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Top 5 Halloween Theme Park Parties for Families

by Erich Martin

Oct 16, 2018

Michel Bussieres | Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

Theme parks all over the country serve up spooky surprises for Halloween. While lots are great for seasonal fun, some are admittedly better at scaring than others. Here are our picks for the top five Halloween theme park events for the entire family.


Scarowinds (Carowinds)

No. 5 on our list is Scarowinds, the annual Halloween event at Carowinds, a family amusement park outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. The amusement park transforms around Halloween and brings a number of bone-chilling attractions for guests to experience.


Scarowinds features six scare-zones for the braver kids in the group, six horrifying mazes, several live shows and all of the normal rides fans of Carowinds love.  If you’re in the Carolinas for the scary season, this is a great park to bring the kids to.


Halloweekends (Cedar Point)

Cedar Point, located in Sandusky, Ohio, gets a spot on this list for the versatility of its Halloweekends festivities.


During the day on Saturdays and Sundays until Halloween, the Great Pumpkinfest is the perfect place for families to enjoy the less-scary fall activities. Kids can trick or treat with the Peanuts crew, view the Great Pumpkin Parade and much more. Once the sun goes down, things get spooky at the well-known amusement park. A number of scare-zones, haunts and mazes are available for fans of the fearsome.


Fright Fest (Six Flags Theme Parks)

More for the teenagers in your group, Fright Fest is deemed too intense for many kids younger than 13 years old.


The festivities take place on select dates at all six of the Six Flags parks in the United States, from Great Adventure in New Jersey to Magic Mountain in California.


Fright Fest features new attractions in 2018, including new efforts to play on guests’ fears, a macabre mirror maze, a new maze and a new show. If you are really looking to scare your teens and adult kids, this could be the Halloween outing for you.


Halloween Horror Nights (Universal Studios Orlando)

Families who love movies and television shows have no better destination for Halloween than Universal Studios Orlando. The Halloween Horror Nights attractions include haunted houses based on various films and television series. This year, the esteemed park has haunted houses based on Netflix’s Stranger Things, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Poltergeist and Halloween favorite, Trick ‘r Treat.


These might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but families who have watched these classics together will definitely get a kick out of the haunted houses.


Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (Walt Disney World)

While this entry on the list is definitely not the scariest, it probably is the one with the most callbacks to your own childhood.


The party runs nightly in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Aug. 17—Oct. 31. Some rides get changes for the occasion, including a new story on Pirates of the Caribbean, new music on Space Mountain and new lighting effects on the Mad Tea Party. Guests can meet characters dressed up in Halloween costumes, trick or treat throughout the park, watch a special parade and watch characters from Hocus Pocus put on a show.


Just make sure you ride the Haunted Mansion for some topical entertainment.


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