Best Halloween venue and timing?

As always, I realize that this is subjective, but what do you guys feel is the best Halloween venue? My husband and I both love Halloween, and we were thinking about taking a short trip to USO in early October for their Halloween events. I really like this idea, but I am concerned about the high crowd levels (hubby hates crowds with the fire of a thousand suns). I have also heard that Disney throws a great Halloween event, and I haven't heard much about BGT or if they even do a Halloween thing. We're in PA and would like to go to Florida so I can visit my dad, but if you have other suggestions for a great event, I'm all ears as well. I am guessing that going earlier in October and going during the week is probably a time saver, but I definitely defer to your knowledge on this one because I can't seem to pick up on crowd dynamics like some of you. Finally, we don't have kids, so the attractions can be as scary (or not) as need be.


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

ApolloAndy's avatar

I don't like Halloween events and I haven't been to either, but consensus seems to be Universal's events (HHN, though I can't remember what that stands for) and Knott's Scary Farm are top tier.

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Can't say which is the best, only been to a few but I do know the first couple friday nights are best for shorter lines as high school football is still the in thing. Weather is also a big factor.

Disney has Mickey's not-so-scary something or another at Magic Kingdom and that's it. Its a separate ticket event in the evening and it's slamming with resort guests. Very busy.

Havent been the any of the Florida park's Halloween events, but as mentioned HHN @ UO is top tier acording to anyone who has went. It is also (as all Halloween events are) extremely crowded. Dont go Saturday, and go as early in the season as possible.

Disney does a different Halloween Event, Ive been to Disneyland's and its a blast, however there are no haunted houses. Instead everyone, including adults, is invited to dress up (I went as Dr. Mario) and they have trick or treat trails, a bunch of really rare characters out (I got pictures with Jack Sparrow, Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Dr. Facillier, Queen of Hearts, etc.) and dress up the lighting for halloween. The marquis events of the evening is the parade, which according to Disney fans is the best parade at the Magic Kingdom (floats include the Haunted Mansion, POTC, Villians float) and the firework show which uses perimeter launches. A lot of people go, and if you want to do the Halloween specific stuff (trick or treat, character meet and greets) prepare to wait in line, but if you want to ride, the lines for every ride but the Haunted Mansion will be very light.

I went to Busch Gardens Williamsburg Halloween event in 2005 and it was also very good, not as good as Knott's event I went to last year, but extremely well done and on par with the 2nd tier events around the country Ive been to (Cedar Point, Kings Island, Kennywood.) Im sure it will be mobbed too.

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

I actually consider Dorney's Haunt the best of the relatively few I've been to. Can't speak for anything in Florida, though.

The amusement park rises bold and are huddled on the beach in a mist

Dorney has progressed a lot in the past 10 years or so with their haunts. My friend and I had some genuine scares last year!

Thank you for all the tips. I am hoping Alice Cooper comes to USO again this year...if that happens, I will be able to convince my better half to go down there regardless of the crowds. That would be pretty awesome.

I'm wondering if it will be better to stay at one of the on site hotels or just stay at my friend's DVC place and buy Express passes...I'm not convinced that I want to stay at Portofino again. (Laugh)

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

rollergator's avatar

I've got to give Dorney a shout-out myself. Camp C-U-Die was really well done, CornStalkers (when properly staffed) has numerous good scares. The highlight though, was clearly the Haunted Hotel - that was pretty amazing.

Of course, living in FL, HHN and to a lesser extent Busch's Howl-O-Scream are both extremely well done. However, lines can be a real issue, so I suggest going as early as possible (both in the evening and in terms of the Halloween schedule).

Someday, I'll get to Knott's....the originators of the Halloween event.

One other I *must* mention - separately-gated, but with combo tix available....Lake Compounce's Haunted Graveyard.

Gator, the Dinosaurs of Dorney are on my (S***) list because they cost me C-U Die. It was epic.

The amusement park rises bold and are huddled on the beach in a mist

rollergator's avatar

Seriously? Bummer. Those dinosaurs should go back to whenever they came from!

Maybe I'm assuming too much, but since the Dinos are in that spot, it's probably a safe assumption to make.

i also love the Asylum indoor haunt down by Stinger (where Laser was.)

Last edited by Mike Gallagher,

The amusement park rises bold and are huddled on the beach in a mist

The dinos also took out the best haunt at Cedar Point. I see a trend here...

Anyway, I naturally have to recommend Halloweekends at CP, particularly if you can manage a Friday night trip since the crowds are usually light. I was personally pretty disappointed in HHN when I went in 2011. Their sets were the best I've ever seen, but for the most part, their actors were the worst I'd seen anywhere. For such a highly acclaimed event, the actual scares were really lacking in enthusiasm.

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