”)
Length Rating: 9 Scare Rating: 9 Set Rating: 9 Experience Rating: 9 FINAL SCORE: 9
Let’s start with one of the longest and most detailed mazes I’ve ever experienced: Paranormal Inc. This is the 3rd year the maze is at the event and it felt better than ever. Not only does Knott’s do a phenomenal job adding and changing scenes in every returning maze, they just have a lot of winners in their lineup, one of which is Paranormal Inc. This maze combines a pre-show, a choose-your-way section, as well as impressive technical effects along side a wide arrange of scenes to provide a stellar experience. I am liking this maze more and more every year, especially considering how incredibly long it is. Though the event’s attractions are all worthy of your attention, Paranormal Inc combines a lot of different effects, scenes and unique maze sections that is worth the often long line.
Length Rating: 8 Scare Rating: 7 Set Rating: 8 Experience Rating: 8 FINAL SCORE: 7.75
Though this year’s event saw no weak or out-of-place mazes, my least favorite must’ve been the new Pumpkin Eater maze. The theme was a bit too generic for Knott’s Scary Farm for me. There were several great scenes, including a wet-scene and a few gruesome life-size insects. The maze was of good length, but unfortunately the maze just felt a bit repetitive. I like this event for very unique and well-developed themes. This felt like a pumpkin patch on steroids, with hay maze aspects. At an event with many amazing attractions, this just didn’t stand out. Not to say it wasn’t good, but it’s not as impressive as the majority of other options guests have.
Length Rating: 9 Scare Rating: 8 Set Rating: 9 Experience Rating: 8 FINAL SCORE: 8.5
Back again is Tooth Fairy! Only Knott’s combines the tooth fairy with horrific dentist nightmares to create one of their most unique mazes ever. Again I am very impressed with the wide variety of terrifyingly gruesome scenes the maze features. In addition the maze receives new scenes every year, which really makes this maze feel new every year. Do not worry, the iconic scenes are still there. Unlike some other mazes, this maze is designed to freak you out with its sets, rather than just actors, and it does a marvelous job. One of the stronger mazes at the event and a must-do if you’ve never been to Knott’s Scary Farm before!
Trick or Treat: Lights Out
Length Rating: 9 Scare Rating: 9 Set Rating: 9 Experience Rating: 10 FINAL SCORE: 9.25
This new spin on the classic Trick or Treat maze amazed me! By making the maze a complete blackout maze with mechanical effects, hidden actors, and faulty flashlights (that are controlled by the event staff), the park really added a new edge that freaked me out. I was very impressed with how they turned this shorter maze into a maze that felt so much longer by slowing down the speed at which people venture through the maze. There are appearances of classic characters within the maze such as the Green Witch. The level of anticipation for the unknown throughout the maze is fantastic and I was freaking out the entire time. Make sure to make Trick or Treat: Lights Out a priority when going to Knott’s Scary Farm.
Voodoo- Order of the Serpent
Length Rating: 8 Scare Rating: 8 Set Rating: 9 Experience Rating: 9 FINAL SCORE: 8.5
Another year of VooDoo, and I ain’t mad about it! Especially not since you now venture through the maze in reverse! Starting with the forest scene, making your way over to the town, saving the best scares and scenes for last! The maze has a sound-stage set up, allowing for a large decorative bayou town where you enter little huts throughout the maze. It has been one of my favorite experiences at the event since it opened, and by going through it in the opposite direction, it has only gotten better!
Length Rating: 9 Scare Rating: 9 Set Rating: 10 Experience Rating: 9 FINAL SCORE: 9.25
New this year, and perhaps my favorite new maze of the season is… DARK RIDE! It is everything we love about theme parks, classic dark rides, tacky dark ride scenes, and haunted mazes. The sheer detail that went into this maze to really make it look like a tacky abandoned dark ride with animatronics, classic dark ride style scenes, as well as back ground maintenance bays, etc is just incredible. There is a lot to see and the maze becomes better as you venture through. The first scene starts of a tad weak, but it just gets so much better. Much like Shadow Lands last year, I am fanboying over mr. Jon Cook’s newest Scary Farm creation that just hits the spot for amusement park fans such as myself. Make sure to prioritize this maze!
Length Rating: 9 Scare Rating: 7 Set Rating: 8 Experience Rating: 9 FINAL SCORE: 8.25
The Red Barn has returned this year with a new finale and a few new scenes. Was I as impressed as last year? No. But that’s likely because the theme of a slaughter house (barn) is so conventional, and it felt much like last year’s version with not too many scares. Having said that, it is still an incredibly solid maze and everything related to the theme of the Barn is well put together. The maze features a wide variety of scenes, technology, and is generally very lit up, creating a different experience than any of the other mazes at the park. The Barn theme is quite traditional, but the Scary Farm rendition thereof is quite modern and delivers a solid experience.
Length Rating: 9 Scare Rating: 9 Set Rating: 10 Experience Rating: 10 FINAL SCORE: 9.5
My all time favorite maze is the Samurai themed maze located below Xcelerator… SHADOW LANDS! With a quick and effective pre-show, outstandingly amazing scenes, a plethora of actors, and a theme that has not been executed this well anywhere before, Shadow Lands is still my favorite attraction at the event. This year the maze features several new scenes as well as returning scenes that blew me away last year. The scares are plenty, the differing scenes offer a variety of visual highlights that have me pause just to take it all in, and yet it still manages to terrify me. This maze is everything you want it to be and I will be back multiple times this season for this maze.
Special Ops: Infected
Length Rating: 9 Scare Rating: 9 Set Rating: 9 Experience Rating: 9 FINAL SCORE: 9
A fan favorite and an experience that has improved so much over the past few years! Special Ops: Infected is the prime example of how Knott’s Scary Farm is leading haunt events with innovation, and it looks like this year they didn’t only add new scenes, but they also managed to increase capacity! This full out war on zombies in a laser-tag type maze is just incredible. Your guns track your scores, there are an insane amount of zombies/actors to shoot at, and it’s just an experience you don’t get to have anywhere else. The maze is long, successfully combines cityscapes such as metros and undergrounds, and offers an interactive edge. This is one of the most solid attractions at the event, and any gamer, haunter, or army obsessed guest will have the time of their lives.
Thank you for checking out this year’s Knott’s Scary Farm Maze Ratings and Reviews. This is still my favorite Haunt event out there, as it does not rely on IPs but rather offers huge amounts of innovative, original, and unique themes that just blow me away year after year. Stay tuned for more Knott’s Scary Farm 2017 reviews coming soon.
For now check out our Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest Maze Ratings and Reviews, as well as our Halloween Horror Nights 2017 run-through!