Where: Arizona's Original Scream Park at 101 and McDowell in Scottsdale.
Overview: Arizona's Original Scream Park has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the best Halloween attractions in the Valley. All four sections of this classic haunt are long, though inconsistently staffed. We loved two of the houses (3-D Fear Factory and Goldminers Revenge) but the other two were understaffed, leaving us bored enough to try scaring other people in our group at some points.
Price: $25 for all four houses. $20 for two. It sounds crazy, but this is one of the few times you may actually want to save the $5 (which is the fee to park, incidentally -- bring cash) by skipping two sections.
Who Should Go? Any Haunted House fan who lives east of Central Avenue.
When We Went: Early on a moderately busy Saturday night. Things picked up a little later in the evening than when we first arrived.
Best Scenes: The elevator scene that opens the 3-D house -- you're issued 3-D glasses for this truly unique and wonderful house -- was a favorite. The animatronic pig shooting liquid out of it's snout during the butcher scene in the Goldminers Revenge house was also great.
Scare of the Night: A well-hidden actor inside one of the many toxic waste barrels dotting the landscape inside the 3-D house.
Most Valuable Monsters: The over-the-top cannibal inside Goldminers Revenge did an excellent job, as did "Billy Bob," a trailer dweller at the end of that house. The Elevator operator inside the 3-D house also did a great job with his dialogue.
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Loved: The length of the houses. This is a big attraction you won't be able to get through in less than an hour. A lot of the scenery is very well done and some of the actors are quite impressive.
Hated: The length of the houses. With so much real estate to staff it's unsurprising that vast swaths of Arizona's Original Scream Park are uninhibited by actors. Sometimes the anticipation is good but it can be a little much at points, especially given the dusty trails you have to walk (bring Zyrtec!). Also, one set of squeeze walls is more than enough. We're not sure why anyone enjoys pushing through smelly fabric up to 1,000 grubby faces a night touch, but having to do it twice is just annoying.
Overall Grade: B+
Also: Read last year's review here.