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Photo TR: Kings Island & 'The Haunt'

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We went to KI this past weekend to see how 'The Haunt' was. Never been to their Halloween event, but heard many good things about it. We generally go to HHN every year, but this year did not plan on it sadly. So we tried to find other events besides Halloweekends at CP... Which is generally the same stuff every year, and lacked a bit this year IMO. Arrived to Kings Island Saturday evening, around 5pm. The houses are not supposed to open until 7pm, but were in fact open early. We hit all but one house (Carnevil) and two of the walkthrough/houses before it got completely packed. At that point we just walked around the park enjoying the atmosphere of the place.


I really enjoyed this event, very much. Sure, it is not HHN caliber, but really reminds us of the old "Fright Fest" events at SFO/SFWoA where I spend almost every weekend. It was nice to get a bit of flashback to those days, which really made it a bit more special. KI is not afraid to use blood or show gore, which is a big plus. Houses were all really fun, and much better then I expected honestly. We had a blast the entire night.


We left around 11pm I believe... Planning to come back the next morning for early entry. We did get back to the park a bit early thinking it was 1-hr early like CP, but is only a half hour. So we had to do a bit of waiting, but ran into an old buddy of ours we worked with at Geauga Lake. Once 10:30 hit, we walked over to Diamondback and walked on front seat. Great ride as always, and even better without a wait. It was dead this morning, so we just filled any empty seats for a few laps. Afterward, headed to X-Flight (err... Firehawk) to visit our old ride... Worked this ride back in 2006, so it is always weird to see it somewhere else. The ride was excellent, always enjoy this ride.


At this time the park opened, but it never got any busier. The entire day was walk-on everywhere and ended up staying longer then we expected. Rode the coasters, the train and Scooby Doo or whatever it is called now. Left around 4pm to drive back home.


This was by far the best trip to KI we had ever had. Always liked the park, but was never all that crazy for it. This trip was really great though, and we plan to go back next year for the event again. Next weekend we will be trying out Canada's Wonderland for the first time, so that will be fun. That event looks really good!


Now on to some photos from the trip:


I have even more at my Flickr page if you would like to see even more: Kings Island & 'The Haunt'


Main Gate


Scrambler fun... Waiting for the first house.


This house was located in SOB's station, which was interesting.


Main midway prop




Walking about the midway between Windseeker and Racer


I liked these alien, thingies.




This house was interesting... Mysteria... Not much going on, but was fun.


"High Five"





Looked/Smelled so good.


I really liked all the window displays they did like this all along the main gate midway.




zone inside of Planet Snoopy




This house was awesome. Really well done!





Really loved the "pumpkin" midway where starlight is



By the main gate. Acting like statues.


Main gate display




Sunday, they change the event to be more "kid-friendly". Including covering up the more gory props


This house was great... Really reminded us of the "Leave it to Clever" house at HHN a few years ago.




$5 special today for all the upcharge rides.



Wish it were still green.





I always loved the look of the last roll




The fall trees made for very colorful midways







What's inside?





Too bad the ride is nothing like its original self.




Choo Choo




Little Jimmy.





I enjoy vortex, but did not ride it this trip... Too many laps on Diamondback got me quite sick. Sadly.




I wish the trims let off a little bit more at the MCBR... The ending would be incredible if so.





Vroom Vroom








The end!

Edited by Invertalon
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John, I am currently using a 5D Mark II with various lenses. No filters or special effects applied. The distortion caused by my ultra-wide 14mm may give the look of an effect, but it simply just due to the lens itself being so wide. Causes the edges to "drag" a bit. I am guessing that is what you are referring to? If not let me know!


Cedar Fair events I have been to so far (Dorney, CP and Kings Island) have all generally been pretty good. I prefer KI over the other two, followed by Dorney and then CP. I just think CP could make very small tweaks and make it really good, but hold back in some regards. Gore, haunted train ride, roaming scareactors, etc... Kings Island just felt to be the most "composed" in a way. I am looking forward to CW this weekend. Hope it is even better then KI (which it may look to be, but we shall see).

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First off, welcome back Invertalon! Like many others here, I am, and always have been a big fan of your photos. Glad to have you back!


I've been to other Cedar Fair parks for Halloween, but I have never been to KI's Haunt. I was there a month or so ago and was curious as to what they were doing to the SOB station. That's what I had assumed they were doing, but wasn't sure, as I thought it would be kind of odd. Anyways, looks like a pretty good setup they have for the park.


P.S. Those pics of the creepy babies are... well, creepy! Especially this one!



Looking forward to more of your TR's!

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Thanks for the welcome back everyone!


It was interesting to see how they used SOB's station for the haunted house. I was surprised just how they were able to do it, you would never really know once inside and is larger than you would think. On a side note, I really hope CF has a plan for Son of Beast…


I really loved the demented babies throughout the park, especially the “playground” setup by Racer. I always enjoy the weird quirky Halloween props. For a yard haunt one year we hung babies from a front tree and it got quite a reaction, these reminded me of that. It was just nice seeing more than just tombstones and skeletons like at CP everywhere but the scarezones. I think a park up here would do awesome with a large Halloween budget, like HHN, and becoming a PG-13 event and the entire park converted into a big single haunt. With attendance figures as good as they are during these events, surprised a park like KI or CP have not done it yet or be more like Knotts. They are getting better though!

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Hopefully those involved will accept my apologies.

Water under the bridge.


First off, excellent night shots. Was there any post work done on those at all? Secondly, the carousel shot is awesome. And finally, these were 100 times more enjoyable without the, um, well, you know...attached to them.

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I love love LOVE these pictures!! The pic of Vortex and Diamondback in the sunset is one of the best pictures I've seen recently. I really like how you include track in close up pics with trains, for some reason it gives it a more POV type feel as if you're actually standing on the midway.

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Awesome photos as usual, nice to see them back. Especially at KI! I'm going Saturday, can't wait for Haunt. Damn, I need a wide angle lense. My 18-55 is great, but some of those wide shots look really sick, and give the perspective of what's going on as if you're standing there. I'll have to add one to my arsenal.

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I need a wide angle lense. My 18-55 is great, but some of those wide shots look really sick, and give the perspective of what's going on as if you're standing there. I'll have to add one to my arsenal.


Wide angle lenses can be a ton of fun. The specific one I am using is actually quite cheap, the Samyang 14mm f/2.8... It is manual everything, including aperture and focus. It only cost $315 and is sold under many names (Rokinon, Bell and Howell, Bower, Pro-Optic, etc...). Same lens, different names. All are made by Samyang in Korea, though. I picked up the Bell + Howell model for like $300 even. Its performance is outstanding, and surpasses optically the $2400 Canon 14L lens... It is extremely sharp across the frame for 14mm on full-frame. For you, if you want a similar perspective, you will need an 8-10mm equivalent lens. I highly recommend the 10-22 Canon, I had it with my 7D and loved it. But when I sold my 7D and went to the 5D I had to lose the EF-s lens. I use the 17-40L and Samyang 14mm for my ultra-wide stuff now. Some other great options for the "crop" sensors include the Tokina 12-24 and 11-16 models. Sigma also makes a few models, including an 8-16mm ultra-wide. Depending how wide you want to get! They are a ton of fun though. This was my first real outing with my Samyang and was super impressed. The depth of field is so large you just set it and forget focusing basically. At 14mm on full-frame, near everything is focus at f/8... From 3' to infinity basically when focused around 8ft.

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Welcome back, Invertalon...and as always, great pics!


Definitely makes me want to go out and buy a nice camera so I can start experimenting at theme parks and upgrade the quality of my trip reports. May not happen this year, but perhaps the next.

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