Category: Ohio

2014, Attractions, Halloween, Haunted Attractions, Ohio

Sandusky, Ohio Haunted Attractions: Cedar Point HalloWeekends Fright Lane with Skeleton Key

I did this experience at Dorney Park and had a blast. This is a VIP Pass that you buy which also gets you into secret rooms. Here is the commercial for Cedar Point’s HalloWeekends Fright Lane with Skeleton Key.

Both parks are owned by Cedar Fair and have similarly-styled experiences but what exactly happens is different at each park.

2013, Halloween, Haunted Attractions, Ohio, Reviews

Akron, Ohio: Haunted Schoolhouse and Lab Review 2013

 


The Haunted Schoolhouse and Lab is a priceless gem among haunted attractions. We believe that it is the currently longest continuously running haunted attraction in the US, marking it’s 40th season this year. When we visited it last year we were so struck by it that we gave it our “National Treasure” award.

The Haunted Schoolhouse and Lab has stood the test of time so far, and we hope it continues for a very long time into the future. All of the best things about it, it’s “old school” style married to “in your face” scares still makes it a haunt that can’t be missed.

While there wasn’t a huge amount of changes this year from last year (I’ll explain that in a second), we felt like they had managed to tighten up a really great experience into an even more brutal and great time.

There are 2 separate buildings with 2 different focuses (the Schoolhouse and the Lab),and both take up the insides of real former Schoolhouse and Lab. This lends and authenticity that only Eastern State Penitentiary and other haunts of this sort can provide. As you can imagine the schoolhouse goes though every area of a high school you’d expect (and some you wouldn’t), while the Lab has every type of evil experiment, aliens, and any and all kinds of scientific based scares. The top of the Lab, where you peer down into a 5 story exploded area is just unbelievable. Also, the Tesla coil is terrifying in it’s enormous lightning display.

There was also some treats on sale between the buildings :)

One of the most fun things for us was the ability to go behind the scenes this year and see something attendees never get to see: The backstage area. Not only have they created a spectacular haunt, but the crafting of their actor passages and corridors is incredible. Inside the haunt you never notice these bridges and other sections, but we were able to look down upon whole scenes and watch the actors work together in perfect harmony. We were even invited to be inside some of the sets to look at them close up–and were even inside with one scare actor who did the “van attack” scene while they were doing their act. Watching people jump and scream “Oh Hell No!” was phenomenal.

David, Amy, Cindy, Fred, and the rest of the crew were wonderful to speak to and gave us a huge amount of insight into the history and running of this haunt. We want to thank them all for their time.

We do have some very sad news to report though. Don, the original creator and co-owner of the haunt, passed away earlier this year. We were very fortunate to speak to Don last year when we visited, and he had a depth of knowledge that is unsurpassed in this industry. David, our guide this year (and Don’s son-in-law) told us that Don was able to create whole scenes with just a pencil and paper, that would translate perfectly into reality with no changes needed. Don could visualize and live the haunted experience in a way few could. His loss is a huge blow to the industry, and of course his family. The whole team at this haunt though operate as one family, so they all came together to make sure that the haunt continued this year, and in our opinion, were able to maintain and even increase the quality (an effort we can’t even begin to imagine and in a timeframe unbelievably short).

This is a bit of a spoiler, but expect us to have a special award coming this year-a first of a new series to honor industry giants.

Haunted Attractions, Ohio, Theme Parks

Zombies serve up Halloween feast inside historic haunted house for HalloWeekends in Cedar Point – Sandusky, Ohio

I’m a bit annoyed that I did not know about this last October. I have to confess that because I’ve had trouble getting marketing information from Cedar Point that I mostly dismissed their Halloween event as being probably low budget and decided to not include it in my 2012 Haunt Blogging Tour. To be honest – many theme parks put together haunts and only a handful are well done. I get so many invites to come and review haunted houses that things have to be cut somewhere.

Apparently I made a mistake last Halloween. Cedar Point’s HalloWeekends seems to have something pretty awesome. Or at least they did last year. I’ll try to find out if they are still doing this for 2013. It’s called Boeckling’s Banquet.

“Dine with the dearly departed with Boeckling’s Banquet. Guests will enjoy a delicious meal served by the “residents” of the haunted Eerie Estate. Meal is served at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. All meals include your choice of entree plus a salad, twice baked potato, fresh steamed vegetables, rolls & butter, dessert, glass of wine or beer and assorted Pepsi beverages. Reservations are required and dates do sell out in advance.”

James Koehl reports his experience (with detailed photos) over at Theme Park Insider:

“G.A. Boeckling was a Sandusky, Ohio businessman who bought a struggling Lake Erie resort called Cedar Point and turned it into “the Queen of American Watering Places.” The administration building he built in the center of the resort served as the headquarters for what became the Cedar Fair Corporation until a few years ago, when a new structure was built next to it.

Rather than tearing this historic structure down, Cedar Point has kept it and turned it into the Eerie Estate, a haunted house packed with an amazing collection of antique furniture, bizarre curios, evil portraits and the zombified servants of Mr. Boeckling.”