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Author Topic: Scarowinds - Charlotte, NC  (Read 1030 times)
Badger
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« on: September 22, 2015, 12:12:32 PM »

Scarowinds' opening night was Friday September 18th.  I was there when the gates opened.

Scare Factor: 3/5 - (repeated from 2014) 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. I upped the point factor by one as they had some new things this year. The mazes for 2015 include: The Slaughter House - The Final Cut, Silver Scream Studios, 7th Ward, Last Laff, DEFEX, Cornstalkers, and Zombie High. (I did not go through Cornstalkers due to time constraints) and the scare zones include: Bloodyard, The Playground, Scary Tales, London Terror, and Mass Acres.

Actors: 2/5 - (partially repeated from last year) 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 did realize that it was the opening weekend and many of the actors had yet to get into their rhythm, but there was a lot of missed spots and I was not overly impressed.  The 'scare zones' that are out in the open have so much potential to be much more scary than they currently are but it IS a corporate park that has to be more 'family friendly' than mom and pop haunts.  I saw many actors in these zones merely peering out from around corners and never engaging the visitors.  The actors in the mazes were a bit better but it was painfully obvious that many of them didn't have the correct timing.  I think they will improve as the season goes on, but for now, it is what it is.

Props/Set Design/FX: 4.5/5 -  (partially reapeated from 2014)  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.  The Slaughter House is back after a hiatus as "Slaughter House - The Final Cut" and it is far and away the BEST maze there.  I saw some scenes that I have never seen in any other haunt and I loved them.  I hope they continue to impress with high-quality set designs because that really is the best thing at Scarowinds.

Length: 4.5/5 - Scarowinds is a destination spot, plain and simple.  You arrive at 7:00pm and can stay until midnight or later.  Don't come here expecting to go through everything quickly and them moving on to the next place. 

Value: 2.5/5 - (partially repeated from 2014) It may be a theme park, but tickets are still expensive.  Prices range from $33.99 to $53.99 depending on what night you go.  You can buy an unlimited pass for $59.99.  Parking is an additional charge.  If you are a gold-level season pass holder, it's free for unlimited visits.

Overall: 3.3/5 - If you want to go experience the rides at Carowinds at night (including Fury 325), plus hit a few moderately scary haunts, Scarowinds is a fun place to spend an evening.  If you're expecting lots of blood and gore, or scary haunts, this is not the place (with the exception of Slaughter House - The Final Cut).   If you're not a season pass holder, it probably is worth a trip every couple years to see the new haunts that have been rotated in.  If you want screams and terror, visit your local haunts. 
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