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Double, Double, Toil, and Trouble (HalloWeekends PTR 9/21 AND 10/3)


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Double the pictures. Double the fun. And double the chills and thrills that go along with one of my favorite time to visit Cedar Point: HalloWeekends!

Sunday, September 21st:

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It was extremely windy and as soon as my mom and I arrived, we knew that a lot of rides probably wouldn't be operating. Upon entering the park, we were even told that Raptor and Gatekeeper would be down until further notice. Raptor never did open as far as I know. Anyway, we went straight to Maverick for the last part of Early Entry and rode it 3 times, first in the front, then in the back, then in the front again. We had a great ride op named David, and we saw PegKeeper Peggy. She was trying to reach 2,000 rides on GK for the season and at the time she said she was around 1,775. Pretty impressive! But since GK was down, she would have to wait to get some more rides on it. Next was Skyhawk with a 1 cycle wait. We decided to go on Millennium and rode it twice with 15 minute waits, first in the front and then in the back. We wanted to make sure to see Midnight Syndicate due to all the great things we had heard about it, and decided to aim for the 2 pm show. We still had a little time to kill, so we headed back to Magnum and had an awesome ride in the 2nd to back row.

Finally it was time for Midnight Syndicate. I had see pictures of the set and show, but it was incredible seeing it in person. The level of detail was incredible. Live entertainment has really been impressing me lately, and I'm glad to see the park going in this new direction. A great amusement park needs more than just thrilling rides, and the Point is definitely starting to improve on this. I won't give away any spoilers, but the show was amazing and wasn't what I expected. I also loved the surprise at the end, including what happened even after leaving the theater. :)

We grabbed some lunch at Panda Express and saw some of the Eternity Infirmary Screamsters heading back to get ready to scare. Between seeing Midnight Syndicate and now seeing the Screamsters, the Halloween excitement was finally becoming real. I was pumped up for the first haunt, and decided to go straight to the new Hexed haunted house. I'll write my haunt reviews later, but I'll say that I was really impressed. Then we spent the next part of the day going through all the haunts. We went from hexed to Zombie High, Eerie Estate, Eden Musee, and then Eternity Infirmary. None of them had waits. We also got to see the 2nd half of Skeleton Crew, which was as great as I remembered from last year. The crowd was really into it too.

Our next stop was Blue Streak and we rode in the 2nd to back row. We had a fun, smooth ride. I wanted to go through Zombie High and Hexed again while we were in the front of the park, and we noticed GK was running so we got in line. It was frustrating that only 1 train was running since what would have been a 5 minute wait turned into a 20 minute wait, but oh well. We rode in the left front and had a bumpy but fun ride. By this time it was around 7:30 and we decided to finish off the night on Millennium. In total we were able to ride it 7 times in a row, and the ride ops let us go through the gate to walk right back into the station instead of getting off and going all the way around due to the lack of people. During the first ride, I looked out over the horizon and over the lake while going up the first hill, and saw a massive wall of rain coming our way. I had never been on Millennium during the rain before, but I've been on other rides during it and it is a painful experience. It turned out that it started to rain just as we were going down the first drop. The remainder of the ride was very painful but I kept my arms up the whole time, enjoying every second. It was so crazy but I loved it. The next ride it absolutely down poured. I have never had such a painful coaster ride in my life, but it was the most unique coaster ride I've ever had. Believe it or not, it was one of my best Cedar Point memories of this season. Then on the 3rd ride it was just lightly sprinkling and the following 4 rides were dry. It was running really well and we ended up getting on the last train of the night. While leaving the park, I noticed a jack-o-lantern display on Giant Wheel, which I thought was a nice touch. The day overall was a lot of fun.

In total: 16 rides, 7 haunts, and 2 shows.

Hexed: 9.5/10

I loved the theming. Very elaborate and interesting. It definitely exceeded my expectations and the Screamsters did an amazing job, especially considering how early in the season it still was. They had already mastered the art of distraction. One would get your attention while another (or 2) would come up behind you or from another place to jump out and startle you. This was very impressive, and they were all in their characters really well. I won't give them away, but there were some pretty cool effects too. My only complaint is that the barker/entrance host was dressed as a normal park employee, and wasn't in costume like they are with any other haunt. I'm not sure why that is, but I don't like it. She was really nice, but usually the barkers set up the entire mood for the haunt. Besides this, I was thoroughly impressed.

Zombie High: 10/10

Wow. My favorite haunt from last year dominated yet again on this trip. The barker was amusing, and the theming inside the haunt was just as amusing and creative as I remembered. Plus it was loaded with Screamsters, and they all did a great job. I liked how there a nice mix of "jump-out-at-you" startles, loud noise/banging startles, and Screamsters who talked to you. It was a perfect balance and blend of scares and entertainment.

Eerie Estate: 8/10

I have always loved the theme of this one. I'm a sucker for classic, Victorian Mansion-esque haunted houses. By far this one is the most elaborately themed and detailed at the park, which I really appreciate and enjoy. The Screamsters in this one did a good job and made me jump a few times, but I wasn't blown away like I was with Hexed and ZH. It could have been better, but it was still fun. However, something unusual was that there were a decent amount of park employees just standing around inside. It sort of detracted form the experience. I wonder if there was some incident that happened whether with Screamsters or guests, so there was an increased amount of secutiry/general park staff.

Eden Musee: 3/10

A boring walk through the sauna. I don't know why, but this haunt is always really hot. Also, there was not a single Screamster for a least 2 minutes when we went through. Then there were many areas that we would walk through without a single scare and still not seeing any Screamsters. Very disappointing. We left with minimal scares and without a good impression. I remembered from last year that for some reason this haunt is very inconsistent, even later in the season. Good potential, but it just wasn't there when we went.

Eternity Infirmary: 9/10

I always love the barkers for this one. They do an amazing job at setting the mood for the entire haunt. You could tell they were having lots of fun being in their characters and it was amusing to see. Since this haunt has very minimal theming, there is even more pressure on the Screamsters to really portray the theme. They all did a great job, and I was startled many times. I still love the walkway that makes you feel like you are tilting. If only the entire house could have cool effects and theming like that, then it would be amazing. But the scares were good and I enjoyed it.

Overall Favorite Haunted House from 2013: Zombie High

Overall Favorite Haunted House from 2014: Zombie High

Best Screamsters: Hexed

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Friday, October 3rd:

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I had planned to meet up with friend and enthusiast rcoaster10, and thankfully it worked out that we could. The last time we met up was at Coastermania, and we were excited to have another fun time at the Point. I went with my mom and he went with his dad. They arrived before we did and rode some rides, and we decided to meet up at Millennium. It was windy, cloudy, cool, and rained on and off when we arrived. Millennium only had a station wait and it was fun. We went around and rode it again. Then we decided to just walk around to see what was running. Wicked Twister was open so we went there next without waiting at all. This is such an underrated ride. I really do love it. Gatekeeper was also running so we rode in the back right after about a 15 minute wait. It was actually a really good ride and wasn't too bumpy.

HalloWeekends Fridays are always strange, since it gets dark so soon after arriving. It feels strange getting there so late in the day, but it's fun being at the park while it's dark for a longer period of time than normal. It started to pour so we decided to go into Pink's to escape the weather and get something to eat. We finished right around 8 and headed straight to Zombie High. It was rcoaster10's first time at HalloWeekends so he didn't know what to expect and enjoyed taking in the whole atmosphere. Due to rides being closed for the wind and rain, the haunts were pretty busy. We ended up waiting about 15 minutes. Rcoaster10 and his dad enjoyed their first HW haunt.

Next was Hexed, and we had to wait 20-30 minutes. It was really good again, and Rcoaster10 enjoyed it more than ZH. It's definitely a great addition to the haunt lineup. Then it was time for Eerie Estate, which only had a few minute wait and ended up being everyone's favorite of the night. It was really well done. Then we headed through Blood on the Bayou, and I was extremely impressed. It was a million times better than when I went through it last year. Dragster appeared to be down, so we continued on to Magnum. We waited about 5 minutes for a row toward the back and had one of the best rides I've ever had on it. It seemed to fly through the course, it was pretty smooth, and riding it at night made it even more fun. It's still one of my favorite night rides of all time.

Then we went over to Carn-Evil. I hadn't gone through it in several years since it was so disappointing, but this time it was actually decent. Still not amazing and I never really was startled, but it was amusing. After this we headed toward the back of the park and made it to Tombstone Terror-Tory. Maverick had a fairly short wait and we were on it within 15 minutes. Next was Eden Musee, which was better than last time. We decided to go through Cut Throat Cove, which was my favorite scare zone last year. However, it was not that great this time. Following this was Eternity Infirmary with no wait. It was just eh this time. We were really excited to do Cornstalkers, but it looked like it was closed off. We asked some nearby employees and they told us that unfortunately it was flooded and was closed. Stupid rain. That was disappointing, but you can't control the weather. I never heard if it was opened back up for Saturday or not. Hopefully it was, and if not, hopefully it will be good to go for next weekend. Then we walked through Screamworks.

To finish off the night, we marathoned Millennium 5 times. It was a lot of fun, and I realized that the first drop gives a completely new experience if you turn your head to the side the whole time. It's such a strange feeling, but it was really cool. The day was just a lot of fun, and despite some weather issues, I had a great time especially meeting up with rcoaster10.

Zombie High: 7.5/10

It was fun, but wasn't as good as the 9/21 trip. There were only about 2/3 as many Screamsters and they didn't do quite as good as a job. I still love this haunt, though, since it's just so fun. I always walk out laughing and smiling. It was a little disappointing walking through so many empty rooms, but it was still enjoyable.

Hexed: 8/10:

Like ZH, way less Screamsters than before. Some of my favorite elements from last time weren't there due to this fact, but the ones that were there made it work. However, the entrance host still was wearing CP employee clothes, while all the other haunts remained having barkers dressed up and acting in character. Very odd. I did get some good scares out of this one, though.

Eerie Estate: 10/10

By far the best haunt of the night, and a huge improvement over last time. Every Screamster was on point, and some did amazing jobs with their scares. I really jumped and yelled many times, and I loved every second. Plus it was very quiet when we went through since we were in the front of the group and didn't have people in front of us screaming, talking, and ruining scares for us. Very creepy and enjoyable. I couldn't ask for a better performance. Also, unlike last time, there were no general CP employees standing around in various rooms. They detracted from the experience and this time it was simply a haunted house. Nothing else took away from it, and it was awesome.

Blood on the Bayou: 9.5/10

The Screamsters did a very good job. Plus there were thick areas of fog, which added to the creepy atmosphere. The theming was really cool and there were a lot of Screamsters in this one, unlike ZH and Hexed. They all portrayed their characters really well and I had some good startling moments. It was great and well done.

Carn-Evil: 6/10

I'm still not a big fan of this one, but it was decent. No startles, but the atmosphere is sort of fun. It is what it is. Nothing too special about it, but I guess it could be creepy if you're scared of clowns.

Tombstone Terror-Tory: 3/10

I wouldn't even call this a scare zone, more like a pass through from A to B. It is so short and its location can at best be described as awkward. It's mainly just filler for that area of the park, which is I guess why I like it. I'd rather have this area than have it be a regular section of the park since it does add to the HW atmosphere, but if you're judging it as a stand-alone scare zone, then it is not good at all. However, it does add a nice touch to Frontier Town, but I would by no means call it a true scare zone. Plus the fog was blowing away due to how open the area is. But during the day it does look sort of cool with all the barrels and props, but like I said, I enjoy it as a pass through to get to Maverick and Eden Musee, not as an actual haunt.

Eden Musee: 7/10

Way better than last time. More Screamsters and they did pretty good jobs. Overall it was a great improvement and I enjoyed it a lot more than I did before.

Cut Throat Cove: 2/10

The wind played a big factor, since the fog was blowing away. I know this couldn't have been helped, but it did detract from the experience. Plus the Screamsters were not good at all, and I didn't get a single scare. I wasn't impressed at all. This was especially disappointing since it was my favorite scare zone last year. Hopefully it will be better next time I go. At least the props were cool, but now more than ever I miss Terror Island. That was incredible, especially with how thick the fog would settle in that area. :(

Eternity Infirmary: 4/10

Just like ZH and Hexed, there were way less Screamsters than before. Times like this really make it obvious how bare and empty this haunt is. It's in desperate need of more theming. It has a lot of potential, but especially without good Screamsters, it is a pretty disappointing haunt compared to the others.

Screamworks: 4/10

It was alright, but I didn't see Mr. Giggles. I always look forward to him, since he does such a great job. I still don't like the whole steampunk theme. The Screamsters were just so-so and the whole thing was a little lackluster compared to previous visits.

Overall Favorite Haunted House of the Day: Eerie Estate

Overall Favorite Haunted House of 2014: Zombie High

Overall Favorite Scare Zone of the Day: Blood on the Bayou

Overall Favorite Scare Zone of 2014: Blood on the Bayou

Best Screamsters: Eerie Estate

My mom, me, rcoaster10, and his dad:

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I always love this view.

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A cold, wet, and windy night wouldn't stop us from having fun!

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Hexed and Gatekeeper:

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A cool view with the moon.

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Mean Streak really does have such an impressive structure.

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More pictures from 10/3:

The Chamber of Horrors:

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There were cool views of Maverick and the moon from Cut Throat Cove.

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I love this:

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I'm in my glory. :P (Don't worry, I didn't go into restricted areas. This support is next to the old Giant Wheel concrete pad--accessible to anyone.)

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A cool panoramic shot:

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A 10/3 Rougarou picture update:

I really, really love the new colors!

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Old and new:

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The trim break on the drop isn't painted...hmmmm...Could that mean it will get removed???

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I love that big, orange loop.

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A cool perspective:

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I can't wait to ride Rougarou next year!

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