Has Cedar Fair Started Rebranding Halloween Events?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015 5:32 PM

I noticed today that the Cedar Point website is emphasizing "Haunt" to describe its Halloween event, and Halloweekends has been made subordinate.

Valleyfair's event is similarly described as "Halloween HAUNT at ValleyScare."

Last edited by slithernoggin, Tuesday, September 15, 2015 7:32 PM
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Tuesday, September 15, 2015 5:54 PM

I don't have official word...

It looks like Knotts is still "Scary Farm", but "Haunt" has been used over the years at other CF parks so maybe there's a gradual re-branding taking place.
Which, IMO would be a shame, as some of the unique Halloween event titles are cool, creative, and well,... unique.
I looks like Haunt is the official title over at WOF, Kings Island, and CGA.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015 5:55 PM

I think what we're seeing is a more distinct emphasis on the scary stuff versus the non-scary stuff...with "Haunt" being the scary side and "The Great Pumpkin Fest" being the non-scary stuff. All Halloweekends, just with a more distinct differentiation between the two.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015 7:39 PM

I'd imagine it's almost a point of pride for Knott's to stick with the distinct Knott's Scary Farm title instead adopting the more generic "Haunt".

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015 7:43 PM

I noticed today that Kings Island is rolling out an "all-new" event, Snoopy's Halloween Party, a "Daytime, not-so-scary Halloween event". (Huh... wonder where they that got that idea....)

Typically, when a company takes a brand and makes it subordinates it to a newer brand, as Cedar Fair's done with HalloWeekends and ValleyScare, the first one is on its way out. I wouldn't be surprised if most or all of Cedar Fair's Halloween events end up being Snoopy's Halloween Party and Halloween Haunt.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015 7:48 PM

I've wondered if "haunt" was used to describe the separately gated events. We were going to do Carowinds this fall, but once we learned the park closed before the evening event, we decided to pass. For the urban parks, a separate gate makes a lot of sense. I've often wondered why Kings Island didn't do that.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015 7:55 PM

And, sorry, corporate branding has been a long-time fascination of mine. This makes me think of brands in the past that transitioned to new names (Datsuns becoming Nissans back in the 80s, for example), which is what leads me to think HalloWeekends will be gone.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015 8:18 PM

I wonder what the benefit is for changing most of the parks to the Haunt title. Does that branding matter to people in different parts of the country?

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015 8:28 PM

Maybe they want a more uniform name across the chain. But I don't see them changing Scarowinds or Knott's Scary Farm.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015 8:32 PM

I try to avoid Halloween events at parks -- too many people, all of whom seem to be between me and where I want to go, and I'm not fond of large groups of people to begin with. So what follows is nothing but speculation thought up during the commercial break on Chopped.

If the parks do event-specific merchandise or paraphernalia (napkins, drink cups, etc), a common brand could hold down costs. W bazillion Haunt T shirts would be cheaper than X bazillion T shirts that Haunt, Y bazillion shirts that say HalloWeekends and Z shirts that say ValleyScare.

Or there could be efficiencies behind the scenes. Most of the parks that have Haunt events have the same creepy ... clown? ... graphic this year, for example.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015 9:20 PM

Since Knott's was the originator, I think they should get to keep the Scary Farm branding....

Remember back when we were still asking parks to run Halloween events everywhere....(cue "Gonchback" from 'Buzz's first couple years, with or without Twilight Zone music).

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015 9:24 PM

Speaking of HalloWeekends, remember a couple of years ago when we had that huge discussion (read: argument) because they included a banner on the website with a silhouette of a dive coaster?
Hmm. Well, I'll be.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015 10:26 PM

I guess my point was more that "Halloweekends" means "Halloween stuff" Friday night to Sunday. If they do split gates, then it's more "regular park" by day, "haunt" by night. Meh, I don't even know what I'm trying to describe.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015 11:06 PM

^^ Well dang, I'd forgotten about that thread. See? All the obsessing was worth it. ;)

(For those wondering, here's the graphic in question.)

Last edited by birdhombre, Tuesday, September 15, 2015 11:07 PM
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Tuesday, September 15, 2015 11:48 PM

I know what you mean, Jeff, it's typical these days for the parks to split their events into family friendly/regular day then scary sessions. Kings Island has done something like that for a while now. You can get an evening ticket for the Haunt only, or you can do an all-day then stay til 1a if you like. Once the Haunt, which is quite immersive, starts there's no re-entry. On Sunday the park turns into a family friendly Halloween event, nothing scary, and with features designed especially for kids- trick or treat stations, costume parades, stuff like that. I haven't checked, but would imagine Carowinds probably follows the same kind of schedule. Sunday might be a good day for Simon to go, if you can manage it.

Cedar Point's Haunt is quite a bit less immersive. You can find it if you want it, there's scare zones on designated midways and haunted houses and trails too. But it's quite possible to spend the evening and avoid Screamsters all together, and there's always a way around the park without scares, even at night. They're different, I'd guess, because of the multiple entrances and on-site resorts that all guests must have access to without having to walk thru a haunted area. Smaller parks with one main gate and no hotels make it easier to dedicate the evenings completely to scares.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015 1:37 AM

It appears to be more of their generic rebranding to make everything the same, uncreative name. As they took the themed Boomerang Bay to generic Soak City. It's surprising that Carowinds is getting a unique water park name next year...

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015 1:48 AM

It's like changing the name of Dr Pepper to "Soda Pop." I wonder if they realize that "haunt" is a generic description for every haunted attraction in the country.

I have always liked the Halloweekends brand name. Scarowinds is pretty clever too, as well as Knott's Scary Farm.

Cedar Point Haunt Halloweekends. That's terrible.

But the event is really fun, so at least there is that.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015 7:19 AM

Cedar Point Haunt *AT* HalloWeekends is what it says.
So, now I get it. Halloweekends doesn't necessarily say scary, it sounds like pumpkin patches and hayrides. But Haunt lets everyone know there is a scary component to the weekend, and advertises directly to those people.

And this is as if they need one more person through there, right?

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015 9:06 AM

Because Halloween in the name didn't already convey something about scares?

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015 12:03 PM

RCMAC said:

Speaking of HalloWeekends, remember a couple of years ago when we had that huge discussion (read: argument) because they included a banner on the website with a silhouette of a dive coaster?
Hmm. Well, I'll be.

birdhombre said:

^^ Well dang, I'd forgotten about that thread. See? All the obsessing was worth it. ;)

(For those wondering, here's the graphic in question.)

Hey, I forgot about that one, too! Well, shoot, thank goodness they made it right finally. Now I can go back to the park. ;-)

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