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Greenwell’s Haunted Hike promises to be ‘very scary, very twisted’

By Staff | Sep 29, 2010

The 19th annual Mike Greenwell’s Family Fun Park Haunted Hike will feature four old ideas for the dark, claustrophobic, very scary 13 nights of terror.
The ideas for the annual Haunted Hike start to get tossed around in June, when the scenes begin to be created.
Park Manager Dana Waters said the haunted hike this year is going to be incredible due to it being “very scary and very twisted.”
The hike takes individuals through 16 different scenes through the woods, which includes old school scare tactics and 12 new modern ideas. Vampires will be present during the Haunted Hike, along with the old favorites of crazed clowns and deranged chainsaw maniacs.
Waters said every year they change the theme and scenes, so it remains different year after year. She said since the hike is in its 19th year, they were able to add things to the hike that they used in the past because there are different generations walking through the park, so they “wouldn’t be familiar with what we did.”
Waters said they have taken into account that not everything is for everyone, so the hike offers a few bypasses through some of the scenes.
She said the woods adds a whole element of realism to the hike because it takes you “through the dark, creepy real woods.”
Waters said the walk will probably take about 15-20 minutes to go through, unless you run, then you will “be out of there in 5 minutes.”
Groups of anywhere between 6-12 individuals go through the hike at one time. Waters said she likes to do this because it provide each of them with a more “personal attack.”
Waters said although they offer a smaller haunted hike, she believes the intensity and scare factor of the local hike keeps up with the big boys like Bush Gardens and Universal Studios due to their ideas.
Waters said the numbers have stayed consistent throughout the years, which on average is several thousand people a year.
The Mariner High School Athletic Program remains the beneficiary of the hike.
The Haunted Hike will be held on Oct. 1 and 2, 8 and 9, 15 and 16, 22 through 25 and the 29 through 31. It is $10 per person or $15 for a VIP pass that allows you to bypass any lines.
Waters said although the Haunted Hike is not intended for small children, staff will leave the decision up to the parents.

‘Safe Trick or Treat’
Mike Greenwell’s will also host its 19th annual free “Safe Trick or Treat” event for kids 12-years-old and younger Saturday, Oct. 30, from 5-8 p.m.
Waters said they are expecting about 4,000 children to attend the event this year since it is on a Saturday. Last year’s attendance was approximately 3,500 kids.
The event, which is held on the miniature golf course, allows the children to go from hole number one through 19 collecting goodies and seeing various Halloween decorations.
Dominos and McDonald’s of Cape Coral and Cat Country 107 have sponsored the event for 19 years.
Waters said 19 different sponsors, who are local business owners, decorate a hole on the golf course for the children to go trick-or-treating.
She said that some businesses decorate their hole extremely elaborate and others keep it really simple.
Waters said she has a waiting list of businesses that are trying to get involved in the event.
“The event has always done really well,” Waters said. “It’s a free event where parents know their kids are getting safe candy.”
She said the children end up with a really good bag of goodies from reputable businesses.
Although the event is free, Waters said donations of pet food and supplies are greatly appreciated for those who attend the event. The donations will be given to the Animal Refuge Center and Gulf Coast Humane Society.
Children are asked to come dressed in their costume and bring their goody bag.
The Mariner High School ROTC will help with this year’s parking by collecting $2 donations during the Haunted Hike and Safe Trick or Treat events. Waters said the donation is not required, but 00 percent of the money collected will by donated to the ROTC program at Mariner High School.
Mike Greenwell’s is located at 35 Pine Island Road. For information, call 239-574-4386.