Team In-Corpse-A-Rated reviewed this attraction on October 14, 2017.
Final Score: 8.57
Upon entry into the Placer County Fairgrounds in Roseville, California, there lurks a ghost town known to have spirits. DireWorld is a haunted theme park built in Old West d������cor, with five feature haunted attractions: Malice, Dark Realm, Death Sentence, Deadlands, and Asylum. There is also a performance stage with fire dancers and the MODOC Western Ghost Town scare zone. For an extra charge, guests are welcome to the Keep Out escape room. V.I.P. tickets will allow guests to enter two more escape rooms, The Panic Experience and Escape The Manor, plus access to a special V.I.P. lounge and a 10:30 pm Behind the Scenes Tour. For our purposes, we only visited the five featured haunts and did not attend the escape rooms.
Overall, the actors of DireWorld were believable and enthusiastic. The most interactive actors were in Asylum. At various moments, the inmates would engage us in conversation or stand in our way when we were walking. One girl showed her insanity by bragging about her lollypops, even though she didn’t have any. Another one asked if we wanted to play, so we inquired, ‘What do you want to play?’ and she responded, ‘Rip the man’s arms off!’ The dialogue in Asylum was overall more humorous than scary. Death Sentence begins with a Russian Prison Warden giving us a speech about us baring witness to an execution of a dangerous criminal, whom survived a previous execution attempt. Malice had very few actors, so there were various dead spots that needed to be filled. Deadlands had several actors, but still, certain scenes felt that they needed more actors in place. In Deadlands, the two showgirls in the bedroom were funny. When they asked us if we wanted to join them, I was afraid to ask what we would be doing. Dark Realm begins with a pale witch speaking in a foreign language, holding a web sack full of glowing spiders. It appeared she was placing a curse upon us. The rest of the actors in Dark Realm remained silent as they lunged out at us from the dark. Overall, the actors did fulfill their roles. Kudos to the Russian Prison Warden for his opening monologue in Death Sentence.
The actors of DireWorld wore complete and believable costumes. We spotted only one obvious faux pas, and that was with an actor at the MODOC Ghost Town scare zone. He was dressed as an 1800’s cowboy, and he laid on the ground so he could startle a wondering guest, but by laying down, he revealed that he was wearing 21st Century Nike tennis shoes. The makeup used by the actors looked good, and most notable, one cowboy had a bullet hole in his forehead dripping blood, and wore blackout contact lenses. For each haunt, the actors had appropriate and authentic costumes for their respected themes. The only haunt that used masks was Dark Realm, which featured faceless black robed actors and actors in demon masks, which looked OK.
Customer Service: 9
DireWorld is overall, a safe haunt to walk through. If there’s one area with a potential hazard, it’s in Death Sentence, where guests need to walk down a stairway, and that area was too dimly lit. We didn’t see any billboards that advertised the haunt while we were on our way, but since they are located at the Placer County Fairgrounds, there are numerous street signs pointing the way to the ‘Fairground.’ For queue entertainment, there is a performance stage where at various times fire dancers would perform. It would have been nice if there were other performers to alternate when the fire dancers were done with their act. The stage was most beneficial to the guests waiting for Malice and Dark Realm, and the other haunts were out of view. The only other entertainment are the line actors interacting with guests. It must be said that we arrived before the scheduled opening of 7:30, but they did not allow guests in until 7:45. One more note, the staff member at the front door of Dark Realm was taking far too long in allowing guests entry. We can appreciate that nobody wants a conga line, but the time interval between groups of guests seemed longer than necessary. DireWorld offers concession stands, porta potties, a souvenir stand, and photo opportunities.
Outside of the theme park, there wasn’t any music or sounds. There was the opening gate with the ‘DireWorld’ banner, surrounded by a gothic brick fa������ade. Also past the ticket booths were two life-size props of horses strung up by their hind legs, dangling in the air. There was no mistaking that this was a haunted house we were entering.
Special Effects: 8.59
Overall, we felt most of the haunts had enough sound effects. There were some areas of Malice and Deadlands that felt too quiet. The sound effects we heard were appropriate, especially in Death Sentence, where the electric volt sounds are heard while the prisoner is being electrocuted to death, and the blowing wind sounds as the condemned prisoner rises from the dead. Malice used a claustrophobia tunnel, a large animatronic snake head, and an 8 foot giant animatronic monster at the end. Dark Realm had various areas where hot coal props glowed and looked real. Death Sentence had chairs for the guests as they watched the execution, and the seats vibrated with the electrocution sounds. Deadlands had guns that shot compressed air, and had two large animatronic spiders. Asylum only had a floating ghost girl animatronic that hovered and shook. The scenery outside of the five haunts were very good. The MODOC ghost town looked very authentic. The front fa������ade of Dark Realm looked like and authentic medieval castle, and the fa������ade of the Escape The Manor escape room looked like an authentic Victorian home. As for the inside of the haunts, Malice was a black light haunt that required 3D glasses. The walls and props were painted with fluorescent paint, but the designs and pictures that they made looked amateur like. Deadlands has very good scenery, but Asylum is very bland. When it comes to lighting, the most engaging came from Death Sentence, from the diming of the lights during the execution, to the various ‘lights out/lights on’ moments which allowed the resurrected prisoner to scare guests. Dark Realm chose various areas to be completely blacked out, where guests had to feel the walls the navigate, and then return to a lit scene.
DireWorld has an overall theme of an Old West town for its theme park. Each individual haunt had an individual theme on to itself. Malice is themed after Alice In Wonderland. Dark Realm themes itself from medieval castles and Hell. Death Sentence is modeled after a prison. Deadlands is an Old West haunt, and Asylum is of course, a mental institution.
Fright Effect: 7.67
As much time DireWorld spent to make a visually impressive theme park, there were not that many scares. However, we could see that other attendees more frightened than we were. Some of the actors would lunge at us, but most would look at us intimidatingly, so we didn’t get many startles. The resurrected prisoner scared a few guests. The 8-foot animatronic monster at the end of Malice was a good scare. Being shot by an air compressor-powered Old West rifle was a good startle finale at Deadlands as well. Despite these few exceptions, we didn’t experience any notable scares.
The total time it took to walk through the five feature haunts was 24:49 minutes. At $26 for a General Admission ticket, that comes out to .95 minutes per dollar, which is a good financial value. DireWorld uses all its available space and has no dead spots.