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Thrilling Fun for All: The Best Amusement Parks to Haunt for Halloween
Don’t miss these theme park special events during spooky season!
Fans of all types of content and entertainment often love a theme park filled with rides 🎢, attractions, shows 🎭, and fun treats 🥨 to eat. Going to a theme park is a great way to experience the worlds we already love, or escape the real world by immersing ourselves in a new one. While lots of folks go on vacation to theme park resorts and visit amusement 🎡 parks in the summertime, the fall is truly one of the best times to visit a theme park. And many of them cater to spooky 👻 season, transforming their parks into the ultimate destination for frights and thrills. We put together a handy list of some of the best theme park Halloween 🎃 events you should consider checking out! Some of these theme parks allow costumes, and some do not; we indicate where you might get to dress up to participate in these thrilling events!
*Remember that the availability of these events may vary from year to year, so it's a good idea to check with the theme parks for the most up-to-date information on their Halloween events.
Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios (Orlando, FL)
The ultimate theme park scary event, this one is known for its intense and immersive haunted houses based on popular horror movies and TV shows. Halloween Horror Nights is a destination for any Halloween enthusiast, and in 2023 they are featuring ten haunted houses based on fan-favorite franchises like The Last of Us, Stranger Things, and The Exorcist.
🦹♀️🦸♂️Costumes: Unfortunately, not allowed. Stick to your best subtle cosplay!
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World (Orlando, FL)
The Not-So-Scary Halloween party is perfect for kids and families alike, and occurs on select nights at the Magic Kingdom park at Walt Disney World after hours. During this family-friendly nighttime party, lights in the park are turned down low and guests of all ages can visit special trick-or-treating stations, watch a dedicated parade featuring the Headless Horseman and the Haunted House grave-diggers and ballroom dancers, a castle show starring the witches from Hocus Pucus, and a special fireworks show dedicated to Disney’s spookier characters. Also, the regular rides and attractions are all open all night.
Oogie Boogie Bash at Disney California Adventure (Anaheim, CA)
This Disneyland Resort Halloween party is beloved by fans and is similar to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary party at Magic Kingdom in Orlando. The party features trick or treating stations, a special holiday themed parade and character show, and the Villains Grove trail. Tickets for this beloved event sell out quickly!
🦹♀️🦸♂️Costumes: Encouraged for all attendees!
Harvest Festival at Dollywood (Pigeon Ford, TN)
If you’re not into spooky Halloween frights and costumes but love the fall, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival is for you! Set in the foliage-covered Smoky Mountains, it’s a perfect time to make a trip. While the daytime events feature live music, dozens of artisans like woodworkers and jewelry makers from all over the country, and sweet seasonal treats like Pumpkin Pie Punch and Pumpkin Pie Funnel Cake, the premier fan favorite event is at night. The Great Pumpkin LumiNights installation is where creatively carved pumpkins–over 12,000 of them!-light up the night.
🦹♀️🦸♂️Costumes: Unclear, but since this is more of a fall festival, maybe save that awesome costume for your Halloween night activities!
Knott’s Scary Farm at Knotts Berry Farm (Buena Park, CA)
One of the first theme parks to introduce Halloween-themed events, this event offers mazes like the Chilling Chambers (an homage to the inaugural maze in 1977), scare zones and haunted houses like the Cinema Slasher and Room 13, and live entertainment. It’s one of the largest Halloween theme park events in the country. And in 2023, they are celebrating their 50th year of Knotts Scary Farm!
🦹♀️🦸♂️Costumes: Not permitted to ensure the safety of all guests and actors.
Fright Fest at Six Flags locations
Available at all Six Flags locations in the U.S., Fright Fest is a multi-faceted seasonal event. In addition to a kid-friendly Boo Fest and Oktoberfest, Fright Fest features haunted houses, scare zones, shows, dance parties, and thrilling rides with a Halloween twist.
🦹♀️🦸♂️Costumes: Encouraged for children at Boo Fest (there’s a costume contest!) Adults can also wear costumes that are family friendly and maskless.
Howl-O-Scream, Busch Gardens (Tampa Bay, FL and Williamsburg, VA)
Both Busch Gardens locations in FL and VA offer Howl-O-Scream, an annual spooky event that features grotesque haunted houses, frightening scare zones, and death-defying themed shows like Cirque X-Scream in a spooky atmosphere. This is an adult-intended event, though children are permitted.
🦹♀️🦸♂️Costumes: Not permitted!
HalloWeekends at Cedar Point (Cedar Point, OH)
HalloWeekends runs on select days and nights throughout spooky season. You can choose non-scary attractions during Daytime Delights, which features trick or treating, the Crazy Corn Box (where kids under 12 can play in a sea of corn kernels), and The Magical House on Boo Hill, an enchanted walkthrough attraction. For the brave, Nighttime Frights feature haunted houses, terrifying scare zones, and sinister stage shows at the Roller Coaster Capital of the World. There are also specifically harvest-time culinary delights as well!
🦹♀️🦸♂️Costumes: Not permitted, as far as we can tell!
Brick-or-Treat Monster Party at LEGOLAND Resorts
Every LEGOLAND Resort in the U.S. and abroad have an annual Brick-Or-Treat Monster Party on select dates/nights. Geared toward young children, it includes trick-or-treating, a costume parade, and Lego-themed Halloween activities.
🦹♀️🦸♂️Costumes: Encouraged, but masks only allowed on guests 14 and under.
Hersheypark Halloween at Hersheypark (Hershey, PA)
No Halloween is ever complete without Hershey to begin with (we love a Fun Size chocolate bar in our trick or treat bags), so it’s only fitting that Herseypark in Hershey, PA throws a giant Halloween celebration. During Hersheypark Halloween, all rides and attractions are open, but for the last hour of the day, the lights go out on thrill rides like all coasters. The Character Glow Dance Party features your favorite candy characters dressed up for the holiday. Walk the Trick or Treat Trail from Hershey’s Chocolate World to The Boardwalk at Hersheypark where kids can visit each candy stop. And you can discover wild nocturnal animals at Creatures of the Night.
🦹♀️🦸♂️Costumes: Encouraged, but the park has a robust costume policy; check it out before your visit!
Scarowinds at Carowinds (Charlotte, NC)
Carowinds on the North Carolina/South Carolina border turns into Scarowinds through Halloween on weekend nights. In 2023, the Procession of Nightmares parade is a new attraction. The park is filled with mazes and scare zones that are bound to scare the living daylights out of guests as they go around to ride their favorite rides. If the scares are too much, The Great Pumpkin Fest is family friendly Halloween fun during the day.
Howl-O-Scream at SeaWorld (Orlando, FL & San Diego, CA)
If you can’t make it to Busch Gardens, you can attend Howl-O-Scream at Sea World in either Orlando, FL or San Diego, CA. These events are similar to the Busch Gardens one, featuring intense haunted houses, spooky live shows, and scare zones. And just like their Busch Gardens counterparts, they are geared towards adults rather than children. So get ready to be scared!
🦹♀️🦸♂️Costumes: Strictly not permitted.
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