Reapers Revenge Haunted Hayride and Attractions 2021 Review

Introduction

An almost flawless attraction that is so well executed on every level from atmosphere to perfect integration of scare-performance and animatronic driven entertainment, Reaper’s Revenge continues to improve with every show, every single night. From the moment one enters the ominous gates, to the closing finale of “Sector 13” the entire energy and level of detail is perhaps unparalleled in the industry. While some scenes for those veteran fans still may feel familiar, Reaper’s Revenge actually adds new twists that enhance and add surprise constantly raising the bar in show excellence.

A dragon (yes a DRAGON), demented doctors, clowns, the undead, endless surprises and a final showdown with the Reaper await those brave enough to visit Reaper’s Revenge Haunted Hayride and Attractions as it celebrates its monumental 13th season! Featuring ALL five attractions open this season, Reaper’s Revenge continues to grow and move in the direction of what is perhaps best defined as a “major horror-theme park,” embracing a vast range of diversity in themes and becoming one of the industry leaders in show quality, customer experience, and length. The size and scope of this multi-attraction complex must be visited to appreciate. Infrastructure wise, what has been built is a true horror complex that is almost a “city of terror” ominously built in the deep dark Reaper’s forest. Reaper’s Revenge is a big-budget, massive operation that continues to strive for levels of excellence in all aspects of performance and design throughout the season. The committed and passionate team underlying this attraction’s rapid growth and larger-than-life presentation are laser focused every single day in their commitment to raising the bar and setting new standards in industry excellence.

One of the most popular attractions in the country, growth doesn’t come without challenges, and growing pains as Reaper’s Revenge is in a position where it needs to balance the “new” with the “classic” in the variety of themes and scenes featured in each of the five attractions. A show that embraced “performance” at the core of its success now has the “sizzle” to match its quality showmanship. A genuine “empire of horror,” Reaper’s Revenge has reached the pinnacle of the industry, becoming a tourist destination and one of the most respected brands in a relatively short time.  Upon subsequent visits, the show actually gets BETTER with changes and enhancements made to add surprise and somehow (if possible) make the show more impressive.

Achieving such respect and accolades results from years of hard work, innovation, and a passionately skilled team. The overriding and perhaps ominous question is now, “What is next?” As Reaper’s Revenge continues to evolve from just a “haunt” into an amusement destination, it will now have to face the challenges and rise to the expectations of being one of the premier attractions in the country. No longer fighting for a top spot, guests will continue to expect “more” from an attraction that has never failed to impress and will continuously need to find ways to induce that coveted sense of amazement every performance strives to achieve. This “wow” factor has made this attraction so special. Once self-proclaimed “Americas’ Best Haunted Attractions,” Reaper’s Revenge rightfully has earned this proclamation. Reaper’s Revenge is at the top of the industry, and now we are excited to see how it continues to defend its coveted, hallowed position. With a continued focus on utilizing the strength and flexibility of quality performers, iconic yet tenured scenes can be given new life and continue to find unique ways to grow the show while maintaining its focus and commitment to excellence.

The Attractions

Reaper’s Revenge Haunted Hayride and Attractions feature FIVE attractions completed in sequential order, “Haunted Hayride,” “The Lost Carnival,” “Delirium,” “Sector 13,” and “Pitch Black.” “Sector 13” and “Pitch Black” both closed last season due to the COVID-19 Pandemic are both open, and each attraction is operating as usual with increased sanitation procedures in place. In addition to the haunted attractions, guests can enjoy the extensive commerce area, with a bonfire, photo-ops, games, food, and merchandise available.  Each attraction is designed with excellence as its goal, with world-class sound and scenes/performances that engulf each guest. A spectacle, numerous themes are embraced in each of the attractions featured at Reaper’s Revenge.

Haunted Hayride

“Haunted Hayride” is the “core” attraction at Reaper’s Revenge and a spectacle of multiple themes, featuring world-class immersive special effects, scene-specific atmospheric sound (some of the BEST in the amusement industry), and larger than life scenes that completely transform the dark forest of the Reaper’s Mountain. Once again, Reaper’s Revenge has invested heavily in improving this already unique hayride attraction. Each scene is designed to “immerse” an entire wagon, built on a larger scale that gives guests views an almost 360-degree experience (scenes and performances can be visualized from all angles of the hayride and NEVER break character).

Scenes act as massive “stages” that embrace a variety of diverse, unique Halloween-inspired themes infused with special effects, pyrotechnical and audiovisual displays that defy one’s imagination. From an enhanced opening scene featuring brand new surprises to the debut of a large-scale “sacrificial temple scene” featuring hulking demonic creatures and even a dragon, the “Haunted Hayride” is awe-inspiring. More theatrical in design, iconic scenes return, including the massive “pumpkin forest,” “Freddy Krueger’s Toxic Waste/Dump Layer,” an awe-inspiring yet twisted interpretation of “Alice in Wonderland,” the famous graveyard “Thriller” scene, and an homage to “Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses (also known as Pallet Tunnel by Reaper’s faithful) among other scenes of horror and spectacle. Each scene has a specific and unique theme, and even the smallest and largest of immersive details (audio, visual) do not go unnoticed from “spiderwebs” which dangle on one’s face, to the stories of darkness and sacrifice interwoven into the brand new sacrificial “Temple” scene, each specific theme is diverse in its design and execution.  

From a design perspective, “Haunted Hayride” features some of the most impressive pyrotechnic displays and special effects. Again, some of the strongest scenes are those in which the talented actors apply their skilled craft. Quality acting brings a whole new dimension to scenes that even may be familiar to longtime fans. For example, the scare-performers such as “Tweedle Dee, Alice, and Mad Hatter” produced energy and excitement in a scene that, while visually striking, is now a few seasons old. The same sense of power executed by quality acting brought a freshness to the “Pallet Tunnel” or “House of 1000 Corpses” inspired scene. Cannibalistic mountain folk assaulted the wagon with energy working tirelessly to interact with as many guests as possible, interacting with the scene itself, and genuinely embraced their rather disturbing roles.

The same “energy” and quality of the performance was evident by numerous actors such as “Michael Myers” who garnered a legit “scream” fitting in perfectly with the infamous “forest of hanging bodies,” and “Freddy,” who both seemed to thrive in positions in which they are allowed to interact with guests. Quality acting can bring “freshness” to some of the older scenes and perhaps an element of surprise. Some of the more tenured scenes, such as the longstanding chainsaw scene, “Camp Crystal Lake,” an annual encounter with mountain security, could perhaps use some changes in how the scenes are played out/executed to bring new life, energy and add a sense of unpredictability without having to make a massive budget, or show altering intensive changes. The performers are well skilled and experienced in many of these scenes and quickly can adapt with some creative changes to make “older” scenes seem brand new, fresh, and just as intense as those that have received serious upgrades. Also, we look forward to an enhanced finale scene in future seasons that defies imagination and expectation, both of which Reaper’s Revenge excels at when challenged.

The Lost Carnival

“The Lost Carnival” is as authentic as an abandoned amusement park or carnival one could EVER imagine in a haunted attraction. What has been constructed on the mountain is a living, breathing representation of what one would imagine as a “haunted” amusement park or its namesake, the carnival. Authenticity has always been the strong point of this attraction; it is a “real” as it gets without finding an abandoned similar facility.

The “funhouse” is back open, and guests can become quickly immersed in an environment that has the sites (a working Ferriss wheel and creepy merry-go-round) and sounds (the sounds of twisted carnival music, laughing, and deranged metal music that give an edge of danger) of this one-of-a-kind haunted attraction that must be seen to appreciate. Small new additions this season, such as a “kissing booth” and even “bubbles,” add new layers of surprise and immersion. Quality acting is also a strong point, with insane clowns, lost souls, barkers, and carnies create creepy chaos that is unmatched. “Zed,” the Security guard once again steals the show in his scene, and even those actors that play more minor roles such as drop-scare clowns add to the chaotic yet creepy atmosphere of the “Lost Carnival,” an attraction that is BUILT to scare, dripping in horrific authenticity.

Delirium

“Delirium” is a 3D walk-through attraction that opened last season and was advertised as a multidimensional, mind-bending experience that fell short of hitting the same level of quality as the other featured attractions. It was hyped the moon and left us thinking, “that’s it.” HOWEVER, additions to the extensive 3D-designed haunted attraction make a WORLD of difference, hanging props such as “sea horses” dangle from the ceiling and a variety of new “psychedelic props” add so much more depth to the already impressive 3D artwork and CGI featured in this attraction.

While not a heavily “actor-driven” experience, those performers in “Delirium” this year felt far more comfortable in their ability to “interact” with the scenes, making it difficult to determine in some cases what was “real and not real.” Delirium was a genuinely pleasant surprise and a visually stunning yet startling attraction. While we wish it was only a bit longer, the entire attraction finally lives up to the hype bestowed upon it last year.

Pitch Black

“Pitch Black” (or “Pitch Black Inc.”) is a lengthy dark maze with interactive elements and scenes that are designed from the ground up to scare, terrify and break down the bravest of souls. Skipped by many visitors, it intimidates from the outside and never lets down its intensity once inside. Periods of absolute darkness, tight spaces, loud distracting sound, flashes of light, and an assault on the senses create fear that often is generated by the “mind” itself. “

Less is more” in “Pitch Black” and what you touch, what touches you, and the stimulatory effects combine to induce panic, and yet it is done in such a simple manner. There is no need for larger-than-life pyro or massive CGI special effects, just a complete exposure of one’s vulnerability to the unknown and relentless assault on the senses. “Pitch Black” is back and still one of the most terrifying attractions at Reaper’s Revenge.

Sector 13

“Sector 13”, a post-apocalyptic nightmare, a twisted dungeon of steel and hell, is open once again this season and does not disappoint. Furthermore, one of the most unique and intense attractions at Reaper’s Revenge, this grand finale places each guest at the mercy of armed guards, twisted doctors (who WILL carry out their experiments on unsuspecting guests), and vial mutants that have been unleashed. A non-stop barrage of action, sensory deprivation, and surprise, “Sector 13” is a welcome return and is a whirlwind experience.

Additions to several scenes this year add surprise. Even modification to layers of fog/smoke in certain scenes, such as the “boiler” room, makes the entire experience feel almost like an “escape” from the vile horrors of biological warfare. The “doctors” themselves are quite vocal and express a twisted sense of glee in their desire to torment. Again, quality acting makes even the most familiar scenes fresh, and “Sector 13’s” performers worked tirelessly to engage brave guests. “Sector 13” is a familiar yet intense experience that was sorely missing last year. Custom-built straight from the twisted minds and built to convey aggression, the sounds of helicopters and sirens blare, and there is NO mercy in this beloved one-of-a-kind attraction!

Final Word

Reaper’s Revenge Haunted Hayride and Attractions is one of the premier immersive amusement destinations in the country. With continued upgrades and growth and a MUCH welcome return of the two most intense attractions this season, as well as new scenes in the “Haunted Hayride,” it once again remains at the top of its game. However, some of the older scenes are starting to feel slightly stale, and many long-time visitors yearn for an element of surprise, which helps augment fear. Reaper’s Revenge can continue to repurpose and revitalize some of the traditional-older scenes through performance art with such solid performers and staff. Combined with the spectacle created with “big-budget” improvements, animatronics, and pyro, as well as the diversity in themes themselves, very few haunted attractions will ever reach this level of excellence or quality.

13 years of success should be celebrated, and now the next phase and future begins. Some of the older scenes have become somewhat sanitized and routine but can quickly be revived with diversity in performance and sometimes simply allowing the performers to be “scary (and several areas of the attraction already have added new twists and surprises upon a second visit).” Over-scripting and canned lines cannot be replaced by the pure energy and intensity generated by passionate scare-performers, and at its heart, that always has been Reaper’s Revenge’s strength, and its commitment to unparalleled scare-acting as an art form. Reaper’s Revenge Haunted Hayride and Attractions is a premier destination haunt, a horror-amusement that will leave new visitors in complete horrific-wonder and longtime fans once again excited to see the “new” and the return of iconic attractions. A must-visit experience, Reaper’s Revenge has reached the top of haunt excellence and is in a class of those select few shows that must be visited to truly appreciate.

Get your tickets now at http://www.reapersrevenge.com