Don’t know what Great America Halloween Haunt is? Basically, throughout the weekends of October, Great America theme park turns into a Halloween haunted attraction. They have mazes, shows, scare zones, and most of the rides are operating.
I believe this is my 5th year attending GA haunt. My husband actually used to work there for 4 years too. He used to help build the mazes, set up the shows, and was even an actor (always a clown). The many stories he’s told of him scaring people and other incidents are very interesting.
Anyway, here are a few tips for your visit:
1. TICKETS Don’t settle for general admission – When purchasing tickets, I encourage people to always get the fright lane + skeleton key. The lines for the mazes are long. Many people complain that they weren’t able to go through all the mazes. You think 5 hours is enough time to do everything…it’s not. By purchasing the fright lane tickets, there’s very little to almost no wait for the mazes. You only have a ONE TIME fast pass for each maze.
Skeleton key is awesome because they have “special rooms” for you to see. This year they did it differently. Before, skeleton key rooms used to be inside the mazes. This year, they took the skeleton key rooms out of the mazes and placed them throughout the park. To find these rooms, you have to find a skeleton key sign that is lit up with flashing lights. So make sure you grab a map from the entrance. I actually like this idea better because they found areas where they have more space to do better activity. I don’t want to give away what happens in these skeleton key rooms, but you basically see and do things that only skeleton key holders can. Every year they change. For example, 2 years ago dead Paula Deen gave me the option to drink blood or eat bugs and I couldn’t leave until I did one of them. I went with blood. Again, these rooms change every year.
If you go on their website, prices vary. Obviously, tickets will be most expensive on Saturdays.
2. ACTORS DO SWITCH FOR BREAKS – My husband said that usually between 9pm-10pm is when the actors start switching off taking their 30min breaks. Meaning there won’t be a lot of actors on the floor for a good hour. I actually didn’t have a problem with this for this year. Either they hired a lot more actors or I just didn’t notice the same actors scaring me more than once. Now, if you go through a maze and wonder where the actors are, you know that they’re on break and you just waited in that long ass line for half the amount of scares.
3. Don’t act all tough – The actors are there to scare the guests as best as they can and if they don’t phase you, then don’t be a dick about it. Seriously, what’s the point of you being there if you’re just gonna act like that? If the actors are legitimately bugging you, kindly let them know. If it continues, speak with a supervisor. They’re practically everywhere. You can spot them easily because they wear bright yellow shirts.
4. THE ACTORS Don’t touch – They can’t touch you so don’t touch them. Simple. Which brings us back to #3..there’s no reason for you to act all tough with what can’t touch you. They are trained to not invade your personal bubble space.
5. KIDS Don’t bring them – Why do people do this? The actors will go up to your kids and if your kids cry, don’t blame it on them. It’s your own fault. It’s not like Disneyland when they do their Halloween themed nights and the characters are still kid friendly. You’re at the wrong park. It is stated on their website that Halloween haunt isn’t recommended for wimps and children under the age of 13. Yea, they seriously said “wimps.” Stay at home.
6. When entering mazes – Take a look at the group in front of you and back of you. I hate it when they are rowdy kids. They either over exaggerate getting scared, think they’re tough, and are just so loud and obnoxious. It’s annoying and they ruin the mazes for you. It only happened with one of the mazes this year. A group of loud, hyper kids had to split up into two groups. My husband noticed that we would be in between the groups when entering the maze. I told the employee that we didn’t want to go next because of them and that my group could wait. I didn’t have to explain any further. She knew what was up. She said she would give us a lot of space between groups. And she did! She waited a good few minutes before letting us through.
When my group goes through a maze, we know to slow down if we see people ahead of us and to go fast if we see the people behind us catching up. We want to get scared and in order to do that we have to try our best to keep away from other groups. It’s no fun if they scare the people ahead of you because you already know what to expect.
This year there’s a total of 8 mazes and 5 skeleton key rooms. It’s really a fun attraction to go to. You just have to go with the right people. The ones who will scream and laugh with you. There’s 3 weekends left of October. Have fun and I hope you find these tips useful.