Its been 3 years since I went to the Bates Motel. The last time I went I thought it was pretty good. Given it was the beginning of the season, their second weekend, and with the inclement weather, my expectations were pretty low. I was pleasantly surprised with the experience I had. There were no crowds, the attractions were amazing, the actors were excellent, and it was a lot of fun. You can definitely tell that the same people who run Pennhurst Asylum also run this place as well. This will now be placed on the “must visit” list year after year.
Fear Factor: 3.5
Attractions – 4.5 out 5 Stars
The Bates Motel has only 3 attractions. You can go to any attraction first, but like most places, the hayride is encourage to be done first, especially since the entrance is right next to the ticket booth. This year they have an Escape room, but that is a separate admission and must be purchased online. All 3 attractions were participated and will be reviewed. However, the Escape room was not purchased and will not be reviewed. If you are a fan of Escape rooms, I do recommend purchasing the tickets online. Here is the rundown:
1. Haunted Hayride
This is a classic style hayride pulled by a tractor and a long trailer filled with hay. There are no seats and you have to sit flat on the trailer. There a stairs to easily get on and off the trailer. There is no specific theme to the hayride, but lots of different style of themes. From dragons, to zombies, to hillbillies, and even werewolves, they included just about every type of monster. They really pull off the scares on this ride and hayrides are usually difficult to accomplish this. Normally on a hayride, people are looking around trying to find were the actors will be jumping from. Most of the time they are easily found. This hayride uses a mix of animatronics and standing figures as a distraction, allowing the actors to get up behind you and present their surprise. On top of that, they have music playing from speakers on the tractor, amplifying the theme and experience of the attraction.
2. Haunted Corn Maze
As soon as you get off the hayride, you follow the path to the entrance of the Corn Maze. This is more of a winding trail surrounded by corn stalks than a maze. However, like the hayride, they use animatronics and sound effects to heighten the experience. There were plenty of barns and houses within the maze, each with their own theme. My favorite themed house was the insect house. It had everything to make a haunt work, including bee hives, sounds of bees swarming, spiders, and costumed theme actors. This attraction is one of the best haunted trails that I have done and I look forward to doing it again next year.
3. The Bates Motel
This attraction is the name sake of the place. Its a custom built attraction complete with an outdoor part as well. Its only one floor, but the interior is narrow and windy, with lots of actors. Like the other attractions, they use sound effects and animatronics to heighten the experience as well as to provide the distractions to allow the actors to pull off their scares. Although the house doesn’t quite resemble the house used in the movie, it is very well themed as a crazy old family that lives there. Unfortunately, this attraction seemed to be a lot shorter than the other 2 attractions. But nevertheless, it is very well done.
Atmosphere – 3.5 out of 5 Stars
This is a typical farm setting. However, we went early in the season, and the weather wasn’t all that great. There were no crowds this night, but the line markers were clearly established in anticipation of the upcoming season. There were even line markers for the ticket booth, which is the first thing you see going in to the place. They do have a gift shop and had a vendor tent set up for Dunkin Donuts. All of the attractions surround the main concourse and everything is well lit. Traffic for cars is well controlled with signs directing cars for parking and dropping off.
Fear Factor – 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Since they are run by the same people who run Pennhurst, its no wonder that the fear factor was elevated for this haunt. The use of both animatronics and well trained actors make this haunt scarier than others. All of the scares were well placed and executed perfectly by the actors. Although we went early in the season, it appears that the place gets scarier as the season continues.
Actors – 4 out of 5 Stars
The actors here are really good. They play their part really well and fully interact with the guest. They always stay in character and really make the experience seem genuine. Even though in some areas they probably could use some more actors, they really pulled off the scares with the ones they had. What they really excel in is the element of surprise. They allow the animatronics to create the distraction and seemingly come out of no where to provide the scare. Its probably safe to say that he actors have the same training as the one they use at Pennhurst.
Fun/Value – 4 out of 5 Stars
We purchases the regular price tickets since there were no crowds. If this was later in the season, I would definitely consider the VIP tickets,, but they are a little pricey. Although they had three attractions, each provide great value for the price you pay. It was a lot of fun and I would recommend this to anyone. I will be sure to add this next year as a place to visit.
Check out these additional photos from the attraction