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History of the Haunt

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On 9/20/2013 at 11:57 AM, Voicetek said:

I know I'm in the minority with my opinion, but I have never been able to understand why people want to glorify blood, mutilation, torture, death, etc. I've heard all the arguments - it's not real, it's all in good fun, it's make believe, I like a good scare, etc. However, I've never been to a "Haunt" at KI and don't really have a desire too. It's just not my thing. And looking through these pics, it just reaffirms my choice. Some of the things on display here just made me sick. Tortured and mutilated bodies laying around, people feasting on blood and mutilated bodies, etc. I just couldn't bring myself to participate in such a display. I love fall and love the festivities of Halloween, that's why I come to the family friendly version during the day.

We see acts of evil and violence on the news everyday and we're just appalled by it. Such a horror and a brutal act if inhumanity. We sit at our television sets just shocked and wonder how could such an act of violence be displayed? Then a few hours later, we pay good money to view some of these very same acts on display at a "theme park" or "attraction" and we shrug it off because it's "make believe". It just confuses me. I don't want any part of any violent or inhumane display whether it be real or staged. This is just the way I feel and have always felt.

In a world where evil is already so prevalent, I just can't bring myself to submit to it and honor it like some do around this time of year every year.

I want to end this post by saying that I'm not trying to judge anyone. I know lots of people who go to these types of events and don't think twice about it. If you truly have a good time and this type of display doesn't bother you then that's fine. This is, and has always been, a personal viewpoint of mine and this is all just my opinion. I just wanted to offer some of my thoughts to you all on this board. Please don't take offense to anything of I have said.

 You're not wrong for having those thoughts and opinions of this time of year. Totally understandable. 

My opinion on the matter is that we are becoming more and more desensitized every year to the evils of the world because we are indeed seeing the evils of the world daily. 

 For me, any my reasoning behind enjoying a good haunted house, or haunt like this, is that I really like looking at the production. Jump scares do literally nothing for me. I will walk into a haunted house, walk around slowly, take in all of the elements, and chuckle with the actors as they attempt to frighten me with jump scares and ridiculous antics that they pull. The "full experience" houses I visit where you subject yourself to being touched, pulled away from your group, and put into different areas are fun for me, again, because the amount of effort and production that goes into that is very interesting. I've not been in a situation in any one of these houses that has made me uncomfortable, scared, or frightened. Talk about desensitized!! I think I'm approaching a point where, just like with coasters, I'm probably going to start traveling to find new experiences, or new things that may actually make me scared or uncomfortable. There are 2 experiences in the US that come to mind that I want to try. Strong trigger warning for both of these houses, but if you want to see the level of screwed up I've become, Google McKamey Manor, and Blackout in New York.... 

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I'm hearing a lot of people who are disappointed with the way haunt is run every year. I've only experienced Haunt because I was too young to go to Fearfest so I only know about Haunt and Fearfest through old videos, pictures, and this thread. Was it better during the Paramount era because of the movie company aspect?

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45 minutes ago, SonofBaconator said:

I'm hearing a lot of people who are disappointed with the way haunt is run every year. I've only experienced Haunt because I was too young to go to Fearfest so I only know about Haunt and Fearfest through old videos, pictures, and this thread. Was it better during the Paramount era because of the movie company aspect?

I don’t know how much I agree with that. Paramount did little to nothing to truly integrate their IPs. The quality of their mazes was generally on par with what we have now, if not a little worse. There were some highlights, mainly Curse of the Crypt, which were pretty cool. 

As far as the environment, fog, visuals, fire, audio, lighting, etc. the current version is miles ahead of what we had back then. Some of that can be chalked up to new technology being available now.

Speaking of Curse of the Crypt, for those who don’t know, it was a maze that was in the back of the games building - to the left as you enter X Base. One of the signature features was a part where guests would be forced to crawl and wouldn’t know that they were on dark plexiglass. At a certain point, the lights would come on exposing a faced up actor who you would be nearly face to face with, covered in real hissing cockroaches. Curse of the Crypt was retired following the 2004 season.

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26 minutes ago, flightoffear1996 said:

I know they used to charge extra for haunt.  I remeber doing it once or twice as a kid but I can't remember how they filtered the non-paying haunt guest out of the park.

The first year the park was open during the day and FF was that night. They did it with wristbands. I believe afterwards the park was only open for FF, which was an up charge.

Can anyone confirm or deny?

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45 minutes ago, BoddaH1994 said:

The first year the park was open during the day and FF was that night. They did it with wristbands. I believe afterwards the park was only open for FF, which was an up charge.

Can anyone confirm or deny?

I recall at one point, they would close the park down at 6, and then re-open at 7 for FearFest.  I think they did the normal closing procedure with security forcing people to the exits.  I also recall them shutting rides down earlier than 6 if they had long lines.  I remember doing this at least at one point back in 2004.

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Fear Fest was a separate charge in 2000, 2001 and 2002.  I did not attend FearFest in 2000, but did attend in 2001 and 2002. I can confirm that they used to give you wristbands.  They also used to clear out the park for the incoming Fear Fest crowds.  They actually were exiting people through the old season pass holder entrance (over by the admission booths by the Kings Island Theater).

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1 hour ago, BoddaH1994 said:

The first year the park was open during the day and FF was that night. They did it with wristbands. I believe afterwards the park was only open for FF, which was an up charge.

Can anyone confirm or deny?

That is true... as is covered in the first post of this thread ;) 

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Personally, I literally can not speak on whether or not there has been a trend in declining/inclining quality of the Haunts/FearFest through the years....

As, there is one HUGE confounding factor...

Age. :)

The first time I went to FearFest in 2006 (8 yrs old), I was horrified and thought everyone was done extremely over-the-top....

By 2012....   'meh' (for obvious reasons)

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I have attended every year of Fearfest & Halloween Haunt. There have always been highlights and lowlights every year...but it is still my favorite time of the year to visit the park.

I still wish that they would up charge us season pass holders...even if it were only $10.00...but no more than $20.00...anything to knock the crowd back to a tolerable level. Back when it was an up charge you could get in multiple rides and haunts in on both Friday AND Saturday. Nowadays the scariest thing about The Haunt are the crowds on Saturdays!

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I wonder if Cedar Fair management is studying the Disney model of upcharge events early in the morning and at night.  Disney now has an early morning Fantasyland with breakfast upcharge package as well as a late night upcharge package in addition to their Halloween and Christmas upcharge party events.   All done by the wristband changeover between regular park and special event hours.  All have significantly increased the profit to the Disney bottom line.  However with the Cedar Fair budget cuts with Haunt of removing “extras” such as less mazes, elimination of skeleton key rooms, and elimination of special meals, I am not sure how many would be willing to pay any extra upcharge for less activities, and any upcharge model would likely not work.

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5 hours ago, Winterfestguy said:

I wonder if Cedar Fair management is studying the Disney model of upcharge events early in the morning and at night.  Disney now has an early morning Fantasyland with breakfast upcharge package as well as a late night upcharge package in addition to their Halloween and Christmas upcharge party events.   All done by the wristband changeover between regular park and special event hours.  All have significantly increased the profit to the Disney bottom line.  However with the Cedar Fair budget cuts with Haunt of removing “extras” such as less mazes, elimination of skeleton key rooms, and elimination of special meals, I am not sure how many would be willing to pay any extra upcharge for less activities, and any upcharge model would likely not work.

Let’s not forget that they planned to change to an up charge for the 2007 season of Haunt. There was a public outcry. 

“LOL jk we meant we are going to start charging in 2008.”

Also never happened.

Haunt is a Gold Oass entitlement. It would be very difficult to take it away.

See also: Winterfest 

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On 9/19/2018 at 12:37 PM, BoddaH1994 said:

The first year the park was open during the day and FF was that night. They did it with wristbands. I believe afterwards the park was only open for FF, which was an up charge.

Can anyone confirm or deny?

 

On 9/19/2018 at 1:23 PM, teenageninja said:

I recall at one point, they would close the park down at 6, and then re-open at 7 for FearFest.  I think they did the normal closing procedure with security forcing people to the exits.  I also recall them shutting rides down earlier than 6 if they had long lines.  I remember doing this at least at one point back in 2004.

 

On 9/19/2018 at 1:35 PM, CoastersRZ said:

Fear Fest was a separate charge in 2000, 2001 and 2002.  I did not attend FearFest in 2000, but did attend in 2001 and 2002. I can confirm that they used to give you wristbands.  They also used to clear out the park for the incoming Fear Fest crowds.  They actually were exiting people through the old season pass holder entrance (over by the admission booths by the Kings Island Theater).

As full time Supervisor of Admissions during that time, I can confirm how things were done.  We did use wristbands during the upcharge years of FearFest.  Wristbands were originally available at the General Admission booths, at the Return Visit booth inside the park next to Keyhole Photo and we also had associates in the park selling wristbands out of aprons.  The first year, as the weeks went on and the popularity of FearFest became apparent, we expanded sales into the Season Pass Sales windows and Big Booth (the Group Sales building) and had people selling them from aprons outside the front gate too.  Once FearFest started, you had to have a wristband in order to get in line for rides and enter the haunts.

Close to the time of FearFest opening (an hour before?) we set up bicycle rack barricades inside the front gate along with signs directing guests to exit through the old season pass gate.  No exiting was permitted through the front gate once the barricades were set up; that was to free up the front gate as an entrance only so we could have a smooth flow of traffic, in through the front gate and out through the season pass gate.  Once it was clear that the main flow of regular park guests exiting the park and the main flow of FearFest guests entering the park was over, the barricades were removed and the front gate operated as normal.

At no time was the park entirely cleared then people have to re-enter for FearFest.  That idea was rejected due to it being a logistical nightmare.

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6 hours ago, BoddaH1994 said:

Thanks for sharing! I really like the new "Coney Maul" signage; can't wait to see it in person tomorrow night!

 

Also, just out of curiosity, what was "The Freezer" (the FearFest maze) like and where was it located in relativity to the Effiel Tower? I remember seeing things about it as a kid and wondering where exactly it was as it was advertised as being near the Tower.

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12 hours ago, MDMC01 said:

Thanks for sharing! I really like the new "Coney Maul" signage; can't wait to see it in person tomorrow night!

 

Also, just out of curiosity, what was "The Freezer" (the FearFest maze) like and where was it located in relativity to the Effiel Tower? I remember seeing things about it as a kid and wondering where exactly it was as it was advertised as being near the Tower.

It was under the Eiffel Tower, where Dance of the Macabre is now.  I never experienced it, so a description from someone who did would be appreciated by both of us. 

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The Freezer was like the Asylum with chainlink fences in a tent. The scare actors would block some pathways and direct people in different directions. It was dark and you could easily get separated from your group or get lost in the maze it was pretty fun. I mostly remember the cool themeing. You waited outside and the maze director(?) would give their spiel and then spin a vault handle on a vault door and open it with a cloud of fog coming from inside.

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On 9/19/2018 at 11:53 AM, BoddaH1994 said:

I don’t know how much I agree with that. Paramount did little to nothing to truly integrate their IPs. The quality of their mazes was generally on par with what we have now, if not a little worse. There were some highlights, mainly Curse of the Crypt, which were pretty cool. 

As far as the environment, fog, visuals, fire, audio, lighting, etc. the current version is miles ahead of what we had back then. Some of that can be chalked up to new technology being available now.

Speaking of Curse of the Crypt, for those who don’t know, it was a maze that was in the back of the games building - to the left as you enter X Base. One of the signature features was a part where guests would be forced to crawl and wouldn’t know that they were on dark plexiglass. At a certain point, the lights would come on exposing a faced up actor who you would be nearly face to face with, covered in real hissing cockroaches. Curse of the Crypt was retired following the 2004 season.

You have absolutely no idea how happy I am to hear you speak about the curse of the Crypt. I was 9 years old in 2004 so I couldn’t remember what it was called but I remembered it being by The Racer tracks and the crawling part. I even spoke to my dad about this and he didn’t remember it so I went on a hunt to find information about it and have finally came across something!! If I remember correctly there were two ways to go at the start and they let someone choose as well? This was an awesome attraction and nothing has lived up to me being 9 years old and screaming when that light turned on when I was crawling!!

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