Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, CA
Our third and final update from this year’s Fright Fest at Six Flags Magic Mountain brings us to the evening shows that are included in the cost of park admission. Much like the scare zones, the entertainment at Fright Fest is no extra charge, and this year, the event brings four shows to the line-up. The highlight of all of them is the new Sliders of the Night show in City Under Siege, which we’ll get to at the end of the update. Lets run through the options guests can have when they’re tired of mazes, scare zones, and roller coasters!
At 7:00pm on every Fright Fest night, monsters emerge from the back of the park to begin their reign of terror across Magic Mountain. The event formerly known as The Surge marks the grand entrance of Fright Fest’s most beloved and iconic monsters. Coming out from behind Batman: The Ride, they march down the main thoroughfare of DC Universe, creating a sinister parade of screams, slides, and insanity. The street characters from all six Fright Fest scare zones lunge and creep and hurtle their way up the street, thrilling the fans who line up rows deep on either side to witness the official start of Fright Fest.
It’s a tradition that has been maintained for many years, and Unleashed makes for a bold, energetic, high-adrenaline start to each Fright Fest evening!
Check out the opening night’s Unleashed here:
Throughout the night, from 7:00pm until closing, Voodoo Nights offers a mixtures of music and dance at the Full Throttle stage near the front of the park for those looking to take a break from the scares and the rides. This year’s format follows that of previous years, with a live cover band, a DJ playing electronic dance music sets during break periods, and the Voodoo Doll Dancers showing off their moves.
Voodoo Nights is great for guests looking to dance or just take in a concert or jonesing for a party atmosphere, and it’s a nice, dynamic feature as part of the Fright Fest offerings.
Sliders of the Night
The best part of the entertainment line-up, and (I’d even argue) best part of Fright Fest this year is the brand new Sliders of the Night stunt show, featuring Fright Fest sliders from City Under Siege, Exile Hill, and Demon’s Door. We’ve covered sliding shows before, from the Decayed Brigade exhibitions at Midsummer Scream to the Dark Harbor monsters showcasing their skills. Now, it’s the Magic Mountain monsters’ turn to shine!
Located in City Under Siege, this demonstration of monster acrobatic prowess takes place at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and 10pm on Sundays. The same boulevard that welcomes the snarling creatures at the beginning of the evening during Unleashed makes for a natural stage for sliders to show off their athletic mastery near the end of the night.
This 15 minute show (with a 3 minute preshow portion to start amping the crowd up) features a bevvy of intricately choreographed sliding tricks that definitely keep the audience excited and on edge. From jumps to limbos and tunnel and wheelbarrow slides and more, the monsters keep a relentless and multi-angle pace that dazzles in its controled chaos. There’s no specific story for the show, but it’s really just a display of the passion, dedication, and physical talent of the Fright Fest sliders. Many of the tricks involve tight synchronization of runs and coordination of sliding angles to deliver exhilarating near misses. It’s a testament to the chemistry of the Fright Fest sliders that they can work so fluidly and organically with each other. This is even more impressive given that the team only had a little over a month to create and rehearse the show, after it was pitched earlier in the summer. The fact that they are able to perform so well shows how expertly they work together.
If the opening night’s reactions were any indication, Fright Fest has an instant classic on its hands. Crowds lined the street on both sides and cheered their favorite monsters, maintaining energy and support throughout the entire show, and even stuck around afterward to try to get photos with the monsters and give them thanks and encouragement. If there was one quibble, it’s that the audio could have been more… well… audible. Whether it was due to a faraway speaker location or a technical issue, the fantastic soundtrack seemed muffled, which detracted a bit from the nevertheless grand impact of the show.
We definitely hope Sliders of the Night becomes a recurring tradition in future Fright Fests. It’s an incredible show, and a wonderful display of passion and vigor. Kudos to the sliders for their hard work in putting together this display!
And if you’re interested in what the whole show is like but can’t make it up to the park, here’s some video we shot from media night. Thanks to Westcoaster reader and friend Brad, for doing the actual filming!
There is one other show at Fright Fest—the High Sierra Hypnotist, a semi-adult audience display of magic and comedy that we unfortunately were not able to see. It plays twice a night on Saturdays at the Golden Bear Theater by the entrance to High Sierra Territory / Bugs Bunny World.
And that wraps up our coverage of Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest this year. Each year, the event continues forward momentum, taking steps to further improvement. Some years are greater than others, and I’d say that this year fell more in the minor/moderate category. But the revamp of Vault 666 and the introduction of Sliders of the Night are big feathers in the Fright Fest cap, and the park should be proud of these additions.
Candidly, Fright Fest is not the most extravagant or scariest haunt among the high profile Southern California haunts, but it is still a lot of fun. The talent carries a certain amount of looseness that brings about more sincerity and open ardor to their performances. Fright Fest doesn’t have to worry about maintaining an act or carrying grand expectations, but that also helps them provide more organic and natural scares and interactions. On a scareactor level, the love for the craft is very openly on display throughout the park.
So though Fright Fest may be on the literal edge of many people’s Halloween map for SoCal, it’s not an event to be missed. The quality has been steadily improving, and we’ve enjoyed each of our visits to the event ever since we started going three years ago. And it’s still the best value for a large scale haunt in Southern California. If you haven’t been in years or at all, to check it out. With thrills by day and chills by night, it all adds up to a good time.
Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.