It looks like the folks over at Eastern State Pennitentiary are working to ramp things up a bit for the 2016 season, but not exactly how you think. Last year we saw the addition of Lockdown and a new-ish experience with Quarantine.
This year, for their 26th year of fear, the minds behind Terror Behind the Walls are bringing a fresh take to Lock Down and adding in a whole new level of interaction with The Hex Challenge. A facelift and bit of redo on the former is definitely welcome, but if I'm honest, the Hex Challenge sounds a bit more intriguing to me. However, let's take a look at both anyway...
Lock Down: Uprising
Okay, I'm game, even if a bit skeptical. This definitely sounds like something that's a bit more involved on the surface of things and should prove to make the first section a bit more intense. Not that it overly needed it, but if you're gonna do it? Might as well go big right off the bat, right?
So, why am I skeptical? Well, last year's revamp of The Experiment into Quarantine fell a bit flat with us, but they were trying something new with that. I'm sure they've learned from that one and it sounds as if this could be a much needed injection of adrenaline to kicks things off with. Either way, can't wait to see it!
The Hex Challenge
"Terror Behind the Walls invites visitors to take interactivity to the next level. At the beginning of each of the six attractions, visitors enter a secret room. They are dared to step further into the story, to become part of the action, to take on challenges, to join forces with the zombies, and ultimately, to escape the massive haunted prison. The Hex Challenge is available every show night for an additional fee."
This one sounds, and looks interesting. Last year I kept getting pulled away from my group and into very odd encounters and situations that not only separated me from Carrie and Fil, but also put me in the show for everyone else to see what was happening to me. It was great fun, and definitely a worthy improvement to the "opting in" option that everyone can partake in.
However, not everyone could do it, and it did take varying times for each. I get the feeling that these rooms are an extra charge to help alleviate that issue somewhat. While it's a bit disappointing that it is an upcharge, I can see why and from the sounds of it everyone that does will get to be part of the experiences with groups of 6 going in at a time. As a bonus though, you do get front of the line access included with the price, and it doesn't appear to be too much higher than the normal cost.
This does feel a bit like the Skeleton Key rooms from Cedar Fair Halloween events, where you had to do things to get out of them and then back into the haunt, but that's not a bad thing to mimic and I'm sure the team here has put their own twisted spin on the concept. Going to be very interesting to see just what they've done with things here.
Terror Behind the Walls runs on select evenings from September 16 through November 5, 2016 and tickets are on sale now at EasternState.org/BuyNow. Online is also the only way to purchase Hex Challenge tickets as well, and I'm sure they'll sell out, so if you're up for that, do it early!
As with the past couple of years, the team will be on hand at some point during the season to see just what the Terror Behind the Walls team has cooked up and to give you our impressions on things.
Stay tuned for more news, reviews and other madness as Haunt Tour 2016 looms closer!