This year, the Realm of Terror switched
things up a bit, changing the overall theme of the attraction. The insane asylum
motif that they have had for a number of years now was cleverly adapted to
scenes of biological engineering experiments gone wrong.
The tour started with my group being led
into a "freight elevator", where we were shown an introduction video on a
flat screen television. The video established the storyline of the attraction,
welcoming us to "Quixotic Labs", a biological research facility.
As we descended in the elevator, the video described some of the biological
engineering experiments that were being conducted there. Toward the end of
the video, warning buzzers went off and through a closed-circuit video feed, we witnessed
mutated creatures attacking the staff. At that point, we were told that they
were having technical difficulties with the elevator and that we would have to
walk up the stairs, to get out. That really set the mood for what would
happen throughout the rest of the haunted house.
The Realm of Terror has always had a lot
of graphic scenes and this year was no exception. Many of the rooms were either
disgusting or gory, or both. This is definitely not an event for young children.
In the bathroom scene, the toilet and sink were smeared with feces. Other areas
featured bloody dead bodies, hanging body parts and piles of entrails. In one
scene, an actor was straddling a patient on a hospital gurney, eating his
intestines. In one hallway, we had to push her way through twitching body
bags that were hanging from the ceiling. In a number of areas, the exit wasn't
perfectly obvious and we had to push a door panel open, to continue.
majority of areas inside the attraction followed the central theme; however,
there were a couple of scenes that weren't a perfect fit. One example was
the dentist office. It didn't seem to fit in exactly, but it was enjoyable, nonetheless.
My personal favorite was the swinging
room. As my group entered, the whole room moved from side to side. To make it
through, we had to push aside several burlap-wrapped bodies that were hanging
from the ceiling. To make it even more of a challenge, a couple of actors in the
room blocked our path, making us change our direction.
The last half of the attraction
consisted of a fog maze and a dark maze.
The fog maze, as the name implies, was
filled with thick, dense fog. Multiple strobe lights reflecting off the white
walls and fog made it impossible see where you were going. To further disorient
patrons walking through, there was a loud, pounding music soundtrack playing in
the background. The actors in the fog maze had us going around in circles,
literally. There were a couple of times when they blocked our path and told us
to go in the wrong direction. I'll have to admit this was a lot of fun at first,
but it got to be a tad annoying when we were blocked in and they wouldn't let us
out for 5 minutes.
The dark maze was completely dark and we
had the feel away along the walls. Actors hiding in corners kept us on our
toes, the whole way through. Some did their best to scare us, while others just
whispered "you're going the wrong way".
The actors in the Realm of Terror did a
great job. Their enthusiastic and spot-on performances helped to maintain the
high energy level and fast-paced nature of this attraction. Most of the actors
were very animated and some even excessively so. I saw one of the actors
climbing up on a chain-link fence and in another area, and actor was hanging
upside down from the ceiling.
My only real complaint with the Realm of
Terror was that there was way too much fog. In some areas, like the fog maze, it
was appropriate. Unfortunately, there was a thick haze of fog throughout most of
the attraction. It's a shame, too, because a lot of the detail in the rooms
was hidden under a cloud of fog.
Overall, I really enjoyed my experience
at the Realm of Terror. It was a lot of fun and a decent value, so be sure to
add this to your list of haunted house visits the season.
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