Internet Travel Monitor - Industry News

October 3, 2018

Can You Handle a Haunted Theme Park? Frightening Thrills From Mild to Murderous
Now that it's October, many amusement parks have traded their bright colors and balloons for darkness and gloom. Anticipation for Halloween means many venues transform their once family-friendly spots to playgrounds of horror with ghoulish performers, spooky mazes and extended park hours.

Can you handle the haunted versions of U.S. theme parks? Here's a test: See if you agree with any of the following:

You're OK with the Demogorgon screaming at you

Get ready to face demonic creatures at the "Stranger Things" maze at Universal Studios Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights. The annual spooky event also has mazes this year inspired by "Poltergeist" and "Universal Monsters" (think Dracula). Expect skilled scare actors decked in elaborate head-to-toe costumes, and even holding up (fake) chainsaws alarmingly close to your face. For a break from screaming, watch the Jabbawockeez dancers perform.

Tickets available for select dates through Nov. 3.; Universal Studios Orlando also has Horror Nights.

You can deal with people camouflaging into the walls

Almost nothing can give you an adrenaline rush quite like the roller coasters at Six Flags Magic Mountain's Fright Fest, but some of the half-dead looking actors in the "Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising" maze and humans hidden in plain sight at the 3-D "Sewer of Souls" might creep you out. New movie "Hell Fest" is also among the new haunted attractions that include a zombie DJ and neon-colored stilt walkers.

Tickets available for select dates through Oct. 28.; events vary for the other Six Flags locations.

You're down for an R-rated experience

The park recommends that only those 17 and over experience the cannibalistic "Simon Slaughterhouse" maze at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay's Howl-O-Scream, but all ages are welcome to see patients jump out of bed in new maze "Insomnia." Another thrill: Monsters freely roam the park, even board coaster trains.

Tickets available for select dates through Oct. 28; events vary for other Busch Gardens locations.

You aren't terribly afraid of the dark

In the "Trick or Treat: Lights Out" maze at Knott's Scary Farm, you only get a faulty flashlight to help you through an eerie, blacked-out building. The park also has both the steepest roller coaster and biggest selection of haunted mazes and scare zones in California, a state that especially loves Halloween activities. Need to sit down? There are comedy and magic shows. Note: Beware of clowns. And Gothic water creatures.

Tickets available for select dates through Oct. 31.

And if all of that sounds like it will give you nightmares

You can still enjoy festive parks without getting the bejeezus scared out of you. Sea World parks has a a comical holiday show with sea lions and a celebration of Día de los Muertos for their Halloween Spooktacular. Disney parks have Mickey's Halloween Party featuring villains, parades and fireworks. Hersheypark in the dark offers, of course, trick-or-treating.

Copyright 2018 USA TODAY. All rights reserved. From https://www.usatoday.com. By Carly Mallenbaum.
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