NCHaunts FrightSeekers

The Haunted => Member Reviews - 2014 => Topic started by: Badger on October 14, 2014, 10:00:11 AM

Title: Madworld - Piedmont SC
Post by: Badger on October 14, 2014, 10:00:11 AM
Attended: 10/11/14

Scare factor: 3.75/5 - Madworld is sitting right off I-85 in Piedmont SC.  You can see it pretty clearly and when they fire off their big plume of fire, it makes for a spectacular view from the highway.  You have to take a small access road to get there and it is a bit creepy.  We actually got there right at closing time but there were still many people waiting to go through.  You could hear screams and spooky noises emanating from their compound which made it just frightening enough to make some people nervous as they approached.  There were plenty of characters wandering about the midway creating mayhem and terrifying patrons.  The majority of the haunt is not visible from the entrance so that also does a bit to enhance the uneasiness.  Madworld has a haunt/trail combination and their "Outbreak" zombie shoot.  You can buy a ticket for either one or both.

Actors: 4.25/5 - This is my second year at Madworld and frankly I was impressed.  Last year I went through the haunt during their 'Lights Out' event and while it was scary enough, the actors were too hidden in the shadows to be that effective.  This year, in all their lighted glory, the actors really had a chance to shine.  There was a good bit of interaction with several characters who were obviously there to control throughput but they were amazing.  Pay special attention to the hotel owner's wife.  She was great. Over at the "Outbreak" event, all the actors were in character the entire time and it made for a dramatic and enjoyable experience.  The zombies were also more realistic and terrifying than any others I've seen in a long time.

Set design/Props/FX: 4/5 - Again, last year I wasn't able to see much due to attending their lights out event so it was a treat to go though and see all the cool stuff they had inside.  When I talked to one of the owners at a convention over the summer, they talked about spending much more money on props and scenes at the tradeshows over the past year and it shows.  For a series of rooms and hallways, they do a great job of creating a spooky mood and the attention to detail is very nice.  There are stretches where things are a bit scarce, but it only serves to raise the tension that 'something' may be lurking out there.   The white-out room is really really cool, as well as the hotel.  The zombie shoot is both simple yet terrifying as it consists of very narrow passages that make you think you're going deeper into the labyrinth.  Great effect.  one of the owners took great pride is showing off some of his new stuff, including new chainsaws.

Length: 4.75/5 - Took about 45 minutes to go through both.  No complaints.

Value: 3/5 For $20 you can go through just the main attraction.  For $28 you can go through the main attraction plus the "Outbreak" zombie shoot.   For $45 you can go through their main attraction and zombie shoot, plus VIP Access - No waiting in lines at both attractions (Scream Pass).  The Scream Pass is expensive, but is completely worth it in high season where lines could last 90 minutes.  the food looked good, but we did not sample any so I don't have prices.

Overall: 3.95/5 - FREE PARKING!  Very easy access off I-85 (one minute off Exit 35).  Some great looking food vendors and large merch booth.  Two separate haunted attractions. Some genuinely creepy characters roaming the midway and throughout, and it makes for a great evening.  I talked to the owners after I went through and they make no bones about it.  They want to be one of the BEST haunts in the country, not just the Upstate, SC or the South.  They are committed to making Madworld one of the most frightening haunts you'll ever visit.  They aren't there yet, but it won't be long before they're a major player in the industry. I highly recommend you check them out this season.

Title: Re: Madworld - Piedmont SC
Post by: hauntednorcak on October 14, 2014, 10:28:53 AM
Sounds awesome, might need to check it out.

Title: Re: Madworld - Piedmont SC
Post by: ngbomb2872 on October 14, 2014, 07:16:42 PM
Interesting, I may check it out as well.  I have some catching up to do this season.  I'm going to Universal tomorrow, but when I return after the weekend it's going to be non-stop!

Title: Re: Madworld - Piedmont SC
Post by: 13moons on October 15, 2014, 08:42:43 AM
Visited Saturday, October 11, 2014   

Scare factor: 4/5 -  Madworld is a destination haunt. The midway is fashioned well for basking in tricks and treats: heavy metal sound pours into the gated area guarded by gargoyles and shooting flames; high art characters stalk about the queue; solid structures offer tickets, souvenirs, and deep fried oreoes. There's even a big bonfire area with a large video screen. Staff are dressed in bright red shirts and kakis donning those earbob thingies looking all professional and talking to guests. The queue line for the trail is a bit stuffy; too bad it's not elongated or moved over to wind through the bonfire area.  Operations are primo but the operation itself is still developing its game. Most of the trail is connected now with creep. New interactive additions are way fun and disorienting.  Still some cheapo materials and outdated sets that need Madworld's own touch to be in alignment with expectations set in the midway to truly rise to the top.  But, it's scary; it's fun; it's two adventures in one venue: a packed trail and a fast-paced zombie shoot.

Actors: 3/5 - Actors in the midway are top grade but show actors not as fancy. The acting, however, was well-played. Talking roles were polished, although sometimes rigid. Increasing ad-lib comfort with the group would seem less contrived. There's not a real sense of actor culture overall but the acting troop could be cultivated into greatness like the operations appear to be. In the zombie shoot, there's a sense of cohesion from actors that's missing in the trail. Actors need a sense of personal scare ownership.

Set design/props/FX: 4/5 - There's an impressive array of sights, scenes and variety of haunt ambiance using great sets, lights, fog, and interactive props. The elevator was a hoot! If you have smells in there it worked, or our group just got lucky someone grabbed taco bell before having their stomach violently rattled in there. The sound is so big in the midway that places it's missing in the trail stand out. Real loud heavy metal or other freakish ambiant noise would amp up the thrill in the Shoot, too. This year, the Shoot was less eerie and the layout was confusing.  Guides as adventure props in here could focus on the game rather than being Garmins. My weapon pooped out on me three times. I'm still waiting for the best zombie shoot ever and Madworld opened my eyes to this amazing possibility in 2013.
Length: 4.75/5 - The trail took about 25 minutes and had a good flow. The zombie shoot was about 10 minutes, several of which we spent double-backing because we went the wrong way.
Value: 4.5/5 -   $20 for the trail, the main attraction (Nightmares). $28 includes Nightmares plus Outbreak, the Zombie attraction. There's a VIP for $45 you get both plus no waiting in lines at both attractions (Scream Pass). Although we had VIP access, it looked worth it because the line looked super long and slow.  However, I would like to see a VIP option for Nightmares only. Some people don't like zombie shoots unless they Really Work.

Overall: 4/5 -  This is the best haunt in the Upstate as a destination haunt. This means you guys are setting the bar for yourselves and for your "competition" to differentiate your burgeoning Upstate haunt offerings.  This also means you get "graded harder" because people expect you to deliver the goods and deliver them exceptionally well, including best class customer service.  In 2014, I saw a tremendous improvement in the Nightmares trail adventure.  But, once you set the bar for outstanding,  I want to get outstanding.  The zombie shoot needs love or take it out and expand the trail in 2015. Madworld is taking the cake in the Upstate.  It's a thrillseeker's, high octane, frightening good time for first timers and the Picky haunt goer - even though I have a personal issue with zombie shoots (will someone please do this right?), you'll regret not having this experience.