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wombat96

avid coaster enjoyer
Sep 20, 2013
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Not sure if this is the best place to post this, but if Haunt 2021 is on, it's going to be really interesting to see the park feasibly pull it off based on the current state of the world. Obviously we have no clue what the world will look like in twelve months, especially in VA, but with a heavy indoor haunted house line-up I do wonder how feasible Haunt will be to operate safely to the masses. Outside of the various open air scare zones and Cornstalkers, the entire line up consists of indoor haunts and may be problematic to operate in today's society. Many are still scared to eat in a restaurant with the CDC ranking indoor dining at "Even More Risk" for restaurants and bars. This information does bring up the question of will guests feel safe in a crowded, hot indoor building filled with sweating loud actors and screaming guests? Some local independent haunts have managed to get away with hosting indoor haunted houses in the state and require masks, temperature checks, and subtle social distancing when possible. Chains like Six Flags dropped the classic Fright Fest branding this year, re-branding as HallowFest, focusing on outdoor open-air scare zones and attractions. Universal has been experimenting with two haunted houses using plexiglass and other forms of social distancing to ensure guest safety in order to gain more knowledge for next years event. I think some form of Haunt will be on next year, even though it may be under a different name. However, it's going to have to be radically different if we're still in a similar situation to the current moment.

The optimist in me likes to believe that there will be some sort of experimental vaccine or medicine out by the Fall of next year, but it's going to be a hard sell for many to feel comfortable in some of those warehouses where the houses are located. Maybe the park will only do outdoor scare zones? Could we see a focus on outdoor houses and maybe open Blackout with no actors? Everything is so far up in the air right now with the park not even open and no CF Haunts operating this year. The event has been notorious for it's use of indoor haunts dating back to the precursor, Paramount's FearFest in the early 2000's. The only outdoor locations that have been used to my knowledge are to the right of I-Street, White Water Canyon queue which has remained dormant since the Miner's Revenge fiasco in 2013, and the antique cars. The park has a lot of untapped potential in doing some form of outdoor haunts, like the Dinosaur's Alive trail, sections of of Soak City, or maybe even the Kingswood's amphitheater pavilion if the amount of company events is down next year.

As we've seen with Tollway Terror, the park isn' afraid to shy away from live actors and focus on automated scares. Maybe some of the pre-existing houses could contain socially distanced scare actors, the bare minimum staff to safely operate inside the warehouses, and replacing many of the scares with automated animatronics and projections? Many of the environments found in the newer houses already impose highly detailed, immersive environments that are just as creepy and tense without actors. It could be an easy band-aid to alleviate some of the fears of overcrowding in this cramped warehouses for guests and more importantly scare actors, while still providing a semi-normal Haunt experience. We're very far away from next Fall, over the course of the next twelve months the world could be a totally different place and at times talking about something like this can seem very trivial and meaningless given the current state of the world. However, as a theme park nerd, it's still a great way to blow off some steam and get excited about one day, hopefully, returning to another one of VA's parks soon.
 

mtorange

Grand Carnivale, Haunt, and WinterFest Aficionado
Jul 26, 2014
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Aw man, y’all broke my 3 year streak of creating insanely early Halloween Haunt speculation posts!

It’s all good... I do hope that things can get close to normal again for 2021. I’ve really felt the absence of Halloween Haunt this year and while it’s been kinda fun to enjoy some local haunts, I still miss KD’s event a ton.

I hope that whatever comes in 2021 ends up being worth the two-year wait!
 
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Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
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Feb 12, 2011
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Someone mentioned Haunt in another thread, and I remembered that I noticed something interesting during Taste of the Season. The IronWorx set has been re-purposed for the winter since WinterFest began in 2018, and then re-converted back into its steampunk appearance in time for Haunt. In 2018 and 2019, they apparently did this by applying some sort of temporary frost spray to the IronWorx props; if you simply ran your finger along the "frost," it would come off and reveal the IronWorx paint job underneath.

But during Taste of the Season, the IronWorx props were completely (and permanently) painted a snowy white, and large snowflakes and wintery designs seemed permanently nailed onto the props. It's a much more permanent makeover than the overlay the props had in 2018 and 2019.

So, are we finally looking at the end of IronWorx? Who knows if there are still plans to replace it this year (or if there'll even be a Haunt this year), but it looks like, at one point, the park decided that IronWorx is done.

I'll miss IronWorx because I loved its production value, with all the colored lights, fog, moving machinery, and dramatic steampunk-techno soundtrack. But it was old (I think it debuted in 2010 or 2011) and not very scary or Halloween-y, so hopefully we'll see something exciting replace it sooner than later. Thoughts?
 

mtorange

Grand Carnivale, Haunt, and WinterFest Aficionado
Jul 26, 2014
776
1,477
220
Someone mentioned Haunt in another thread, and I remembered that I noticed something interesting during Taste of the Season. The IronWorx set has been re-purposed for the winter since WinterFest began in 2018, and then re-converted back into its steampunk appearance in time for Haunt. In 2018 and 2019, they apparently did this by applying some sort of temporary frost spray to the IronWorx props; if you simply ran your finger along the "frost," it would come off and reveal the IronWorx paint job underneath.

But during Taste of the Season, the IronWorx props were completely (and permanently) painted a snowy white, and large snowflakes and wintery designs seemed permanently nailed onto the props. It's a much more permanent makeover than the overlay the props had in 2018 and 2019.

So, are we finally looking at the end of IronWorx? Who knows if there are still plans to replace it this year (or if there'll even be a Haunt this year), but it looks like, at one point, the park decided that IronWorx is done.

I'll miss IronWorx because I loved its production value, with all the colored lights, fog, moving machinery, and dramatic steampunk-techno soundtrack. But it was old (I think it debuted in 2010 or 2011) and not very scary or Halloween-y, so hopefully we'll see something exciting replace it sooner than later. Thoughts?

I noticed this exact same thing. Ever since the pandemic began, I thought that a plague-based zone would be seen as insensitive, so I’m not really surprised at all that these props have a more permanent overlay. I’m feeling pretty optimistic about Haunt happening this season in some capacity, and I fully expect something new to take its place this season since that’s such a central walkway (pun intended) for Haunt and the park in general.
 
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Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
Advisory Panel
Feb 12, 2011
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I saw this KD ad on a Coke truck while driving around campus. Look super closely at Haunt logo at the top of the ad... it has the "20 Years of Fear" slogan under it! Maybe that means the park has something up their sleeve to celebrate Haunt's (postponed) 20th anniversary?

1619366465266.png
 

mtorange

Grand Carnivale, Haunt, and WinterFest Aficionado
Jul 26, 2014
776
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I have a hunch that the ad was likely printed before everything shut down in 2020. With that being said, I also have a really good feeling that we’ll still see the 20 Years of Fear branding this season, as 2021 will still technically be the 20th season of Haunt.... just a year later than planned.
 
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Nov 1, 2012
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I have a hunch that the ad was likely printed before everything shut down in 2020. With that being said, I also have a really good feeling that we’ll still see the 20 Years of Fear branding this season, as 2021 will still technically be the 20th season of Haunt.... just a year later than planned.
KD is advertising for a new Haunt manager/designer. This person will oversee the setup and breakdown of the Haunt attractions. They will also assist with Winterfest and other tasks as needed. This person must have creative skill sets to design and decorate haunt attractions. Sounds like the park is heading for another Haunt season for 2021.
 

mtorange

Grand Carnivale, Haunt, and WinterFest Aficionado
Jul 26, 2014
776
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In case there was any doubt- Haunt 2021 is confirmed.

If I’m not mistaken, the page looks the same from when I last checked a while back. I think the “returns in 2021” was added pretty soon after they announced that Haunt was cancelled for 2020. Or maybe it’s just not showing up for me on mobile… is there anything added?
 
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mtorange

Grand Carnivale, Haunt, and WinterFest Aficionado
Jul 26, 2014
776
1,477
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In case there was any doubt- Haunt 2021 is confirmed.

To further complicate this, I took a trip in the Wayback Machine and the change was made sometime before September 20th, 2020, which means that this doesn’t really verify anything just yet.

Let’s hope for a full announcement soon!

 
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mtorange

Grand Carnivale, Haunt, and WinterFest Aficionado
Jul 26, 2014
776
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The Halloween Haunt page on the park’s website has been updated! From September 25th to October 31st, Haunt will take place on Fridays and Saturdays from 7pm-12am and on Sundays from 6pm to 10pm. I was slightly worried that hours would be shorter this year, so I’m very happy to see what looks like normal hours for the event.

 
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