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Please note: this review is for the 2016 season rather than the current season.

The Dark Carnival

by spirit44 (Junior Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 8, 2016 at about 8:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review

When you hear that you are going to a haunted attraction called the Dark Carnival your mind begins to conjure one thing, and you get gripped by coulrophobia (fear of clowns). Well let me tell you, this attraction will not disappoint you there. You are in for a heavy dose of clowns, including one that may be the creepiest I have seen at any of the haunted houses I've ever been to. But a Carnival is so much more than clowns alone. The Dark Carnival really exploits the possibility of a carnival gone horribly, horribly wrong. They stay very true to the theme throughout, and give you many unique twists on the terrifying characters you could find in a normal traveling show.

While the design of the sets was kind of basic, it did contain elements of some rooms that really were able to grab your imagination. You would enter a room and were visually drawn to certain focal points and they would hold your attention long enough for the suspense to build, then in what kept feeling like your last breath you let out a scream as another creepy crawly jumped out of some unseen hiding place.

A couple of the things I would have said were well done with this attraction was first the appearance of the characters. The details in many of the costumes was outstanding and convincingly transformed the actors into the ghastly individuals they portrayed. The other thing that I felt was very well done was the execution of the jump scares. They were so well placed and timed, that even the ones you felt were obvious, still managed to give you a great adrenaline rush.

Signage / Visibility / Location


It was very easy to notice when you arrive at the Dark Carnival, there is plenty of signage and a big circus tent next to the building.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The waiting area is a large circus tent, it really puts you into the mood as you enter to buy your tickets. There are plenty of actors walking around the lot outside of the tent and walking through the tent interacting with the guests as they wait in the queue. The staff was extremely friendly and really seemed to enjoy interacting with everyone.

Actors' Performance


The actors performance was a little intense. There were some that really captured the essence of their character, but there also were some that seemed a little over the top. Although, since the theme is a deranged carnival, maybe they were actually dialed in at the right level.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets were fairly basic, however were pretty interesting in concept and design. There were a couple of rooms that really drew you in though. And for a few moments of your journey through the carnival, you wanted to pinch yourself to see if you could wake from this nightmare.

Length


The trip through the attraction took us 17 minutes.

Crowd Control


There was armed security on the premises. We felt safe and secure all evening, well that was until we entered the carnival, then we did not know if we would make it out.

Most Memorable Moment


There were a couple of characters through the haunt that I thought were just creepy and outstanding. But there was one room that we entered that really stood out to me. While the actors were becoming more and more menacing, the big scare of the room came from an unexpected source A mutilated body that looked like there was no way possible for it to do anything, sprung to life with a very cleverly placed actor.

Summary

This was a fun haunted attraction. We came to this one last year, and will probably return again. It has been a fun time, every time.

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August 19th, 2019 10:09 p.m. CDT 1.9