King's Island's Halloween Haunt-10/26-27

Associated parks:
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Friday, November 16, 2007 8:22 PM
Halloween Haunt October 26th-27th

Back when KI announced that their Halloween Event was going to feature double the monsters, and that it might be an up charge event for SP holders next year, I made plans to do the HH this year and do it right. I live in Toledo, which is about 3 hours away from Mason, usually short enough for this to be a day trip however, since the park was open until 1 am in the morning, and all the Halloween attractions did not open until 7 (at the earliest) I knew that I would both stay until closing, and that I would likely fall asleep driving home, thus a quick reservation at a local Hampton Inn and a Saturday day trip turned into a Fri-Sat weekend getaway. Which ended up being a fantastic plan, because Friday night was near perfect (there was a short period of light rain) and the crowds Saturday night were insane. I opened the park both days, and stayed til 1 am Friday, and around 8:00 Saturday, anyways onto the rides/haunted attractions:

Fright Feast: If the duel temptation of early entry to Club Blood and actually being able to go into the International Restaurant were not enough, the reasonable price and all you can eat/drink (allowing me to eat enough so I didn’t buy anything else at the park that night) made this one a no brainier. The food was pretty standard (fried chicken, burgers, etc) but good and hot. It was also neat to watch the park fill with fog as twilight descended (and I do mean fill, CP could learn a lot from KI in that department it was everywhere and nice and thick) and the hosts were dressed up to be funeral home workers and some Halloween themed stuff scattered throughout the restaurant. We also got to go down a themed staircase into the park about 25 min before the gates opened to walk back to our guaranteed FOL access to Club Blood to start the night. That is where I encountered my one disappointment of the experience: there was no wall of monsters for us. I was actually surprised that given the level of service we did not have at least a dozen monsters ready to greet us on International Street, but it was only a minor annoyance. I would defiantly do this again if it’s offered/I can go next year and recommend it to others. Ok as I said as a benefit of Fright Feast, I got FOL access to Club Blood before the park opened so my first attraction of the night was:

Club Blood: 1 pumpkin (out of 5,) no wait. Vampire night club, Action Zone. What this is your first negative review you’ve heard of this brand new house? Well, I mainly blame myself. You see, me and gore, well we get along fine (med student) so as a scare tactic it does absolutely nothing for me, got a couple good jumps (motorcycle, mother behind a corner) in and saw places where I missed some really good ones (bungee cord monster.) But the thing that really brought this place down, was as a whole this club was filled with rather sedate vampires. In my mind these creatures of the night are supposed to jump out at me, but all these vamps did was stare at me and hiss, meh. I also chalk up my not so great experience to being one of the first groups through the house, which is absolutely a gamble, it can be much, much better then it should be (see the next house) if the actors are psyched to start scaring or can be an absolute bust because they aren’t warmed up, this one was the latter. Thankfully, KI had started letting us in 15 min before opening, which meant that I was able to walk to my next destination and be the first person in line for:

Massacre Manor: 5 pumpkins, no wait. Literally a haunted house, being haunted by a Carriesque ghost, Coney Maul. Seeing as I was the first person in line, that guaranteed I was the first person in my group too. I must say this was the best indoor house I have ever been in; scares abounded with tormented souls jumping out from all directions. This house also had some fantastic disorientating aspects as well, including a forest of padded, straightened hangers (think those swimming noodles hanging from the ceiling) in near darkness and a finale room that featured strobes and a white walls that was so disorientating that I was blinded and had to do the “Frankenstein walk” so I didn’t bump into anything. I can’t say this enough, fantastic house, ended up being my favorite scare of the night. Alright, after my first positive house experience I made my way across Coney Maul to the nearest open house:

Death Row: 4 pumpkins, no wait. This is a chain link fence maze (this one literally is a maze) themed to be a psyche prison ward on lockdown and is completely all strobes, X-base. This maze was very disorientating, although I was in the middle of the group on this one and we were forced to put our hands on the person in front of us (lame but seeing as this thing is a maze and people can get lost I guess necessary) so I got very little scares, but it was still a very well done maze. Ok with the completion of that house, I had done 3 of the 5 indoor houses in 15 min and had yet to actually wait in a line, the race was on to see if I could hit every indoor before the outdoors opened at 8, so it was off the Rivertown to set sail on:

Red Beard’s Revenge: 4 pumpkins, 5 min wait. Unlike Death Row, which got 4 pumpkins because of the maze design in spite of the scares, Red Beard was the opposite. While the maze itself was not much, the cast in here was on their game that night from the insult laden snaky wench manning the gate to the pirate outside the exit that got me with one last really good scare. It seemed that at every wall there was one of those false wall window gags, which were used to great success. This house also benefited a lot from the women who was directly in front of me, who let out screams a plenty and almost had a nervous breakdown (in a good way, I don’t take pleasure in other peoples pain.) Good times, and with that trip done, it was time for the final indoor house of the night:

CarnEvil: 2 pumpkins, 20 min wait. 3-D circus maze (free glasses,) Nick Universe. This was one of the more disappointing houses of the night, I usually like circus themed haunts, Im not afraid of clowns or anything but they are just fun because they allow actors to play the demented psychopath with a horn. I also even managed to be the first person in my goup again too. Basically, after a well done opening act mirror maze (where I took a wrong turn and was thus ridiculed by a gypsy) the rest of the maze was virtually devoid of actors, there was maybe 8 people in the entire maze (and that includes the clown and gypsy in mirror maze) and this was a long maze too, very disappointing, only reason it didn’t get 1 pumpkin is because it had a funhouse spinning tunnel at the end. Allright, it was now 8:00 and quite dark, time for my first outdoor scare zone, just down International Street:

The Cemetery: 2 pumpkins, 10 min wait. The name pretty much says it all, located in the area formally known as the Paramount Story. As I waited in this short line, staring at the scare zone where the actors had virtually nowhere to hide and wide pathways, I couldn’t help wondering why in the world the park had decided to make this a lined attraction, not only did it help to contribute to a complete lack of flow between Interantional Street and Coney Maul (along with Worksite and CornStalkers) but it actually hurts the scares. Since even the copious, copious fog machines in the area could not hide the actors, which instead had to resort to attempting to hide behind obviously placed tombstones, it would have been far more effective to flood this area with guests to let the actors hide in the crowd. Even with such a poor setup in here though, one actor managed to find a fantastic hiding place (a strategically placed bright spot light, fog machine and a tree) that was able to get me good once, and the other actors were also top notch (you just cant scare people who see you coming though) so due to them, this one gets two pumpkins, but if they would just open the scare zone to normal traffic this could be a much better area. Ok, now that I was back in Coney Maul it was time to experience the big one, the 20 min trip into the abyss and trees behind Firehawk known as:

Trail of Terror: 5 pumpkins, 30 min wait. Hillbillies in the woods, and by woods I mean woods, all around you, all enveloping and a dirt trail. This was the other home run haunt of the night, very well done, and super long, which guarantees everyone gets multiple scares, including me. This trail’s finale also is complete with the ever popular chainsaw wielding ghoul which just leaves me with a smile on my face. Very well done, and worth the longest wait I would have of the night. Now that I had escaped the woods, I was looking for a change of scenery, so of course I went to:

The Worksite: 3 pumpkins, 15 min wait. Another zone described by its name, located on the path between International Street and Coney Maul, on the left side of the Eiffel Tower (when viewed from International Street.) This is the one scare zone that actually worked with limited directed access since it allowed the deranged construction crew time to hide in the various props, the main thing that hurt this maze is that it was all together way too short. However the chainsaw duo at the exit made sure all had a great time. They also provided some much appreciated entertainment as they chased guests to the foot of the Tower while I waited in line for my final scare zone of the night:

CornStalkers: 3 pumpkins, 10 min wait. Scarecrows amongst the cornstalks, located on the path between International Street and Rivertown (right side of the Eiffel Tower.) This maze, while well done, felt like something was a miss in it. For one, like the Cemetery having more people would have allowed the actors to blend in more, or if they must have limited access, why in the world was there no rows of corn cutting across the pathway making natural choke points and hiding spots for the actors (the corn was placed only parallel to the path on the edge.) But those gripes aside, this was well a well done maze, however it really could have used a half a dozen more ghouls, there was too much dead time between actors, which on a zone as short as this should have been much less. Alright, 9:15 and I had managed to do 9 of the 10 haunted attractions, and I was having a fantastic time, the park was not dead, but it wasn’t busy either, outside of Firehawk there was not a single ride/attraction with more then an hour wait and it was looking like the night I had set aside to only do the haunted attractions was going to give me a couple hours of quality coasting time but before the thrills and spills I had one more haunt to do:

Tombstone Terror-itory: 3 pumpkins, 20 min (2 trains) wait. Western themed attraction which starts on the train and continues through the long exit of White Water Canyon. Before I begin, I must admit that I am a big sucker for haunted trains, I don’t know why because I have yet to experience a truly good haunted train, but no matter what I always cant help but get excited when I queue up for them. This isn’t really a haunted train though, the train is merely a transport to the start of the attraction which is entirely housed in the WWC exit (for those who haven’t ever been to KI WWC is a raft ride that is hidden completely in the woods.) Like CornStalkers and the Cemetery this one suffers from obvious hiding places, but there are so many, full with good monsters, and it was so long that it makes up for this. My only thought though is that this is a perfectly good waste of an attraction space that could make a killer haunt. I really hope that they extend this one someday to include the ride trough of WWC, if you added that to what you already have in the exit you would be looking at a 5 pumpkin attraction. The other thing, which I know will never happen due to staffing issues, is that with the train they could go to scare area with multiple houses (with limited access which would mean only one line to truly wait for them) in Boomerang Bay, with its tropical/Australian themeing it seems like a no brainer to put a Pirate village back there which off the top of my head could consist of a haunt in the lazy river trough, and a tent/temp boarded indoor house on the wave pool “beach” where the lounge chairs are during the summer.

Anyways, now it was 10:00 and I had accomplished my goal of hitting all the haunts, unfortunately it was also raining so assuming all the coasters were down for the time being, I had to first hit up a classic: Elvira’s Superstition at the Action FX theatre, waited two shows but it was worth it, defiantly one of my favorite old school sim films, it didn’t disappoint. However, it was during this time that I noticed that even though it was raining, the Racer and Vortex were still running multiple trains, looks like CF’s rain policy was altered that last week, which was interesting.

After that show, I made my biggest mistake of the night, seeing the monster loading I hopped in a short line (they were even running both sides!) and while I was quickly loaded, after that during the next load cycle I noticed the ride op gabbing to the loaders, while there was a line of guests (ie it wasn’t because they were waiting so they could load all the cars) during the next two load cycles. After the cycle, she even failed to start the load/unload cycle on the right pod of cars (meaning that those poor people in those eight cabs that should have been unloaded first had to suffer waiting for everyone else to unload, and the ride ops discuss War and Peace after having done the same thing while loading) thankfully for me though, that meant I had to only wait twice on the back end, all and all I spent 30 min (I timed it) on the Monster for what was effectively a 3 min ride. Anyway, I wasn’t going to let me get me down though, because Coney Maul was jammed full of fog, which meant I was in for a heck of a ride on the:

Racer (Forwards): 4 stars, walk on. John Allen Racing Forward/Backwards Out and Back wooden coaster. Nabbed my favorite seat on this one (2nd row) and got an airtime filled, rain soaked, fog obscured fantastic ride on it, after which I was ready for more and right next door was:

The Adventure Express: 3.5 stars, walk on. Arrow duel lift mine train. Under normal circumstances this is usually one of my favorite mine trains, but tonight it was even better, again because of it being a fog filled night ride. Loved it, and was psyched to hit up Delerium afterwards, but seeing a 20-30 min wait and looking at my watch (11:30) I decided against riding it and instead hit:

Son of Beast: 3 stars, walk on. Hyper Wooden Coaster, G-trains. Not to sound like a bronken record again but: foggy night rides makes Touchdown :). While I do miss the loop, I do not miss those old trains at all (uncomfortable, and always gave me huge welts on my thighs, ick) the first drop on this coaster is still a thrill and worth a ride every time I go here.

Now that I had conquered SOB, I had time for one more ride (not named Firehwak, FOF or Delerium which all had waits still) before getting ready for my final ride marathon, so seeing as it was a walk on, and I hadn’t rode it this year yet due to fear of me not fitting in it I figured it was high time to ride the Drop Zone. Which Im happy to report I fit on, even with 4 layers of clothes on, forgot how tall this ride was, it went on forever. The top also provided me with a fantastic view of KI (was in a perfect spot even with the Eiffel Tower) and the place looked to be oozing fog. I really cant say this enough, the fog effects were absolutely top notch and made my evening, bravo KI! Once I had experienced my bliss filled free fall and midnight had come and gone, it was time to ride The Ride of KI, the one and only, big daddy:

The Beast: 5 stars, 2 train wait, 1 train wait, walk on. Terrain Wooden Coaster, completely in the woods, 5 min ride and the longest wooden coaster in the world. While I had visited KI 3 other times before this, due to a series of events I had not been in the park at night yet, which is an absolute travesty because this ride is the best night ride in the world, you just can not beat that out of control feeling of tearing through woods. Got 3 rides on this one, all in the back middle car, and I have to give out a huge shout out to the crew on this ride that night, and the next (same guys) they were fast, efficient and even let me sneak on the final train of the night from the exit row. It was a fantastic ending to my night, and with that I made the trip back to my car and to the hotel for a well needed rest.

So ends day 1, stay tuned to the exciting conclusion here in a few days ;).

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