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HalloWeekends

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HalloWeekends
Updated HalloWeekends logo.png
Genre Halloween
Frequency Annual
Location(s)
Inaugurated 1997
Website Official website

HalloWeekends is an annual Halloween event at Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio. It was introduced in 1997, and takes place during the Halloween season, usually from the second Friday after Labor Day until the Sunday before Halloween, or sometimes into early November. The event is open on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays. It is included free with park admission. As of 2014, HalloWeekends features 11 haunted houses and nighttime scare zones,[1] and there are several children's attractions including a parade that takes place on the main midway.[2] It is advised that children under 13 years old be accompanied by an adult. HalloWeekend's yearly slogan is "All You Fear is Here!". Other Cedar Fair parks including Dorney Park, Valley Fair, and Worlds of Fun all have formerly used the HalloWeekends name. The name has changed to Halloween Haunt at all 3 parks. Cedar Point is the only Cedar Fair park that still uses the HalloWeekends name.

Overview[edit]

Animatronic monster on display near Celebration Plaza during HalloWeekends at Cedar Point.

HalloWeekends debuted in 1997 and was only open for three weekends. It has since grown to be held on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays during seven weekends in September and October. However, not all of the rides and attractions are open on Friday nights. Attractions include Haunted Houses and Scare Zones.[1] The park is decorated with 1,735 bales of hay, 28,800 cornstalks, 23,000 pounds of pumpkins and other Halloween related items.[3] Located underneath the Sky Ride on the Main Midway in front of Raptor is the Cedar Point Graveyard, also known as "The Land of the Lost Thrills", which was added to HalloWeekends in 2004[4] and features tombstones of the park's rides that have been retired from the 1960s onwards.[5] Cars from retired rides are placed around the park. For example, cars from Frontier Lift and Mantis lie in the Cedar Point Graveyard, one from WildCat lies near Gemini and a car from Disaster Transport lies near Power Tower.[5]

During HalloWeekends, the park offers an express ticketing system called Fright Lane for the haunt attractions, similar to Fast Lane. It offers front-of-the-line access for one visit to Deprivation, CornStalkers, Fearground Freakshow, Eerie Estate, Hexed, Slaughter House, and Zombie High School, and unlimited visits through Harvest Fear, Blood on the Bayou, Screamworks and Cut Throat Cove.[6]

HalloWeekends has been ranked as one of the best Halloween events in the US. It was ranked fifth for "Best Halloween Event" in the Golden Ticket Awards between 2005 and 2008.[7][8][9][10] In addition, it was ranked fifth again in 2013 and 2014.[11]

Attractions[edit]

Historical[edit]

Happy Jack's Toy Factory entrance

Cedar Fair, the park's owner, acquired Knott's Berry Farm—the first park with a Halloween Haunt—in 1997, and implemented the event throughout the chain, starting with Cedar Point.[12] At its debut, there were only two haunt attractions, Eerie Manor and Cedar Point Cemetery. Guests could travel on the Cedar Point Spooky Express through haunted lagoons and graveyards.[13] The first new attraction, Toxic Tunnel of Terror, was introduced in 1998.[14] Camp Spooky debuted a year later with children's activities in Camp Snoopy. In 2000, Cedar Point Cemetery was re-themed into Pharaoh's Secret.[15] The park added three attractions in 2001, Eerie Manor was re-themed into Undertaker U., and Fright Zone and Magical House on Boo Hill were added.[16]

Werewolf Canyon debuted in 2003 in Thunder Canyon.[17] 2004 saw the addition of CarnEvil and Lair of the Vampire. Werewolf Canyon was also expanded that year.[18] Fear Faire, with a medieval theme, was added in 2006.[19] In 2007, the park added the Monster Midway Invasion Celebration Parade which goes from Gemini to the main midway.[20] In 2008, HalloWeekends received a major expansion. CornStalkers replaced Werewolf Canyon, Club Blood replaced Lair of the Vampire, CarnEvil was relocated to Camp Snoopy and Terror Island was added under Millennium Force. The area near Blue Streak was turned into a children's area, Magical House on Boo Hill was relocated and a haybale maze was added. HalloWeekends was extended to eight weekends for the first time.[21][22]

In 2009, the park replaced Pharaoh's Secret with Happy Jack's Toy Factory and G.A. Boeckling's Eerie Estate opened.[23] Dr. D. Mented's Asylum for the Criminally Insane was added in 2010.[24] For the 2011 HalloWeekends, Cedar Point renamed two attractions due to protests. Dr. D Mented's Asylum for the Crimally Insane was renamed Eternity Infirmary and The Edge of Madness show became The Edge of Madness -- Six Feet Under. Screamworks replaced Fright Zone and Blood on the Bayou was added along the lagoons under Iron Dragon.[25][26] When Disaster Transport closed in 2012, so did Happy Jack's Toy Factory.[27] Terror Island was relocated under Maverick because the Dinosaurs Alive! attraction was using the path for Terror Island. Its name was changed to Cut Throat Cove. A new haunted house called Eden Musee was built inside Mean Streak's infield.[28][29] For the 2013 event, Cedar Point introduced Zombie High School, which replaced Club Blood at the front of the park. Trick-or-Treat with the Dinosaurs, which takes place on Adventure Island, was also introduced for kids to collect candy from the dinosaurs.[30][31]

Undertaker U. entrance
Former attraction Opened Closed Replaced by
CarnEvil 2004 2014 Fear-y Tales
Cedar Point Cemetery 1997 1999 Pharaoh's Secret
Club Blood 2008 2012 Zombie High School
Eden Musee 2013 2016 Deprivation
Eerie Manor 1997 2000 Undertaker U.
Eternity Infirmary 2010 2016 Fearground Freakshow
Fear Faire 2006 2013 N/A
Fear-y Tales 2015 2016 N/A
Screamworks 2010 2017 Trail of the Forsaken
Happy Jack's Toy Factory 2009 2011 N/A
Lair of the Vampire 2004 2007 Club Blood
Pharaoh's Secret 2000 2008 Happy Jack's Toy Factory
Terror Island 2008 2011 N/A
Toxic Tunnel of Terror 1998 2003 Lair of the Vampire
Undertaker U. 2001 2009 Eternity Infirmary
Werewolf Canyon 2003 2007 CornStalkers

Current[edit]

Sign for CornStalkers Scare Zone
Pumpkins on display near Corkscrew

The outdoor attractions are run by the HalloWeekends' Screamsters, a group of Cedar Point staff members who are commanded to scare visitors by The Overlord when night falls. The Overlord debuted in 2009 and he commands all the Screamsters to scare people at every opportunity.[23] However, he did not appear for the 2013 season, Knott's Scary Farm's very own Sarah "The Green Witch" Morgan-Marshall took over HalloWeekends as their new and 1st female leader of the Screamsters in 2014. The Screamsters were introduced in 2005, with 70 staff.[32] As of 2013, there are about 400 Screamsters, and 25 make-up artists who provide their masks.[3] Each Screamster has an individual character.[33][34]

As of 2018, HalloWeekends features 12 attractions, including six scare zones and six haunted houses.[1] The outdoor attractions are Blood on the Bayou, Cut Throat Cove, Trail of the Forsaken, Tombstone Terror-tory, Harvest Fear, and CornStalkers. The indoor attractions are G.A. Boeckling's Eerie Estate, Zombie High School, Deprivation, Hexed Lights Out, Slaughter House and Fearground Freakshow.[1][31]

In March 2014, the Halloween horror music duo, Midnight Syndicate, announced plans for a series of live multimedia concerts entitled Midnight Syndicate Live! Legacy of Shadows that would run throughout the 2014 HalloWeekends event. They also announced that they would be teaming up with special effects artist, Robert Kurtzman (From Dusk Till Dawn) as well as director Gary Jones (Axe Giant) and Face Off contestants, Beki Ingram and David Greathouse.[35][36] The show opened on September 12 to very positive reviews.[37] The Akron Beacon Journal described it as "Part concert, part movie, part theater, part just plain creepy," going on to call it "top-notch and ambitious."[38] This production would be the final show to run in the Goodtime Theater which was torn down shortly after to make way for park expansion.[39] In March 2017, it was announced that Midnight Syndicate would be returning once again to perform their Midnight Syndicate Live! show at HalloWeekends and that the show would be held in the Jack Aldrich Theater.[40]

Attraction Type Opened Location
Blood on the Bayou Scare Zone 2011 Near Power Tower
CornStalkers Scare Zone 2008 Thunder Canyon
Cut Throat Cove Scare Zone 2012 Near Maverick
G.A. Boeckling's Eerie Estate Haunted House 2009 Near Scrambler
Hexed Lights Out Haunted House 2014 Next to GateKeeper
Trail of the Forsaken Scare Zone 2018 Frontier Trail
Slaughter House Haunted House 2015 Frontier Trail
Zombie High School Haunted House 2013 Pavilions near front gate
Fearground Freakshow Haunted House 2017 Near Wave Swinger
Depriviation: No Way Out Haunted House 2017 Steel Vengeance's infield

Children's attractions[edit]

The park features several attractions for children. Several live shows, including the Skeleton Crew acrobatics show that takes place in Celebration Plaza, are performed each day.[6][29][41] The Monster Midway Invasion Celebration Parade, which travels along the Main Midway from Gemini to Pink's on Saturdays, and travels the reverse route on Sundays, takes place at 4 pm.[2] In 2013, the park introduced Howl-O-Palooza in the Blue Streak plaza. It includes several Halloween attractions for children, including a haunted house named Magical House on Boo Hill, a haybale maze and a Kids' Costume Contest.[31][42] The Planet Snoopy children's area is transformed into Planet Spooky.[43][44]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Mazes & Scare Zones". Cedar Point. Archived from the original on September 11, 2014. Retrieved September 10, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Monster Midway Invasion Celebration parade". Cedar Point. Archived from the original on October 1, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Clark, Tony (September 25, 2013). "By the Numbers". Cedar Point. Archived from the original on January 8, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2013. 
  4. ^ Schmidt, Walt (September 24, 2004). "Paying respect to lost rides". PointBuzz. Retrieved October 8, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Haidet, Ryan (September 22, 2012). "Cedar Point's ride graveyard". WKYC. Archived from the original on January 8, 2014. Retrieved September 25, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "HalloWeekends Begins This Friday at Cedar Point". PR Newswire. September 12, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Amusement Today — Golden Ticket Winners 2005" (PDF). Amusement Today. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 27, 2007. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Amusement Today — Golden Ticket Winners 2006" (PDF). Amusement Today. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 16, 2006. Retrieved December 22, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Amusement Today — Golden Ticket Winners 2007" (PDF). Amusement Today. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 30, 2008. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Amusement Today — Golden Ticket Winners 2008" (PDF). Amusement Today. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 11, 2008. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  11. ^ Cedar Fair (September 8, 2013). "Cedar Fair Parks Take Top Honors in Annual Poll" (Press release). PR Newswire. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  12. ^ "HalloWeekends at The Scare Zone". The Scare Zone. Retrieved October 7, 2012. 
  13. ^ Mike Kelly (September 26, 1997). "Screaming Continues with HalloWeekends". Toledo Blade. Retrieved September 19, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Gore, freaks, treats haunt amusement parks Parks scare kids, adults alike with mazes, festivals". The Gazette. October 4, 1998. 
  15. ^ Haidet, Ryan (July 29, 2012). "Photos: Disaster Transport's final ride". WKYC. Archived from the original on January 8, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  16. ^ "A rundown of planned Halloween festivities". Vindy. September 20, 2001. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  17. ^ Schmidt, Walt (August 19, 2003). "Cedar Point releases HalloWeekends information". PointBuzz. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  18. ^ Schmidt, Walt (September 9, 2004). "Cedar Point's 8th annual HalloWeekends returns". PointBuzz. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  19. ^ Schmidt, Walt (September 20, 2006). "HalloWeekends returns at Cedar Point". PointBuzz. Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  20. ^ Schmidt, Walt (August 15, 2007). "How To Prepare For A Parade — HalloWeekends Style!". PointBuzz. Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  21. ^ "HalloWeekends returns". WNWO. September 8, 2008. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Cedar Point announces 2008 HalloWeekends information". PointBuzz. August 28, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2008. 
  23. ^ a b "HalloWeekends returns with more thrills". PR Newswire. September 15, 2009. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Big weekends of Fun with HalloWeekends". PR Newswire. September 15, 2010. Retrieved September 18, 2012. 
  25. ^ Chavezblade, Jon (August 19, 2011). "Cedar Point to rename 2 attractions after protests". Toledo Blade. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  26. ^ "HalloWeekends at Cedar Point". PR Newswire. September 27, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2012. 
  27. ^ Haidet, Ryan (July 17, 2012). "Cedar Point teases about new 2013 attraction". WKYC. Archived from the original on 2013-04-01. Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  28. ^ S.L., Stoddart (October 12, 2012). "Inside Cedar Point's Newest Haunted House 'Eden Musee'". CBS Detroit. Retrieved October 16, 2012. 
  29. ^ a b Haidet, Ryan (August 20, 2012). "Cedar Point to add 2 attractions in 2012". WKYC. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2012. 
  30. ^ Cedar Point (September 10, 2013). "Cedar Point Brings "A New Class of Scares" to HalloWeekends" (Press release). PR Newswire. Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  31. ^ a b c Haidet, Ryan (September 13, 2013). "Cedar Point opens Zombie High School haunted house for HalloWeekends". WKYC. Archived from the original on January 8, 2014. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  32. ^ Schmidt, Walt (September 5, 2005). "Cedar Point now hiring "Screamsters"". PointBuzz. Retrieved October 8, 2012. 
  33. ^ Phipps, Jennie (September 9, 2011). "Spend HalloWeekends working at Cedar Point". MLive. Retrieved September 23, 2012. 
  34. ^ "Behind the Scenes at Cedar Point's HalloWeekends". DangerousBiz. September 24, 2010. Retrieved September 23, 2012. 
  35. ^ Midnight Syndicate Announces Live Halloween Show 'Legacy of Shadows' FEARnet, Gregory Burkart, March 14, 2014
  36. ^ Catch 'Midnight Syndicate Live!' At Cedar Point's HalloWeekends Bloody Disgusting, Jonathan Barkan, March 17, 2014
  37. ^ Review: Midnight Syndicate Live! Legacy of Shadows, at Cedar Point Theme Park Insider, James Koehl, October 20, 2014
  38. ^ Midnight Syndicate Transforms the Goodtime Theater into the Ghoultime Theater Akron Beacon Journal, Craig Webb, Sept 25, 2014
  39. ^ Cedar Point To Remove Goodtime Theatre The Plain Dealer, Susan Glaser, November 25, 2014
  40. ^ Midnight Syndicate Returns To Rock Your Halloween Live! Dread Central, Steve Barton, March 15, 2017
  41. ^ "Live Shows during HalloWeekends". Cedar Point. Archived from the original on October 1, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2012. 
  42. ^ "Howl-O-Palooza". Cedar Point. Archived from the original on September 13, 2013. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  43. ^ "Planet Spooky". Cedar Point. Archived from the original on October 6, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2012. 
  44. ^ Helms, April (October 7, 2010). "New haunted house debuts at HalloWeekends". Bedford Times Register. Archived from the original on January 17, 2013. Retrieved October 7, 2012. 

External links[edit]