We visited on SAturday, 10/13/12. The ticket line was two long rows of stanchion completely full but the wait wasn’t actually too bad… 15 minutes or so. The pre-paid ticket line of course was empty but for the 5 of us it would have cost $12.50 in surcharges which is craziness. The VIP ticket line was also empty because the VIP ticket is majorly overpriced. Almost double to skip the lines??!! I don’t think so. And honestly I don’t think I was the only person to feel that way since we hardly saw anyone do VIP the whole night.
Wait was only 20 minutes. Guests were being sent out in intervals which was awesome since it allowed for scenes and actors to fully reset between groups. I think some people were skipping this attraction which was truly sad since it was, IMHO, the best of the night. The sets and layout sadly didn’t change much from last year with the exception of the mine area which is now a circus but both were still good enough for it not to be a huge problem. The shining star of the attraction this year was once again was the actors. They were beautifully made up and costumed and they all played their parts perfectly. Hopefully they’ll totally revamp the sets and layouts next year while keeping the same quality to freshen this one up. Eh… I’m not gonna hold my breath.
The wait ended up being 30 minutes and we felt glad of this until we got to the door and realized why. They had pretty much abandoned the idea of groups and were letting a steady line of people stream through the House. This really doesn’t work… it blows to be blunt… since most of the scenes have to be reset to achieve the desired scare. Luckily I ended up seeing most of the rooms in their full glory but my poor sister who was 5 people back saw pretty much reset after reset. She said this completely ruined the experience for her as all of the scares were spoiled or worse… totally missed. I understand a long wait is not ideal but paying for an attraction and only seeing 10% of it is way worse. Please go back to groups Bates. It IS worth the wait since the house was quite good this year. There was a lot of new banging and noises which really worked and also some new, cool lighting effects which were subtle and spooky. The end room was a bit underwhelming compared to years past but I think we may have stumbled in there during the reset. The actors in there looked surprised to see us. Haha. I am hoping for some more changes next year since a lot of the rooms were exactly the same as the last few years but overall I enjoyed the House.
Why I didn’t skip the Hayride this year I’ll never know. We waited 1 hour 30 minutes and it was of course sooo not worth it. Year after year I say I’m going to skip and yet year after year I somehow end up on the damn wagon, in the middle, shaking my head. Of course this year was no exception. I ended up sitting in the middle, cursing the stupid soundtrack and not seeing a single new or different thing.
ATTN: Randy Bates… the hayride sets and scares are really tired and predictable. Also, you really need to add sound effects to most of the scenes and scares… a falling sign that doesn’t bang is just plain stupid.
Also, it seemed that there were less actors in the woods but maybe that was just me. You don’t get much action in the middle of the wagon unless you count people’s feet in your butt. Honestly, I don’t think more actors would have redeemed this one anyway. I did want to mention that the zombie slinking around the line was spectacular and the stuff on the projector was entertaining although with such long lines a longer loop would have been nice. Overall I hated this attraction but then again I always do. Boo! Oh… and I don’t mean that in a good way.
Happily I can say that I did enjoy most of this haunt this year. If it had been less crowded I think I’d be able to say that aside from the stupid hayride I had a great time. Of course that’s not Bates fault. Can’t hate them for wanting to bring in as many people as possible. Oh… a couple of random things… when you go on a crowded night remember to bring your own drinks and snacks. The line for the concession stand was 25 minutes pretty much the whole night. Not even the most delicious hot chocolate on the planet is worth that wait. Sorry. Also, be prepared to secondhand smoke at least an entire pack of cigarettes throughout the night. The smoking in the lines was absolutely out of hand. Hope Bates doesn’t add a surcharge for black lung in next year’s pricing. Haha.
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