Every major city in the country has its own amusement park. Most of the time it is Six Flag or a Disney park, but Kansas City, MO has its own little gem called Worlds of Fun. Anybody Kansas City born and raised has been to Worlds of Fun at least 20 times. I must have spent my entire childhood summers climbing the steep, tarred streets of that place. The smell of a construction company laying pavement still takes me back to being ten years old when the summer sun was so hot, it would melt the tar and you’d leave shoe prints everywhere. As I got older, they started celebrating Halloween in an event called the Halloween Haunt. Adulthood meant that more time was devoted to “responsibilities” and less time for Halloween fun. But this year, thanks to Worlds of Fun, I got to experience the Halloween Haunt and feel like a child again and yet was also reminded me of how old I am, but more on that later.
Worlds of Fun Halloween Haunt 2018 features eight official haunts with a large parade at sundown, two shows and a haunted area called Outlaws Revenge featuring actors sliding around the streets sending a trail of sparks behind them. I can say one thing going into this; the lines for these haunts get RIDICULOUS. I have waited two hours in line for a single haunt in the past and when you only have 6 hours to experience 11 areas plus lines for rides, it can chip away at your time really fast. Therefore, if you’re going to spend the money to go to Halloween Haunt, spend the extra money for a Fright Lane pass to skip the haunt line once per haunt, the Fast Lane pass to skip ride lines or both. Trust me…you’ll want it.
The time span from when I parked my car to when I actually started walking to my first haunt took an hour. While the walk is hefty, it was lack of communication from employee to customer and employees to each other that took the most time. I stood in line for will call only to be sent to the front, then to guest services and then was told I was supposed to go to will call, which is where I started. The people at guest services were extremely sweet but were all panicked because someone paid with a check and no one knew what to do. I stood in guest services for over 30 minutes for passes that were supposed to have been at the exact place where I started BUT everyone at guest services were extremely kind and doing the very best they could given the circumstances. So, when I finally got into the park, I decided to head to jolly olde England first.
Description: Jack the Ripper is on the loose and has petrified the citizens of Whitechapel with a rein of bloody terror. As you roam the cobblestone streets and corridors of Victorian era London you’ll find that Jack isn’t the only butcher hunting in the fog. Step lively or you’ll suffer the fate of an oh-too close shave at the hands of Sweeney Todd or become the next twisted experiment of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Clairvoyants and heretics scream out to flee the city but once trapped in the web of deceit and danger there are only dead ends as you attempt to uncover the secrets of Fleet Street. Big Ben’s peal warns of the dread looming over the city so choose your path wisely as you navigate the treacherous underbelly of RIPPER ALLEY.
Thoughts: First up was Ripper Alley. As a Murderino and a history nerd, I was all over this haunt. It is pretty short, but effective. I was initially met with a gray man who kept warning us of the Ripper’s presence and also of the haunt’s rules. Early in the night, the fog hadn’t overtaken the haunt areas yet, so I was actually able to see the décor around the small building and it was pretty simple, but since it was my first haunt I saw, I was impressed. After running, yes running, out of the building while screaming, it was onward to the haunt right behind 1800’s England…we went to the bloody bayou.
BLOOD ON THE BAYOU
Description: High on the hill the cursed mansion sits near blood red bogs filled with roaming spirits ready to tear the life from their next victims. Filled with mysteries too dark and demonic to explore, only those brave and foolish enough to press on discover the enigma of the plantation manor. As you roam its halls filled with hexes and voodoo torment you’ll find yourself possessed and drawn into the darkness where nightmares live and the dead walk. The evil that lies in wait hungers for new visitors so do your best to ward off the malicious spirits to make sure it’s not your BLOOD ON THE BAYOU.
Thoughts: Blood on the Bayou features the magic and mysticism surrounding New Orleans Voodoo. The outside of the building was hung with Spanish moss and gave off the feel of a very small southern plantation home. Inside looked like my absolute dream home filled to the brim with witchy and voodoo décor. While it really wasn’t all that scary, it was atmospheric with great costumed actors.
Description: The MacDonald Family invites you forward to tour their meat packing, body hacking factory of fear. As this crazed family of farmers torment and cattle prod you through the bloody chutes of this heart pounding maze of halls and meat lockers you’ll find out where the beef is! While you view the prized hog and prime cuts on display you’ll wade through plucked and oozing chickens, feathers, entrails, and rancid meat cause this family ain't worried about any health codes! Back open, with business booming, the family is offering free and fresh samples for all its tasty visitors. You can try to run but in this warehouse of bovine guts and carcasses there can only be BLOODSHED.
Thoughts: This was one of my favorite haunts in the park and not because it was scary…it wasn’t, like, at all. It was far too loud and over stimulating to be even close to being scary, but it was one of my favorites for a reason and we’ll get there. First, it literally took 15 minutes of walking back and forth to find this place. Why…because the location on the map was from the year before. When I finally got up a hill I can only compare to Mount Everest, I found myself in the middle of the most unsanitary slaughterhouse I’ve ever seen. All the male actors akin to the size of Leatherface towered over the visitors and the masks were AMAZING. The whole ambiance of it all was fantastic and I LOVED it but because of the noise and my fascination with the setup, I didn’t scream even once, although I can see why someone would.
Description: Out of the abyss of corn come those who stalk the living each night of Halloween Haunt. Perched above the fields and standing guard of their harvest, scarecrows fashioned from overalls too worn to mend, burlap sacks, and stuffed with corn husks are found around every turn and dead end in this maize. Handcrafted by the crazed farmhands that inhabit the corn that grows so thick it muffles the screams of its countless victims. Only blood and dismembered limbs can satisfy the hunger for fresh crop. Legend has it after nightfall the scarecrows lurk and keep murders of crows at bay. The reaping has officially begun and you’ll find you are the chosen crop in CORNSTALKERS.
Thoughts: This one was easily my favorite of them all. Ever since reading The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight as a child, I have been both fascinated and terrified of scarecrows and Cornstalkers is all scarecrows all the time. The setup was completely outdoors and covered with thousands of cornstalks. It was so dark with such tight areas that if you hair hits the stalks the sound makes you jump because the actors blend so well into their surroundings, you never know where they are. I screamed my way all the way until I exited the haunt. Asthmatics beware, this haunt is foggy.
CHAMBERS OF HORRORS: CONDEMNED
Description: After a mysterious fire ripped through the halls of the Chamber of Horrors, the now crumbling and condemned structure calls for its next explorer to enter the exhibition of the weird and creepy.
During Halloween Haunt 2018 join the wrecking crew salvaging the remains of ghastly oddities and macabre surprises that lurk around every corner of this menagerie of the strange. Dark, harrowing, and filled with bizarre new elements and anomalies the Chamber of Horrors invites you to examine the collection of Wax Figures that endured the flames. As you navigate the scorched halls of fearsome murderers and miscreants you’ll discover you must fight to survive and keep from becoming the next exhibit. Dare to challenge the terror within the walls of CHAMBER OF HORRORS: CONDEMNED.
Thoughts: This particular haunt has been around in previous years, but according to staff, they added a new element to it. The premise of the haunt is a wax museum that was shut down after a fire. This is another haunt that I love for its decoration, especially towards the end. The curiosities lining the tables and walls instilled a strong feeling of jealously in me. It wasn’t a smooth trip, however. Before I went in, a young lady offered me a flashlight. I inquired if we needed one to go through, to which she responded without the slightest hint of interest, “I dunno, I’ve never been in there.” SO, onward I went sans flashlight and turns out I NEEDED it to get through this place. The only way I could find myself out through the fog that was so thick you couldn’t breathe was basically piggy-backing like a koala onto the family in front of me. The terrified young boy guided us all through the museum. I will say this, there is a “no boo” necklace option if you don’t want to be scared and when the actors noticed and noticed how terrified he was, they were sweet and accommodating and tried their best to calm him down. All in all, this haunt was effective; it was gorgeous, scary, had great actors and was a great time despite the mishap at the entrance.
You might be wondering why there isn’t a review for CarnEvil, Lore of the Vampire and Khaos Reigns and I have a good explanation. In regards to Khaos Reigns, I really wanted to go. REALLY wanted to go. According to staff, in the haunt is perception altering rooms and extremely tight spaces and for anyone claustrophobic or with severe motion sickness, they are not recommended to go in. Since I get motion sick playing first person video games, I figured it was best to sit this one out but it was one of the highest rated haunts from every employee I talked to. If you don’t suffer from either of these conditions, I highly recommend checking this one out.
Remember when I mentioned being at Worlds of Fun Halloween Haunt reminded me of my age? On my way to CarnEvil and Lore of the Vampire, I hit an uneven patch of side walk and my ankle rolled like it was its job and it was up for a promotion and I was immediately out of commission. I hobbled my way to the front where the sweetest guest service employee called me a courtesy cart to drive my limping ass to my car. I distinctly remember a young child shout, “She’s not gonna make it!” Nothing makes you feel your age than an injury during fun.
So, was Worlds of Fun Halloween Haunt worth it? Yeah! Despite the issues getting in, some very uninterested employees and a bum ankle, I screamed my way through the park. I rode no rides but I have in the past and they are fun for any adrenaline junkie. The haunts were so wonderfully decorated, the actors had fun (and you could tell) and the ambiance through the park was pretty spooky. While it has definitely changed over the years, it is still a scary experience for those who are not quite ready for the official haunted houses, but still want to be scared.
During the day on the weekends, the park turns family friendly with a Planet Snoopy Halloween theme but no scares. Tickets start as low as $38 for the haunt and I highly recommend snagging a Fright Lane pass to experience all you can at the park. The Worlds of Fun Halloween Haunt is open Friday and Saturday Nights until October 27th, so go while you can before the park gets a Christmas makeover for Winterfest 2018.