Knott’s Berry Farm Challenges Universal Studios With New Attraction

in Knott's Berry Farm, Universal Studios

A hypnotist in a top hat hypnotizing a clown in orange lighting at Knott's Scary Farm

Credit: Knott's Berry Farm

After losing much of its horror publicity to Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights, Knott’s Berry Farm is attempting to get it back with an attraction based on the very movies that made Universal famous.

The Universal arch lit up for Halloween Horror Nights
Credit: Universal

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While Knott’s Berry Farm is most recognized as the home to Camp Snoopy, the Calico Mine Ride, the Timber Mountain Log Ride, the Soak City water park, and the Boysenberry, it is also known as the innovator of Halloween theme park events. Now in its 50th year, Knott’s Scary Farm began the terrifying trend in 1973.

However, Universal Studios has since taken the spotlight away from Knott’s, bringing its movie magic to each horrifying maze and Scare Zone. Sure, Halloween Horror Nights has its collection of original haunted houses, but the real meat and potatoes come from established horror franchises like HalloweenFriday the 13th, and Nightmare on Elm Street. Even Fright Fest at Six Flags has gotten in on that action with mazes themed after Saw X (2023) and The Conjuring (2013).

Meanwhile, Knott’s Scary Farm has focused more on history, bringing a witch’s curse to its famous Ghost Town section and even having a Scare Zone themed after the Prohibition Era called The Gore-ing Twenties. But this year, things will be different because, for the first time ever, Knott’s is putting guests into the movies.

Knott’s Berry Farm’s New Attraction Puts You in a Slasher Film

A serial killer coming out of a movie screen and attacking the audience for the Cinema Slasher maze at Knot's Scary Farm
Credit: Knott’s Berry Farm

Related: Knott’s Scary Farm Introduces Over 50 Interactive Elements

For its 50th anniversary, Knott’s Scary Farm has made many moves to put it on a similar footing to Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights. One of the most significant changes was the addition of an event icon, The Keeper. And now, Knott’s has introduced a maze that takes inspiration from the slasher movies that helped put Universal on the map.

Called Cinema Slasher, Knott’s Scary Farm’s newest maze takes guests through the Midnight Theater, entering horror film worlds where you must survive a deadly killer known as the Slasher. The haunted house description asks, “Can you escape these movie nightmares, or will you be trapped among decaying corpses in the ruined theatre?”

A woman in a white mask operating a camera at Knott's Scary Farm
Credit: Knott’s Berry Farm

Related: Disneyland Announces Horror Nights-Inspired Event

The maze begins in the middle of the abandoned Midnight Theater, where guests will enter directly through the screen and become the “star” of multiple slasher movies that don’t exist… yet. On top of this, the designers have taken elements from past mazes to make each film feel like it came from Knott’s history.

While this doesn’t have the name power of Stranger Things (2016-present), Chucky (2021-present), or The Last of Us (2013), Cinema Slasher is still an exciting step for Knott’s to take. Usually, their mazes seemed to be themed in an era or more fantastical settings. Cinema Slasher takes the fear that only a slasher film can provide and puts you right in the middle of it. And this time, you don’t know the plot ahead of time.

Do you think Knott’s can reclaim the horror crown from Universal Studios? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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