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fusion260 t1_itgreqy wrote

Recovering from a lousy experience at Ashland Berry Farm’s Terror on the Farm last night. It absofuckinglutely sucked and I think it’s the last time I’ll be going.

The online sales ticket line was longer and seemingly-slower than their ultra-slow credit card line and slow cash line. For people who purchased tickets in advance and are just showing a QR code, it shouldn’t take that long to check in.

I wouldn’t say it was understaffed because you could see staff everywhere… but the staff was largely useless. They were negligent on managing the lines and didn’t do anything about line skippers despite people calling for them at each maze—and I’m talking about groups of people all skipping lines.

Booger Woods was essentially a complete stand-still from the point of being dropped off at the hayride stop to about 60% through the woods… all because of that awful bottleneck part where people have to crawl through that tunnel. Then you get people who are “too scared” and stop walking in the mazes just to scream and say how scared they are and they’re not removed by staff. Seriously, we stood inside one of the houses with dozens of people unable to move forward or move backward for maybe 10 minutes. If someone lit a match or tried to smoke and something caught fire, there would have been dozens of us burnt to a crisp in today’s news. It took us an hour and a half to just get through the whole thing and back to the hayride to take us back.

I’ve been there for years on end with it as busy as it was last night and never had issues like that. It’s like the staff just gave up and let teenagers run the place.

One thing they’re deadly serious about there? No ReFUnDs!

Red Vein [eta: at Hanover Vegetable Farm], on the other hand, was a 10/10 experience and they get better each year. Easily worth the same price as Ashland Berry Farm. We were in and out of the whole thing in 15 minutes.


knf262 t1_ith2w0f wrote

Is red vein the one out Ashland/Ashcake road?


fusion260 t1_ithe4gt wrote

Yes! They're hosted by Hanover Vegetable Farm at 13580 Ashland Rd.

They do a great job at managing the parking lot, check-in/ticket purchasing, and keeping the lines compartmentalized. This year, they're doing timed groups where they hold people who arrive earlier than the next available (or pre-purchased) window back at the main waiting area where there is live music and food trucks and seating. Then the short walk to the Red Vein experience queue is pretty orderly and the staff stays on top of monitoring it for line skippers; they say they won't hesitate to toss line skippers but I haven't seen anyone try to do it because the queue moves pretty smoothly.

The VIP (basically fast pass upgrade) for Red Vein isn't necessarily something you need to do to enjoy it. At most, you might be waiting 30-45 minutes in the main queue before you enter. From there, it's a pretty straightforward walk with one mid-experience queuing point where they break people up into smaller groups before they enter the church portion of the experience.

It's kinda sad... I've done Ashland Berry Farm annually (usually 2-3 trips with different friends) each October—except for 2020 and 2021—and this year was just shockingly poorly managed and maintained... the condition of the mazes are clearly showing they're in desperate need of a complete rebuild. I'm glad I wore gloves because several plywood/particle board panels and railings at Ashland Berry Farm were splintery and some had exposed nail/screw heads. Also, their unexpected ramps up and down in pitch black portions are pretty damned hazardous!


PickanickBasket t1_ithoq8n wrote

We drove all the way to Haunted Hunt Club Farm and back last night. It was a beautifully done series of haunts, with overcrowded and poorly timed line management. Sat in line in the car to get in the gate for an hour with line cutters rampant, and bunched up crowds through the attractions that ruined the moments and made us feel rushed. Glad we finally went but don't think I'll go again next year. Thanks for the info on Ashlandberry and Red Vein. Are there any other nearby haunts/events you like?


fusion260 t1_ithzb8m wrote

Looks like I need to check out Haunted Hunt Club Farm then! (I can deal with poorly-timed line management as long as it wasn't the negligent line management at last night's Ashland Berry Farm's Booger Woods.)

Other than Terror on the Woods (at ABF) and Red Vein (at HVF), I generally stick to Kings Dominion's Halloween Haunt and Busch Gardens' Howl-o-Scream events. Both are very serviceable outings with variably-acceptable levels of enjoyment. Run of the mill mazes with dueling levels of tragically-few actors in a maze or quality scares from experienced actors.

I'd been meaning to look into Creepy Hollow Scream Park near Hanover Vegetable Farm, though.


firemummy t1_itis4aj wrote

Jeez, that sound fucking awful. And you know they made bank.