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shredman
09-29-2012, 01:27 PM
Spent yesterday night at Thrillvania Thrill Park in Terrell, TX. Left from Shreveport at around 7:30. The drive was over 2 hours, we got there near 10 pm.

Upon arrival, you are charged $5 for parking. I was a little upset there was a parking fee, I don't think haunts should charge for parking.

For two of us, it was $64.50 to be able to enter all parks. Not too bad.

We first went through The 3D Haunt, Labyrinth of Terror. It had amazing 3D effects, I was EXTREMELY impressed with the 3D effects and most of the actors in there were fantastic, with a few exceptions. Overall, I loved it, but the walk through was VERY short- maybe 5 minutes.

We then went to Verdun Manor. The que line, which they call an attraction, we very well set with a few actors here and there. It was great BECAUSE there was no wait, so it did seem like an extra attraction, but later in the season when you are stuck waiting in there, it will be nothing more than a set que line, I just don't see why they would call that an attraction.

Verdun Manor itself was pretty good. It wasn't nearly as good as I had heard, unfortunately. It was severely understaffed, we maybe saw 5-6 actors in the whole attraction... but it was designed very well, and overall I liked it

Next, we went to the Thorn Hall. The wait was 20 minutes despite we were the only ones in line- must have been some hold up inside, but it was NOT worth it. It was just a black maze... the walls had spiky material all over them, and it hurt to touch them, and since it was completely black, you had to use your hands to feel. There mustve been a lot of static electricity because i got big ole shocks two times from the curtains in there. THE ONLY SCARY PART WAS WORRYING ABOUT BEING SHOCKED! It was very disappointing.

Finally, we went to the Granny Lupus show. The effects were mediocre, and the show was terrible. Not just bad- terrible. It was a big waste of time. Luckily we didn't wait for it, because if we would have, i would have been PISSED.

Overall, its not a bad haunt, but its been on Travel Channel and in top haunts lists, it just doesn't deserve that AT ALL! I had a fun time, but had i waited for long periods of time, i would have been extremely disappointed.

Not worth the 2 and a half our drive, barely worth the $64.50 (it's iffy), and the parking fee just kind of aggravated me.

Anyone else been here? What do yall think about it?

Howie Slobber Erlich
09-29-2012, 03:37 PM
I do not think this is an appropriate place to post haunt reviews. Kinda sounds like you're putting down the attraction. Do you own a haunted attraction? Do you know how much work and money goes into running one? Either way I think it's classless to post bad reviews on the Fright Forum.

Just my opinion!

badass
09-29-2012, 04:06 PM
i think it suks that haunt that is rated as one of americas best haunts has 5 of 6 actors..
i too have traveled far relying on a site that claims a place to be one of americas best...
only to find its not half as good as another place down the street but just with owners with less money or pull in this industry...
a forum is an exchange of opinions about a subject...and this is a haunted house forum...
that i have read tons of bad reviews on..about all kinda things haunted...
where is a more fitting place to discuss haunts ?

come check out the Hooch

shredman
09-29-2012, 04:29 PM
I do not think this is an appropriate place to post haunt reviews. Kinda sounds like you're putting down the attraction. Do you own a haunted attraction? Do you know how much work and money goes into running one? Either way I think it's classless to post bad reviews on the Fright Forum.

Just my opinion!

Classless? To post my opinion on a HAUNTED HOUSE on a HAUNT FORUM? hmm, sorry, didn't know I wasn't entitled to an opinion. I do not own a haunted attraction, however, yes, I DO know how much work and money goes into running one. But even if I didn't, it doesn't matter. THEY BOAST BEING ONE OF THE BEST HAUNTS IN AMERICA and CHARGE AS IF THEY WERE.

Putting em down or not, Its JUST MY OPINION as well.

Marr Branch
09-29-2012, 08:08 PM
The shocks you were feeling were there on purpose. There called shock mats, or scat mats for pets.

Darkangel
09-29-2012, 09:42 PM
This is not a stupid review site this is a site for Haunters to exchange ideas. Show some respect how would you feel if other haunters came on here to talk junk about your show?

DA

shredman
09-29-2012, 10:05 PM
This is not a stupid review site this is a site for Haunters to exchange ideas. Show some respect how would you feel if other haunters came on here to talk junk about your show?

DA

If I boasted about how amazing it was, and it wasn't anything better than average, I would probably need to read it.

Howie Slobber Erlich
09-30-2012, 01:55 AM
If I was going to put it anywhere on Hauntworld, I may have placed it in Haunt House Products, Vendors and Industry Issues. This is not a haunted house review web site. Most of the people on these forums are in the industry and not haunt customers. It seems the only reason to make a post like that is to piss off the owners or crew of that attraction.

As far as them boasting about their haunt, come on, every haunt does it. (Biggest, Best, Scariest, Largest, Darkest, Biggest Vortex tunnel, Best 3D and so on.) It is only your opinion, maybe thousands of other people think it is the best haunt around. When you bash another haunt it just makes you sound like your jealous of their haunt or have sour grapes. It will not hurt them in the slightest bit. I have learned this over the years. I myself have posted negatively about other haunts and it doesn't do anybody any good. It only made me look like an ass. I learned from my mistakes and maybe you'll understand what I'm talking about some day. Maybe not!

My mother always told me "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all!"

BrotherMysterio
09-30-2012, 05:52 AM
If I boasted about how amazing it was, and it wasn't anything better than average, I would probably need to read it.

I would have to concur with Shredman.

I am particularly grateful for the review as I am actually here in DFW, and was indeed planning on going to Thrillvania, but after that review, while I might still go for educational purposes (both in the positive and negative respects), I am definitely not making it a priority, and I am definitely glad that I am not spending the $50 a ticket required for a speed pass. I usually prefer speed passes, so as not to wait some 2 hours in line for each sub-attraction, but even in this respect, I would have been very pissed off to have paid that much money, only to be that underwhelmed. Basically, if I can't hit it early in the evening, and early in the season (thus avoiding the crowds and lines), then I'll just wait til next year perhaps, if even that.

As for his review not doing anyone any good, it did me a world of good! It saved me from a long, expensive, costly, frustrating, and arduous night, and will free me up to go to a different haunt this year, where my time and money may very well be better spent (and where parking might just be free).

As for whether his review is an appropriate one or not, well, in a word, they "went there" before he did. When you boast legendary status, boast being one of the top haunts in America, and boast $30-$50 per ticket, then you are setting the standard pretty high indeed, and opening yourself up to legitimate criticism. When you trade on the distinction of being "The House that Lance Built" and "Designed by a former Disney Imagineer", then it is absolutely incumbent upon you to delivery fully every ounce of haunt experience promised. To not do so is a gross betrayal of claims made.

(I've heard it said that when Lance Pope died, something at Thrillvania died with him. While that may be severe, and may or may not be accurate, I have heard several people comment that it is just not the same without him. Either way, it is most regrettable.)

Interesting to note, Shredman's review struck me as very fair, and well balanced, with the main criticisms levied against legitimate grievances, such as having to pay for parking (for instance) on what is, to my understanding, private property, with no obligations to third party parking lot providers. I don't know if the parking lot in question is paved or not, but I have seen as much as $6 charged for parking when the premium parking space in question was nothing more than a spot of flattened grass and dirt out in the middle of an open field. That smacks of monopolistic practices and predatory capitalism. If the lot is paved with gravel, again, such fees can be reasonably regarded as excessive. If paved with asphalt, I'm sure by now the costs laying asphalt have been amortized. Those kinds of moves are filed purely under the heading of "cashing in on the customer" with no comparable value provided in return. That is predatory capitalism, taking advantage of temporary monopolies at the customers' expense.

As for the rest of the review, there was no pissy or snobbish tone about "clowns, really? Aren't they overdone?" or "chainsaws, really? Can't we be more original than that" and so on. There were no debates on matters of taste or different preferences, and he was overall complementary in his tone (such as in regards to Verdun Manor itself, and the effects in the 3D haunt), which was balanced and contrasted with his complaints about the crappy treatment of the expensive amenities, and the fact that some of the haunts failed to deliver on their stated promise and premise.

And, again, remember, this is a haunt that boasts "selected as one of America's best haunts" and so on. If Shredman had gone to a new mom'n'pop haunt (for charity, no less) that was in it's first year and only charged $10, with short lines, and then he wrote a scathing review, your point (Howie and DA) would be well taken, but, as it happens, he reviewed a haunt that has put itself out there as one of the best. Sure, most self-promoters use self-praising adjectives in their copy, but Thrillvania has those "best haunt" seals all over their website.

In that regard, a balanced and reasonable review is fair game indeed.

C.

Howie Slobber Erlich
09-30-2012, 10:14 AM
BrotherMysterio, I respect your opinion and your post. But I must say that when I see a post like the original one, I automatically assume it's a competitor who is upset at another haunt for one reason or another.

I have seen it over and over again and sometimes it is very unjustified. In fact, most of the time.

You are excepting his version of what he saw at the attraction which we don't even know is true. For all I know it could all be a bold face lie. Just because someone posts a review does not mean it is a true account of what they saw or that they even went to the haunt at all. I am not saying that he didn't go but I am suspicious.

I do not take everything I read for gospel when it comes to reviews of a haunt especially when it comes from a bias point of view meaning the post was written by someone who owns or works for another haunt.

If you haven't been there for yourself I would suggest forming your own opinion rather than taking the word from someone who might just be their main competition or someone with an axe to grind. I have no idea how his attraction is because I have never been there myself to form an opinion however, I'm not going to dismiss it based off an unflattering review.

Just my opinion,

shredman
09-30-2012, 11:30 AM
BrotherMysterio, I respect your opinion and your post. But I must say that when I see a post like the original one, I automatically assume it's a competitor who is upset at another haunt for one reason or another.

I have seen it over and over again and sometimes it is very unjustified. In fact, most of the time.

You are excepting his version of what he saw at the attraction which we don't even know is true. For all I know it could all be a bold face lie. Just because someone posts a review does not mean it is a true account of what they saw or that they even went to the haunt at all. I am not saying that he didn't go but I am suspicious.

I do not take everything I read for gospel when it comes to reviews of a haunt especially when it comes from a bias point of view meaning the post was written by someone who owns or works for another haunt.

If you haven't been there for yourself I would suggest forming your own opinion rather than taking the word from someone who might just be their main competition or someone with an axe to grind. I have no idea how his attraction is because I have never been there myself to form an opinion however, I'm not going to dismiss it based off an unflattering review.

Just my opinion,

You respect his opinion and post, but not mine? Hm. Sorry, didn't know I wasn't allowed to express my feelings about a haunted house on a haunted house forum.

Also, I don't have any haunt, I DONT WORK FOR A HAUNT (yet) So how is my opinion biased? Your post doesn't make any sense. Also, if you don't trust that I went there, go for yourself, and see if what I said was false.

I mean c'mon :rolleyes:

Howie Slobber Erlich
09-30-2012, 12:07 PM
You signed your post Insanity Scream Park implying that you own or work for an attraction unless I am completely clueless!

Yes, you are entitled to your opinion I just think putting down a haunted house on this site is in bad taste. Just like I disagreed with Larry's post on the haunt from New York. Just because you are allowed to post it does not mean you should. There are plenty of web sites that are strictly for the purpose of posting haunt reviews. Search Google. The only reason to post it hear is in the hopes that the owners of that haunt will see it and upset them. Most haunt owners at least view this forum from time to time.

I hope that the owners of Thrillvania do see this post and respond and defend themselves if they are able to the points you made. Or anybody else that has another view of that show. But, very few people actually have any balls so I doubt anybody will.

Everybody do and post what you want. I guess my opinion and advice is never welcomed on this board. Pretty much has been that way for many years. So I guess I should just sit here quietly and keep my opinions to myself. I know nothing about this industry. I know that the only opinion on here that is correct is Larry's. If you don't agree with him or the way he thinks than your wrong and "bad for the industry." He knows everything about this industry and his way is the right way always. He really is the King of Halloween. So I am sorry to all who I have offended over the last 26 years! I'll shut up now!

Howie Slobber Erlich
09-30-2012, 12:11 PM
One more thing if that's ok. I thought this forum was named the Fright Forum Not the Haunted House Forum? "Welcome to the industry's most comprehensive chat room on the internet. We invite you to ask questions, reply to subjects and assist haunters world wide and to learn from each other's experiences." I do not see anywhere in that the right to post negative reviews on another haunted house. Maybe I'm wrong

shredman
09-30-2012, 01:32 PM
Howie, you are entitled to your opinion and I respect it, I just feel like you didn't respect mine. I did not make the post to upset the owner, however, I am like you, I hope they read it, they need to know how people feel about their haunt.

Darkangel
09-30-2012, 03:27 PM
So is insanity scream park much better than thrillvania then? Havent seen your haunt crack any top lists unlessim missing something.

DA

shredman
09-30-2012, 03:28 PM
So is insanity scream park much better than thrillvania then? Havent seen your haunt crack any top lists unlessim missing something.

DA

Insanity Scream Park was recently conceived and not even a done deal yet, I do not have a haunt currently.

Anyway, the best haunt I HAVE EVER BEEN TO was never listed... it was called the Edge Of Madness. Does that mean they weren't good? THEY WERE AMAZING!

Allen H
09-30-2012, 04:10 PM
Lets keep it civil.
We don't traditionally have reviews here. because they are opinions there is no point in debating them. One person says "I like this, and don't like that" how can you possibly say that is untrue? I have no doubt that shredman went there, there is no cause to doubt the claim. He did not trash the haunt he only said that he was disappointed, which is an opinion so it cant be refuted.
There is no industry benefit of a haunt review, a collection of reviews could sway an opinion or at least public opinion but one lone review does little save for the close friends of the reviewer. I do not want to see a trend of reviews on here unless they have their own forum. I like info, not opinions.
but that, is my opinion.
Allen H

badass
09-30-2012, 05:09 PM
here is an opinion...i think it is bad for this industry to have haunts on top haunt list that dont live up the that title..
btw mostly for me personally..that doesn't mean scare techniques..although crap is crap...but
places that dont have a sprinklers or has patrons walking up and down stairs..especially narrow ones without 4 in spaced hand rails to keep youngsters from falling ....or are not wheelchair accessible...or with halls that are too narrow according to building code....especially with unfinished 2x4 studs sticking out along the length of it...seems to be standard in soo many haunts.. .things that have been determined by the writers of code books to be unsafe for this industry.
and then they are deemed to be the best this industry by this industry...??
good stuff and is a huge over site when making these so called top lists...and why would it matter if lets say the haunt has been around for many years before these codes existed...
or if they happen to have a fire marshal that doesn't do his job...we as an professional industry should recognize these problems..and not reward them...
has nothing to do with thrillvania or any other haunt specific...just a problem i see in this industry that takes from the creditability of us all , that are care full to follow the new laws even if the officials don't....

kinda reminds me about what netherworld just went though with fire retardant products....if something is illegal to use in a haunt by law and cant be made to adhere to the law...then why is it ok to be sold at our conventions and sold to haunts around the country...?? ....as an industry we should be at the forefront of doing what is right for this industry....and have standards that apply across the board..and we should adhere to the laws that should bind us all together.....hence the true reason to have an organized organization like iappa
just another opinion

screamforadream
09-30-2012, 08:17 PM
Opinions aside,

For anyone who asks why anyone get's titled "The Top..."Anything, is PAYING to be "The Top". It's a marketing strategy.

For what is it, $3,000?, you can have Larry feature your haunt in a magazine.

For $250-1500(??) you can be ranked anywhere from FIRST to THIRD on Hauntworld or HauntedHouses.com for YOUR STATE

And that's just what Larry does.

All these TV haunts (I'm now sure who does those) are also ENTIRELY paid advertisements. Nothing more than who bids the highest to be told on a national level that they are "THE TOP" "THE BEST". HGTV doesn't just go to you for no reason and show a makeover, nor the Travel Channel or Comcast's FEARnet.

The general public has NO idea that that is true. And some of us in the haunt industry apparently don't know that either.

Some of the BEST haunts out there, NONE of us will ever hear of or go to because they don't know how to market or are completely independent and self sustaining.

So PLEASE do not FIGHT or ARGUE over who is on the TOP list of anything in this industry, it isn't worth it, these are the people who are VERY smart and wealthy business professionals who know how to market and can shell out the dough to do so. You can have a totally crappy haunt, but if you get everyone to come to yours and only yours with your great marketing, you can get away with lowering the standard and making a TON of money. It's sad, but it's reality, it's a bummer to the haunters like myself who really enjoy the art and fun of it all to not do so well because our budgets can't compete with the big guys, but that doesn't mean we can't have fun and just realize it's nothing personal, these guys are just better at marketing than us, plain and simple.

That's all I have to say lol, I don't wanna get tangled up in the argument, just wanted to point out how haunts make those lists. Now can't we all just get along? lol

Anddddd GOODNIGHT!

PSPSPS: Posted pics to my screampark build thread, feel free to look at them :) haha (shameless self promotion....sorry!)

Mistress DeSade
10-15-2012, 11:14 AM
here is an opinion...i think it is bad for this industry to have haunts on top haunt list that dont live up the that title..
btw mostly for me personally..that doesn't mean scare techniques..although crap is crap...but
places that dont have a sprinklers or has patrons walking up and down stairs..especially narrow ones without 4 in spaced hand rails to keep youngsters from falling ....or are not wheelchair accessible...or with halls that are too narrow according to building code....especially with unfinished 2x4 studs sticking out along the length of it...seems to be standard in soo many haunts.. .things that have been determined by the writers of code books to be unsafe for this industry.
and then they are deemed to be the best this industry by this industry...??
good stuff and is a huge over site when making these so called top lists...and why would it matter if lets say the haunt has been around for many years before these codes existed...
or if they happen to have a fire marshal that doesn't do his job...we as an professional industry should recognize these problems..and not reward them...
has nothing to do with thrillvania or any other haunt specific...just a problem i see in this industry that takes from the creditability of us all , that are care full to follow the new laws even if the officials don't....

kinda reminds me about what netherworld just went though with fire retardant products....if something is illegal to use in a haunt by law and cant be made to adhere to the law...then why is it ok to be sold at our conventions and sold to haunts around the country...?? ....as an industry we should be at the forefront of doing what is right for this industry....and have standards that apply across the board..and we should adhere to the laws that should bind us all together.....hence the true reason to have an organized organization like iappa
just another opinion

Building codes (and fire codes for that matter) are NOT universal across the country, so it's really not fair to imply that a haunt is not following codes, simply because they are different from what you may be used to. Having built inside a major city and the suburbs of one, the requirements were completely different. If you go way out in the county (and we have quite a few here in Texas) the requirements change again. Pyro may be permitted in the county-but you can pretty well forget it in the metropolitan areas here. ADA compliance may not be a requisite...but most haunts that are not, list this information on their web page.

To suggest that an attraction isn't taking safety seriously, because they are working under different guidelines really isn't fair. Or accurate. And I've stood on my little soapbox for a dozen years that fire safety should be universally enforced-so it's not that I'm in favor of "slipping something by".

Just my .02

badass
10-15-2012, 01:08 PM
Katherine..
u missed my point...i suggested that this industry have standards before giving the title of top to a haunt..
if a haunt is on a top list then it is implied that it excels on every level...barring what ever their situation is..
we all know or should know what the international codes are...if they are being enforced or adopted is not the issue...
we as an industry put a stamp on it as one of the best this industry has to offer....and that's what the top haunts should be..the best this industry has to offer..

scream for a dream...
haunted hooch has made every top list there is...and been in every haunt related magazine..including many more then just haunt related...
and we have never paid to be on one list or in one magazine....not saying what u said is untrue...i have heard some of the same things...just saying these prices have not been applied to the Hooch...
nor would we ever pay to be on such a list...seems like 13 hour had a list n wanted paid to be on it....and we said no thanks