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Six Flags Magic Mountain celebrates three decades of Fright Fest with mazes, scare zones, photo props, food, and merchandise. Long-time visitors can expect many stables to continue the scares. Some new and old effects would amuse both frequent and new visitors.
Unlike other major amusement parks, Six Flags does not close daytime operations from the evening frights. Instead, the park remains open and guests are able to obtain Haunted Attractions Pass wristbands (online or in-person) at an additional cost to access the scare mazes. Express is also an option to bypass the general queue. These passes are separate from regular park admission.
Scare zones will be familiar from the clowns in City Under Siege, mariners at Devil’s Triangle, carnivHELL in Bugs Bunny World, cyberpunk zombies roaming in The Deadzone, TERRORtory Twisted towards Twisted Colossus, the walking undead on Exile Hill, and dark fairy tales in Nightmares: A Twisted Fantasy. They all vary in the number of actual actors you’ll be able to encounter. There are a couple of outdoor DJs spinning dance tunes as far as live shows go.
Unleashed sees the scare actors come out at opening hour in the DC Universe area of the park. A slider show also occurs later in the evening. Props designed around the 30th anniversary stand lonesome. By far the mazes with the longest waits are also some of the most recognizable horror movie franchises for today’s audience. New for the 2023 season are SAW X and The Conjuring.
The Conjuring commanded the longest wait through the whole evening. Expectations were high and met for many fans. You are welcomed into the Warrens home to view the paranormal collection. The Annabelle doll sits behind a locked case. Something is alive in this room and runs you down the hallway.
Did the painting on the wall just move? The bedroom is no longer safe. Try hiding in the closet. A priest attempts to ward away the evil presence. Victims get dragged across the floor by an invisible entity. Scared yet? The details in the set design take guests back to the world of The Conjuring.
SAW X was also high on the guest list. The flat facade with spiral symbols appears to be the hospital set outside Mexico City in the newest film. The first two empty rooms are dressed as such with a waiting room and medical equipment. The next several rooms are filled with victims in recognizable traps from the horror movie franchise. Billy the Puppet taunts, mannequins used for testing traps, the boiler glows red, swinging dead pigs, and bloody walls of inscriptions.
Pig-masked apprentices pop out from behind black curtains and then stroll back to their ready positions. The final two traps are more promotional scenery for the new movie. The victims acted out the pain of their entangled situations well, the actual scares need more menace and curiosity.
Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising has Ash City in a post-apocalyptic state from a deadly poison. Wander the crumbling downtown to avoid danger. Not even the hazmat area can keep you safe. The visuals of the fallen landscape will keep you in awe as the zombie herd closes in for the kill.
Truth or Dare casts you on the next episode of the popular game show. Wander backstage of the studio soundstage to auditions, wardrobe, electrical room, and props. Then face challenging dares with poisonous gas, water traps, insects, laser beams, tangled ropes, and even the dreaded cut of cancellation. This is a more fun and amusing theme that adds a twist to an innocent premise. A vast improvement from last year with more clearly defined immersive rooms strengthening the story division between backstage of a television studio and on-set game show tasks.
Willoughby’s Resurrected once again returns to the Victorian mansion filled with unholy spirits. A major mainstay to the Six Flags Fright Fest lineup, the detailed interiors and scare actors keep guests coming back. Stroll down the hallways with hanging portraits, eerie organs, ticking grandfather clocks, dim dens, flickering candles, horse-drawn carriages, and more. One of the best scares comes from a falsely safe ghostly projection only to be shaken by the pounding of a live actor.
Sewer of Souls takes you to the damp depths of the underground. Mole people reside beside the backlit glow of radioactive waste. Follow the pipes deeper past leaking oil barrels, and step on a bridge over dizzy heights.
Condemned: House Party is the frat house party that can’t be missed even for undead college students. Red plastic cups, a trashed home, an unkept kitchen, unmade beds… was the house like this before or after death? Anyways, a simple retheme of an otherwise long-time physical stable to Fright Fest actually changes the vibe just enough to warrant a revisit of the same layout of this scare maze. The party atmosphere lightens the mood a bit more akin to a dark comedy.
The physical layout of Vault 666: Unlocked is essentially the same as another horror movie theme that previously occupied this maze in 2018 with Hell Fest. The theme is changed to that of a cross between an oddity museum and an auction house for strange items open for bids.
Specialty food offerings for Fright Fest season can be found at various locations with cocktails, blood bags, funnel cakes, pudding, potatoes, fries, wings, mac and cheese, cheese balls, and more. Merchandise mostly focused on hoodies, shirts, drinkware, beanies, and photo frames.
As the season progresses and more guests come closer to Halloween, the actors will have a better sense and more play in their rooms. But in other cases, the veteran scare actors clearly jump right into it and bring on the frights. Newcomers will have plenty to chew while seasoned visitors will be attracted to new offerings with The Conjuring and SAW X as well as revisit new and old twists on returning mazes. Six Flags Fright Fest is open now until October 31, 2023, on select nights. For more information, visit their website at https://www.sixflags.com/magicmountain/events/fright-fest-2023