WARREN COUNTY — With the start of fall, Kings Island will unveil one of the region’s most highly anticipated attractions — Halloween Haunt.
Chad Showalter, director of communications for Kings Island, said the transformed park will have six bone-chilling haunted mazes, four scare zones, three sinister live shows and some of the most hair-raising night rides on the planet.
“Kings Island is nationally recognized as having one of the ‘Best Theme Park Halloween Events’ in the country, and we do that in a number of ways. The experiences that we provide here have delighted our guests for more than 20 years, but it’s also a destination for those who live outside our area to come in and see one of the most entertaining Halloween events that they can go to at a theme park,” Showalter said.
Halloween Haunt will return to the park this week and is open Friday and Saturday nights through Oct. 29, plus a few select Sunday nights: Oct. 9, 16 and 23. This year, the Haunt will feature four new experiences, including “Hotel St. Michelle,” a new haunted maze, “Alien X,” a new scare zone, along with two new shows, “NyteWalkers” and “Terror Rising.”
Patrons may view the full 2022 Kings Island Halloween Haunt line-up and calendar online at visitkingsisland.com/haunt.
At Hotel St. Michelle, guests will sneak into the service entrance and take a tour.
“They go through the boiler room. They go through the kitchen. They enter a service elevator, and even some guest rooms, and throughout their journey, they learn that this hotel that they thought was abandoned is very much alive in spirit. I’m not going to tell you exactly what that means, but let me tell you, it’s exciting. The entertainment team here has put in so much work into making this a fun experience for our guests. I think it’s a contender for one of the best haunted mazes in the region this year,” Showalter said.
He said, “They have done a fantastic job. It’s that kind of passion and effort that you see all throughout the park. One of the things our guests love about Halloween Haunt is that they’re seeing the park in a different way. They’ve been coming the entire season and seeing Kings Island for what it is, a first-class, top tier amusement park, and when they come back in the fall, they are seeing it decorated for Halloween. The areas that they walk around have been transformed into scare zones, and scare zones are themed areas throughout the park. You don’t have to wait in line to go through them,” he said.
One example is the “Pumpkin Eater” scare zone, which is the story of a farmer who did some unmentionable things, and his story is told through the walk-through experience at the park.
Other scare zones include “International Street Fear,” “Coney Maul” and the new “Alien X,” which is set in Area 72, a new themed area within the park near Orion and Flight of Fear.
“It really takes the Area 72 story and enhances it for the fall season,” Showalter said.
Guests may walk through the scare zones, take as much time as they like, or quickly pass through. They can talk to the actors and interact with them.
Additionally, guests won’t want to miss the new shows, “NyteWalkers” and “Terror Rising.” Plus, “Monster Rock” will feature classic rock selections from Journey, Foreigner, Aerosmith and Bon Jovi on stage in the Festhaus.
“Our new show, ‘NyteWalkers’ is an incredible show, and it’s taking place in the International Showplace Theatre, right at the base of the Eiffel Tower, and it features zombies, stunt performers and BMX riders, set to music, and it tells a fun story. It’s high-action, and something that I know our guests are going to love. It’s a brand-new experience here at the park, and it’s something that we’ve been waiting for, in a perfect venue like the International Showplace to make that happen,” Showalter said.
In addition to haunted attractions, more than 20 of Kings Island’s rides will be open for guests to experience at night, including The Beast, Mystic Timbers, Diamondback, Banshee and Orion, among others.
Another standout of Halloween Haunt are the zombies, ghouls, witches and wicked clowns guests will see lurking around in the crowd. These scare actors add a lot to the Halloween Haunt experience.
“We have hundreds of scare actors that are taking over the park each of our Halloween Haunt nights,” Showalter said. “Sometimes, they conjure up laughs, and oftentimes, they conjure up screams.”
Last year, Halloween Haunt was voted as the “Best Theme Park Halloween Event,” according to a USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice poll.
What: Kings Island’s Halloween Haunt
Where: 6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason, Warren County
When: Starting this Friday, Halloween Haunt is open at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights through Oct. 29, plus a few select Sunday nights: Oct. 9, 16 and 23
Other: Tricks and Treats Fall Fest, a non-scary time for families that has rides, fall activities, game shows, food, beer and more, is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 30. Children may trick-or-treat throughout the park.
Bags policy: To increase safety and provide efficient entry into the park during Halloween Haunt guests will be asked to adhere to a new policy which states that no bags of any kind larger than 6.5″ x 4.5″ x 2″ may be brought into the park after 6 p.m. on Halloween Haunt nights. All bags will be subject to search.
Tickets: While Kings Island tickets for the Halloween season are available now, starting at $44.99, the best way to experience Halloween Haunt and Tricks and Treats Fall Fest (the family-friendly fall festival event that happens during the day, throughout the fall, Saturdays and Sundays, from park open to 6 p.m.) is with a 2023 Gold Season Pass, which is available now. Guests will enjoy unlimited Kings Island visits the rest of 2022 and for all next year with a 2023 Gold Season Pass.