Additions make Cedar Point HalloWeekends more of a screamWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
At Cedar Point’s HalloWeekends, “Overlord” Tyler Cline rounds up the “screamsters” for a pep rally.
They all march together, and in a synthesized voice, Cline shouts, “Go forth and make them scream.” Then more than 300 screamsters run amok inside the park to do just that.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Cline said.
This year is the 16th season of Cedar Point’s Halloween fest. The park is open on the weekends until Oct. 28. During the day, families are invited to enjoy parades and costume contests, but after the sun goes down, guests are to roam the park at their own risk as the screamsters are set free.
Daric McCoy is a fourth-year screamster who works in the Park Operations Office other months of the year. He dresses up as a “steampunk airship captain” for HalloWeekends.
“I become the character,” McCoy said. “It allows you to go a little crazier than you would on a normal day.”
The makeup process for the 300 screamsters takes four hours and requires 20 makeup artists. The process includes applying foam latex masks which ensure the comfort of the screamsters while they are running around the park and sweating.
Anyone interested in becoming a screamster can apply online. After being accepted, screamsters go through “Scare School,” a two-hour class.
McCoy said he knows when it is fun to scare and when it’s taken overboard. He said he tends to stay away from children and can usually tell from people’s expressions if they are enjoying themselves.
McCoy also said screamsters are not allowed to touch guests, although some guests have gotten physical out of self-defense after being startled.
During HalloWeekends, the park has 70 rides and 10 walk-through venues, including two new attractions: Cut Throat Cove and Eden Musee.
Eden Musee is a wax museum found by the Mean Streak rollercoaster that got its inspiration from history and the film “House of Wax” starring Paris Hilton.
“Before you had movies, before you had radio … people would go to wax museums to see horrific things,” said John Taylor, Cedar Point’s manager of graphic services.
Taylor designs the haunted houses and has been with HalloWeekends since its inception.
He said that with HalloWeekends, Cedar Point aims for less gore and more family fun. It’s about “scaring you with a startle rather than gross-you-out,” Taylor said.
Eden Musee features wax figures of history’s most popular characters that come to life.
Kody Kolibab plays Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the museum. He works as a lifeguard in the summer at Soak City and took the job as a screamster when the water park closed for the season.
“I had a lady pee herself,” Kolibab said, who did some theater work in high school.
The other new attraction, Cut Throat Cove, is by the Maverick rollercoaster. The pirate-themed walk-through includes sunken ships and dead pirates scavenging the shore. This walk-through is outside and guests have to watch out for a giant snake at the end.
Along with the new additions, old favorites are still at the park like Club Blood, a haunted dance club, Corn Stalkers, a corn maze that comes alive and Eternity Infirmary, a sinister hospital.
This year, Cedar Point is also introducing Fright Lanes, comparable to its Fast Lanes. For $50, the Fright Lane wristband will allow any guest to move to the front of the lines for HalloWeekends’ haunted walk-throughs.
“[It’s] for guests who just can’t stand the suspense any longer,” according to a news release.
HalloWeekends is now open from 6 p.m. to midnight on Fridays, 11 a.m. to midnight on Saturdays and noon to 9 p.m. on Sundays until Oct. 28.
Tickets are available at gate or online at cedarpoint.com/halloweekends.