Six Flags Magic Mountain - Fright Fest 2021 - Theme Parks & Installations - Santa Clarita - CA

Six Flags Fright Fest 2021 is Defined by its Passionate Scare Actors

I grew up attending Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest every single year. It was—and still is—an event I look forward to. To me, it is a sign that the air is getting cooler, that the leaves are starting to change color, and that Halloween is coming. It’s been a mainstay in my life for nearly thirty years now—and while the mazes don’t change often, they are always fun and frightening. Six Flags Fright Fest 2021 is no different. 

With six strong mazes, eight scare zones, five shows, and some altered rides, there’s plenty to enjoy and experience. This year, they bring two new scare zones, entitled The Deadzone, Fright Fest 2021’s take on cyberpunk zombies, and Terror Rising – Dark Developments, a second zombie zone bringing your nightmares to life. There are also two new shows: Dark Minds, a mentalist experience, and Grave Games, showcasing daring acts of crossbows and fire juggling.

While the experiences and shows remain largely unchanged, the true greatness of Fright Fest 2021 comes from the actors. They continue to provide the same high energy and dedication that the actors always deliver.

Join us as we highlight all of the mazes, some of our favorite scare zones, and the shows that caught our attention below.

 

MAZES

Six Flags Magic Mountain - Fright Fest - Theme Parks & Installations - Santa Clarita - CA

Vault 666 Unlocked

Vault 666 Unlocked is my personal favorite maze due to its iconic and memorable visuals. This maze was born from the previous Vault 666 maze ending in 2017, which featured a laboratory boasting the ability to splice animal and human DNA together, and Hellfest from 2018, which promoted the film of the same name. Thus, newcomers may be slightly confused how operating tables, art collections, and hallways full of outstretched hands all fit together—but regardless, it has some of the best aesthetics.

I am sad to see that the shopkeeper is now silent, and Vault 666 Unlocked no longer tasks participants with solving riddles to gain a skeleton key to access the vault. To facilitate a quick line, it is expected, but the interactivity was one of our favorite parts of the 2019 maze.

Keep an eye out for a Victorian chamber with veiled actors and mannequins alike, as well as a room of cult-like members all wearing masks. These two rooms provide some of the best scares of the night.

 

Six Flags Magic Mountain - Fright Fest - Theme Parks & Installations - Santa Clarita - CAWilloughby’s Resurrected

The Willoughbys may be one of the most recognizable part of the Fright Fest lore. They were the staple of Fright Fest for years, disappearing into the fog, and then were resurrected in 2012. The Willoughbys now stand at the top of Magic Mountain as its literal haunted house

While in prior years, this maze was sparsely populated and lacked some of the scares, this year it is packed with actors, and even boasts a small face lift. In a collaboration with Zak Bagans’ Ghost Hunters television show, Willoughby’s Resurrected is now littered with large cases labeled Ghost Hunters, suggesting that Zak and his team have started investigating the residence. While no ghost hunters were found inside (alive at least), it would be great to see further involvement with Zak and even the inclusion of a ghost hunting narrative, similar to Paranormal Inc at Knotts.

Further, the ritual room near the end is the most beautiful I’ve seen it, lined with candles glowing to perfection. A fortune-teller is also willing to engage guests and give them a Devil tarot card, which turns out to be advertising for Discovery+ and the Ghost Hunters tv show, but the interaction is welcomed none-the-less.

 

Six Flags Magic Mountain - Fright Fest - Theme Parks & Installations - Santa Clarita - CAAftermath 2: Chaos Rising

Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising began in 2016, following the original Aftermath in 2011, and is the same as previous years. This maze invites guests to walk the sets from the retired Batman Stunt Show and avoid numerous zombies hungry for flesh. Thus, due to its location, the sets are gorgeous, complete with flames, massive buildings, and destroyed vehicles. This experience is almost exclusively outside—as military personnel yell at guests to hurry to evacuation zones. Yet, evacuation is a little too late—and the world has been taken over by a zombie virus—a theme a little too close to home this season.

This maze is perfect for those who want an open-air experience. While the scares can generally be seen in the distance and lack the claustrophobic nature of the some of the other mazes, it is a truly awe-inspiring location, perfect to capture the imagination of all those who walk through it.

 

Six Flags Magic Mountain - Fright Fest - Theme Parks & Installations - Santa Clarita - CASewer of Souls

Sewer of Souls was born in 2018, replacing Dead End in 2017 and Willoughby’s Garden of Darkness in 2016. The prior mazes focused on darkness and labyrinthian layouts, Sewer of Souls takes the opposite approach, focusing more on neon-colored graffiti and toilet humor.

They have removed the Chromadepth glasses this year—likely due to covid safety and throughput—but they are not needed as the brightly colored walls all glow regardless. Further, they removed the inflatable wall sections, focusing further on the sewers.

This one is beautiful, and the graffiti is deserving of attention. I just wish I had more time to appreciate all the details in this sewer.

 

Six Flags Magic Mountain - Fright Fest - Theme Parks & Installations - Santa Clarita - CARed’s Revenge

Back for its eighth year, Red’s Revenge has the staying power due to its strong set design and recognizable characters. No one saved Red, and now in an effort to exact revenge on a society that forsook her, she has replaced the Big Bad Wolf as the villain of the story.

The narrative videos have been nixed this year to allow for a more consistent flow and less covid risk. The woods look as beautiful as ever, with gigantic spiders and towering trees ready to join Red in her revenge. The final scene is the finale in which Red stands upon her throne as fire blazes around her.

 

Six Flags Magic Mountain - Fright Fest - Theme Parks & Installations - Santa Clarita - CACondamned

Condamned invites guests to step into a condemned home, filled with denizens all as sick and demented as the rooms around it. This was a fan favorite in 2019, offering more interactivity than most of the others, with guests climbing through bunk beds and squeezing behind walls to spy on the residents within. Yet, most of these elements have been removed this year for safety reasons—but the maze still works wonderfully.

This maze feels disgustingly unclean—in the best way possible. It plays to our phobias, focusing on projected bugs, claustrophobic corridors, and deathly ill residents. Screams emanate from behind drop panels, and a clown high above taunts guests without ever coming down. This is still one of the best, and we hope to see it continue to get better each year.

 

Scare Zones

Six Flags Magic Mountain - Fright Fest - Theme Parks & Installations - Santa Clarita - CACity Under Siege

This is easily the best scare zone. The clowns, which have become synonymous with Fright Fest, have personalities far larger than even the scares they deliver. With whistles, horns, and the ability to slide, this is truly the best place to engage with scare actors as well as people watch.

The lasers and fog alone make this one of the most eye-catching scare zones. It has abandoned cars, but it easily could rest on the shoulders of the clowns inside.

Also make sure you come back here for the Slider Show at Midnight.

 

Six Flags Magic Mountain - Fright Fest - Theme Parks & Installations - Santa Clarita - CADemon’s Door

At the entrance to Fright Fest, demons can be found roaming the area. During the daylight hours, this scarezone has little to pay attention to. However, an hour prior to the closure of the park, Demon’s Door is home to one of our favorite traditions of the night. Entitled “Escape”, this place becomes home to every scare actor from the park, all conglomerating here to scare the guests as they attempt to exit the park.

It’s an original and innovative idea that really makes Fright Fest stand out from the rest of the Big Four theme park haunted events. It’s the ultimate in people watching and just plain fun. It’s rare to just be able to sit and watch actors in their element, each one with a unique style of scaring, and their effectivity across the many guests leaving the park.

Don’t miss this event.

 

Six Flags Magic Mountain - Fright Fest - Theme Parks & Installations - Santa Clarita - CAExile Hill

Exile Hill, the top of the mountain by Ninja, is home to Innocence Willoughby, fan favorite and one of the most recognizable characters of Fright Fest. She moves painstakingly slow, capturing the attention of all around her, as she can silently sneak into a line or stalk her prey. She is what makes this scare zone great.

 

Six Flags Magic Mountain - Fright Fest - Theme Parks & Installations - Santa Clarita - CANightmares: A Twisted Fantasy

Bathed in blacklight, Nightmares is a striking scare zone. Everything glows with neon delight, inviting guests to get close. Yet if the skulls in the center of the flowers are any indication, this place is far more deadly than it seems. We love this scare zone, but sadly, there just weren’t many actors in it when we arrived. We saw some during the closing ceremonies, so we may have arrived at an inopportune time.

 

Six Flags Magic Mountain - Fright Fest - Theme Parks & Installations - Santa Clarita - CATerror Rising – Dark Developments

Terror Rising was a new scare zone this year but failed to leave an impression. Orange lighting illuminated gravestones, but the zombies that used to inhabit the burial plots were not seen. Spend some time to read all the gravestones, they provide a laugh among all the darkness.

 

Six Flags Magic Mountain - Fright Fest - Theme Parks & Installations - Santa Clarita - CATERRORtory Twisted

While this zone has been one of the strongest scare zones in the past, it is now a sparse area that simply billows fog. The aesthetics are beautiful as the orange lighting compliments the fog wonderfully, making everything feel as if it is an autumn dream. Yet, the theme is steampunk, and with the focus this year on The Deadzone, it appears that actors have been taken from here and deposited elsewhere.

The projection mapping is still strong, and the gigantic mechanical spider that guards the entrance is always a pleasure.

 

Six Flags Magic Mountain - Fright Fest - Theme Parks & Installations - Santa Clarita - CAThe Deadzone 

Chain-link fences, neon lime green, and some of the best make-up we’ve seen—this zone was one of our favorites. Each of the cyberpunk residents of The Deadzone had their own personas, style, and scare tactic. When we arrived, one woman stood upon a stage for us all to marvel out, scaring those who let their eyes linger too long.

 

Six Flags Magic Mountain - Fright Fest - Theme Parks & Installations - Santa Clarita - CAWitches Lair

We loved this scare zone in the past, but the wooden walls and props seem to have shrunk this year, making the maze-like structure a little less like a beautifully decorated haunted house and more like a wooden obstacle. However, the actors in here still came out with passion, and a highlight was a witch scampering through the labyrinth chanting “Come chase me, come chase me!”

 

 

Noteworthy Shows

Sliders of the Night

While this takes place at the same time that “Escape” (see above) occurs, it’s definitely worth it to watch Sliders of the Night and then head to Demon’s Door to catch “Escape”.

Much like “Escape”, all of the sliders from Fright Fest gather in City Under Siege to perform stunts on all fours. This includes sliding under bars, over bars, under the legs of each other, over the prone bodies of each other, and even ending in a Wild West style duel. It’s a blast to see the personalities of so many vast characters come together—from the clowns to the Willoughbys. The talent here is incredible, and while there is no narrative, its one of the best shows at Fright Fest.

 

Six Flags Magic Mountain - Fright Fest - Theme Parks & Installations - Santa Clarita - CA

Covid Note

While we’re sad to see a lot of the interactivity and special areas removed from the mazes this year, we do applaud Six Flags Magic Mountain’s commitment to Covid safety. We’ve seen a lot of experiences say “masks indoors” but each maze truly enforced it. I felt safe with a majority of guests wearing masks, using hand-sanitizers, and most of the tight corridors or video rooms removed for that reason.

 

Six Flags Magic Mountain - Fright Fest - Theme Parks & Installations - Santa Clarita - CAFinal Thoughts on Fright Fest 2021

Fright Fest 2021 may suffer from stagnant and redundant mazes that only change once every few years, but its true power resides in the passion and personality of its performers. Where else do you have people returning year after year just to see Innocence Willoughby—and recognizing her by name? Where else do you have an army of slider clowns who have followings on Instagram larger than some influencers? Fright Fest is not defined by its intellectual property or its location, but rather by the scare actors that come back year after year and bring incredible passion to the park.

It’s these actors that bring us back and why we will continue to be excited about Fright Fest year after year.

For more information about Six Flags Fright Fest, check out their website. To find other events similar to this one, check out our Event Catalog.

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Fright Fest 2021 is frightening. Fright Fest 2021 is scary. Fright Fest 2021 is passionate. Fright Fest 2021 is frightening. Fright Fest 2021 is scary. Fright Fest 2021 is passionate. Fright Fest 2021 is frightening. Fright Fest 2021 is scary. Fright Fest 2021 is passionate. 

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Fright Fest 2021 is frightening. Fright Fest 2021 is scary. Fright Fest 2021 is passionate. Fright Fest 2021 is frightening. Fright Fest 2021 is scary. Fright Fest 2021 is passionate. Fright Fest 2021 is frightening. Fright Fest 2021 is scary. Fright Fest 2021 is passionate. 

About The Author

Taylor Winters
Taylor has loved immersive theater since his first experience at ALONE in 2013. Since then, he has written, produced, & directed immersive theater, consulted for numerous immersive companies, acted in others, and attended even more. He has his PhD in Bioengineering, an MBA in Organization Leadership, and currently works fixing broken hearts.

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