Universal Studios Hollywood challenges Knott's Berry Farm for Halloween

Posted Monday, October 12, 2009 5:20 PM | Contributed by Jeff

For decades, Knott's Berry Farm's Halloween Haunt has reigned supreme as Southern California's ultimate theme park for Halloween frights. The Buena Park amusement park started the after-hours tradition more than 30 years ago and is credited with inventing the Halloween mazes duplicated by theme parks nationwide. But this year, officials at Universal Studios Hollywood say they are extending that park's Halloween Horror Nights and relying heavily on its movie connections to knock Knott's from its monster perch.

Read more from The LA Times.

Monday, October 12, 2009 6:09 PM

Are KBF and Universal even remotely competing for the same set of people? Driving time-wise, they're as far or farther apart than Cedar Point and Geauga Lake, which (it has been alleged) didn't compete.


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Monday, October 12, 2009 10:24 PM

How long does it take to drive 30 miles out there? Don't forget this could make the decision harder for the people who live in the middle that are like 15 miles away from both parks.

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Monday, October 12, 2009 11:57 PM
Kick The Sky's avatar

Universal is gonna have to bring it if they even want a shot at Knott's. Knott's was the first and is still the best, in my book, for Halloween events. No other park event I have been to even comes close (though, I have heard Universal's effort in Orlando is very good, so Hollywood might have the moxy to pull this off).


Certain victory.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009 11:33 AM

I attend both, and imo, Universal Hollywood needs to expand the offerings if they are going to take down Knott's as #1. Whereas Knott's is fully operational when Haunt is happening, USH, actually closes attractions at night. This leads to insanely long lines, massive amounts of people walking through the 4 mazes. When your'e standing 1 inch apart from each other in a crowd of thousands, it completely ruins the effect. Their live entertainment is much better however than Knotts, with Rocky Horror & Bill/Ted.

Still, imo, in order for USH to be #1, the entire park has to be open at night. Waterworld has to run - they did Slaugherworld in previous years, but not this year. At least use the huge capacity of the space for entertainment.

The entire tram tour has to run. For the event, it's an incredibly short experience on the tram. The collapsing bridge, earthquake, Jaws, the flood, the deserted backlots of Frankenstein/etc., all would fit in very well with a "Terror Tram". For example, if they really wanted to freak people out, why not have the tram stall while zombies approach during on the NY sections.

If Transfomers is under construction in 2010, I can see why they wouldn't use the Backdraft or Special Effects stages for mazes, but until then, it's a wasted opportunity to handle the capacity.

That's where Knott's shines. They use every square inch of that park to host the event. Until USH does the same, they will remain behind.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009 3:46 PM
janfrederick's avatar

Their markets have quite an overlap. But they don't avdertise USH as much in San Diego as they do elsewhere I think...and probably for good reason. That's almost an extra hour drive for us.


"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009 1:40 AM

Ensign Smith said:
Are KBF and Universal even remotely competing for the same set of people? Driving time-wise, they're as far or farther apart than Cedar Point and Geauga Lake, which (it has been alleged) didn't compete.

Yes they do compete for the same set of people, especially when it comes to a Halloween maze attraction.

Knott's and Universal Studios are about a 40 minute drive away from each other. That's not very far.

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