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 stop by the Stranger Things haunted house, one of 10 haunted houses and attractions on-site. Piercing lasers and pounding electro music make up Halloween Marathon of Mayhem, one of two live shows featured this season. The second show, Academy of Villains: Altered States, features a more upbeat take on Halloween and is comprised of an array of dancing and theatrics.
2. Knott's Scary Farm at Knott's Berry Farm: Buena, CA
Having originated the concept of the Halloween theme park season back 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 three live shows: Conjurers (a magic show), Puppet Up! Uncensored (a mix of comedy and puppetry), and The Hanging (a parody made up of comedy, special effects, and stunts).
3. Phantom Fright Nights 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. Here, there are scare zones and haunted houses. This year, the park is offering 4-D screenings of IT. And, of course, there's always the Thunderbolt wooden coaster, which gives riders a thrill 365 days a year.
4. Cedar Point's Haunt at Halloweekends: Sandusky, OH
As the self-proclaimed "coaster capital of the world," Cedar Point doesn't disappoint during Halloween season. Haunt at Halloweekends features special pop-up attractions like haunted mazes and Halloween-themed shows. Start at the campy Zombie High School maze before exploring Cornstalkers 2.0: Revenge of the Pumpkin Heads. 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 is The Aftermath maze, along with Scarey-oke, a kid-friendly karaoke show featuring classic Halloween hits. Other attractions include a haunted mansion, a blacklight maze, a zombie-themed coaster, and more.