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Read Other 2009 Haunt Reviews's
2009 The Fear Haunted House Review

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The Fear at Navy Pier
Navy Pier
600 E. Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

Visited: 10/09/09


Visibility/Location: This event would be easy to find, if you knew where Navy Pier was or if you used an online mapping utility.  Near the event, there was a light-up sign that said "The Fear at Navy Pier".  After arriving at Navy Pier, there were posters affixed to the chain-link fence that surrounded the attraction.    
Wait Entertainment: They did a great job in this category.  Even though it was early in the evening and there wasn't much of a line, there were multiple actors patrolling the waiting line area.  Loud heavy metal music was playing and there were also three fire spinners performing (see pictures and video below).  Covered waiting was also available in a large tent.             
Admission Price: $20.00
Parking: $24.00 (Flat Fee for Navy Pier Parking Garage)

The Fear: 4.5 Minutes *  
Inflatable Attraction: 2.5 Minutes *  
= Since people move through haunted attractions at different rates, your time will vary. Note: The time shown here represents the actual time spent moving through the attraction. Time spent waiting in queue lines or staging areas has been subtracted.

Scare Factor: The Fear: Medium  
Inflatable Attraction: Low 
Crowd Control: There really weren't a lot of people in line, so it is hard for me to comment on this category.  I got in right away.     
The Fear at Navy Pier Pictures

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The Fear at Navy Pier Videos


The tour began with an intro video that was played on a wide-screen television.  The video developed a back-story for the attraction and got the patrons in the proper mood for the upcoming tour.  It told the story of the ship's captain that had traveled around the world, to collect some of the most evil creatures in existence.  It also explained how you were tricked into thinking that you were going to join the ship's crew, when in fact, you were going to be food for the crew.  The end of the video showed some of the creatures getting loose.  

Continuing on through the attraction, patrons made their way from scene to scene, where they encountered many of these dangerous creatures.  The scenes in The Fear on Navy Pier were built inside trailers; however, they were themed so well that you couldn't tell, by the inside view.  Many of the scenes had a high level of detail.  Also, being enclosed inside trailers, with relatively low ceilings, gave the attraction a claustrophobic feel.  In one area, there were stacks of large wooden crates.  Actors inside the crates activated drop-panels, as the patrons walked by.  The werewolf cave had dark, textured walls, as well as several werewolves that blended in very well with their surroundings.  That made it easy for them to get their scares.  Also in the scene were two large animatronic wolves that were feasting on a body.  In the vampire scene, there were several toe-pincher style coffins that were propped up vertically, on both sides of the walkway.  Each coffin was adorned with a skull that was illuminated by red LED lighting.  Full-length mirrors were used throughout the scene to create the illusion of a much larger space.  The coffins provided the vampires in the scene with some great hiding places.  Another area featured a black & white checkerboard hallway that was illuminated by strobe lights.  Throughout the scene, there were a number of demented clowns bouncing off of the walls.  The one hiding behind the Plexiglas window had one of the best scares.  My personal favorite was the medical area.  It featured a twisting path that was filled with medical equipment, backlit x-rays, body parts in glowing glass jars and several patients.  In this scene, various procedures and experiments were being conducted.  In one room, there was a girl whose eyes were hanging out of their sockets by the optic nerve and another area featured the severed torso of a woman, with her intestines hanging out.  Strobe lights were flashing throughout the scene, for added effect.  Throughout the attraction, there were a number of bright exit signs posted, which were quite distracting.  I understand the need for them, in the case of an emergency, but they did detract from the overall mood and eerie atmosphere of the event.    

On the night that I attended, there were plenty of actors.  All of them had great airbrush make-up and their costumes fit in with the theme, of the scenes they were in.  Everyone knew their role and I didn't see anyone break character.  While there were some actors doing pop-out scares or working behind drop-panels, a lot of the actors had speaking parts with theatrical style performances.  Most of the scares throughout the haunted house were right on target and timed well.  

After exiting the haunted house, patrons moved on to the inflatable attraction, which was shaped like a giant lizard, with sharp teeth.   Entering through the mouth, patrons made their way through the creature's "innards".   Strobe lights and loud music were used to create a chaotic atmosphere.  All of the actors were very energetic and willing to scare; however, due to the big, wide-open areas inside the inflatable, you could often see the actors before they made their attacks.  There were also a couple of times when I saw actors looking around corners, to see if anyone was coming.  As a result, the inflatable attraction had a lower scare factor than the main attraction. 

This was another good performance by the Fear at Navy Pier crew.  The scenes inside the main attraction were nicely themed and well detailed.  The haunted house was fun to go through; however, I think it is overpriced.  With such a high ticket price, coupled with the $24 fee for parking, I wish the tour had lasted a lot longer.  Money aside, though, I recommend checking out this haunt, if you are in the area.    

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