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Halloween Haunt 9-30-2011

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As I pulled into my usual parking spot I couldn’t help but notice the lack of fog seeping out from the park. Usually there is quite a bit drifting from the main gate to the King’s Island sign but not today. The mystery was solved, however, the moment I stepped out of my car. There was an icy wind cutting across the open parking lot and it was pretty much blowing all the fog away.




Once inside the gate it was a little bit warmer since the buildings and trees were blocking the wind, but not too much warmer.




Since we walked up the right side of the fountain last week, we decided to go up the left side this time. Like I had suspected, this side also had tombstones and props from the old Cemetery Drive maze, but there seemed to be less props than on the other side. There also seemed to be less statue people/ actors on this side (only two). I don’t know if this was a conscious choice or if people just didn’t show up to work. We did not make our way to the right side during this visit so I could not compare to how it was last week.




As we made our way towards the Eiffel Tower end of International Street we spotted the giant mutant Easter Bunny from Holiday Horror entering one of the shops. With his back to us, he stepped inside the shop’s doorway, stopped and looked around for a moment, then continued into the store. We decided to follow him to get a picture and discovered that there was a “Meat and Great” area inside the store. A giant chair that either he or Santa Clause would be sitting in for a photo opportunity, just like at the malls during Christmas and Easter. My friend and I took each other’s photo with the Easter Bunny and went on our way, but how weird is it that this attraction is just hidden here without any promotion. If we hadn’t just happened to see the Easter Bunny entering the store we would never had known about it.




We walked around the back of the Eiffel Tower, to check out the decorations, all the way around to the main entrance of Planet Snoopy. If we had come in from this direction last week we might have more quickly realized this was Nightmare Alley, being that there are neon signs stating such. Last week we entered by Boo Blasters, where there was no such signage. As I journeyed further in I noticed that there are skeletons riding on the character carousel. I did not notice that last week. Pretty cool detail.




Hearing that Boo Blasters was open for the Haunt this year and that there was a special surprise inside, we decided to make this our first activity of the night. The Haunt surprise was two kids dressed as mummies who would jump out and scream “Blaghhh” as your cart passed by. It’s as silly as it sounds but I think younger kids will find it fun.




Besides the mummies, both my friend and I are pretty sure that there are a few new props that have been added inside since the last time we rode it, not Halloween Haunt props but just improvements to the ride in general. It is possible, however, that because neither of our guns was working and we were just sitting back and taking in the scenery, that we may have just been noticing things we had not noticed before




Next we decided to bite the bullet and get in the long line for CarnEVIL. As bored as I am with this Haunted House, I can’t deny its popularity. I still don’t think it could hurt to do some remodeling and change it up a little. Other than the removal of the ball pit, I don’t think this maze has changed since it moved into this location. One thing I noticed while standing in line is that not a single person was wearing 3-D glasses. I’m assuming it’s because the park is charging a $1.00 each for them now. I don’t think a dollar is that bad of a price but I guess people just don’t have the money or just don’t want to spend it. Having now gone through myself without the glasses, I can say that the maze does not lose anything by not wearing them. The scareactors seemed to be really into their parts tonight.




From here we journeyed through Nightmare Alley on our way to Holiday Horrors. The giant jack-in-the-box was sitting in a different location from last Friday and I did see it was functioning properly this week. There seemed to be less circus freaks this time than last Friday and the area was windy and very cold. I felt bad for the actors who were definitely feeling the chill tonight.




Holiday Horrors was a big disappointment from last week. The best part had been the actors and it seemed like only a third of them were working tonight. For example, last week there were 3 former Presidents in the President’s Day room and this time there was only one. Santa was there but no Elves. One cool thing, however, is the room with all the framed pictures on the wall started folding out and the ceiling came down like it was going to crush you. This was awesome and did not happen last week when we went through. Other than that, Holiday Horrors was a major let down this time around. Despite this, we would come back again later tonight and, luckily for us, it would be better.




From here we headed down and around through Rivertown. We stopped and observed that once again the line for the Tombstone Terror-tory is ridiculously long. I’m thinking that it has to be the train ride that attracts all these people because there really isn’t anything to the maze, just a bunch of boxes with people hiding either in them or behind them. We once again skip this and decide to take a ride on The Beast instead.




Despite feeling like I might freeze to death from the wind, The Beast was a great night time ride. I tried to point out to my friend the Beast/ werewolf prop but there was so much fog around it that I’m not even sure that it’s still there this year. It could just be fog with a red light inside for all I could tell.




Heading over into Coney Maul I notice Windseeker isn’t operating, not surprising, considering the wind tonight.




We pass the Icee concession stand and I think of what a glorious brain freeze one could achieve on a bitterly cold night like tonight.




Despite finding Mysteria to be one of the biggest Haunt fails of all time, we go through it again this week. Surprisingly the line is rather long, but at least it moves quickly. Last week all the actors played their parts the same way, which was to move in a “Spider-Man” like manor. This week it seems like the actors have been given more freedom to put there own spin on things. We have a few that jump out and growl, some that lash about and others that stick to the more “Spider-Man” like mannerisms, but I don’t think there is anything the actors can do to make this maze more interesting.




We decide to head up to Club Blood, one of my favorite Haunted Houses at the park, although we ended up skipping it last week. On the way, however, my friend points out the exit of Cut Throat Cove and reminds me that we have yet to go through it this year either, so we head to that one first.




Cut Throat Cove has some pretty good set design inside, although you would never know it this season do to the lack of lighting. There where a couple of rooms that we stopped to strain our eyes in the dark, and although we could see that there were props in the rooms we could not make out what they were. Then when we got to the pirate girl sitting on the bed, some guy in a Kings Island windbreaker (A Supervisor perhaps?) was just standing there having a conversation with her. That pretty much killed the atmosphere.




Finally we headed over to Club Blood and it did not disappoint. Club Blood is one of the few mazes at the Haunt that changes every week. Not the layout so much but the characters, where you find them and how they play their parts.




I tell my friend that we have to go through Tombstone Terror-Tory now because that is the only maze in the park that we haven’t done yet this year. He reluctantly agrees.




In previous years, the best part of Tombstone Terror-Tory was riding the train until it breaks down and the passengers are then informed that they are going to have to get off and walk back. This year the train stops and demonic cowboys jump aboard and tell the passengers to get off. Personally, I prefer the other way over the demonic cowboys, but at least they’re trying something different this year.




After you leave the stopped train you walk back into a wooded area where you then wait in another line before entering the actual Tombstone Terror-Tory. This wait was about 40 minutes, but it felt longer because of a couple of people in front of us who were smoking the entire time. It was like 40 minutes of smoke torture.




The attraction its self started out pretty good, with old rotting pianos scattered around, but soon turns into the guessing game of, “Is the ghost inside the crate or behind the crate?” I will say, however, that the scareactors were top notch this year, playing their characters of ghost and zombies from the old west, it’s just the maze itself, or lack of it, that keeps Tombstone Terror-Tory from being truly awesome. A strait and fenced in path is just not that interesting. And on a final note, the best part of this Haunt, which was the little girl asking you to help get her daddy, who is hanging by his neck from the bottom of the train bridge, was not present this year (or at least this particular night). They need to bring that back next year, assuming Tombstone Terror-Tory is still in this same spot.




The night almost over, we decide to take a trip on Diamondback. It starts to sprinkle rain as soon as we start up the lift hill, which combined with the cold air, made it feel like we were getting blasted in the face with little shards of ice once the coaster started cooking. We had waited for the front seat, so we were getting lots of air time while trying to protect our faces from the ice shards with our hands. It was the most fun and most miserable ride I had ever been on. More fun than miserable though, probably the highlight of our night. We were laughing in pain the whole time. It stopped raining as soon as we exited the ride.




We then decided to take one more trip through Holiday Horrors before the park closed for the night. It was totally walk in by this point. There were many more actors this time around, still not as many as last Friday, but more than earlier. For example, there were two former Presidents in the President’s Day room this trip and the lady asking you if you want to meet the Easter Bunny was back. This time, since we knew about it now, we waited for the room with the pictures on the wall to fold in. We saw, for the first time, a dresser spinning around in the air and the doors open up to reveal a skeleton inside. This was our third trip through this maze and yet we never saw the dresser do this until now. It just goes to show that timing is everything. You could have a less than stellar experience in a haunted house but another person going through 20 minutes behind you could have a completely different experience.




Over all I had a good time at the park tonight, but I’m going to go try out some other Halloween attractions in the next couple of weekends. I will, however, be back to the Halloween Haunt before this season ends.



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