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Haunt 2021 Reviews


BoddaH1994
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I talked to the powers that be here and we agreed that having a separate thread for Haunt 2021 - thoughts and reviews rather than info. 

I want to talk about the things I liked about Haunt. I know a lot of people have a lot to say about the scale of the event but I don’t want this season to go by without having a conversation about the highlights.

1. Different Flames

You may have noticed that the flames on the fountain are different this year. It’s a plume rather than a jet. People seems split on this since the jet had a bit more of a jump scare factor. Personally I like the visual of the plumes of flames. They look bigger although it is the same amount of gas. Yes - some of the totems aren’t working yet. I’m sure they’ll get that figured out by next weekend.


2. Coney Maul Lighting

Coney Maul isn’t different. Same lights, same theme… BUT… they took it one step further. The uplighting on the trees is now synced up to the music and it gives a glitch in the matrix feeling while walking through. 
 

3. The Merchandise 

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They’ve stepped up the merchandise game, but still have a way’s to go before catching up with the quality and variety of Cedar Point.

4. Drums of the Dead

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I’m the only person I know who liked this show. It’s in the same spirit as the previous iteration, but a completely different show.  Maybe it’s the fact that we’ve had people beating on trash cans in one form or another for over 15 years, but I felt like this was refreshing. I liked how it incorporated other things like dance. Also the lighting held the show together very well. It really lacks a big wow moment for the ending but we if we got this again next year with just that tweet, I’d be happy. 
 

5. Creative Drinks

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For all you haters out there, that’s not me in the photo so don’t mug the innocent.

I’m not a big drinker, but I was able to sample some of the drinks. It was neat that they had some in IV bags. Reminds me of something HHN would do.

Those are just some quick thoughts. What were some of your highlights from Haunt 2021?

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Really bad show. All you could come up were black trash bags to cover these? Ever since they started doing these I’ve loved the effect…hated the infrastructure. Don’t know they couldn’t do a big urn or something to hide the whole set up. Looks really bad during day. 

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Went Friday and had an amazing time. Figured it would feel much more crowded and it wasn't even that bad. Didn't do the mazes because was with the kids--but even the scare actors were creepy but not too over-zealous. Loved that basically everything was open. Daughter finally hit 54'' so her 1st time on DB and Orion were both at night! This is the best time of year and I love to see the park put to such good use.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I personally was rather disappointed in the theming this year. Yes I know, work shortages and blah blah, doesn't make it less disappointing. There was almost no scarers out and about, less houses, less scare zones, however they got more food for extra money! I just wasn't impressed at all. It is still fun, but it was just nighttime rides, with rock music?

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3 hours ago, Stoan said:

There was almost no scarers out and about

On Saturday we (Outdoor scare actors and sliders) got put inside mazes shortly after opening due to the rain we got.

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On 10/7/2021 at 11:28 PM, Stoan said:

I personally was rather disappointed in the theming this year. Yes I know, work shortages and blah blah, doesn't make it less disappointing. There was almost no scarers out and about, less houses, less scare zones, however they got more food for extra money! I just wasn't impressed at all. It is still fun, but it was just nighttime rides, with rock music?

Agree. Weak offering. If I did t have a pass, no way I would pay to go. So much more they could’ve done (with no real extra staff or expense) to make it a stronger offering this year. If staffing was an issue, eiujdve been a great year to add effects or theming to rides to turn them into haunt attractions themselves. Weak “scare zones “. Couldn’t speak to the indoor mazes, cutting so many of them seem to make the waits for what was left rediculous. Seeing Tricks and Treats a few weeks ago seemed weaker this year as well. Wish they had just done that one event as strong as last year instead of spreading their budget across two weak events. 

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My daughter and I went last Saturday and enjoyed the torrentuous downpour like everyone else … oof. This Friday was Haunt alive again - many scare actors and awesome weather to enjoy night rides on Mystic Timbers, Diamondback, Orion, and Adventure Express. Yes, Adventure Express with its recent repairs is again an enjoyable night ride.

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I hadn't been to Haunt in probably 10 years, so my standards are going to be different. I went on the first two Fridays of Haunt this season.

First one was a great time but we didn't do any mazes. Just lots of night rides. The second Friday, we did all of the mazes early, per advice on this forum. I was quite happy with the lighting and scenery in the park. I saw someone say there weren't enough scare actors but there were almost too many on my trips. The mazes were okay. Was never really my thing but they did the job. The one outdoor maze, Cornered, was probably the the only real disappointing one for me. It's just wide open and somewhat empty.

Crowds definitely picked up the second Friday. I somehow got stuck in a one hour line for Orion. The longest wait I've had for any ride this year, tying Maverick.

This isn't technically "Haunt" but I also went this past Sunday. The warm weather (high of 84) definitely brought out bigger crowds than I expect for a Sunday in October. Hoping next Sunday is much better in that sense.

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I don't know if they were new or just new to me, but I really appreciated the animatronics near the midways. The green goblin that talks and stands up from the chair (my lame description, ha) is pretty darn cool.

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17 hours ago, KI Guy said:

I don't know if they were new or just new to me, but I really appreciated the animatronics near the midways. The green goblin that talks and stands up from the chair (my lame description, ha) is pretty darn cool.

My daughter enjoys the jack-in-the-box and green ogre. In 2019 they were both along the Coney Mall. I saw a green ogre at CP and assumed KI's had been relocated. Last weekend, I heard the ogre's voice in the distance, between DB and BSC, but didn't investigate. Based on your sighting, I'm glad to hear he is still with us.

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3 hours ago, MDMC01 said:

Said ogre has a name, ya know… :P

I call him Al; glad to see he made a return this year. Is he in his usual spot near Racer and Subway?

No. Along the path to rivertown. Better spot in my opinion. Set looks rough though. 

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18 hours ago, IndyGuy4KI said:

Here ya go @MDMC01. He is on the path between BLSC and DB as stated earlier. 

 

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Like I said, that looks like it needs a full refurb on the set. Why the two other arches with nothing in them. I thought there used to be lanterns? Just looks incomplete like a lot of haunt this year. 

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I thought there used to be something inside the arches as well. In any case, I’m glad he’s back this year. :D Thanks for the pic @IndyGuy4KI!

EDIT: Ok, so I just now understood he’s supposed to be the “troll under the bridge” (I just noticed there is an arched bridge above him). Also, I wonder if they’ll bring him back for Winterfest as “Everest the Elf”. Though I got used to Everest, I prefer “Haunt” Al more.

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37 minutes ago, BoddaH1994 said:

Was it? I didn’t make it to Haunt last weekend. I guess I didn’t think about that. 

Yes! I believe it appeared on Saturday night, I remember going to Coney to slide and noticing it when I got there.

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I've been going to Haunt as long as I can remember, but I for the most part was terrified of the mazes. In 2019 I took a brave step forward and went through 3 mazes, Kill Mart, Cavern of Terror, and Urgent Scare. In 2020 there was no Haunt so in 2021 I was looking forward to the mazes for the first time in my life. I can proudly say that this year I have gone through every maze, even though there are only 5. I'd like to share my thoughts on each going from my favorite to least favorite. Slaughterhouse was a very classic feeling house with a lot of gore. This one definitely has a lot of props and some of the best scare actors in the park. It's a solid, fun maze. Kill Mart is very unique with the store setting, but expect long lines. There is a very nice mix of props and zombie actors. Cavern of Terror has easily the best setting being in the crypt. The queue line is amazing, and the maze is too. My only issue with cavern is most of the actors have the same costume. Cornered is the corn maze for this year and is definitely where the quality drops for me. The maze itself is basically just corn and hay, but the actors get very creative. There were a group of teenage girls in front of us and watching the scare actors work was a ton of fun. Last is Chaos, and this maze is just weird. It starts off strong with the idea of travelling to space and you start in a lab with some not very scary scientists, and the first part of the space section is actually neat. But then most of the maze is just a mirror maze with some basic scares thrown in that aren't great. The best scare is the compressed air in the end. Its a bad maze now but it has a lot of potential. 

I know this post is super long but I just wanted to share my experience going from dreading the mazes to growing a love for them. My advice to anyone scared of mazes is to go during this last weekend and go in Chaos with your hands on your ears. It might seem childish but not hearing the sounds as loudly can help you build the confidence needed. Enjoy this last weekend of Haunt everyone and Happy Halloween. 

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May be an image of 2 people, including Katie Followell, people standing and outdoors

My husband and I are longtime Kings Island fans, but this was our first year at Haunt. We went on Saturday, October 9th, and were so completely underwhelmed at the event. 

 

Here are the perks:

-The decorations I was able to see this year were cool. They were so visually appealing!

-Every staff member I encountered was wonderfully kind and helpful. 

-I only truly got one night ride and it was on Banshee. This was my first time riding and it was AMAZING and shocking and thrilling.

 

Here's what I experienced:

-I was not prepared for how horrifically crowded it was. We were there from about 4pm until around 11. We had intentions of staying till 12 but we could not deal with it anymore. In the time we were only able to ride 3 rides, The Beast, Banshee, and Flight of Fear. Because we were in line for around 2 hours at a time-- I missed almost all of the scare zones, scare actors, and night time events.

-Because this was supposed to be my birthday celebration weekend, I decided to splurge with preferred parking and the Funpix purchase. Truthfully, it was so crowded entering the parking lot that I couldn't easily spot where I needed to go for my preferred parking. Not a big deal as long as I got a parking place to me. I was much more frustrated with trying to figure out how to redeem my Funpix purchase. To my understanding from the website, I printed out my Funpix redeem receipt and took it to the Funpix booth at the front of the park. I read online that the Funpix booth was supposed to give me a card to scan at the different rides. Well, the young man didn't know what that was talking about. They told me I needed the Kings Island app. So, I got the Kings Island app and tried my best to figure out where I needed to redeem it on there-- the kid at the booth tried to help, but eventually just said "you need to go to customer service." So I went to the customer service at the front of the park-- they sent me back to the Funpix booth. I was very frustrated and confused, and wasted 40 minutes trying to figure this out. Surely I am not the first person to be confused with this process. Maybe I am really that stupid, lol.

-Not to sound like an old fogey, but not only was it crowded-- but it was crowded with a lot of teens and young adults who were pretty wild and made the experience pretty miserable. We dealt with some line jumping, and that was frustrating but no whoop. But in the time I was there I saw two fist fights. The first one happened in line at Flight of Fear, and it was mainly alot of yelling and security jumped on it pretty quickly. The second was at the end of Banshee. That one was pretty gross. One of the kids puked and they kept fighting in the puke. Yuck. This was kind of the final straw that made me leave the park. 

-Everyone and their grandma gets the line skips at Kings Island apparently, and this process really felt like it slowed down the normal line. Maybe I'm just jealous that I didn't buy one!

 

Overall, I felt the park was too crowded for me to enjoy it. I didn't so much care to go in the haunted houses, but I was looking very forward to night rides on my favorite coasters. If I was queen of everything, there were two solutions that came to me-- 

I wish the park could do a 21+ only night, or set up the "Anyone 16 and younger must have an adult" with them rule like Kentucky Kingdom. 

My other idea is to just do a blackout night at Kings Island during the summer. Like a special ticketed event with no lights. I just want to go ride roller coasters with people who love roller coasters! LOL

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Bummer. Sorry to hear about all this.

Honestly, as much as I love Kings Island, you couldn't pay me to go on a Saturday and I know I'm not alone. My last two visits were on Sundays, in October, which are often good days to go but both were more crowded than I'm used to (though not as bad as Saturdays from what I hear) because I usually go on weekdays in the summer. Wish I had gone this past Sunday because the rain, from what I can tell, kept most people away. No Haunt on Sundays, and limited night rides too but the crowd is heavily family groups. If you decide to go back for Haunt next year (not sure there's any good day this coming weekend since its Halloween weekend), I suggest aiming for the first Friday of Halloween Haunt. I did that this year and it was a great time.

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