Grab Your Tickets Now for These Limited-Time Amusement Park Halloween Events
Here are the haunts and horrors to die for this Halloween season, as well as a few scare-free celebrations just right for kids and families.
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 to lift their spooky spirits. To quench our collective thirsts for all things ghoulish, theme parks across the nation have taken their Halloween experiences to the next level, even for little ones looking for spooky fun. Here are this season's must-see events.
The creative minds at Universal Studios Florida have been busy brewing up the latest installment of Halloween Horror Nights, one of the most anticipated Halloween events of the season. This year, look for showstopping themed attractions based on fan favorites like Ghostbusters, Stranger Things, Us and Killer Klowns from Outer Space. On select nights, the park offers guests the chance to get scared to death in 10 horrifyingly realistic haunted houses and five scare zones where "scare actors" do their best to give them the fright of their lives. A new nighttime show, Halloween Marathon of Mayhem, brings terrifying moments from Halloween classics to life.
Knott's Berry Farm, one of the oldest theme parks in the United States, hosts one of the largest and most elaborate Halloween events in the world. On select nights, Knott's Scary Farm is home to more than 15 frightening attractions, including nine horrifying mazes, four scare zones and four malevolent live shows. Add that to the more than 1,000 terrifying creatures that lurk in shadows and around every dark corner of the park and you're in for the scare of a lifetime. Escape evil clowns at CarnEVIL and watch for dark creatures in the murky waters of Forsaken Lake. For little ones, Knott's Spooky Farm entertains with trick-or-treating and a live musical show, The Monsters are Coming Charlie Brown.
Another California-favorite Halloween attraction is hosted by Six Flags Magic Mountain, located in Valencia, just north of Los Angeles. Every fall, 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. This year, a dozen scare zones and spine-tingling mazes, including fan favorite Vault 666 Unlocked, guarantee high marks among fright-seekers. More than eight coasters, including Twisted Colossus, Goliath and Full Throttle, incorporate a new element of terror, leaving riders alone to face their fear of the dark. An expanded calendar allows for 23 horrifying nights of fear and dread.
BUY NOW: TripAdvisor, tickets from $69.98 per person
Ohio's Cedar Point may be known as the reigning champion of roller coasters, but every October, the park transforms into a haunted, blood-curdling extravaganza that offers a completely different kind of thrills. HalloWeekends bring fear to the Buckeye State Friday and Saturday nights through late-October. HAUNT at HalloWeekends brings horrors like the New Orleans voodoo-inspired Blood on the Bayou, haunted corn mazes and a Zombie High School. Stay alert, goblins and ghoulish monsters lurk around every corner, even on your favorite coasters. For little ones, Cedar Point wows with its annual Great Pumpkin Fest, which features an afternoon Great Pumpkin Parade and twice-daily dance parties. Adventurous kids can explore three different HalloTween mazes.
BUY NOW: TripAdvisor, tickets from $59.99 per person
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening through late-October, look for a complete transformation of Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia into Howl-O-Scream, a jam-packed, horrifically-scary Halloween haunt that's without compare. The annual scare-fest treats guests to a wide array of frights and horrors, including six beyond-ghastly haunted houses, six nightmare-provoking "Terror-tories," escape rooms and live scare shows. This year marks the return of Jack is Back, a street-style disco dancing performance. Also, look for two brand new escape rooms: Jack's Twisted Terror and Grave Obsession. Keep your eyes peeled for "coaster creepers" ready to scare unsuspecting riders boarding coasters.
BUY NOW: Viator, tickets from $71.99 per person
Located just north of Richmond, Virginia, Kings Dominion's Halloween Haunt event marks its 19th season of screams and scares with four new horrifying experiences, including two brand new scare zones (Masquerade and Pumpkin Eater) and two new shows (Blood Reign and Heads Will Roll). The park also features a scare force of more than 400 ghouls, zombies and monsters that roam the park in an eerie blanket of fog and darkness. Seven macabre mazes round out the frights to be found at Kings Dominion on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights through late-October. For family-friendly fun, The Great Pumpkin Fest features hay bale mazes and pumpkin painting activities.
BUY NOW: TripAdvisor, tickets from $53.99 per person
Just outside Charlotte, North Carolina, Carowinds is a sought-after theme park destination for horror fans. Every October, the park fully transforms into SCarowinds, even adding its signature spooky "S" to the park's main entrance. On select nights through late-October, guests can immerse themselves in ghoulish screams and terror as they make their way through the park's multiple terrifying mazes and scare zones. Star attractions include Fleet Street, which winds guests along the haunted cobblestone streets of Jack the Ripper's London, as well as Dark Harvest, a scary corn maze filled with terror-wielding scarecrows.
BUY NOW: TripAdvisor, tickets from $55.99 per person
For spooky, not scary, it's Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, which runs through October 31. Guest-favorites, like Cars Land, are transformed into spooky sensations. The "Haul-O-Ween" makeover at Cars Lands has changed Radiator Springs into Radiator Screams with each of the town's residents donning costumes, like Mater as a "van-pire" and Red the Fire Truck as a clown. Kids will love spooky music and festive treats, like "spoke-y" cone macarons. Meanwhile, the popular Guardians of the Galaxy ride thrills guests in new ways as it transforms nightly into Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark. In the evening, enjoy "Halloween Screams," a spooky special effects show.
BUY NOW: Undercover Tourist, two-day park entrance passes from $199.95 per person
The happiest place on Earth may not be the scariest, but it's certainly the most festive. Each fall, Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida tees up Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. The family-friendly celebration boasts fan favorites, like Mickey's Boo-to-You Halloween Parade and the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular stage show. A brand-new fireworks and laser show, "Disney's Not So Spooky Spectacular," is sure to wow guests of all ages. It's 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 rides, parades and attractions the park has to offer—with added villainous shows and fun, of course. The frightfully festive party is held on select days throughout September and October.
BUY NOW: BestOfOrlando, tickets from $72 per person (park entrance separate)