Saturday, August 27, 2016

[Haunts] Black Out and Trick or Treat coming to Kings Dominion's Halloween Haunt 2016

Time for a look at Kings Dominion and just what's coming for this year's Halloween Haunt. I can't say that there's much coming for 2016, but at least one of the new additions should be a huge favorite with everyone. Of course, as with anything, that means a couple of mazes also got the axe, one of which was a favorite among some of our team last year.

First off, what's not coming back? The VIP meal experience isn't seen anywhere on the official site, so I'm guessing that's gone. Definitely a shame there, because I have to imagine it was a great event. In addition to that both Slaughterhouse and sadly, Club Blood have both been cut as well. Both will be missed, but we all had a bit of a soft spot for Club Blood.

Taking their place are two mazes that can be found at other Halloween Haunt events throughout the country. Those being Black Out and Trick or Treat, so let's get to it, shall we?

First up, Black Out.

"Are you frightened of the monster that lurks under your bed? Do you ever have the feeling that something bad is about to happen? Are you worried that there is a boogie man in the closet? The things that go bump in the night are waiting for you in this darkness filled realm of nightmares. Will anyone be there to hear you scream? What you can’t see might hurt you… and in this case it will!"
I'll be honest, the idea of the "total darkness" haunt is a novel one, but it's a bit too overdone and unless it's handled extremely well, usually falls flat for a lot of people. Yes, the dark is unnerving and can be scary, but so far? I haven't seen one of these handled all that well in a large scale event setting like this. Maybe this'll be the one to do it? Not sure, but for now I'm going to remain a bit skeptical and I'm not all that jazzed for it.

Next up? Probably one of our favorites to grace the fog of any Halloween Haunt event, Trick or Treat.

"It’s always Halloween on Hemlock Lane. Our story picks up where the Fairy Tales ended - our clan of distraught witches were given a new start in this very special halfway house for wayward souls. Throughout the years the residents have worked to make their new home a welcoming place for their next victims. It’s time to find out if a treat is in your future or if it’s all just an evil trick."
We first experienced this maze last year at Dorney park, and I'm still shocked to see the legendary Green Witch making her march across more and more Cedar Fair parks. She was long a staple at Knott's Scary Farm in California and it warms my heart to see her showing in more places.

And there ya have it, that's everything that's new and what isn't coming to this year's Halloween Haunt at Kings Dominion. I'll be doing another post here soon with a full breakdown of the event and just what my thoughts on things are in a grander view in the next few days, so keep an eye out!

[Haunts] The Ward, Blood on the Bayou, and more coming to Dorney Park's Halloween Haunt 2016

This one slipped in rather quietly from the folks at Dorney Park for Halloween Haunt 2016, and it looks like a couple of changes are coming to this year's event. From the sounds of it, both Asylum and Desolation have both been retired and in their place The Ward and Blood on the Bayou take their places. Additionally, there's a new menu for this year's Mansion Meal package, and it appears that's about all that's new.

So, let's get into the meat of the situation here and see just what the newest offerings are, starting off with the food. In the past the Mansion Meal has been something truly special, but there have been some changes to it. Not only has the former Executive Chef, Jan Giejda, left for Stratton Resort but they've revamped the menu once again too. 

Mansion Meal Menu (click to enlarge!)
There's no word on pricing for the package, but I'm willing to bet it's going to be in the $99 range as it has been in the past and if the foods anywhere near as good as it has been in the past? Definitely going to be worth it. 

Another thing, this is a very limited seating, only 24 people a night and this year runs only Saturday nights in October (8,15,22,29). If you're gonna do it, book early!

I've also heard word that the Mansion House Hotel maze is getting an overhaul as well, which isn't a bad thing here as I think it does need some more detail, and upgrades all around. It's was still one of our favorite mazes each year but changing things up a bit is never a bad thing!

Now then, with that out of the way, let's get to the two new mazes coming to this year's event!

First up? Blood on the Bayou.

Friday, August 26, 2016

[HT2016] Haunt Tour Planning Stages are Go!

I'm running a little behind on things for this year's Haunt Tour, but having done it so many years now it's pretty easy to get things rolling. The first couple of weekends are coming together fairly well, even if there are some weird scheduling conflicts going during September. While it's a bit stressful and chaotic, I'm going to actually try and do some live streaming of the process and show just how the thought process works for that.

The reason for doing this is to shed some light on what goes on behind the scenes a bit more so maybe others can relate or get some ideas for their own travels to haunts during the season. Last year I was doing updates from the road in hotel rooms and all sorts of odd places, which is something that I plan to continue to do this year as well but taking it one step further.

The series will be covering a lot of different topics and situations throughout the year as they come up. There's really no way to predict what things will be talked about as the issues and triumphs that happen are an ever evolving thing that grows out of the madness, so it's a little fly by the seat of your pants in that regard.

That's about where things are right now and I hope that you can swing in and hang out for a bit as I likely pull my hair out and rant about various issues surrounding this year's tour. No matter what, it's gonna be interesting, no way around that!

So, stay tuned on G+, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook for the announcements of when the streams will be going live.

[Haunts] Knott's Scary Farm Announces 3 All New Mazes and The Hollow Scare Zone for 2016!

Just a bit ago, the minds behind Knott's Scary Farm hosted a special event within the park and dropped even more information on Scary Farm 2016! Never ones to rest on their laurels for too long, the team has come to the table this year with three all new mazes and a new scare zone to add to the line up. But that's not all...

Additionally, Elvira will be returning once again with an all new show as well as the hugely popular Skeleton Key rooms.

This year though, the Skeleton Key rooms will feature an all new element as there will be four stand alone rooms that those brave enough will have to figure their way out of.

An interesting move, as in the past all of the Skeleton Key experiences were part of a maze and themed as such. Just what do they have in store with these?

Zozo, Visions, Slasher, and Prey will be one time entry experiences that you'll have to figure your way out of using various interactive devices and elements in order to unlock the mysteries that await within. So, just what are they all about? Here's a quick rundown on the themes and what you can expect with each!

Zozo will be a ouija board inspired kind of deal where you'll have to try and summon the demonic beast known as, Zozo. Up next, Visions, where you'll be joining the Paranormal Inc team by using an augmented reality device known as the "Phantom Finder" in order to track down the spirits. In an homage to all things '70s and 80s slasher flicks, Slasher will test your wits. And, finally, a hay maze that you'll have to navigate with only the power of a lantern to help guide you...

All in all, they sound pretty cool and it's an interesting take on the Skeleton Key room in a sort of evolutionary kind of way. It's going to be interesting to see just how they work out fully.

Now then, onto the all new stuff for Scary Farm 2016!