Kings Island Halloween Haunt
Kings Island Halloween Haunt returns for another year of fright and fun. Once again the park will be full of fog, masked monsters and tons of skeletons decorating various sets throughout Kings Island. New this year is Slaughter House, Cut Throat Cove and a brand new stage show called Hot Blooded. Get ready for the one and only Kings Island Halloween Haunt.
Welcome to the twisted circus that is Carnevil. The evil clowns are waiting to eat you. Or should I say meet you? This annual haunt returns for another year of carnival fun and haunting terror.
Length-7: It will take you under 10 minutes to walk through Carnevil. There are few dead spots and always something to catch your interest in this twisted carnival.
Design-7: The design for this haunt hasn't changed drastically from last year. The majority of Carnevil consists of brightly colored walls splashed with 3D paint that comes alive once you put your 3D glasses on. Scenes include clowns bursting out of walls, a polka dot room, confusing mirror maze and much more. There's a lot of variety, but there needs to more changes made to make this haunt worth a visit.
Props/Animatronics-7: As you may have guessed, the majority of props you'll come in contact with at Carnevil center around a twisted circus of sorts. You'll come face to face with clown dummies, animated clowns with twisting necks, a dizzying vortex tunnel and much more. There have been a few additions, but not enough that you'll notice.
Acting-7: Many of the characters at Carnevil wear cheap rubber clown masks. The use of prosthetics and impressive makeup would help many of the actors come alive. Most of the actors that reside in Carnevil can be seen coming out of drop panels, hidden within sets or hidden in a corner waiting to bust out when you least expect.
Scare Effect-7: If you have a fear of clowns you will be in for a treat when touring Carnevil. This isn't the most frightening haunt you will experience, but is one of the best clown haunts in the Cincinnati area. The actors are well hidden and some of the scenes can be downright creepy in a comical way.
Fright Value: It's a real deal considering that you can experience 13 different attractions at Halloween Haunt for under $30. Carnevil is a haunt that returns year after year, but usually with a different name. If you are only able to visit a few haunts at Halloween Haunt make sure Carnevil is near the top of your list.
Final Stab-7.0: There's not much I can really say about Carnevil since this is pretty much the same clown themed haunt that it is year after year. More changes need to be made in order for returning customers to be impressed with this attraction. It's a decent haunt, but could be much better if the standards at Kings Island were raised.
Welcome to the wild wild west that is Tombstone Terortory. The ghosts of cowboy past have been awaken and you must survive as you walk this twisted trail of terror.
Length-8: This haunt can be nearly 20 minutes if you factor in the train ride before you are dropped off for the haunted trail. There are few moments where little is happening, but needs to be more happening in scenes instead of an actor just spitting out a line or yelling at you.
Design-6: This isn't a very well designed haunt in the least bit. The majority of Tombstone Terortory involves wooden barrels and areas that have hanging plastic jugs or body parts. The makers of this haunt need to be more creative in coming up with scenes that will be memorable because right now this is a very forgettable haunt that most people won't be impressed with.
Props/Animatronics-6: Once again there is nothing memorable about the props used at Tombstone Terrortory. Most of the decor involves wooden barrels, body parts or cheap props that go with the colonial theme that they are trying to achieve with this haunt. I guess the only saving grace this haunt has is its mysterious train ride, but you can't really consider a train as prop or can you?
Acting-8: Most of the actors at Halloween Haunt are intense and never break character. This is the case with Tombstone Terrortory. Many of the characters you'll come across blend in with scenery and are as still as possible before they decide to jump out and scare their next victim. Every actor wears elaborate costumes and appears as if they are straight out of another century.
Scare Effect-6: The scariest aspect of this haunt is the abundance of fog that is used throughout the trail. The train ride before you are dropped off on the trail is spooky and mysterious, but once the haunt begins you're experience goes down hill from there. If you weren't scared last year, you won't be scared this year. It's that plain and simple.
Fright Value: This is possibly the worst haunt at Halloween Haunt and takes up the most time waiting in the various lines leading up to the actual trail. If you are smart you will leave this haunt till last or completely forget about touring it. Hopefully Kings Island will get a clue and drop Tombstone Terrortory entirely and replace it with a completely new haunt.
Final Stab-6.8: There is no redeeming value for Tombstone Terrortory. Year after year I dread going through this haunt because of all the lines you have to wait in. First you have to wait in a line before you walk onto the train. Then you are dropped off so you can wait in another long line leading up the actual haunt. Once you are on the actual trail the experience is very short and just isn't worth the wait. I hope Kings Island gets a clue and drops this haunt completely. It isn't scary, original and is quite frustrating.
Pirates infest this haunted cove and will never rest until they reclaim their gold. Will you have the nerve to take their treasure or will you become one of the dead?
Length-7: Your journey through this haunted pirate's cove will take under 10 minutes to complete. There are few moments where something won't jump out or attempt to scare and startle you.
Design-6: This new haunt is very disappointing to say the least. For God's sake this is Kings Island. I'm expecting sets that Hollywood would be jealous of considering the budget this massive theme park must have. But once again, this haunt like many is forgettable.
Props/Animatronics-5:: Most of the props you'll see are either wooden crates, skeletons, barrels, etc. There's nothing that really stands out that most people haven't seen before. More detailed props need to be incorporated into scenes so this haunt can be more believable. When a haunt takes place at Kings Island there is no excuse for a lack of high end animatronics. More money needs to be spent on the majority of haunts at the park.
Acting-6: Some of the actors are well timed and have great lines, but unfortunately many of the characters you'll encounter wear similar cheap skeleton masks that you can easily purchase at your local Halloween store. But there a few actors here and there that make up for this. If you are going to have a pirate themed haunt the characters need to act like pirates instead of actors in pirate costumes.
Scare Effect-5: This is a rather short haunt and the experience ends before you want it to. There are moments that may have you jumping out of your skin, but those are few and far between. This entire haunt just seems like it was put together at the last second and just like every other pirate themed haunt that has been at Kings Island before.
Fright Value: Even if this haunt might have a short line, please use your time wisely on better haunts at the park. This is an ok haunt, but isn't worth a 30 minute or more wait.
Final Stab-5.8: Years ago when the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie came out, pirates were the big craze, but there hasn't been a new pirate movie in a long time. I don't quite understand the fascination that Kings Island has with cowboys and pirates. I guess it's an easy theme to create a haunt for. But returning customers that have experienced Halloween Haunt before are going to be really disappointed with this haunt. They are expecting more and they should.
There has been a massive breakout at the nearby jail and the inmates aren't going to take it anymore. Are you brave enough to tour this twisted jail and will you survive Death Row?
Length-8: Depending on how good you are at haunted mazes, it may take upwards of 15 minutes or more trying to find your way out of Death Row. There aren't many scenes to speak of, but the experience itself can be quite intense.
Design-7: Halloween Haunt has been using this haunt for years, but hasn't really changed the design of it. It's essentially just a steel maze with mirrors and intense lighting. The route seems to be a little more confusing this year, but there really aren't many scenes that take place in the haunt. It's a confusing maze, but not very innovative in terms of design.
Props/Animatronics-6: There really aren't that many props inside Death Row. The majority of this haunt relies mostly on the steel maze. The only memorable eye candy you'll see is an electric chair and a spinning man in a straight jacket. This is an old animatronic that has been used in many haunts and was made by Distortions Unlimited.
Acting-7: The highlight of Death Row is its variety of intense actors that seem to be at every corner you turn. You'll really start to believe that these are actual inmates that have escaped from a maximum security prison. Their prison garb is authentic looking and down right impressive.
Scare Effect-7: This haunt can be quite intense due to how confusing this maze can get. The bright flashes from the strobe lights and the reflections the mirrors make as you try to find your way out can be quite unnerving to say the least. If you aren't very good at navigating through mazes you may be in lost in this haunt for a while.
Fright Value: Depending on how good you are navigating through mazes, this can be a quite rewarding experience. But if you visit Halloween Haunt every year you won't be impressed with this haunt that has been recycled year after year. There's really nothing new to this haunt that is worth mentioning.
Final Stab-7:0: I'm always a bit reluctant to tour Death Row because I know what to expect right from the start. This is just your typical steel cage maze that is meant to confuse and bewilder you. No big changes have been made and it makes me wonder why this haunt is at the park year after year. Big changes need to be made to Death Row before it can be worth a visit.
Something is wrong with this night club. Ghouls and blood thirsty vampires have taken over. They don't want to dance. They want to feast on your flesh and steal your soul. This is Club Blood.
Length-7: Your tour through Club Blood will take less than 10 minutes to complete. The theme of a night club taken over by blood thirsty vampires and ghouls is consistently used throughout the haunt and is quite effective.
Design-8: One of the better designed haunts at Halloween Haunt is Club Blood. Each and every room is centered around the theme of a night club that has been taken over by creatures of the night and bloody thirsty vampires waiting for their next meal. Rooms include a gory DJ room, go go dance floor, biker brawl room and much more. This haunt feels like a real night club and is for a mature audience only.
Props/Animatronics-8: Club Blood doesn't have the most impressive props the haunt industry offers, but does have some impressive set pieces that go perfectly with a night club. These include go go cages, a light up motor cycle,a real DJ booth and everything you would expect from a twisted night club taken over by the dead.
Acting-8: As I said before this is a mature themed haunt. Many of the characters you'll see are scantily clad women dancing around in go go cages. But instead of just being attractive, they have been made into zombies, vampires and bloody ghouls. The majority of the actors are very fit and seem like they were made for the roles they play in the night club.
Scare Effect-8: This haunt can be quite intense because of the theme it uses. As I said before Club Blood is only for mature audiences and uses language that isn't suitable for a young audience. But that's what makes it different and scary. When is the last time you've been at a haunt that featured vampire strippers dripping with blood or zombies that are high on crack?
Fright Value: Club Blood is one of the better haunts at Halloween Haunt. It's very different and if you are a guy you will really appreciate it. If you are going to only tour a few haunts at Halloween Haunt make sure Club Blood is near the top.
Final Stab-7.8: Club Blood has become a fan favorite since its debut a few years ago. It's a mature haunt, but has its scary moments also. Make sure and experience the only vampire stripper themed haunt in the greater Cincinnati area. This is the one and only Club Blood.
How are pigs made into sausage? You'll soon find out. Don't let the stench of rotting flesh and animal feces get to. This is Kings Island's newest haunt, Slaughter House.
Length-7: Slaughter House will take around 10 minutes to tour with few moments where you are wondering when something is going to happen.
Design-8: This truly is one of the most disgusting haunts I've been through in quite some time. The entire haunt smells like an actual farm. You will smell animal feces, rotting flesh, pigs, cows and much more. If the smell doesn't get to you then the sight of going through pig pens and freezers full of butchered farm animals will.
Props/Animatronics-7: As I said before this haunt is absolutely disgusting. You'll come head on with slaughtered pigs, cut open cows, various farm animals hanging from the ceiling and everything else you would expect from the most twisted farm you can think of.
Acting-8: The acting isn't the highlight of Slaughter House. The authentic looking sets that seem to come alive are. Characters you will come across are crazed butchers, creepy ken folk, backwoods hicks and every imaginable character used in a Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie you can think of.
Scare Effect-8: If you don't have a fear of farms or the slaughter house you sure will after you've been through Slaughter House at Halloween Haunt. I still can't get the thought of rotting flesh and animal feces out of my mind. I'm still unsure if the creators used scent dispensing machines or actual things that can be found on a farm. Once you get over the disgusting smells you'll be taken into enclosed rooms full of fog and dead animals. I don't know why, but this is a very unnerving haunt.
Fright Value: Slaughter House is a great addition to the lineup of haunts at Halloween Haunt. It's well worth your time and should be one of the first haunts you tour at the park. I hope in years to come this theme is expanded upon and taken to another level.
Final Stab-7.6: When I first heard that Halloween Haunt was going to have a haunt focusing on a slaughter house, I didn't expect much. In my mind I envisioned blood splattered walls, corny banjo music playing and every other cliche used in slaughter house type haunts. Thankfully I was wrong. Slaughter House is one of the best additions Kings Island has made to Halloween Haunt in years and I hope this theme is used in more haunts at Halloween Haunt next year. It's truly a disgusting haunt.
The country's most twisted and sadistic house is for sale. Are you willing to make a bid and will you walk away in one piece or should I say pieces?
Length-8: Your trip through Massacre Manor will take 10-12 minutes to complete. There are a variety of scenes and rooms that will transport you into another world.
Design-8: In previous years the outside facade of Massacre Manor has resembled an actual home for sale, but this isn't the case anymore. Now it just looks like your typical haunted building, but once inside you will be blown away by how realistic this haunt is. You'll tour different sections of the house for sale such as the bloody kitchen, bed room with possessed girl, the haunted dinning room and everything you would expect from a real haunted house.
Props/Animatronics-8: Almost everything in this haunt looks like it belongs in real home. Props include a refrigerator full of bloody body parts, haunted portraits hanging from the wall, a possessed bed that lifts and shakes and a variety of set pieces that seem as real as the home. If you play close attention you will notice the different portraits of the girl who haunts the house. The addition of some more animatronics that fit with the haunted house for sale theme would raise the score a bit.
Acting-8: The actors are great in the roles they play. You'll meet granny who wants to make you some bloody meet loaf (aka man loaf), the possessed girl who's bed lifts up off the ground and a bunch of crazy characters that dwell inside Massacre Manor. There's rarely a moment when a character misses his/her queue and the elaborate costumes the actors wear are to die for.
Scare Effect-8: This can be a quite startling haunt because of how realistic it is. It feels like you are touring a haunted home for sale and you are always wondering what room is next. Massacre Manor is one of the scarier haunts at Halloween Haunt.
Fright Value: Massacre Manor has been a returning haunt for years at Kings Island, but under different names. It's well worth the wait in line since it's one of the better haunts at the park. Make sure and visit Massacre Manor and Slaughter House first when touring the different attractions.
Final Stab-8.0: Massacre Manor has become a crowd favorite over the years. It's one of the few attractions at Halloween Haunt that resembles an actual haunted house. The characters are great, the sets are well designed and overall it's just a great quality haunt.
It's a dark moonlit night and you are all alone in the mysterious woods. Will you find your way home or will you end up as one of the many victims on the trail? This is Halloween Haunt's annual Trail of Terror.
Length-7: This annual haunted trail will take less than 10 minutes to tour. It's full of actors and very little dead space.
Design-7: This year's Trail of Terror is much safer than it has been in years past. Most of the trail has you walking on smooth surface instead of a dirt path. This makes it much easier for Kings Island to be able to open the haunt if there is questionable weather. The trail is also much safer this year since it has been lit up with orange rope light. No longer will you be confused at which way to go because of how dark the trail is. You won't be running into thick woods trying to find your way out. The scenes for Trail of Terror haven't changed much for 2009. Many of the same scenes are present such as the various outhouses, hill billy shacks and everything else you expect from this customer favorite. The crawl through tunnel has been removed possibly because of safety issues.
Props/Animatronics-6: Considering that this is Kings Island you would expect more in the way of high end props, but unfortunately not much was spent on Trail of Terror. You can expect the standard decor such as hanging body parts, out houses that shoot water and the typical hillbilly shacks. There's nothing that really stands out.
Acting-7: Every haunt at Kings Island Halloween Haunt has actors that are well timed and wear elaborate costumes. But since this haunt is just one actor after another without any true scenes, the actors end up not being effective. This is a shame since it's obvious that these aren't your run of the mill actors that have been hired and are doing the best in the scene they were given.
Scare Effect-7: Trail of Terror isn't as scary as it once was due to how safe the trail is now. Since much of the trail is brightly lit by orange rope light, it's no longer dark and mysterious. Changes need to be made in order for this haunt to be more realistic and beiliveable.
Fright Value: Trail of Terror is the only haunted trail at Halloween Haunt unless you consider Tombstone Terrortory one. So if you are a big fan of outdoor haunts please make sure and check out Trail of Terror.
Final Stab-6.8: Years ago this haunted trail would have gotten a much better score for its originality, but over the years not much has changed. This is a decent haunted trail with some great actors that could be more effective if they had better scenes to work with.
The swine flu has taken over this once established hospital. Everyone is infected and you could be next. This is the review of Urgent Scare.
Length-8:Your tour through Urgent Scare will take over 10 minutes. There's a variety of scenes and rooms that will make you feel like you've been infected.
Design-8: The first half of Urgent Scare takes place inside a hospital. You will travel through the X-Ray Examining room, the morgue, the ER and other areas typically associated with medical facilities. Once outside the design of Urgent Scare goes down from there. The majority of the outside area includes gurneys, chemical spills, a junk yard and much more. Overall Urgent Scare feels like a real hospital.
Props/Animatronics-8: Many of the props you'll see at Urgent Scare have been made by Unit 70 Studios in Columbus, OH. This famous prop company is known for very detailed corpses and themed characters. Some of these characters include hospital patients, corpses, the living dead and much more. The most impressive prop at Urgent Scare is the snake victim. You will see a nurse near an open corpse and suddenly she puts her foot on a pressure pad to release a snake from the victim's wound. The decor at Urgent Scare perfectly fits the hospital theme they are going for.
Acting-7: Before you even step inside Urgent Scare you will be greeted by different hospital patients. These include the mentally insane, a woman in a wheel chair and a crazed lunatic who beats on outside scraps. Once inside all hell breaks loose. You'll come face to face with skitzo frenics, mad butchers, sick and twisted nurses and those who have been infected by the swine flue. Swine Flue is a reoccurring theme used at Urgent Scare.
Scare Effect-7: Urgent Scare is a gory and frightening haunt that incorporates the swine flu into its storyline. I'm a little unsure how people will respond to this. They will either love the idea of be offended. Either way it adds to the intensity and believability of Urgent Scare.
Fright Value: 2008 was the first year for Urgent Scare and it's as good as it's ever been. Nothing has drastically changed with the exception of a few new scenes and swine flu as the reason everyone has been infected. This is one of the best haunts at Halloween Haunt with one of the largest lines.
Final Stab-7.6: Urgent Scare is a good haunt, but could be better. The first half that takes place indoors is creative and intense, but the other half that is outside is lacking in quality since the sets are pretty cheap and lack originality. But out of all the haunts at Halloween Haunt, this is one of the better attractions you'll experience.
(Note: These are not your typical haunts since they are mostly actor driven with very few scenes to speak of. These will not be reviewed like the other haunts at Kings Island Halloween Haunt.
Cemetery Drive has become a staple of Halloween Haunt over the years. Even though it's basically just a graveyard full of thick fog and tombstones, it's still a frightfully fun experience none the less. You may not get scared out of your wits, but you'll surely have a great time guessing when an actor will jump out from behind a tombstone or if that statue is a prop or an actor.
Cornstalkers has really expanded over the years. What started out as a mere walk through attraction with a few actors blending in with scenery has really become something special. The heavy use of fog covers up the fact that there really aren't many scenes or rooms, but instead cornstalks and hay. It's still an enjoyable experience with some creepy moments.
Ghouls Gone wild is a unique show that features classic monsters such as Wolf Man, The Mummy, Frankenstein, Bridge of Frankenstein and more colorful characters than you can shake a bloody stick at. You'll see them perform classic and modern songs as they dance around on a detailed Halloween set. Blood thirst is the direct opposite since it appeals to a more mature audience, but also features great perfromances by a very talented cast.
Kings Island Customer Service: Kings Island has many staff members that can be found roaming around the theme park. Unfortunately many won't stop to ask you if you need help unless you ask first. This year every haunt has a large skull and cross bones sign near it, but is still difficult to find even with a map. At the end of the night I had blisters on my feet and was sore from walking so much. These haunts need to be much easier to find. The parking lot was massive with plenty of parking, but parking is $10 unless you have a Gold Season Pass. There is a variety of food, apparel and gifts you will be able to purchase while at the park as well as many games you can play. If you aren't having a good time at Halloween Haunt then maybe you should stay home.