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SonofBaconator

Improving Haunts

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I had a few ideas to potentially improve the seasonal haunt experience. This doesn't have to just apply to our haunt as it can also be adapted to other parks. Also these are just ideas so please don't get upset.

Idea 1: Integrating Haunts into the rides

This was a Paramount practice when they introduced Fear Fest. Rides like the Miami Valley Railroad, Phantom Theater, and the Antique Cars became haunted attractions. In a way it kind of bridged the gap between haunted houses and the rides. I recall there being an actual Beast that was seen at night when riding The Beast. I think this whole haunted rides idea should be brought back and improved on. Knott's Berry Farm does this beautifully where they change their log flume and their Mine ride into an awesome Halloween experience.  I think it would be possible to make alterations to the shed on Mystic Timbers as well as the tunnels on Adventure Express to fit in with the Halloween theme. 

Idea 2: Scaling back the outdoor haunt

Kings Island introduced the idea of Hallo-tween (I might be butchering that) where certain haunts were open during the day with no scareactors. I thought KI, as well as other parks, could really capitalize and expand on this. Maybe remove the scare actors from the midways and outdoor areas and place them in haunted attractions or designated scare zones. That way younger people could attend the event and not have to worry about encountering monsters. I know there's the "no boo" necklaces that the park makes money on but I think more parents would be willing to take some of their younger kids if they knew that you would have to pay for a "no boo" necklace. My argument is this would bring in younger people on the weekends and bring in more money for the park. The trade off would be scarier haunts. Less scare actors on the streets would mean that there would be more attention to the haunted houses, scare zones, and mazes . They could even put up temporary structures like in the Paramount days. I know people thought that these were cheap but for a seasonal event I don't see the issue with it.  They could even do a tier system like what Busch Gardens did where it would say something along the lines of fear levels where 1 jack-o-lantern means not so scary where 5 jack-o-lanterns is extremely scary. So if you wanted to walk around the park at night and not be scared you could don't have to buy a boo necklace but if you really wanted to get your socks knocked off you could wait in line for a haunted house/ maze or walk in a scare zone. 

My two cents. I'm sure I'll come up with more. What are your thoughts?

*I just realized I already made a thread like this a while ago. Oh well.

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I’d like to see an increase in the outdoor scare experience. My 10-year old loved the experience last fall. She even got the courage to joke with the scare actors. If Haunt proceeds this fall, I doubt with COVID-19 that many No Boo necklaces will be sold.

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We're use to "extreme" haunts where actors are able to grab, separate you from your group, ect. There is definitely room to throttle the scare factors up or down. Usually people wore a glowstick necklace to signify who wanted the extreme. 

The HallowTween was nice because we were able to see some of the details put into mazes that normally couldn't be seen during haunt time. It'd be great to have all the houses available for it, but understand their theming isn't in the "tween" rating IMO. 

The cluster I've noticed in Planet Snoopy for trick or treating could be expanded to the few Tween areas they did. Heck we went through the little corn maze a couple times just because they were giving out apples. 

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I see Mystic Timbers being an awesome Haut-themed candidate. Imagine… Halloween theme the entrance, queue, and station - don’t want to scare riders yet. At midpoint during the lift hill, the usual good-old-boy narrative is suddenly curtailed and the terrified voice of a young person urges riders that something is horrifically wrong with the ride and they should immediately return to the station – makes riders nervousness, look back down the lift hill, and ask “This isn’t the Mystic Timbers we rode in the summer...?” During the ride, add Halloween lighting effects along the sides of the ride – for enjoyment for some, but primarily to terrify riders. Once in The Shed, replace the video displays with near pitch blackness, limited ambiance lighting projected over dry ice fog. Finally, scare actors encroach the train just before she returns to the station – hair-stand-on-end scream time! Finally, something arrived in The Shed worthwhile waiting for…

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52 minutes ago, NegativeGs said:

Finally, scare actors encroach the train just before she returns to the station – hair-stand-on-end scream time! Finally, something arrived in The Shed worthwhile waiting for…

Unfortunately that'll never happen. There was an incident at Knott's a few years back on their log flume where a scare actor fell into the water. 

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14 hours ago, SonofBaconator said:

Unfortunately that'll never happen. There was an incident at Knott's a few years back on their log flume where a scare actor fell into the water. 

Scare actors on Congo Falls would not be a good idea, lol. 

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Assuming cases rise, I don't see how that's possible-sure, you can space out groups, but in the dark, in close, closed environments, people are going to jam up (even with lowered attendance).  Not to mention the scareactors, who couldn't scream or yell., unless masked up, which would take away from the experience.  Masks or not, I'll be curious how the park handles this.

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I'd like to see ride queues get some haunted theming. Mist effects, moody lighting, spooky eyes coming from the shadows, that sort of stuff. 

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Haunt is a lot of fun. Last October, Cedar Point roads were temporarily closed because of attendance. I'm guessing most attendees were Gold Pass holders and have a right to enjoy. So, perhaps Haunt needs to be 3 or 4 nights a week, rather than just two.

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I'd be happy if KI just opened the park for normal operation during what would normally be the Haunt dates this year.  I have no use for anything Haunt-related, but there's no better time to visit KI than on a nice fall day, especially if they're open until midnight or 1, as during Haunt.  The logistics of the Haunt portion of things seem prohibitively difficult during the pandemic, but they could still probably bring in some nice crowds to the park.  I really hope they figure out a way to market and operate in a way that it would be financially viable to open on weekends in October.  

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I agree. The weather in the fall makes for great days at the parks. The changing leaves look great too. If they even just added some fall decor around it would be fantastic. WE went to Holiday World for their Halloweekends last year and had a blast despite there not really being any haunts. Maybe they could just do a fall themed event and have fall decor, the Peanuts characters, hay bale and corn mazes. Would be something simple and easy to do but allow for distancing still and something extra for the fall.

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If local haunts can do hayrides, chopped buses etc KI could surely do the train. even if they didn't approach (out of safety concerns) and just scenes still would be fun.  They could easily set up a tunnel/scare wall scenes, not totally enclosed but like tall sides since its dark the effect would be the same but would allow the steam etc to still project upwards and not back into peoples faces etc.  I loved the Scare themed zones last year like Coney Maul, pirates etc  I'm not into mazes and tight quarters or the long lines lol, but that made it fun to walk around in.   

No boo necklaces are stupid. I'm sorry but maybe they should have a couple nights for those wanting dark rides or whatever, but its not meant for babies, toddlers etc and the necklaces don't really do much but make it hard for actors to scare those who are there for it.   It seemed like there was an overabundance of them last year. Solution- I know those who travel in spend the day with kids for the kid/tween aspect and the adults want to do do the adult thing- turn that 25 dollar necklace into a 30 dollar Kids party night- Meaning use like the space up above the entrance and do a fun Halloween themed party with a movie, games etc that parents sign there kid in like daycare.  Then the parents can go do the mazes etc and the kids can have a safe non scary space.  Win win- I'd totally pay extra even up to 40$ for 3 hrs or so its what you'd pay a babysitter etc.  Would entice more people to travel in.  It can even be a reservation system so that numbers are controlled.  

Definitely would love more decorations on rides like how they dress up for winterfest.  Variety is the spice of life :) 

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If Halloween Haunt is not possible this year, I'd like to see the fall festival/Oktoberfest concept.  They could do a Bavarian tasting card line up, have food trucks and use some of the Grande Carnivale concepts that they already have.  I hope things go well for the company.

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13 hours ago, NegativeGs said:

Haunt is a lot of fun. Last October, Cedar Point roads were temporarily closed because of attendance. I'm guessing most attendees were Gold Pass holders and have a right to enjoy. So, perhaps Haunt needs to be 3 or 4 nights a week, rather than just two.

Given the average age of the workforce, that's not possible.  No reasonable parent would let their child work until 11 or 12 PM on a school night.

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On 7/14/2020 at 10:39 PM, NegativeGs said:

At midpoint during the lift hill, the usual good-old-boy narrative is suddenly curtailed and the terrified voice of a young person urges riders that something is horrifically wrong with the ride and they should immediately return to the station 

It may be me, but I always think that saying something is wrong with a ride when there actually isn't is a bad idea.  Saying that there's danger ahead, beware of The Beast lurking in the woods, don't go in the shed etc. is fine.  Just a fine line.

On 7/16/2020 at 1:52 PM, Gabe said:

Assuming cases rise, I don't see how that's possible-sure, you can space out groups, but in the dark, in close, closed environments, people are going to jam up (even with lowered attendance).  Not to mention the scareactors, who couldn't scream or yell., unless masked up, which would take away from the experience.  Masks or not, I'll be curious how the park handles this.

Even during normal years and even on slow nights, groups that are well spaced at the beginning of the house WILL catch up to each other.  If I'm visiting a haunt and leading my group, I'll slow down if I see the group ahead of me, just because I don't want to be jammed up in a conga line.

On 7/17/2020 at 1:52 PM, Gabe said:

Given the average age of the workforce, that's not possible.  No reasonable parent would let their child work until 11 or 12 PM on a school night.

Plus, it's illegal for minors to work past 11:00 on a school night, and many of us non-minors have day jobs too.  WinterFest's long stretch of open nights is alright, but Haunt is more strenuous and rest on Sundays is always appreciated by my weary bones before I have to go back to the main job on Mondays.  Being Sam the Butcher is definitely more of a workout than being Mr. Tannenbaum! 

They've tried expanding to more days in the past but attendance was light.  In addition to no reasonable parent letting their child work then, no reasonable parent would let their child go as a guest then either.  Plus, guests having to work the next day cuts it down too.  Adulting is hard. :lol:

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On 7/22/2020 at 12:35 PM, XGatorHead 8904 said:

It may be me, but I always think that saying something is wrong with a ride when there actually isn't is a bad idea.  Saying that there's danger ahead, beware of The Beast lurking in the woods, don't go in the shed etc. is fine.  Just a fine line.

Even during normal years and even on slow nights, groups that are well spaced at the beginning of the house WILL catch up to each other.  If I'm visiting a haunt and leading my group, I'll slow down if I see the group ahead of me, just because I don't want to be jammed up in a conga line.

Plus, it's illegal for minors to work past 11:00 on a school night, and many of us non-minors have day jobs too.  WinterFest's long stretch of open nights is alright, but Haunt is more strenuous and rest on Sundays is always appreciated by my weary bones before I have to go back to the main job on Mondays.  Being Sam the Butcher is definitely more of a workout than being Mr. Tannenbaum! 

They've tried expanding to more days in the past but attendance was light.  In addition to no reasonable parent letting their child work then, no reasonable parent would let their child go as a guest then either.  Plus, guests having to work the next day cuts it down too.  Adulting is hard. :lol:

Totally agreed. Probably why I thought something horrifically wrong, to suggest a supernatural occurrence, would be okay. Something mechanically wrong would not be acceptable. 

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On 7/17/2020 at 9:10 AM, LuckyluvsKI said:

...turn that 25 dollar necklace into a 30 dollar Kids party night- Meaning use like the space up above the entrance and do a fun Halloween themed party with a movie, games etc that parents sign there kid in like daycare.  Then the parents can go do the mazes etc and the kids can have a safe non scary space.  Win win- I'd totally pay extra even up to 40$ for 3 hrs or so its what you'd pay a babysitter etc...

(Not counting this COVID year....because I really don't think the normal Haunt will be happening.) But, I like your idea of having an upcharge event meant for kids. (As long as the parents could stay with them.) BUT, my question is this, do parents really do this?! I do not have kids of my own, only nephews, but I would never think of entrusting them with strangers, especially at a busy event. I would constantly be worrying that something could be going wrong. I know that my parents would have never considered this...so once again, i'm curious, is this something that is going on out there?

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8 hours ago, standbyme said:

(Not counting this COVID year....because I really don't think the normal Haunt will be happening.) But, I like your idea of having an upcharge event meant for kids. (As long as the parents could stay with them.) BUT, my question is this, do parents really do this?! I do not have kids of my own, only nephews, but I would never think of entrusting them with strangers, especially at a busy event. I would constantly be worrying that something could be going wrong. I know that my parents would have never considered this...so once again, i'm curious, is this something that is going on out there?

Yeah we've done similar things such as parents night out at our church where the kids do activities etc for couple hours while we go out.  They have forms and our info in case of emergencies etc. 


I'm also thinking along the lines of Disney both cruises and resorts have kid activity centers that you pay a fee to  drop off so you can maybe have a nice dinner or a couple hours to ride bigger rides etc. It's done responsibly, follows the same rules as school and daycare facilities etc so the protocols are all there. We've used the child care Play place at IKEA for easier shopping with out the little shopaholic LOLOL.  

If they are hiring qualified child care people and train appropriately it would be ok and safe. I have never been up there but the space would require restroom access that's within the secured area. Example we used biometrics to sign in and out our daughter for preschool. Only registered users to her  could pick her up. So if grandpa wasn't set up he couldn't just drop by and get her etc. It's definitely something for future consideration, but I think that would help those who maybe are traveling in and would like to get the full adult experience and have a safe place for the kids to hang out.  
i mean when I was a kid KI used to have cage like pens that we'd be shuffled into while adults rode the coaster. And just had to wait but nobody watched who really picked up who.   :) 

 

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@LuckyluvsKI Thanks for the reply...I guess I fall into the “helicopter parent” type. :lol: I would trust your church because you have a relationship with them...but I couldn’t do the others...not even Disney. 
Here is an example of why...there is a local play area with bounce houses and a massive 4 story play structure. Like Chuck E. Cheese and other places, you are assigned bracelets and hand stamps to identify that you and your child belong together so (ideally) you are the only one who could leave with your child through the exit which is constantly “guarded” BUT, the flaw in the system is that due to fire codes there are other emergency exits which are unlocked, but do set off an alarm when opened...but nothing would stop someone from grabbing a kid and making a quick exit...the alarm will tell them that something has happened...but by that time it may be too late.

P.S. Those kiddie corals at the rides were always heartbreaking for me.

(I know, helicopter “parent” to the extreme! :P)

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@standbyme  you sound like my hubs ;) he hovers like that which I thought I'd be one lol  and you're right with the relationship part. I guess I also trust disney because I've worked there and know their standards are phenomenal even beyond most 5 star daycares :)  like you have to have plot to get a kid out that's not your own and that'd be a personal attack that just happened at disney. 
 

I know what you mean by the stamp band and someone trying, sadly it's likely more to happen on the curb in front of your house because a person using the alarmed door now everyone's running out all exits thinking fire alarm and therefore the napper ends up surrounded. It's a risky place to try along with now most have surveillance cameras. But that's not to say it couldn't happen. But honestly I'm more worried about her playing outside the house then a semi secure building just because there has been suspicious drivers in white vans creeping around kids lately. 
honestly there's no wrong way and it sounds hokey but your gut will lead you with kids :)  it's just innate nature and it really is like a switch that turns on  the moment you hear that cry :D  

and it could totally be a no scare party for all ages idea. Or have separate ones for those who are ok with a daycare like setting  and those who want to join or watch. Cause I dunno if I'd be comfortable leaving if other random parents were allowed to stay and it wasn't just solely the employees. At least employees have been vetted with background checks etc but random other parents who knows, but that's just me. Different strokes for different folks as they say. :) 

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10 hours ago, LuckyluvsKI said:

At least employees have been vetted with background checks etc

 

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I had to go for a joke! :lol: (That’s John Wayne Gacy.)

Seriously though, good reply...but I will never be at your trust level...maybe I will be standing by your husband someday (without knowing it) watching over the kids. :P

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