Let me start at the beginning since I haven't seen much about this:
This year is a total redoing of the Halloween event at Kings Island. It's no longer 'FearFest' as it used to be but rather "Halloween Haunt" - as in the same name as Knott's top-rated event. The KI Haunt site is making it a point to let visitors know that it is "the scare-masters from Knott's Berry Farm" bringing the show and they're selling it as a whole new Haunt that features "twice the number of monsters, new highly intense and terrifying attractions, and a longer haunt time for guests."
I have to admit I find it quite intriguing as Knott's halloween event is often considered better than IOA's HHN event - and the one time I did HHN I was blown away. My assumption is that if KI can do it even half as well as Knott's, then it should be good.
But here's the thing - the Haunt at Knott's is not included with park admission (and a season pass doesn't get you in).
So what did I see someone else point out today? This little tidbit on KI's 2008 Season pass FAQ page.
If you don't want to see it for yourself, it reads:
IS HALLOWEEN HAUNT INCLUDED IN A SEASON PASS?
Halloween Haunt is free with a 2007 Season Pass but there will be a separate admission for this event in 2008.
So this leads me to two different discussion points:
1. Is this event really now going to be of the caliber that it commands a seperate admission like Knott's Haunt and Island's HHN? And if so, why haven't we heard more buzz around it?
2. Is it a point of contention to charge seperate admission for a Halloween event or should it be included for ticket and pass holders?
I suppose those two points answer themselves under certain scenarios - for example, if #1 is true then #2 is moot.
I find this all interesting as I'm a big fan of Halloween events.
Halloween Haunt at Knott's is $51 on-site or $46 pre-sell.
If its as good as Knotts' Haunt I will make a weekend out of it, no question.
Sunday has no Haunt and would likely be open normally.
KI's upcharge will likely not be as high as Knott's.
Let me just say it was twice as busy being INCLUDED. So much so that if you wanted one of the haunted attractions, Well there goes half your night. The rides however were ERT Conditions :)
Ride conditions are really good though.
It says to go to PKI.com/haunt for these killer discounts: Friday's $19.95 & Saturday's $24.95
My guess is that the two different price points have to do with traditional attendance at KI's halloween events. Friday's are traditionally smaller in attendance due to high school football in the region, (yes, football really is that HUGE around these parts!). I don't know about Saturday's, but I'd wager it has something to do with the fact they know people will show up in droves on Saturday nights, and that they see an opportunity to jack the prices knowing people will pay.
And as of a couple of weeks ago there was no mention of the daytime, no-so-scary childrens festival. But from what I've heard over the past few days "Nick or Treat" is still going on this year. *** Edited 9/26/2007 12:48:09 AM UTC by Floorless Fan***
The story goes that the event is going to be that much better, super intense, etc. So, if that's the case, then yes the separate charge is justified. However, it sounded as if CF was considering making it an upcharge event this year -- problematic in my eyes as KI passes were promoted and sold as "including FearFest." Did they change the name, yes, but that's symantics as far as I'm concerned. I may not even go to Halloween Haunt, but it was the principle of it that was problematic to me.
If you read the back of this year's Maxx Pass, it specifically notes that it doesn't include separate upcharge holiday events, and mentions Carowinds, Canada's Wonderland, and Knott's by name (and maybe one more, if I remember correctly... my pass is downstairs and I am not LOL.) The language is such that they certainly could expand it to other parks, but I think it would be a difficult PR sell given the 'included' history (and season pass promises) of the event. I would expect that language to be expanded next year to include KI and any other parks that are going to separate admission haunts.
So, they're going to go ahead and include it in 2007, but in 2008 it will be an upcharge. So long as the park is open 10-5 (or whatever) for passholders, and then the separate charge is invoked in the evenings -- which sounds like the plan -- it seems totally fair to me. Passholders are being informed *before* buying their '08 pass that it's upcharge, so, ok. Sounds fair to me.
Of course, if the event turns out to suck... CF will have shot themselves in the foot, IMO. Don't ask people to pay for something that was included in the past and not make it worth it.
Yes, Nick or Treat is still on this year. It ends at 5 and the Haunt begins at 7, I believe.
How do you find this stuff Gonch?
It was posted on Screamscape. That's how.
Yes, it was. But I rarely check Screamscape.
Let's just say I have my ear to the pavement. (whatever the hell that means)
But now that it's been mentioned, I should probably just start looking at Screamscape. :)
But back to the original topic:
Sounds great to me. To have a 'seperate admission' caliber halloween event practically in my backyard is not a bad thing.
I do think that since the amusement park sells season passes, they should be for their entire operating season.
BUT, if it is worth charging an additional admission (and keep crowds from being out of control) I think it is totally worth it.
Though as someone stated, I would like to see some kind of 'season pass holder discount'.
Will they open the park during the day for a season pass holders and just up-charge them for the Haunt? I think there would be less of a sting if they did it that way. How does Knotts do it?
I've been to KBF Haunt, but not HHN. I'll withhold judgment on a comparison, but would be surprised if HHN didn't turn out to be at least comparable to Haunt.
In any event, the Midwestern Cedar Fair parks have really benefited from the KBF connection. I believe the Peanuts license was negotiated during the purchase. Cedar Point's ice show (IMO, the best show they put on all year) came from KBF. And, I believe the Halloweekends parade was designed by a KBF Live-E full-timer. It was surprisingly good, especially considering it was a first effort. *** Edited 9/26/2007 12:45:56 PM UTC by Brian Noble***
I'm such a sucker for Halloween events at parks. :)
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