Kings Island Halloween Haunt (Mason, OH)
“A Vortex of Fear”
By Noah Wullkotte: firstname.lastname@example.org
During the 2019 season Kings Island will say farewell to a friend who they’ve known since 1987. This will officially be the final season for The Vortex, one of Kings Island’s most beloved roller coasters. The Vortex debuted in 1987. At the time it was the tallest full-circuit rollercoaster in the world with the longest drop and six inversions. I remember this steel behemoth being a little rough, but it was fast and thrilling.
It will be the 19th year Kings Island has had a haunted event at the park. What originally started out as Fearfest has evolved into Halloween Haunt (AKA Kings Island Haunt). Kings Island Halloween Haunt consists of 7 indoor mazes and 2 outdoor mazes. There are also 7 Scare Zones where monsters are lurking in the darkness and you never know what to quite expect.
We’ll first cover the mazes which for many is the highlight of the Kings Island experience this time of the year. The majority of the indoor mazes are around 3 minutes or slightly longer. There aren’t any new mazes and they aren’t drastically different from the previous year. Madam Fatale’s Cavern of Terror is very dark this year and you’ll be given a glow stick to guide your way. The glow stick doesn’t help at all when it comes to providing light. Explore a wax museum where you might become Madam Fatale’s latest creation. It was hard for me to see many of the detailed scenes because of the dim lighting. You will see various wax figures and horrifying scenes such as a room full of wax heads. Which one will come alive?
Black Out capitalizes on your fear of the darkness or what’s better known as Nyctophobia. Hold onto a rope and hope that you survive the pitch black darkness. There isn’t much to this maze since it relies mostly on sound, lighting effects and more. Black Out is creepy, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it scary. It’s not your typical dark maze since there are glow in the dark arrows pointing you into the right direction.
Wolf Pack has been at Halloween Haunt for many years and it’s a favorite among guests. You’ll explore different scenes such as a graveyard, a tool shed, a well and much more. The catch is that each scene is full of werewolves that want to tear you from limb to limb. The actors do a decent job as they howl at the moon and lunge at people who walk past them. The final scene is very cool and features a massive werewolf that attacks. The actors don’t use much dialogue since they’re werewolves and werewolves don’t talk. They howl at the moon of course and growl occasionally.
Field of Screams is Halloween Haunt’s version of a Haunted Cornfield. This maze will require you to walk a little in order to reach the corn maze. This makes it even scarier. I rather enjoyed Field of Screams. It’s not a real cornfield, but you would never know that as you walk past actors. This is one of the scarier haunts as Halloween Haunt since there are better hiding spots. Actors can blend in with the corn.
Imagine if an old rundown K-Mart was been invaded by the living dead. That’s what KillMart pretty much is. Each section of the super store has flesh eating zombies and other creatures of the night. You’ll explore Sporting Goods, Pets, Camping, the grocery isle and much more. This maze is full of talented actors and some high tech animatronics as well. We always enjoy KillMart at Halloween Haunt.
C.H.A.O.S is one of the newer mazes at Halloween Haunt. This indoor maze is located at Coney Maul (AKA Coney Mall). Humans have been tested on using an experimental drug that has some adverse side effects. Get ready for a haunting good time. C.H.A.O.S is one of the more unique mazes at Halloween Haunt. It reminded me of a low budget Sci-Fi movie you would see on TV. There’s a mirror maze, vortex tunnel, spot lights that follow you and much of the haunt glows. It’s a neat experience to say the least.
Slaughter House, Urgent Scare and Backwoods Bayou are the final Haunted Mazes. Slaughter House is the goriest Haunted Maze at Halloween Haunt and one of the most intense. Imagine entering an old Slaughter House full of butchered animals dripping blood, tortured victims and some crazy inbred killers. That’s Slaughter House in a nutshell. Urgent Scare has become a staple at Halloween Haunt and Backwoods Bayou is a welcome addition. You’ll soon find out what these haunts are like if you plan to visit Halloween Haunt.
(The lighting is absolutely gorgeous at Halloween Haunt.)
Halloween Haunt has various Scare Zones. These aren’t mazes, but they’re themed outdoor areas where actors roam the streets of Kings Island. These Scare Zones are Coney Maul, Pumpkin Eater, Dance of the Macabre and the newest Scare Zones which are Shipwrecked, Zombie Mall, Rivertown Reaping and International Fear Street. My personal favorite is Pumpkin Eater. This area is full of hundreds of pumpkins and lit jack-o’-lanterns. There are tons of grotesque props and even a scary animated pumpkin creature. You’ll definitely get into the Halloween spirit when you enter Pumpkin Eater. I’m not going to go into detail about every Scare Zone since we don’t want to ruin all the surprises at Halloween Haunt. We wish there were more monsters scaring people on the streets of Kings Island since a few Scare Zones like Zombie Mall would have been incredible with a hoard of killer zombies.
The park is beautifully decorated this time of the year. The lake is synchronized with lighting effects, music and fire. I love it. The Eiffel Tower has glowing eyes and razor sharp teeth. There are plenty of animatronics and spooky props that decorate the park. There’s a sleeping giant that rises from his slumber and there’s a massive jack in the box that wants to eat you up. There’s so much fog, glorious fog and the lighting is pretty damn good at Halloween Haunt. If you aren’t into the scary portion of Halloween Haunt then you can go on many of the rides that are open to the public. Even Boob Blasters on Boo Hill is open. It’s a classic dark ride in a sense. If you don’t want to be scared then purchase yourself a No Boo light up necklace and the monsters will leave you alone.
Our favorite part of Halloween Haunt is the Stage Shows. They include Haunted Homecoming, Monster Rock, Drums of the Dead and even a ceremony at 7:30pm to kick off each night. Haunted Homecoming is the highlight of the night for us. Years ago, it replaced Hot Blooded and it’s very similar. There’s classic rock music, dancing girls, Halloween style characters and much more. It’s a blast.
Halloween Haunt is full of food vendors and carnival games. Halloween Haunt is popular for a reason. There are just so many fun things to do from touring creepy haunts to experiencing heart racing thrill rides. It’s a blast and a night to remember. The biggest negative is that the Haunted Mazes are short and you’re walking away wanting more. Now we aren’t going to go into great detail about the various ticket prices because that in itself would take up way too much of the review. Tickets on Friday are $33 online or $51 at the park. Saturday tickets are $49.99 online or $72 at the park. A Fright Lane pass is an additional $45 and you can bypass the regular line at each haunt. Season Pass Holders get into Halloween Haunt for free. Parking is $17 and Preferred Parking is $27. Pleas visit www.visitkingsisland.com/haunt for extended details.
Halloween Haunt is the place to be this Halloween Season. Hang out with friends and family while enjoying some rides, some scares and so much more!
Length-8 Design-7 Props/Animatronics-7 Acting-7 Scare Effect-7
Final Stab: 7.2