Worlds of Fun: Halloween Haunt Review
Written by KWUStudentMedia on October 4, 2018
By Gabriel Serrano “The Ringmaster”
I had the chance to attend, “Halloween Haunt,” at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City during its second weekend of reigning havoc among park goers. It was a typical, cool Kansas night, and the park was open from 6 pm to midnight. This year’s event included eight mazes, four scare zones, three shows, a dining experience like no other, and access to some of your favorite rides. Prices for this event are very inexpensive as ticket prices were as follows: Friday night (6pm-midnight: $38), Student ID will get you a ticket for $24.99 (only on Fridays); Saturday (11am-midnight: $39.99). These prices are for general admission only and do not include parking or add-ons for the event such as Fright Lane, Fright Feast, or the Haunt All Inclusive Ticket.
I had two friends, and a girlfriend to accompany me on this trip. I was excited to see their reactions to things inside the park as I had an idea of what was being confined behind the big steel gates. Upon arrival, from our long three-hour road trip, we were greeted by a row of pumpkins atop lamp posts that led us straight to the ticket counter, which was being guarded by a huge, vicious, and evil pumpkin monster that sat atop the roof. Across from the ticket counter, was the gateway that allowed you inside the park. Above this gateway was a video board that kept flashing the words, “FEAR IS WAITING FOR YOU.” I was excited, but nervous at the same time. Now, the park opened at 6 pm, but the monsters did not come out until 7:30 pm in an opening ceremony that not only pumped up the monsters but also pumped up attendees for what was to come. While we waited for the ceremony to start, we decided to ride a rollercoaster named, the Spinning Dragon. Two of us were first-time riders and we were very anxious as we were not used to riding roller coasters. The experience was great after the 45-minute wait, but it brought us closer to the release of all the monsters among park goers. The opening ceremony was unique as we encountered evil flying monkeys that handed out balloons, which I was lucky enough to receive. The main character, which was the ringmaster of all the festivities, was the Overlord. He was accompanied by the wicked witches from the East and West because it is Kansas City and Kansans are always associated with the Wizard of Oz (even though Worlds of Fun resides in Missouri). There was a procession of monsters and giant heads that represented each maze that was at the event this year. After the Overlord and witches said what they had to say, the monsters were released to terrorize the crowd and were sent to different areas throughout the park.
This year included four scare zones; CarnEvil, Hexed, Outlaws Revenge, and The Boneyard. Eight mazes were also offered; Blood on the Bayou, Bloodshed, Chamber of Horrors, Condemned, CornStalkers, Lore of the Vampire, Khaos Unleashed, Ripper Alley, and Zombie High. We were able to find and go through three of the scare zones, which did not include Hexed, and we made it through seven of the eight mazes, as Lore of the Vampire was not attainable due to time restraints. The scare zones and mazes were strategically placed throughout the park, but we did get confused at first, even with the map that was provided. It is a plus to go with people that are familiar with the park, so they can help with knowing where things are located. After walking through three of the scare zones a couple of times due to confusion, we finally found ourselves waiting in line for our first maze.
Disclaimer: I will review each maze in order of which we went through during the night, and not my favorite to least favorite as I will give each maze a rating out of 10 pumpkins. A review will also contain SPOILERS and biased opinions, as I have a background of haunted attractions (I was busy looking at how mazes were designed as it is hard to scare me).
Ripper Alley: This maze’s main character was the notorious Jack the Ripper. He also had the help of Sweeney Todd, Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, butchers, clairvoyants, and heretics to give each visitor a scream. The maze was set in a Victorian style throughout the maze and had a great set design with great spots for actors to scare you. This maze had an okay ending of a guy asking us a couple questions and then having a severed torso drop from the ceiling in the corner of the room; this maze could have had a better ending. The best scene I liked was a simple tub filled with “blood,” which had an actor sitting next to it scaring guests. (Overall 6/10 Pumpkins)
Blood on the Bayou: New Orleans style maze with the main theme of its unique tradition of voodoo. This maze also had a great set design as half of the maze seemed to be set in the swamps which were executed nicely. Actor placement was very nice, and it was not overcrowded. My favorite room had the design of a giant Ouija board and the actor in the room was swinging on a planchette swing. The ending was great as it featured a huge alligator head that came right at you looking to chomp on your body. (Overall 7/10 Pumpkins)
Bloodshed: This maze was set up as a typical butcher style and had a great set design with actors that got up in your face and were not afraid to “attack” you. My favorite rooms contained walls that were covered in chicken feathers for sensory design. Crazy pig head characters toyed with you as you made it through the maze as well as crazy hillbillies that seemed to have no sense of personal space. The ending was not the best, as you were simply chased out by an actor. Although the ending was not the greatest, the actors and set design were on point. (Overall 9/10 Pumpkins)
CornStalkers: The name of this maze should give away the theme as evil scarecrows and victims inhabit the corn that guests walk through. This is an outside maze but was one of my favorites, as I always like the farm/corn theme. Scares were nicely executed as many actors looked like props or hid within the corn as you walked past them without noticing. Tightly enclosed areas were used in certain areas so one person could fit at a time and give you a claustrophobic experience within the corn. The maze had less lighting in a lot of areas as it was outside and lights from the park interfered, but this gave an advantage to the maze. Dark areas tend to make me anxious as I cannot see what is coming. The ending was a little dry as you had a couple actors try and scare you one last time, before exiting. (Overall 8/10 Pumpkins)
Chamber of Horrors Condemned: This maze was by far the most interactive as guests were given flashlights to use during the first half based on a sideshow and classic monster type of theme. Much of the maze was flooded with fog and had little to no lighting as you were supposed to use your flashlight to help you get through. This aspect was nicely executed as it took away your sense of seeing what is in your surroundings (which gives me anxiety). Even though rooms were dark, they were still designed with detail which made the maze great. My favorite room was one that was filled with mannequins as they surrounded you allowing actors to act like one of them and scare you. With great appreciation for this maze, it ended up having a poor ending, as you walked through a decorated room lit by a red light, in which you exited the maze. This house is not for somebody who has asthma problems as it is pumped full of fog. The maze was one of my favorites of the night but was not highly thought of by my other three companions. (Overall 9/10 Pumpkins)
Khaos Unleashed: By far the best maze in my opinion as it gave me a headache and messed with so many of my senses. Haunted attractions are not always meant to be scary but are used to mess with your senses to push you out of your comfort zone to get an unsettling feeling. This maze used mirrors, optical illusions, darkness, depth perception, claustrophobia, and actors to scare and mess with the guests that came through the maze. This was one of the mazes that got a scare out of me as we found ourselves walking through a wide-open dark space, and out of nowhere an actor on a bungee cord system comes flying out of the darkness. This scare was greatly executed and played on my fear of the unknown that lurks in the darkness. There was a little confusion as there was what seemed like a purge style type room that was designed around neon colors, but the actors were very active. The maze ended with an always great, vortex tunnel. You are in for a treat if you have never experienced one of these before! This maze gave all of us headaches and my three other guests were not impressed as there were limited scares, but I thought it did its job psychologically. (Overall 10/10 Pumpkins)
Zombie High: This maze was themed around zombies and a high school, of course! It had high expectations as it was told to us that it was by far the scariest maze by the guy letting us in the door. What a disappointment. Don’t get me wrong, the maze was probably one of the most detailed and well-designed mazes at the park, but it lacked a whole lot of scare factor. Yes, my guests feared everything that they encountered during the night, but even they said they were not impressed by this maze. I’m not sure if it was the fatigue of the actors since it was almost closing time or if it was the fact that zombies are so common, and it is hard to get a scare from them as they seem to be overused. My favorite was a room filled with bookshelves, books, and pages littered across the floor, almost like a tornado ripped through the room. The ending was also poor as I walked through the exit not being hit with the last scare. This maze lacked pizazz but was ranked the highest in detail for me. (Scare Factor 2/10 Pumpkins; Detail 10/10 Pumpkins)
Lore of the Vampire: This maze was one that we were not able to make it too due to time restraints. The description was for guests to take a journey through the catacombs and tombs of the vampires of Transylvania. Watch your neck and clutch your garlic as you are destined to come face to face with these creatures of the night. I am not sure how this maze was designed or what the scare factor would have been, but it was on the bottom of my list of mazes I wanted to visit, along with Zombie High. I believe vampires are also overused, but many customers have a thing for them and everybody enjoys different things. It may have had a well-set design and good scares, but I will never know for the time being. (Overall N/A)
CarnEvil: Carnies overran this area of the park, and I was disappointed at the lack of actual clowns utilized, as there were none in attendance. I am a big clown guy and I was hoping to see maybe a couple clowns, but I did not. The set design was nice, and I enjoyed the circus décor. Actors could have utilized their environment a little more to get some nice scares.
The Boneyard: This scare zone was a little cheesy to me as it seemed like big “scary” Vikings were just roaming around trying to scare you. To my amazement, my friends were creeped out by these characters, but I could not get behind the idea. The costumes were nice but set design could have been a little more unique or detailed.
Outlaws Revenge: This was my favorite scare zone as there was not a lot of set design involved, but the scares were on point. The main theme for this zone was the sliders that would attack you from all around you. Sliders are actors who slide across the ground on hands and knees to scare you from below your normal line of sight at eye level. I always love the idea of sliders and I believe they are very effective. This zone was worth visiting a few times during the night
Hexed: This zone was not advertised on the map but was advertised online. I thought we had missed this scare zone, but we ended up taking a couple pictures with actors and passing through a couple times without us knowing. This zone included the wicked witches of East and West along with their evil flying monkeys that scared guests. The witches had a photo op with themselves which didn’t make me think that it was a scare zone, but it was a completely unique and original idea.
Overall, the mazes and scare zones were designed and executed nicely. For attending this event for my first time I was really impressed by a lot of things that were utilized. I will definitely revisit this event in years to come and I would recommend this event to anybody looking to get their adrenaline pumping at a reasonable price. The price I paid to visit eight mazes and four scare zones was basically the same price I would pay to visit one haunted attraction anywhere else. This event was worth the three-hour drive and time and money invested in bringing me the enjoyment of Halloween.
Maze and Scare Zone names are the property of Worlds of Fun as well as some of the description used for this review. Visit the Worlds of Fun website for more information on dates, times, and prices for this event.