Valley of Fear and the Original Haunted Hayride features three core attractions; a “Haunted Hayride”, “Underworld Forest Walk”, and “The Facility”. The attraction also features a bonus zombie paintball event which we did not get the opportunity to try. Each of these attractions has strengths and weaknesses with the “Haunted Hayride” serving as the most memorable of the three core attractions. The “Haunted Hayride” is a detailed, action-packed hayride that has several large-scale scenes that bring classic movie monsters to life, along with a fantastic dark carnival sequence featuring fire breathers, psychotic clowns, twirlers and a variety of circus freaks.
Valley of Fear and the Original Haunted Hayride’s “Haunted Hayride” attraction is an enjoyable, extremely well-designed haunt that we only wish was longer. The attraction has a multitude of talented scare actors and we found the use of classic movie themes/sets to be immersive and accurate representations of their iconic characters. We loved watching “Jason Voorhees” stalk and kill unsuspecting campers, and “Leatherface” mutilates a helpless wheelchair-bound victim. The use of classic movie characters set upon impressive set designs featuring great use of special effects and sound is truly impressive. Furthermore, several scenes truly stand out among other haunted hayrides, as we have never been through an attraction that effectively recreates the infamous “Terrordome” from the “Mad Max” series and a frightening visit with a life-like “Slenderman”. After these encounters with movie monsters and sets, Valley of Fear features a realistic carnival scene featuring fire breathers, twirlers and a “freak show” is a mind-bending ending to one of the better-haunted hayrides you can visit this season. The strongest scare actors are featured on the haunted hayride as they do a fantastic job at jumping on the wagon to scare guests. There is a commitment to staying in their respective “characters” and each scene is a solid representation of movie/media personalities.
While we thoroughly enjoyed the hayride attraction, changes to the operation of the attraction and upon. First off, the hayride’s wagon itself is unique as it is a wooden plank that allows guests to dangle their feet from the ride. While this may sound fun it blocks the site line of those wishing to experience the incredible set designs. Secondly, the hayride includes a “host” who uses sarcasm, jokes, and commands to add to the show. The “host” ends up distracting from the attraction and impedes views of each impressively designed hayride set piece. Forcing guests to scream and clap on command takes away from the presentation of this impressive hayride attraction that features detailed, large-scale sets, effective use of sound, talented scare actors and impressive recreations of iconic, memorable horror movie scenes. We have found very few excellent haunted hayrides this season and Valley of Fear offers a great show. The level of detail in each set is impressive, and we feel that more emphasis on each scene, rather than the hosts’ banter, can maximize the attractions effectiveness.
Underworld Forest Walk
“Underwood Forest” is a lengthy walk-through, trail attraction that starts off with a Satanic host who separates groups briefly prior to the attractions begging. Several impressive scenes along the trail, such as a gritty “marketplace”, an encounter with the “Rat King” and his faceless minions. On our visit, we noticed a rushed pace between groups. Despite our efforts to slow down and experience the show in its entirety, we ended up running into multiple lines along our journey. Improved line management and separation between groups ensure that actors can return to their hiding places and maximize jump/startle scares.”Underwood Forest” has the potential to be one of the stronger outdoor trails if it can effectively keep lines within the attraction controlled.
“The Facility” is a zombie containment/escape haunt featuring a post-apocalyptic theme. The first scene starts off with a theatrical “decontamination” sequence while watching a video develop a story. Effective lighting and sound are found in every corridor and room of the attraction which highlights the undead in creative ways. Atmospheric lighting effects plunges guests into the darkness while at the same time allowing “zombies” the chance to attack and grab at guests. Interactive rooms and use of tight spaces create a quality funhouse-like experience. Misdirection and the maze-like structure of the haunt forces every guest to encounter flesh-craving zombies and the infected. “The Facility” uses lighting and sound effects coupled with sound structural designs and gritty scenes to create an effective post-apocalyptic structure. Mad scientists roam the grounds along with militant scare actors to create an effective containment unit/prison atmosphere. The attraction features an extensive number of scare actors who a fantastic job at playing the undead. While we typically don’t find zombie-themed haunted attractions to be necessarily scary, the frantic pace, coupled with solid scare acting made for an enjoyable, aggressive experience.
The Final Word
Valley of Fear and the Original Haunted Hayride is an impressively designed attraction featuring large-scale animatronics, massive set designs and entertaining recreations of horror movie scenes and characters. The hayride attraction is clearly the focal point of the attraction, with the strongest scare actors and characterizations. Valley of Fear also features a variety of entertainment and food options, including live music, costume contests and various special events such as “movie monster” night. Zombie paintball is offered as an additional hayride option and is a popular additional attraction, which often sells out on popular nights. This is one of the better-haunted hayrides visited by our review team and we plan on returning next season!