The Haunted Road – Full Review

The Haunted Road is a Haunted Attraction located in Orlando, FL.

15239 Lake Pickett Road, Orlando, FL 32806
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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, “Old-School” (Low Tech), You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, Indoor/Outdoor Attraction, Family Friendly

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This attraction was reviewed on October 16, 2022 by Team Floridead.

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Final Score: 7.35

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The Haunted Road is revved up for its third season in Central Florida and has gone under the hood to bring new experiences forward for all daring enough to make the drive down The Haunted Road.

The attraction first began in 2020 in the middle of the global pandemic while businesses were trying to find safe ways to bring haunted attractions back. It’s a contactless drive-thru Halloween experience and one of the most unique attractions in the Central Florida area.

For 2022, The Haunted Road has expanded and is now a three-part experience. First, you start with The Haunted Road: A 30-minute drive down one of the last remaining haunted roads in Orlando, Florida, to witness infamous ghost sightings and weird happenings. This year, it’s a human slaughterhouse filled with murderers ranging from a pig butcher to a fox that prefers to murder people with poisonous gas. Following your drive, you walk through the Human Slaughterhouse, which is a 3-5 minute walk through a haunted house in a barn. Finally, celebrate surviving The Haunted Road and Human Slaughterhouse at The Afterlife Party featuring a DJ, pop-up performers, food trucks, themed alcoholic beverages, and a Haunt Market to pick up some unique souvenirs.

Cast Score: 7.56

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Cast Review:

The actors at The Haunted Road deserve a lot of credit and praise for what they have to endure each evening. The haunt is in hot, swampy, mosquito country, yet the actors are consistently in character scene after scene. Unfortunately, the scenes were sparsely cast, with anywhere from 2 – 3 actors per scene. It’s something we’d love to see The Haunted Road improve upon in 2023 because it will elevate the haunt to another level. With that being said, the cast present was strong and several scenes used well-choreographed stage combat.

A special shoutout needs to go to the actors in the pig butcher scene for ramping up the action to level 10. The scene featured an actor who was held captive by a pig butcher. The actor broke out of his cage and was quickly caught by the pig and thrown onto a table where he was brutally murdered. At that same time, an actress ran into the scene hoping to save her boyfriend and was seen by the pig. As she tried to escape, the pig butcher ran over to her, picked her up by the neck and held her several feet in the air, and threw her into a cage several feet away. We couldn’t drive away fast enough.

Costuming Score: 6.65

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Costuming Review:

The costuming for the serial killers in the drive-through was detailed and set each killer distinctly apart from the others. Our favorite was the sheep, who in Leatherface-style liked to remove the faces of her victims and collect them. It felt fitting to have an animal that’s constantly used for its sheepskin to be the one collecting human skin.

All of the victims felt appropriately dressed in flannel, but we wish there were more actors present or henchmen of the serial killers to provide a little more variety with the costuming. It’s mentioned further in the review, but it feels like a missed opportunity to not dress up the attendants working on the road in either Haunted Road shirts or outfits more in line with the theme. It’s a simple fix and one we hope to see implemented in the 2023 season to take the costuming one step further.

Customer Service Score: 8.45

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The Haunted Road is located a few miles from the University of Central Florida off Lake Pickett Road. The entrance is hard to find unless you’re navigating with a GPS. There is a sign attached to a fence as you turn down the road, but we encourage the team to light up the sign to let visitors know where the exact turn is.

Our check-in process was quick and easy, and we were sent down The Haunted Road in no time. Attendants were placed in the first two scenes to direct, start, and stop us, but then the attendants were missing from the rest of the experience until we reached the finale. It led to some confusion from our group as we never knew where we should be stopping to view the scenes or when was the best time to start driving again. Luckily, the radio station would say “drive” when it was time to start moving. We’d like to see a more increased presence of attendants throughout the ride to help take the guesswork off the driver.

Overall, all of the staff we ran into throughout the entire experience, including at The Afterlife Party, were nothing short of helpful and kind, and we want to thank The Haunted Road for having us out a second time after our first visit was washed out from the intense Florida storms.

Immersion Score: 7.59

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Immersion Review:

From the uneven, dark, and bumpy road to the creepy music coming through our car speakers, we were immersed in the concept of The Haunted Road a majority of the time. Each scene played out like a live, horror radio play and the storyline was woven into each scene.

Being a drive-through haunt means The Haunted Road has to battle with two separate things which did pull us out of the immersion at times. The first was the attendants working on the road itself. Each attendant seemed to be dressed in their own personal clothes instead of branded Haunted Road merch. This is an easy fix and one we hope The Haunted Road will implement. The second thing that pulled us out of the experience was the headlights of the car behind us. The car was unable to turn off its headlights for some reason which meant we had blinding halogen lights coming through the back windshield of our car. This made it incredibly difficult to see the scenes happening in front of us and took away from the show lighting on the road. Headlights are a hard issue to navigate and will certainly be luck of the draw depending on where you’re placed in line. Perhaps magnetic headlight covers could be provided for cars that can’t completely shut their headlights off?

Overall, you’re in for a haunting yet fun and immersive experience on The Haunted Road.

Special FX Score: 7.5

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Special FX Review:

The Haunted Road is broken out into several different scenes which you drive into, park, and watch the horrors unfold in front of and around your car until you drive to the next scene. Consider it your personal haunted hayride except you’re not sitting in hay and you get to drive the vehicle. Throughout your drive, ghosts of The Haunted Road broadcast through various radio stations to help set the tone for each scene and, as you drive between each scene, the ominous soundtrack continues to play. Once parked, the radio station, lights, and actors all synch up for a really neat theatrical experience.

We were very lucky in that it was our car and just one other traveling The Haunted Road at the same time which allowed us to always park in the center of each scene. While the sets had some cool detail to them, we’d love to see the sets expand and envelop both sides of your vehicle for an even more immersive experience in the future.

Scare Factor Score: 7.02

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Scare Factor Review:

The Haunted Road uses its location to its advantage. The dark, open countryside away from the hustle and bustle of the Orlando parks adds to the isolation and uncertainty of what is lurking outside of your car doors. And while it’s easy to feel safe in the comfort of your car, The Haunted Road knows how to break you out of that comfort and prey on you while you’re distracted.

One of our favorite moments on the road was pulling up to a scene and encountering a steampunk-looking fox wearing a gas mask standing in the middle of the road in front of our car. It was unsettling and stopped us in our tracks… literally. Our biggest scares of the night came from the first two scenes when we were mercilessly attacked by a gator in a suit (how much more FL can you get?) and a masked killer. They weren’t afraid to reach inside our car and circle back around for multiple attacks.

Unfortunately, as the drive went on, we felt the scare factor begin to dip. Perhaps it’s chalked up to not enough actors or the hurricane earlier in the month, but we felt the intensity needed to be kicked a few notches up throughout the entire experience. In the future, we’d love to see actors scaring on both sides of the vehicles in every scene. The potential is there and we hope The Haunted Road will embrace it in 2023.

Entertainment & Value Score: 6.92

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E&V Review:

Tickets for The Haunted Road start at $19.99 and go up to $30+ per person depending on the date and time slot, placing the haunt on the slightly expensive side especially if you have a large party. The entire drive is 30 minutes long, plus you receive access to The Afterlife Party which includes a short walk-through haunted house, a haunt market, and some frightful bites and beverages. All in all, you’re looking at anywhere from a 40-60 minute experience at the event.

The drive-through portion is the event’s highlight, and it was cut down this year for the added experiences. While we do believe the value is there with the lower ticket prices, we’d love to see the drive-through expanded by another 1 – 2 scenes to add even more value for the higher ticket prices.

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Pics We Took From Our Visit:

Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 1 out of 10

William / Vilhjálmur Norwood/ Narwud – 1/10October 17, 2020
Pros: I want to start with the postives but there aren’t many. The property was utlized very well. I …show more was amazed at how well the flow of trafic was. The actual story was not bad. It was a bit rainy tonight and the show kept going. The way you handled the sound was brilliant Cons: Now the negative. This was really not a haunted road. It should have been called a Twisted Fairy Tale Trail or somethng like that. It was not scary at all. Even the scare actors who tried to creap up on the car showed little intrest at times. I was very disapoited and felt like I really didn’t get my moneys worth, We drove over an hour and it really was not scary, I doubt children wouldn’t even get very scared. Also, depending where our can ended up at each scene I may or may not have been able to see very much, the back seat couldn’t hardly see anything at time. There was one scene that the radio brodcast did not work. Summery: The Idea of a drive through Haunted Road is a good one, but a Zombie or crazed killer theme would have served the concept and property much better. If your going to do this again next year your going to have to up the stakes. You need to really go for scary, not mildly spooky. The story should be secondary to the fear. Its Halloween. People are paying to be scared! Final Thoughts: I like the idea, However how it as it is now; I would not recomend this as a Haunted Atraction.

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