7 Reasons Why You Must Attend Knott’s Scary Farm this Halloween

It’s been over 10 years since I have stepped foot in Knott’s Berry Farm, 10 years too long! I have fond memories of coming here as a kid. I would stay up all night with knots (or should I say Knott’s) in my stomach from the anticipation of riding Montezuma’s Revenge and going upside down on Boomerang. I remember mining for gold, trying boysenberries for the first time and meeting Snoopy. Everything I just wrote reminds me of how much I love Knott’s Berry Farm so you can imagine my excitement when I received an invitation to attend their  media night last Thursday for Knott’s Scary Farm. It’s described as the largest and most terrifying Halloween event in Southern California with 11 mazes, 1000 monsters, 2 shows and 13 thrill rides. I invited my friend Jen from San Diego to come with me. We drove to Orange County (Buena Park) and arrived to the media check in at 6:30pm and received a press kit with goodies that included a schedule of activities, tarot cards and a special skeleton key that granted us access to special rooms in many of the mazes. Keep reading to find out about my frightening experience at Knott’s along with 7 reasons why Knott’s Scary Farm is the Halloween attraction you don’t want to miss.

Knott's Scary Farm Media Kit 2015

After checking in, we entered the park and were immediately greeted by scary creatures roaming around  in costume. I knew I had to be prepared for monsters jumping out at me all night! This leads me to reason number 1 to attend Knott’s Scary Farm:

1. You will be spooked during your entire visit!- That’s right, everywhere you turn will have a scary surprise!

Knott's Scary Farm Monsters

We made out way  to the media reception and I was happy to run into many of my Orange County and LA social media friends who I don’t get to see often. It was great catching up with everyone while enjoying delicious and scary treats including the famous boysenberry pie and Frankenstein desserts! I am blessed to be connected with so many smart and successful leaders in the social media and tech community online. Social media allows me to keep up with everyone’s day to day lives so when I see a social media friend in person, we take off right where we left off, which is from our last Tweet. Reason number 2 to attend Knott’s Scary Farm:

2. The sweet treats!- The media reception was filled with special Halloween treats like the Frankenstein and skull shaped chocolates filled with berries and cream. I am not sure if they sell these around the park but I do know they always have an abundance of berry pie and funnel cake! While I promote healthy eating, I also believe in balance and splurging once in a while.

Knott's Scary Farm Media Reception 2015

Media Reception Knott's Scary Farm

After the reception we headed out to explore. At first I wasn’t sure what to expect at a Knott’s Scary Farm maze but I soon realized why there was so much hype around them and why mazes are another reason why you need to attend Knott’s Scary Farm!

3. Knott’s Scary Farm Mazes– I would describe each maze as a themed haunted house. Usually when you visit a haunted house, you wait in line, walk in the house, come out alive (hopefully) and then it’s over. Well Knott’s Scary Farm has 11 different mazes! Each one has it’s own theme. The theme decorations really add an extra element of fun. Each room is carefully thought out and designed according to the theme. My favorite mazes were Trick or Treat, The Tooth Fairy and Voodoo. The lines get quite long so I highly recommend getting the Fright Lane with Skeleton Key package.

Knott's Scary Farm Maze

4. Fright Lane with Skeleton Key- Purchasing this add on with your ticket will make your Knott’s Scary Farm experience more enjoyable. The Fright Lane pass allows you to skip the line and go straight to the front of each maze. The Skeleton Key gives you access to 5 bonus rooms that are found in some of the mazes. The bonus rooms may include someone telling you more of the story about that particular maze, a cool decoration or extra monster.

Knott's Scary Farm Fright Lane with Skeleton Key package.

I have always enjoyed watching shows at theme parks because it gives me a chance to take a break from walking around but at the same time I’m still being entertained. Knott’s Scary Fam featured 2 shows,  Elvira’s Asylum and The Hanging. I was able to catch Elvira’s show and highly recommend it as another reason you must attend Knott’ Scary Farm!

5. Watch the legendary Elvira– Mistress of the Dark – Elvira’s Asylum has everything from comic relief, acrobats, dancing, singing and much more! You will want arrive to the show early to grab a good seat!

Elvira at Knott's Scary Farm

My favorite part of attending a theme park is the rides! The first one  we went on is my favorite of all time, Montezuma’s Revenge!  I also rode Pony Express, Jaguar, Supreme Scream, Sierra Sidewinder and the scariest looking ride of all, Xcelerator! This was my first time attending a Halloween event with so many thrill rides, and it definitely adds another element to my list of why Knott’ Scary Farm is a must!

6. Thrill Rides- There are 13 thrill rides you can enjoy as part of your Knott’s Scarm Farm adventure. The lines for the rides weren’t more than 20-30 minutes, many of them did not even have a wait. I am not sure if this will be the case for the rest of the season, but since most people are checking out the mazes, this might be your chance to hop on a few more rides. Being on the rides at night definitely makes them scarier!

Knott's Scary Farm Xcelerator

My last reason for attending Knott’s Scary Farm is one I didn’t actually get to experience. Even with having a reserved time, the line was so long that we decided to skip it. However, from the looks of how popular it was, I definitely want to mention it.

7. Special Ops: Infected- Patient Zero– This is an interactive laser tag experience where you will fight off zombies! I recommend reserving a time in advance to do this since it had the longest line of anything  I saw at Knott’s Scary Farm.

The park stayed open until 1am. If you get in a ride line before 1am, they still allow you to ride it. We stayed the entire time and closed the place down! This was by far the best Halloween event I have ever attended. It was unique because of every reason I listed above and the fact that Knott’s Scary farm is able to combine so many elements into one amazing experience truly deserves them praise and a visit this Halloween season! I can’t wait to come back to Knott’s. Feel free to share with me your favorite attractions at Knott’s Scary Farm and have a wonderful Halloween! You can get tickets and more information HERE.

Knott's Scary Farm Moments with Marketing Melodie

*Xcelerrator Roller Coaster Photo from: Bucket List Productions

Celebrate 100 Years of Balboa Park with Marketing Melodie at the Taste of Asia

Balboa Park is one of my favorite places in the world. This year Balboa Park is 100 years old and they’re having a big centennial celebration that’s still going on! Here’s a little history for you: 100 years ago, in honor of the completion of the Panama Canal, the people of San Diego came together to host a phenomenal party. A year-long event to celebrate innovation, architecture, culture, and the natural beauty of the city of San Diego, the first US Port of Call in the Pacific.

Balboa Park by Marketing Melodie

Now, 100 years later, the celebration is happening all over again! There have been special events all year-long celebrating the art, science, and culture, of Balboa Park. That’s right, a year of breathtaking performances, awe-inspiring exhibitions, and historical experiences that showcases how San Diego has grown, and how Balboa Park has evolved over the last century. If you haven’t been to Balboa Park yet to celebrate this milestone, you have plenty of opportunities. I would like to invite you to join me for the Taste of Asia, a free event that is part of the centennial celebration. The event is at the International Cottages on Saturday September 26th, 12-5pm and Sunday September 27th, 12-5pm. 

Taste of Asia Food Photos

I am the Master of Ceremonies (Emcee) for the entire weekend and I couldn’t be more thrilled for this opportunity. I get to help celebrate 100 years of history at my favorite place while highlighting Asian culture and food. Serving as the Master of Ceremonies for events is a newer service I started offering through my marketing business and I’m so glad I decided do this. It’s a challenging job (any speaking job is!) but also very rewarding because I get to highlight the success and hard work of so many different people and organizations.

Marketing Melodie as Emcee for Sea World's Lunar New Year Celebration, February 2015

Marketing Melodie as Emcee for Sea World’s Lunar New Year Celebration, February 2015

Taste of Asia is a cooperative effort of the Houses of China, India, Korea and the Philippines along with community partners.

Taste highlights:

  • Chinese beef noodle soup, shaved ice and boba drinks
  • Filipino lumpia, pancit and fruit drinks
  • Indian samosa, curries and tea
  • Korean Bibimbap (Saturday only)

Entertainment:  While satisfying your taste buds, you’ll see performances from Chinese pipa lute music, lion dancers; Korean dance, drum and song; Indian classical and Bollywood dances; PASACAT to perform traditionally based Philippine dance and music; Chinese tai chi and erhu music, Xiamen University performers and cooking demos by the Dean of East Eat College and Taiko drummers.

Bring the whole family! There will be crafts including free Children’s lanterns; Indian henna; Korean Coloring Dancheong Fans and get your name written in Chinese!

Taste of Asia with Marketing Melodie Flyer

Please let me know if you plan to attend and make sure you come say hello! I will be near the entertainment stage at the International Cottages. I look forward to seeing you to celebrate 100 years of Balboa Park while eating delicious Asian food. You can find more events to celebrate Balboa Park’s milestone, HERE.

If you’re interested in hiring me to emcee your next event, you can contact me directly and find out more information on my Speaking Page.

Help Keep Asian Voices TV On Air

This has been a busy summer for me. In addition to running Marketing Melodie full time, I joined the cast of Asian Voices TVAsian Voices is a TV show dedicated to promoting the diverse Asian & Pacific Islander (API) communities.

The show currently airs on TV through Channels 4SD, Cox 3 OC and TvK24 in LA. You can also find full episodes on the Asian Voices YouTube Channel after they air on TV.  Today, I ask that you please help us keep this show on air as it’s in danger of being cancelled! The stations, want our program on air, but a limited budget is making the production challenging.

Marketing Melodie on Asian Voices

The show is the direct result of a small but dedicated, creative, passionate and talented team who have a common vision to provide the Asian community with a positive representation on mainstream television.


We need to raise a minimum of $8,000 to cover the remaining production costs and expenses. Whether it’s a $5 donation or $100, every dollar makes a difference! Our second season premiered on cable TV August 8, 2015. We need to deliver the remaining 6 episodes by the end of September or else the program will be cancelled and we won’t have an opportunity to showcase all of the wonderful accomplishments of the API community.

As an independently produced program, our success directly depends on support from our sponsors and community. By sponsoring Asian Voices, you will keep the show on the air and support its important mission of providing a voice in media for the API community.

Asian Voices 2 Launch Party with Marketing Melodie 8-7-2015

Asian Voices 2 Launch Party, August 2015

As a bonus, your name will be credited on our show and you have a chance to view the upcoming episodes before they air! Anyone who donates $750 or more will be credited as an Executive Producer on the closing credits in each of our remaining 6 episodes.


Below is a full episode from Asian Voices Season 2. This is the second episode where I had the privilege of interviewing a Hollywood Reporter and Actress, turned Entrepreneur, Jelynn Sophia Malone who owns Mostra Coffee (my segment is from 8:06 to 15:30 in the video).  You can see how important this show is to highlight Asian business owners, community leaders and organizations.


Win an All-Access Pass to #INBOUND15 in Boston ($1,499 Value)!

INBOUND15 is coming up in Boston September 8th-11th and I have your golden ticket to attend. That’s right, I’m giving one lucky winner an All-Access Pass to INBOUND15 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

Inbound15 with Marketing Melodie

INBOUND15 has really stepped it up with amazing speakers and activities. Keynote speakers include Chelsea Clinton, Seth Godin and even the hilarious Aziz Ansari just to name a few! In addition to the keynotes, here is everything the All-Access Pass includes:

  • Access to all 6 Keynotes
  • Daily Networking Happy Hour
  • Admittance to INBOUND Rocks
  • Access to Club INBOUND
  • Discounted Rate at 17 Hotels*
  • Access to 170+ Educational Sessions
  • 30+ Awe-Inspiring Bold Talks
  • Eligibility for Keynote Meet and Greet
  • Access to INBOUND 2015 Archived Content
  • Free Lunch from 20+ Food Trucks
  • Unlimited Beverages**


INBOUND fuels the passion that drives the most innovative and successful business leaders of our time. INBOUND’s purpose is to provide the inspiration, education, and connections to transform your business.

INBOUND15 is an event designed to help marketing and sales professionals, business owners, and agency executives deepen their knowledge of inbound marketing through a combination of inspiring keynote presentations, focused training and breakout sessions, expert-led small group workshops, innovative product demos, and exciting networking activities along with an amazing INBOUND Rocks concert. 

The All-Access ticket I’m giving away costs $1,499. It will be completely free for a lucky winner! Check out all the information on INBOUND15 HERE. Now for the scoop on HOW YOU CAN WIN this high value prize!

Leave a comment on this post with 1 thing you want to learn from INBOUND15. Include your FULL NAME and EMAIL ADDRESS.

Your must have a valid email address so I can contact you if you’re the winner. Thats’s it. Easy to enter and win! Want to increase your chance of winning? Each additional activity you complete will earn you bonus entries:

  1. 2 BONUS ENTRIES- Join my Facebook page and “Like” or “Share” this post about INBOUND15. If you do one (Like or share), you’ll get 1 bonus entry. If you do both (Like and share), you’ll get 2 bonus entries.
  2. 1 BONUS ENTRY- Follow me on Twitter and Tweet this post to share the contest with your following. Make sure to include me in the Tweet @MyMelodie.
  3. 3 BONUS ENTRIES- Most of you know that I’ve got a SXSW 2016 PanelPicker in the running. If you vote for my session AND leave a comment you’ll get 3 bonus entries. You must leave a comment so I can track your vote.

The winner will be chosen by random and notified no later than Tuesday September 1st, 2015.

*Please note: By entering the ticket giveaway, you are signing up for Marketing Melodie’s Marketing Your Way to Success Newsletter. Recipients can opt out any time. Transportation and housing for Inbound15 are not included. 

VIDEO- Why Inbound Marketing & Social Media Are Best Friends

Thanks again to the San Diego Hubspot User Group for inviting me to be their Keynote Speaker last month at the beautiful Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station. The event was a huge success, over 200 people signed up!

SD HUG Audience with Marketing Melodie

For those of you who missed the event or want to review the information, you’re in luck! My friends over at Animus Studios produced this awesome video for me of my keynote. Check it out here or on my YouTube Page.

If you’re interested in having me give talks like this live at your next event, conference or business training, please let me know! I want to be there to make sure everyone who attends leaves with more knowledge and actionable tips to implement immediately. Check out my speaking page HERE and let’s talk about customizing a presentation that meets your needs.

I also offer a referral fee if you help me book a speaking gig. If my minimum speaker’s fee is met, you will get $500 just for making an introduction!

What Happens in Vegas Ends Up on My Blog! Here’s My Top 10 from SXSW V2V

I’m back from an incredible and highly educational experience at SXSW V2V in Las Vegas. I’ve attended SXSW Interactive in Austin for the past 4 years but this was my first time attending the Vegas conference. V2V is SXSW Interactive on a smaller scale, but the quality of content and connections I made were impressive! The focus is more on educating startups and small business owners. I liked the intimate environment because it allowed me to build deeper relationships. Just like I do my top 10 SXSW Interactive recap each year, here’s a recap of  the top ten things I experienced at V2V. You’ll find tips you can apply to your own business, mixed in with my favorite moments and fun experiences.

1. Opening Night Mixer- After snagging my badge and program (I was proud to discover my session received a full page in the program!), I was invited to attend the opening night mixer at Hyde in the Bellagio. I appreciated the fact that all of the speakers were invited to come an hour early to connect with each other.  Not only did we have a gorgeous view of the water show,  it was inspiring to hear from many other experts. The generous open bar and tray passed apps really hit the spot. This event set a positive tone for the rest of the conference and made me feel a sense of community when I ran into people I met opening night.
SXSW V2V Program
Marketing Melodie at V2V Opening Night Mixer at Hyde

2. Yoga for the Busy Body– I had the pleasure of being the yoga instructor the the conference! I taught 2 morning yoga classes. I created a special class for the conference called yoga for the busy body. I incorporated poses that students could easily replicate at home and even at work! I absolutely love the fact that I had many students who have never, ever practiced yoga but decided to try it for the first time with me. I’m honored to introduce yoga into new lives at a tech conference of all places!

SXSW V2V Yoga For the Busy Body
 *Photo by: Samat J Kain
3. Marketing Your Way to Success Through Social Media Branding- It was an honor to present  a Core Conversation at SXSW V2V. I love the Core Conversation format because it’s interactive.  I created the topic, Marketing Your Way to Success Through Social Media Branding . I then created 3 main concepts around the topic: 1) Establish Your Brand; 2) Create Your Content; and 3) Build Your Community. I shared my own insight and ideas for each, then I asked questions for the audience to answer about each concept. My questions prompted the crowd to share ideas, success stories and challenges.  One of the attendees wrote a recap of my session you can read HERE. You can also read an article about my session from Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media at Business Wire: SXSWv2v Event Reveals Frank Insights into How to Brand Your Startup. I know there were many sessions to choose from so I’m grateful for everyone who attended my Core Conversation, we had a packed room!
 Marketing Melodie Presents at SXSW V2V
SXSW V2V Marketing Melodie
 *Photo by: Leo Sopicki
4. Netwalking– What a great concept! I’m definitely going to be netwalking more often. Rather than have a meeting in a stuffy room, you take it outside to walk and talk! I love this idea because it promotes, health, wellness and creates a positive environment to get to know your colleagues. Netwalking sessions were hosted in the morning but since I was teaching yoga, I missed them. Instead, I got to catch up with Netwalking Founder, Jessica Tunon and walk with her one on one. During our walk we made an impromptu video explaining Netwalking.

SXSW V2V Mentor5. Mentor Sessions– Instead of attending the larger presentations, I opted to spend more time participating in the Mentor Sessions to build personal connections with other leaders. There were over 2 dozen mentors, (all experts on various topics including public relations, startups, marketing, etc.) who were all available for 10 minute one on one chats. I was surprised at how much valuable information can be exchanged in 10 minutes. The format forces you to be clear and succinct in describing your business and your needs given the limited time. Here I’m pictured with RoseMarie Terenzio, Founder of RMT PR Management. She gave me great tips on writing my book and information on using public relations to promote it. She highly recommended I hire a book agent, which is something I never thought of before. If you’re a book agent, or know of one, please send me your referrals!
6. Clubbing at OMNIA- I usually skip the loud clubs but I decided to check out OMNIA because after all, it’s Vegas! I was told that this was the new hot spot and place to be in Vegas. We got there at 10:30pm and the line was so long you would think they were giving away free money inside. Luckily our group was allowed to skip the line, ditch the $60 cover charge and waltz right in thanks to a connection to management. The photo below was taken behind the DJ booth. It’s a rotating chandelier! Mobs of people including myself took videos and photos of this attraction. I also found it amusing that they blasted confetti in the air several times. Usually that’s reserved for new years, but apparently in Vegas, a Monday night calls for confetti blasting. If you enjoy the nightclub scene, this spot is definitely one to experience.
Omnia Las Vegas
SXSW V2V Right Brain
7. Jump Start for Startups: From Vision to Results Workshop- This workshop was hosted by Stephanie Staidle, Founder of the Right Brain Entrepreneur. The session inspired me to be more creative with my business and to think of different solutions overcoming roadblocks and challenging situations. We completed an exercise where we jotted down things that described us, things we love and things that break our heart in different columns. She had us use our right brain to connect all the things from each list and also find images in magazines that fit with our lists and visions. I enjoyed the hands on aspect of the workshop and it was also fun to win a tub of clay dough by answering a question. Prizes are a great way to engage audience members.
8. SXSW Panel Picker Success Tips– I get asked all the time: “How do I become a SXSW speaker?” so I attended a session hosted by Hugh Forrest to learn all the tips and tricks. Hugh is the Director of SXSW Interactive so he’s the best person to give you the inside scoop. Here are the top 5 tips I learned to increase your chances of being chosen as a SXSW Speaker.
  • Apply to speak at multiple SXSW events. Most people only apply to speak at SXSW Interactive so the competition is fierce. Customize your presentation to fit SXSW Film, SXSW Music and SXSW Edu.
  • You have a better chance of getting chosen with a solo session versus a panel. Many people on panels don’t prepare as much as a solo session  because they rely on other panel members. If you’re hosting a solo session, the spotlight is on you, so you will be more motivated to prepare.
  • If you are going to apply to speak on a panel, make sure the panel is diverse. An all male panel, won’t fly. Don’t include 2 people from the same company or 2 people who do the exact same thing.
  • Include a video! This personalizes your entry. It can be a short video you make on your own with your phone. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Having one will significantly increase your chances.
  • Grammar and typos will count against you. Make sure to proofread multiple times and then proofread again.

Unfortunately, the application deadline for SXSW 2016 is over but these are things to keep in mind for next year. I also feel that these tips are relevant when applying to speak at other events and conferences.

SXSW V2V Marketing Melodie Friends9. Special Invites for Marketing Melodie Friends– I love rewarding friends who are a part of my community! I send out a weekly Marketing Your Way to Success newsletter. In my newsletter, I offered readers a chance to attend SXSW V2V with me. I was happy to have Grace from the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Charlie from Any Budget printing both join me from San Diego and Andrea who is an Executive Recruiter in Vegas join me as well. Yes that’s right, being a part of my community has perks! If you want to make sure you don’t miss out on chances to attend events with me like this in the future, leave me a comment and I’ll add you to my newsletter.
SXSW V2V Marketing Melodie Friends
10. Networking Your Way to Success- Many people dread “networking” because they feel like they are selling or being sold to the entire time. I personally see it as an opportunity to learn new ideas, create friendships and partnerships. I have met some of my best friends at networking events. Another great thing about networking events is the chance to check out new venues. Here we are at The Chandelier Bar located in The Cosmopolitan. Pictured below from left to right is Bob Fine (I met Bob in 2009 when I spoke at his event Cool Twitter Conferences. It was a blast from the past talking to him), Julie Ewald who runs a content development firm in Vegas and last but not least, the host of this event, Frank Gruber. Frank is a well known Entrepreneur, New Media Journalist and Investor who founded Tech.Co. I have said this before and will say it again, but SXSW events attract visionaries and entrepreneurs from all over the world. Who wouldn’t want a chance to be in the same room with so many successful leaders?
SXSW V2V Networking
11. Still Going-  I know I said, this was a top 10 post, but after writing out 10 awesome things about SXSW V2V, I realized that I’m still going….and left out one of my favorite discoveries! It’s an app called Still Going that allows you to meditate, any time, any where, even if you only have 5 minutes. I tried the app during the startup showcase, with dozens of people walking by me, talking and making noise. I was successfully able to be calm, still and meditate for 5 minutes. Being someone who is constantly on the go, I am huge fan of short meditations to refresh the mind. Below is a video that explains the app:

Thank you to the SXSW family for having me at this wonderful event. If you attended SXSW V2V, what were some of your favorite memories? Share with me in comments below. I am already starting to get notifications about SXSW Interactive, so I’ll see you in Austin very soon!

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Marketing Melodie