October is when theme parks across the country don their best Halloween costumes and switch from merely entertaining guests to scaring the wits out of them. Here are the all-out transformations that five theme parks are rolling out for Halloween.
1. Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando: Orlando, FL
Our favorite of all the spooky theme park makeovers, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando transforms the mega-park into a world of horror. Be sure to visit the Stranger Things haunted house, one of 10 haunted houses and attractions on-site. For even more thrills, check out one of five scare zones or the Nightmare Fuel Revenge Dream live show, which features an array of spooktacular theatrics like pyro and aerial performers.
2. Knott's Scary Farm at Knott's Berry Farm: Buena, CA
Having originated the concept of the Halloween theme park season in 1973, Knott's Berry Farm is overtaken by monsters every October. Known as Knott's Scary Farm, the park is made up of haunted mazes, attractions, experiences, and scare zones, along with live entertainment. This year, there are four live shows: Dr. Cleaver Returns, Le Magnifique Carnaval du Grotesque, Music, Monsters & Mayhem, and The Hanging: Uncancelled.
3. Phantom Fall Fest at Kennywood: Pittsburgh, PA
Kennywood represents a slice of Americana, harkening back to the days when amusement parks had down-home charm, classic fairground-style food, and few high-tech rides. It becomes the biggest horror attraction in Pittsburgh for Halloween with Phantom Fright Nights, which features six haunted houses and four scare zones. During the day, expect more family-friendly attractions, including a brand-new trick-or-treat scavenger hunt. Of course, there's always the Thunderbolt wooden coaster, which gives riders a thrill 365 days a year.
4. Halloweekends at Cedar Point: Sandusky, OH
As the self-proclaimed "coaster capital of the world," Cedar Point doesn't disappoint during spooky season. Halloweekends features special pop-up attractions like haunted mazes and Halloween-themed shows. Start at one of the campy haunted mazes before catching one of several spooky-themed live shows. As for the rides, Cedar Point has long been home to some of the best roller coasters in the world, with rides like the GateKeeper and Millennium Force.
5. Fright Fest at Six Flags Great Adventure: Jackson, NJ
Six Flags Great Adventure's annual Fright Fest definitely won't disappoint. scaled to match the epic proportions of the park. New this year are two scare zones: The Curse of Blackbeard's Bounty and another inspired by The Conjuring. Don't miss the blacklight maze, either.