What has happened to Halloweekends?

Sunday, September 30, 2018 10:43 AM
Pete's avatar

One thing that works to the detriment of the outdoor scare zones are the huge crowds on Saturdays. Walking shoulder to shoulder with people limits how spooky it can be. I have fond memories of the original Fright Zone but CP did not get the Halloweekends crowds they do now. Perhaps get rid of the Frontier Trail Forsaken and Frontier Town carnival zones and create a new zone that can meter the crowds going in like they do on the hunted houses. Maybe make it super scary and have an up charge. The path along the beach by Magnum that used to go to Sandcastle comes to mind.


I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks,
than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

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Sunday, September 30, 2018 11:29 AM

I probably mentioned this several years ago (when they transitioned to using "Haunt"); but, I found HalloWeekends and the scare zones much more enjoyable when they were spread out thru the park, and not all clustered in the back.

I understand the logistical reasons for clustering them, and the desire to keep the family-friendly areas up front; but, it makes for much less manageable crowds, IMO. Count me as one of the people who enjoys the zones and the fog, but who does not enjoy the more intense scares and "gore." (For example, the new "lights-out" experiences are not for me.)

Pete's right, and I've echoed this before. CP is a different experience because of the park-owned resorts, family friendliness, etc. I wouldn't want that to change (there are plenty of gore-filled, hard core experiences in northern Ohio for those who enjoy that sort of thing). I'm old, so I miss the "kinder, gentler" HalloWeekends--with their spread-out zones like Cutthroat Cove, Carnevil, Fear Faire, etc.

And I agree--Trail of the Forsaken is just too short, and Frontier Fling's lighting distracts from it. (It seems to me years ago, they used to tone down some of Dragster's flood lighting during HalloWeekends, too.)

Edit: I forgot to mention--so, I'm not *always* complaining--I am thrilled that they've finally opened some of the houses during the day for the middle-age kids. We have a 13- and an 11-year old, and they very much enjoyed the Clue-like experience in Eerie Estate, and are eager to return in a few weeks to try Zombie Jr High & Hexed. I think that is a great experience, and it offers an opportunity to see some of the incredible detail John Taylor and others put into the design of those houses--without having to worry about being startled. I saw Jason last week and told him as much, so I hope he passed that note on to those who had a hand in the decision.

Last edited by Western Cruiser, Sunday, September 30, 2018 11:33 AM
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Sunday, September 30, 2018 12:43 PM
Uncle Steve's avatar

I’m not big on the outdoor scare zones. I see the screamers and fog machines as more of a nuisance, especially along the frontier trail. And the carnival thing around the museum seems pointless too.
I think an actual fall carnival with games and events would be cool. (Especially since our local schools don’t seem to them here) And maybe haunt up the antique cars or something.

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Sunday, September 30, 2018 10:51 PM

FWIW, I went this past weekend and really enjoyed it? Not sure why the negativity here.

My only downsides were: if you try to do it all in one night (I live 5+ hours away so it's my best bet), you really do need a Fright Lane pass. Even on a Friday night, the wait for Freak Show was 90-120 minutes, CornStalkers was an hour etc. And food services were AWFUL; you're definitely better going to a food truck than trying to go through CP's food services for anything.

Other than that, though: staffing was robust, theming was excellent, the detail in haunts was impressive (wish the actors and other parties didn't rush you so much through them, though I get they need to move numbers ... I like to actually see the details in the rooms...) and everything was running consistently. I love that the scare zones weren't just a waste...Cut Throat Cove in particular rivaled some of the mazes.

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Sunday, September 30, 2018 10:54 PM

I thought the Eerie Estate experience was a nice change. My 3-year-old nephew likes "spooky" things, and while he didn't care about the Clue-like quest, he enjoyed walking thru it today. The quest in Camp Spooky kept him entertained for a bit as well.

I'm all for the outdoor fog being more concentrated into one part of the park. We figured out at a BooBuzz event that my daughter had developed an issue with the glycol-based fog Cedar Point uses. It looked like a full-fledged asthma attack in a kid who has never shown any signs of asthma before. Her doctor prescribed her an inhaler, and the only place she has ever needed it is trying to visit CP in the fall.

We tried visiting the following year or two but found it next to impossible to navigate the park without her having an issue breathing when the outdoor zones were all spread out.

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Monday, October 1, 2018 1:06 PM

We were there this weekend also and had the best haunt experience of the trip in Cut Throat Cove on Saturday, which is usually not a favorite. TONS of fog thanks to still winds, tons of actors... I actually got popped 4 different times which is highly unusual for me. Our family had a great time despite being shoulder to shoulder packed in there.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2018 9:44 AM

MaverickLaunch said:

We were there this weekend also and had the best haunt experience of the trip in Cut Throat Cove on Saturday, which is usually not a favorite. TONS of fog thanks to still winds, tons of actors... I actually got popped 4 different times which is highly unusual for me. Our family had a great time despite being shoulder to shoulder packed in there.

Cut Throat Cove was also our favorite. I was actually surprised that both Cut Throat Cove and Blood on the Bayou had some nice length to them. Got more than I expected. I would say I even encountered more on a zero-wait Cut Throat Cove walkthrough than waiting for 45 minutes for Cornstalkers.

My only complaint, and it's a tempered one because I understand CP has to push numbers through, is that it's hard to really take in the details of mazes especially. I never "stopped" in a maze by any means, but I like to go through slowly and actually notice the work that goes into the props, sets, costumes, room design, etc. There is a lot of measured, nuanced work to be considered. Take Zombie HS for example. Some really clever and fun design with their rooms and the classroom material etc.

But you are consistently rushed through mazes, either by the scare actors or the crowds behind you. And people get salty about it (even if I politely encourage them to pass me).

Like I said: I get that there are numbers to push through, and I'm not looking to be selfish and enjoy at anyone else's expense. But it does kinda feel like you're pushed through sometimes, and it's hard to really enjoy the details. I don't know that there's necessarily an alternative; maybe a lights-on walkthrough allowed in the day without any scare actors in it?

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Tuesday, October 2, 2018 3:47 PM

That is always my biggest challenge with Halloween Horror Nights at Universal. The detail in the mazes is absolutely incredible - they are truly works of art. But the quick pace you are herded through really can detract from the experience.

That said - I do love how the flow of traffic never stops. The most frustrating thing about the mazes at CP is that they only let a handful of folks in, close the door, and then it's several minutes before the next group goes in.

Last edited by Cartwright, Tuesday, October 2, 2018 3:53 PM
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Tuesday, October 2, 2018 4:09 PM

Yeah, it really seems like a lights-on, daytime experience -- even as an upsell -- would make sense. For me personally, a break between coasters to take in details like those would be much welcomed. I totally understand that it's impractical to staff both day and nighttime hours for Halloweekends attractions, so I have minimal expectations for daylight hours, but it seems like that setup would be a relatively light lift.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2018 4:42 PM
Dvo's avatar

Not sure if you're aware, but they are doing day-time attractions in multiple houses this season.See their website. When we went a few weeks ago, there was probably a 15-minute wait for Eerie Estates.

https://www.cedarpoint.com/halloweekends/great-pumpkin-fest


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Tuesday, October 2, 2018 8:29 PM

We visited with some friends a couple weeks back and went through the daytime Eerie Estates. It's set up like a Clue game, and you actually are encouraged to take your time and look around to find all of the clues to help you solve the mystery. We had two 4 year olds, a 9 year old and a 12 year old with us, and they all loved the "game", while the adults in the group really enjoyed taking a deeper look at the detail of the haunt.

Last edited by AndyG, Tuesday, October 2, 2018 8:30 PM
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Wednesday, October 3, 2018 7:23 AM

Dvo said:

Not sure if you're aware, but they are doing day-time attractions in multiple houses this season.See their website. When we went a few weeks ago, there was probably a 15-minute wait for Eerie Estates.

https://www.cedarpoint.com/halloweekends/great-pumpkin-fest

I thought those were for kids, though. I wouldn't want to take up a spot in line that could go to a kid who wouldn't want to experience the scary hours. And more to the point: I'd purely want to look at the houses, not do some Escape Room type thing in them.

Also was under the impression they tone down the houses for the kids, or show the less scary parts. For some reason, I'm thinking Zombie Jr High features less guts and hanging corpses than Zombie High School :)

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Friday, October 5, 2018 4:06 AM
99er's avatar

GBB88 said:

Yeah, it really seems like a lights-on, daytime experience -- even as an upsell -- would make sense.

This is what Universal does for Halloween Horror Nights and its a great seller. They offer a lights on tour of either 3 or 6 of the houses. The tours are led by a VIP tour guide who tell you all about the house, how it was built/designed, story behind it, etc. They let you take all the pictures you want as well. Totally something Cedar Point should have done years ago.


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Saturday, October 6, 2018 5:37 AM
Super Stew's avatar

Asked this in another thread, but are they not having the outdoor scare zones tomorrow (Columbus Sunday) ?? Been going on this day for years.


I was super before Super Stew was cool !

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Saturday, October 6, 2018 8:46 AM

They are not open tomorrow. But the silver lining is that the houses will be much better staffed than CBus Sundays of the past There is a decent amount of Screamsters who work indoors on Sunday only. Keeping them in the houses should keep each indoor attraction much fuller.

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Saturday, October 6, 2018 3:24 PM
Super Stew's avatar

I can appreciate that aspect of it ... However, personally, I would much rather sacrifice a few actors in the haunted houses (if this indeed is the reason) and keep the scare zones open ... That’s the main reason we’ve made it our traditional trip on Columbus Sunday ... That, and it just so happens to be the only day schedule wise we can make it there ...

And just one other point ... If those attractions aren’t going to be open now, why bother with the extended hours - just close at 8.

Last edited by Super Stew, Saturday, October 6, 2018 4:47 PM

I was super before Super Stew was cool !

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Saturday, October 6, 2018 5:56 PM
Pete's avatar

The crowd will still be big and people are staying at the hotel on Sunday night, a lot of people probably enjoy having two extra hours to be in the park on Sunday.


I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks,
than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

+0
Saturday, October 6, 2018 6:44 PM
Super Stew's avatar

Indeed ... And that’s exactly why the outside scare-zones should be open. A very puzzling decision.

Last edited by Super Stew, Saturday, October 6, 2018 6:49 PM

I was super before Super Stew was cool !

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Sunday, October 7, 2018 10:13 PM
Paisley's avatar

I believe we saw Laughing Sal inside the Freak Show haunt this year. Since HalloWeekends is included in my pass I can't really complain much about the quality. It keeps the park open longer and that makes me happy but I have to say the Fair in Frontier Town was cute the fist year but aside from the chance of being startled it doesn't do much the 2nd, 3rd and 4th time around. I have mixed feelings about Hexed with flashlights. No real opinion about Trail Of The Forsaken. The screamsters on wheels were kinda cool because you're not expecting it but other than that I didn't think it was anything special. I did get heckled by a screamster there, kinda funny. So far this year I have to say Cut Throat Cove and Blood on the Bayou are still the best outdoor zones. They've had a really good witch doctor that guy has his part down.

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Monday, October 8, 2018 12:26 PM
Pete's avatar

The best thing about Halloweekends is that it keeps the park open through October so that I can ride the coasters. The Halloween atmosphere is nice for the season and the park doesn't close after the second week of September. That is the big upside regardless of the haunted houses and walkthroughs.


I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks,
than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

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