Today, we’re previewing this year’s Knott’s Scary Farm offerings. Specifically, we’ll hear about the two new mazes, Bloodline 1842 and Grimoire, the food, new merchandise, Into The Fog exhibit, and the new daytime tour experience. These interviews...
Today, we’re previewing this year’s Knott’s Scary Farm offerings. Specifically, we’ll hear about the two new mazes, Bloodline 1842 and Grimoire, the food, new merchandise, Into The Fog exhibit, and the new daytime tour experience. These interviews were conducted live at Knott’s by Elsie from Sharp Productions, one of our content partners. Eric Nix, Christopher Do, Karl Busche, and Wilf Seymour are featured in this episode. Follow along to our Hauntathon: https://linktr.ee/hauntedattractionnetwork
Christopher Do: My name is Christopher Do and I'm a producer here at Knott's Berry Farm.
Jon Asperin: My name is Jon Asperin and I am the show director and creative designer here at Scary Farm.
Elsie: Can you tell us about Bloodline 1842?
Jon Asperin: 1842, I would say, is an experience. I mean, it's very hard to classify it as a maze because there's so many different things that the guests are going to experience. It's a full immersive experience that the guests have an opportunity to fight back. One of the things that we really enjoy is just the response that the guests get when they exit out of some of our mazes. One of the things that resonates with us the most during the season is the fact that there's always that talk that guests have afterward, "Hey, I love this maze. I love that maze." One of the things that we've noticed was the fact that people had bragging rights on their way home after they left Special OPs Infected. We want those bragging rights back, and we know that we have all those gamers out there, and our fans that love the experience. I'm sure this time around with Bloodline 1842, they're going to experience something new, that we won't say too much of here, this season at Scary Farm.
Elsie: How is Bloodline 1842 different from special OPS?
Jon Asperin: Sure, with Bloodline 1842 the biggest difference is the scale and the scope of this story in the world that we're building. In Special OPS Infected we were brought to modern-day Calico, and we went through the city. You know, we brought our own city, and we've done it in an incredible spot here, backstage at the warehouse where we had our famous Paranormal Link, and we've expanded the size of it, the scope of it, plus the theme of it. We have a customizable experience in which rather than going through with one type of weapon across the board with everyone in your group, guests will have the opportunity to choose their style weapon based on the clans that resonates within them most. So, that added bounce-back feature of all this incredible magic that we've done with Infected were they come back, and or they go through a maze, and then say they they defeat or they destroy a certain type of monster, weapons upgrade. So, it's pretty cool. There are new, different types of scares that I wish we could talk about. Scares that we've never done here at Scary Farm that guests are also going to love.
Jon Asperin: Are we using the same weapons as Special OPS?
Jon Asperin: We are, we are using three different variations of the weapons that we used for that, plus we have a little special treat we can't say too much of. But yeah, it's the same style of weaponry, but three different types of classes.
Christopher Do: What I really like about it, you can start to see the inspiration of the steampunk that comes in with it right?
Elsie: In an era of increased gun violence, what do you guys doing to minimize the relationship to shooting guns?
Jon Asperin: That's a great question. I think, when the guests get a chance to go through Bloodline 1842, they're going to be transported into a fantasy world. I think there are a lot of opportunities, and what we do with our scares, too, that really brings up just an incredible fantasy element to it. Did you want add to that?
Christopher Do: Yeah, So what I'm super excited about, you talk about the gamers and things like that, we're able to take this fun story and, you know, bring you this fantasy world. We looked a lot at our different gamers, what the gamers are doing, and how much fun they're having with those experiences, and be able to do that.
Elsie: Excellent, it must be challenging to recreate such a large maze, why is that such an important thing in this event?
Christopher Do: It wasn't until the first time I walked into one of our rooms that we had towards the beginning and I looked up and like, "Oh my goodness, the scale of this is something else." It's the biggest maze that we've created to date and it's just going to be super exciting. So, the scale is just something else.
Eric Nix: My name is Eric Nix, and I'm the director of creative production here at Knott's Scary Farm. The Grimoire is one of our new mazes here at Knott's Scary Farm, one of our two new mazes. Grimoire is set in the 1980s, and it's all about these three teenagers who are going on their last sort of summer camping trip, and along their journey within the forest they find this old book, essentially, and they pick up that book and they start reading from it. Literally, all hell breaks loose once they open that book and start reading from it. You get to go along this adventure and experience and see what the grimoire has done to these different eras and time and space.
Elsie: The book was also from another Maze too, is that where it's been seen?
Eric Nix: So some folks may have seen the grimoire in other experiences like Invitation to Terror last year, our show that was inside the Mystery Lodge Theater, as well as actually inside Origins it has made an appearance as well. So, the grimoire has been with us for a little bit and it has been wreaking havoc for a number of years at Knott's Scary Farm.
Eric Nix: So, we have a new experience here at Knott's Scary Farm this year, it's called the Beyond the Fog Tour, it's a 3-hour walking tour of three of our mazes here at Knott's Scary Farm. You're going to get to see them with the lights on and learn all about the different crafts, the disciplines, and the folks that bring these nightmares to life. You get to take some photos in those, really get an in-depth tour, see all of those Easter eggs, and how our stories and narratives are connected to each other. And you know what, you may see a few surprises along the way.
Eric Nix: I'm always excited about everything that scary farm comes to market with, and we have so many great experiences, the original IP that we play with here, the Into the Fog Art Show that's over in the factory store this year, over 50 pieces of art this year, and they're just spectacular. We've got upgrades and enhancements to our Carnival de Grotesque, a show at the Calico Mine stage. We've got a new magician that conjurors Dark Magic. There's always new stuff to see here, and we're always uping the bar at Knott's Scary Farm because we are the granddaddy of all Halloween theme park experiences.
Elsie: And can you tell me why it was important to involve local artists in Into the Fog?
Eric Nix: When I came to Knotts Scary Farm five years ago... I'm an artist, that's what I used to do in my former life. I was a graphic artist and illustrator, so I have a special place in my heart for local artists, and I know that with 49 years of an attraction, people are going to have their own interpretations of what Scary Farm means to them. So, I wanted to open that up to these artists and tell us what it means through your art, what is Knott's Scary Farm to you? I'm blown away every year that we bring back that show and the level of talent that we get to put on display.
Elsie: Do you see it expanding?
Eric Nix: I absolutely do. I think we could easily fill a whole store as a gallery and who knows, maybe we'll get to do that someday.
Karl Bush: My name is Karl Bush. I am the merchandise manager at Knott's Berry Farm. You want to see the 49th year of Scary Farm merchandise? This is what we call our main event shirt. It has all the mazes, all the scare zones, what you're going to see when you come there. This is the Grimoire book, this is our new key maze for this year, so we really wanted to celebrate that. So, that will be what you see. We always celebrate our new mazes and our retiring mazes for the pin, which we did this year. Then, this year we have something very, very special. This is obviously a Tiki Mug, it's made by Tiki Farm, the premier maker of Tiki Mugs. For over a year we've been working on this, and this is our first edition Tiki mug, it's limited to 2000 pieces, $49.95. It will go on sale the first day of Scary Farm, it's going to be sold out, I mean people have been talking about it forever.
Wilf Seymour: Hi my name is Wilf Seymour, I'm director of food and beverage here at Knott's Berry Farm. We try to come up with creepy things, and chef, when he came up with the calamari, it started out as a whole calamari on the stick. It kind of grossed people out and didn't think it would work in the park, because we like to have creepy foods, but not grossed out people, but we still got the fog legs in there. So, we had to try and figure out how to do it properly. So, we did end up cutting up the calamari and just putting it on a stick like that. So, it made it, but it was kind of one of those things like, "oh, nobody will buy that," until we just decided to go the easy route. Not so creepy, but still delicious.
Elsie: Tell me about one of the underrated dishes.
Wilf Seymour: It's unusual to do a burger with a spicy chorizo sauce, but then to put shrimp inside it is kind of like, "where are you going with something like that?" You think, it's not going to work, flavor-wise, shrimp chorizo burger, but when you taste them all together it is delicious. So, I think it will be underrated, but you find with our season pass holders, it'll get out there that it's probably one of the best burgers they've had in the park, and it will be huge. But starting out, chorizo and shrimp? But yeah, that I think will be a huge hit.
Elsie: And can you talk about the timeline, how long does it take to create something from start to finish?
Wilf Seymour: This whole process did start a year ago when we finished off Scary Farm. Once Scary Farm is over, same with this, we're going to look at how everything went and what can we do to kind of up that scary, creepy, weird flavor, and how do we bring it into next year? So, we'll come finish up here, we'll rate everything, and we'll go, "we'd like to try this out for next year. We'd like to do a little tweak on this, try something different with the pizza and try a few things out." So, over the next couple months we will try a few of the dishes that we think might go again next year and build them towards the scary farm for next year in 2023.
Wilf Seymour: So, a couple months after we're done with this, we'll try a few things out and we'll go, yeah, that's good, ready for next year. Then as we get closer to opening up, we'll bring a couple extras in and trying to change them up a little bit there. "I was out and I tried this. Let's do it for the scary farm this year." So, it is fun, and we're always playing around with bakery items here. Every time we do something we go, "that'll fit for Scary Farm." This was started for Merry Farm last year, it didn't make the cut for Merry Farm, but it came in for scary Farm.
Wilf Seymour: Throughout the year we're always thinking of our events because the food's a really important part to the park, and we want to make sure we can bring things in, especially for our season pass holders, something different that they've not tried. The people that have all-season dining love being able to try new things, so it's really a great way to do it.