As I mentioned before, last Thursday the 20th was my birthday. The day after, the 21st, was the one year anniversary of my father's passing. I vowed last year that I would do something big, fun, and distracting to commemorate both dates this year. Thus, on Saturday the 22nd, I and a rather large group of friends journeyed to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio for HalloWeekends.
In addition to most of the usual rides, Cedar Point puts together haunted houses and haunted outdoor walkthroughs to celebrate the season. First we hit up the Cedar Creek Mine Ride, which is a little bigger than Thunder Mountain at Disneyland, because my favorite coaster Iron Dragon was closed. (Big tears!) I am not really a huge fan of coasters, so me and my splinter group ended up not doing many. The lines were super long anyway.
We also ate ice cream sundaes and introduced my roommate Kimmy to elephant ears, which apparently California does not have. She decided an elephant ear (a flat round of fried dough covered in cinnamon and sugar) was like a flattened churro (a tube of fried dough covered in cinnamon and sugar). Neither is to be confused with a funnel cake, which is flat and braided and coated in powdered sugar.
At five o'clock, the haunted houses opened, so we headed up front for Club Blood, which was exactly like going to goth clubs in California! The entryway reminded me strongly of DNA Lounge in San Francisco, and the music was totally danceable. I honestly wanted to stay and hang out, but we were ferried along and out the exit. Alas.
Other haunted houses included Eternity Infirmary, which we skipped, G. A. Boeckling's Eerie Estate, which was amazingly awesome and is totally how my future home will be decorated, and Happy Jack's Toy Factory, which didn't seem to have a lot of people jumping out at us, but was visually appealing and the women dressed up as human dolls were gorgeous.
As for walkthroughs, Terror Island, the pirate themed one and probable reason why Iron Dragon was down, was fantastic! CarnEvil was also fun, as always, and the new Blood on the Bayou was slightly terrifying because it felt like it wasn't exaggerating much. (I'm sure my boyfriend lies and everyone who lives in the bayou are perfectly sane, friendly individuals.)
Maniacal, Mechanical Screamworks, the new steampunk themed walkthrough was actually disappointing. It was horribly crowded and no one jumped out at us. The steampunk swan was pretty badass looking, and the green laser dots everywhere were pretty, but compared to the others, just not that haunting. The few screamsters (people in costume who work for the park) we did see looked great, so I hope that next year, should they keep this one, it is much improved with more people and more stuff.
Fear Faire, the renaissance/medieval themed walkthrough, was set up very well in the summer-time picnic area. Rather than walking down a set path, it was large and open, and we could wander around it, rendering the way out a little hard to decipher.
HalloWeekends isn't all monsters and scare tactics, though! The daytime is full of kid-friendly activities like magic shows, gypsy fortune telling, and goofy rock bands in costume. And, of course, all the rides! The midway carnival games are also fun, they just cost extra. While waiting in line for Terror Island, one woman was offering to guess people's ages, weights, or birth month for $1, so my friend Dale went over and had her guess his weight. I won't reveal what it was, but she was way under. His prize was a large stuffed orca named Willie. Many jokes ensued.
If you go to HalloWeekends, be sure to gather with the other in-the-know types around 7:30 pm by the projector stand. The giant projector screen is located between Iron Dragon and Wildcat, and the projector is found on a little building, almost. At a little after 7:30, all of the screamsters march up the midway and gather here, and the head dude comes out and gives them a pep talk. Hundreds of monsters and ghouls marching with determination straight at you en masse is an awesome sight! We had to run out of their way.
I'm now thinking of buying a season pass to Cedar Point. HalloWeekends would be paid for next year, plus if I go twice during the summer, it'd be worth it. I live only two hours away, and I can totally see killing an afternoon hanging out at the park. Also, it's allegedly haunted, and I know Kimmy wants to investigate that!