Ohio ThemePark Halloween Report Card

Monday, December 3, 2001 10:04 AM
Hello Coaster Fans Who Are Busy Decorating There Christmas Trees With Every Theme Park Souvenir They Can Find, 

     Since the Ohio coaster season is over, I figured I would do a little (more big than little) post on Ohio’s Theme Park Halloween Report Card (better late than never). Before this gets out of hand let me say that Yes, CP is my home park, I’m closer to SFWoA that I think is great also. But YES I kept an extremely open mind when visiting each park. And I will also say that EAC one of these parks is more than worthy of visiting during Halloween!! These are the parks that I visited during the month of late Sept. and Oct. Cedar Point, Six Flags Worlds of Adventure, Wyandot Lake, Dover Lake, and Paramount’s Kings Island.

     I will go into somewhat detail in these categories: Daytime Atmosphere, Nighttime Atmosphere, Park alloween Visuals, alloween Attractions, and Overall…each followed by a "school grading scale."

     SMALL NOTE: Due to the Sep. 11. Attacks I feel AND know the parks scaled down things CONSIDERABLY but I will still base most things compared to last year and what I know they can do. This is not to offend anyone, and I’m glad the parks listen to the people. ENJOY!!


     Daytime Atmosphere: For adding more money than they usually do according to park press, it sure didn’t show this year. The midway was MORE than out standing this year (as expected) but other areas throughout the park seemed to be missing quiet a few things. Gone are the wolves in front of Gemini, no Iron Dragon Car, no area 51, etc. This year they seemed to be placed by DOUBLE the amount of fog machines! Most scenes were mainly friendly skeletons acting out some type of scene. And out of the 4 times I went to this I didn’t see ONE character where last year I saw them all the time? GRADE: B-

Nighttime Atmosphere: I can tell you all those extra fog machines they added this year sure made it hard to see things on the midways, but the lighting made it look really cool. The Frontier trail was really neat but WAY to packed to enjoy things. CP still needs to add more Halloween music. GRADE: A-

Park Halloween Visuals: Again, as above I was more than disappointed compared to last year. The park made it hyped up that it was suppose to bigger and better due to all the money that they were to put into it. This park was my favorite last year in Visuals this year it was probably my last or next to last. I’m making this judgement compared to what I have seen they can do. =c( Grade: D

Halloween Attractions: I can say this department was A LOT better than last year. Last year I walked away more than disappointed with the tomb haunted attraction and this year with the addition of the 3-D effect (glasses $1 extra but worth it) it was Sooo much better. And the polka-dot room was pretty neat. None of CP’s haunted houses where by any means scary, but all were pretty neat. CP’s new addition was Undertaker U. that was not scary, but did have some really cool effects (tilting floor, rotating walkway, strobe fence thing, etc). I will say that most families will enjoy them but most kids wouldn’t like the big houses. Problem is if you know the kids won’t go in them, why not make them actually scary? GRADE: Attractions: A+ Scariness: C

Overall: Compared to last year I think CP got their legs knocked out from underneath them. I will look at it as being a rebuilding year and hope for better next year. Worth going though if you’re a family person. GRADE: B


Daytime Atmosphere: SFWoA ranks number 2 on my list this year for daytime atmosphere. They had TONS of spider webs everywhere and spooky music playing and I saw cool characters roaming around the park. Plus there entrance and main midway is one of the best up there if not above with CP. SFWoA unfortunately didn’t have much stuff to do Halloween wise for adults during the day but it was just cool to walk around and ride things. If all goes as planned next year will be REALLY neat but for now…GRADE: B

Nighttime Atmosphere: This park actually seems scary at night. Lights are turned down fog machines are turned on and music is scary. And even more characters roam the midway that stalks you. Wild Life side needs A LOT of work but again that will come next year…mind you the Bayou looked GREAT but you can tell SFWoA wasn’t able to get all the stuff they wanted for the Wild Life side. But MAN that side is spooky because of all the little paths and things and they had a few sound sensors that went off when you triggered them…pretty cool. GRADE: A-


Park Halloween Visuals: Park visuals were down a little more than last year, but not nearly as much as CP. One thing I like about SFWoA is that they put spider webs everywhere…and I mean everywhere! It gives a great old abandoned look to the park. They did have more white lights on at night this year than last but once you got away from the main area of that it was cool. GRADE: C


Halloween Attractions: I first like to start out this section buy saying something that SFWoA did that was "OVER TE TOP OF EVERYONE." They first added a laser light and Halloween spectacle at the Batman Water Stunt Arena. To the normal enthusiast this was "good" but the crowd LOVED it. Everyone was yelling and just having a ton of fun...crowd interactive and everything. They had this guy playing Dracula hosting the show with a good ascent and lame jokes. The thing that impressed me was the end of the show: The host got rid of his ascent and explained why things were toned down a little and thanked all the people who have made this country great lately. e went on a to say how we should never forget what has happed. It was a good short non-cheesy speech that meant a lot to everyone their. SFWoA then dropped the alloween thing and did an AWESOME Laser light and Pyro. to "Proud To Be An American" (same as CP laser thing CP has done in the past). What was cool is have you ever seen umpteen 1000 people stand up and start cheering…as one? It was just something great to be part of, and I give SFWoA more than 2 thumbs up!! SFWoA had only 2 "aunted ouses" for adults, but what they had was GOOD. Not for kids but pretty scary and good visuals. What they had for the kids was more than outstanding and there wasn’t a kid in the area with a frown on. CP and SFWoA both have GREAT kids stuff, but this year I would have to rank SFWoA above CP for quality and maybe quantity. GRADE: A+

Overall: Like I said SFWoA gave credit to where due this year in a more than impressive way and they didn’t deter to much from last year and it was a fun time. Except for Villain not running at full capacity (and for those who would trash SFWoA…I would say the same about Gemini…so please don’t start.) GRADE: A-


Daytime Atmosphere: N/A

Nighttime Atmosphere: Pretty spooky…you feel like your in an old defunct park. Eerie music playing and lots of spider webs…this is just a park that has a unique look and feel to it. It some old rides that just fit in with this time of year. GRADE: B

Park Halloween Visuals: Not much in the visual department here, a few webs and some neat lighting. Nice feel leading up to their main attraction. I think a little creativity might be needed here. GRADE: C-

Halloween Attractions: Wyandot Lake, here in Ohio, is known for having one of the best aunted ouses (next to the Mansfield Prison that is). Is one of those things where quality surpasses quantity. It’s located down where the picnic pavilions are (kind of down away from things), and it gets very creepy down there with all those trees and effects. The effects are good, it’s scary, and make up jobs are great! GRADE: A

Overall: It’s definitely worth stopping by if you’re traveling through Ohio and it has one of the best aunted ouses in Ohio…to mention some really good Spin and Puke rides. GRADE: B-


Daytime Atmosphere: N/A

Nighttime Atmosphere: This park has to have the scariest nighttime atmosphere out of ANY park. Mainly just due to its location…it’s in the Valley of Cuyahoga…deep in the metro park…away from EVERYTING. They have scary music spider webs everywhere and the decorations they have are top notch…It has the look like one or a group of REALLY good artist made some stuff for them and they look great. They whole setup to their attraction has this certain impending doom up a head feel. And they also have some good entertainers. They don’t have a lot of money, but they have done VERY nicely with what they have. GRADE: A

Park Halloween Visuals: This is like Dover Lake, they don’t have a lot to work with (considering half the place is a water park and their carnival rides aren’t ready yet (very soon though). But Dover Lake is different because they did very good with what they have. The most impressive thing they made is a GIANT scarecrow that looks just like the guy from Nightmare Before Christmas…and it’s pretty creepy. The fire breathing guy is really need to breathing fire over the crowd…everyone at the park loved that guy. I just wish they would do a little more leading up to the main gate. GRADE: B+

Halloween Attractions: Dover Lake has one of if not thee best haunted attractions for an Ohio park! Mind you this is in NO WAY for little kids. They take their GIANT picnic pavilions and turn them into a huge maze of haunted corridors. Some parts are really scary…they whole thing is MORE than gruesome and it has a ton of surprises. The neat thing after you walk out you think it’s over, but then a hay wagon and tractor come pick you up. I know I’ve been on haunted hayrides before, but this is like no other…VERY nicely done. GRADE: A+

Overall: Dover Lake has to be either number 1 or number 2 in the "Best for you dollar" category. At $7 for unlimited times and free drinks, this place is worth Checking out if you’re in the Ohio area. And it’s somewhat in between SFWoA and CP. GRADE:  A


Daytime Atmosphere: This is one park that clears out the park than charges everyone to come back in at night for the Halloween attractions. So it’s kind of a toss up on how to choose this. If they had one admission to this park, it would be WAY up there as number 1. I can tell you they did make the park look quite midevil-ish by draping torn cloths over everything, they put a lot of props all throughout the park and get this…they actually played alloween music like Monster Mash, Ghostbusters, etc. instead of their normal soundtrack. Every building PKI has did look VERY nice and decorated. GRADE: B+

Nighttime Atmosphere: PKI has my hats off to them for being the best park in this category! The only other park that came close is Dover Lake. But PKI passes them because they have good quantity. This place made everyone walk around hugging each other in groups. Music, lighting, scenery, rides, everything was top notch. GRADE: A+

Park Halloween Visuals: PKI spared NO expense with decorating for alloween, and used a ton of imagination. Most parks think that you need to buy props for Halloween, when in reality to give something a spooky feel, you really just need a person with a great imagination and one UGE junkyard!! Sure you can have props but can it fit in to everything else…PKI showed they could be number one. GRADE: A

Halloween Attractions: They definitely were not short in this department. PKI brought in some people whose middle name is practically alloween. They showed they could provide. The visuals and make-up jobs were more than outstanding. Scary-ness factor would be a little low, but it was just neat. They even put in a new movie at their theater staring Elvira. This is one park though whose main midway wasn’t as great as other parks. GRADE: A

Overall: The only thing I can even really say to improve on is I wish it were pay one price. On PKI ‘s side though…you should see the money they rake in. They have LONG and LATE hours into the night which is quite nice, they have their great attractions all open and running at full speed and the staff is beyond exceptional. A two thumbs up goes to the Beast’s crew…I have NEVER seen anything like that before in the closing hour of a park!!! It reminded me of a Pep rally with 10,000 high school kids who just one the State Football Championship!! GRADE: A+

     In the end I was quite proud of Ohio this year. Given the circumstances everyone had to deal with they all put on a good show for the people. And I heard comments from all the parks of people that were coming back next year. If you haven’t come to Ohio for Halloween you haven’t experienced Halloween!! Thanks for reading and feel free to add comments or contact me!!

"The Future of Roller Coasters"
Matthew Baughman
E-mail: RollerCoasterGod@aol.com

*** This post was edited by RollerCoasterGod on 12/4/2001. ***

Tuesday, December 4, 2001 2:33 AM
I went to Wyandot Lake's haunted house and it was REALLY bad!
Tuesday, December 4, 2001 4:58 AM
Keep in mind, that many parks "toned" the violence down due to the Sept. 11th incident.
Tuesday, December 4, 2001 6:52 AM
RollerCoasterGod your post is too hard to read! What happened to it? See if you can correct it. Thanks!
Tuesday, December 4, 2001 8:24 AM
Hope I made it easier to read. These forums aren't very compatible with copy and paste from Microsoft Word...than again what is? :-)


"The Future of Roller Coasters"


Tuesday, December 4, 2001 8:33 AM
Matt, you mean to tell me those spider webs at SFWoA weren't real?  ;)

And you said that the park is scary at night during Fright Fest.  Well, when isn't it scary at night?  Even during the regular season, lighting is pretty much non-existent at the park... which is a shame as this park could look really nice at night. 

ProgRay (who would like to lend Matt a few "H's" ;))

Tuesday, December 4, 2001 1:44 PM
No john peck, there was no violence! We were walking through the hallways and we turned the corner into the "scary" rooms to find!.............nothing. This happened many times through it, I was very dissapointed.
Tuesday, December 4, 2001 4:43 PM
what a great report. thanx!
Tuesday, December 4, 2001 5:28 PM
The ultime best Halloween celebration once again goes to Universal Studios Florida IMO.  Bill and Ted was hilarious like always.  The three scares zones in pure whiteness were also awesome.  The five haunted houses, Pitch Black, Scary Tales, Mummy, Run, and Superstitions were all awesome.  Run and Pitch Black were exceptional though. 

You would not believe Pitch Black, bouncing floors, sliding floors, soft floors, icy floors, sticky walls, wet walls, cold walls, hot walls, pointy walls, and just when your eyes get adjusted to the pitch black they stick you into a white room with all the lights turned on.  Oh yea and did I mention the scaracters?

Run wasn't as scary as the others but it was probobly the most fun.  It is different every time you do it and for me it was better the second time.  You start out getting chased by chainsaw guys through padded walls and you literraly have to run.  Then you go through mirror rooms, sliding floor rooms, chain link fences, all with strobe lights.  There are huges padded punching bags the scaracters push at you.  My favorite was the construction area where they had water guns descuised as nail guns. They shot you with powerful blasts of water in a gauntlet type thing. 

Also all the side street shows were sweet, like the girl in the coffin with rats, the torture machines, and the Not Going to Take it show about the rules.  HHN was just plain awesome.

"This time I think ... I think it's ... it's going to work!" - Dr.Bruce Banner

Wednesday, December 5, 2001 4:25 AM
IOA- I've heard many good things about Florida's celebrations down there. I'm hoping to get down there next year to see a few places.


And yes, there were quite a few times (especially at CP, and SFWoA) Where they had some rooms (that I KNOW had props/effect/etc last year)  that didn't have them. It wasn't like they fogot or put them some where else in the attraction they took them out all together. CP was one who took out stuff all together...especially on the midway. I'm still trying to reason on some of their decisions. Like the removal of Area 51. Was it to old? Have to much to do with 9-11? I don't know. I know they had their reasons though. I can't wait 'till next year.

"The Future of Roller Coasters"



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