Halloween celebrations are really starting to ramp up as the holiday creeps up on us. You’re probably starting to think about which costume to put together for Oct. 31 and make plans to watch scary movies with your besties, you can also visit one of the best theme park Halloween events in 2021 to really immerse yourself in the spook-tacular festivities.
It’s not just Disney and Universal Studios which get into the Halloween spirit each year. Other theme parks across the U.S. have special events and ticketed celebrations that are worth checking out if you consider yourself to be a Halloween-lover. There are menus filled with Insta-worthy food, seriously good haunted houses that’ll make you feel like you’re in a horror movie, and adorable characters to really put a smile on your face. These 10 Halloween theme park events are definitely worth checking out, but the question is which park to visit first.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that you should delay any travel plans until you’re fully vaccinated, and if you are fully vaccinated, you should still adhere to each park’s COVID-19 regulations. Any mask mandates just give you a chance to don a really gourd face mask to match your Halloween aesthetic. Since you’re making up for last year’s scaled down celebrations, you and your ghoul friends are ready to go all out. Put together your witchiest OOTD, map out which menus you want to indulge in, and get ready to navigate the spookiest season ever at any of these Halloween theme park events.
1. Halloween Horror Nights
Both Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Orlando put on one of the best Halloween theme park events each year with Halloween Horror Nights. If you’re looking for scary good fun, their haunted houses never disappoint. They’re so good that they will really make you feel like you’ve stepped inside some of your favorite scary movies and TV shows.
For fans of Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House, both Hollywood and Orlando have a haunted house themed to the series filled with Easter eggs you need to see. There are also haunted houses for Beetlejuice, Halloween 4, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Exorcist. Foodies will want to check out the creepy good menu at the Orlando event, and those in Hollywood can enjoy the return of the Terror Tram inspired by the Purge films.
Halloween Horror Nights is happening on select nights now through Oct. 31 with general admission tickets ranging from $69-$99 depending on the night.
2. Hershey park In The Dark
Treat yourself to a sweet celebration at Hershey park in Pennsylvania. The Hershey park In The Dark event takes place during the last three weekends in October. Along with adorable Hershey characters dressed in Halloween costumes, guests can experience lights-out rides on rollercoasters like the all-new Candy monium and Laff Trakk, which is an indoor glow-coaster.
For foodies, there will also be Pumpkin King Size shakes and donuts as well as a Pumpkin Pie Funnel Cake Sundae available to eat. It is Hershey park, after all, so it wouldn’t be a proper Halloween celebration without something sweet. The Hershey park.
After Dark happens on Fridays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. with tickets at $55 each.
3. Halloween Time At Disney Parks
Both Walt Disney World in Orlando and Disneyland in Anaheim are already celebrating the Halloween season. While both of their special ticketed events — Disney After Hours Boo Bash and Oogie Boogie Bash — are sold out, there is still plenty of fun to have during regular park hours.
Stop on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland to snap a picture in front of the giant Mickey Mouse pumpkin with your #SquashGoals. You may also spot some Disney characters wearing adorable Halloween costumes along with all the pumpkin decor. The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland has also been transformed into the Haunted Mansion Holiday featuring your favorite Nightmare Before Christmas characters.
While both coasts have a super cute Halloween menu every foodie needs to check out, Walt Disney World has some seriously sweet treats like the Hocus Pocus cakes at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. You don’t even need a park ticket to snag these “peanut boo-tter” filled cakes made to look like the Sanderson sisters, which are available now through Nov. 1.
4. Knott’s Scary Farm
While Disneyland down the road tries to keep it pretty family-friendly with their festivities, Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA creeps it good with their Knott’s Scary Farm celebration each year. Not only do they have 15 haunted attractions that include terrifying mazes, scare zones, and Halloween-themed rides, but they also boast a full menu of delicious food including a candy corn trifle and petrified pizza burger.
If you love getting scared and eating well, you’ll definitely want to visit Knott’s Scary Farm, which is happening select dates through Oct. 31. Tickets are on sale for $50-$72 depending on the night.
Busch Gardens is also great at bringing the terror to their Halloween festivities. The Howl-O-Scream event, which takes place at various Busch Gardens parks and now SeaWorld, has haunted houses, scare zones, and spooky shows.
At SeaWorld’s event, you can experience some of your favorite attractions in the dark, like Mako and the Infinity Falls water ride, for even more thrills and chills. Both Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens and SeaWorld will also have terrifying bars for anyone 21 and up, like a Poison Grotto and outdoor Blood Bar with Jell-O syringe shots.
The Howl-O-Scream event takes place through Oct. 31 with tickets starting at $42.
6. LEGOLAND’s Brick or Treat
You can take your whole family to LEGOLAND’s Brick or Treat event, which is totally kid-friendly. This event that takes place at LEGOLAND in Florida, California, and New York is included in your daily admission, so you can have a full day of fun without having to shell out extra money for an additional ticketed event.
While Florida and New York’s Brick or Treat festivities take place on weekends throughout October, California’s event only takes place on Saturdays. However, each event does include Halloween LEGO characters you can meet, trick-or-treating, and a seasonal menu filled with delicious foods.
7. Hallo-Weekends At Cedar Point
Starting Sept. 17 through Oct. 31, Cedar Point in Ohio will be celebrating the season with their Hallo-Weekends on select days and nights. Cedar Point’s Hallo-Weekends are family-friendly during the day with a Tricks and Treats Fall Fest that includes a Tricks and Treats Food Tasting Tour for any foodies looking to try something delicious. This is perfect for anyone who isn’t into haunted houses, but loves Halloween.
However, at night, the park transforms into something more sinister with its Haunt at Hallo-Weekends event that includes scare mazes and haunted attractions. This nightmarish celebration takes place on select nights with tickets starting at $50.
8. Halloween Haunt at Kings Island
The Halloween Haunt at Kings Island in Ohio is very similar to Cedar Point’s Haunt at Hallo-Weekends. Along with some of the best rollercoasters in the country, you get to experience scare zones and mazes in the park on Fridays and Saturday from Sept. 24 to Oct. 30 starting at $40 each. You’ll get to enjoy all the happy haunts by day, and after 6 p.m., it’s time for the real fun (and scares) to begin.
9. Six Flags Fright Fest
With several parks located throughout the U.S., Six Flags Fright Fest may be your go-to for a Halloween theme park experience this year. While each park has its own haunted houses and scare zones, they’re all equally and frightfully fun. You can even purchase a Fright Pass (starting at $20) the day you visit to ensure you’re able to skip the line and visit every haunted house. Ticket prices vary depending on which park you’re visiting and the day you decide to go, but they tend to start at $30-$45.
10. Great Pumpkin Lumi-Nights
There’s no denying Dolly Parton is a queen. Not only is she a music legend, but she’s also a theme park owner as well with her own amusement park, Dollywood. Located in Tennessee, Dollywood puts on one of the cutest fall festivals this time of year. The Great Pumpkin Lumi-Nights is a nighttime event that features thousands of jack-o-lantern displays located throughout the park. It’s definitely something you’ll want to see for yourself. In fact, you’ll have a gourd time with your besties and have pumpkin to talk about all month long (in addition to plenty of great photos from the event).
The Great Pumpkin Lumi-Nights takes place Sept. 24 through Oct. 30 as part of the Harvest Festival. Tickets for a full day admission are $84.