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Team Zombillies reviewed this attraction on October 19, 2013.
Final Score: 8.77
In 2013, The Old Orchard Haunted Trail at Eaton’s Orchard is in its 6th season of providing scare enjoyment for all ages. They offer two attractions: a haunted hayride and a trail. The hayride is a journey that can be enjoyed by all ages while the trail offers more scares and startles! The theme revolves around a gruesome tale of the torturous Eaton brothers and the horrible things they did years ago. If you are brave enough to try your luck at escaping what the Eaton brothers have in store for you on the trail, the theme of the attraction is introduced in the queue line! This haunt has a fun, Halloween environment and offers something for everyone, so be sure to check them out and don’t forget to visit their large gift shop before you leave!
On average, there can be anywhere from 60 to 70 volunteer actors roaming about the farm. Since there were many scenes with multiple actors, this amount seemed to fill the attraction quite well! The actors within the trail are also the same actors you will see on the hayride, so if you would like for them to remain a surprise, we recommend visiting the trail first. The haunt hosts multiple training classes that the cast must attend before the season begins to ensure they are prepared to handle different situations. The iconic characters from the theme were the most believable at Eaton’s Orchard as well as a few of the more original characters like the pirates. However we noticed several actors throughout the trail that weren’t as into their characters as the rest. A handful of them reinforced their scenes by verbally interacting with our group such as the clowns, Silas, those within the barn, and the pirates who tried to get us to join their crew! Some of their dialogue was impressive and threatening, although there were a lot of times where they just let out a scream, growl or repeated ‘Get Out” and ‘Leave’ when more theme-appropriate dialogue could have been used to heighten these characters and their scenes. Other memorable characters were Zeke, Willie, and the tractor driver who kept us safe on the hayride!
Costumes have been either donated or purchased from thrift shops. The haunt’s makeup crew consists of 5 employees who use classical techniques when adding finishing touches to the characters. The makeup we saw in the barn was much more noticeable than on others but it also wasn’t as dark in this area. Many masks are used and they have all been purchased from various places including from another haunt owner! Some of the masks are much more realistic than others which also provides for more believable characters, such as the pig head and scarecrow. Although not all of the masks were as realistic as some, they were still effective when used. The majority of costumes were more convincing this season, but we still noticed street clothes that didn’t seem to fit. Costumes that stood out to us were those worn by the gorilla, pirates, scarecrow, ax man, and pig head because of their validity.
Customer Service: 9.43
Several signs can be spotted alongside the road as you get closer to the orchard, including one at the end of the haunt’s gravel lane, which makes the attraction pretty easy to find. Free parking is available in a large, grassy field. Tickets can be purchased inside their orchard stand/gift shop area, which is also where you can find helpful staff members. Multiple energetic actors were roaming about keeping guests entertained and provided startles before you even get a chance to enter the attractions! A large movie projector displays on the side of a barn in the queue area of the haunted trail that introduces the theme as you wait in line. Different special guests provide entertainment at the attraction as well on select weekends, so be sure to watch their Facebook page for this information. There is plenty of lighting where needed in the queue area, and in both attractions, though the trail does have some uneven ground so be sure to watch your step! Inside the orchard stand they offer food, drinks, fresh apples, gifts, haunt memorabilia, and other items so be sure to check it all out while you’re there!
Upon arrival we noticed a tractor-drawn hay wagon, a bonfire, roaming actors, fall d
Special Effects: 8.9
Around 90% of the special effects used at Eaton’s Orchard have been built in-house. This means you will see a lot of original things such as talking skeletons, unique uses of fog, large ships, squishy areas, a wild boar, a wizzer, realistic tombstones, mausoleums, a revolving table, and a close call with a vehicle! The layout and detail of this trail is unlike any other we have experienced before! This is the most detailed outside trail we have experienced which really helps in bringing the scenes to life. However, the last barn could use a few more effects to provide additional distractions or startles. A small list of a few more of the memorable effects include a life-sized machine gun, an electric chair, a man trying to axe his way out of a room, sparking effects and well-placed horns!
The theme revolves around a gruesome story consisting of the 4 Eaton brothers. These brothers were evil and enjoyed tormenting others. Before you enter the attraction, you can watch a short film revealing the brothers while explaining the theme in detail! Once in the barn, you will learn of the time tunnel that will bring you face to face with the Eaton brothers. However, we were warned that the tunnel had been a bit iffy lately and the time machine was messed up, so it was hard telling where it was going to stop along the way! The background story of the attraction is very original and matches the haunt’s location perfectly! Though it is original, yet the time machine allows for universal scenes to be experienced during your travel, a few of them still didn’t make as much sense when moving in time, such as the clown area. When the haunt first starts out, it all makes sense, but becomes kind of confusing more towards the end of the attraction. Perhaps an additional time traveling device or added reiteration of the theme throughout the entire attraction would help if executed properly.
Fright Effect: 8.48
Scares were delivered from a variety of degrees, including loud noises, startles, shrill screams, disorienting lights, weapons being placed close to valuable body parts, and multiple chainsaw strikes! Some distractions were provided from both characters and special effects and were very effective at catching some of our group members off-guard. Scares were directed towards everyone in our group at least once, but it seemed as though they aimed the initial scares to those in the front more often. This attraction lacks the dead space we’ve seen at other outdoor attractions which aids in keeping the scares less predictable. During our time travel we were also shot at, we witnessed a shocking surprise, we realized some things weren’t as they seemed including the ground we were walking on, and we were threatened by a swinging ax! The hayride is meant to be more child-friendly, but the actors still climb around on the wagon and bring out some toys every now and then.
General admission tickets for the haunted trail are $13.00 per person and $5.00 per person for the hayride. Kids under 6 years old get in cheaper and combo tickets can be purchased for $15.00 per person. Fast Pass admission tickets are also available at $18.00 for just the trail or $20.00 for both attractions. It took us 20 minutes to venture through time to meet the Eaton brothers and we were on the hayride for 12 minutes. Combined these attractions add up to 32 minutes of entertainment and even at the $20.00 Fast Pass combo admission price, you still receive well over $1.00 of entertainment per minute! This is one deal you don’t want to miss out on! So grab your friends and family and head on out to The Old Orchard Haunted Trail at Eaton’s Orchard for a night of fun and fright for the Halloween season!