Theme Parks

Knott’s Scary Farm 2018 Announcement Event Recap

Knott’s Berry Farm again hosted a special event announcing their full maze, Scare Zone and show lineup for Knott’s Scary Farm.  The live show was hosted in the Charles M. Schulz Theater and was open to annual passholders and other special guests, but was also streamed online via social media for all who were interested to watch.  The show opened with a live stage performance of one of the songs from the new Scare Zone “Forsake Lake” and then Knotts’ Jeff Tucker took the stage to reveal the full lineup for 2018, which included two new mazes, a new scare zone, and a handful of new shows for the upcoming Halloween season.

In addition to the usual mazes and entertainment announcements, Tucker unveiled details around this year’s ticketing options as well as details around special offerings for this years Knott’s Scary Farm.  Tickets for the event are currently available online at where you can purchase your tickets for up $40 off compared to front gate prices.  Fright & Fast Lane passes are also returning to Knott’s Scary Farm where you can gain priority access to all mazes and fast lane rides.  Combo tickets for access to Knott’s Scary Farm with Fright & Fast Lane pass included are available.  Knott’s will also again offer the Scary Farm Pass, which gives you access to every night of Knott’s Scary Farm for a single low price and is only available in limited quantities.

Knott’s will continue its “Rides in the Dark” element for 2018 with returning rides Sierra Sidewinder and Ghost Rider.  New to the offering for 2018 is Silver Bullet.  “Rides in the Dark,” features some of your favorite roller coasters with their lights turned out.

Knott’s Scary Farm 2018 will also feature an all-new art show, “Into the Fog: A Scary Farm Tribute.”  The specially curated art show features nearly 40 pieces or original art by 35 artists from across the country with their inspiration spanning Knott’s Scary Farm’s rich 46-year history.

In the arcade, the VR Showdown will be featuring a new VR game, “Time Zombies,” a two-player, wireless, VR survival attraction.  The game costs $5 and will be available during Scary Farm season only.

The Returning Mazes

A number of recent and classic favorites are returning to Knott’s Scary Farm for 2018.  The returning mazes are:

Special Ops: Infected

The laser tag meets The Walking Dead favorite developed by Jon Cooke is returning for 2018.  Armed with cutting-edge laser guns, brave guests will face off against hordes of zombies in the groundbreaking Special Ops: Infected interactive maze.  This year Tucker promises more zombies than ever before, new missions, along with new surprises throughout the maze, including an all-new reconfigured finale room.

The Red Barn

The returning maze that reminds us that red barns + red necks = horror.  The Red Barn was revamped last year to give guests a sense of urgency on getting through the maze as they were pulsed through and made part of the show.  As they quickly made their way through they were working to not only escape but help some of the barn’s other hapless victims.  Tucker announced that this year’s maze will feature several new scenes, including a brand-new opening scene.

Shadow Lands

Now in its third year, Shadow Lands was announced as a returning, but no new maze elements were mentioned.  Shadow Lands puts guests up against demon samurais whose souls are cursed to rot within the depths of purgatory. You’ll embark on a quest through a sacred shrine, an ancient Japanese temple and into the midst of the shadow lands.

Paranormal Inc.

The maze based on all those ghost shows you see on cable, Paranormal Inc., returns for 2018.  Once again guests will enter Hayden Hill Sanitarium where they’ll come face to face with the evils carried out there.  This year the maze will feature an all-new finale scene that will “have you screaming out the door in terror.”

Trick or Treat: Lights Out

Last year, the Knott’s Scary Farm maze “Trick or Treat” was re-worked to have an all-new show element where the maze is navigated in the dark and you’re given a faulty flashlight controlled by Knott’s to make your way through.  With the new name “Trick or Treat: Lights Out” your special flashlight worked when you needed it to, revealed hidden messages at various spots in the maze, and sometimes went out conveniently enough when you were about to get scared.  The re-imagined maze returns for 2018 and according to Tucker will be darker and more twisted than ever.  The maze will also feature new state of the art effects and another special element Tucker refused to reveal, teasing, “Well, you’ll just have to find out what’s in there won’t you, with your flashlight.”

Dark Ride

Introduced in 2017, Dark Ride has become an instant classic.  The maze which takes you into the bowels of an abandoned dark ride was one of my favorites of Knott’s Scary Farm 2017 and one I’m excited they brought back.  No new details were announced about this maze, but if you haven’t experienced this maze yet, its a must for 2018.

Pumpkin Eater

The second maze to debut in 2017, Pumpkin Eater, returns for its second year.  Inspired by the murderous nursery rhyme, guests will be taken back to colonial times where they’ll face the terrifying world of a serial killer and must escape the wrath of a murderous seven-foot tall creature that haunts the woods surrounding The Hollow.  New for 2018, the maze will feature two brand new creatures not previously featured in the maze.

Although not necessarily a maze, it was also announced that Timber Mountain Log Ride: Halloween Hootenanny would also be returning for 2018 as a family friendly attraction available all Halloween season long.  The special ride overlay featuring an original song by Crazy Kirk and the Hillbilly’s.  Though the attraction can be experienced by all guests during the Halloween season, Tucker announced that the attraction will feature a few extra scares exclusive to Scary Farm nights.

New Mazes

The Tooth Fairy and Voodoo: Order of the Serpent are not returning for 2018, which means Knott’s Scary Farm announced two all-new mazes to bring the total maze count to nine.  New for 2018 are:

Dark Entities

Dark Entities key art
(Image: Knott’s)

Teleport beyond earth and into a realm where the darkness is absolute. In the depths of space, a lone station faces terror beyond all imagination. An extraterrestrial mutation has invaded the station, and it’s on the prowl for new hosts. The unearthly inhabitants’ force increases as it feeds on its unwilling victims. Escape the dark entities before its deathly force eliminates all living form aboard the station. There’s nowhere to escape when time is running out!”  In Dark Entities the deeper into the maze you travel, the worse things get.

The Depths

The Depths key art
(Image: Knott’s)

A heavy fog drapes over an abandoned port village where ancient creatures lurk inside the pitch-black underground caves hidden below the seaside shores. The Nightwatch Mining Crew has mysteriously disappeared and village rumors point to the eerie tunnels the town sits upon. Myths of the terrifying horrors that lurk within the cave have often been whispered but never confirmed. Did the crew meet their demise at the hand of vicious creatures that live within the cave? Journey into the ominous caverns and follow the crew’s path into The Depths, discover if the superstition revolving around the cave is true or not. But be warned all who have entered have never resurfaced.

Scare Zones

Knott’s Scary Farm 2018 will feature four different Scare Zones, three of which fans of the Halloween event are familiar with and one all-new Scare Zone, which was announced earlier this Summer at Midsummer Scream.  For 2018 Ghost Town Streets, CarnEvil, and The Hollow all return with newcomer Forsaken Lake making its debut.

A new and unearthly scare zone is making its sinister arrival to the park, Forsaken Lake. For the first time, the lake underneath Silver Bullet reveals the horrors and creatures it’s kept hidden, until now. Forsaken Lake will unleash gothic creatures, which have been ravaged by the dark and murky waters, as they wander their crypts preying on unsuspecting visitors, looking for victims to drag back to their watery graves.

Forsaken Lake is one of the newest examples of how Knott’s is trying to focus its efforts on storytelling and creating a more immersive experience for guests. The backstory of Forsaken Lake tells of a town that has been flooded by rising waters and has abandoned its cemetery and its dead. Each year in the fall the water recedes and the waterlogged bodies of the dead who are drowned and re-drowned each year rise from the grave to seek people to become victims themselves.

The Scare Zone’s music is inspired by New Orleans funeral dirges from the 1800’s and features instruments and motifs true to the era mashed up with darker, modern heavy metal element.  Knott’s Scary Farm Audio Designer Rob Perez said in a pre-recorded video played during the presentation that this is the first time effort has been put toward using more of a musical or melodic element versus a more typical soundscape.

Guests will also find that at various points in the night the monsters of Forsaken Lake will form a procession, which will conclude with a show element that also features a handful of unique scares.

Entertainment & Shows

Not surprisingly, crowd favorite The Hanging topped the list of entertainment offerings for 2018.  This year, the show will be called, “Shhh…It Happens.”  During the presentation the Law Man from the hanging showed up to intimidate Jeff Tucker all leading up to a joke where Tucker could proclaim he needed to change his pants because, as you guessed it, “ happens!”

New for 2018 and also announced at Midsummer Scream was the new all-night dance party “Awaken the Dead” in Fiesta Village featuring a live DJ.  Tying in to the Day of the Dead theme the area has carried over the years, the dance party will feature Sugar Skull Go-Go Dancers and all new stilt performers.

During Knott’s Scary Farm, The Bird Cage Theatre will host the all-new show Conjure featuring award-winning magicians and regulars from The CW’s “Masters of Illusion.”  The lineup of performers include:

  • Dana Daniels – September 20-22
  • Taylor Hughes – September 27-30
  • Chipper Lull – All of October

Finally, Knott’s Scary Farm 2018 will feature an all-new show titled “Hacks! Cutting Room Floor.”  Taking over Elvira’s home in the Charles M. Schulz Theater, “Hacks!” returns to Knott’s Scary Farm with a brand new show.  This year, “Hacks!” have taken over a run-down movie theater and with the help of the audience and “B” horror films, they will improvise a full Halloween show.

The full presentation can be found here on Facebook for those interested.  One interesting note was that it was mentioned at ScareLA that Ed Alonzo would be returnning to Knott’s Scary farm this year, but no mention of his act was presented during this announcement event. Knott’s Scary Farm returns for select nights starting September 20, 2018 through Halloween.

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