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News: Do something scary... go to a Haunted House!
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Author Topic: Scarowinds - Charlotte, NC  (Read 553 times)
Badger
Completely Haunted
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« on: October 20, 2014, 12:10:23 PM »

Date attended 10/19/14

Scare Factor: 2/5 - Scarowinds is of course the Halloween event from Carowinds theme park.  The park is done up in spooky lights and fog and you get to ride roller coasters and other rides at night.  I have been going to Scarowinds at least once a year since 2001 and acted there from 2002-2009, so I do have my personal opinions on this place.  Being a Cedar Fair park, they have to follow the corporate structure that every CP-owned park has.  They do provide a good experience for families with semi-young children but cannot be incredibly scary for obvious reasons.

Actors: 2/5 - I will admit that when Paramount owned the park (until 2006), the acting was better.  Much better. They had (s)characters that were truly terrifying to many people due to being given more freedom to do what it took to get the scare across.  Unfortunately, many of those actors are no longer with the park and the ones that have been there since seem to have their hands tied behind them in regards to what they could do. I engaged many of the actors in conversation in the scare zones (while waiting for my kids to get back from whatever ride they were on) and many of them had no clue as to what to say if a guest actually started talking to them.  The actors in the haunts were doing what they were instructed to and they were moderately effective.  I was a bit disappointed in the (s)characters in the scare zones who should have more interaction with the guests rather than just popping out into their faces, waving their hands in front of your face, or staring at you.  One slider actually came up behind one of my kids and said "BOO!"  Really?  Boo?  If I was a manager, I would have fired that actor on the spot.

Set design/Props/FX: 4.5/5 - Cedar Fair sinks a LOT on money into Scarowinds and it shows.  Many of the scare zones have props that other haunts would kill to have.  Real cars and motorcycles in the Junkyard for example.  The set designs are top-notch for most of their haunted areas.  No amateur-looking stuff here.  Nearly any of the scare zones or haunts could be a free standing haunt elsewhere.

Lengths: 4.5/5 - You don't come here as part of a multi-haunt tour.  You come here to stay all night, ride the rides, go through the haunts, play the games, eat, etc.  This is a destination haunt.

Value: 2/5 - It may be a theme park, but tickets are still expensive.  Prices range from $32.99 to $45.99 depending on what night you go.  You can buy an unlimited pass for $55.  Parking is an additional $15.  If you are a gold-level season pass holder, it's free for unlimited visits.

Overall: 3/5 - If you want to go experience the rides at Carowinds at night, plus hit a few moderately scary haunts, Scarowinds is a nice place.  If you're expecting lots of blood and gore, or scary haunts, this is not the place.  It has gradually gotten more and more 'family friendly' and it shows.  If you're not a season pass holder, it probably is worth a trip every 2-3 years to see any new haunts that have been rotated in.  If you want screams and terror, visit your local mom and pop haunts.
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