|Reviewed by: lr1314   (Event Visited: 10/22/05 @ 6:00 pm) |
Review Posted: 11/04/05
| Overall Score:|
|Scare Factor: Medium | Atmosphere: Very Good|
Visibility/Location: For those who have never been there, the Naper Settlement is a genuine 19th Century Village that has been preserved as an outdoor museum, complete with actors in period decor. Easy to find, easy to park.
Wait Entertainment: The villager-actors would actually look frightened and nervous inside and outside the attractions, like they knew of impending doom but wouldn't say anything. Very effective. Outside the 'Lizzie Borden House', before we viewed the murder scene, worried villagers asked if we had seen Lizzie and them began calling her name, looking for her. Subtle but chilling.
Length of Event: The event was self-guided, and ran from 6:30pm to 10:00. We easily spent three hours, and wished it went on longer.
Actor Performance: The actors were excellent. A mortician measured patrons for their coffins, a printer handed you your obituary. They were also very knowledgable about 19th Century American culture and history, so some attractions were educational as well as scary.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: The Naper Settlement is a large park, so the patron flow was very smooth. If there was a long line at one attraction, you could visit several others in the meantime.
Appropriate Ages: All ages. The atmosphere was wonderfully spooky, but not overly intimidating for children.
Props / Special FX: The special effects were not sophisticated, and didn't need to be. That would have drowned out the spooky atmosphere. As for props, the village itself is a perfect backdrop for this event. Lamplit mansions and cottages, gypsy camps, an old church. It's truly like traveling back in time.
Costumes / Make-up: Period costumes really added to the 19th Century experience. The Headless Horseman, who appeared several times during the night, was a great touch.
Summary: Great family fun. Very spooky, with fewer shock stunts. Personally, I am far more impressed by a scary environment than actors simply jumping out from shadows. The event also included storytelling, fortune telling, a magic show, food vendors, and access to the indoor Naperville museum. Great value for money. All in all, a virtual community Halloween theme park. Can't wait until next year! Actually, the Naper Settlement is an interesting place to visit all year round. Check it out.