Halloween: Something that you love, or something that you hate

The Cedar Fair thread below made me want to ask this question, is Halloween Events at the parks something that you enjoy or something that you hate.

I personally love these events, and view them as the "Grand Finale" of the coaster season as the seasonal parks will all close at the end of these events. Even though they bring heavy crowds, I really enjoy going through the haunted houses/scare zones on the midway, the halloween shows, the theatrical fog throughout the park and extended night time hours (both due to later closing and earlier sunsets) make for some great riding time. Ive planned trips to specifically be at parks for Halloween and Ive had a bucket list of parks that will actually be completed this fall (That list was Universal Orlando, WDW, Kennywood, Cedar Point, King's Island, BGT, BGW, Knott's and Disneyland.) I also really like the cooler weather these events take place in as well.

Due to this love, I spend more days at theme parks in Sept/Oct then I do July/August (as most of my "summer" trips occur in May/June before the crowds and summer heat descend.)

If you avoid these events is it strictly due to the crowds or are there other factors at play? Even at the most crowded events, I find Friday night/Sunday to be light attendance at most seasonal parks and feel like I get my "moneys worth" of riding.

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

slithernoggin's avatar

I avoid them.

I enjoy Halloween, sure, but it's not the big event for me that is for many. The various haunts/scarezones etc at the parks don't interest me.

Crowds would be a significant reason for me. I don't do well with large crowds of people.

One of the reasons the majority of my coaster travels are based on ACE events is that I can go to the park and enjoy the event-specific activities. Once the park opens to the public, I can hang out and enjoy the park, then leave once the crowd gets to be too much. (It's an ASD thing: too many people, too close makes it difficult for me to manage all the input.)

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

I love Halloween events at parks for all the reasons you mentioned, but I typically only go on Friday as Saturday crowds are overbearing. I typically avoid going to amusement parks between June 15 and Aug 15. This leaves little time to visit outside the Halloween events. I also use it to get ideas for props for my own Halloween decorations at home.

As I now live a fair distance from parks that throw good Halloween events, I usually visit on Saturdays as well. I mitigate that by usually making it to the park for Friday Night and trying to do all the coasters/haunts with lines then and saving the shows/people eaters and scare zones for Saturday, but when the parks are so crowded that I cant even enjoy those events is when I pony up for a FOL pass for the haunts (Ive got all year to ride the coasters.)

Last edited by Touchdown,

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

ApolloAndy's avatar

I have zero interest in haunts and "Halloween stuff" in general. In fact, you couldn't pay me to go into a haunt. I mildly don't like being scared and I mildly don't like gore and I really don't like enclosed, dark spaces. However, I love the fall, I love riding coasters on a brisk evening, and I love bringing the kids to trick-or-treat at SFoT's kid zone. The crowds tend to be the tie breaker which mean we usually go at most once a year for Fright Fest. It's such a shame too, because of how fantastic some rides can be on late fall nights (Boulder Dash, Nitro, Phoenix and Twister) .

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

I don't care for haunts. Never mind why, I was damaged as a child, it's a long story.

Having said that, and perhaps oddly, I like to visit Halloween events and see what's what. My favorite is Cedar Point, and as I mentioned in the other thread, I like to go there because it's possible to get around the park, even at night when the Haunt is in full swing, and avoid scares. One of my favorite activities is to park myself near the exits of the haunted houses and watch people come (or run) out. One beautiful fall night I stopped on the trail near Thunder Canyon to watch the Screamsters do their thing as guests entered the scare zone and I had a blast. One of the guys who had roller skates on his knees would come over and rest between scares and we visited about his job, various people going by, etc. So that's the kind of thing I like- getting scared isn't my thing, but I love to see other people suffer.

I also discovered I like to scare people. Last year I went to Columbus' Short North High Ball, a huge annual Halloween street party, dressed as Twisty the clown from American Horror Story. If I do say so, the costume and makeup were awesome, like, cosplay worthy. I separated from my friends, stayed in character the whole time, never said a word, and spent the night scaring the s**t out of people. I had no idea how many people are deathly afraid of clowns, and Twisty is possibly the worst one ever. If I had my picture taken once I had it taken a thousand times, I wound up in the paper and all over the Facebooks. It was some of the most fun I've ever had.

But I digress. I guess I've figured out I love Halloween and a good scare, as long as I'm not the target. I stay away from Kings Island after 9 and Dead Acres/Haunted Hootchie is an absolute no go.
Damaged, I'm tellin ya.

slithernoggin's avatar

RCMAC said:

I also discovered I like to scare people.

Ha! My ex worked at Tokyo Disney for a year. On one of my visits we made our way to Tokyo Dome City, where we greatly enjoyed hanging out in TDC's walk through haunted house... hiding and scaring the young ladies following us through the attraction.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

LostKause's avatar

October has been a haunt building time over the last decade for my family's yearly Halloween party. Now that I've moved to PA, I'll have some time to enjoy myself this year. All I have planned is Pheonix Phall Phunfest, but if I find the time and money, I'm going to go to Kennywood's haunt and maybe a few nearby standalone haunts as well this year.

I did manage to get to Cedar Point a few years back on a Friday night while traveling through the area on other business. It was later in the month, and was terribly crowded. I went through almost every haunt at the park, and the next day I went to Lake Erie Fearfest at Ghostly Manor. By the end of the short trip I went through about a dozen haunted houses. My shoulders and neck hurt from all the tensing up, but I'd do it again without hesitation.

I kind of wished I went earlier in the season so I could have avoided some of the lines. Either that, or I wish I had an extra few hundred bucks to spend to pay the parks to let me cut to the front of the lines.

I visited Morey's Piers in NJ last summer, and the Ghost Ship was great. I highly recommend it if you like haunts. I think it is better than the seasonal haunts because it seems more substantial and better planned out. It is open during the park's entire operation season, and not just October.

It used to be that I had limits to visiting haunted attractions because of my other obligations with the Halloween party set up. It took weeks and weeks, and our haunts were really great, so even though it was only open for one night only, it was worth it to us. I am very relieved that I don't have to do it anymore though, because now I can enjoy other haunted attractions besides working in my own. Now I can go visit my family for the party and go through the haunt, and be surprised at what they come up with.

Tanks for reading my rant. :D

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and no matter what I end up doing for it, I always have fun. The amusement park haunts aren't really worth it for me to go to because with very few exceptions, they haven't scared me at all. Their theming is pretty darn decent, but I usually walk away with a "it had so much potential" kind of feeling. Rare exceptions to that were some of the skeleton key rooms at Dorney, but the organization for some of these rooms was so poorly planned that by the time I got to the room, I didn't care WHAT was going on in that room.

I will say that I have never done Uni's haunt, and I am so bummed that I could not take up a 'Buzzer's offer to go down to Orlando this year for the last weekend of HHN. If anyone could do a great event in a theme park, I'd imagine it would be Universal.

Non-theme park events seem to be the way to go though. I'm located near some great ones, and I'm pretty close to some ghost tours and ghost hunting programs, so I'm always excited for Halloween to roll around. This year is gonna be pretty lame, but at least I am going to PPP again. Definitely not scary, but still something I look forward to every year and have so much fun doing. Never had a bad one (knock on wood) yet.

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

Rick_UK's avatar

I head down to Scarefest at Alton Towers every year without fail, but I'd be inclined to say that I visit more for the lengthy hours ('til 9pm, rather than 5pm) but the mazes rarely get a look in for me. I like the Halloween thing, but I'd much rather do something much low key to celebrate than a park visit.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Tommytheduck's avatar

I too love the Halloween stuff at parks. We don't always wait in hour long lines for haunted houses, as most of them at parks can be kinda cheesy, but at many of the CF parks, there's an abundance of free scares to be had. CP has 2 midway walk-thrus and at least 3 more with no waits.

Being that CP is our home park, and that we too avoid going in July and August, it seems that we spend more time riding coasters in cool weather than we do in hot. To me, jeans and a hoodie are preferred attire at amusement parks. Like mentioned above, fall weather is simply the best time for rides. Add in the fact that PPP is typically single digits away from freezing temps, and well...

@Travis, I agree that Ghost Ship at MP is the best park haunted house I've seen as well, but I've not been fortunate enough to attend Universal or Knotts HW events yet.

Timber-Rider's avatar

I went to a Halloween event at Six Flags Great America, but, I did not go through any of the haunts, and really did not know where they were. There were enough costumed monsters hiding around corners in the park to be scary enough. I loved the blood themed pond in front of the Grand Carousel, and they had some kind of concert at the end of the night. It was fun, and lines for the rides were not bad at all.

I also went to Cedar Point during a haunt, but, none of the haunted attractions were open, and we didn't want to wait until dark to go to them. The park was very well decorated, and it looked like it would probably be fun. But, we just weren't up to it. I want to go to one eventually, but after hearing about the massive crowds from last year, probably not.

I'm curious. Do the parks ever use their trains for a haunted attraction? I think Cedar Point could build a very cool haunted attraction using their train system, and move hundreds of people through it very quickly. There is a train somewhere in michigan, where they use a train for a haunted house. The train is loaded with customers, and the monsters come down the aisle parade style to scare them.

I have also been a volunteer to scare people in a haunted house. It's fun to scare people. I was dressed up as Jason, and scared a guy so bad he fell on his dog. (It was an outdoor haunted trail.)

I didn't do it! I swear!!

Tommytheduck's avatar

I've always wondered why CP doesn't haunt their train. Of course, I've also wondered what the point behind all those skeletons on the regular train ride was.

Dorney has (or had, it's been many years) a haunted train that we rode on and it was fun.

Definitely something that more parks should do, as it can't really be that hard.

slithernoggin's avatar

Only been to HalloWeekends once, and that was to be with my parents one last time as a family at Cedar Point. (They're older now, of course, and getting around is difficult for both of them. It was wonderful to be in the park we'd been to so many times as a family in the 70s and 80s with them again.)

We didn't ride the train, but I assume Bonesville is lit up and going as usual? Maybe they figure, it's already got skeletons, that's good enough?

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

It's probably because CP&LERR is transportation, not just a scenic ride with one stop.

I enjoy Halloween but don't get as into it as much some people. We go to HalloWeekends at Cedar Point numerous times each season. I considered that when deciding to start my kids with passes. They wanted to go to a haunted house and when I checked the prices on stand alone houses in our area I was pretty shocked, it made the season pass that much bigger of a bargain. I go through the houses usually at least once per year although I skipped Hexed Sunday, sent my kids in and rode GateKeeper instead. I don't think I get the full effect of the haunts that others do. I see so many people totally scared out of their mind jumping back and screaming and I'm there chuckling and giggling when anyone jumps out at me. There was a spot in Slaughterhouse that almost freaked me out a bit but that was a claustraphobia thing. I grew up in a house that was genuinely haunted by the real thing so jumping out at me just doesn't cut it. I think I like the outdoor zones best but again I don't think I get the full effect because I'm just not scared. I do enjoy the decorations and characters. I think my favorite thing about HalloWeekends is that it extends the season out so much longer than it used to be.

LostKause's avatar

Everyone reacts to haunted attractions differently, Paisley. Maybe you get the full effect and just laugh instead of get scared.

The startles are effective with most people. Some people scream, some people laugh, and other reactions might be different than that even. I laugh when I get a startle because I have worked in so many haunts throughout my life. I wouldn't say it doesn't affect me. It does. I just don't get scared about it much.

Every once in a while a haunt will disturb me. Sometime when a scare is not a startle, it scares me slowly.

I think it's more of a game to me and then if they actually get me it's funny.

rollergator's avatar

LostKause said:

Phoenix Phall Phunfest

That's all that needs to be said.

rollergator's avatar

Since I reopened a "mostly dead" thread earlier, now I'll do a double post...

When I'm unable to ride rides (assuming I live past 100), I'll still be attending PPP, Lord willing. Because that where you go when the leaves are changing colors, to see your friends for the last - or only - time of the season, and because there's no "rush" to do things. I go and relax, chill with my friends, get my drink on (something I rarely do any more), *and* manage to catch some rides on the best rides around. I used to rush back and forth from Carousel to bumper cars to Phoenix to flyers because they're the best. Now, I walk slowly, grab a frozen sweet tea or some fresh roasted peanuts, maybe a Rib-B-Q, get a million meet-and-greets all day Saturday, and have the time of my life with the best friends anyone could ask for. Then I do it all again Sunday, albeit with a little more riding....and close out the season slamming my bumper car into anything within slamming distance.

And all this happens with the smell of the campfires and the Fall chill in the air...while FL is still sweltering.

If you see me at PPP, stop me and say hi....if you don't see me, you're probably doing the same thing I'm doing, only with your friends. And that's what PPP is phor...

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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