Haunted Graveyard or SFNE Frightfest?

I'm a huge coaster enthusiast and have always been more inclined to go for the high speed thrills, but now I have quite a different trip to plan.

I'm supposed to plan for a bus trip for 30-40 college kids on Halloween weekend and I'm not sure which place to go.

I've heard positive, but limited feedback on Haunted Graveyard and would really like to hear more. Also, I've not encountered anyone that's gone to SFNE's FrightFest before, but have been to many others.

Any advice or input on either? How much time do you think a group could really spend at Haunted Graveyard? Is SFNE really that much better at Fright Fest? Thanks guys...

Haunted Graveyard is a unique beast among park Halloween events. I've experienced it numerous times (last Saturday being the most recent) and really love the event.

Unlike most parks that have a variety of haunted attractions, the graveyard is one big haunted attraction that takes about 45 minutes to experience. When you buy your ticket, you are given the option to pick your time (provided its still available) and in the style of Disney's FastPass, you are told to go to the graveyard within a certain period of time. You'll likely still wait in line but at least this system keeps things somewhat neat and tidy. You can only go through the graveyard once but the majority of the park is open from 5 to 11 so it's not like there's a shortage of things to do.

I've never been to SFNE's Halloween event but if it's like other Fright Fests, I'll take The Lake's event over that any day.

^I agree with Rob the LC event is so much better. SFNE has un upcharge for Midnight Mansion and Wicked Woods, and since SROS is closed for the rest of the season its another reason to got to LC. Here is some more info on Haunted Graveyard.


Boulder Dash is running one train but the crowds were extremely light. After talking to an employee, I learned that things get worse as Halloween nears, so the best advice is to go next weekend... or plan for the first weekend of the event next year.
matt.'s avatar
Compounce, no conest. Then again for me it's not contest any other time of year, too.
True, I'd take Compounce over SFNE all the time.

I think the "one huge haunted house" concept works very well. Not only does it feel like an adventure but it's also very well-done. I can't begin to imagine the work that goes into it each year.

matt.'s avatar
I believe much of it just stays up year round now but I could be wrong on that. The staffing coordination must be pretty impressive.

I've only done it once and there were a handful of really good moments. I think it partially depends on what kind of group you are in.

This year they seemed to be letting people in as small groups (7 to 10 people seemed to be the norm) but it didn't take long to catch up with the crowd. We had a drunk couple behind us that got freaked out about everything and that went from being humorous to downright annoying. That was after the mother behind us had to leave because she erroneously thought her little daughter could handle it. I'm all for people getting creeped out but some people take it to the extreme and that's not always fun for everyone else.
I've been to both and I also whole heartedly recommend Lake Compounce and the Haunted Graveyard over Fright Fest. The Haunted Graveyard was nothing short of spectacular, and there are other smaller Halloween shows and haunts within the theme park too besides the regular park which is decorated very nicely. They must spend a lot of time changing lightbulbs from white to colored in the dining areas and on the carousel just for the event, and even the antique carousel band organ plays Halloween music.
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
Plus it seems SROS may be down again for the rest of the year, so more reason to skip SFNE.

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

Mamoosh's avatar
Graveyard! Graveyard!
I haven't done LC, but have been satsified with Fright Fest in the past. This year felt emptier than usual due to the fewer number of things to see and do (the puppet show was cute and Dead Man's Party was fun to watch, both gone this year) and the two trails weren't that impressive compared to last year (when it was free), plus the scare zones seemed to be emptier than they should be.

Also, note that if you're a passholder, FrightFest is a pretty good deal since it's not an extra charge like a lot of other places, but you tend to have lower expectations because of that. SFNE's Fest has been significantly better done than GAdv's in recent years (although they spread their workers and theming too thinly, and having less would greatly improve what they have), but they both try to cater to a family-friendly event, which weakens them compared to haunts that are strictly designed for the older crowds, particularly the Universal Studios HHN event.

From the sounds of it, LC should be the better deal with the crowd you mention.

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