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mtorange

Grand Carnivale, Haunt, and WinterFest Aficionado
Jul 26, 2014
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Even though it is only the middle of May, Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream announcement yesterday immediately brought my mind to the upcoming season of Halloween Haunt. Since Busch is really making an effort to hype people up for the 20th anniversary of their Halloween event, I began to worry that Haunt 2018 may underwhelm. Trust me, I know that Kings Dominion has the best Halloween event in the state of Virginia and has one of the best in the Cedar Fair chain (in my opinion!), but I cannot help but hope they can defend that title.

2017 brought us Blood on the Bayou, which was unlike anything that the event has ever seen before with props and plants constantly being added throughout the event. It was by far one of the most beautifully detailed mazes that the park has ever had. It also brought us Skeleton Key rooms based on five of the seven deadly sins that were met with mixed reviews. Last season also brought the demise of Maze of Madness Urgent Scare and Doll Factory. While Urgent Scare ran its course rather quickly, Doll Factory was an aging fan favorite and it was bittersweet to see it go.

I know that we won't hear anything confirmed until July at the earliest, but what do you think will be on the chopping block this year? Do you think this will be the year where we get a new scare zone? Do you think Halloween Haunt's newer additions to the park will be on a smaller scale because of Winterfest premiering this November? The rumor mill has been deathly quiet this year so far, so let the speculation begin!

EDIT: Can someone change the thread name to Halloween Haunt 2018? Typo!
 
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Mushroom

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I have heard not to expect many major changes for Haunt 2018 because most of Entertainment's budget is focused on launching Winterfest this year. However, they have apparently budgeted for the same amount of monsters.

I have heard a few whispers that No Vacancy is on its way out, but I've seen no substantive proof of that rumor. I'd be a little sad if that's true, to be honest.
 

mtorange

Grand Carnivale, Haunt, and WinterFest Aficionado
Jul 26, 2014
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Joe said:
I have heard not to expect many major changes for Haunt 2018 because most of Entertainment's budget is focused on launching Winterfest this year. However, they have apparently budgeted for the same amount of monsters.

I have heard a few whispers that No Vacancy is on its way out, but I've seen no substantive proof of that rumor. I'd be a little sad if that's true, to be honest.

That’s what I had feared (no pun intended). While I’m hyped for Winterfest, I hope that there’s something new. I’d honestly like to see a new scare zone to take the place of Primevil. I feel like scare zones don’t cost as much, and I wouldn’t be mad if they left the maze lineup the same as last year if they concentrate on making a new scare zone or two, especially because there hasn’t been a new scare zone in years.

I’d be especially sad if No Vacancy left because it’s easily one of my favorites and so much work was put into it; I would hate to see it leave. I would rather see Cornstalkers leave and have another outdoor maze experience take its place if anything has to be axed at all.

That being said, I’ll enjoy the event no matter what. It’s always my favorite time of year to be at the park. If Haunt has to be put to the side this year in order to have an amazing Christmas event, I’ll deal with it.
 
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I certainly hope they do something with Safari Village. I definitely appreciated the increase in density of the scare actors last year (especially the ones free to roam wherever they wanted), but that whole area just felt completely neglected.
 
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mtorange

Grand Carnivale, Haunt, and WinterFest Aficionado
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So I’ve had a little time to think about what the possible additions could be for Haunt 2018. As I’ve already said, I personally think that this year will be focused on the scare zones, mostly because of the high costs of Blood on the Bayou in 2017 and Winterfest this year. I would be shocked if we did not see an all-new scare zone in Safari Village. I can’t quite figure out what theme would fit well there, but my first instinct is possibly something having to do with werewolves? I’m not sure. What do y’all think?

In addition to this, part of me thinks that something will also be done with an existing scare zone or two. For Feary Tales’ 10th anniversary, I could see a possible retheme of the classic area. This came to mind because I’ve seen that other Cedar Fair chains have started to adopt similar themes in recent years, such as Scary Tales at Scarowinds or Feary Tales at California’s Great Adventure in 2017. If nothing happens with Feary Tales, I would love to see Ironworx be removed in favor of another theme. While I love the theming of the area, I’ve never actually found the area to be scary.

If the park wants to be ambitious and change up all three, I’m all for it, especially since the last changes to the scare zones were 2012’s Cleaver Brothers Carnival (still functioning and insanely popular) and PrimEvil (died in 2017).

I am not going to speculate on any new maze themes because I do not believe that anything will be changed in that department this year, but if anything must be removed, I would expect Cornstalkers to be removed because of its age. This next prediction is pretty ambitious, but I wouldn’t be totally surprised if Blackout is removed; I don’t believe that the maze has ever performed in the way that the park wanted it and it has had a short yet interesting history at the park with its technical difficulties and building change in 2017. I disagree with the rumors I’ve heard of a No Vacancy removal because of the detail put into the maze. I believe this maze, like Trick or Treat or Blood on the Bayou, was built with a longer shelf-life in mind than the less-detailed mazes of the earlier years of the event.

Because of the dry spell of rumors, it is very hard to make a prediction and the majority of this is speculation based on patterns I have seen at the park in recent years. With that being said, I think we will hear some concrete information sooner rather than later, but only time will tell.

TL;DR: My prediction is a scare zone centric year of Haunt with a new scare zone in Safari Village. Ambitious additions could be a retheme of Feary Tales and/or the replacement of Ironworx. For mazes, ambitious removals could be Cornstalkers and/or Blackout, but because I don’t think any new mazes will be coming this year, I don’t expect the maze lineup to be changed at all. Once again, this is all speculation and I have not heard anything concrete at this time.
 
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mtorange

Grand Carnivale, Haunt, and WinterFest Aficionado
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Not sure if this has been updated but this is what they are posting so far on the site

https://www.kingsdominion.com/play/haunt/attractions

Unfortunately this is not updated yet as everything is the same from 2017. The website probably won’t change for a long while. If the park follows what they did last year, they will announce the new attractions to the returning monsters many weeks before they officially announce it on social media with a website change. I don’t anticipate any official announcement until mid-August.
 

mtorange

Grand Carnivale, Haunt, and WinterFest Aficionado
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I honestly didn't think I would be reporting on new Haunt news so soon, but I came across a lights-on tour of Blood on the Bayou that was filmed during Coaster Con 41 and some interesting information came out. The video itself is cool because it looks that there are some new props in some of the first few rooms of the maze, but that's not why I'm making another post today...

If you go to the 19:55 mark of this video, you can hear Steve Fotta talk about WinterFest and Haunt 2018. While not much new information is given, he says that "this year, while all of our focus is on WinterFest, we're gonna have a new scare zone this year. Winterfest is going to be HUGE."

While there is no new information on what the new scare zone will be, this basically confirms our hunches that WinterFest will be taking a lot of attention away from Haunt, but that there is enough money in the budget for a new scare zone. I am very interested to see what the actual theme of this zone will be. Like I said above, I'd be shocked if it wasn't going to be placed in Safari Village.

So unless Steve purposely left more information out such as any retheming or anything, expect nothing more than a new scare zone.

 

mtorange

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It appears that both No Vacancy and Feary Tales have been removed from the park's Haunt website. Unlike Carowinds' website, there are no question marks in the place of potential new attractions, but I have a feeling that the Haunt page is a work in progress.

In the case that these are actually being removed, I'm quite saddened by No Vacancy's removal in particular because that is easily one of my favorite mazes in the park each season. For Feary Tales, I am saddened but in hindsight I am not too surprised as this was the oldest Haunt attraction the park has ever had (I believe this scare zone made its debut in 2007 or 2008... I can't remember which year). I'm interested to see if the new scare zone (see last post) will be placed in Planet Snoopy rather than Safari Village where I had originally predicted. I also hope No Vacancy is replaced by something.

I will not report on rumors until they are confirmed by the park, but I will be checking the website regularly for any updates.
 

Nicole

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Jul 22, 2013
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I will not report on rumors until they are confirmed by the park, but I will be checking the website regularly for any updates.

Why not?

As long as you are clear that you are reporting either a rumor or an opinion, we encourage everyone to share both. Including some information on your source, as well, is of course preferred.
 
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Jul 31, 2014
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I'm not sure this is accurate information or not, but the source is from my cousin that works at Kings Dominion. According to her, here are the following that is being retired.

Mazes

No Vacancy (2012-2018)
Lockdown (2016-2018)

Scare Zones

Feary Tales (2009-2018)

Here are the possible new things that are coming.

Mazes

(NEW) No Vacancy: Lights Out

Scare Zones

(NEW) Prison Yard

That's all I know. As I said above I'm not sure this is accurate information but it's very possible.
 

wombat96

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Sep 20, 2013
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Edit: I meant to post this on July 2, but after reading it own my own I found it to be outlandish rumors. With new information revealed from people on the forum and sources from the park this seems fairly reasonable.

I’ve remained fairly quiet on Haunt 2018 as with the debut of Winterfest many changes are taking place in order to transition the park from an intense Halloween event to a calm Christmas overlay. Nonetheless, I heard some super juicy rumors over the offseason. With Haunt rapidly approaching and I imagine most of these ideas being shelved due to the restricted budget for Winterfest, I felt it would be appropriate to share. As to where these come from I knew someone, who know someone... long story short it was someone from marketing who left so take it with a grain of salt.

Obviously as seen in that behind the scenes video a major scare zone is going to be replacing one of the older zones or possibly in a new location. One of the main complaints from last year was lack of scares on the side of the park where Safari Village is since Primevil was retired. Could we see a balance in scares and a new zone?


Ever since the park has undertaken quality haunts, a lot of houses that were gorier have now disappeared. A prime example, the gory tour of Dominion Meatworks, Slaughter House, compared to the tour of the Green Witches house in Trick or Treat. Most of the gory houses have been phased out for the better replaced with quality sets and interesting stories. However, Steve “The Haunt Guy” has supposedly said that he does want to bring back a gore centric house to the park. The only issue I could see with this is the lack of space from Winterfest and due to the more permanent quality additions not being removed.

Finally, supposedly with the success of technology being implemented into older houses at Knotts Scary Farm, CF wants KD to test this out. One of the new concepts Knott’s rolled out last year was Trick or Treat Lights out which implemented an interactive flash light into one of the older houses of the event. This was controlled by an operator in the house to turn on and off the guests flash light, this flashlight could also reveal hidden messages. I’m not really sure where this would work at KD as many of the newer houses sport a more permanent detailed design and I doubt the designers would want to see another dark house along with Blackout. Another idea I heard thrown around that I thought was far too fetched was the same system from Infected also at Knotts implemented in Lockdown. In 2016 Infected was completely redone sporting a more linear house storyline with less sprawling areas compared to Planet Snoopy, but now it’s done in a usual maze environment. Guests are given a essentially a beefed up laser tag gun and are asked to “shoot” the zombies which consists of a laser hitting the targets on the zombies “killing” the zombies for a few seconds. This could breathe life into one of the lesser decorated houses and provide some new scare tactics.
 

mtorange

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I'm not sure this is accurate information or not, but the source is from my cousin that works at Kings Dominion. According to her, here are the following that is being retired.

Mazes

No Vacancy (2012-2018)
Lockdown (2016-2018)

Scare Zones

Feary Tales (2009-2018)

Here are the possible new things that are coming.

Mazes

(NEW) No Vacancy: Lights Out

Scare Zones

(NEW) Prison Yard

That's all I know. As I said above I'm not sure this is accurate information but it's very possible.

I’ve heard Lockdown is staying! Everything else here lines up with what I heard, but I’ve heard different variations of the new names.
 
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Busch Gardens Tampa was apparently the testing ground for the flashlights used later at Knott's Berry Farm. The flashlights were created by Gantom Lighting. BGT used them in 2012 for a lights-out iteration of Ultimate Gamble. The concept was a big flop and the flashlights were removed for the next season.

Laser shooters is a concept that was used at both Knott's and BGT. BGT just announced the removal of their laser maze. It always had long lines, but a low satisfaction rating. Personally, I am not a fan of either of those gimmicks. They are a lot of trouble for not much gain.

We already have enough of a gimmick maze with Blackout, as others have said. I hope we get something more unique. Also, with No Vacancy being one of my favorites, I would say that the flashlights make the most sense there.
 

Zimmy

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...I'm quite saddened by No Vacancy's removal in particular because that is easily one of my favorite mazes in the park each season....
I wish I could share your enthusiasm, alas everytime I go through it feels like a museum. All show and no go. It does not help that the first time I went through a former cast member was ahead of me and was essentially talking to the cast.

...For Feary Tales, I am saddened...
I too will miss Feary Tales, but to be honest I don't think it has been working in the past few years as it once did.

Lets hope that whatever takes their place, (if anything) are magnificent, spooky, entertaining, and startling.
 

wombat96

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I’ve talked to some very highly highly reputable sources and what’s been thrown around in this thread is factual. No Vacancy: Condemned will take guests through the recently condemned Darkside Manor lit by a flashlight that is controlled revealing hidden messages and flickering on and off in certain areas. Outside of Lockdown will be The Yard a scare zone based on a prison yard. I’m unsure of what will be going on here however those giant prison towers will be utilized.

However, on the flip side this isn’t confirmed I’ve heard that something is happening to Lockdown. Obviously modifications and upgrades are made to houses are each hear, but I’ve heard this house could become a bit more gory. Maybe it could be the same house with some slight changes and a different ending to the name. Should be exciting to see what Fear is awaiting us this Fall...
 

Zachary

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It's my understanding that Feary Tales is no more.

Plus, if the stuff above needs any further confirmation (doubtful), I'll toss myself in behind these rumors too—I've heard the same.

Do keep in mind that plans can change though!
 
Sep 25, 2016
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As I was walking past the "No Vacancy" building yesterday, I noticed that the sign no longer said "KD Music Festival" and now says "Winterfest" - I don't know if that's just a temporary thing to advertise the event, or maybe there's something planned for that building in Winterfest that would make it unavailable for Haunt, but did notice the sign change.
 

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