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Frightening yet heart-melting: Meet Haunt’s father-daughter duo

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Frightening yet heart-melting

Kelsey Gallagher

2019 Dorney Park Public Relations Coordinator
Temple University Class of 2020

“This is a memory that I will take with me for the rest of my life.”

In her second season as a Haunt actor at Dorney Park, Mikayla is joined on the midways by what some may consider an unlikely guest: her father. Does she find it weird? Absolutely not. In fact, she finds working with her dad to be the best thing ever.

Jim, Mikayla’s proud father, remembers bringing his daughter to Dorney Park’s very first Haunt. “She kept saying, ‘This is fun, Dad. We have to do this someday,’” he recalls. Now in her senior year of high school, Jim knew this season may just be his last chance to fulfill their shared dream since Mikayla was just five years old: to work alongside each other at Halloween Haunt.

From a young age, Mikayla has been involved in acting in many different shows. One thing has stayed the same, though: her dad being right there beside her. Jim would volunteer to work backstage at her shows for his love for entertainment and for his daughter, of course.

Mikayla credits her dad for her love of all things entertainment and even makeup. She doesn’t think she would be at Haunt if it weren’t for him, and is beyond happy that he gets to join her on the midways for Haunt. They don’t get to see other too much, though, on a typical Haunt night. Mikayla is a misfit and Jim is located in Steamworx, but they like being in different attractions so they can compare their interesting nights.

On a typical Friday night, Jim picks Mikayla up from school at Charter Arts, they stop home real quick, and arrive at The Crypt at 4pm for makeup. After a long night of scaring guests at Haunt, the duo looks forward to making a stop at Wawa for a milkshake. When asked if it’s like take-your-child-to-work-day, Mikayla says it’s “more like take-your-dad-to-work-day,” though.

Just one of the many things they value at Haunt is the friendships they’ve formed with fellow actors. “I have so many amazing friends here after only working for one season. Some of my closest friends are through Haunt,” says Mikayla. Her father feels that same connection, calling it “one big happy family. Especially my Steamworx family, we’ve become very close to each other.”

When asked if working at Haunt together has brought them closer, Jim says, “No, because we are already so close. It’s not a bonding experience; it’s a bond strengthening experience.” He considers this whole experience with his daughter to be “a memory that I will take with me for the rest of my life.”

Mikayla has a piece of advice for a father and daughter who work together – “Just have fun with it. Trust each other.”

Jim and Mikayla would like to give their wife and mother, Danielle, a shoutout for always supporting them and visiting during every Haunt night.

Join us this weekend for our FINAL 2 nights of Halloween Haunt here at Dorney Park, November 1 & 2 - 6pm - midnight. 2020 Season Passes are NOW on Sale. Enjoy unlimited visits this weekend, and ALL of the 2020 season, at the lowest price of the year -- But, hurry! Offer ends this Sunday, November 3, 2019 at 11:59 pm EST.

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Kelsey Gallagher

2019 Dorney Park Public Relations Coordinator
Temple University Class of 2020

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