Kings Island Halloween Haunt (Mason, OH)
“Clean Up On Aisle 666”
By Noah Wullkotte: Jollypumpkin@aol.com
Halloween Haunt is here once again. Every Halloween season, Kings Island is transformed into a haunted wonderland with a variety of haunts, shows, rides and everything you expect from one of Ohio’s best theme parks. We arrived on their opening night and the park was packed with people and full of heavy fog. Kings Island has the best fog machines we’ve ever seen. The fog is so dense that you can’t see your hand in front of your face. You pray that you won’t run into the person in front of you.
Last year, it rained cats and dogs. There was standing water and the park had half the people it usually does. This year was a different story. The weather was perfect and there were monsters every where you turned. Kings Island Halloween Haunt is a unique event because it doesn’t just focus on haunts. The majority of rides are open from Banshee to The Beast. There are tons of concession stands, games, and restaurants open as well.
So, if you’re not into getting scared at the various haunts then that’s fine. There’s plenty of other things at the park that will occupy your time. But we were there for one reason and that’s to check out the haunts or what Kings Island calls Mazes. The newest Maze is called Kill Mart. A department store has been invaded by an army of the living dead. There’s nowhere to run and there’s nowhere to hide. You’re zombie food and the sooner you accept this, the better. Enter the different sections of the store like housewares, camping, pets and more. You’ll shop till you drop and you’ll pray for a quick and painless death. Only if it was that easy.
New this year is the Skeleton Key. Every customer who purchases a Fright Lane Pass will get access to special rooms that the general public won’t see. You’ll have to complete challenges, eat and drink disgusting things and interact with some crazy characters. This is an added bonus for those who want to spend the extra money.
Carnevil has become a staple at Kings Island and it’s one of the oldest haunts at the park. It hasn’t changed much over the years, but it’s still one of my favorite clown themed attractions. The circus has come to town and you’re invited to join the fun. You’ll experience a room full of cotton candy, a spinning vortex tunnel, a living breathing freak show and what you you would expect to see at a twisted circus. 3D Glasses are a dollar extra. Watch out for the bubbles.
Club Blood returns and has been heavily censored. It’s no longer as shocking and intense as it used to be. You’ll walk through a night club full of go go dancers, blood thirsty vampires and the living dead. The dancers aren’t as provocative as they used to be and the actors don’t use suggestive dialogue. It’s still a fun haunt, but it doesn’t leave a lasting impression like it once did. Hopefully the intensity level is taken up a notch next year.
Wolf Pack is a werewolf themed haunt where every actor is a hairy beast. You’ll see a werewolf rising from a well, werewolves in a junkyard, graveyard and more. The soundtrack is pretty good, but there’s not much dialogue since most of the actors are wearing masks. It’s still an entertaining haunt and one that I look forward to every year.
Urgent Scare is one of the haunts that utilizes the Skeleton Key feature. The secret room has a crazed lunatic who wants to show you his monkey. He even takes a piece of poop from his underwear and wants you to eat the corn. You must eat one of the food items found in a cup in order to exit. I had to eat some Meal Worms. They were crunchy and had a little spice. Urgent Scare is a hospital that’s been infected by a deadly virus. The patients are out to get you and you must travel through the various rooms of the hospital. It’s a pretty intense haunt, but only lasts 3 and a half minutes. Many of the haunts at Halloween Haunt are unfortunately short and you’re left wanting more.
Board to Death is one of the newer haunts at Kings Island. It’s themed after popular board games you’ve grown up with. You’ll see Pop-O-Matic Trouble, Connect 4, Risk, Candy Land, Chess and more. All the games have a haunted twist. This is a creative haunt and it’s pretty memorable. It’s not the scariest attraction at Halloween Haunt, but it’s definitely entertaining.
Madam Fatale’s Cavern of Terror is one of the best haunts at Halloween Haunt. Unfortunately the Skeleton Key room was down for the night. Enter a haunted wax museum where the displays are alive. The supply room is full of wax figure parts and many of the displays are cursed. See Jack the Ripper, King Tut, a mummy and more. This haunt is full of detail and can be a little nerve wrecking at times. If you don’t have time to tour everything Halloween Haunt has to offer then please make sure this is one at the top of your list.
Cornstalkers, Delta Delta Die and Slaughter House are back. Cornstalkers is an outdoor haunt where ghouls are hiding behind wooden crates and there are mysterious creatures in the cornfield. There’s plenty of fog and it’s a quite mysterious haunt. You’ll be in and out in about 4 minutes. Slaughter House is one of the better attractions at Halloween Haunt. It’s gory, fast paced and there are some startling surprises.
Slaughter House is another one of the haunts that utilizes the Skeleton Key Room. This shocking room will have you coming face to face with a looud chainsaw. That’s all I’m going to say without giving anything away. It’s pretty easy to figure out the central theme of Slaughter House. It’s a blood splattered haunt full of animal body parts, sounds of torture and crazy animatronics. It mimics going through a diseased Slaughter House with many rooms mixed in that you would see on a farm. Don’t become one of the unfortunate ones who is now hamburger meat.
Delta Delta Die is a sorority house that’s taken hazing to another extreme. This is another haunt that uses the Skeleton Key feature. Put on your blind fold and take a shot of a poisonous liquid. It tasted a little like Pepto-Bismol. Tombstone Terror-tory is one of the few haunts around that uses a train. This is a spooky attraction and a great way to relax a little before you are dropped off for the haunted trail. The haunted trail portion of Tombstone Terror-tory is like stepping back in time. Actors are dressed in period clothing and light posts are dimly lit with vivid colors. There’s plenty of fog which will definitely disorient most people.
The various scare zones cannot be compared to the mazes. These areas of the park are where actors roam and they’re able to let loose. You’ll see costumed performers, actors using sliders and just some creepy characters. These Scare Zones include Nightmare Alley, Freak Street, Cemetery Drive and Backwoods Bayou. Cemetery Drive and Backwoods Bayou can be considered stripped down mazes with props and actors.
Halloween Haunt has something for everyone. Skeleton Crew replaces Hot Blooded. We were only able to catch a few minutes of the show, but we were pretty impressed by what we saw. Performers dressed as skeletons do back flips, acrobatic moves and dance the night away. It’s an entertaining show with an impressive cast. I miss Hot Blooded since it was one of my favorite shows at Halloween Haunt, but Skeleton Crew is a welcome change. Other shows include Ghouls Gone Wild and Blood Drums.
Blood Drums is a one of a kind spectacular with masked characters playing the drums while blood bounces off of them. There are fire performers, pyrotechnics, intense lighting effects and dramatic music. It’s a great show and very popular. There was a huge crowd of people near the stage taking pictures, videos and just having a great time. Ghouls Gone Wild is a heart pumpin rock rock ‘n’ roll experience with your favorite monsters like Frankenstein, Wolfman and more.
There’s so much to do at Halloween Haunt, that it’s hard to finish everything in one night without a Fright Lane Pass. We luckily were able to complete everything and we still had time to ride Boo Blasters. Boo Blasters is a family friendly light gun ride where you’ll shoot various monsters and targets. Every time I visit Kings Island, I make sure to take some time out of my schedule for Boo Blasters. It’s frightful family fun.
There have been some changes made to this year’s Halloween Haunt. The new Skeleton Key Rooms are pretty creative and can be quite disgusting. But please remember that the only way you can experience these rooms is with a Fright Lane Pass which is an additional cost. Most of the mazes at Halloween Haunt have great lighting and sound. The actors also have impressive costumes, masks, and makeup. The biggest negative is the length of each maze. When you don’t factor in the Skeleton Key Rooms, most of the mazes are 4 minutes or less with the exception of one or two.
We definitely recommend Halloween Haunt, but you might have a difficult time doing everything unless you splurge for a Fright Lane Pass. But either way, there’s tons to do. There are rides, concessions, entertaining shows, a variety of mazes, Scare Zones and so much more. The park looks great with all of their Halloween decorations, thick fog and spooky lighting. Tickets are as low as $29.99 for Friday night when they’re purchased online. Saturday, tickets are as low as $37.99. Prices at the gate vary and Fright Lane Passes are additional. Please visitwww.visitkingsisland.com for more information on pricing. We didn’t want to clutter up this review with details on pricing.
We’ve been visiting Kings Island during the Halloween season since it was first known as Fear Fest. You’re sure to find something fun to do at Halloween Haunt and general admission is pretty reasonable when you consider what’s included. Please note: It will take you hours to do everything at Halloween Haunt, but we are rating length on individual attractions, not combined length of everything. This is a difficult category to score for Halloween Haunt since they have shows that are pretty long, but the haunts aren’t. Overall it’s a pretty lengthy experience depending on what you have time to experience.
Length-8 Design-8 Props/Animatronics-8 Acting-8 Scare Effect-8
Final Stab: 8.0