Halloween Haunt scares up terrorific atmosphere

IMG_0011Lost in Reviews checked out Worlds of Fun’s Halloween Haunt which is now in it’s third year, Saturday night. We really weren’t sure what to  expect from the Haunt. I personally had heard mostly positive things about it from prior years regarding it being pretty scary and a good value, while Ryan was walking in with little previous knowledge of it. The haunt which begins at 7:30PM with the Overlords Awakening continues this Thursday, Friday and Saturday through October 31 and consist of nine ‘extreme haunts’ by night.

The extreme haunts consist of four haunted house setups, which seem to be concentrated in the Africa sections of the park. The odd house out is Lair of the Vampire located in the old loading house for the long gone Orient Express. There are also four walk through experiences that take place in the open areas of the park. Walking into the park we both agreed that they nailed the atmosphere perfectly. Dense fog hung over the entire park, skeletons, scary jack in the boxes, skulls on spits, giant spiders and rats, these are just a few of the props that are all over the place for Haunt. They also play tracks from several of our favorite films, Halloween, Friday the 13th, and Nightmare on Elm Street were heard at various points in the night.

Unfortunately, due to the nice weather, lines were pretty long for most of the haunted houses upon initial entry. We elected to do a quick lap around the park to get familiar with it’s Haunt lay out, since some of the park is reconfigured for the walk through experiences. Turns out scares are actually sprinkled through out the park in addition to the designated haunt areas. This was a nice unexpected touch as several times I walked by what I thought were statues to find out I was completely wrong.

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The walk through areas consist of The Fright Zone in the Scandinavian section; Dominion of Doom between Africa leading into the train station/Americana section of the park which is known as Outlaws Revenge. There is also the Blood Shed located around the forum. The last walk through experience and to me the best was the CarnEvil which is located by the Timberwolf and Thunderhawk.

Making our way to the line for Lair of the Vampire featuring the new for 2009, Club Blood, we jumped in line and waited, and waited. There was a pretty entertaining Vampire walking err stalking the line threatening to feed on several ladies before turning them down for not liking their scent. When we got toward the entrance we were informed that this Lair didn’t contain those wussified sparkly B.S. Twilight ‘vampires’ so be warned. We were pretty pumped at this point walking in, unfortunately the actual experience left us wanting. There didn’t seem to be too many doing scaring in the house. The Club Blood portion was a riff on Fangtasia if you are familiar with the hit HBO series ‘True Blood.’ A dance club with a bunch of vamps posing and looking cool. Although bonus points for the poll dancing boy and girl vamps in the club. All in all, we walked away from Lair of the Vampire and Club Blood a bit disappointed after the great setups and atmosphere we had experienced earlier in the scare zones.

Making our way back toward the entrance to the park we decided to give the new for 2009 wooden coaster ‘Prowler’ a ride. The line for it moved quickly and we were away. I hadn’t yet ridden the prowler this season and riding it at night seemed to add to the experience since you couldn’t easily tell which way you were going next and it features several unexpected dips and fake out turns. I walked away impressed with the new coaster. I prefer it to the Patriot and it’s the best addition the park has seen in a long, long time.

dollMaking our way through the darkness and fog of The Fright Zone lead us to Master McCarty’s Doll Factory. The line seemed to have dispersed pretty heavily by the time we made it to the entrance. The Doll factory quickly redeemed the short comings of the Lair. Some of the girls working in this house were creepily into their jobs, perhaps too much so. One of them gave me a stare that stuck with me the rest of the night. Just thinking about it and typing it out her face popped up into my head. Sooo, let’s move along…Doll Factory = maximum creep factor.

We next found ourselves in the woods of Camp Gonnagitcha Witch a Hatchet. Being out doors, I give Camp the nod for getting me to jump the most. Not sure if it was due to me taking lead on the walk through or still being slightly off center after the doll factory messing with my head so much. Special mention of ‘exit guy.’ Attempting to explain to him that the Camp had gotten me to jump the most all night he slammed a garbage can lid and caught me off guard with a great, smart-assed ‘thought it was over’ as I made my way out of the exit. Wise ass, but 5 out of 5 for you on your performance review if I were in such a position.

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At this point in the night it was getting close to closing time. We made our way to what was still easily the longest line we waited in all night for Asylum Island. Asylum Island is unique for the fact that it is actually located in Oceans of Fun. It is also one of the only houses I can think of that seemed to have almost it’s own purpose built setting. Island was the most disorienting house of the night. Lots of strobe lights, heavy fog, a very maze like layout that left one being apprehensive about rounding each corner. For me it was a tough call between Island and the Doll Factory for haunt of the night.

3 out of 4 isn’t bad and for the cost, $26.99 on Friday after 6PM and 4PM on Saturday this is the scare deal to beat. Most of the rides are still open in addition to the Haunts and to me they were more of a bonus. A combo ticket to the Beast and Edge of Hell runs nearly forty dollars so this is easily recommended for your scare per dollar value. I look forward to going back next year to see what they might scare up.

Worlds of Fun Halloween Haunt is open Thursday October 29 6-11Pm Friday October 30 6-Midnight and Saturday 11Am-1Am, note that the Haunt doesn’t begin until 7:30pm with the Overlords Awakening.

Worlds of Fun is also open on Sunday November 1 from 11am-7pm

By John Coovert

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