After that, we lost chebutykin, cajones, michaellee and frozendragon (off to see a different show), so the remaining crew headed down to Trail of Terror.
This is where things started to go downhill.
First, the TOT parking lot is in the process of being excavated, so we ended up having to park in the lot for the Rennaisance Festival and taking a shuttle bus up to a place on the road kinda-sorta near the TOT campus and walking down to the front gate.
Once we got there, I discovered that the tickets that I had pre-purchased on the internet had to be traded in for the "real" tickets thus completely blowing the advantage of pre-purchasing online. Completely asinine idea.
Once we got in, we saw the massive crowd standing at the Haunted House barn, so we decided to hit the hayride line first.
The hayride line was over an hour. The only thing that made it barely tolerable was the company, and the humor involved with davedujour catching a group of line-jumpers and telling them to get back to the end of the line.
Asshole line-jumpers and drunk teenage assholes were a theme. Most likely this was contributory to the amount of time we spent in line.
Finally onto the hayride. Ran into sybildiscontent as a hot cow as we were getting on the trailer, who made me laugh. The hayride was... well, it seemed sort of half-hearted this year, though I think I may have been sitting facing the wrong side. And it was way too short for the amount of time spent in line.
By the time we were done with the hayride, it was well past 11:00, and the haunted house line had diminshed somewhat so we hopped into the queue and stood and waited even more. Not as bad, probably a half-hour, and then we got inside.
I've always liked the TOT haunted house in previous years. This year it was actually boring. There was very little in the way of cool things, and it was almost entirely walking through a bunch of dark hallways. Years past I've gone through multiple times just to catch all the cool scenes; this year I had no urge to do a second run.
So we tried for redemption with the trailers, hoping that maybe there was something there.
In a word, nope. We left, and started the trudge back up the hill to the shuttle bus (which was possibly the scariest ride of all), and finally found the 'Sploder. Dropped off the Mannas and Artemis, and headed out to a late dinner at the Uptown with davedujour and scotia_girl.
All in all, I have my doubts about the Trail of Terror. There are way too many people for the amount of attractions (doubling the size would be about right), and the passion was really missing this year. It's reminiscent of what happened to Spookyworld, with the long slow slide into oblivion. To be fair, there were a few actors who were having some good interaction, but the majority that I came across were just not into it at all, and seemed bored.
The Saturday haunt I ended up canceling because after working on the outside all day and all that freaking walking and standing, I was in some amount of pain, and after hearing that the wait times for Edgecombe Manor itself was three hours, I just wasn't up for it at all. Maybe next weekend, but probably not.