If they upcharge next year, there will almost certainly be a major boost to the event quality as well.
There'd have to be.
I'm all for upcharges and the like, but KI's Haunt as it stands is weak...very weak.
Turn down the lights and fog machines.
I'll pay the extra admission if they spend it on acting classes and overall improvements.
The characters weren't good actors, most of them didn't even try to act.
2020 Trips: Canceled by Corona
Because it's such a high-profile event in the L.A. and O.C. area during October, and having been around for over 34 years, Halloween Haunt at Knott's has a dedicated following of extremely talented "scare-actors" that return every year for the job.
I was afraid that having Cedar Fair capitalize on the Knott's Halloween brand and spreading it elsewhere would damage its reputation as a solid event. Turns out Kings Island's take on the original event in California is lukewarm at best. :)
The mazes were well thought out, the zones were cool, I even dug the general park vibe with the fog and lights. They did a great job on ALL of that. But...
First off, the performers didn't even try to get any scares in many (most?) instances - the worst offenders were the Trail of Terror monsters. They did nothing but stand there while you walked by. It was silly. Too much of that going on all over the place.
Next up - roaming characters. For an event advertising 'twice the monsters' there sure didn't seem to be many to be found outside of the mazes and zones. We saw something like 5 or 6 the entire evening throughout the entire park and they all suffered the same 'not doing anything but standing or walking' syndrome that many of the in-maze monsters suffered.
For example as far as I could tell, the area from around the swings all the way back to the Spongebob Theatre and over to the 3-point shootout was essentially patrolled by one single monster...and I saw him just sitting on benches WAY too much. The rest of the time he was just walking...seemingly killing time. I don't think I saw the guy atempt one scare the entire night.
I'd rather have had 1/2 the monsters in the house/mazes/zones and the other half out roaming and screwing with people. Even with the fog and decorations, it felt too much like a normal night at the park outside of the specific Halloween attractions.
We only checked out one show - Dead Awakening. We made it about 10 minutes before we walked out. We weren't the only ones. The only thing that kept us there that long were the scantily clad (by amusement park standards) hotties. Over all a really weak show with second-rate performances that was mildly confusing and bordered on cheesy (again, even by amusement park standards).
Last of all - get more security out there. People were out of control. There was no smoking enforcement whatsoever. There were way too many unsupervised kids (babysitting service) who were completely out of control. We saw teenage sex (well, not full blown sex, but easily 2nd or 3rd base), we saw drinks being thrown (and hitting other guests) & we saw kids stealing from the carts full of the nighttime glowy stuff - all in lines for attractions! It was out of control...literally.
Like I said, I do think they had some decent ideas of mazes/zones and they were doing a stellar job at keeping lines moving (but still there wasn't enough time to hit all the Halloween attractions). Far and away the standout maze/house of the evening was Club Blood. Everyone is there was working their butts off to create scares even with tons of people inside at one time...and they were pulling it off. Club Blood showed me it is possible and made the other attractions seem even more disappointing in comparison.
Maybe it was anticipointment on my part. They sold this hard as bigger, better and badder than the old FearFest and kept the ties to Knott's Haunt for promotional purposes. Having never been to Knott's event but hearing only rave reviews, maybe I expected too much?
Then again, I don't think so. Comparing this to all of the park Halloween events I've done, it was low on the list.
I do think upcharging is a good idea for 2008 in that it may solve some of the crowd related issues (time, attitudes), but the quality of the event needs to come up...a lot...if they plan on charging passholders for it.
I would have liked more darkness, it would have made all of the overdone fog even cooler. More sound effects would have been nice too.
I thought that the costumes and makeup were the only great improvements. I didn't do that many mazes because of the long lines and let downs at Massacre Manor & Carn-Evil. I totally dismissed Club Blood due to a couple of bad reviews on TN & TPR. I wish I would have visited that attaction now.
I didn't notice too much chaos outside of some silly teenagers and alot of smoking. I guess I wasn't paying enough attention. The only show I saw was three women exposing themselves in the photo booth. My little brother yelled in at them to let them know that they were on screen. The show got better from there! *** Edited 10/9/2007 10:49:49 PM UTC by Blackie***
I always think it's interesting when a wide chain of parks employs different promotions and operations depending on the park. The good example was last year's various treatment of Cedar Fair season passes. It was a transitional thing, I realize, and now that CF has had a year to put their stamp on the new parks they have standardized the process with a platinum pass, which I believe are the same price everywhere, good for all parks.
But Halloween may be a different matter. As discussed above, certain parks in the chain have always had separate ticket events, and apparently to great success. But would Cedar Point ever change to such an event? I'll answer- Hell no. I'll eat my hat if they do, but I imagine it just wouldn't be possible there for several reasons. But it is a proven success elsewhere, so Cedar Fair is analyzing the money and picking the most likely place to convert to a separate show and KI is the winner. With that they promise to kick it up, bring in the big boys, (yes, without all those out of work Hollywood actors and actresses- and Ohio's talent is currently busy at the Ohio Rennaisance Festival), and season pass buyers beware.
Is the Cincinnati metro area the place for it? Is KI ripe to rake it in from such an event? Maybe someone from the area knows. I do know the Cleveland market seems fairly saturated with haunted events and they are a big Halloween town. Dunno about 513 land, though. And Gonch, as far as the rough crowd, haven't you noticed that, anymore, people are acting like heathens wherever you go? I have. Maybe some of that tends to simmer down when the customers are paying big bucks. Another case for it?
Those who are disappointed this year should probably give it another chance, if they're smart they'll do their best to pull off a great transformation and make it a must-do for everyone in the area.
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