Halloween Haunt 2018 Review

Halloween Haunt at Kings Island (Mason, OH)
“Farewell Firehawk”

By Noah Wullkotte: jollypumpkin@aol.com

Kings Island Halloween Haunt has been scaring thrill seekers since 2000 when it was originally called Fearfest. There have been some major changes for their 18th year that I think you will enjoy. There are less mazes, but the acting seems to have been improved and the entire experience is more enjoyable. The staff is friendlier, they know where everything is located and the park never looked better this time of the year. Kings Island looks awful frightening during the fall season. Skeletons hide behind tombstones, a sleeping giant awakes from his slumber and a massive jack in the box suddenly pops out. Even the Eiffel Tower has been decked out to look like a creepy monster with a menacing smile. The lighting effects at Kings Island are downright beautiful. Whoever is in charge of lighting should get a raise. One of the newest Scare Zones is called Pumpkin Eaters. If Pumpkin Eaters doesn’t put you in the Halloween Spirit then I don’t know what will. You’ve got carved pumpkins, pumpkins in trees, evil jack-o-lanterns and some sick and grotesque props. My favorite was the pumpkin that was stuffed with severed heads. I get chills just thinking about it.

Wolf Pack hasn’t changed much since it was first introduced. You’ll encounter various actors wearing rubber werewolf masks who howl at the moon. This haunt could benefit from makeup and better costumes. Be sure to visit this maze later in the evening since some of the structure has light that shines through. Blackout is your typical Dark Maze. You and a group of people will walk through a dark building as you hang onto the rope in front of you. There are scary sounds, spiders, flashes of light and random madness.

Madame Fatale’s Cavern of Terror isn’t drastically different from last year except that the lighting isn’t as good. You’ll be given a flashlight to find your way through the wax museum. I was told not to point the flashlight at the sets, but I’m not sure how I’m supposed to appreciate the detail and props if I can’t see anything. This is one of the better mazes at Halloween Haunt. You’ll explore different areas of the Wax Museum from King Tut’s Tomb to a factory with melted wax figures. It’s fun, but pretty short.

Killmart is Kings Island’s version of K-Mart, but with a zombie twist. You’ll enter a super store that’s been taken over by the living dead. This is a pretty realistic haunt that actually resembles a real store. You’ll explore sporting goods, pet supplies, camping and more. It’s not a very scary attraction due to most of the characters being zombies that slowly walk towards you or grunt. Chaos is Kings Island’s newest maze. We had to wait a while to enter because they were having technical difficulties. We thankfully were able to experience Chaos that night. I don’t want to ruin many of the surprises since it features some pretty cool props and effects. You will feel like you’re part of a Science Fiction movie where you’ve been experimented on. They’re hiding some deep dark military secret in this lab and you’ll soon find out. My biggest gripe with Chaos is that too much of the attraction consists of a mirror maze which seemed out of place. It takes you out of the action. Otherwise I quite enjoyed it.

(Rock out at Halloween Homecoming!)

Urgent Scare and Slaughter House are the final indoor mazes you’ll experience at Halloween Haunt. Slaughter House is the more impressive of the two. Slaughter House is a fun attraction featuring slaughtered animals, inbred killers and lots of torture and bloodshed. It’s a bloody good time, but rather short like most of the mazes at Halloween Haunt. Urgent Scare has been at Halloween Haunt for many years and it could use a little TLC. It just doesn’t have as much of an impact as it once did. It’s a haunted hospital from hell. Watch out or you’ll become a rotting flesh eater.

The final two outdoor mazes are Backwoods Bayou and Field of Screams which aren’t much different from last season. Not only does Halloween Haunt feature Haunted Mazes. They also have outdoor scare zones such as Dance of the Macabre, Wasteland, Coney Maul and the previously mentioned Pumpkin Eater. Our favorite part of Halloween Haunt is of course the stage shows. This year Hot Blooded has been replaced by a new show called Haunted Homecoming. This live stage show is a blast. If you like hot chicks, rock music, dancing and classic Halloween movies then you’re in for a treat. This 30 minute extravaganza is very entertaining and the cast should be very proud of their performance. My favorite part was the Little Shop of Horrors portion. Other shows at the park include Blood Drums and Monster Rock. Blood Drums is fun and I quite enjoyed how the lake featured shooting flames synchronized to the beat of the drums. Monster Rock was my least favorite of the stage shows. The audio just wasn’t very good. It sounded muffled which made it hard to hear what the monsters were singing. It was entertaining, but could have been better.

There’s so much going on at Halloween Haunt that it’s hard to mention it all in one review. There are tons of food options including food trucks and various restaurants. You can enjoy everything from kettle corn to LaRosa’s Pizza. There are also carnival style games, plenty of rides that are open and much more. Don’t forget to check out Boo Blasters on Boo Hill. This dark ride is very fun. You’ll shoot monsters, ghosts and a wide variety of ghouls as you point your laser gun at them. It’s a classic Kings Island ride for sure.

At Halloween Haunt, you will notice a grave site that reads 10/28/18. This is for Firehawk. This is the final year for the popular ride. There’s so much to do at Halloween Haunt that it can be quite exhausting. I highly suggest the Fright Lane pass to skip the lines. It’s well worth the price of admission. It’s very hard to experience everything in one night without it. The Skeleton Key rooms have been removed which I’m fine with. They were neat, but didn’t add much to the mazes if I’m honest. Halloween Haunt no longer has a clown themed attraction since they removed Carnevil.

My biggest gripe with Halloween Haunt is that most of the mazes are under 5 minutes which is a shame. With that being said, Halloween Haunt is a great value with tickets as low as $31.99 if purchased online. In years past I would post about all the different ticket options, but you can easily find that information by visiting www.visitkingisland.com/haunt. You can pick up a No BOO necklace that lets the actors know that you don’t want to get scared. It’s $13 a person which is pretty expensive. The parking price varies and starts at $17 for regular and $27 for preferred.

Halloween Haunt is a great bang for your buck. We wish the production value was better for the mazes and they could be longer. Most people are going to ride some of the thrill rides, visit a few Haunted Mazes and maybe get a bite to eat. Kings Island is frightfully fun this time of the year.

Please Note: Halloween Haunt is a lengthy experience if you’re able to experience everything at the park. Most people won’t unless they purchase a Fright Lane Pass and arrive early.  It’s very tough to rate the length of Halloween Haunt, but you are going to be there for a long time. There are a lot of variables that affect the length score for Halloween Haunt. The haunts are rather short, but the Stage Shows are around 30 minutes each.

Length-8  Design-7  Props/Animatronics-7  Acting-7  Scare Effect-7
Final Stab: 7.2