Yea, yea, I know I said I wasn't going to attend any haunts this season. I honestly didn't think there would be anything more than my illustrious yard displays to visit. With all the announcement's of major haunts not happening, I was surprised and, a bit delighted that the LA HAUNTED HAYRIDE @lahauntedhayride decided to push forward with a safe attraction for us Haunt fans.
Upon their initial announcement, the excitement was there but, I'd be lying if I said, it was a priority of mine. I wanted to be sure to spend my unique Halloween season moola at all of my favorite stores instead of Haunts. But, then I was offered a deal I couldn't refuse from Rawl of The Dead @rawlofthedead . Opening night of the Drive-Up LA HAUNTED HAYRIDE, and a socially distant date night... All the yeses!
We met Rawl and, his Ghoulfriend, April, at the Walnut Creek Trailhead before heading to the Haunt. The LA HAUNTED HAYRIDE is typically held at Griffith Park. For the 2020 season, things are just not the same overall so, it came as no surprise the attraction is being held at Bonelli Park in San Dimas, CA instead of its usual home. A very fitting location as there is less traffic, I am assuming here, than trying to host a Drive-Up at Griffith Park in these times. If you have tickets for the Hayride that happen to be at 7pm, I highly recommend you stop at the trailhead (off of Via Verde and the 57fwy) for some beautiful and, smoky views of the sunset. It's a spooky way to kick off your evening.
We took separate cars, Rawl and April in front of us. It would seem like a good idea to carpool but, again, it's 2020 and, thats not how the ticketing works for the Hayride. We were super cool with it. As we approached the ticket scanners, we could see billowing fog just a few cars ahead. Nothing feels, smells, or sets the tone for a haunt the way a good fog machine does. As we inched forward, the ticket holders for the 7pm show slowly and, carefully winded down a dusty road towards the main attraction. There were familiar scenes from the LA HAUNTED HAYRIDE and, a few newer looking additions. Take a look.
It was Monte Revolta @monterevolta, who I was anticipating to see more than anything. Monte Revolta is THE Horror Host and, lead singer of his Band Of The Living Dead. He and, his performers grace us with incredible horror content at the @monsterpalooza After Parties and, @Halloween Club's Spookshows when there is no pandemic happening. So, it was very delightful Mr. Revolta broke free from his grave to greet and host this Drive-Up event. I screamed all the screams that I was saving for live shows and scare actors when the Ghoul himself was there to usher in the cars.
So, here is where some may agree or disagree with my "review" of the LA HAUNTED HAYRIDE. There were a lot of mixed reviews coming in over opening weekend. When both cars were directed to our designated area, we were able to take in the VIP set up. There were groups of folks sitting at tables and, the trailers of the actual hayride. They were more than six feet apart from one another but, there were quite a few people at the tables. I did read there was a max amount of people allowed per VIP party and, it seemed that all of the guidelines and rules were being followed. Everyone I saw had masks on. This was exciting for me because when I see tables, I think of food and, I had realized I was suffering from a case of the munchies. So, my first piece of advice if you go to the LA HAUNTED HAYRIDE bring snacks. Don't picnic that shit, just bring snacks. I'll explain.
As we parked in our designated spot, with the flawless instructions of the attendants and cast members, I noticed that even the parking situation was socially distant. Every car was far apart. There will be no gathering at the LA HAUNTED HAYRIDE. This was safe as all fuck. Rawl, April, Chuck and, I were able to shout well enough to hold a conversation before the show started. We were able to take in the entire Drive-In set up. It was pure haunt happiness. Those giant skeletons! The lights! The sounds! There were multiple screens set up so there was no obstruction of views. The moon was Waxing so that added to the haunt feel. I always admired and, took in the moon while in line at haunts so, this felt like the beginning of spooky season. Just a bit different. I contemplated a romp in the backseat of the truck since we were in the very back and, there were bushes instead of cars behind us. *Insert malicious laugh.
Monte Revolta's singing pierced through the night air. The fog enveloped the perimeter of the Drive -Up and the light show in itself felt like everyone from the 57fwy knew there was something exciting going down. There were dancers set up on stages and, scare actors were terrorizing cars. We were treated to short horror clips from none other than Crypt TV @crypTV. I LOVE me some short horror films!!!
But, before I knew it, the show was over. That is my one, small gripe about the event overall. It was too short. I want more! I am sure everyone else does too. There wasn't enough time to enjoy a full meal, let alone for that backseat romp even if we had tried. And besides, we would have been harassed by a ghoul before a boob came out. I get it though. There will be thousands of visitors coming to this event and, it needs to be done safely.
I do not recommend VIP as the tickets are a bit pricey for the amount of time the show is. Unless there are perks like early entry, photo opportunities and, munchies involved, I can't see paying $89.00 + for a such a short show. General admission tickets are fine enough. So, have something planned for afterwards (thats safe) if you go to an earlier show. I would describe the LA Haunted Hayride as the desert for a perfect spooky evening.
We knew that our beloved Haunts were going to be postponed this year. We knew that things weren't going to be the same. Considering the short amount of time to plan, organize and, execute this elaborate Drive Up, THE LA HAUNTED HAYRIDE nailed it! There were all the haunt vibes, no annoying teenagers and, young adults making me spill my beer. Most importantly IT WAS SAFE! Remember that. While we all promise to remain socially distant while waiting in line for a walk through haunt or event, it doesn't mean the party ahead or behind you will. I'd appreciated not having to leave my car or having to worry about telling someone to back the fuck out of my six foot circle of protection. I, Michelle Halloween, am grateful for the LA HAUNTED HAYRIDE experience and, like I said before, I will do it again in a heartbeat.
5 out of 5 Pumpkins for LA HAUNTED HAYRIDE!
Tickets have sold out every night so far. Get yours now