GL: The Haunt: This Place Is Real Dead...MWa Ha Ha!

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Tuesday, October 5, 2004 1:07 AM
Geauga Lake: The Haunt
Saturday, October 2, 2004
Weather: Cold and Light to Heavy Rain 50 Degrees

Hello Coaster Fans Who Are Now Figuring Out Which Theme Park Character To Dress As For Halloween,

It’s that time of year again, where all the theme parks change over to Halloween festivities. In past years, one of the best parks for Halloween was Six Flags Worlds of Adventure. This year (for those just waking up out of their coffins) Geauga Lake is back with their take on Halloween called The Haunt. Can it live up to SFWoA’s Fright Fest?

I left for the park Sat. morning, by myself knowing that I would be going to Cedar Point at night. I figured I’d see how Geauga Lake can impress me during the day with it’s feel. The weather called for the rain to end any second and the sun to come out. Let’s say that didn’t happen at all…while I was there. It rained all the way there, while at the park, and all the way home. BUT don’t let that ruin the day (or this report.) Halloween is about dreary, spooky, and rain…that’s what this park had.

I’ll be honest; this park had some BIG shoes to fill after last year’s Fright Fest. When I first pulled up to the parking lot about 30 minutes after opening, I approached the gate. Pumping over the sound system all over the park is Halloween music and sound effects. The front gate has a HUGE pumpkin and the display it’s had for the last month advertising The Haunt. Monsters and tattered cloth are all over the front entrance. Cool look. They even have a skeleton ticket booth by the ticket window.

There is a HUGE difference from last year when you walk in the park. The biggest thing you will notice is all the “scary/gory” feel is gone. In it’s place is a spooky/whimsical Halloween feel. Though compared to CP’s Halloween, there are a few gory scenes here and there. In the main fountain, are a bunch of skeletons hanging out and around…and in it. On either side of it are some caskets. If you approach the caskets, the skeletons will jump up in them…neat effect. I like parks that use timers or sensors to have the scenery react upon the guests.

To be honest I was impressed with some of the detail that the Halloween decorators put into their exhibits…more on that later. There where quite a few scenes all throughout the park. One thing I really liked is almost every scene had it’s own soundtrack. The Phantom up on the Emporium had it’s music, the wolfs had their own howling, etc. A nice touch that pulls the park together. There were corn stalks EVERYWHERE!! While it’s not a big thing, just the fact of tying that many cornstalks around almost every pole really gives the park a fall feel. The entire Haunt theme is mostly on the rides side. There is next to know Halloween feel over in Happy Harbor, and almost everything is closed down except the 3 carnival rides…yes, even MBT and Pirates 3-D is closed...not that anyone has gone over there this year ;)

Fright Zone (much like CP’s Fright Zone) is located in the western area (Villain, Double Loop area). It makes an “L” shape. The unique thing about this attraction is that not only can you not see anything with all the fog…and monsters; you have to find the Villain’s exit, and Double Loop’s entrance in this if you want to ride them. A lot of fun actually doing so. Double Loop’s station is wrapped up to stop the fog from getting in, but both it and Villain offer AWESOME rides in the fog!

The best exhibit award out of ALL THEME PARKS for Halloween goes to Geauga Lake and their Rocket of aliens! This thing is worth the trip it self to check out! Geauga Lake does their “Jab” at Coaster Enthusiasts with this! GL took the old Rocket Ship ride rocket and added 3 aliens. The aliens move and talk. On the rocket it self is bumper stickers such as: “I’d rather be going Ludicrous speed” “Geauga Lake or Bust” and “A.C.E…Alien Coaster Enthusiasts” plus some more funny things. In the rocket the head alien has a Geauga Lake map it’s looking at…it’s very funny, but it doesn’t stop there. The aliens, as mentioned, move and talk. This is where it gets funny…The first alien says “Hey, who’s driving here?” Then another one says…”Isn’t this that 8 flags place?” The other one says something like “No this is that awesome park Geauga Lake” Then another one says, “What happen to the animals?”...Then they have another conversation where one says, “What’s that ahead of us…that tall thing?” The second alien says, “Oh, that’s the Space Needle” The third alien replies, “Yeah, that thing never works!” They go on back and fourth making jokes on everything from the Big Dipper (alien style), to Villain’s train on RWB!” I give kudos to the people who came up with these lines. They really are true enthusiasts! I watched it for about 10 minutes laughing my butt off :)

Geauga Lake is nice compared to other parks like CP, and PKI this year because everywhere you look they have some type of Halloween thing going on. CP has a few good scenes this year, but I have to give the nod to GL. They even have some funny things going on in Kidworks, and on some of the rides around Geauga Lake. Some people have said they thought the 50’s area wasn’t done up very well this year, but I thought it was pretty good with the Giant Blob, the Skeleton Drive In movie theater, and Swamp Thing…all going with the 50’s theme.

Geauga Lake did a nice job at getting ride a lot of the white light and replacing it with greens, and reds, lots of fog, and lots of spooky sounds. The one thing I do miss from SFWoA’s Fright Fest is all the rides, and food places having Halloween names…no more road kill café, BUT they do have a good “Kiss The Chef” thing going on that has some interesting things on the grill.

In all the staff was great today, considering I rode by myself on EVERYTHING. There were only 20 or less cars in the parking lot when I left at 2pm. I did the haunted houses last weekend, and will say, they are better than last year, but not as scary. Better in terms of length and fun factor. I liked Big Top and Phobia with Phobia being the best. Plus they are free this year with admission! GL also kept the haunted boat ride, which is a good plus. The Gauntlet is much like Were Wolf Canyon at CP…compare it to a smaller Fright Zone, with a little zigzagging.

I had a lot of fun…even in the rain. I definitely recommend anyone and everyone planning a trip to Geauga Lake’s the Haunt and checking out everything they have. Even if you have already gone this year, it’s worth a trip to go see it during Halloween!

Feel free to check out all The Haunt pics below if you want to see the difference from last year to this year. See everyone on the midways!
*** Edited 10/5/2004 5:11:30 AM UTC by RollerCoasterGod***

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Tuesday, October 5, 2004 10:41 AM
a good report! given the weather, 20 cars in the lot is about right... was like that last year.
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Tuesday, October 5, 2004 12:06 PM
Good report!
About the houses & Big Dipper:
One thing I noticed when I went there on Friday, was that the haunted houses are free, just like CP. That attracts more people to want to visit them.
Though I was there for the rides, I did one of the haunted houses (Phobia, back by the kids water park). I was extremely impressed! The decorating was great, so much better than anything Six Flags ever did, and the fact that the houses were free enticed more people to try them out.
THough Phobia wasn't that scary towards the end, it was pretty good for the first half. And the white "pearly gates" room was really neat...
As for the Big Dipper...That thing had more air then I have ever remembered! I rode it in the front seat and I had to hold on with both hands or I really would have been launched out!! It was great! Then I rode in the back, and it still had good air, but nowhere near the launching power of the front seat.

BTW was anyone there Friday night around closing time on the Big Dipper wearing an ACE coat with a Legend shirt....?

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