Amusement parks offer more than enough thrills most of the year, but these places truly get wild during Halloween.
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.
Roller coasters aren’t the only thrilling attractions at Cedar Point during Halloween.
Halloween at Walt Disney World Resort — Florida
Trade spooks for smiles by taking the kids to Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida (380 kilometers north of Miami) for Halloween. Each year the celebration at Magic Kingdom Park looks a little different so be sure to check the Disney World website for the latest updates. Look for Halloween-themed events that typically take place on select dates from August through October, including a ghostly gathering offering music, themed food and beverage, decorations, attractions and oh-so-eerie entertainment.
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.
Bring friends to navigate through Busch Gardens’ haunted theme park.
Hersheypark In The Dark — Hershey, Pennsylvania
A holiday that celebrates candy warrants a visit to the chocolate-themed Hersheypark 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.
Love trick-or-treating? Visit Hersheypark to load up on your favorite sweets.
Knott’s Scary Farm — Buena Park, California
Each weekend in October, Knott’s Berry Farm transforms into Knott’s Scary Farm, an eerie carnival for brave Halloween fans in Buena Park, California (32 kilometers southeast of Los Angeles, California). Wander through designated scare zones with haunted mazes outfitted with fog machines, nooses, coffins and employees dressed as monsters, witches and creepy clowns. Younger kids can enjoy the more whimsical Knott’s Spooky Farm in Camp Snoopy, featuring costume and dance parties, parades and encounters with Snoopy and other “Peanuts” cartoon characters. Kids can trick-or-treat with complimentary bags through Ghost Town and explore the Spooky Hollow Maze that ends in a pumpkin-decorating area.
Escape haunted mazes filled with ghoulish characters at Knott’s Scary Farm or party with Snoopy and friends at Knott’s Spooky Farm.