Valley of Fear (Feasterville, PA) is a classic “scream park that features numerous diverse themes and three attractions that combine to give each guest an enjoyable evening of fright and terror. A top-rated attraction, the massive crowd, sometimes caused some backup and line issues within a few of the attractions. However, overall, these moments did not distract from the entertainment value provided by Valley of Fear. Valley of Fear focuses on giving guests an entire night of entertainment. Guests can enjoy three unique attractions and spend time in the midway area, which features music, food, photo opportunities, and even alcohol sales. Furthermore, Valley of Fear has always presented unique ideas and themes, from a real-life “freak show” to a “pirate-themed” attraction that cannot be found elsewhere. In terms of “atmosphere” and environment Valley of Fear is clearly a favorite and has withstood the test of time. Featuring a variety of special events as well (such as Horror Movie Icon Night) the commitment to entertainment and popularity of Valley of Fear continues to grow each season.
The Original Haunted Hayride
“The Original Haunted Hayride “is the most “famous” haunted attraction featured at Valley of Fear and boasts numerous themes that cover a wide range of genres associated with Halloween and horror. The haunted hayride starts off with an impressive opening scene, with pyrotechnics, a talking evil “skeleton,” and a larger-than-life presence that sets the tone for an incredible ride. Along the journey, numerous scenes range from abandoned towns to a spectacle of a dark carnival featuring fire breathers, evil clowns, and a sense of chaos as well as surprise.
The haunted hayride is clearly the most established of attractions, and why some scenes (such as a Zombie/Infection) feel a little flat; overall, the vintage quality and theatrics make up for some minor critiques. One of the biggest challenges, however, is associated with how guests are seated. Seating on the wagon makes it difficult to see the entire show, especially on a crowded wagon. Furthermore, some of the “acting” was simply yelling or grunting, which can be improved. However, overall, this is by far the “core” attraction and reason alone to visit Valley of Fear in an era where hayrides are becoming less prominent.
Miles Manor Haunted House
“Miles Manor Haunted House” is a traditional haunted mansion walkthrough with conventional themes such as a morgue, clown room, corridors of darkness, and crypt. A solid attraction, the mansion had challenges accommodating a large group of guests. The performance seemed to struggle due to the number of guests entering the show, which led to a rushed experience. A lack of rest or chokepoints, except for a few unique scenes (such a downright creepy evil mass/church scene), caused line backups and moments where it was one group after another. However, from a theme and design perspective, this is a fine addition to a “scare park” that just doesn’t reach the level of unique creativity featured throughout the other two attractions.
Willie’s Shipwreck Cove
Pirate-themed haunted attractions are rare and a unique theme that should be embraced by more haunted attractions. “Willie’s Shipwreck Cove” at Valley of Fear is filled with an “authentic” pirate atmosphere as if one were visiting an abandoned seaport of the undead. The soundtrack and theatrical scenes are perhaps the strongest, and there is a great deal of focus on presenting a unique scare. Undead pirates, wenches, and other sea fairing performers roam the lengthy outdoor trail, and the bamboo/swamp atmosphere is PERFECT for a pirate’s cove theme. Due to the large crowd, it was challenging for actors to delay groups. Sometimes we found ourselves walking in a giant line; however, due to the quality and unique theme of this attraction, it did not completely distract from the experience. “Willies Shipwreck Cove” is an innovative walkthrough attraction that embraces a diverse theme, uses quality set design, costuming, and an emphasis on “sound” to create a quality attraction that is very different than one will see elsewhere. Pirate themes are refreshing in an industry sometimes plagued with the same old tired concepts!
The Final Word
Valley of Fear has returned this season with great fanfare and a solid, innovative thematic show that features detailed haunted attractions as well as themes not found in other shows. Three unique haunted attractions and themes are generally not found in typical scream-park style attractions. One of the most popular haunted “scream-parks” in the Philadelphia region, Valley of Fear is a quality show that is targeted at a wide array of audiences and is celebrating over THIRTY years in operation! A great way to enjoy the season, and a regional destination, we look forward to seeing what unique, creative themes are brought to life at this established attraction!