With "terror tracks" on its world-class roller coasters, multiple scare zones, and eight mazes, Fright Fest would be the hit of the town in any other city. Yet it's located in the ultra-competitive Southern California market, the birthplace of theme park Halloween events, which means that Fright Fest too often gets overlooked by busy local Halloween fans.
When the weather starts to turn cooler and the sun sets earlier over Sandusky Bay, the beautiful lake north of Ohio turns from Lake Erie to Lake "Eerie." A mysterious fog covers parts of Cedar Point. And the screams heard throughout the park don't all come from the roller coasters Cedar Point is famous for.
The original theme park Halloween event is more fun than it is scary, and that's not a knock so much as it is noting Knott's Scary Farm's lifestyle choice. They want to be a fun, mostly PG-13 event — and if you get scared now and again, all the better.
Singapore's is a fairly new event (and a fairly new park, for that matter). In a country where Halloween is not quite what it is in the United States, Universal Studios has put together a very strong event over the past four years, helping increase the popularity of the holiday in the country.
Facing tough competition up the highway from the Orlando theme parks, Busch Gardens fights back with its own aggressive mix of scares and thrill rides.
After 15 successful years, Busch Gardens Williamsburg has a proven formula for a successful Halloween event. This year’s 16th-annual edition offers much of what past guests have grown to enjoy, along with just enough change to keep the event fresh.
Not all theme park Halloween events have to be scary. Disney has embraced the other great tradition of Halloween — trick-or-treating — with a pair of candy-fueled celebrations on each coast.
Disneyland's version of the "not=so-scary" party edges ahead of its older sibling, thanks in part to a couple of great attraction overlays (available to day guests, too, during "HalloweenTime"): Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday. Don't miss the Cadaver Dans performing on the foggy Rivers of America, either.
Knott's might have started this party, but Universal is the one that's, well, killing it these days. Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando's is the Universal's oldest theme park event and the world's largest, attracting theme park fans from all over the world for its mix of scare zones, shows and mazes.
But if you want to get scared with the stars, you gotta go to Hollywood. Creative Director John Murdy sets the standard with USH's annual festival of "branded horror," bringing together the directors and stars of top TV and movie horror franchises to create unique, theme-driven houses that have fans queueing up from dusk to (nearly) dawn, until they're so overloaded by all that's happening around them that they can barely stumble home like, well, the walking dead. (Sorry, couldn't resist!)
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