Tuesday, September 3, 2013

[Haunts] Kennywood's Phantom Fright Nights Details Emerge

Looks like everything for this year's Phantom Fright Nights at Kennywood in Pittsburgh is all set to roll for their 12th season. I haven't been over to the park recently to see what, if anything, has been going on in the way of progress, but they do have all the info for this year's event up online.

One thing to note is, if you've gone in the past couple of years, nothing has changed at all. It's exactly the same line up as last year in the maze and scare-zone department. They've also brought back the Phantom's Pre-Scare Dinner dining option as well which seems a bit interesting, but that's not really a huge draw to get people in the gate.

With so many amusement/theme parks doing at least a little change up this year, this is rather surprising. Last year's event really wasn't that great at all as we experienced it and could've used updates in several places, if not a total revamp. Right now let's just hope they actually hired actors and not kept things bare bones for a start...

So, with that out of the way, let's take a look at what's coming back for this year...

Located in the Parkside Cafe, this maze has been around forever and I don't think it'll ever change to be honest. While it has been one of their best over the years...maybe it's time to change this one up.

Maybe they have for this year, but I'm seriously doubting it...

Kennyville Cemetery one of a few outdoor mazes that Kennywood boasts and is located behind the Kandy Kaliedescope building.

Interesting that it's the first haunt in the park that you run into as it's right by the walkway under Kennywood Blvd.

Let's hope this year they actually try on this one...

Fear Festival, the only area we were actually impressed with at all last year is back. This one I'd be kinda happy about if I didn't realize just how good the old 3-D clown maze was.

However, they're still great and it's one of the few times I don't cringe at the clown idea. Especially not in the open air/traveling side-show kind of set up they have going for this by the Kangaroo and Carousel.

Back to take over Lost Kennywood, this massive scare-zone usually has some of the better theming going on in the park and some more high intensity from the actors as well...

There isn't much payoff for Lost Kennywood's Gory Park area though...ther'es no mazes over there and just a few rides. Would be nice to see them add something but maybe in the future...

Located in the actual water trench for Raging Rapids, this one has some great potential and some awesome theming going on for it.

That said, it lacked severely last year in the actor department. Let's hope they improve that for this year because it's nearly a crime the way they treated this one.

From what we've heard, Villa of the Vampire, was one of the better mazes last year and given it's location right on the main midway, in the Penny Arcade building, I certainly hope so.

We didn't get a chance to hit this one up last year due to the lines closing over an hour early. Hopefully, if we make it out this year, it'll live up to some comments we've seen.

Well, since there's so little info on the Kennywood site for the event this year, that's about all I could dig up picture wise. They don't even really bother to explain what they are either...just a slide show with some pretty old pics in it. I hope this isn't a precursor for what's to come in 2013. As for the other attractions from last year, this is about all we can go on...

In summary, here's what to expect that hasn't already been covered:

  • Haunted Noah's Ark: A slight retheming of the classic Noah's Ark walkthrough.
  • Dark Shadows Maze: A "pitch black" maze with inflating hallways, etc but not bad overall.
  • Biofear: Not really sure to be honest...the line was closed before we could get to it last year.
  • Death Valley Ghost Town: The undead in the Wild West, located by Darkwood Estate. One of the better things from last year's event. 
As mentioned above, the Phantom's Pre-Scare Dinner is also coming back for the 2013 season. However, it's only available one night, October 4th. There are some pretty neat perks with this one but one night only? Yikes. Either it was a dud last year or they just don't think people around Pittsburgh will pay out for it.  That or they can't get anyone to work the thing...which also seems to be a problem. Anyways, in fairness, here's the details in case you're interested:

Price: $49.99 (+$1.25 processing fee)
• Ghoulishly frightening meal served from 5:45 – 6:45 PM
• Admission to Phantom Fright Nights
• Visits from our awful crew of zombies and other living dead actors
• Early admission (at 6:45pm) to Bio Fear, our newest haunt.
• Ghoul photo ops (ends at 6:45)

Food Options
• Succulent Rat Ribs (BBQ Baby Back Ribs)
• Haunted Bell Tower Squab (Oven Fried Chicken)
• Graveyard Stuffed Cabbage
• Hot Sausage
• Haluski Potato Salad
• Fruit Salad
• Rolls and Butter
• Assorted Cookies
• Pepsi Soft drink products 

While not a huge list of perks, it's really only about $20 more (or less depending on how you look at it) than the regular park admission and you get food and some early entry into the park and one house. That's something at least, right?

This one may or may not make our Haunt Tour this year, even though it is listed, but if we do make it we're hoping that they can change our view from last year on this one. Though I'm not sure as another thing that is a bit worrying is their operating schedule, they're really not open much at all during the season:

Friday and Saturday Nights:
Sept 27th-October 26th + Sunday October 13th

That's either a lack of faith on their part or realizing their event just isn't nearly as good anymore. 10 nights is pretty much bottom of the barrel for operation schedules and shows me that they're not really trying again. Hoping that's not the case, but after what happened in 2012 with our visit...really am skeptical here.

For more information (or less as this case may be) about the event or to buy tickets for this year's Phantom Fright Nights, head on over to the official Kennywood website.

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