KI's Haunt - No entry for passholders?

Lord Gonchar's avatar
Well, not next year (2008) apparently.

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:

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.

What's the seprate admission price for these events?


Halloween Haunt is going to be VERY intense. Even more intense next year when they start having the upcharge for it. From what I've seen, I'd say it's going to be well worth the additional charge.
Lord Gonchar's avatar
Halloween Horror Nights at IOA is $65 for general admission and $50 for passholders this year.

Halloween Haunt at Knott's is $51 on-site or $46 pre-sell.

They should really do what IOA does and at least offer a discount for passholders. Most likely, passholders would being along full-price paying friends.
eightdotthree's avatar
Interesting. 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?

If its as good as Knotts' Haunt I will make a weekend out of it, no question.

Most likely they'd have the park open normally from like 11AM-5PM, since Haunt doesn't start until 7PM on Fri/Sat.

Sunday has no Haunt and would likely be open normally.

KI's upcharge will likely not be as high as Knott's.

PKI did this the oposite way with Fear Fest, It started as a separate event then changed to including.

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 :)


That's exactly why they're changing back to additional charge: Complaints about the INSANE crowds.

Ride conditions are really good though.

How do you find this stuff Gonch?
joe.'s avatar
I'd assume Gonch is just that bored. :)
It was posted on Screamscape. That's how. :)
I don't know if anybody outside the Dayton/Miami Valley area get these REACH coupon magazines in their mail, but in our most recent edition they have a KI Halloween Haunt ad.

It says to go to 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***

Now officially a Halloween Haunt Cornstalker for Fall '08!
Everything I have heard so far is that next year (and most certainly this year) KI will be open and free for SPs Saturdays and Sundays during the day in the fall. However, the Haunt will be an upcharge on Fri and Sat night. I plan on holding my opinion till I see it this year. If it wasn't for the promise last spring that "Fear Fest" would be free for SPs this year, the Haunt would have been an upcharge this year, ie they have already uped the ante and hired more scare actors, put in new mazes and expanded others. But again, Ill hold my opinion until I experience it in a month.

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

I read a KI board frequently, and had been following this discussion. I think the reasoning behind this (and the very specific wording on the website) had to do with *when* the change to separate charge was going to happen.

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.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

Neuski said:
How do you find this stuff Gonch?

halltd said:
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 saw some prices for this year. It seems that 19.95 would be reasonable. It is about the price you would pay for a haunted house in my area.

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?

That's exactly what Knott's does. But, I'd wager that Haunt is *more* crowded than daytime operation during the Fall. They really pack 'em in, that's for sure.

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***

eightdotthree's avatar
Agreed on the parade, while the actors could have been a little more into it, the parade was surprisingly very good.

Lord Gonchar's avatar
See, now you guys are getting me excited about seeing that parade at CP too.

I'm such a sucker for Halloween events at parks. :)

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