By: Jeremiah Khampadith, WAVE 3 News Master Control Operator
It’s been a decade since guests have been able to visit Kentucky Kingdom in October, but the park’s Halloween event is officially back and in full swing!
A couple of my WAVE 3 News coworkers and I had a chance to experience HalloScream before opening weekend and we were impressed! Kentucky Kingdom’s Halloween event is not quite as full-scale as other parks in the region, but we had a great time regardless. There’s something very cool about walking around the park at night – it’s something I’ve wanted to do again for years.
Although almost all the park is Halloween-ified, especially as far as lighting goes, you’ll find most this season’s new attractions in what’s usually the picnic area between the Giant Wheel and the Kentucky Flyer (speaking of, have you ridden yet?). Some things to experience this month include new food and drink options, a spooky gift shop, two haunted mazes and a new movie in the 5D cinema. I noticed, though, that while Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay are both family-friendly parks during the regular summer season, HalloScream — King Louie’s Playland aside – definitely caters mostly to teenagers and adults.
THE FOOD & DRINKS
I’ve always thought Kentucky Kingdom had great food options, but HalloScream brought a lot more. I noticed some of the restaurants located on the first side of the park updated their menus, but I think the coolest options are in Frank N. Stein’s LaBARatory. Menu items include The Undead Shred, a shredded beef sandwich, and the phenomenal Frank’s Monster Burger, which comes with a humongous stack of delicious onion rings right on top of the bun itself.
HalloScream also offers a variety of cool-looking cocktails, several of which I tried. My favorite might be the Laboratory Explosion cocktail which comprises berry and coconut rum, blue curacao, pop rocks and dry ice. It bubbles and smokes right in the specially-designed cup, and I thought it was tasty and unique. Outside of the LaBARatory, you’ll find Cajun fries, beignets, several beers and some other enticing choices.
WILL MY KID(S) ENJOY THIS? As far as the food goes, yes, but most of the themed drinks are alcoholic, so children will need to stick with the fountain drinks.
THE GIFT SHOP
If you buy souvenirs as often as I do, you’ll want to stop by The Bizarre Bazaar. This Mardi Gras-themed gift shop has something for everyone: shirts, hoodies, hats, mugs, shot glasses, and lots of things that light up. The Bizarre Bazaar also has awesome photo op areas.
WILL MY KID(S) ENJOY THIS? Sure!
I love haunted mazes! They’re easily my favorite part of any amusement park’s Halloween event. Kentucky Kingdom did not come up short with Die Laughing – a Clown Funeral and Zombie Wasteland. I don’t think I had low expectations for these mazes, but I certainly wasn’t expecting to be as startled as I was. They’re pretty legit – chainsaws, drop-panels, jump scares… the whole shebang. Both mazes are bloody and gory, but I think the Zombie-themed one is a little more disturbing than the other. If you decide to go through, know there are real, live scare actors inside and they will try to surprise you. Neither maze is particularly easy to navigate either – there are several sequences in each where guests may find themselves not knowing which direction to walk in.
WILL MY KID(S) ENJOY THIS? If they’re over the age of 13, probably. Signs at the front of each maze display a PG-13 rating, and although I’ve seen younger children walk through, I’ve also seen many of those same children walk out deeply disturbed.
THE 5D CINEMA
No Journey II or Happy Family here, but an extremely violent, gore-filled Friday the 13th film playing in the 5D Cinema this month. The hydraulic seats themselves are no more or less dynamic than they were for the previous two films, but the movie… it’s nasty. If you’re familiar with the 2009 reboot, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The coolest part in my opinion? The theater’s gift shop is now themed after Camp Crystal Lake, and you can even find Crystal Lake merchandise this month.
WILL MY KID(S) ENJOY THIS? No, I don’t think so, especially if they’re even slightly frightened or bothered by carnage. Kentucky Kingdom also gives this experience a rating of PG-13.
Kentucky Kingdom’s HalloScream is a ton of fun for its relatively low price ($0 if you’ve already bought your 2020 season pass). If you’re bored and want something to do this month, consider visiting. You can find all the info you need right here.