Jump to content

Cincinnati Post: Kings Island Turns Ghoulish

The Interpreter

Recommended Posts

The article:

Kings Island turns ghoulish

By Connie Yeager

Post staff reporter

The roller coasters at Paramount's Kings Island are once again getting some competition for inducing screams.

The Mason theme park unearths its seventh annual FearFest celebration of all things ghoulish this Saturday, and it will continue each Friday and Saturday night through October.

The Halloween-themed event, recommended for park visitors age 12 and older, boasts 13 haunted attractions, as well as a renewed focus on surrounding visitors with chills and thrills.

"This year we're using a lot of the park, except Boomerang Bay and Nickelodeon Universe," explained Maureen Kaiser, PKI's marketing communications manager. There's also a cast of more than 200 performers and characters, many of whom will be interacting with guests from the moment they step into the park.

"It's a totally immersive experience," said Kaiser. "Even just walking around, you're going to get a taste of FearFest right in your face.

"They will be 'fearfesting' all of International Street, both sides, and there will also be an influence in our storefronts." That includes a new structure being erected at the entry end of the park's Royal Fountain, which will be populated by an undertaker and other figures on the prowl for new "business."

"Even the associates taking tickets will look spooky. You want to look alive," Kaiser joked. Characters will even inhabit the glass-enclosed stairway to the park's former International Street restaurant (above the entrance gates). "At every turn people will be looking out for you."

That will include a few chainsaw-wielding characters "escaped from the PsychoPath (one of the park's scare sites)," Kaiser said.

The high-tech Eiffel Tower lighting package, which debuted last November at the now-defunct WinterFest, remains to cast spooktacular color patterns on the tower and the fountain below.

There are six new FearFest attractions this year, including:

Cowboy Carnage, a new indoor maze attraction that uses the former Mining Company Building gift shop building near Wings Diner. The attraction actually begins in its outdoor queue line, which snakes through a jumble of old barrels and crates that provide "tons of opportunities for people to be hiding," Kaiser explained. "The experience actually begins outside."

It's themed as a run-down saloon-inn that proves to be the final cattle drive for unsuspecting cowboys. From the decrepit piano and Mason-jar strewn bar in the entryway, one gets the idea that it's not going to be a three-diamond experience in hospitality, and each turn down the faded wallpaper corridors brings an increasingly disturbing scene.

"Monster Bash" is the new live show in the Paramount Theater, which will be presented four times nightly. "It's a song and dance revue set to Halloween music, with live actors, singers and dancers," Kaiser said.

Heckle and Howl, a new interactive attraction on International Street, borrows a page from the WinterFest playbook. Using the same house inhabited by the sneering Scrooge, this will feature a live character who is out to insult and demean every passing visitor with his villainous improvisational skills.

The new FearFest Hauntcert series, Saturday nights only on the International Street Bandstand, will feature performances by local bands.

Holiday Horror and the Worksite are two walk-through "Fear Zones" scattered in the park this year.

Holiday Horror, toward the back of Coney Mall (renamed Coney Maul in honor of the season), resurrects some WinterFest props, such as a Frosty the Snowman from a parade float, and gives them a sinister twist.

The Worksite, billed as a construction site gone horribly wrong, "is more of a destruction zone," said Kaiser. It is located along the walkway between Coney Mall and the Action Zone, between the Sling Shot and Delirium rides.

Also new this year is an all-you-can-eat buffet in the Wings Diner, which will include such features as a build-your-own-hamburger bar, salad bar and dessert bar. It's available online (www.pki.com) as a combination ticket with admission, priced at $29.99 on Friday nights and $39.99 on Saturday nights. (Regular FearFest admission tickets are also discounted online.)

Returning FearFest attractions include:

Circus of Horrors, which has a new location in the Enchanted Theater at the edge of Nickelodeon Universe this year (the entry is next to Little Bill's Coaster). "We've rearranged the way it's laid out, so even people familiar with it will be challenged," Kaiser said.

The black-light maze, populated by demonic clowns, was formerly tucked into the far side of the FestHaus, where ambient light and sounds sometimes intruded. Enclosed in its own building, it should be darker this year.

The Asylum, the deceptive chain-link and mirror maze located near the entry to Flight of Fear.

PsychoPath, the park's outdoor trail that features a gruesome assortment of horrors strewn over an extensive path, located beyond the Asylum.

Massacre Manor, a traditional haunted house located in Coney Mall, which houses such FearFest veterans as Electrocution Man and Saw Guy.

Headless Hollow, new to FearFest last year, employs the Paramount's Kings Island/Miami Valley Railroad and the endlessly long pathway of the adjacent White Water Canyon for a combined riding-walking stalk fest.

CornSTALKERS is a stalk fest of a different kind, with scarecrows who live up to their name hanging out along the path next to the Italian Job: Stunt Track's queue line.

"Superstition," the 3-D show featuring Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, returns to the Action/FX Theater.

In addition to the haunted attractions, most of the park's thrill rides will be open throughout FearFest hours - The Beast, Tomb Raider: The Ride, Flight of Fear, the Italian Job: Stunt Track, The Racer, The Vortex, Delirium, Drop Zone, Face/Off, Top Gun and Adventure Express - along with a variety of other rides ranging from the Grand Carousel to Xtreme Skyflyer.

While not part of FearFest, Son of Beast, which has been closed since a July accident, "will open next year," confirmed Kaiser. "We've fixed the impacted beams, and it's looking really good. We're being really thorough," she added, working with state inspectors to make sure that the ride "is a 100 percent safe and comfortable experience."

The park will be open for FearFest only on Friday nights, and will transition from regular park operation to FearFest operation between 7 and 8 p.m. on Saturdays. Nickelodeon Universe attractions will close at 7 p.m., which is also when FearFest's indoor attractions will open; outdoor attractions such as the PsychoPath will open at dark, or by approximately 8 p.m.

Publication date: 09-29-2006


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dont see why everyones saying its so expensive, if you have a pass already fearfest is included and if you need a ticket you can get them for 20 bucks online or at local stores. Gas is way lower than it has been all summer and if your worried about the price of food in the park, just go either mcdonalds' that are 5-10 minutes from each PKI parking lot exit. I know some people arent into haunted attractions and thats cool, they have their own thing, but this event is a better value each year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, the whole price thing should be a non-issue. I mean, season passholders (06 and 07) get in free, and if you don't have a pass, you're only paying $20 for a day of thrills and haunts. Winterfest, yes, was overpriced. What you were paying only got you Winterfest attractions...you weren't able to experience the whole park.

There's really not a reason to complain about prices...but it just goes to show, someone will *always* find something to complain about. Hell, if they just opened the gates and allowed everyone in for free, the people complaining about the price today will be complaining about how crowded the park is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...