Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, CA
Midsummer Scream update #3 of today takes us up north, to a distant land build upon a hill, one to which Westcoasterers rarely venture... yes, I speak of one Six Flags Magic Mountain. The "Thrill Capital of the World" held its haunted attraction panel early Sunday afternoon to unveil their 2016 plans. Similar to the Dark Harbor presentation on Saturday, there were no secrets kept. Fright Fest confirmed returning mazes and scare zones and then announced the big surprise: a new Suicide Squad themed scare zone taking over the DC Universe section of the park.
The panel also talked about the production team's commitment to grow the event bigger and better every year (not surprising, given the uptake in Halloween event competition in recent years, not to mention the rivalry between Knott's and Universal amping up everyone's game). Lead make-up artist Scott Ramp (an incredibly talented artist and individual) spoke to the evolution and quality of make-up at Fright Fest over his 25 years as head make-up. Meanwhile, the speakers brought along a few monster friends from the event, who proceeded to wreck comedic havoc throughout the presentation with hilariously distracting scares, interruptions, and even fashion accessory theft. All in all, it was a great presentation that left me feeling quite impressed and actually eager to check out Fright Fest for the first time in my life.
The Fright Fest team was quite excited to be at Midsummer Scream to announce their 2016 plans.
They also brought some friends with them.
Plenty of clowns were on hand to mess mischief.
Not that they would ever admit to chicanery.
Others were content to be exceptionally creepy.
Despite the diverted attention, the team went through an overview of this year's event, which includes 7 mazes (1 new), 7 scare zones (1 new), and 2 shows.
And much to Fright Fest fans' delight, the event will also feature an expanded schedule starting September 17--one week earlier than previous years.
Returning mazes include Red's Revenge, Toyz of Terror, Chupacabra, Vault 666, The Willoughby's Garden of Darkness, and Willoughby's Ressurected.
The new maze for this season is Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising, which will be over 40,000 square feet and equate to about half a mile of walking.
The maze will be located beside Apocalypse in the old Deja Vu roller coaster footprint.
The team was pretty excited for the new maze.
All the while, the monsters just kept roaming around...
Presenter or fan, they didn't care.
They messed around with everyone, which was wonderful.
Some got quite cozy with guests.
Then came time for the big unveil.
The hint came in the form of the Suicide Squad "Ballroom Blitz" trailer.
Yes, the DC Universe area will be transformed into the world of Suicide Squad, and guests can run into characters from the movie.
But the Fright Fest design team has worked with Warner Brothers to bring the world of the movie to life and animate a fun scare zone.
This will not be explicitly scary, though startle tactics will certainly occur.
That left the rest of the presentation to Q&A. Though succinct, the Six Flags panel generated a lot of interest and really showed how Magic Mountain is closing the gap with its more established or famous rival down south!
We'll close out with more monster photos.
As you can tell, I had a lot of fun photographing their shennanigans.
They definitely made the presentation much better.
Innocence Willoughby, looking not that innocent at all. Getting killed by your dad will do that to you.
Here are all the slides shown during the presentation:
Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.