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joshuabuczek

Haunt 2019 Reviews

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I went Friday night and was very pleased overall.  I felt sorry for the "host" during the 7:30 release.  He obviously wasn't let in on what the soundtrack was saying.  He did his best.  My suggestion would be either don't move your mouth at all (make it seem telepathic) or pull your hood over your head more and face your head down so no one can see your lips moving (or not).

Either way I feel for him because it was obvious management didn't let him know the script for what is to be said.  Aside from that it was a great way to kick of a great night.

Also went Sunday with the grand kids and have some thoughts.

First, all the Tween stuff is great.  Orion could have used some more lights to see the 'clues'.  The Mystery Museum was my favorite.   Very will done with the story and the actors.  I felt sorry for them because the line was 45 minutes long and people were confused as to whether it was a haunt like at night or not (one person even thought it was the old Tomb Raider ride:)).  My suggestion would be that they could have the line for the tweens start at the fright pass entrance (since they don't offer fright passes for the tween stuff).  That way people would see how 'long' the line is and can make a better decision on whether or not to wait.  Several people were waiting in line from the cave entrance and giving up after it didn't move fast enough, or they saw that it just kept going.

Again it was my favorite part and definitely needs to stay (it was nice seeing the Tomb Raider Idol in all her glory with lights on).  Would also be good to get rid of the 'electricity' zapping noise during tween hours.  Made the kids uneasy.  

Finally having the great pumpkin fest in Planet Snoopy is CROWDED and confusing.  Sounds like a great idea on paper, but I can guarantee they ended up giving out way more candy than last year because of the proximity of the candy to rides, etc.  Last year when it was separated form Planet Snoopy people had to commit and would probably only go over to the water park once and then come back to the main park.  I would suggest looking at moving it to at least the picnic area so Planet Snoopy doesn't look so congested.

Overall nice start to the Pumpkin Fest / Haunt season.  Nicely done!

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@joshuabuczek welcome to KIC. I renamed this thread so it is reviews for this year. We also have a big 2019 Haunt discussion at this link.

https://kicentral.com/forums/index.php?/topic/34111-haunt-2019-discussion/

As far as this year, I loved the new Ship Wrecked and returning pumpkin water  The other new scare zones seemed like they were not ready quite yet. Maybe they were/are still working on those? Overall I had a great time.

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5 minutes ago, flightoffear1996 said:

The great pumpkin fest was works better when it was in the water park. Why was it moved anyway?  

My guess would be less area to cover.  Remember, it's not just the people working the stations.  It is also security, sweepers, etc.  But I agree it is way to crowded and confusing trying to do it all in Planet Snoopy.

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I agree, I think they were tired of the event being scattered but didn’t think about the crowded space of Planet Snoopy. 

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I completely agree with what everyone is saying about the great pumpkin fest. I was so bummed when I found out it was moved to Planet Snoopy because I knew it would be super crowded and we wouldn't be able to enjoy it like we did in years prior. I personally just liked the set up better in the water park. Plus, since its in Planet Snoopy this year they DID run out of things several times and didnt think about the fact that there would be more volume when they put it in the area where all the kids were already at. It took us 3 tries to go to the treat stop that was handing out pumpkins to finally get one. Plus, i know they can't control this but it was so hot out all the kids just got melted chocolate they couldnt eat. If it's that hot out just hand out the other treats they used to get like the little sticky frogs some stickers and a ring.

As for Haunt, I felt like all the new scare zones were reallly lacking in decor and themeing except shipwrecked. I liked the decor but i didnt go through at night to see if there were any monsters. I did see a few monsters walking around in each of the other new scare zones though.  My top two for the past two years has been black out and field of screams. I love those two the best although i really like that they made Madame Fatales cavern of terror into lights out. I thought that really put a nice new twist on it and i really enjoyed it. I personally think its time to do away with urgent scare and wolf pack and get something new in there. They are just really run down and boring to me. Slaughter house is always a good maze with its themeing but there wasn't a lot of actors in it when i went through at the end of the night so not a lot of chances for scares. Overall i enjoyed my night at Haunt and didnt really have any major issues.

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So I know that you may think that you're dealing with an imposter since I was very clear that Haunt was disappointing last year buuuuuuuut….

I have to admit, this year is a million times better than last year.  It's actually a product to be really proud of.  I think the park looks amazing.  I love the lighting - especially the black lights on I Street.  Drums of the Dead didn't blow my mind, but is a welcomed change from Blood Drums.  The first night was incredibly understaffed in the houses, but every other night has been a lot better - maybe even better than it has been in years.  At least it feels that way to me.

I still think Haunted Homecoming is a pretty sizeable step down from Hot Blooded, but you can't fire on all cylinders at all times.  

I wish we had the park looking the way it does now the year that we had both Hot Blooded and Alonzo.  Now THAT would have been perfect.  

So yeah, hats off to the entertainment team this year.  This has been cool!

Just one man's opinion. 

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We were here opening weekend and felt the actors weren’t quite into it. We are here today and so far the pumpkin festival part for the smaller kids seems a lot better.

We are hope it it was just they weren’t fully staffed yet.

Also at closing time (1am) everyone just vanishes to hit the clock. No stragglers to any stores.


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At the haunt as i type this.. Scare zones are all working well, haunts are moving quickly but groups in black out and chaos were too large for the fright actors to keep up. Rivwr town reaping was espically good.. Drums of the dead is litwrally the dollar store version of Blood Drums really REALLY sad.. about losing BD. Haunted Homecoming was better than expected but not nearly as good as hot blooded and a far cry from dead awakening (suggest edit on name).. 

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19 minutes ago, RivertownRaider said:

At the haunt as i type this.. Scare zones are all working well, haunts are moving quickly but groups in black out and chaos were too large for the fright actors to keep up. Rivwr town reaping was espically good.. Drums of the dead is litwrally the dollar store version of Blood Drums really REALLY sad.. about losing BD. Haunted Homecoming was better than expected but not nearly as good as hot blooded and a far cry from dead awakening (suggest edit on name).. 

So as far as BD goes, Drums of the Dead is KI's version of BD. Apparently the BD guys were actually contracted through another company and not employed by Cedar Fair. At least, that is what my co-worker said who still works shows for Carnivale, Haunt (not this year though), and Winterfest. This co-worker also informed me that other Cedar Fair parks are still running BD...

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12 hours ago, RivertownRaider said:

At the haunt as i type this.. Scare zones are all working well, haunts are moving quickly but groups in black out and chaos were too large for the fright actors to keep up. Rivwr town reaping was espically good.. 

I'm in Rivertown so it's good to hear we put in some good work! What made it good?

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On 9/29/2019 at 10:23 AM, AgentSoB said:

I'm in Rivertown so it's good to hear we put in some good work! What made it good?

Lots of interaction with the park goers. I think there could be a few more of you.. Maybe some scarecrows like corn stalkers used to have I will say we hit shipwrecked at 12am and the scare actors out numbered guest... However they were just standing around talking to one another.

On 9/28/2019 at 9:54 PM, LondonFreak said:

So as far as BD goes, Drums of the Dead is KI's version of BD. Apparently the BD guys were actually contracted through another company and not employed by Cedar Fair. At least, that is what my co-worker said who still works shows for Carnivale, Haunt (not this year though), and Winterfest. This co-worker also informed me that other Cedar Fair parks are still running BD...

Yes im aware BD was contracted through street drum corp. Im really close with the gentleman that ran it last year and had been with them for over 5 seasons ;) He told me the park approached him about writing a show for KI to use a few seasons ago and he said it would be hard to do something on par with BD.  Drums of the dead was written by a park performer named Josh and it is very good but its just not as energetic and lacks the raw energy.

 

Also i noticed a lack of theamed music playing over the park p.a. and No announcements about when such and such show will be on in 15 mins. And a lack of creepy ambiance sounds

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35 minutes ago, RivertownRaider said:

Lots of interaction with the park goers. I think there could be a few more of you.. Maybe some scarecrows like corn stalkers used to have I will say we hit shipwrecked at 12am and the scare actors out numbered guest... However they were just standing around talking to one another.

Yes im aware BD was contracted through street drum corp. Im really close with the gentleman that ran it last year and had been with them for over 5 seasons ;) He told me the park approached him about writing a show for KI to use a few seasons ago and he said it would be hard to do something on par with BD.  Drums of the dead was written by a park performer named Josh and it is very good but its just not as energetic and lacks the raw energy.

 

Also i noticed a lack of theamed music playing over the park p.a. and No announcements about when such and such show will be on in 15 mins. And a lack of creepy ambiance sounds

They also didn't really have announcements for shows during the season.  Only for Grand Carnivale stuff.  That is something that a lot of people within the park were fighting for.  The hope is, I assume, that the app would eventually replace things like that.  The app needs a motherload of work, but the potential is endless.  

I actually kind of like the audio this year.  I like how a lot of it is like a "rock n roll Halloween" thing in the vein of Horror Nights rather than the Nightmare on Elm St theme on loop.   It worked at the time but I feel like it got old doing the same thing over and over for a decade.

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45 minutes ago, BoddaH1994 said:

They also didn't really have announcements for shows during the season.  Only for Grand Carnivale stuff.  That is something that a lot of people within the park were fighting for.  The hope is, I assume, that the app would eventually replace things like that.  The app needs a motherload of work, but the potential is endless.  

I actually kind of like the audio this year.  I like how a lot of it is like a "rock n roll Halloween" thing in the vein of Horror Nights rather than the Nightmare on Elm St theme on loop.   It worked at the time but I feel like it got old doing the same thing over and over for a decade.

I thought the music they had playing last year was better. So is the daytime playlist and Cedar's Points is better too. But its all personal taste. I would rather have a spooky John Carpenter style theme going any day of the week over some rock band.

Also on the subject of the app. It becomes completely useless on a really really busy day. Too many people trying to hit the server I would assume.

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2 minutes ago, SnakePlissken said:

I thought the music they had playing last year was better. So is the daytime playlist and Cedar's Points is better too. But its all personal taste. I would rather have a spooky John Carpenter style theme going any day of the week over some rock band.

Also on the subject of the app. It becomes completely useless on a really really busy day. Too many people trying to hit the server I would assume.

They updated the wifi two years ago.  Put a ton of money into both it and the app.

The wifi works AMAZINGLY.

Sometimes.

It seems like it doesn't cover the entire footprint of the park.  Also, its tough to connect to it sometimes.  However when you do connect, it works very well, even on busy days.  I'm not sure if they have Wifi6 802.11ax or not.  @malem Is there a way to tell?  Likely if you are having app issues it's because of the connection issues I mentioned above.

I can't speak to the daytime music.  I haven't been to the park during the day since the Halloween stuff started.  I just like how the night time stuff changed.  I was very disappointed last year, but really enjoy this year.  To each their own, I guess.

 

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3 minutes ago, BoddaH1994 said:

They updated the wifi two years ago.  Put a ton of money into both it and the app.

The wifi works AMAZINGLY.

Sometimes.

It seems like it doesn't cover the entire footprint of the park.  Also, its tough to connect to it sometimes.  However when you do connect, it works very well, even on busy days.  I'm not sure if they have Wifi6 802.11ax or not.  @malem Is there a way to tell?  Likely if you are having app issues it's because of the connection issues I mentioned above.

I can't speak to the daytime music.  I haven't been to the park during the day since the Halloween stuff started.  I just like how the night time stuff changed.  I was very disappointed last year, but really enjoy this year.  To each their own, I guess.

 

Is it better to use park wifi? I never bother since my data plan is unlimited. Could that be my problem getting the app to load on busy days? I just assumed the app or the server hosting the app just maybe couldn't handle that much traffic. 

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Just now, SnakePlissken said:

Is it better to use park wifi? I never bother since my data plan is unlimited. Could that be my problem getting the app to load on busy days? I just assumed the app or the server hosting the app just maybe couldn't handle that much traffic. 

Which carrier are you on?  I have Sprint and the capacity just isn't there.  If the park has more than a few thousand in it I have trouble even sending text messages.  The park wifi is my only connection to the outside world.  

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2 minutes ago, BoddaH1994 said:

Which carrier are you on?  I have Sprint and the capacity just isn't there.  If the park has more than a few thousand in it I have trouble even sending text messages.  The park wifi is my only connection to the outside world.  

Verizon.

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1 minute ago, SnakePlissken said:

Verizon.

My understanding is that Verizon works pretty well in the park.  Try the wifi thing.  That may help.  If not, it may be an issue with the app. 

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5 hours ago, BoddaH1994 said:

Also, its tough to connect to it sometimes.  However when you do connect, it works very well, even on busy days.  I'm not sure if they have Wifi6 802.11ax or not.  @malem Is there a way to tell?

 

The connection issues I've seen are issues with the cloud provider they contract with for management and the captive portal. I haven't had any problems connecting since early this season.

Since most of the equipment was installed c. 2017, it is unlikely that 802.11ax is currently supported. Someone with a capable device (Pixel 4, Galaxy S10 or iPhone 11) would be able to tell for sure if a given access point supported it. Maybe @acole5292 can tell us on (Vortex) Closing Day.

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Has anyone been more recently other than since they opened? I am going Saturday and have fright lane passes and want to know what to expect form real people that have went, not just people on Facebook who enjoy being negative. I know it isn't super scary, which is fine, but I want to at least have a good time a get a couple good scares. How is the décor? I will be driving quite a ways for this and want to make the most of my experience! Thanks!

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I won’t set foot near a park on Columbus Day weekend anymore because of the crush of people in the midways. Your passes should help with wait times for the mazes.  

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So, I went last Sunday to ride rides and experience the HallowTween attractions. At open (Noon), I did Shipwrecked and loved the soundtrack and decorations! I then went to Blackout, which was still scary, despite having zero scare actors (also, the group I was with took a shortcut so we were done way faster than expected). I ended up going back for seconds and thirds - the last run was a solo run (though I eventually caught up to another group) and I was so proud of myself for being brave (for the record, Blackout is my least favorite Haunt maze). Chaos was well themed and I really enjoyed being back in that maze. The Madame’s scavenger hunt experience was a great concept, but the ending seemed very abrupt. 

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Blackout is my least favorite too. It's so dark I cant see where I am going. I refuse to go first anymore.

Wait... a maze called blackout was very dark?!?! Who would’ve expected that???

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2 hours ago, SnakePlissken said:

Blackout is my least favorite too. It's so dark I cant see where I am going. I refuse to go first anymore.

I have to admit that for me the real “thrill” is being worried about crashing into something or someone. It’s supposed to be more about being freaked out by the textures on the wall and disorientation.  The thing that kind of ruins it for me is that there is one room with a strobe light but that makes everything visible everywhere else in the maze when it goes off, which kind of kills the effect.

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See, I never knew the strobe was meant to affect one room only... I assumed the fact that the whole maze strobes was by design.

EDIT: Also, Ryan... 

Spoiler

the spider room did freak me out upon touching the walls. 

The thing that scares me the most is the darkness though.

Spoiler

And that dang thunderclap in the middle (when Blackout is run normally)! The leg ticklers really got me (and apparently many others as I heard screams while outside) during the HalloTween version.

 

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