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  • Writer's pictureChandler Clouser

Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride - 2019 Review

Haunted Attraction Reviewed: Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride


Location of Attraction: Glen Mills Pennsylvania

Date of Review: Thursday October 24th 2019

Total Number of Attractions Available: THREE

Overall Haunted Attraction Rating: 8.5/10

Entertainment and Food Rating: 9/10

Atmosphere Rating: 9/10

Overall Costume and Make Up Rating: 9/10

Overall Cast and Crew Rating: 8.5/10

Overall Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 9/10

Overall Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 8/10

Overall Feedback: Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride is by far one of the most consistent and SPOOKTACULAR haunted attractions that we have ever attended! 2019 is now our squads 4th season attending and reviewing this haunted attraction. Each and every season we find a way to make a return trip to Bates Motel because the experience they offer is one you cannot miss! At Bates Motel guests will always receive a top notch haunt experience so get ready to take in a spooky fun show!

Our squad arrived around 8pm on a Thursday evening and this place was PACKED! As soon as we jumped out of the car we felt an instant energy buzzing in the air. As we approached the ticket booth we could hear the screams from guests swirling through the air. Our squad had 12 reviewers in attendance that evening, most of us were making a return visit to Bates but there were a few first time visitors in our crew as well.

The entertainment area at Bates Motel is definitely a fun one - video clips are displayed on the big screen, mini escape rooms, coffin rides, food, gift shop and new for 2019 is Axe Throwing and Zombie Hunt - two add-on side attractions for $5 a piece. Our crew has always loved the facade for the Bates Motel and how the lights are choreographed in tune with the upbeat music! The atmosphere at Bates Motel is like no other.

To kick off our evening we headed for the Bates Motel. With a rather large crowd on hand general admission lines were likely running about 20-30 minute wait times. Larger groups than usual were being checked into the Bates Motel about every 1-2 minutes. The opening scene of this attraction definitely set the tone - a creepy nun came out of practically nowhere and startled our entire group and by creepy we mean CREEPY! As we exited the opening room the hallways filled with smoke which made it incredibly difficult to see. This definitely made us feel vulnerable to what awaited us in the darkness. As we ventured further through the Bates Motel we encountered impressive set designs, scene after scene! We couldn’t help but drool over the incredible set designs we encountered. They utilized a perfect combination of live actors and animatronics to deliver a thrilling experience. The actors were relentless and continued to terrorize the guests until they fled in terror. Scares came from all directions leaving us susceptible to being on the receiving end of countless spine-tingling scares. There were several jaw dropping animatronics throughout this attraction, especially in the greenhouse! Kudos to the actor in the grass suit as you certainly gave one of our members a good startle. As you approach the final scene to this attraction you are swarmed by actors who deliver one final fright and have the guests running out of the Bates Motel doors. Lots of surprises lurking throughout the hallways in this Motel!

Next up we headed for Revenge of the Scarecrows Haunted Trail. In years past we felt this attraction lacked energy and had too much dead space in between scenes. Last season there was a noticeable improvement in this attractions experience; a much more lively and thrilling experience! The facade and opening scene to this attraction truly set the tone for a terrifying journey. As you walk down the darkened tunnel your heart begins to race as you can’t help but worry about what's ahead. At just the right moment BAM, a perfectly placed actor delivers the first of many scares to come during this attraction. Guests truly encounter a little bit of everything during this attraction. The zombie graveyard scene literally had zombies rising from the dead and coming up from underground. The spider and bee house certainly makes you itchy for the rest of the evening. For 2019 the clown scene received a full revamp, now featuring one MASSIVE set with several scenes within it. The clowns encountered were amped up and delivered a great mix of scares and laughs. Beware the alligator as you venture through the swamp and bait shop. Countless impressive scenes will be found on your journey although the squads favorite scene had to be the snake house; the costuming of the actors in this scene was astonishing. In between scenes you’ll travel through the cornfield, fearing what lurks ahead. As suspense builds a perfectly placed actor/scarecrow delivers a solid fright. Although there wasn’t quite as many spooks in the cornfield as we had hoped for but there were definitely more this season than in years past.

To cap off our evening we headed for the well known Haunted Hayride at the Bates Motel. Coming into the 2019 haunt season the hayride here at Bates Motel easily ranked in our squads top three all-time favorites! Prior to boarding the hay wagon there are some fun photo-op booths, definitely take part in these! Just like the other two attractions here, the opening scene once again delivers and sets the tone for the rest of the way. The combination of thrilling audio and several pyrotechnic fire blasts definitely qualifies as a great way to start our hayride experience. We can’t even put into words how incredible EVERY scene on this hayride is. By far the best usage of pyrotechnics we’ve ever seen can be found on this hayride - boy does Randy Bates love him some fire! From the first scene to the last scene you are immersed into a whole different world. They easily make guests forget they are in the woods vs. a Hollywood movie production. There is no way you’d ever be able to pick a favorite scene as they are all just as amazing as the other. The scale is huge, the sets and animatronics are elaborate and you can tell that Randy and his team pour their hearts into creating this experience. For example, guests venture through a passageway with large volcanoes and dinosaurs hovering 40+ feet over the wagon. So by “large scale sets” we truly mean MASSIVE! Another unique touch was noted during the Mineshaft scene; the set is built on a hill so patrons truly feel as if you are descending into a dark and decrepit Mineshaft! Once again the actors costuming and makeup was one of a kind and nothing short of excellent. New for 2019 is a completely revamped Gas Station scene, with even more FIRE and EXPLOSIONS than ever before! Of the three attractions offered the Haunted Hayride definitely isn’t the scariest attraction but it certainly is thrilling and visually pleasing! We almost forgot, beware the headless horseman as he’ll certainly catch you by surprise!

When people ask us whether or not it’s worth it to visit Bates Motel we without hesitation say YES! The Haunted Hayride alone is enough to draw guests from hours away, it’s a must see! The Bates Motel and the Revenge of the Scarecrows Haunted Trail are just icing on the cake! All the props, animatronics and a large majority of the actor costumes are hand made right here on the Bates Motel property! We had the pleasure of chatting with Randy Bates, owner of Bates Motel, for a solid 20-30 minutes. This man has a clear passion for the Halloween season and shared with us some of his plans for the 2020 season! If you’ve never visited Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride we strongly suggest to pay them a visit. Year 2020 will be their 30th season in operation so we have no doubt that they will have some BIG and EXCITING upgrades! So mark your calendars NOW as 2020 is going to be an EPIC season, as always, at Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride! Happy Hauntings!

Individual Attraction Review:

Attraction Name: Bates Motel

Overall Attraction Rating: 8.5/10

Cast and Crew Rating: 8.5/10

Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 9/10

Attraction Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 8/10

Attraction Name: Revenge of the Scarecrows Haunted Trail

Overall Attraction Rating: 8/10

Cast and Crew Rating: 8/10

Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 9/10

Attraction Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 8/10

Attraction Name: Haunted Hayride

Overall Attraction Rating: 9/10

Cast and Crew Rating: 9/10

Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 9.5/10

Attraction Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 7/10

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