Popular amusement park closes 'offensive' attraction

Knott's Berry Farm announced Tuesday that they are shutting down a popular attraction after it caused concern among mental health advocates.

The attraction, Fear VR, portrays a girl who is possessed as a part of a virtual reality horror show.

Mental health activists, including popular pastor Rick Warron and his wife, wrote an email to the park and its parent company, Cedar Fair, claiming that the horror show stigmatizes and denigrates individuals with mental illnesses.

Knott's Berry Farm is renowned for its evening attractions during the Halloween seasons, which are, as they said in a statement, "designed to be edgy, and are aimed at an adult-only audience."

A spokesperson added that it was never intended to portray mental illness.

Since the Halloween season is so busy, Cedar Fair decided to shut the whole attraction down at three of its locations -- Buena Park, California's Great America in Santa Clara and Canada's Wonderland near Toronto.

The original title of the attraction was "FearVR: 5150." The number refers to a section of the California Welfare and Institutions Code, which authorizes a professional to confine a person suspected of a mental disorder that makes them a danger to themselves or others.

The story of the immersive ride follows a girl named Katie who shows up at a medical facility.

Mental health advocates said they are very pleased the ride shut down, according to The Sun.

More about the hidden costs of amusement parks:

Hidden costs of amusement parks
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Hidden costs of amusement parks

Parking Fees 
Upon arriving at theme parks, you are immediately hit with parking fees. At Universal Orlando, for example, expect to pay $20 for a parking space

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Access to Water Parks and Additional Attractions 
Most amusement parks have separate water parks that open up after Memorial Day, however, these attractions are not included in general admission tickets. 

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Carnival Games 
Usually, in the center of an amusement park, you can find a carnival-like setup featuring games, activities and food. As exciting as the games are, forewarning: This section is often its own entity, and to participate, you may have to pay separately. 

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Gift Shops 
This cost may not be as hidden as the others, but it can still put a major dent in your wallet. 

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Caricature Artists and Side Activities 
Like water parks and carnivals inside of amusement parks, caricature artists and other side activities are not included when you purchase a general admission ticket. 

Photo credit: Getty


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