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Photo TR: Platinum Passport to Adventure

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Hello friends and fellow adrenaline seekers! Thanks for checking out the report and photos. Here is what you'll find in this report:


June 14: Nyctophobia in Niagara: Cross the northern border with us and visit beautiful Niagara Falls and what just might be one of the most terrifying haunted mazes to ever curse the planet: Nightmares: Fear Factory.


June 15: The Leviathan's Lair: Sean and Jess venture further North to obtain our Cedar Fair Platinum Passes, our key to the city for our favorite chain of theme parks. Sean picks up a new #1 coaster for the first time in years!


June 16: Get to The Point!: We return to the Mecca of amusement parks for an Intamin feast of fun.


June 17: Song of The Banshee: A hot spring day in Kings Island to check out the new girl in town.


June 19: Do I make you Dorney, baby?: After a long day of eastward travel, we enjoy a rainy day and an empty park.


Nyctophobia in Niagara


Our adventure begins Friday the 13th at 8pm. We filled up the Camry and began the long drive to Niagara Falls from Cape Cod. We arrived in Canada at about 4:45 a.m. and felt like we had this natural wonder of the world all to ourselves!


Besides the obvious draw to a pretty pair of waterfalls, we had business to complete in Niagara Falls, which is also home to a very large collection of haunted walk-through attractions, what I call a "sensory maze." A popular trend with walk-through mazes has been the "pitch black" haunted house which I am sure many of you have tried at Halloween. Previous to this trip I experienced two of these completely dark mazes where you need your hands to find your way out: Pitch Black HHN XI/2001, and Barret's Haunted Mansion's BLACKOUT night where monsters grab you, spray you with water, steal your tiny glowstick, etc. I can tell you that NIGHTMARES: FEAR FACTORY on Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls is the scariest maze I have ever done. I would literally need at least an hour to calm down before going back in, but I did complete it with my girlfriend despite the horror. What makes it so bad, you ask? Avoid this next paragraph to avoid spoilers.


At past all dark haunts, there are actors bumbling around in the dark either touching you, yelling at you, or misdirecting you, which can be startling... but people/actors can be somewhat "trusted" in the dark not to hurt you. Nightmares runs without actors, but rather machines to torment you. When you are alone in the dark, waiting to step on that next pressure pad to activate the next machine, your heart will be pounding through your chest and you just might piss your pants. The Nightmares building appears tiny, sharing a façade with a restaurant, however the building is long, and consists of three true floors, with ramps and bridges inside that make it impossible to estimate where the hell you are in the building. We are the first victims of the day and arrive promptly at opening at 11:00 a.m. We climb up to the second floor and buy our tickets for $15.00 CD ($10.00 online!) Not bad when crappy mazes in my hometown run you $25 US. The host tells us to enter the door when a beat up old traffic light turns green. He tells us to follow the red light and scream the safety word if we need to leave. We are warned cell phones and lights of any kind are not permitted. Fair enough, green light!


We step through the threshold and begin our 20 minute walk which seemed like an eternity with the loss of your primary sense. Up two lighted staircases (visible from the street) we approach a door that says "Do not enter" across it. We push the door open and enter a lighted room that contains a couple of caskets and a big red button. The kind of button Homer Simpson would push to meltdown Springfield, I imagine. There is no sign telling me not to push, there is no sign telling me to push it... I push it. The lights go out and all me and my girlfriend can see in the pitch black darkness is a dim red LED light on the other side of the room. On this upper level, you will be subjected to random blasts of pressurized air, static electricity and microseconds of bright light, accompanied by very loud sounds. The audio suggests barking dogs and chainsaws surround you, the machines poking you from the walls and tentacles dropping from the ceiling will back up these suspicions.


The ramps up and down are soft at times, and you will sink into them. Sometimes they shift and move, and you can't tell if you've gone the wrong way. There is a part in the beginning of the maze where you must crawl on your hands an knees as the ceiling is extremely low. A dead end in the maze closes in on you and you have no choice but to wait for something to happen. All you can hear is your beating heart, and then the sound of an engine turning on as airbags inflate and smother you. Just when you think you are stuck, a red light turns on to a new exit. Sometimes a red light will go out after you hit a dead end and turn on elsewhere adding to the "frustration". A truck's headlights come charging out of the darkness and vanish. A bridge you are crossing collapses underneath you, and that's just the first half. A lighted staircase seems to be the exit, but another door on the lower level of the building lets us know we are just getting started. The very end is full of surprises and your photo is taken at the very end at the worst part. (see photo of ticket)


To experience this attraction, you will need:



A pair of titanium testicles or equivalent

Anxiety medication


I do not recommend this attraction for:


Nyctophobiacs, Claustrophobiacs, Necrophobiacs

You must be at least 8 years of age but I think this would scare almost any child

It is not handicapped accessible


Check out these hilarious reactions:




It was EXCELLENT. Terrifyingly fun and they change it up all the time! I always follow park rules and never film inside the mazes, but someone else did...



Oooooooo. Ahhhhhhhhhh.


YES! The Golden Grill of course...


Jessica is a really good sport about my love for haunted mazes, she loves em too! Stairs lead to ticket sales.


Jurassic World mini golf, also the title of next year's Dino-Flick.


Canadians apparently LOVE haunted houses! So do I! There are a TON of them here! Here's the original...


Ripley's Odditorium


Don't let this modest façade deceive you. This attraction is EFFING scary and bigger than it looks.


An acceptable amount of water... Can't help but think of Bruce Almighty, "Back to you....."


The Skylon Tower at sunrise


The Rainbow Bridge connects Niagara Falls to Asgard, Earth, and other realms.


New for 2014: The Runaway Train to Davey Jones' Locker, manufactured by Golden Horse.


The Home of the Whopper... I mean... The House of Frankenstein


On The US side, you can ride the Maid of The Mist to get close to The Falls. Canada has "The Hornblower" hehe


This stuff will be great when it opens in 6 hours...


Having arrived very early in the morning, we walked the gardens surrounding the falls, so pretty.


Ahhhhhh.... OoOoOooo!


Looks like two of them didn't scream loud enough.


There's also other stuff besides pretty waterfalls!


Passports to adventure


120,000 have screamed the safety word to be relieved from this madness.


Proof. If you are in the area and do this maze to the finish, I dare you to prove it and show your card!


Screaming Tunnels: Anyone have any info on this one?


And now... Nightmares: Fear Factory, this is a "before" photo as you can see I am happy and calm.


Having finished up at The Falls, we are heading to Canada's Wonderland!

Edited by ECZenith
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Thanks for sharing!


I have been to NF probably over 50 times but have never done any of the haunted houses on Clifton Hill. I just figured that they were lame, but now I'm kinda curious.

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You're welcome! Yeah, I heard Nightmares is the best followed by Screamers, also in Clifton Hill. The rest of them the locals say were pretty cheesy. I would love to hear from some local peeps how the Screamers maze is, and who the hell is tony the tongue?

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Part 2: Canada's Wonderland


We processed our platinum passes the evening before, we were a week shy of missing the Nighttime water show. The park wasn't very crowded and all of the rides were open including my beloved sledgehammer. Most coasters had a 5 minute wait, B&Ms were walk-ons with all three sets of rolling stock running on both circuits.


We entered the park an hour early with the platinum passes. Guardian and The Fly were open early for passholders. We waited 45 minutes for WMG even with the early entry. We only got one ride in on it but the line quickly grew to 1.25 later in the day so we feel we lucked out. I loved the ride but it was very short. The secret ending took me by surprise but I wish we had more of a fight with the dragon to make up for the short track length. I love how the ride simulates moving upward and downward up the staircases. Tip for new riders: Hit all the gold coins the enemies drop and hit those gold statues! Most of the statues take three hits to break completely apart and they will give you a lot of points. I got high score between the 8 passengers in the vehicle, on my first try. I hope to go back up to Canada in October to see the zombie version. I can see this new ride system having A LOT of potential at other properties of Cedar Fair. If I had any input on design of these rides, I wish I could see throwbacks to the old CP dark rides: Dinosaur shooter at Knott's, Pirate shooter at CP... I can dream!



















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Very nice. As someone who's a chicken when it comes to haunted houses, your experience sounded terrible. Remind me never to go there. Also, I have to mention, your video link scared the HELL out of me.

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Day 3 & 4: We travelled back South and back into the states via Detroit. Since we had the new platinum passes, we decided to make Cedar Point a pit stop on the way to Kings Island. New to us in 2014 was Skyhawk which was closed last year. Really great ride! My first giant S&S Screamin' Swing. I can't believe some parks charge for the little one when some parks have superior free versions. No lines to speak of at Cedar Point, Kings Island, and Dorney Park except for 15 mins at Maverick, and 10 mins at the Beast and Diamondback. We saw the Diamondback guy in his natural habitat, I believe his tshirt said he was at over 30,000 rides! Do you post here on TPR DIamondback guy?


We rode Maverick a few times as it is our favorite ride in the park and usually has a 2 hour long line. Banshee was unbelievably intense for such a big B&M and is easily my favorite inverted coaster out of Montu, Alpengeist, Raptor, Talon, or any BTR clone. The theming is nice and Im happy to see Cedar Fair adding more than usual this year to their new attractions.


Leviathan was our favorite of the trip and ended up being my favorite coaster of all time dethroning Bizarro and Maverick with its intense, relentless speed, smooth ride, comfortable seats and beautiful colors. I hope the rumors of Carowinds getting a B&M gigaspeed are true, Leviathan blew me away. Canada's got a real gem!


Thanks for reading the report, and hopefully you all have the same luck as I did on this trip with queue times!




















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Thanks! It took me 8 hrs to get from Cape Cod Mass. To the international border, driving through the night on rte. 90. An additional 2 hrs to Vaughan from Niagara Falls, 6 hrs to Cedar Point, 3 hrs to Kings Island, 7 hrs to Dorney, and a miserable 8 hrs home thanks to NYC traffic. I got to see the new WTC tower which was cool. I think next year we are going to go down South to Virginia and the Carolinas, pending some future BGE and Cedar Fair announcements.

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Great report! I need to make a mental note of that Haunted House as we're planning to visit Niagara Falls in the next few years. I absolutely love cheesy tourist traps.

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Thanks guys! I am using my iphone 4 for photos except for CP where I used my girlfriends little digital camera. No filters or lenses just an iphone, a cheap camera from walmart and some sunshine and good timing is all I need. I seem to have forgotten to post the Banshee pics! Let me fix that!

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Song of the Banshee...


I'd love it if some of these photos made it into the Park Index on TPR! Jessie and I are trying to talk out (aka me begging) to try Wonderland's Guardian Zombie mode, got to get the most out of this platinum pass.
















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Nice pictures! Banshee really looks huge.

I like the last photo, it gives a different perspective and shows how tight the turn after the loop is.

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It's so hard to get a good shot of the Heartbreaker element (well that's what I call it) and carousel turn leading to the inline twist. The best place to do so without going up the Eiffel Tower is at The Bat's station area.


That steep carousel turn is intense! Jessica thought the barrel roll at the end was the best but I loved the Heart shaped twin inversions personally. Banshee truly is a monster of a coaster, as the train crests the hill, heads turn on the midway as a loud scream echoes from the summit. Those vertical loops make your feet go numb with intense positive gravitational manipulation. I hope this means MORE Bolliger/Mabillard inverts are coming in the future to the US. The new vests are very comfortable, and for someone who has been on at least 75% of America's beemers, Banshee smashed the competition. I like it a lot better than montu, the lack of a mid course gives this beauty some serious speed!

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Awesome report, awesome photos and man, you have really convinced me that I need to get to the Niagara Falls area as soon as possible. I knew there were some haunted houses up there, but nothing like Nightmares. What a fantastic trip!

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