One of my absolute favorite Central Florida haunts, A Petrified Forest is back with three terrifying scare trails, live entertainment, a selection of local food and merchandise vendors, and more. Running select evenings from now until October 29, this year’s event explores the horrors of the land, sea, and sky!
We were SO THRILLED to attend A Petrified Forest’s opening night. With impressively detailed sets, breathtaking special effects, talented performers, and frightful storytelling; this year’s event is unquestionably incredible. I cannot wait to tell you all about my experience. But first I want to give a huge THANK YOU to A Petrified Forest for inviting us out!
A Petrified Forest: Nature’s Fury
This year’s theme, Nature’s Fury, centers on the story of Mother Nature and her fierce protection over the three natural realms: land, sea, and sky.
Old as time itself, known by different names in every culture, she is the guardian of the land, sea, and sky. Eons ago she put safeguards in place to protect her three realms. She hid one stone fathoms below in a dark and treacherous ocean. Another was buried deep underground in the thickest, most perilous jungle. The last was concealed out of reach, way up in the sky among the stars. If the three stones are left undisturbed all will be well and kept in harmony, but the insolence of mankind has gone beyond her forethought. Now that her three stones have been disrupted, she is turning rotten and cruel, and her murderous wrath is coming for all!
Beware! For it’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature!
Each of the three trails (Extinction’s Revenge, Wretched Waters, and Invasion From Beyond) focuses on a different piece of this overall story. Extinction’s Revenge drops guests into a forgotten jungle to discover larger-than-life beasts and landscapes. Wretched Waters plunges curious visitors into the darkest parts of the ocean, inhabited by both mystical and realistic sea creatures. And finally, Invasion From Beyond investigates the ensuing brutal chaos after a strange (and potentially alien) artifact accidentally falls to Earth.
A Petrified Forest: Nature’s Fury – Scare Trails
The centerpiece of A Petrified Forest’s event, the trails offer three distinct stories, environments, and sets of scare tactics. I won’t be giving away any spoilers, but I do want to share my overall thoughts on each of these incredible attractions:
Dr. Douglas Indegroun made a name for himself in archeology but by unsavory means. Grave robbing, and desecrating tombs leads to carnage. His greed gets him his just desserts as extinct creatures come back to life. Foul beasts and forgotten peoples revive from their resting places and tombs. Possessing him with their rage the Dr. kills his interns and anyone in his path. Can you navigate your way out before falling victim to the horrors of Extinction’s Revenge!
Taking place in an untamed jungle, this trail begins by literally putting you inside a divided box (pictured below). Climb into one of the box’s individual compartments, only to be closed in near total darkness for the journey ahead. Performers will push you into the ominous mineshaft and into the interior of the haunted trail. Once released from the confines of your shadowy transport, you will be completely immersed in a creepy cavern waiting to be explored!
Of the three trails, I found this one to be the most picturesque with lots of interesting landscaping and fascinating creatures. Using a combination of A Petrified Forest’s natural surroundings and expertly executed special effects, this trail gave an unsettling combination of supernatural vibes and familiar environments. Extinction’s Revenge also featured a nice variety of scenery styles and organic trail levels. It all worked together to create an incredibly creepy experience, and I loved it!
We’ve all heard the tales and haunting sea shanties. Undersea cities and submerged bodies waiting in the depths below. Petty Chief Ridgeway has encountered many. Plundering in places he shouldn’t, he has caused the ultimate disturbance. Now all underwater horrors are murderous and enraged. Waiting to drag you down into the Wretched Waters!
Starting your journey in an old fishing shack, this trail is quick to plunge into deep and troubled waters. Without giving too much away, I will say that I was incredibly impressed with A Petrified Forest’s ability to effectively illustrate our descent into the sea. I very keenly felt myself sink from just under the water’s surface to the incredible depths of the ocean floor. The visual cues and artistic set design are not to be missed!
Another quick note: I’m generally a big fan of water-themed houses, and I ADORED all of the various creatures (both realistic and mystical) I met on this trail!
Invasion From Beyond
A battle has come to earth! All manner of various alien races have descended to our planet and mankind is caught in the crossfire. Satellites and space junk knocked an artifact to earth and vicious extra terrestrials have come to claim it for their own. Amidst the chaos some invaders take the opportunity to conduct their vile experiments on humans. Will you be taken in this Invasion from Beyond?
With an impressive array of technical and digital effects, this house is simply marvelous! Even though the trail is literally located in the middle of the woods, I seemed to be effortlessly transported between earthly surroundings and otherworldly environments. Every scene looked AMAZING!
Beyond the effects and scenery, however, the actors in this maze were especially talented at improvisation. Engaging with both guests and each other, their ad-libbed interactions added to the story’s overall immersion.
A Petrified Forest: Nature’s Fury – Land, Sea, and Sky
Wow! I ADORED all of these scare trails so much that it is truly impossible to pick a favorite. Each haunt included distinct themes, environments, and storytelling elements that created three very unique experiences. And in addition to the superb sets and special effects, these trails had scares! In fact, A Petrified Forest executed some of the most successful jump scares I’ve seen this spooky season. They got me so many times!
Common Area Entertainment
But the fun doesn’t stop at the trails. Between scares check out the entertainment, refreshments, and merchandise in A Petrified Forest’s common area. Throughout this central courtyard, you’ll find walkaround performers, a live DJ and dance floor, as well as locally sourced vendors!
A Petrified Forest hosts a variety of themed events throughout its run. Let’s take a look at these specialty days and nights:
Total Eclipse Nights
If you’re looking for a few extra thrills and scares, consider coming out for A Petrified Forest’s Total Eclipse Nights. Occurring Wednesdays October 19 and 26, these evenings will feature much more intense versions of the scare trails. With the lights off and apprehension high, you will wander the haunt with only a glow stick to guide your path. But wait! A Petrified Forest’s many monsters are eager to steal your light away from you, and they will use almost any means necessary. Warning: The creatures can and will touch you!
Make-A-Wish Kids’ Day
On Saturday, October 15, bring your little one for some daytime fun in the forest! From 9am-12pm, kids can enjoy a trick-or-treat trail, bounce house, games, prizes, a costume parade, and more. And at only $5 per ticket, Make-A-Wish Kids’ Day offers affordable fun for the whole family. All proceeds from this event will benefit the local chapter of Make-A-Wish.
Special Needs Night
Exclusively for those needing a bit of extra time to navigate A Petrified Forest’s trails, Special Needs Night is an evening of fun, acceptance, and extra helping hands. If you or a loved one has mobility issues or other challenges and would like to attend, please contact the attraction directly. Special Needs Night is Wednesday, October 12.
Getting Your Tickets
Tickets for general admission evenings, Total Eclipse Nights, and Make-A-Wish Kids’ Day can be purchased on A Petrified Forest’s website.
Freaky Thoughts: A Petrified Forest
I seriously cannot recommend A Petrified Forest enough! Each trail features an immersive story, customized effects, nightmare-inducing costumes, energetic performers, detailed sets, and amazing scares! I ADORED each one, and I cannot wait to go back. DO NOT MISS A Petrified Forest: Nature’s Fury!