Halloween 2018: Your guide to getting your scare on at SoCal theme parks
Forty-six years ago, Knott’s Berry Farm became the first theme park in America to introduce a Halloween attraction with Knott’s Scary Farm. Now it seems like everyone’s in on the scare.
This month, several Southern California theme parks are rolling out their own signature spooky events that range from mazes to scare zones to zombie dance parties. Here’s the rundown:
Knott’s Scary Farm
What started out in 1973 as a three-night event has mushroomed into a monthlong, parkwide mega-event with 14 haunted attractions and more than 1,000 costumed performers. New this year: The Depths, a portside cavern where a mining crew has gone missing; Dark Entities, a sci-fi scare set on a remote outpost in the depths of Outer Space; and Forsaken Lake, a walk-through scare zone beneath the Silver Bullet roller-coaster. There are also two new live shows: “Hacks: Cutting Room Floor,” a comedy B-movie horror film fest in the Charles M. Schulz Theatre; and “Conjure: Magic and Mirth” in the Bird Cage Theatre. A new “Awaken the Dead” dance party takes over Fiesta Village. Returning attractions include Dark Ride, Lights Out trick or treat, Shadow Lands and many more mazes and scare zones. $82 per night or $95 for a season pass. Discounts available online. $22, parking. 7 to 11 p.m. Sept. 20-22, 27-30; Oct. 4-7, 11-14, 18-21, 24-28 and 31. 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park. knottsscaryfarm.com
Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort
Disney’s considerably less scary Halloween haunt kicked off Sept. 7 with themed events through Halloween at both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. Throughout the parks, there will be themed decorations and food items for sale and photo opps with Disney villains. At Disneyland, the Haunted Mansion takes on its “Nightmare Before Christmas” theme and Space Mountain becomes “Ghost Galaxy.” Disneyland also hosts Mickey’s Halloween Party, a separate-ticket after-hours event for families on select nights offering trick-or-treating stations, the Frightfully Fun Parade, Halloween Screams fireworks show and more. At Disney California Adventure, guests can meet Vampirina, star of “Vampirina” on Disney Channel and Disney Junior. Cars Land rides and attractions will take on a Halloween theme, and the Guardians of the Galaxy ride re-themes as “Monsters After Dark,” with new lighting effects. Halloween Time runs daily, Sept. 7 through Oct. 31 at both parks and events are free with paid admission. Mickey’s Halloween Party runs 15 weeknights in September and October. Many dates are already sold out. Tickets were still available at press time for Sept. 19 and 24; Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 29 and 31. Party tickets range from $105 to $130. 1313 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim. disneyland.disney.go.com
SeaWorld Halloween Spooktacular
On weekends from Sept. 22 to Oct. 28, SeaWorld San Diego hosts a Halloween-themed fall festival. Sea lions Clyde & Seymour will present their “Big Halloween Bash” live show. There’s also a new Sesame Street Halloween Parade; Halloween-themed dance parties; a Dia de los Muertos display; and new spooky sounds and lighting on the Manta roller coaster. From noon to 6 p.m.on those weekend days, children can arrive in costume for trick-or-treating at stations throughout the park. Events are free with paid park admission. 500 Sea World Drive, San Diego. seaworld.com/san-diego/
San Diego Zoo’s HalGLOWeen
San Diego Zoo will host its annual Halloween-themed seasonal activities during park hours Oct. 26, 27 and 28. Activities include costumed entertainers, a spooky Dr. Zoolittle animal show, acrobats and a DJ Bubble Dance Party with dance music and bubbles in a black-light environment. Park hours that weekend are expanded to 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Children 11 and under get in free in October. Children under 15 must be accompanied by paid adult. 2920 Zoo Drive, Balboa Park. sandiegozoo.org
Brick or Treat Party Nights at Legoland California
On Saturday evenings from Sept. 29 through Oct. 27, the Carlsbad theme park and its sister Sea Life Aquarium are offering ticketed after-hours events for families. More than 1 million pieces of candy will be given out at trick-or-treat stations throughout the park. There will also be live entertainment; new themed shows; character meet and greets; costume contests; the AstroBash dance party; a fall festival with crafts and a communal build of a Lego pumpkin patch. Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 29 and Oct. 6, 13, 20 and 27. $54 for ages 3 and up. legoland.com/california/
Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights
Universal Studios Hollywood hosts its Halloween attraction on select nights Sept. 14 through Nov. 3. The main attraction: eight horror film- and TV-themed mazes themed to Universal Studios classic monster movies, Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” “The Walking Dead,” “Poltergeist” “Halloween” and more. There are also five scare zones and a “Terror Tram” ride. The attraction opens at 7 p.m. Sept. 14-16, 20-22, 26-30; Oct. 4-7, 11-14, 18-21, 25-28 and 31; Nov. 1-4. $60-$97. 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City. hollywood.halloweenhorrornights.com
Six Flags Fright Fest
Six Flags Magic Mountain introduces five new features for its annual late-hours Fright Fest, which runs select nights Sept. 15 through Oct. 28. New this year: Sewer of Souls and Hellfest mazes, walk-through Witches Lair, spooky Open House and The Shadows dark attraction. Fright Fest features six mazes, seven scare zones, two live shows and eight rides operating with the lights turned off. Opens at 10:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays and select Fridays, Sept. 15-Oct. 28. Single tickets start at $69. Season passes start at $81. 26101 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia. sixflags.com/magicmountain
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