All Visitor Reviews
2013 Visitor Reviews of
Six Flags Fright Fest (Gurnee, Illinois)
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|7 out of 10 people thought this review was helpful.|
|Reviewed by: estumpf17   (Event Visited: 10/26/13 @ Before 3pm) |
Review Posted: 10/28/13
| Overall Score:|
|Scare Factor: Low | Atmosphere: Average|
Visibility/Location: Easy to find off of I-94. Look for King Kong on top of the Sky Tower ride!
Wait Entertainment: None.
Length of Event: The haunted houses within Six Flags lasted no longer than an hour together. The park was open from 11am-11pm on Saturdays, so one can really get their money's worth on rides and whatnot.
Actor Performance: The people in costume only came out after 4pm, but there didn't appear to be much interaction with guests. Chainsaw guys were the highlight.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Can't comment on the in-park haunted houses, but patron flow through the ride lines was pretty good. Six Flags maxed out the number of trains running on each ride and really tried to reduce the downtime for coasters. So kudos to them.
Appropriate Ages: Kid-friendly during the day (all ages), supposedly "scary" at night, but I would argue that anybody under 10 or 12 would be okay (as long as they're tall enough for the rides)
Props / Special FX: Six Flags had much more themeing this year than last but still nowhere near as much as they had back in the heyday around the millenium. Mostly static props, a few animatronics (the pumpkin-head near the gates was excellent)
Costumes / Make-up: Costumes were solid, make-up looked decent enough. Not the worst, but far from the best.
Summary: So was Six Flags worth my time & money? Given that I only paid $32/ticket (none of that 'service fee' nonsense) and stayed the whole freakin' day, yeah it was. Sure, this place pales in comparison to Cedar Fair, Universal, Disney, or Busch Gardens, but us Chicagoans don't have much choice when it comes to amusement parks. If you're absolutely itching to get on a coaster, SFGAm is likely the closest/costliest option. $25 for parking is RIDICULOUS. This is Gurnee, not downtown Chicago. C'mon fellas, seriously, let go of my arm.
--Six Flags Great America (as a whole park): 4/5 stars. Crowded, but good ride ops (single rider line, short downtime, running all trains, etc). Very pleased.
--SFGAm 'Fright Fest': 2/5 stars. Still pretty pathetic. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SCARY MUSIC?!?! This absolutely made Fright Fest, an element so crucial to creating a spooky atmosphere and getting patrons pumped up, and for some reason it's gone now. Totally disappointing. WTF.
So while I was once again let down by Six Flags' Halloween experience, I don't regret going to the park as night rides on Viper and Batman were worth the gate fee alone. I'll consider coming back to check out the new addition next year (wooden coaster Goliath), and maybe, just maybe give Six Flags more of my money.
|2 out of 3 people thought this review was helpful.|
|Reviewed by: squishweasel   (Event Visited: 10/05/13 @ Before 3pm) |
Review Posted: 10/23/13
| Overall Score:|
|Scare Factor: Very Low | Atmosphere: Fair|
Visibility/Location: It's at Six Flags Great America, so it's hard to miss. There's large black spiders on American Eagle and a large King Kong gorilla on Sky Trek Tower.
Wait Entertainment: Didn't really apply here. There wasn't any wait entertainment for the haunted houses.
Length of Event: Massacre Medical Center: 5 minutes
Manslaughter Manor: 5 minutes
Mausoleum of Terror: 7 minutes
Wicked Woods: 10 minutes
Total Darkness: 5 minutes
The Abyss: 5 minutes
Actor Performance: The event was plagued by a lack of distinct characterisation. There were poor performances from the street actors and the house actors. Also some poor character choices. None of the street actors seemed to be very into their roles and were sometimes clearly more interested in talking to each other than the guests who paid $60 + to experience this event.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: We met up with groups and groups met up with us in every attraction. Very poor control.
Appropriate Ages: Very tame event. I would use your own judgement, but it seems safe for most.
Props / Special FX: The scare zones had some decent props that helped tell their story. The haunted houses had some decent props as well. I had an issue with The Abyss, though. It was supposed to be based off of the Bermuda Triangle but halfway through we were presented with scenes on Egyptian tombs and mummies. It was confusing and made little sense.
Costumes / Make-up: I thought there were some beautiful costumes. The costumes in Seven Sins Cemetery were beautiful. The skeletal citizens from Skull Valley had some nice costumes as well. Sadly, all of this was ruined by poor makeup and static masks which really took away from the realism and life of the event. Costumes and makeup for street ccharacters should help tell the story. They didn't and could use some help in some areas.
Summary: There were six haunts in all. You have to pay $20 in addition to the regular admission and $25 for parking. All together this could cost you easily over $100.
The first we went to was Massacre Medical Center. The facade was really neat and helped set the mood. They made use of the plant trick here in this house and it went fairly well. There were a couple scenes here that stood out. One was a scene where you walk past some windows into patients rooms and witnessed them behind the glass. I don't know why, but there was one girl rocking back and forth that I found creepy. The other was the hydrotherapy room. The actor there was good and quick witted enough to pull it off effectively. Also, he gets additional credit since this is a very cold October to be in that much water.
Manslaughter Manor was next. I thought it was a bit confused with the story it was trying to tell. I knew from the website that the house was haunted and you are taking a tour during a paranormal investigation gone awry. Good concept, but the story didn't come through. Also, near the end one of the actors masks flew right off his face and into the crowd.
Mausoleum of Terror was alright. There were some nicely detailed scenes, such as the cemetery and the hearse. Nothing much else really stood out here, though. There were some masks that seemed really out of place, though.
Total Darkness was fun. Some cool ideas and concepts. Honestly, the best house out of the bunch.
The Abyss started out strong but faltered about halfway through. There were some cool scenes, such as their use of mirrors and skeletal mannequins and actors mixed in. The Egyptian scenes really confused it all. If they had kept up with the Bermuda Triangle theme throughout it would have been better.
The final haunt was Wicked Woods. This one failed me. I get the whole zombie outbreak theme, but the actors really took away from it. They would stagger toward you in plain view and then scream in your face. It wasn't scary, it was annoying and it wasn't very zombielike.
There are a number of scare zones and themed rides. The first scare zone is Purgatory Plaza. It has nothing to do with purgatory, but is instead a confusing mish mash of characters. There was an interesting witch costume, but that was all.
The next is Seven Sins Cemetery. A big, beautiful setup with large mausoleums and a flaming cemetery entrance. The characters here are the zombified residents of the Louisiana cemetery. Beautiful costumes but the face masks really take away from the overall effect. Also, there was very little interaction between the characters and guests.
The next area is the Last Stop: Burn'em and Buried Circus. A huge disappointment. While they used makeup, it was poorly done and the clowns had no energy and were mainly chatting with each other or acting bored. Clowns should be getting tons of screams but I never heard any in this section.
Port Dread is where you find the dead pirates. Good costumes, poor makeup, masks and poor characterization again. They tried harder than most of the other groups, but it just didn't mesh. Also, there was a lot of standing and staring. That rarely ever works on the street.
They have a new section, Deadwood something, with crazed lumberjacks. The fake beards were really poorly done and the costumes were exceedingly unscary. Some had chainsaws and those always get a rise out of people.
Necropolis had the fewest characters I had ever seen there. Poor makeup and characters. One lady, who I suppose was a beautician, literally asked my friend if she was scary...
Next new section was Grim Hollow. A lot of corn and some cool evil scarecrows. It got confusing from there. There was an undead farmer with the first decent makeup and character I had seen all day. The rest were all wearing some spider mouth face masks that looked really wierd and out of place.
The next is The Hellmouth. Well put together section that gets bogged down by clumsy costumes and masks again. Plus, once again, the actors were ignoring park guests.
Skull Valley I had high hopes for. When we heard they were bringing back the ghost town theme we were excited. We even dared to hope they would bring back the gunfight show. Once again we were confronted by beautiful costumes marred by poor makeup and masks and actors who weren't engaging.
The last was the Bermuda Triangle. We thought the concept is fun and something not commonly done so we were excited. It was mainly old props from previous scare zones and large mirrors. We saw one character just standing there again.
For a total cost of over $100 we were expecting more. Maybe if Six Flags takes a step back next year, cuts down on the number of scare zones and haunts and really focuses on making what they keep top notch it would be better. Invest in some makeup artists and train your actors well so they'll be engaging and bring more life to the characters. I apologize for sounding harsh, but it was an awful lot of money to spend on something that really fell flat. We remember that not too long ago they didn't have as many scare zones but there were no masks on the street, the characters were engaging and entertaining and it all made it worth the ticket price. If they buckle down they can get this show back on track.
|3 out of 8 people thought this review was helpful.|
|Reviewed by: horrorguy   (Event Visited: 10/12/13 @ Before 3pm) |
Review Posted: 10/28/13
| Overall Score:|
|Scare Factor: Low | Atmosphere: Fair|
Visibility/Location: You cant miss Fright Fest, its at Six Flags Great America. Huge entrance sign and you can see the park along I-94
Wait Entertainment: Im going to say the wait entertainment are the street characters. There could have been more entertainers. It doesn't help that they have only 4-5 characters in each section of the park. When the park gets busy you don't see the characters as much. Ill explain more in the summary
Length of Event: Each haunted house was about 5-10 mins each.
Actor Performance: Average, not very scary but most were entertaining.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Inside the haunted houses I was constantly running into groups and one house turned into a conga line.
Appropriate Ages: Daytime 5+, Nighttime 12+
Props / Special FX: Thorough the park they were using wet foggers, and certain areas had actual fog machines. They changed alot of their lighting in the park this year, barley any normal white light.
Costumes / Make-up: Much better than last year. More details in the summary.
Summary: On the day i went to Six Flags, it was fairly crowded. During the day the park is fun and friendly (geared to the younger and family crowds). They had a few characters out like Bugs Bunny dressed up like Dracula.
Once it gets dark it becomes "Frights by Night". All the creatures are all over the park. They added alot of new characters this year and sections.
Fist was Carousel Plaza, home of the classic iconic characters like a vampire, scarecrow, a Gypsy and one of my favorite, The Crow people. Not much was changed in this area from the normal season.
The Next area was confusing, I thought it was Sector 7 but when i entered I saw construction workers scaring people. All of the Sector 7 props from last year were still there. They had alot of different colored lights shining to attract your eyes to cretin things. The characters were good at scaring people but they seemed to break character alot. Also in that area were a few renamed rides for Fright Fest, The Reactor Core (Home Town Fun Machine), and Biohazard (Whizzer).
Next section a new area called Skull Valley (Southwest Territory). All new characters this season, a haunted house and a few themed rides. The characters this year were Cowboys and Southern Bells all had Skull faces and these guys were quick on their feet. One of the best characters in the park. Also in this area is Manslaughter Manor. This haunted house is a ghost house theme. Basic makeup and costumes were used.
Also in Skull Valley were a few rides re themed for fight fest. Ricoslay formerly Ricoche, Terror Twister formerly Chubascco, Giant Drop of Doom
formerly The Giant Drop.
Next Area was by the Demon Roller coaster. This area had 3-4 Demons walking around staring at people, not a high scare factor area. The Demon Roller coaster has had a bit of a face lift for Fright Fest, all red lights and alot of fog.
The County Fair I dint notice any characters in it, but they had a Haunted House Called Massacre Medical Center, this as you can guess is a medical themed haunted house. This house was fun going threw. This haunt had the best actors in it. All of them were on cue. Make up was basic and so were costumes. There is SURPRISE in that house and I'm not going to ruin it for you.
Now for Necropolis Haunted City of the Dead. This free haunted walk threw is located in the Picnic Grove by Loggers Run. I fell this area got neglected due to the new roller coaster being build close by. That wasn't an excuse for the mediocre actors in that area. School girl, bowler, hair cutter, dirty sewer guy, and a few hobos. They had a cool video effect that was hidden and you had to actually go out of your way to see it. The haunted house in this area is called Mausoleum of Terror, this haunt in years past has been my favorite but this year they put all their actors in cheap looking masks. Being told something threw a solid mask is not scary, its annoying. Also its extremely dark in there, I couldn't see the props.
Next is what I personally love is Deadwood Grove formally Yukon Territory. This area had basic decor but the Characters made this area great, Lumber Jacks with Chainsaws. I sat and watched the Lumber Jacks scare people after people. This was a great addition to the park.
Port Dread formerly Yankee Harbor, had great pirate decor all thought the area. The dead pirates were always staying in character. The makeup and costumes was well done and truly believable. They blended into their surroundings very well. The East River Crawler was re themed for Fright Fest and they call it The East River Kraken.
Next was The Last Stop Burn’em and Buried Circus formally Mardi Gras area. As always this area was well themed and they added alot of lighting to make it more carnival themed. This area had about 3 clowns and a monkey with cymbals. Constantly chasing people, I feel this area cant fail. Its a basic and very popular fear, CLOWNS! Also in this area is a Haunted Zombie Trail called Wicked Woods. Walking threw a zombie containment area. These actors would pop out and scare you once and then just walk around. Formerly King Chaos, Blood Bath changed their lights and died the water red to make this ride more themed for Halloween.
Seven Sins Cemetery formally Orleans Place, had above ground tombs scattered across the area and had the most amount of characters in the park. These characters were southern bells, a civil war general, and an other guy zombie. They were using a sock mask technique for makeup. Great theming with these characters I strongly suggest you stop and ride the bumper cars or as they call it The House of Conjure, a black light, loud music bumping experience. Also check out The Birds of the Bayou formally the Condor, they made this ride a little creepy by messing with the lights and it even "breaks down" (all safely)
Lastly is the newest area, The Bermuda Triangle, featuring 2 very small haunted houses, Total Darkness and The Abyss, I cant comment on these due to the long lines. But the Characters in this areas were all shipwreck victims. Make up was well done, and costumes were spot on.
Overall Six Flags Fright Fest is not a very scary event but its a fun time, ride some rides, maybe get scared, eat a funnel cake. For a day of Halloween Fun I recommend checking it out.