By: Sabina Graves
I finally visited FRIGHT FEST at Six Flags Magic Mountain, and it was not entirely what I expected - and THAT’S A GOOD THING! Admittedly, I’m not a roller coaster person. So even being a socal native, I tend to avoid going to Six Flags in general, and for haunt season, until this year. Maybe I’m just hankering for any sort of Halloween event, having missed LA haunts so much.
Visiting for FRIGHT FEST 2021 is probably the best trip I’ve had to Six Flags since I was a kid. And it makes sense, as I went with my husband, rather than rowdy high schoolers for grad night. However, there were TONS of children of all ages there. But the vibe for a millennial couple was a mash of mega-carnival, with optional thrill rides and solid scares in their mazes. There's truly enough to do if you’re just visiting for the FRIGHT FEST event.
I did want to mention that we were given media passes with express entry for the mazes. Overall, if you’re doing an event for just one night, I always recommend the front of the line pass as being worth the $$. Here, a FRIGHT FEST ticket can be added to a day ticket for as low as $24.99 (day ticket required for purchase), and since there’s definitely quite a crowd, I’d say the Express Fright Fest pass is worth the extra money. You can find that upgrade inside the park, over at the designated booths. What sort of balances it all out is that the express pass for the mazes does not cover the coasters, and vice versa. My husband did ride one coaster, since it was Batman day, and you kind of have to! The regular line was about 70 minutes, and most other coasters floated above that wait time most of the night. Lines were long everywhere! But depending on where you wanted to put down the money, it was manageable.
Definitely wear comfy walking shoes, because unlike most parks in so-cal, Six Flags has hills, and you will work out like it’s leg day, for sure. If, like me, you haven’t visited in a while, the lay of the land might be a little fuzzy, and you will soon realize the mazes are scattered about various points that can be challenging to find. So I would recommend using the map or the app. With express pass access, we did do a little detour at the games area for some spooky prizes. Many of the game stations were offering pumpkins, ghosts, and bats as rewards. My husband, who is good at baseball, WON ME AN ORANGE BAT!! It’s so cute, and it became my emotional support familiar while we went into mazes.
We had a blast in all six house offerings throughout the park. The upside of them all being spread apart is that they’re all built in permanent locations, and are pretty long experiences, with great environments! So there seems to be a lot of freedom to dress up the spaces as uniquely and detailed as possible. Our favorite mazes of the night were Vault 666 Unlocked, Willoughby’s Resurrected, and Red’s Revenge. There being space to move inside provided a sense of safety as the mazes aren’t particularly crammed like at other events with more limited space. It also made for fantastic unexpected scares from a mix of live actors and animatronics.
While not quite reaching the heights of other haunts yet, the effort made FRIGHT FEST an event to keep an eye on. There is so much to do, even if scary rides aren’t your thing. There are a few options for live entertainment, which are so refreshing, and included a fun emo-era to today cover band, as well as "Dark Minds," a hybrid dance show hosted by a master mentalist. We were unable to watch "Grave Games," a fire dancing and stunt show we were excited for, but wasn’t open yet. The theming in the scare zones gave the park a variety of campy fun, and eerily atmospheric vibes as you made your way through. Standouts are always the sliders over in the DC Universe area.
Overall, there are so many original ideas that have great potential. This goes for mazes as well. I definitely think the park should flesh out more haunt icons, and bring back some of its WB IP, like DC villains and Spooky Looney Tunes. Imagine a ticketed candy trail with character meet and greets in the DC Universe and Bugs Bunny World areas. I would love to see a Monster Tweety, Gossamer, and even recent DC steaming characters, like the Doom Patrol. I can’t wait to see FRIGHT FEST expand its arsenal. With the absence of that huge waterfront ship haunt this year, this event slips into the top haunts of socal to take it’s place.
Six Flags FRIGHT FEST runs until October 31. Tickets, and more information, can be found here.