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Inside look at Kentucky Kingdom’s first HalloScream

by Andy Guinigundo

Kentucky Kingdom is located on the fairgrounds of Louisville, Ky., very close to the airport and just a stone’s throw from the University of Louisville Cardinal Football Stadium and downtown Louisville. According to park president and CEO, Ed Hart, it was only decided in July that HalloScream would even happen.

halloscream
Photo by Andy Guinigundo

It sounds like he really wanted to share this experience with park-goers though:

“It’s been a long time since Kentucky Kingdom has been open to the public for a nighttime event. It’s a special experience to see the park lit up at night and especially to enjoy the coasters and other rides at night,” said Hart. “Kentucky Kingdom has always been known for its thrills, but HalloScream will take those thrills to an entirely new level.”

In order to make this happen in such a short period of time, they employed the help of Louisville-based Oak Island Creative to produce HalloScream. To put it mildly, this is not Oak Island’s first rodeo. Their client list boasts many heavy-hitters in the industry including Six Flags, Cedar Fair, Holiday World, Gaylord Hotels, Hershey Parks, Great Wolf, and more. Their experience is clearly seen in this event that has been created. It is not a “thrown together” event in the least.

Kentucky Kingdom park is geographically cut in half by a road that is traversed via a pedestrian bridge. Most of the scarier events, including the haunted houses, take place over there. The one exception is “Friday the 13th” 4-D is playing in the 5D Cinema.

kentucky kingdom
Photo by Andy Guinigundo

Once you cross over into the HalloScream area, it is basically one large scare zone. Slight spoiler here, but there are scare performers dressed as bushes that are quite invisible in the dark. Be warned! The overall theme is a general spooky, Halloween theme, but with a New Orleans/Mardi Gras slant.

The two haunted houses include “Die Laughing – A Clown Funeral” and “Zombie Wasteland.” “Die Laughing” combines the sometimes creepy world of clowns with the macabre of the Halloween season. A fair warning; if you are very claustrophobic, the first section could be a test for you.

halloscream
Photo by Andy Guinigundo

“Zombie Wasteland” is self-explanatory. Zombies are inherently scary, especially when jumping out of the shadows. It is the “bloodiest” of the two, but not excessive by any means. My 15-year-old haunted house partner and I felt the length of the houses was good. They were long enough that a lengthier wait would be worth it, but not so long as to be exhausting from a scare standpoint.

kentucky kingdom
Photo by Kentucky Kingdom

When not haunted housing, there are other pursuits, of course, including shopping, dancing, eating, and drinking. There are two bar and food outlets including Frank N. Stein’s LaBARatory and BARely Alive, which serve up specialty cocktails including Hurricane style drinks as well as bar staples like local craft beer and the usual domestics.

halloscream
Photo by Andy Guinigundo

The food at HalloScream has been specially created by Executive Chef Aaron Banks and includes many selections, like Frank’s Monster Burger and The Undead Shred (pulled pork po’boy), that are big enough to share. On the sweeter side, beignets and pumpkin spice Dole whip, are available.

The Bizarre Bazaar and other shopping outlets include every manner of HalloScream souvenir, general creepy things, and flashing necklaces and headwear galore. Mardi Grave is a dance party area complete with DJ.

kentucky kingdom
Photo by Andy Guinigundo

In addition to all the HalloScream attractions, all park thrill rides will operate till 10 p.m. as well as several family rides. For the kids, King Louie’s Playland will be open from 6-9 p.m. for rides, treats, and pictures with King Louie and his not too scary friends.

HalloScream will continue on Fridays and Saturdays from 6 p.m. – midnight, and Sundays from 6-11 p.m. through the month of October. Admission is $29.95 and includes entry to each haunted house.

2019 pass holders can enter, but will need to purchase entry to the haunted houses for $10 each. Purchasing a 2020 season pass for $59.95 will gain you entry to HalloScream, the haunted houses, and all of the 2020 season.

To learn more about Kentucky Kingdom’s new Halloween offerings, visit KentuckyKingdom.com/HalloScream.

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