Trip Report: Cedar Point's HalloWeekends 2022

October 31, 2022, 3:27 PM · I’ll be the first to admit (and the editor in Robert Niles will probably scream at me admitting this) that this is not going to be the most comprehensive report about HalloWeekends at Cedar Point. A wild mix of conflicts, along with a back injury, kept me from visiting Cedar Point during its most popular event of the year - HalloWeekends. Finally, I found a date that I could get there, limited though I am.

I’ve been following various Cedar Point fan sites, and most of the time the running issues have been 1) massive crowds on Saturdays especially and much larger than normal crowds on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays, 2) long lines and limited operations at the food venues in the park, and 3) major back-ups on the causeways leading to the park. I was curious to find out for myself - I tried to monitor the live webcams to see the parking lots, how full they were, and how congested the pedestrian walkways, midways, etc. of the park were. It seemed that Cedar Point often aimed the cameras at places that made it impossible to judge the size of the crowds. Intentional or not, I usually couldn’t judge crowd size.

We went on a Thursday evening, which was reportedly the lightest day of the long weekends. It was also the shortest operating hours of the weekend, with pass holders allowed in at 5 p.m. and the park open until midnight. We arrived at 5 p.m. and had no problem either on the causeway, parking lot, or park entrance.


Cedar Point does a really outstanding job of decorating for the season. Gigantic skeletons are everywhere. The cemetery of dead rides is always fun to check out, and the Top Thrill Midway (don’t ask me, I don’t know anything about what will happen to it) is lined with thousands of pumpkins, gourds, and squash in elaborate patterns. The entire park is a Halloween spectacle.

Corn stalks

We decided not to do any rides, but instead to focus on the food, entertainment, and haunts. The show that we wanted to see the most - the one with the best word-of-mouth - was “Wake the Dead: a Murder Mystery Musical” in the Palace Theater in Frontier Town. We got there early enough to have time to talk with some locals waiting for the show, and they verified the past HalloWeekends problems with crowds. They made several attempts to come to the park on Saturdays and never made it due to massive line-ups on the causeway. They had nothing but good things to say about the show we were waiting for, and they were right. It was extremely well-staged, and the talent was probably the best we’ve seen at Cedar Point. It was fun, engaging, and since it had four different endings, depending on what performance you went to, it invited repeat visits by the audience - if you could get in. I understand that it’s always SRO, with a long line extending back to Maverick.


Dinner was at the new Farmhouse Kitchen and Grill. We didn’t try anything new there, but while we gorged ourselves on chicken tenders and steak, we were “entertained” by Scare-a-oke (yes, a HalloWeekends version of karaoke). The entertainers were having fun, and that’s what is important.

Frontier Trail is not a scare zone per se, but it was dark and foggy, and there were Screamsters scattered through the Trail, providing jump scares to unsuspecting visitors. Several haunts, Cornstalkers and Slaughter House: You’re Dead Meat, had their entrances along the trail.

We stopped at Coasters to try the Syringe Burger, their signature cheeseburger with “eight-second sauce,” and their “House-made Pumpkin Roll from Chef Elka’s Pastry Kitchen.” The cheeseburger was rather smushed-down, and the syringe with the eight-second sauce (which tasted like a mixture of mustard and mayo) did nothing but shoot mustard all over the place rather than into the bun… and after eight seconds it still just tasted like mustard. Not spicy at all.

Burger and dessert

The pumpkin roll, however, tasted wonderful! Rich, just the right amount of pumpkin spice, and the cream filling was a great addition to the pumpkin cake.

“The Midnight Hour: 25 Years of HalloWeekends with the Midnight Syndicate” was presented for three performances each night (four on Saturdays). The two remarkably talented performers/composers and a small cast of creepy actors and singers presented a show that, in spite of being similar to every other show they’ve presented over the years, still provided an appropriate horror event.


For some strange reason, a woman brought her two-year-old to the show and sat right down front. Thirty seconds after the show started, the kid was screaming and she was carrying him out. Stranger things....

We passed “The Witch Sisters’ Insult-Emporium: Witch Please!” performing on the Ballroom balcony, overlooking the main midway. These three Hocus-Pocus-inspired witches happily were cackling insults to passers-by, and lots of people were sitting on the benches facing them, enjoying the insults and entertainment.


The only indoor haunt we went through was “The Haunting of Eerie Estate,” formally just called Eerie Estate and held in the old Cedar Point administration building. It was supposedly rethemed from previous years, but I didn’t see anything different except for a ouija board in the first room that moved around a bit. The ouija board we had when I was nine years old moved more - and was scarier.

Cedar Point’s HalloWeekends has become a victim of its own success. What has become its busiest time of the year is the same time that it has the most trouble finding workers. I’ve heard from many workers, both park employees and volunteers working as a fund-raiser for their local charity, that they have, at times, had difficulty getting to the park in time due to the traffic on the causeways. A friend of mine left home two hours early to get to her job, and was late. Many of their regular restaurants were closed, and there are only so many food trucks that can be brought in to make up for the difference. We didn’t have any problems on Thursday night, but there are too many reports of short-staffing issues on other evenings for this to be disregarded.

Halloween decor

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Replies (10)

October 31, 2022 at 3:54 PM

thanks for making the effort to get out there. has there ever been serious conversation about building another type of transportation system along the causeway? it just seems like there has to be a better way than sending car after car down that narrow strip of land.

though perhaps the answer is to try to find an excuse to get people there even earlier.

October 31, 2022 at 4:21 PM

Serious? Not that I know of. People have speculated for decades about connecting the mainland to the park with a shuttle train/railroad/monorail/fill-in-the-blank, and building parking lots on the mainland. That would free up the parking lot for more ride space- but it'll never happen. Incredible expense, maintenance, seasonal wear-and-tear. A better method would be to build parking lots on the mainland across from the park, and build ferries to shuttle people over like they do at WDW, but I'd be very surprised if they'd do that, either.

October 31, 2022 at 4:25 PM

Transport long has been a Disaster at Cedar Point.

(I will see myself out now.)

October 31, 2022 at 4:58 PM


October 31, 2022 at 6:18 PM

LOL (and I'm so ashamed of myself for laughing at that!)

October 31, 2022 at 7:51 PM

That's just not punny Robert...oh it is.

Cedar Point, great park, but a pain in the butt to get to. One day this international tourist won't be scared of driving in the USA (we drive on the other side of the road down here).

November 1, 2022 at 8:47 AM

I have to say that we've never experienced traffic issues at Cedar Point since we always arrive early, but have heard the stories of intense traffic and lines extending well beyond the causeway and onto Sandusky's main drag. Aside from widening the causeway and streamlining/expediting the parking process, there's really not much the park can do to improve the experience. The notion of a Magic Kingdom type setup (with monorail/train/ferries) is completely absurd for a park that sees one tenth of the attendance of the world's top park.

While I've never attended Halloweekends, I have heard about the intense crowds, which is a problem not unique to Cedar Point during this time of year. Parks that don't separately ticket their Halloween events are always going to have crowding issues on certain nights (closer to Halloween and on excellent weather days). The only solutions would be to move to a separately ticketed event, which would reduce the value of season passes/memberships, or require guests get reservations for their visit (and limiting the number of visits season pass holders can make during the Halloween season) to limit overcrowding.

The issues with staffing are not going away (other parks around the country are having the same issues). It also doesn't help when parks are located far from urban areas where most of their staff live, and outside of summer months when temporary foreign workers are harder to employ. It's a real challenge, which makes the continual expansion of the operational calendars at seasonal parks all the more perplexing.

November 1, 2022 at 10:15 AM

Entertainment described here is certainly not offered at Carowinds (Scarowinds). No big show there… just a bunch of dancers in sexy underwear (much to the dismay of parents) at an outdoor stage with no seating.

November 1, 2022 at 1:28 PM

I think they purposely have not put any transport system in order to protect their parking revenue. The main reason I think this is because even their own hotel doesn't provide free transport to the park, everyone staying there is forced to drive over with their own car and pay the parking fee. If there were a way to get across without driving then all of those people staying at the hotels on the other side could skip out on the parking fee. It's well known that many airports in this country have not wanted to put access to to trains/buses on their property because of how much of their revenue comes from rental cars and parking fees.

Also exclusivity is a big thing that upsells the hotels that are on the peninsula. I know they are adding a walkway in the next couple years (which I am all for as I would much rather commute by foot than by car) but lets be serious the vast majority of people are not going to walk.

I think there are ways to fix the staffing problem but CF has go out of the box and it would cost a lot of money for something that probably wouldn't drive much of a return. In regards to the crowds I agree with Russel unless you make it an upcharge event or have ticket-by-date with a reservation system for annual passholders, there are going to be massive crowds. You have the Disney problem where everyone complains about the crowds, then when the company does something to make the park less crowded, everybody is going to complain about that because they can't get in lol. This year doesn't seem as bad as last year when they did that low price AP offer and they kept hitting capacity and telling people to come back the next day, but then they ran out of days and the season ended with them hitting capacity over and over again.
These Halloween events are huge revenue makers but they also create a situation where the worst days for staffing are the busiest days of the year, I ran into this situation a lot when I worked at SFGAm as a teenager I would be running Viper with literally one other person (one checking each side of the train, both using remote panels) with a 2 hour wait and a line of disabled people in the exit....we still didn't stack BTW =P. We also had a lot of flats closed and sometimes even major rides.

November 2, 2022 at 11:03 AM

Nice report, Jim. Glad that you had no traffic issues. As to what others have said, I do think that making Halloween events an upcharge would be a good idea for all parks to reduce overcrowding. A friend from Canada drove 14 hours to visit Fright Fest at a Six Flags park and managed to get in only a few rides due to the massive number of guests in the park.

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