While Trail of Fear is now Oklahoma's largest haunted attraction, Hauntworld.com reveals that the original format was a small, roadside hay maze operated by a father and son in 1998. Today, a three-story pyramid looms above the theme park's frightful environs and prowling actors. Creators Bob Wright Sr. and Bob Wright Jr. supervise a staff of more than 100—a vast increase from their first crew of approximately 15 people and a few rusty table fans—as they guide visitors through four nightmarish worlds. Though the majority of these helpers return to the job each season with fiendish devotion, their strategies for harvesting screams evolve every year to surprise even the most loyal fans.
The Voodoo Bayou has proven to be Trail of Fear's most intense experience, where ghastly creatures dart from their swampland dens to spook trespassers and ask directions to the nearest zombie hoedown. Elsewhere, a maniacal ringmaster oversees the disorienting maze and murderous clowns of Cirque de Morte, and malformed test subjects rise from The Experiment's excavation and lab sites. Laughter and gasps join the chorus of screams at the Crispy Family Carnival, where performers inject dark humor into their classic sideshow acts, which can be viewed at the Thunderbird Trail of Fear.
On the Halloween Midway, Boo House BBQ supplies fuel for brave souls in the form of burgers and brisket. Fairground games embrace macabre twists; past activities include a severed-head toss and live-zombie target practice. For younger children, Pumpkin Junction entertains with scary stories and magic tricks on select nights. A portion of Trail of Fear's proceeds go to benefit a specific charity every year, contributing thousands of dollars to community causes.
Whether at the retail store or beneath the water's surface, Bluewater Divers' crew maintains a commitment to helping their customers live life to the fullest. The staff, which includes PADI-certified instructors as well as an aptly named director of happiness, leads scuba classes at heated pools, natural bodies of water, or inside their own imaginations. After students master beginner courses, instructors can help them obtain PADI certification for open-water diving in the deep blue or learn advanced skills such as rescue diving. It’s not uncommon for students to foster new friendships with other divers or their instructors, especially during the school’s regularly scheduled social events and diving trips.
An authorized dealer for many leading brands, Bluewater Divers’ staff keeps the shop filled with necessary scuba equipment and accessories. The crew also runs a demo department, which lets divers test gear before they commit to living inside a giant fishbowl.
Earlywine Tennis Center helps amateur racket-wielders ascend to excellence with 12 well-lit outdoor courts and a fully stocked modern pro shop. Young beginners camps focus on imparting the fundamentals of the game to children age 5–9, and are held 9 a.m.–10:30 a.m., Monday through Friday. More mature players looking to pick up a racket or those with prior forehand experience can take a swing at the older beginners or intermediates classes, which are designed for tennis lovers age 9–17, and are held 9 a.m.–11 a.m., Monday through Friday. Concentrating on footwork, score keeping, and ref flattery, older beginners or intermediates classes employ strategy and drills that become more challenging as the player's ability improves. Small class sizes ensure that each student receives individual instruction as focused as a laser beam viewed head-on through a microscope. All camps also include a free T-shirt and hard-court-flavored victory taffy.
The exotic animals at Tiger Safari have a more important role than just posing for people; they educate the public on conservation efforts. All of the park’s programs serve to educate others about the conservation needs of Earth’s wildlife in an effort to safeguard the planet’s ecosystems and the critters that live within them. With help from the park’s caretakers, lemurs, tigers, pythons, foxes, and monkeys venture to homes and picnics to celebrate birthday parties, corporate events, or graduation parties, all while trained staffers share facts about the animals’ diet and ecosystem. During safaris and camping excursions, groups of children journey through the park to catch glimpses of kangaroos, tortoises, crocodiles, and dads observed without their shirts tucked in.
Offering guidance seven days a week, the robotic-fitness experts at Tan & Tone America lead women through 28-minute workouts on specialized machines that target hard-to-tone areas without compromising joints. During each session, technicians guide patrons through seven pieces of equipment, which are designed to provide 10 times the repetitions of a typical gym workout. Moreover, these sinew-strengthening movements target the trunk area where weight accumulates and earns interest.
Since 1978, players have dodged trees and chased flagsticks across the 6,602 yards that make up the 18-hole championship course at The Trails Golf Club. With just two par 5s total and two par 3s longer than 200 yards, birdie opportunities are scarce, but the course often yields to a smart strategy and threats to pour salt in a divot. Three sets of tees make the course enjoyable for all players, ranging from weekend warriors up to the extremely skilled entrants in both the Men’s and Women’s State Amateur tournaments held at the course. Instruction from PGA and LPGA professionals is also available to help any player strive for champion status.
Course at a Glance: