Kings Island Halloween Haunt - 9/23/11

Associated parks:
Kings Island, Mason, Ohio, USA

Saturday, September 24, 2011 7:02 PM

We visited the first night of Kings Island's Halloween Haunt, so I thought I would pass along some thoughts on the event this year. It was the first night so I would imagine things will be tweaked as the rest of the season goes on.

Due to the nice weather in the hours up to the event's start time it was a reasonably busy Friday evening. Still, most waits were manageable, especially by the standards of how awful Kings Island's Haunt can be on Saturdays. By moving around accordingly we were able to keep our waits at the haunts under 15 minutes with only one or two exceptions.

Going down the list of haunts:

  • Holiday Horror - New for 2011. While feeling somewhat random in its collection of scenes, Holiday Horror is actually rather clever in presenting "horrific" versions of the major holidays in chronological order, running from New Year's Day all the way to Christmas. It wasn't necessarily the scariest haunt but it was unique nonetheless.
  • Mysteria - New for 2011. Not much to say about this one other than if you're a fan of the Green Man from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia you will likely find Mysteria to be the funniest haunt you'll ever meet.
  • Wolf Pack - Essentially the same at last year, still nothing special.
  • Slaughter House - Again, mostly the same but still one of the better haunts in terms of scenery and effects.
  • Urgent Scare - This haunt was effected significantly by the placement of WindSeeker this year. The entire outdoor portion of the haunt is now gone, leaving only the inside part. The surviving section is unchanged from previous years, near as I could tell.
  • Club Blood - We did not go through Club Blood, largely due to the long queue. If history is any guide it is unlikely to be that different from previous years.
  • Massacre Manor - This hasn't changed and it doesn't really need to. One of the strongest haunts in terms of set pieces, mood, and story (for lack of a better word).
  • CarnEVIL - Also one of the strongest mazes. They no longer give out 3D glasses which does impact the experience somewhat. It's still probably the most trippy and immersive of the haunts.
  • Cut Throat Cove - Essentially unchanged, nothing to write home about.
  • CornStalkers - Relocated for 2011. CornStalkers has moved once again to the former Paramount Story/Tower Gardens area and I think it was a good decision. It's still an "okay" haunt but this location allows for more hiding places and better fog retention.
  • Nightmare Alley - New for 2011. This one really doesn't amount to much. It's a fright zone with sort of a carnival/circus theme.
  • Tombstone Terror-tory - This is still the most time-consuming haunt of the night. While it is kind of cool to have the train get "stopped" in the woods the entire experience just takes too long for what you get. Admittedly they added a bit to it this year by having actors at the train platform in the woods and around the second queue.
Sadly, perhaps the best haunt of previous years, the Trail of Terror, did not survive the addition of Dinosaurs Alive. It's really a bummer because Trail of Terror was fairly unique among the haunts for its long and winding trail through the woods.

As for Fright Lane (the new upcharge haunt line-bypass), and I can only speak from what we noticed last night, it seemed to be VERY popular. We saw numerous people with the Fright Lane lanyards. Generally speaking it seemed to be older guests with them but we noticed a wide range of guests taking advantage of it. Kings Island seems to have found a winner with this offering.

Overall, it was a good night. Fridays really are the "right-sized" crowd for this sort of event. Saturdays are just too choked out with crowds to be much fun.

Last edited by TimChat2, Tuesday, September 27, 2011 2:35 PM
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Thursday, October 13, 2011 1:51 AM

Thanks for the report!

I'm headed to KI's Haunt this Saturday for the first time and I'm crazy-excited. I'm prepared for the park to be extremely crowded, so would you care to give me a list of must-do haunts for a first-timer? I'm aware that I won't be able to do all of them, and in all honesty, I'm more interested in riding the coasters at night, anyway.

I want to visit all of the "scariest" mazes, though. (Not necessarily the goriest...I'm more into scares than blood.)

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