We absolutely love Nightmare's Gate... the "went two times each of the last two seasons" kind of love; but this was their first year in their new location, and they are definitely experiencing moving/growing pains.
They only had about 4 months to completely rebuild their incredible haunt. We are impressed by what they were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time but also disappointed; because, understandably so, the sets just weren't up to their usual par.
We missed the iconic rooms and features of Nightmare's Gate (the tunnel - tried but not quite, the gas chamber, the crawling, the indoor/outdoor transitions) but, again, limited time and new space. We hope they are able to get these incorporated again next year. We were excited to see some completely new rooms and themes. They are really pushing the boundaries from more than just scary to downright disturbing.
The new location brings with it some improvements and also challenges. They have sooooo much more square footage to work with which is awesome (the more Nightmare's Gate the better!) but this is also a challenge for a haunt whose signature features embraced super small, enclosed spaces. This extra space includes high ceilings that are going to require some extra builds and lighting adjustments. They have already begun to take advantage of the ability to be multi-level, and we absolutely cannot wait to see how far they are going to run with that new potential.
Anything that was lacking in set design was made up for by the actors. Boy, do they have a dedicated crew! Crawling, contorting, climbing, jumping, in-your-face acting! These guys went all in, and we love them for it! There were a couple interactions that felt like they went on a little longer than they should have but were still enjoyable.
Their original location was in more of a natural setting while this new location is attached to a bowling alley. More exposure and visibility... awesome! Less authentic locale... sad. We sure are going to miss the old spot, but hope this new location brings with it a new crowd. Maybe people who have never experienced a haunt before will be encouraged to give it a try.
Overall, the 2018 season Nightmare's Gate is a good haunt worth seeing, but not great. We trust in their vision and know that the 2019 season will bring greatness. If you are a frequent visitor of Nightmare's Gate go visit the new location and support them. If you've never been, check them out and just know that next Halloween they will be even better!