Texas Haunts – Haunted House News and Reviews

Screams Halloween Theme Park

30.09.2018 (7:07 am) – Filed under: Reviews,Screams,Screams Review

September 29, 2018

Score 10

Site Here

Address  2511 FM 66 Waxahachie TX, 75167

Directions From the north, exit 399A from I-35 South, go west (right) and Screams will be on your left in about a mile and a half. From the south, take I-35 North, exit 399, go west (left) and Screams will be on your left in about a mile and a half.

Phone 972 398 3247

Price $35  for general admission at the ticket booth, $32 online (plus a $1 fee, except for group purchases) and fast passes are $20. Parking is free.

Discounts and coupons-North Texas Metro PCS stores have a $3 off coupon, Waxahachie Nissan has $2 off coupons, and Waxahachie Nissan gives two free tickets per test drive.  Screams offers a military discount of $3 off admission for active military personnel and up to four family members. Groups of 15 or more can buy tickets at $30, if all tickets are purchased at the same time.

Dates/Hours Every Friday and Saturday in October from 7:30pm-1:30am, but the ticket booth closes at midnight.

When to arrive/How to see the attractions-Unless you plan to buy fast passes (always a good idea if you arrive late or want to go through the attractions multiple times) you need to arrive no later than 7:15. The park opens at 7:30, but it will take a few minutes to walk from your car to the ticket booth, and the entrance lines become long by 7:30.  I arrive by 7, get my tickets, take some pictures of the outside, then get in line by 7:10. The order in which to see the attractions is something that I’ve tested for years. By far the best order is: The Witches of Terra Mythica Castle, Hotel D’Feers, Capt’n Barbarosa’s Blood Harbour, PT Harmum’s Carnival of Chaos, and Zombie Wasteland Apocalypse. No matter what, always see the Castle first. It’s the main attraction, with the longest lines, and the lines become long within 15-20 minutes of the park opening. You may be tempted to eat first, but it’s better to see the attractions, then eat. There is a booth serving drinks next to the entrance to the Castle, if you don’t want to wait to get a drink.

Number of attractions-Five main attractions, Cursed: The Witches of Terra Mythica Castle, Hotel D’Feers, Capt’n Barbarosa’s Blood Harbour, PT Harmum’s Carnival of Chaos, and Zombie Wasteland Apocalypse.

Walk through times for the main attractions-Screams has redesigned all of it’s main attractions for 2018, and some are quite a bit longer than before. I would say that the main attractions, not including the maze, take 45-50 minutes to go through, combined. Add 10-25 minutes for the maze.

Other attractions-Screams has a large food court in the back of the park, three taverns, and a full service bar and restaurant called Full Moon Cafe. Veg-ta-bul Justice is located in the very back of the park, next to the entrance to the Zombie Wasteland trail. Scaryoke is at the stage next to the Taboo Tavern, and there are musical acts and live entertainment on the main stage every night. Souvenir shops are available, as well as tarot card readings, wax hands, Henna tattoos, temporary tattoos, a climbing tower, and various merchants. Games of skill, an electric chair, and paintball are across from the food court. There is also a short haunt path across from the entrance to the park. The area around it is very well decorated.

Full Moon Cafe-I thought that Full Moon Cafe should have a special mention this year. Full Moon is the full service bar and restaurant in the back of the food court area, close to the West Market Arch. Like the rest of Screams, it has had a thorough makeover this year. Full Moon Cafe has never looked this good. It used to be sparsely decorated, but now it’s full of Halloween lights and props. The bartenders and servers in the Full Moon Cafe now have great costumes and makeup. This is the way I had hoped that Full Moon would look when it reopened a few years ago. There are new specialty drinks this year and Dracula’s Kiss is my favorite. It’s a vodka based drink, with blackberry flavoring, probably grenadine, and maybe a couple of other ingredients. It tastes great, and is surprisingly refreshing. It cooled me down when I was in a full sweat after walking around the park on a very humid night. The bartenders are fast and good at what they do. The restaurant serves short order food, like stuffed taters, chicken sandwiches, and cheese fries. The bacon cheese fries are my favorite, and the portion they give is huge. Full Moon is a good place to rest and relax while you eat and drink, and they take all major credit cards. This is the only place in Screams where you can use credit cards to pay for food and drink.

Miscellaneous-Wear comfortable shoes. Screams is mostly outdoors and you will do a lot of walking on dirt and gravel, and it won’t always be even ground. This is not the place for high heels. Dress warmly on cool nights, the temperature is usually a few degrees cooler at Screams than in Dallas. Do not wear costumes. Costumes are prohibited for customers at Screams for security reasons. Screams is mostly handicapped accessible.

Review

Every main attraction at Screams has been redone for 2018. The themes are different, the actors have a new, more energetic approach to haunting, the decor is different, and some of the attractions have been rearranged and lengthened. While in the main attractions, you’ll never go more than a few feet without some kind of action, either from an actor, an animatronic prop, or an air gun. The entire park has been upgraded this year. You’ll notice greater attention to detail in the way the park is decorated, especially around the park entrance, and the Taboo Tavern/dining area. There are more roaming characters around the park, and each main attraction has costumed characters by the line entrance to guide you in. Overall, Screams looks much more festive this year.

Cursed: The Witches of Terra Mythica Castle

This is the largest attraction at Screams. The Castle is impressive from a distance, with its walls and turrets illuminated by light from torch fires above it’s entrance. After a talk with the host, who is also a witch, you go through the gate, over the bridge, and into the body of the castle. The decor in the Castle is the best in Screams. It is heavy on witches and black magic, but also has some outstanding werewolf props. There is a strange werewolf prop after the entryway. I’m not sure what it’s doing, but it looks great. You’ll see more werewolves later in the first half of the Castle, but by then you’ll have witches all around you. The witches and minions have a lot to work with. There are entrances to the path you follow built for them all over the Castle, and they are usually well obscured, so you won’t see the actors coming. Some follow you, others startle you, they are all very good and well costumed. They don’t touch, but they come close enough to make you uncomfortable.

The witches have been busy, in addition to rooms for black magic, they have built torture areas, a great looking library and den, and they’ve even webbed up some of their victims. If you’re lucky, you’ll have enough time to check out the detail on the corridor walls and in the rooms. It’s outstanding, and worth a second trip through, especially if you have a fast pass. The path descends as you go deeper into the castle until you’re in catacombs with eerie lighting. This is probably my favorite part of the Castle because it looks like it’s straight out of a high grade horror movie. It’s genuinely creepy in the depths of the Castle, and the actors make the most of it by popping out when you least expect them. Like the Hotel, you’ll think that you’re about to exit the Castle, only to find more dark paths ahead. There is a great scene deep in the Castle with witches around a giant cauldron. It’s movie quality and typifies the effort put into the remodel of this attraction.

I went through the Castle three times and I could have gone through a fourth time, if I hadn’t needed to get home to write this review. This is an haunt where a fast pass comes in handy.

Hotel D’Feers

The Hotel has had a major renovation this year. It’s new theme is based on a mass murder, and the actors, props, and decor are better coordinated and more consistent than in previous years. The act begins before you enter, with excellent hosts setting the stage for the Hotel. The action is nonstop once you enter. I don’t know whether the Hotel has more actors this year, or whether they are just covering more areas, but I was never without an actor around me for more than a few seconds. They were as active as any haunted house actors I’ve seen, and they have lots of hiding places and blind spots to use to startle you. The props are a combination of hotel, and either hospital or slaughterhouse. The actors have outstanding makeup and can be difficult to look at some of the time. Fog is used pretty heavily in some parts of the Hotel, while other areas are very dark. The design makes you think that you are about to exit, only to have more corridors ahead. The Castle is much improved this year, but the Hotel is probably still the most frightening attraction at Screams.

Capt’n Barbarosa’s Blood Harbour

The 3D house at Screams has a new design, and a new look. The outside of the house has a strong dead pirate theme. The props outside are cool, and the host makes you feel at home at the entrance. If you’ve been to the old 3D pirate house, you’ll realize that the path through the place has been reversed, and an even bigger difference is that the first half is not 3D, but is instead a great looking pirate village. I think there are more actors in Barbarosa’s than in the old pirate house, and they really like to get close to you. The standout of Barbarosa’s are the crab men. Like some other actors, they do a great job of blending in with their surroundings. Moving planks, shaking halls, and creatively uneven flooring will keep you on your toes, especially when you put on your 3D glasses midway through Barbarosa’s. The vortex tunnel is probably a little faster this year. The people in front of me had to hold onto the rails to get through it. The 3D paint is very good, with enough actors in the 3D area to keep it interesting. This house is fun, and it has a good number of scares mixed in.

PT Harmum’s Carnival of Chaos

This is a very challenging maze. It has wire fences and you can see surrounding buildings when you’re on the edge of the maze, so you’ll think that it’s easy to find the way out, but this maze has an unusual design and you can’t find the exit by keeping sight of other buildings. The 2018 redesign took away some things that could help you find the exit, and of course, the clowns always give false directions to the exit. Speaking of clowns, they are great at startling guests, even though there aren’t many good hiding places for them. They are always around, and their constant chattering is so distracting that I probably missed the path to the exit more than once. I became completely lost in the interior of the maze and wound up reaching the entrance. I thought about going back in, then exited. This is the second year in a row I’ve failed to find the real exit. You’ll spend more time in the Carnival of Chaos than in any of the other Screams attractions.

Zombie Wasteland Apocalypse

At the back of the park, behind Taboo Tavern, is the entrance to the Zombie Wasteland trail. This year’s zombie trail is much longer than in the past. There are fewer wide open spaces, with a narrower path and lots of turns. The zombies now get into the trail with you, instead of mostly remaining outside the pathway. The result is that Zombie Wasteland is more intense and you are now having to avoid zombies instead of just looking at props along the trail. The actors must practice quite a bit because they were able to startle me several times on both trips through. Props are solid, post apocalyptic fare, with creepy sound effects through the trail. This is an effective, winding zombie trail, and a bonus is that it’s the least crowded of the attractions at Screams since it’s in the back of the park.

A great deal of effort went into the remake of Screams, and the hard work has paid off in a big way. Every aspect of Screams has improved noticeably, from the actors and props, down to the smallest details in outside decor. All this has been accomplished while keeping the ticket price reasonable. Screams is still the best value in North Texas. The new themes for the big attractions are creative and have rejuvenated a great haunt park. 2018 is without question the best year yet for Screams!