Type: Hayride/Corn Maze
Full Contact Option: No
Hayrides feel like a staple of the Halloween season, but somehow end up in the minority of haunted attractions. I recall growing up and always seeing the Field of Screams at the local Polo fields during the off season, but I never had a chance to go. It seemed like a thrilling experience, and one that I would have likely enjoyed more at an age when scares were more potent. These days, I just sort of enjoy the tractor ride, while the scares are just sort of…there.
While solo rides do exist in a handful of places, most places merge the hayride with a more traditional haunt/trail as sort of a combo deal. Scary Acres employs this approach on the vast property of Confreda Farms. During the day, there are some farm attractions mostly geared for kids and families, but nighttime opens up the perimeter where the tractor visits a number of set pieces filled with actors. In between the sets, car horns and other jump scares keep the journey lively. While half of the visuals are from afar, actors will often jump on board and get close, and even after moving on, they can follow for some time afterwards.
Most of the hayride consists of this stop and start where action happens for a moment, and then it moves on. After a trip around the edge of the farm, you are dropped off in the center where numbered gates help queue up the next round for the corn maze. The maze is non-branching, so it’s more of a trail mixed in with a few pseudo-indoor structures ranging from abandoned homes to slaughter houses to snake dens. Actors stalk you from the stalks, and hang around the buildings as you progress. New this year is a third attraction set around a swamp, but I haven’t had a chance to check that out yet.
Once you’re done, there is an area set up with traveling rides and concessions to keep the mood going. It’s sort of like a night-time county fair without the animals and tractor pulls. Since the parking lot tends to get full, we usually end up leaving after the proper attractions in order to make room.
Overall, it’s a fun location that combines a few different types of haunts for a price that is reasonable for the two (three now). Since hayrides are usually paired with something else, the tickets for places like Legends of Fear and Witch’s Woods tend to reflect this and end up on the high side. It’s nice to have a more moderate option.
Actors roams around the lines as you wait, and the carnival lights across the way keep the atmosphere from being stale. The corn trail is adequately dim and suspenseful, but the hayride needs to be enjoyed on its own merits. The separation between the tractor and sets cane sometimes feel a bit distance, but most hayrides have this issue almost like you're on a rail shooter.
Dual attractions can sometimes opt for dual prices, but at $30 it remains only on the higher end of the median range, which is good for the ride and walk. I imagine with the third attraction around the swamp, this admission holds a bit more value too.
The hayride actors sometimes jump on board, but they can only stare at you and get in your face. Sometimes they run after the tractor, but that level of separation creates a divide. The corn trail works better in this regard. The queue line actors, in my experience, opted for the rude and abrasive appoach rather than being silent and menacing. Rude clowns just aren't up my alley, so I can't say I was a fan. But mileage will vary based on who is there on a given night.