Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest has opened for 2016, and of course I was there to experience all mazes! This year’s line-up features seven mazes, including the gigantic new Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising. In addition, the mazes were filled with actors. Let’s get to rating and reviewing them!
How we rate and review:
The four ratings exist of a Length Rating, which relates to the length of a maze, the longer the better. This doesn’t necessarily mean physical length of walking through the maze, but may also indicate there are plenty of different scenes and that the maze felt long. The Scare Rating is exactly what you think it is, how ‘scary’ does a maze get, how gruesome it is, if it creates a bunch of jump scares, etc. The Set Rating looks specifically at the job done regarding the theming of the maze, how immersive the sets are, how many different scenes guests encounter, etc. And then last, but definitely not least… the Experience Rating. Which is mainly based off of the overall feel of the maze, was it a extreme? Did it leave you breathless? etc. The overall experience, combined with the other three factors creates a FINAL SCORE for the maze. (Out of 10, 10 being: “absolutely unbelievably amazing”, 1 being: “Don’t even bother visiting”)
The Willoughby’s Garden of Darkness
Length Rating: 8 Scare Rating: 6 Set Rating: 5 Experience Rating: 7 FINAL SCORE: 6.5
Willoughby’s Garden of Darkness is likely the most criticized maze at Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest, and for a good reason. Though it’s definitely not a bad maze, it is one of the weakest mazes in the line-up. I personally like the simplicity of the theme and the way actors scare guests. The maze may feel repetitive, because the theme is so simplistic. It doesn’t live up to the standards of some of the newer elaborate mazes, but with a little luck you can get some fun scares out of it. In addition, the maze is actually pretty long, the space inside is utilized well by creating many narrow walkways through the maze. This year, the hardcore Six Flags Magic Mountain fans will be welcomed by several themed elements that have been taken away from sections from the park and placed inside the maze. Though I like the overall experience, it’s not a maze that should be on the top of your bucket list, on emptier Fright Fest nights it’s definitely worth a visit.
Length Rating: 8 Scare Rating: 8 Set Rating: 8 Experience Rating: 8 FINAL SCORE: 8
One of the most popular mazes is Red’s Revenge, themed after the horrifying take on Little Red Riding Hood. The maze is unique because of its sound-stage set-up. There are numerous large scenes, such as a little village, cabin, forest, etc. The lines get ridiculously long for this quality-production maze, so make sure to tackle it as soon as the event starts.
The theme is very well developed, which instantly puts this maze on a competitive level with other events in Southern California. There are several quality mechanical and actor scares throughout the maze, and as discussed earlier on, the sets are quite impressive. Overall, though there are mazes that scored higher in this review, it’s a can’t-miss maze. It stands out among the mazes due to its theme and sets. I’m still a huge fan of this maze.
Length Rating: 8 Scare Rating: 9 Set Rating: 8 Experience Rating: 9 FINAL SCORE: 8.5
Vault 666: where the human-animal mutation lab theme is accompanied by highly-detailed scenes and a very well established story line. After having been through this maze countless many times, it still manages to scare the cr*p out of me, each and every time! Why is this maze so amazing? It has a great length and features an impressive amount of highly-detailed different scenes. The maze features a choose-your-own-path section in the beginning of the maze, as well as a pre-show. The theme is well explained in the beginning of the maze, which really makes the maze so well-rounded. This maze is visually pleasing, with countless mechanical effects. Overall this is a definite can’t-miss. It’s also a VERY popular maze, so make sure to visit early in the evening, because lines will get long. This maze should be in your top 3 at the park, along with Willoughby’s Resurrected and Aftermath 2. Oh, and as mentioned, be prepared for scares around every single turn.
Length Rating: 7 Scare Rating: 6.5 Set Rating: 7 Experience Rating: 7 FINAL SCORE: 6.875
Another year of Chupacabra. Though the maze has gotten a lot better over the years, it still remains on the bottom of the park’s line-up of mazes. The maze features a very messy story line, but stands out for its impressive use of fog all throughout the maze. The building it’s in perfectly suits the theme, and with the combination of indoor and outdoor scenes the maze is diverse. Sadly, besides jump scares, it lacks a story-line and execution. Thanks to the recent new lightning and slight maze layout changes, the maze has become better (and definitely scarier) than it used to be, and remains to be a lot of fun. Just like the Willoughby’s Garden of Darkness, it doesn’t match up with the quality of the larger state-of-the-art mazes. Therefore, don’t make this maze a priority, but definitely step by if you have time!
Toyz of Terror 3D
Length Rating: 8 Scare Rating: 7 Set Rating: 8 Experience Rating: 8 FINAL SCORE: 7.75
Back this year is Toyz of Terror 3D, another favorite of mine. Ready for a fun maze? With free 3D glasses to enhance your experience, this maze is quite disorienting as the maze has been painted in 3D! There are several slanted ramps throughout the maze, and a very disorienting spinning-tunnel. The maze features a pre-show, after which the trip-fest begins. All scenes in this maze are lit up quite well, and most are neon colored. Same counts for some of the characters, that are brightly colored.
This is one of those mazes you visit for the fun, rather than the scares. There are a few scares here and there, but walking around the 3D painted maze with 3D glasses on creates a very fun, bright, and ‘trippy’ experience. I can visit this maze all night long and still have a great time, make sure to check it out. Of all 3D mazes I’ve done in my life, this must still be my favorite.
Length Rating: 8 Scare Rating: 9 Set Rating: 8 Experience Rating: 9 FINAL SCORE: 8.5
An all-time favorite maze of recent years is Willoughby’s Resurrected, located near Willoughby’s Garden of Darkness on top of Samurai Summit. This maze is themed to a classical haunted house, and it does so perfectly. The maze is very long, features classical scenes, some new technology, and an insane amount of actors. The maze is very dark, and a great finale that is an introduction to the Garden of Darkness maze. Usually a very well set-up maze is more visually pleasing than scary. This maze on the other hand combines both, there are so immensely many actors scattered throughout this maze that even hiding behind your friends isn’t going to protect you. Adding to which the pre-show alone is amazing. Make sure to check out this maze during your visit! This maze should be in your top 3 at the park, along with Vault 666 and Aftermath 2.
Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising
Length Rating: 10 Scare Rating: 7 Set Rating: 9 Experience Rating: 8 FINAL SCORE: 8.5
The newest maze at Six Flags Magic Mountain is Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising. It’s the largest maze the event has ever created and pays homage to the incredibly popular and grand original Aftermath. This version of the maze though, is even better!
Guests need to watch out as the city of Ash Valley is threatened to lose all livable space because of a dangerous toxin seen below. As you make your way through this 40,000 square feet large maze that’s half a mile long (yes, THAT long), you encounter explosions (Fire-effects are the best), crashed aircraft, cars, collapsed buildings, etc. The maze includes a lot of pyrotechnic effects, the first-ever in-maze Scare Zone, where you roam the crumbling city freely while actors roam around with you. There’s a choose-your-own-path section, indoor sections, a bunch of scares and the return of an all-time favorite scene that some of you may remember from the original Aftermath. The maze features twice as many actors as any of their other mazes, and is a huge experience that you won’t want to miss. So far no other theme-park maze in California (during our time of coverage) has ever been this grand. Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising is a must-visit. This maze should be in your top 3 at the park, along with Vault 666 and Willoughby’s Resurrected.
What makes Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest Mazes so good?
There’s no maze at the entire event that is going to remotely feel similar to other mazes at the event. Often times you visit a haunt event and a lot of mazes have the same general feel to them. At Six Flags Magic Mountain that is not the case at all. You have 6 completely different themes, one of which is a pair of mazes (the two Willoughby mazes) that perfectly continue each other’s story-line. In addition to a vast variety of themes, there’s also a huge variety of different types of mazes. Fright Fest has a 3D maze (Toyz of Terror), a sound stage type maze (Red’s Revenge), a few highly detailed long mazes with mechanical effects (Vault 666 and Willoughby’s Resurrected), a very tight and dark garden-style maze (Garden of Darkness), a small outdoor maze (Chupacabra), and last but not least, a gigantic outdoor maze with giant set pieces recreating a city (Aftermath 2). There’s something different about every single experience at the Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest mazes, and therefore I highly recommend you visit this haunt season.
Be sure to buy a maze wristband. Regular wristbands are $15 for pass holders, $20 for one-day admission guests. To wait in shorter lines, you may purchase an Express Pass, which is $30 for pass holders, and $35 for those without a season pass or membership. The event hours are 7PM-1AM on Fridays and Saturdays, and 7PM-11PM on Sundays! Don’t miss out!
Start planning your fun NOW and download the Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest 2016 Park Map/Guide here: six-flags-magic-mountain-fright-fest-2016-guide