16 Halloween Celebrations at Theme Parks Across America

Knott's Scary Farm


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Knott's Scary Farm

Mazes and Merry-Go-Rounds

Halloween is a special time when costume stores pop up, pumpkin patches open to the public, and haunted houses put on a show to scare customers. Many amusement parks open special attractions just for Halloween, and not only the majors like Six Flags, Disney, and Universal. Theme parks around the country get into the Halloween spirit and try to create the ultimate scary night out for visitors in the area. Here are 16 such celebrations for all ages.

Related: 17 Abandoned Theme Parks to Explore for Thrills, Chills, and Nostalgia

Halloween Time at Disneyland

Halloween Time at Disneyland and Disney World

Anaheim, California, and Orlando, Florida

The happiest place on Earth gets into the Halloween spirit from now until Oct. 31 with Disney characters decked out for Halloween at Disneyland in California. The already-scary Haunted Mansion's holiday makeover lasts until mid-November. Mickey and Minnie don their trick-or-treating costumes, and you can meet Jack Skellington and Sally from "The Nightmare Before Christmas." The Main Street Pumpkin Festival shows off spooky gourds, and even Radiator Springs in the Disney California Adventure Park puts on haunted attractions for the kids. Disney World in Florida is home to the sold-out Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, complete with a Not-So-Spooky Spectacular fireworks show. Popular rides will sport spooky Halloween themes, and guests can come dressed in costume and trick-or-treat throughout the park. 

Related: How to Do Disney on a Budget 

Fright Fest at Six Flags

Fright Fest at Six Flags

Multiple locations

Six Flags parks transform into Fright Fest for Halloween, where thrill rides run in the dark, and spooky new attractions open that are unique to each location. The parks also have their own unique scare zones, where themed performers get in your face, and seasonal shows featuring hypnotists or horror-themed dances. Expect vampires, zombies, clowns, and more — Fright Fest has 'em all.  

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Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios

Universal City, California, and Orlando, Florida

Universal Studios is conjuring small and big screen chills, including haunted houses themed to "Stranger Things," "The Exorcist: Believer" and "Chucky: Ultimate Kill  Count." Universal also has scare zones, including one themed to "Dr. Oddfellow's Collection of Horrors" and vampire-filled "Vamp '69: Summer of Blood." You can get a personal RIP Tour, which not only includes express passes, but a personal guide who will tell you spooky Hollywood legends while you're waiting in line or walking between mazes.

Knott's Scary Farm at Knott's Berry Farm

Knott's Scary Farm at Knott's Berry Farm

Buena Park, California

Knott's turns its California theme park into a fully decked out Halloween attraction with mazes, scare zones, shows, and experiences. It's also marking 50 years of chills and nightmares. The Timber Mountain Log Ride incorporates witches, jack-o-lanterns, and Halloween music. Brave guests can walk through many classic mazes, like the Chilling Chambers and the magic-inspired Mesmer. The original Ghost Town Streets are still a haven for human/animal hybrids to lunge at the unsuspecting parkgoer, and CarnEVIL turns the boardwalk into a freak show with more scary clowns. 


Brick-or-Treat at Legoland

Winter Haven, Florida, and Carlsbad, California

Your kids won't have to wait until Halloween night for trick-or-treating — Legoland Florida has Brick-or-Treat trail weekends in October, where kids can score plenty of candy. The park also brings out scary Lego characters like Lego Dracula and puts on a fireworks shows. Legoland California scatters its Brick-or-Treat stations around the park, encourages costumes for its costume contest, and hosts family-friendly activities, like the 4D movie "The Great Monster Chase."

Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens
Erick N./Yelp

Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens

Williamsburg, Virginia, and Tampa, Florida

These two Busch Gardens parks are open for Halloween. On top of several haunted-house mazes in each park, Busch Gardens' monsters may ride the roller coasters with you, and Busch Gardens Tampa has six scare zones where you can face fears like a sinister forest, a graveyard where dead try to drag you to their graves, and the new Sin City Zombies. Viva Las Vegas! Visitors to the Williamsburg can look forward to the "Monster Stomp on Ripper Row," one of its live shows said to be "worth dying for."

HalloWeekends at Cedar Point
Jennifer K./Yelp

HalloWeekends at Cedar Point

Sandusky, Ohio

Cedar Point has day and nighttime Halloween activities from now until Oct. 29. On weekend afternoons, there's trick-or-treating at 13 stations around the park and monster-free mazes for young children. On weekend nights, things get decidedly darker and edgier, with haunted mazes, scare zones, and live shows like "The Butchers of Rock." 

Hersheypark in the Dark
Kristina G./Yelp

Hersheypark Halloween

Hershey, Pennsylvania

For three weekends in October, Hersheypark turns out the lights on five of its roller coasters — but fear not, the Hershey's Characters Glow Dance Party lights things up a bit. And it wouldn't be Hersheypark without candy, so expect trick-or-treat stops.

Related: Popular Chocolate Halloween Candies Ranked from Worst to Best

Luna Park in Coney Island
Esmeralda C./Yelp

Halloween Harvest at Luna Park in Coney Island

Brooklyn, New York

Coney Island's theme park adds Halloween activities and attractions for the kids. Decorate your own pumpkin in the pumpkin patch, or watch the Maniac Carvers carve their elaborate works of pumpkin art. There's also face-painting balloon art, and Halloween fare. The Tillie's Tractor Race combines mini-tractors with the safety of a hay bale-lined track.  

Ryan M./Yelp

Great Pumpkin Luminights at Dollywood

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Dolly Parton's theme park gets into the Halloween spirit with its Harvest Festival featuring thousands of candlelit jack-o-lanterns. The festivities also include characters like a Pumpkin Tree and treats like candy corn cotton candy, pumpkin funnel cakes, and caramel apple sundaes.   

Nickelodeon Universe
Jim L./Yelp

Boo-niverse and Halloween Havoc at Nickelodeon Universe

Bloomington, Minnesota

Nickelodeon's Mall of America theme park has a kid-friendly Halloween celebration. Boo-niverse has a funky witch manipulating music and lights. The Log Chute will become the spooky Fog Chute, and on Oct. 27-28, professional pumpkin carvers will be on hand. 

Happy Hauntings at Dutch Wonderland

Happy Hauntings at Dutch Wonderland

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

If you're looking for a mild, strictly family-friendly, Happy Hauntings at Dutch Wonderland might be the ticket. This weekends-only event promises a safe, non-scary environment for kids and, in addition to Halloween revamps of rides and attractions, a bubble-filled dance, a trick-or-treasure trail, and a spooky story time. 

Kings Dominion Doswell, Virginia
Leilani M./Yelp

Halloween Haunt at Kings Dominion

Doswell, Virginia

This theme park has Halloween Haunt on weekend nights through early Halloween, which includes five haunted mazes, including Blood on the Bayou, four terrifying scare zones, and four bloody or bewitching musical shows like "Black Widow Burlesque" or "Blood Reign." Those with children will want to head out by 7 p.m., as the park recommends that Halloween Haunt may be too intense for kids. 

Kennywood West Mifflin, Pennsylvania

Phantom Fright Nights at Kennywood

West Mifflin, Pennsylvania

This Pittsburgh-area theme park boasts the Phantom's Revenge roller coaster and, lore has it, at Halloween, the ride's "forces" grow stronger, taking over the entire park. This translates to six haunts including Shady Grove Memorial Hospital, which features an evil doctor running wild — don't become one of his victims. There's also a "Voodoo Bayou" haunt with swamp creatures and priestesses, and a new "mAlice in Wonderland" haunted maze.

Carowinds Charlotte, North Carolina

SCarowinds at Carowinds

Charlotte, North Carolina

All it takes is an extra "S" — and more than 500 "ghastly monsters" — to transform Carowinds for Halloween. The mazes include the "Depth of Darkness" and "Slaughter House: The Final Cut" built around a butchering theme complete with carcasses and chilling sound effects. The Paranormal Inc. scare zone takes thrill seekers through an abandoned hospital with a horrid past, where doctors and nurses were guilty of much worse than malpractice. 

Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce
Chris R./Yelp

Phantom Fall Fest at Lake Compounce

Bristol, Connecticut

This park is the oldest amusement park still operating, and it doesn't shut down for Halloween. If clowns freak you out, the new "Sinister Circus" offers a twisted take on a trip to the carnival. Visitors will get distinct "Walking Dead" vibes at the new "Deadsville" scare zone, where Main Street has fallen prey to a zombie virus.