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Halloween Events TOO Crowded?

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I saw this topic on In The Loop Rebooted the other night and though that it would be a good question to ask on here. Do you all think that Halloween Haunt is getting too crowded and thus making it almost impossible to enjoy all the attractions in one day? Me personally, I wish they would go to a separate ticket like FearFest was, as that made crowds much more reasonable and you could actually go to the park on a Saturday.

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Yes and yes.

First yes: This year at Kings Island, in my two visits, has been horrendous. The amount of people is equivalent to cars in rush hour. Lines are crazy long - for both mazes and rides. I haven't been able to ride The Beast this Halloween because the line has stretched all the way to Madame Fatale's line. Diamondback has also had a line stretching out of the entrance, as has Adventure Express (although that's not a long wait), Vortex, and many others. It's almost unenjoyable.

Second yes: The crowds are the reason it should be an up charge. My only concern with this is, I think people would still pay to get in.

It's just crazy that a 364-acre park with tens of rides and mazes still doesn't control the crowds at all.

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The problem is, Kings Island's 'Gold Passes include Halloween Haunt" is just too good of a deal. My opinion is that an up-charge ticket for Halloween Haunt and Halloween Haunt ONLY should be created. I still think daytime fun on Saturdays and Sundays should be included until say 5:30. Then everybody clears out and they re-open shortly later for just Halloween Haunt people. Tickets should be discounted to all season pass holders, but not free. There should also be an option to add on a Haunt Season to pass to a Gold or Platinum. This way they can make even more money then they already do, and could put more effort and money into the haunted attractions.

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The problem is, Kings Island's 'Gold Passes include Halloween Haunt" is just too good of a deal. My opinion is that an up-charge ticket for Halloween Haunt and Halloween Haunt ONLY should be created. I still think daytime fun on Saturdays and Sundays should be included until say 5:30. Then everybody clears out and they re-open shortly later for just Halloween Haunt people. Tickets should be discounted to all season pass holders, but not free. There should also be an option to add on a Haunt Season to pass to a Gold or Platinum. This way they can make even more money then they already do, and could put more effort and money into the haunted attractions.

Yes! This is a genius idea. Somebody please get on it.

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Why would you close the park at 5:30? Its disservices the people who come to stay the whole day. How long would they have to wait, an hour, hour and a half? It takes awhile to clear out the park.

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If Cedar Fair was to do this, it should conduct extensive surveys at all of the parks and employ an outside marketing firm to conduct surveys and focus groups to gage the reaction. All current season pass holders should be contacted and ask their input into this possible up charge. Another thing to consider is how it would effect current season pass sales and would people attend the Haunt events more than one day or pay for several Haunt weekends. If you have people that do not renew or buy season passes due to this, it will mean less sales while inside the park, which is where parks make their money. Finally if they do this, it should be WELL advertised a year in advance in all media avenues and on displays at the park to ensure there is no confusion when people would state they were under the impression their season pass included the Haunt. It is just like there are still some pass holders that believed their regular season passes were good for the entire season, including Haunt even though they expired on Labor Day. Personally, I feel the Haunt should not be a separate up charge but included in the cost of the season pass. But on another thought, it might just mean the price of the season pass is priced too low. Just a thought to ponder.

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I'm not sure how much this adds to the problem, but Kings Island always seems to have discounted single day tickets to haunt. If it was full price, it might help with the crowding a bit.

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A less crowded park means less sales while inside the park and this is where the parks make their money.

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Just because the park is packed to capacity doesn't mean revenue is maximized. I'm sure there's a "sweet spot".

If you pack the park full enough to ruin the guest experience, you're going to have diminishing returns. Satisfied guests open their wallets, and people expecting to be satisfied buy single-day tickets.

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Why would you close the park at 5:30? Its disservices the people who come to stay the whole day. How long would they have to wait, an hour, hour and a half? It takes awhile to clear out the park.

Well, you can have the park open 10-4, ERT at 9, then shut down for three hours and re-open at 7 for Haunt.

Also, I think that children under a set age should not be allowed to go into Halloween Haunt at all. When I was there two Saturdays ago, at about 8 o' clock, I was still seeing some strollers. They were leaving the park, but still it's Halloween Haunt. Also, while in Slaughterhouse, there was a group of boys, none of them older than eleven, walking behind my group. They were being really obnoxious, cussing at all of the actors who jumped out at them. In MFCoT, there were some adults behind leading around a girl who looked no older than seven.I don't know about her, but I was very frightened by the maze.

Guests should try to listen to management when they say:

This event is too intense for anyone under the age of 13.

(from the Haunt webpage)

EDIT: What is MFCoV? :P

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Age does not constitute maturity. Some adults act worse than the eleven year olds you mentioned (ranging from smoking on rides to picking fights)

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I had also mentioned a separate charge for the Haunt on another posts. My reasoning behind this is that with the Haunt being free with the gold pass, it encourages the 'no where else to go' behavior, and that attitude can encourage the poor behaviors we've been discussing. With an added charge, people will think before just dropping in because they are bored.

To include the Haunt on the pass makes it a free event in many people's minds. Things only have the value that we put on it. Many of us go to KI and not Land of Illusions because KI is free.

An extra fee would cut back on the crowding, and perhaps bring more families with teens, instead of having the teens with no supervision.

I'd rather pay a little extra and have the crowd size be manageable, than to have to attend a free for all.

I'd also like an age limit for the Haunt, but not for the same reasons. There were times in a Haunts where one had to apply the "Don't Scare" rule because a younger person became overwhelmed. I don't recall going to Haunts until I was sixteen, and that was only because my 18 year old sister was frightened to go by herself. I can't imagine being a parent and dropping a kid off at the park if they were under 16 years of age.

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Why would you close the park at 5:30? Its disservices the people who come to stay the whole day. How long would they have to wait, an hour, hour and a half? It takes awhile to clear out the park.

Is that not what they did when Paramount did FearFest and it required an upcharge? It seems to me I remember hearing something about getting a wristband or such and you could only do the rides and mazes with that wristband saying you paid to do FearFest.

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At the parks with upcharge Haunts (Carowinds, Canada's Wonderland, Knott's), the park closes early to clear it out before Haunt begins. If you want to attend at both times, you must buy two separate tickets. None of those events were ever "free with admission", so guests don't expect it to be.

2013 passholders have already been promised "unlimited" Haunt admission next year, so it's pretty certain that the admission policy won't be changing next season.

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Well, you can have the park open 10-4, ERT at 9, then shut down for three hours and re-open at 7 for Haunt.

Yikes! And have the people that are going to both events wait around for 3 hours, outside the park? Not such a good idea. That's three hours they could be in the park spending money.

Also, while in Slaughterhouse, there was a group of boys, none of them older than eleven, walking behind my group. They were being really obnoxious, cussing at all of the actors who jumped out at them.

Those kids are ALWAYS my target. Where I hide, no one suspects that there's someone hiding there. When I see a group like that come through and they're taunting the other person that's in the room with me, 99% of the time I make that group jump out of their skins.

Why would you close the park at 5:30? Its disservices the people who come to stay the whole day. How long would they have to wait, an hour, hour and a half? It takes awhile to clear out the park.

Is that not what they did when Paramount did FearFest and it required an upcharge? It seems to me I remember hearing something about getting a wristband or such and you could only do the rides and mazes with that wristband saying you paid to do FearFest.

During FearFest, people who paid for the event were given a wristband. The park was not cleared out; if you didn't have a wristband, you could stay in the park, but you were not permitted to ride or go through the mazes. They had an extra person at the entrance of each ride checking for wristbands (and keep in mind, additional person to staff = additional wages to pay).

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I agree that something should be done to reduce crowds somewhat. We were there the second weekend in October. Decided to take our kids and do the whole day thing. It was so crowded, we got in 7 rides the entire day (we were there from opening until 10pm). Only 2 rides outside of Planet Snoopy. My middle daughter finally hit the right height for Diamondback, but the line was so long, she missed out on her very first ride. And yes, our 3 kids attended Haunt. 9, 10 and 12 years old. They're very well aware of scare actors just being people dressed up, and got quite a kick out of people watching (watching teen girls get scared) Some of the scare actors interacted with my kids and they LOVED it. We did not take them through any mazes, since I felt like that wouldn't be appropriate just yet. It's really just a matter of perspective. A parent should know what their kid can and can not handle.

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IMO the true issue is timing for seasonal parks.

Halloween events can only take place for about 6-7 weekends/ year. Staffing issues prevent the parks from being open during the week. Bad weather prevents every weekend to be an optimal weather-wise. So when good weather hits on one of the 6 weekends, guests will be clamoring to take advantage.

Increasing the price will only stop a small handful of guests for the same reason above. Guests want to get out of the house in good weather before winter hits.

Planning for these events is a nightmare for the park.

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I like the Fearfest wristband idea. Charge for the wristband and be done with it. Parents might think a bit before they put up the charge for smaller children to be in the park. I'm not talking children the age that Pcc has, and she was with them to monitor. I saw a kid that about four years old, being tended by siblings that were about 7 and 8. Their parents sat on a bench in Coney Island, while the kids had to negotiate the crowds. I don't know if it was a situation of discount tickets, or what, but it seemed as if they were clueless about the whole theme park thing. The kids kept waiting in line for rides, only to have the attendant turn them away for height reasons. I hope their passes were free, because they sure wasted an entire night, and took up the worker's time and patience.

Having an up charge, a separate charge for a wristband, would be worth the extra cost to make the experience more enjoyable. It was really crowded when I went.

Ha- I had a meanderer in my group: he wasn't being nonchalant on purpose, he just wanted to take it all in, but it's those people that need a mini-ghoul to help shove them through the mazes. He walked faster through Slaughterhouse after a few well calculate scares. His wife broke ranks and ran out of the waiting line from the sounds alone.

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I got to thinking about crowd sizes at Haunt. Granted, I haven't really seen the ride lines in the last five years since I've been working in the haunts, but hearing others' accounts of them reminded me of when I was a kid. When I was a kid, we only got to go once a year, and on those days, the lines were long. Beast had all the switchback queues open, Racer had all of it's queues open, as did Vortex, King Cobra, etc. I think our idea of "crowded" has gotten skewed over the years.

Yes, those days were busy when I was a kid, but from what I understand those kinds of lines were common at the time, much more common than they are now. In recent years you could go to KI on a Sunday - Thursday and have fairly minimal waits. Perhaps this has spoiled us. We're no longer used to the long lines that were so pervasive in the '70s/'80s/early '90s.

I know when to avoid going to Cedar Point, because I've heard stories of 2 to 3 hour waits for Millie, Dragster and other rides there on Saturdays during the summer. From what I understand it's quite common. I think we regular KI visitors have just become somewhat spoiled, and when we are faced with those huge crowds and long lines, we don't know how to process it and it forces some to complain.

Maybe it will help if you just think of it this way... Huge crowds and long lines is just another way of bringing nostalgia back to the park! (Oh... am I a few years too late with that joke?...)

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Gatorhead, the lines for the rides were amazing.

The thinking of a pass holder is different, too. In my case, I only go a few hours at a time. If the line is too long, then it's "next time." I recall the long lines from the past, too. We have become spoiled by being pass holders.

On the other hand, I don't have much opportunity to ride the smaller, shorter lined rides like The Monster until I bring a guest in.

Strange how a person going only once or twice a year has patience for the long lines.

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I don't normally mind waiting, however, Haunt 2010 was insane. Have avoided it ever since. Spent my weekends volunteering at a local Haunted Attraction this October and had way more fun.

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