Haunted River Float – Full Review

Haunted River Float is a Haunted Attraction located in Waynesville, MO.

22474 Restful Lane, Waynesville, MO 65583
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Haunt Type(s):

Has Current Dates and Hours Available IconMultiple HauntsEscape RoomHaunted HouseHaunted RideZombie Paintball


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This attraction was reviewed on September 23, 2023 by Team Graveyard Shift.

Final Score: 8.48

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The Haunted River Float at Ruby’s Landing in Waynesville, Missouri, offers a unique haunting experience by taking you through a journey of murky waters, haunted forests, and an intense haunted house that will have you screaming to your tent!

We got the full experience with the Spookclusive package that offers other fun activities that ensure an enjoyable and spooky-filled night! Keep reading to learn more about our experience at The Haunted River Float!

Cast Score: 8.55

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Cast Review:

The Haunted River Float offers quite a wide variety of characters throughout the attraction, all the way from eldritch horrors and witches to dolls! During our trip down the river, it was hard to see which monsters were attacking our float, but we did get up close with Cthulhu, who spun us around before climbing up onto our raft and proclaiming himself. Once we made it to shore, we made our way through the trail, which offered a couple of characters, including a doll, a werewolf, and a reaper named Tink. Tink was one of our favorite cast characters of the night, who asked us some pretty deep questions that had us scratching our heads, all the while having a slight existential crisis.

Inside the House portion of the haunt, the first memorable cast member was a little girl in a room with dolls, screaming about how “she is gonna turn us into soup!” Chopper the Butcher was a very fun character to talk to, as he was trying to sell us various body parts. That is until he ran after us, claiming I specifically owed him money, so I had to escape through the fridge to get out of that situation!

We encountered Jason Voorhees inside a carnival-themed room where the floor spun in circles! Even though he was out of place in this portion of the haunt, he did make the floor spin for us as we made our way through, which was fun! The clowns in the circus were extremely entertaining as they were creepy, particularly Shadow. Another clown girl further on in a laser field room had fun cornering me while my teammates left me behind! Commenting, “I guess they don’t want you anymore, which means I can have you!” Further along within the circus, the contortionist was a highlight! She gracefully went on the floor only to crawl backward towards us! It was beautifully and eloquently disturbing. They had another bendy actor further along outside the circus behind some cages. There was a small gap between the ceiling and the top of the fence, and she was able to fit quite a way through it!! We thought they were about to completely climb out to get us… While another woman across from them was urging us to let them out. Of course, as we were leaving, the one trying to climb the cage managed to escape and get in one last jumpscare!

Overall, while some placement for actors was out of place, the cast for this attraction was excellent! They were fun to interact with and had pretty diverse and unique dialogue for the ones who did talk. There were a couple of generic lines thrown out here and there, but the conversations about buying brains and being threatened to be made into soup made up for those small moments.

Costuming Score: 8.49

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Costuming Review:

Costumes varied in detail throughout the sections of the haunted river float. We were treated to the spookclusive package, so we could see every facet of the venue. Shipmate Charlie in the pirate escape room was decked to the nines as a scary pirate, down to how he spoke.

The cue actors roaming the lot had lots of personality. A charming Sam from Trick r Treat dragged a menacing bat while a hillbilly with a chainsaw, covered in dirt and blood, tormented those on the zombie paintball trailer. Understandably, the actors in the water had masks and water-resistant clothing. But they sure made the most of those masks with their scares. The actors in the corn maze, while spread out, each had detailed and individualistic personalities. Clowns and ghouls galore ushered us through. Tink in the Haunted Forest had excellent costuming, makeup, and dialogue to share with passersby.

The haunted house was full of creepy clowns, butchers, a scary Jason controlling a spinning floor, toxic waste-infected ghouls, and a wise witch taking wristbands. The acrobatic clown stuck in the electrocution wall was so talented and dolled up in such excellent clown makeup.

Overall, everyone considered their environment and built their costumes around safety and functionality, then added their character on top to fit. The actors clearly put detailed thought and story into their roles, which is shown through their costumes.

Customer Service Score: 9.6

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There are a couple of signs to help you get to the campsite itself, so finding it was no issue. The main building had a big banner up the front, was pretty well-lit, decorated in Halloween decor, and was playing music from the speakers, so it was very easy to figure out where to buy tickets from!

The staff was extremely friendly and helpful, and we enjoyed our time talking to them! They were very informative about any questions we had and made sure to let us know all the rules before we headed inside to turn in our waivers.

Besides the natural risks of going on a river float, the only safety concern that was discovered was during the trail, there was a rigidity boarded plank you had to walk across in almost pitch darkness that had grass growing through and around it. It was hard to tell if we were even going the right way or if it was gonna break by walking on it. It wasn’t the most stable platform to go across.

Their Facebook page stays the most up-to-date with information regarding ticket prices, opening dates, address information, and more!

Immersion Score: 7.98

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Immersion Review:

It’s pretty difficult not to be immersed in moments where the attraction was at its best. There were a couple of downsides that brought us out of the immersion, mainly by factors that the attraction itself can’t control. Unless you were in a big group, you were more than likely going to be paired with another group, which can really make or break how the float portion of the attraction goes. Unfortunately, one of our team members had to do basically all the work directly in the raft as the group we were paired with did close to nothing to assist, so it made for a pretty frustrating time. If you visit the Haunted River Float, it is highly recommended that you bring at LEAST 5 or more friends if you don’t want to be paired with another group. That being said, the river is beautifully haunting at night, with an eerie fog to add to the overall ambiance, with distant sounds of howls and growls, as well as cannon blasts that slowly get louder the more you float down the river. The river itself is mainly dark, with only the glow stick on your raft for a natural light source. It had a couple of small lights along the way, just enough to know where you needed to go.

Once you’re out of the raft, you go through the trail. You work your way through a “corn” trail with a couple of actors throughout. This was more of a breather than anything else, with it staying mostly quiet through our walkthrough that took us out of the immersion a bit. It was raining on us quite a bit at this point in the night, but that, at the very least, added a sense of needing to work our way back to safety. Further along the trail had some set pieces and sound effects to add to the overall vibe that definitely helped us get back into the immersion, especially Tink, who added a very mystical and supernatural vibe to this portion of the attraction.

The house was the most immersive part of the experience, with perfectly fitting music, sound effects, and even smells. It smelled very sweet in some areas of the circus, and other places smelled like Froot Loops! The set design was also purposefully placed and realistic to where you were not able to catch anything “behind the scenes.”

Special FX Score: 8.82

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Special FX Review:

The Haunted River Float had some really fun animatronics through the attraction, with a giant skeleton on the River and a pirate ship towards the shore, with a loud cannon blast sound effect that made it seem like we were under attack!

The house portion had a lot of fun animatronics to speak of, mainly in the circus, with giant clowns doing various antics. Our favorites included the tiny clowns on the carousel and the seesaw. They were creepy and cute!

They also had a really unique special effect where we walked into a room with a circular floor that spins!! It was moving fast on its own when we approached it, and Jason was able to get it going while we were on it!

Scare Factor Score: 7.64

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Scare Factor Review:

This attraction offers a lot of variety in terms of different ways to scare you! Of course, the actors in the water during the river portion can really provide some great scares by climbing onto the raft and spinning the raft around in circles!

While some scares were sometimes predictable, it was made up for by the clever and creepy moments offered in other instances throughout. From the large path of the river and the smaller path of the trail, to the narrow halls of the house, you get a wide range of scares that get more and more intense as you work your way through!

Entertainment & Value Score: 8.76

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E&V Review:

Basic tickets, which includes a hayride, ½ mile float, the haunted trail, the haunted forest, the haunted house, and tent camping (optional), will run you $35. For the Spookclusive package for $75, you get everything included with the basic ticket on top of an escape room, axe throwing, and zombie paintball! We were treated with the Spookclusive package, and had a great time with all the bonus activities, even though we believe the escape room we chose was perhaps a bit too difficult to solve.

You can easily spend a whole night at Ruby’s Landing, even if you decide not to stick around for camping, so along with a group of friends, you can really get your bang for your buck!

The Haunted River Float is a favorite yearly haunt for many of our team members, and we were absolutely honored to visit them for their 2023 season for this review! If you want a unique haunting experience in Missouri that is perfect for a spooky and cozy night with friends, make sure to visit the Haunted River Float at Ruby’s Landing!

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 7.75 out of 10

Kenzie – 10/10October 10, 2020
The process was extremely organized! We loved it

Doug – 10/10September 12, 2020
Extremely entertained. Recommend Zombie paintball as additional attraction to haunted river. …show more Really fun to shoot about 200 paint balls at zombies while riding hay wagon through zombie land then get dropped off at the river for a long raft ride through river infested with monsters. Next walk through a scary corn-maze, tunnel and haunted forest ending up in about a dozen room haunted house. Took about two hours to enjoy the excitement. Carried beer backpack and then enjoyed good food at Hillbilly food truck. Also has axe throwing and escape room for additional attractions. What a well-run event. Standing in line for short timeA was entertaining hanging out with friends. Highly recommended!

Anna – 10/10September 15, 2018
It was awesome

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