Its that time of year again. All over Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, Halloween events are sneaking their way into fall nightlife. With seemingly endless options and only a couple of months of fall, how is someone supposed to decide where to spend the chilly, but not quite winter nights? Instead of the predictable local haunted festival again, why not spice up the routine this year by heading up to Mason, Ohio for the 6th annual Halloween Haunt at Kings Island?
Beginning Friday, September 21, thousands of amusement park lovers will get an early taste of Halloween at the critically acclaimed Cedar Fair amusement park. The event features over a dozen attractions, including the famous Club Blood, which thrills visitors with a cross between a haunt house and a nightclub. At Tombstone Terror, unexpected surprises await those who dare to board King’s Island’s cross country railroad, and once again Slaughterhouse threatens to make vegetarians out of all of Southern Ohio with the butcher-shop gone wrong house of chain saws, animal parts, and blood covered lab coats.
For those that are not much for close Haunted housing quarters, head over to Cornstalkers, a creepy corn laced trail where anything can happen after nightfall in the woods. Ready to jump ahead a few months to the winter holidays? Make a stop at Planet Snoopy and experience the true meaning of Holiday Horror.
For those that have ventured to Kings Island’s Halloween Haunt in the past, this year’s stint features several new attractions for a variety of tastes. Guests that get their kicks from live entertainment will be bouncing in their seats with the all new Graveyard Shift, a ghoul themed musical in Festhaus that repeats several times each night of the haunt. And Hot Blooded returns for its 4th season of vampire rock and roll in the park’s International Showplace Theater.
For a side of fine dining to precede the terror, Madam Fatale’s Dead Inn Feast makes its debut this year at Kings Island’s Halloween Haunt. Located in the former home of the Crypt ride (formerly Tomb Rader) in Rivertown, the nightly 5 O’ Clock gourmet meal includes beef tenderloins, chicken marsala, cheese ravoli, jump shrimp, café desserts and much more. The privileged dinner guests are seated in Madam Fatale’s Cavern of Terror, and get to share company with an array of non-living squirrels, gargoyles, and other Haunted creatures before the Haunt opens to the operating public. After the dinner, Madam Fatale’s guests are given a private tour of her house of wax and other oddities, and become the first in line for other haunted attractions before the official event start time of 6 PM. Reservations are required for the dinner and are available at www.visitkingsisland.com.
For a different take on thrills, many of the park’s feature rides continue to run during the Haunt’s operating hours. Favorites include the Beast, the Racer, Diamondback, FireHawk, Drop Tower, Windseeker, Firehawk, Backlot Stunt Coaster, Delirium, and more. Jumping in line for a quick ride is great way to take a breather or avoid long lines for haunted attractions during the most popular times of the night (i.e. between 7 and 10 o’ clock at night on Saturdays).
But that’s not all Kings Island has in store for Midwesterners this fall! Guests with young children are not excluded from the weekend action as Howl-O-Palooza, the park’s revised and revamped version of the kid-friendly Howl-O-Fest event, makes its debut in the brand new soak city waterpark. The not-so-scary autumn festival features Smirf music playing throughout the park, a petting zoo, trick or treating with dinosaurs from the Dinosaurs Alive! exhibit, and of course, the timeless childhood traditions of pumpkin and candy picking.
Now take your pick!
Teenagers and adults: Brave the Halloween Haunt to experience award winning thrills and chills this fall.
Operating hours: Every Friday and Saturday night from 6 PM to 1 AM, September 21 through October 27.
Children and families: Halo-Palooza is the better option, as the Halloween Haunt is intended for mature audiences and typically not suitable for young children.
Operating hours: Saturdays and Sundays from 11 AM-6 PM from September 22 through October 28.
Tickets for both events are available online at www.visitkingsisland.com, at any Kroger or Meijer’s location, or the front gate of Kings Island. Season pass holders get free admission to both events.
Still not convinced that Kings Island has the key to fall thrills this year? Check out this video and dare to be convinced!
Howl-O-Palooza (formerly Howl-O-Fest) from a previous season: