This was our first year attending Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest so we were thrilled to be invited to the 2019 opening night event. We had met some of their monsters at a previous year’s Midsummer Scream convention, but aside from that, weren’t totally sure what to expect. We parked and were immediately greeted by over 100 degree heat! Fortunately, our first stop as media was upstairs at Full Throttle Sports Bar for some snacks and cold drinks (and air-conditioning). We spent some time mingling with our fellow haunt fiends before making our way over to the City Under Siege scare zone for the opening event, Unleashed, where the ‘ghouls, demented clowns, witches, demons and the twisted undead’ break out and begin to terrorize guests. The crowd around us was pumped up, screaming and cheering. It was a great way to kickoff the evening!
Sewer of Souls was our first maze of the night and it was an enjoyable, albeit gross, start. We donned 3D glasses, which is always disorienting, and made our way through the neon graffiti and well, poop. It was icky, a little silly, and a concept we haven’t seen before, which made it memorable. Then, after an especially eerie encounter with Fright Fest’s iconic monster Innocence Willoughby in Exile Hill, we made our way down the path to her residence, the Willoughby’s Resurrected maze. We were really impressed by the overall set design and length of this maze. The scareactors as a whole seemed to go for a more creepy and unsettling vibe. We didn’t really encounter any jump scares, but instead slow turns in our direction, shushing, and hands outstretched towards us. The lack of audio effects also played into this. We didn’t necessarily feel the adrenaline pumping, but were intrigued to continue further inside.
From there we ventured through the Nightmares: A Twisted Fantasy scare zone, where well-known fairy tales took an evil turn. The whole area is adorned with neon glowing scenes, and we enjoyed some great interactions with the creatures dwelling there before walking over to the next cluster of mazes. Condemned: Forever Damned, Red’s Revenge and Vault 666 Unlocked are all together near the entrance. We started with Condemned. It wasn’t especially unique, but the attention to detail in the set design, and the standout ‘undead Lucille Ball’ style scareactor still made it a pretty solid walkthrough. Red’s Revenge is a twisted tale about what happens after the Little Red Riding Hood story we all know ends. The maze had great jump scares, a variety in sets that kept the story flowing, more energetic scareactors, and even an encounter with the sultry Red herself. The last one in the area was Vault 666 Unlocked. If you know the password, the shop keep will grant you access to the hidden vault full of demonic relics and oddities. This maze was all over the place, but in a good way! Scenes ranged from a demon art gallery to a hallway of reaching arms, from a deadly overgrown greenhouse to a terrifying doll collection, all of which kept us on our toes, and made it our favorite maze of the night.
Our final maze of the evening (due to poor planning on our part) was Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising. Located in the far left corner of the park, Aftermath 2 is a maze best described as ‘epic.’ It’s the largest outdoor maze they’ve had at Magic Mountain, and definitely one of the largest we’ve attended. There were huge building facades, full size vehicles, and all kinds of other wreckage. It even had pyro! It felt similar to Knotts Scary Farm’s Special Ops: Infected, but with less responsibility (you don’t have to shoot anything). Groups were separated out well so we were able to take in how apocalyptic everything looked. It ended up well worth the long trek back out there!
Overall, we appreciated Fright Fest’s original mazes and storytelling through set design. We had some enjoyable interactions with the monsters, moreso with the ones in the scare zones (seems to be their ‘A Teams’). We heard “boo” shouted a few too many times, but we’re sure better character development will come as some of the newer scare actors settle into their roles. This was opening night after all.
With all that being said, here’s our Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest 2019 Maze Ranking:
- Vault 666 Unlocked – creative storyline with variety of rooms
- Willoughby’s Resurrected – long maze with great set design and overall eeriness
- Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising – epic scale sets and design
- Red’s Revenge – cool original storyline with some good jump scares
- Sewer of Souls – silly and gross 3D maze
- Condemned: Forever Damned – not a new concept, but overall well done
In addition to everything we covered above, there’s still a lot more to see including the other scare zones (Terrortory Twisted, Witches Lair and Demon’s Door), a slider show, a hypnotist, DJs, go-go dancers and of course all of the rides. Twisted Colossus was NO JOKE!
Here are some things we learned from our first visit, that hopefully will help anyone else planning to attend this season.
- WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES. No questions asked, just do it
- If you park way out in the lot, be patient and wait for the shuttle bus (save your feet!)
- Don’t walk up Samurai Summit more than once if you can avoid it. It’s exhausting.
- On busy nights (especially Saturdays later in the season) you may want to spring for front of the line passes
- Maze passes are a separate ticket, plan accordingly
- Kids meals make a great on-the-go meal. Cheaper and easier to walk with!
- Speaking of kids, expect a lot of tweens and teens to attend. This would be a good starting haunt for your own tweens/teens!
- Grab a pumpkin beer at Full Throttle Sports Bar if you’re 21+ and feeling festive
For tickets, dates and more info, visit Fright Fest online HERE.