Last night, we were given the opportunity to check out the Haunted Trail in Balboa Park. A mile long haunted experience filled with monsters and different themed scenes down in the heart of San Diego, Balboa Park. Before being immersed in the Haunted Trail we ventured into the Experiment maze which is included in the price of general admission. In this maze we had to find our way out while encountering spooky creatures that are lurking all through out it waiting to haunt us. Both of these experiences are very strong both detail wise and scare wise so today we give an in depth review of one of our favorite local haunts here in San Diego, The Haunted Trail at Balboa Park.
The Experiment Maze: Typically with other haunts they use the term ‘maze’ for their haunt experiences but essentially for the most part it’s more of a walkthrough experience but that’s not the case for The Experiment as guests actually have to find their way out of the maze being that there is always two different paths that could lead you to a dead end or down the right path. We personally love this because it’s something unique that a lot of places don’t do with their mazes. One of the coolest things was not knowing whether or not we’d turn the corner right into a new monster who would be standing right there waiting to scare us. But, that’s not all as the full maze has many different sets in reference to different horror movies that guests know and love.
We won’t give any spoilers but let’s just say you may encounter characters like Michael Myers or The Nun. While walking through the experience we tried our best to remember how we got out from last years event but that didn’t help much as the paths were different, showing that the Haunted Trail does their best at keeping it fresh and new every year. Overall, the Experiment Maze is a perfect way to warm up to what guests are about the venture into which is the mile long Haunted Trail.
The Haunted Trail: This full trail was completely different from what we saw last year. It’s very immersive and heavily themed, as we first start off we were greeted by a massive animatronic of Pennywise the clown that was both terrifying and super impressive. The trail used the ‘IT’ theme last year as well but this year it was completely different which was really cool! The trail mixes both outdoor scenes and indoor scenes building different small structures that have big sets in them and most importantly the monsters. A couple of other themed areas that guests might recognize while they are there are Stranger Things and even Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’. The scare actors are very interactive with guests which makes for a much more fun experience.
One of the things that the trail does the best at is making you feel as if you have been walking forever as it loops back and forth and doesn’t just go straight. This makes for a much longer experience and shows that they do an amazing job at using all the space that they have to put on this haunt each and every year. There’s tons of cool animatronics all throughout the trail as well which is a nice mix with the live scare actors. An ongoing theme that we noticed is the effect of placing tons of mannequins in one scene that all look the same and having a couple live scare actors jump out of guests.
This is such a cool scare tactic as it’s very effective in a haunt experience. A lot of other elements that we enjoyed a ton was the use of puppets in the maze, often times we’d come face to face with an impressive puppet that would lunge out of nowhere and scare us. Each different scene had a facade that was nicely detailed and immerses guests more into what they are about to walk into with that particular scene. The creative team behind the Haunted Trail know how to keep the experience fresh and new each and every year and that is why we highly recommend checking out their event this year!
You can find more information and tickets to the Haunted Trail by visiting https://hauntedtrail.net . There is a VIP Experience option that gives guests the ability to skip the general admission which gets very long due to the popularity of the event. Thank you once again to everyone involved in bringing the Haunted Trail to life for showing us a great time and a terrifying experience each year that we’ve attended!
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