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Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
Advisory Panel
Feb 12, 2011
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I have a feeling Doll Factory may be no more. They're using the building for Kids Fest at the moment, and I've seen lots of activity around the building. Plus, the maze has been weak for the past few years and, despite being cutting edge when it debuted, has started to show its age as Haunt's oldest maze.

If another maze goes, perhaps Cornstalkers is on its way out? It's the second oldest maze in the park, after Doll Factory. However, Cornstalkers boasts a fresh layout each year and its facade and queue are still intact. Personally, I like Cornstalkers, so I'll miss this one if it leaves.

I would much rather say goodbye to Maze of Madness Urgest Scare. It is by far the weakest and least detailed maze in the park, but since it's relatively new, I fear we have to deal with it for a few more years.

Oh, and if they can make Tollway Terror not be a dumpster fire this year, that would be great.
 
Aug 19, 2015
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I heard that Doll Factory is gone for the 2017 season. I also think that Kings Dominion wants to still have the bumper cars available to use so that would evict Urgent Scare from it's location. They are supposed to be doing a huge Haunt Reveal for last year's Haunt workers on the 8th with announcement for public/media in August.
 
Sep 29, 2009
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^ That's a good question. Unless Blackout was super popular with guests (not judging by the line, but judging by actual feedback), I wouldn't be all that surprised to see them remove it after one season. They hardly had to buy anything in terms of scenery. In fact, I was told almost 4 years ago that that type of maze would be the last resort replacement for Club Blood. Surely they could turn the lights off elsewhere if it was popular enough to constitute doing so.
 

Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
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Feb 12, 2011
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I remember reading that construction along the back half of Hurler was supposed to be completed in time for Haunt, but I have no idea whether that claim is true.

Even if Blackout is obstructed by construction this year, I would be shocked if it gets permanently removed. There shouldn't be any reason that the building would need to be destroyed to build the ride.
 

Zimmy

Nessie is lonely.
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Joe said:
I remember reading that construction along the back half of Hurler was supposed to be completed in time for Haunt, but I have no idea whether that claim is true.

Even if Blackout is obstructed by construction this year, I would be shocked if it gets permanently removed. There shouldn't be any reason that the building would need to be destroyed to build the ride.

I was not thinking they would destroy it, just that during a construction phase it would not be litigiously prudent to bring thousands of people, many inebriated into said area. But, if as you say they will be done with construction, it may not be at issue unless they just don't want people back there until it opens.
 

Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
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Feb 12, 2011
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I was responding to the post directly above mine, which I interpreted to mean that Blackout be removed "after one season" and relocating it elsewhere in the park.
 
Feb 1, 2015
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It appears doll factory has been gutted, although the light up doll face is still there for now...(sorry for blurry photos phone sucks)
 

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Jan 28, 2014
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If they're going to remove a maze, it seems like Doll Factory would make the most sense. I always enjoy Doll Factory, but it is definitely showing its age compared to the other mazes. The park has clearly made an effort the last few years to amp up their sets (e.g., No Vacancy, Trick or Treat, even Lockdown... not you, Urgent Scare). If you were to go from Trick or Treat directly to Doll Factory, you'd think you were at 2 different parks based on the set designs alone.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that first picture showing what would be the mannequin room? I have no idea how that building is used during the rest of the year, but do they just keep that building stocked with the Doll Factory set? I honestly don't make my way over there when I go to the park, so I just don't know what that building is used for outside of Haunt. If it's being gutted, it could be to make a new maze or they could be doing a re-vamp of the current theme. I'd be fine with the latter, but that seems unusual for the park.

My vote would be to scrap Urgent Scare. People clearly hate it and the theme is just all over the damn place. They will never be able convince me that the board games on the wall and people melting on the floor make sense for the theme. "Well it's supposed to show that this is a crazy place. I mean, who nails Sorry game pieces to the wall, am I right??? So. Effing. Crazy." It just grinds my gears.

I would like to see Blackout return. I had a pretty good time in it last year, but would like to see them dim the lights in some areas of the maze to make it more of a pitch black experience. I get it, you need to keep people moving, so you need some light to guide people, but there are ways to provide guidance without using the lights like that. Bennett's Curse has some actors with flashlights they'll click on and off to guide people through (while scaring you) and have faint glow in the dark arrows in certain places pointing you in the right direction, all of which allows them to stay pitch black in that section of the maze. They could do something like that, I would think. It's just a unique experience in the park, so I'd really like to see what they can do with Blackout.

Mushroom said:
Oh, and if they can make Tollway Terror not be a dumpster fire this year, that would be great.

Yeah right. Tollway Terror is the Cleveland Browns of Haunt.
 

wombat96

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Today the park had its first meeting on Haunt inviting all the employees and some announcements were made.

Off the bat a VooDoo themed maze will be coming to the park which isn't too suprsing with the theme being used at many other parks. As to where it's going it was announced that Doll Factory and Urgent Scare are out meaning that two new mazes are coming with one of them having a VooDoo theme.

Very curious if they'll be replacing any of the zones as they've been the same since 2011. Also, I wonder if all asylum themed houses are on the way out chain wide after the whole issue with Knott's last year?

EDIT: Incorrect information, Blackout will actually be moved to where Dolly Factory once was and the VooDoo themed house will be going where Blackout was last year. This means that the bumper cars will not be hosting a house. Sorry everyone for the fake news!
 
Jan 28, 2014
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I'm a little torn how I feel about the news of losing a house. The Voodoo theme should be pretty cool and I expect the set design to be more in line with Trick or Treat and No Vacancy, so that should be cool. But we are down to 7 actual mazes and Tollway, which kinda bums me out. I've always liked that KD had a ton of mazes to choose from. It wasn't too long ago that they had like 10. It just gave you so much to do throughout the night.

Then again, we've all had complaints about understaffing at the mazes and scare zones, so losing another house should allow for more actors across the park. So I guess it's just a matter of what you like. More mazes or more actors in said mazes.

I've tried to guess what would happen with the scare zones every year and have been wrong every time. Though this year, with only one new maze to work on, it seems like this would be the year to finally get a new scare zone. I am a big fan of Feary Tales, not really married to the others. Necropolis has been kinda messed up the last couple years with the outdoor show, so it'd be nice to fix that issue (mainly scrapping the show...).
 

Zimmy

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I would rather have a few really well staffed and run mazes then a whole bunch of crappy or badly running houses.  Also I would prefer to see money spent on staff and staff training then on properties and set design.  Don't get me wrong these things are important but I have been a number of really well designed houses that just don't perform.
 
Sep 29, 2009
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I love the Voodoo idea. Death Water Bayou at Busch Gardens Tampa is one of my favorite houses of all time, and Knott's Voodoo house also looks like a very good house. This theme is something that much like Trick Or Treat, will give them great opportunities for exciting new color palates. This has potential to increase their standard production value. Hopefully if corporate sees that one of their parks is performing exceptionally, larger funds will follow.

^ It's true that several events to loose their focus on scaring people when they focus too much on the sets looking good (see Universal's HHN). However, that's why I like BGT's Death Water Bayou so much. The set is gorgeous, and they use that to achieve even bigger scares while people are distracted by their surroundings.

I hope we get to see a few more cool lighting effects. KD's lighting tends to be flat sometimes. I would love to see another example that they can do more than just install a regular lighting fixture. They can do what they didn't do with Trick Or Treat here.

Most houses that we get from Knott's have original layouts with a few constants that are important to the story or theme. I'm looking forward to seeing how Knott's venue flow translates over here.
 
Jan 28, 2014
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Zimmy said:
I would rather have a few really well staffed and run mazes then a whole bunch of crappy or badly running houses.  Also I would prefer to see money spent on staff and staff training then on properties and set design.  Don't get me wrong these things are important but I have been a number of really well designed houses that just don't perform.

I mostly agree that having a few really well staffed mazes is great. My only concern is if KD is planning on hiring the same number of actors as they have in the past or if they're cutting a maze to cut down on the number of people they need to hire. The former, on paper at least, would allow them to have kind of a surplus of people to put into other mazes/scare zones to beef them up a bit. The latter would just result in potential under-staffing with one less maze on top of it.

I have no insight into what the park is doing hiring-wise. Just a thought. If they're planning to (much different question than if they're able to) hire the same number of actors as they usually do, I'm all for less mazes with more actors. Guess we'll just see how it goes.

Looking forward to the voodoo theme though. The Knott's set looks pretty legit. Interested to see what KD comes up with.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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Staffing in general in the fall seems pretty terrible, not just Haunt employees. I'm sure once colleges are back in, it's tough for them. Hopefully, as others mentioned, having one less house with the same staffing level will help, at least with the Haunt side of things.

On an unrelated note, perhaps someone could finally get rid of the stickied threads from the 2015 events and move this one up there?
 
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Zachary

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Sep 23, 2009
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phurst said:
On an unrelated note, perhaps someone could finally get rid of the stickied threads from the 2015 events and move this one up there?

Nicole took care of it. Best way to get these things fixed in the future is to use the "report post" button in a thread or to PM an admin. :)
 
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wombat96

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I haven't heard much else other than this new VooDoo house taking place in the previous location of Hurler will be called Blood on the Bayou and be at the theming level of houses like No Vacancy and Trick or Treat.

Also, I imagine this won't be that suprising but some of the shows are being replaced. My guesses are the one at the band stand, maybe even Unstrung?
 
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