10 of This Year's Must-See Amusement Park Halloween Events
Find out which famous theme-park haunts are absolutely to-die-for this Halloween.
It's officially the most wonderful time of the year— and no, we don't mean Christmas. Halloween is nearly upon us, and the entire country is gearing up to celebrate. Everyone is searching for that perfect haunted attraction to leave them feeling terrified and lift their spooky spirits. To quench our thirst for all things ghoulish, theme parks across the nation have taken their Halloween experiences to the next level, but a few are still a step above the rest. Here are 10 of the must-see events you just have to attend this October.
1: Halloween Horror Nights (Universal Studios)
Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood are home to perhaps the most anticipated Halloween event in the country: the famous Halloween Horror Nights. With showstopping themed attractions based on fan favorites like The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, The Shining and Saw, Universal Studios is one of the top destinations for horror fanatics around the world. For most nights throughout the month of October, the parks transform into an absolute fright fest, offering guests the chance to run and scream for their lives alongside some of their favorite fictional horror characters like Freddy Krueger, Chucky, Jason Vorhees and Leatherface wielding his iconic chainsaw.
2: Knott's Scary Farm (Knott's Berry Farm)
This famous theme park located in Buena Park, Calif., hosts one of the largest and most elaborate Halloween events in the world. Knott's Scary Farm is home to more than 15 frightening attractions, including nine thrilling mazes. Guests can make their way through the haunted streets of a ghost town, try to escape evil carnies at the "CarnEvil" or fight their way through mobs of zombies with their own laser guns in "Special Ops: Infected." For the slightly less adventurous guests, the farm also offers a vast selection of spooky shows and non-haunted thrill rides.
3: Phantom Fright Nights (Kennywood)
The theme park gem of West Mifflin, Pa., Kennywood, has been offering one of the nation's best month-long Halloween celebrations for the last 16 years. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through October 29th, guests can take part in the park's Phantom Fright Nights. Each night at dusk, the entire park transforms into a thrilling haunted extravaganza that's absolutely to-die-for. Featuring fan-favorite haunted attractions like "Mortem Manor," the zombie-infested "Gory Park" and nine other frightening events, Kennywood is one of the hottest park destinations for this Halloween.
4: Fright Fest (Six Flags Magic Mountain)
Another California favorite Halloween attraction is hosted by Six Flags Magic Mountain, located in Valencia, just north of Los Angeles. Every fall, Six Flags Fright Fest draws large crowds to all of the park's locations around the country, but Magic Mountain is the true star of the franchise when it comes to the haunted and the truly terrifying. In addition to their classic Halloween scare zones, this year the park has added new frightening attractions like an old haunted estate, a masquerade gone horrifyingly wrong and a not-so-scary ghoulish dance club.
5: Halloweekends (Cedar Point)
Cedar Point is known as the reigning champion of roller coasters, but every October the park transforms into a haunted Halloween extravaganza that offers completely different kind of thrills. Located in Sandusky, Ohio, Cedar Point's HalloWeekends bring fear to the Buckeye state every Friday and Saturday night through October 28th. This year's theme, "Haunt," brings horrors like the New Orleans voodoo-inspired "Blood on the Bayou," haunted corn mazes and a "Zombie High School." Since fright nights may be too much for some, the park also offers its annual Great Pumpkin Fest, which holds Halloween daytime fun for the whole family.
6: Howl-O-Scream (Busch Gardens)
Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday night through October 29th, the Busch Gardens locations in Williamsburg, Va., and Tampa Bay, Fla., will be transformed into a jam-packed Halloween haunt like no other. The parks' annual Howl-O-Scream event treats guests to a vast array of horrifying haunts, featuring brand-new attractions and "terror-tories" each year. The stars of Williamsburg's event this year are the new "Frostbite" haunted house and the "Axe Alley" terror-tory, which leave terrified guests screaming for more. Tampa Bay offers its own premiere haunt, the "Demented Dimension" attraction, featuring other-worldly ghosts and ghouls around every corner.
7: Fright Dome (Circus Circus Adventuredome)
The famous Circus Circus Hotel is the ultimate Hallow's Eve star of fabulous Las Vegas. The hotel's premier attraction, the Adventuredome, is transformed each Halloween into Fright Dome, offering truly terrifying haunts around every corner. The event will be celebrating its 15th anniversary this year and stars terrifying attractions like the "Lights Out" haunted house, the brand-new "Zombie City" and "Happy Hellidays," which transforms cherished holiday mascots into ghoulish Halloween horrors. The attraction is open for haunting each weekend and select weeknights from now until October 31st.
8: Halloween Haunt (Kings Dominion)
Located just north of Richmond in Doswell, Va., Kings Dominion's Halloween Haunt event is a prime Halloween destination for anyone looking to be truly terrified. The park is home to six spooky mazes, including "Zombie High" and the haunted, hotel-themed "No Vacancy." In addition to its numerous thrill rides and coasters, the park also features thrilling scare zones, including the haunted "Necropolis" cemetery and the "Feary Tales" attraction, where park guests may not live so happily ever after. The park is open for haunting every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night through October 29th.
9: SCarowinds (Carowinds)
Located just outside of Charlotte, N.C., Carowinds is a hot destination for any horror fanatic. Every October, the park fully transforms into SCarowinds, even adding its signature spooky "S" to the park's main entrance. Every weekend through October 29th, guests can be immersed in ghoulish terror with the park's many terrifying mazes and scare zones. Star attractions include "Fleet Street," where guests can navigate through old-timey London's haunted cobblestone streets and the farm-themed "Dark Harvest" maze where demented scarecrows terrorize park goers until the cows come home.
10: Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (Walt Disney World)
The happiest place on Earth may not be the scariest, but it's definitely the most festive! Each fall in Orlando, Walt Disney World Resort's Magic Kingdom hosts "Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party." Featuring the "Boo-To-You Halloween Parade" and the "Happy HalloWishes Fireworks Show" over iconic Cinderella's Castle, this Halloween extravaganza is truly a magical way to spend the spookiest day of the year. Kids can trick-or-treat throughout the park or enjoy all of the everyday events and attractions the park has to offer—with added villainous shows and fun, of course. The party continues on select days throughout the months of October and November.