Over the weekend I took part in the Phantom’s feast at the Trail of Terror. It took place over in the Renaissance Festival part of the property. I had given up the Trail of Terror years ago due to long…LONG lines, sometime just after they started the thing with the trailers. I had fond memories as a young person though of the giant maze and the hayride.
The past couple of years, I had been going to the Haunted Basement at the Soap Factory. However, we decided to silently boycott the Haunted Basement this year, because it didn’t try to scare you so much as gross you the fuck out. Having had enough of forced finger lubing, molestation, being shoved into shit/vomit filled toilets and the errant genitalia. Okay, okay, that last one wasn’t necessarily the Haunted Basement, but another production in the same space.
Fast forward to the Phantom Feast. I wanted to make sure we made a whole evening out of the Trail of Terror. We arrived and ate a strange combination of mini quiche and chips/salsa as hors d’oeuvres. Wine was aplenty! We entered the dining hall and were immediately served soup and salad. Dessert was already on the table. The dinner show was fun. It had the right mix of humor and spooky storytelling. It was followed by some efforts to contact the land beyond the veil. A farce, but still fun. Except for the excess of wine and the shut doors, I enjoyed myself and our party wandered over to the Trail of Terror afterwards.
Drinks first…then the maze, which as an adult seemed much shorter. We each took turns going first and I found myself trying to scare just as much as be scared. Back in the day there used to be theme for the maze, this year not so much. Mostly it was dark corners and the spinny tunnel things that were probably a pain to install in the first place. I’m not sure if they have any adult spooks either. Perhaps I’m getting old, but everyone looked like a teenager.
More drinks, then we started hitting the haunted trailers. We waited longer in line than it takes to walk through a trailer. It was not scary and there were two spooks to a trailer, it was not hard to guess where they would appear from. I even led the way into pitch blackness and as I ran my hands along the walls they ran right across a man’s chest and I kept going. My partners in crime admitted they heard him laughing as we walked by. There was a minute moment where you could have grabbed me and gotten a good scream. So much for missed opportunities.
Besides the trailers it seemed that other attractions within the grounds were not included in your ticket price. We still opted to try the Knockerballs, where you are incased in a giant inflatable ball and ram into each other for five minutes. FUN, extremely fun, but it hurt the next day. We finished the night with the Howling Pines woods walk. The website said this was supposed to be scarier than the hayride…not true. You did get a beautiful view of the river at night though.
In summary, either spend extra and do the Phantom’s feast. General admission does not include enough perks or scares to cost that much. I’m waiting for a new attraction to hit the Twin Cities that really WOW’s like the Trail of Terror and Haunted Basement once did.