What better way to get in the Halloween spirit but with a stop at the amusement parks in the U.S. for some oh-so-spooky fun! Combining the exhilaration of nail-biting rides with costumed characters, candy for kids and a few spooks for adults, these theme parks highlight all the fun of this beloved holiday.
HalloWeekends at Cedar Point — Sandusky, Ohio
Boasting Halloween events as exciting as its sky-high roller coasters, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio (185 kilometers south of Detroit, Michigan), offers festive fun for all ages on weekends throughout October. During the day, Cedar Point’s Great Pumpkin Fest features character appearances from the classic “Peanuts” cartoon, a kid-friendly haunted house, mazes and trick-or-treating for mini candy bars around the park. After dark, Cedar Point transforms into The Haunt, a ghoulish event with dim lights, fog machines and scary costumed characters lurking around corners. Don’t miss the haunted corn maze, a meandering jaunt through the woods filled with witches and zombies.
Halloween time in Disneyland, California
Disneyland Resort turns into a Halloween wonderland throughout October. Halloween events—some scary, some not—include seasonal decorations at both theme parks, a ghoulish version of Disneyland Park’s Space Mountain and a nightmarish makeover at the Haunted Mansion. In Tomorrowland, freaky ghouls amp up the scream factor at Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. And of course, there’s the iconic Haunted Mansion, which is decked out as Halloween Town, hosted by Jack Skellington from Tim Burton’s classic film, A Nightmare Before Christmas.
Disney California Adventure Park gets its own Halloween makeover, too: Guardians of the Galaxy takes on a Monsters After Dark theme, while Cars Land’s ‘Haul-O-Ween’ zone features costumed characters and the morphing of Radiator Springs into Radiator Screams. For some seasonal music, visit Mater’s Junkyard, which is turned into Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree
Howl-O-Scream — Tampa, Florida
Head 137 kilometers southwest from Orlando to Tampa, Florida, for Busch Gardens’ annual adrenaline-packed Howl-O-Scream festival on weekends throughout October. Enter the amusement park’s Scare Zones if you dare to see a macabre wonderland filled with creepy characters, cobwebs and 21 themed haunted houses, ranging from zombie hunting to exploring a deserted motel. Try your best to face 13 superstitions to escape the Circus of Superstition 3-D haunted house. The spooky stuff takes place only in Scare Zones, so younger kids can still enjoy the rest of the park.
Hersheypark In The Dark — Hershey, Pennsylvania
A holiday that celebrates candy warrants a visit to the chocolate-themedHersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania, 153 kilometers northwest of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for its annual Hersheypark in the Dark event. Find an abundance of sweets and treats on October weekends at Hersheypark’s Trick-or-Treat Adventure, where kids come dressed in costumes with bags to fill up with candy from the Hershey’s Chocolate World attraction to Treatville. Expect to grab all of Hershey’s candy bar favorites, from Kisses to Mr. Goodbar.
Ghostwood Estate: West Mifflin, Pennsylvania
Don’t be fooled by the sight of this dilapidated house with green shingles, Ghostwood Estate is actually one of the newer rides at Kennywood Park in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, 469 kilometers west of Philadelphia. Animatronics monsters and ghoulish video projections make Ghostwood Estate the theme park’s creepiest attraction. Fear not: You can channel your inner Ghostbuster here. Armed with blasters, you can shoot at moving targets while cars guide you through the eight-room haunted house.