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Photo TR: Kings Dominion's Haunt 2016

PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 2:22 pm
by cfc
Amid all the speculation over what’s happening with Kings Dominion’s Hurler, which was shut down this season after years of being more of an endurance test than a roller coaster, let’s not forget that it's Haunt season. After missing the first two weekends--once due to prior commitments and again due to an unwanted guest named Hurricane Matthew--I went over to the park last night, purchased Fright Lane (never go to Haunt on a Saturday night without it), and set off to see what frights the ghoulish cast of KD has this year.

The scream zones are pretty much the same: Feary Tales in Camp Snoopy, Primevil in Safari Village, Necropolis in Old Virginia, Cleaver Brothers Carnival in Candy Apple Grove, IronWorX on Center Street (with a Skeleton Key Room for Fright Lane people), and the Lair in the Arbor (again, with a Skeleton Key Room). The Skeleton Key Rooms can be hit or miss (IronWorX’s was cute, the Lair’s just so-so). They also drew very long lines, some of which were packed with non-Fright Lane people, who, I guess, just like to stand in line.

KD boasts two new mazes this year. The crazed cannibals of Slaughter House have been evicted from their old digs in the laser tag building next to Drop Tower. Trick or Treat, a “halfway house for wayward souls,” has taken its place. Evil witches and enslaved, insane trick-or-treaters await you within. The sets in this house are excellent, and there are plenty of surprises. My one minor gripe is that despite the nice facade in front, guests enter through a rather nondescript side door--seems a bit off. But this is now the best maze at Haunt.

Club Blood has also gone out of business at KD. In its place is Blackout, which, to my mind, has to be the cheapest way to do a Haunt maze yet: black walls, black drapes, occasional strobe lights, and scare actors dressed in black who whisper, yell, scream, and fling the black drapes at guests as they carefully shamble along like so many Frankenstein monsters. It’s OK for what it is, but I’d be pretty annoyed if I waited for an hour or more just stumble around in darkness. I give the scare actors credit, though--they were working the space as hard as they could. This maze is in Hurler’s turnaround (at least until they remove Hurler).

You can still experience Corn Stalkers on International Street, attend Zombie High’s homecoming near Windseeker, check in to Darkside Manor even though there’s No Vacancy in the Action Theater, get involved in a prison riot in Lockdown at Flight of Fear’s queue, hope that the possessed toys of the Doll Factory don’t play too rough with you over in Planet Snoopy, and have your pulse checked at Urgent Scare (formerly Maze of Madness) in the Dodgem building. All these mazes are pretty good except for Urgent Scare, which was pretty weak (unless you like strobe lights and chain link).

Let’s have a closer look. You’ll notice that KD really, really, really loves fog.

Re: Photo TR: Kings Dominion's Haunt 2016

PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 2:31 pm
by bill_s
Actually, the fog hasn't seemed intense this year until Friday. A very light wind from the south made it almost unsafe to drive in the parking lot, and Dominator was pleasantly volumetric.

Re: Photo TR: Kings Dominion's Haunt 2016

PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 2:40 pm
by cfc
More scary stuff from Kings Dominion.

Re: Photo TR: Kings Dominion's Haunt 2016

PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:23 pm
by Samuel
Great report, Chuck! Looks like a fun evening. Thanks for taking the extra time to get shots of the outsides of the haunts and skeleton key rooms - I always like to check out the in-park atmosphere. It's interesting to see KD's blending of haunt concepts borrowed from Scary Farm, Cedar Point, and Cedar Fair's past. I'd love to see more original haunts at each Cedar Fair park that does a Halloween event, but at least the skeleton key rooms and newer concepts like Trick or Treat are making appearances.

Re: Photo TR: Kings Dominion's Haunt 2016

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:49 am
by cfc
bill_s wrote:Actually, the fog hasn't seemed intense this year until Friday. A very light wind from the south made it almost unsafe to drive in the parking lot, and Dominator was pleasantly volumetric.


I've seen it spill out of the park and into the parking lot, too. That wasn't happening last Saturday night, but they seem to use a lot more of the old "fog juice" than other parks I've visited during Halloween.

Re: Photo TR: Kings Dominion's Haunt 2016

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:59 am
by bill_s
BGW uses plenty where they use it but KD has 3 scarezones and more near each other ... still, a lot of it was traveling a long way and was still dense. Conditions. The south and east sides of KD were normal; love the fog but was happy for a break after awhile.

Re: Photo TR: Kings Dominion's Haunt 2016

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:44 am
by cfc
One year, they had a scare zone that was nothing but fog. To be fair, BGW's topography helps them space out the fog a bit more than they can at KD.

Re: Photo TR: Kings Dominion's Haunt 2016

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:03 am
by boldikus
Thanks for the report and photos!

Re: Photo TR: Kings Dominion's Haunt 2016

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:11 am
by BeansproutMidget
You pretty much summed up my experience when I went during Columbus Day weekend/Hurricane Matthew. Although, it was Sunday, the fog wasn't TOO bad for me, and we knocked out almost every house in the first hour of Haunt without Fright Lane. Blackout was annoying though: our group got stuck, and it took us a while to get through, and it didn't help they only thing I experienced through the entire maze was the glowing skeleton thing-y right at the end. Enjoyed Trick or Treat, wish it was longer.

My favorite is still No Vacancy.

Glad to see somebody else enjoyed Haunt though! I got so busy I forgot to post my own photos, but you always do good reports! :)

Re: Photo TR: Kings Dominion's Haunt 2016

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:45 pm
by azza29
Thanks for the report, looks like a fun haunt!