LAND OF ILLUSION SCREAM PARK REVIEW

Land of Illusion Scream Park (Middletown, OH)
“25 Years of Fear”
By Noah Wullkotte: jollypumpkin@aol.com

Land of Illusion celebrates their 25th year of fun and fright. I can remember when it was just a haunted trail known as Middletown Haunted Trail. But slowly over the years it got bigger and better and would eventually move. It was Middletown’s Triple Fright at one point and included Middletown Haunted Trail, Temple of Terror and Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate. Fast forward to 2021 and what was once a simple haunt has become a large Scream Park known as Land of Illusion. A lot has changed in 25 years.

Land of Illusion consists of Middletown Haunted Trail, Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate, Temple of Terror, Killer Kowns, Phobia, Big Mama’s Revenge and Mystery Mansion. Middletown Haunted Trail is one of the best haunted trails in the state of Ohio. It’s a classic to say the least. This is a haunt that doesn’t follow a specific theme, but that’s alright because this makes it more unpredictable. It’s a haunt with lots of variety and we really appreciate that. You’ll explore areas such as the nuclear wasteland, Cherry Hill, Area 49, hillbilly shanty town, Hell, a spooky graveyard, haunted schoolhouse and much more. One of our favorite scenes is Area 49 where you’ll come in contact with alien like creatures rising from the murky waters as sirens blare and gun shots can be heard. You’ll meet iconic horror movie villains like Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger.

There’s plenty of delicious eye candy at Middletown Haunted Trail from an animated headless horseman to giant pumpkins in the pumpkin patch. Total tour time was 20 minutes, but could be longer depending on how fast or slow you run from the various chainsaw maniacs. The acting was some of the best we’ve seen in years at Land of Illusion.

Big Mama’s Revenge is a traditional dark maze. City Blood is notoriously bad at mazes and we were lucky to make it out alive. How long you’re stuck inside depends on how well you navigate in the dark. This was our least favorite haunt at Land of Illusion since there isn’t much to it besides darkness. It took us nearly 15 minutes to escape.

Mystery Mansion is a Dark Ride from the 1960’s that’s appropriate for children of all ages. It’s like stepping back in a time machine from days gone by. It’s not necessarily scary, but it’s a great way to reset and wind down before taking off to explore the much more intense attractions at Land of Illusion. The best part are the various paintings and flashing lights that decorate the outside of Mystery Mansion. It gives Land of Illusion a carnival feel to it.

Mystery Mansion is a classic Dark Ride from the 1960s.

The best way to describe Temple of Terror is if Indiana Jones and The Mummy had a baby, this attraction would pop out. Temple of Terror is a dark and mysterious haunt with many surprises along the way. Your adventure begins inside a mine shaft elevator that violently shakes. Hold on to your butt or you might fall down. Scenes include a vampire cave, deadly rain forest, dark corridors and much more. Temple of Terror is full of animatronics with everything from animated zombies to a 13 foot Impaler monster. Watch your head in the rain forest as a ghoul can be seen flying in the air. Total tour time was 9 minutes.

Phobia is one of the newer haunts at Land of Illusion. If you have a specific fear then Phobia probably has a scene for it. The fear of the dark, roaches, spiders, the number 13 and more can be experienced at Phobia. Much of the haunt consists of darkness with various scenes mixed in. Total tour time is 8 minutes.

Killer Klowns is a very colorful haunt with various paintings that decorate the walls. It truly feels like a twisted carnival fun house with some vicious clowns that want to tear you to bits. You’ll explore areas like the chain maze where you better pray to God that you’ll make it out in one piece. Choose your destiny wisely. Become part of a massive pinball game and enjoy a little bowling in the bowling alley. Massive bowling pins block the path. We appreciated the little touches here and there like the cotton candy cocoons. There’s no need for 3D Glasses at Killer Klowns since the artwork is downright gorgeous and comes alive without any help. Total tour time was 9 minutes.

Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate is one of the oldest haunts at Land of Illusion and one of the best. This attraction combines elements of a haunted trail and a haunted house. It’s the second best attraction at the park. Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estates most closely resembles a traditional haunted house which is great. You’ll explore rooms such as the butcher shop, cemetery, crematorium with real fire, doll room, a confrontation with Dr. Psycho himself and much more. This is a haunt with tons of eye candy and plenty of jump scares. We always enjoy Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate. Total tour time was around 10 minutes.

Every season we’re just blown away by all that Land of Illusion has to offer. If you want a bite to eat then there’s no need to worry. There are a plethora of vendors throughout the park. The Creepy Cafe offers hot dogs, nachos, pizza and more. They even have Dippin Dots. If you’re in the mood for a sweet treat then you can enjoy yourself a funnel cake or Little Orbitz Donuts. It’s $6 for a dozen or $15 for three dozen. We got the powdered donuts and boy were they good. If you just want to sit back with a cold one then check out the VooDoo Lounge where you can get yourself a beer or mixed drink. This season they’re offering a cocktail called Frankie’s Mint which is made with Creme De Menth, Creme De Cocoa, and a splash of milk.

Remember the good times you had by picking up a Land of Illusion T-Shirt or Hoodie at the Ghostly Gift Shop. They’ve got ornaments, cups, crafts and lots more. Throughout the season, different acts perform at the Stage of Rage and if it’s cold out then you’re in luck. There’s a massive bonfire that helps with those chilly Fall nights. Music videos play on the movie screen. Cincinnati Circus can be seen performing throughout the haunt season. Safety is a top priority for Land of Illusion and this season you’ll be checked for any weapons you might have. There are various photo op stations throughout the park and you’ll get your photo taken at certain haunts. Don’t forget to pick up your photos.

Land of Illusion is one of our favorite destinations for fun and fright. Every season they make major improvements to the facility and offer something brand new for us to explore. It wouldn’t be the haunt season without taking a trip out to Land of Illusion Scream Park. General admission is $50, Friday or Saturday Fast Pass is $75, single attraction admission is $25, Season Pass $99, Haunt Family of Four Season Pass $299 and Haunt VIP Season Pass is $199. Parking is $5. Don’t forget to check out the Aqua Adventures during the Summer and Christmas Glow during the holiday season.

Please Note: Length was determined by averaging the total tour time for each attraction.

Length-7 Design-9 Props/Animatronics-9 Acting-8 Scare Effect-8

Final Stab: 8.2
www.landofillusion.com