Thursday, October 13, 2016

Delight in the Frights at Six Flags Great Adventure's Fright Fest 2016

Fright Fest is back at Six Flags Great Adventure, offering more scares than ever before as the world's largest theme park celebrates all that is Halloween.  Offering both family fun in the daytime and scary thrills at night, the park has something for everyone.

When the staff at NewsPlusNotes visited we focused mainly on the scary parts of Fright Fest, but rest assured there's plenty of daytime fun too!  These activities include trick-or-treating, live shows like the Just My Rottin' Luck magic show, and even a special costume contest for kids.

What a welcome to the park this offers!
Fright-seekers have a lot of work cut out for them if they want to experience all that Fright Fest has to offer.  Starting at 6 pm when the sun goes down the haunted fun begins, as always, with the Awakening Parade.  Featuring 200 of the park's ghastly ghouls, the processional leads to the The Awakening show where Dr. Fright emerges and sends the park into scary fun.  Immediately after The Awakening is the first of each day's performance of Dead Man's Party: Graveyard Rock... though we will get to that show later in the story.

An eerie green fog hovers over the Demon District
Fright Fest at Six Flags Great Adventure has been expanded for the 2016 season, featuring several new attractions.

One of the biggest is the premier of virtual reality roller coaster rides at the park, experienced on Rage of the Gargoyles (Skull Mountain converted for the event).  Riders on the coaster wear Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus headsets as they "battle demonic creatures" in the interactive gaming experience.  What is already a fun indoor coaster is kicked up a notch with the use of the technology, letting riders not only enter another world but interact with it through their head movements.

Watch out for what is behind this door!
Fright Fest is well knows for its various Terror Trails, aka haunted houses, with by my count seven of them being offered in 2016.  There's a brand new one this year, named Cell Block 6 Haunted Maze.  Set in a prison on lockdown, the place is absolutely filled with some twisted inmates that are trying to get out - no matter the cost.  Between the abundant amount of live actors and various sets, the new maze is a fitting addition to Fright Fest.

Crazy 3-D fun awaits visitors to Fright Fest
Plenty of other returning terror trails and mazes are scattered throughout the park.  Above is a photo from Big Top Terror: Forgotten Carnival 3-D, which like the name implies is presented in colorful and disorienting 3-D.  The sets allow for a plethora of clowns to hide without being noticed until it is far too late to avoid a scream!

Blood Shed, The Manor, Total Darkness, Voodoo Island and Wasteland round out the roster of mazes - some outdoors on trails through the park's very dark woods, and some located in existing structures at the park. 

Just one of the friendly guys around the park!
As if the mazes and terror trails aren't enough, Great Adventure's Fright Fest also offers four scare zones, each with a unique theme.  The Demon District is filled with fog and green lasers, perfect for hiding ghouls.  Bone Butcher Terror-Tory is in the western themed area, with long deceased cowboys and other characters on the prowl.

A giant monster waits for visitors in a scare zone.
There's also Circus Psycho, a fitting home for a place over-run with totally crazed clowns, and also the location of the 3-D maze.  This area has several live shows spread throughout it since it covers a lot of real estate.  Finally, there's the famous Bloody Fountain scare zone, located right inside the entrance to the park.  Many of the monsters here are friendly if you want a photo with them... but remember you have to ask nicely!  Oh, and watch out for those with shovels if you're easily startled!

Live entertainment within Circus Psycho
Also new this year are several shows - live entertainment is really a big part of Great Adventure's Fright Fest and the shows all draw large crowds.  Bilkum, Burnham & Haugh's Side Show Spectacular (trying saying that one fast) is a brand new freak show, featuring acts like the "world-famous" Lizardman, Murrugun the Mystic and the "beautiful sorceress" Catalina Askew.  There's also the dark humor that's featured in Slash, with illusionists John Bundy and Morgan performing in the Showcase Theatre.

For a bit of comedic relief, make sure to stop by and see The Donniker Bros. Worlds of Mirth.  These "dark and devilish clowns urge guests to step right up to a uproarious new performance packed with unseemly humor and ample shenanigans."

Dead Man's Party!
However the king of the live shows at Fright Fest is Dead Man's Party: Graveyard Rock.  This year the show was moved into the large Movietown Arena within the Demon District, allowing for an even bigger stage, more special effects, and more seating.  Considering fans start lining up well before they can even enter the arena, that extra seating is a big plus.

Dead Man's Party: Graveyard Rock features Dr. Fright himself, along with his cast of friends, for the park's "signature song and dance production."  The upbeat show features high energy dancing, singing, popular pop and dark Halloween hits and plenty of special effects.  The photos of the performance included here show the elaborate lighting, flame bursts and other effects in action. 

This year's production features a special celebrity choreographer, Ashle Dawson.  You may have seen her in numerous appearances, including when she became a top 4 finalist on So You Think You Can Dance in 2005.  Here are some highlights of this year's show, make sure you do not miss it when you visit!

As you can see, this is quite a talented cast of singers and dancers!

The show is so good that there are actually groupies, seen here, that line up to hang out and talk with the cast after each performance.  After seeing the show, we can't blame them!  It's great that the public is able to meet with the performers like this.

Many thanks to Six Flags Great Adventure for having the NewsPlusNotes staff out to experience all that Fright Fest offers.  For more information on the 2016 event, make sure to check out the park's website.