Best Theme Park Halloween Event (2015)


Every Halloween amusement parks across the US offer more than just rides as they transform into scary (and sometimes not-so-scary) masterpieces full of creepy characters and horrifying mazes. Over the past four weeks USA TODAY 10Best readers have been voting for their favorite amusement park for Halloween and the results are in!

  • Six Flags Magic Mountain's Fright Fest

    Six Flags Magic Mountain's Fright Fest
    Six Flags Magic Mountain

    Seventeen nights of horrifying mazes, roaming zombies and spooky shows await thrill seekers at this famed California theme park – threats so terrifying, in fact, you may just opt for the relative “calm” of riding the world-class roller coasters in the dark instead! Looney Tunes characters and holiday crafts delight wee ones by day, but all bets are off at night when cannibals, ghostly circus performers, man-eating plants and more darken every turn.
    Photo courtesy of Six Flags Magic Mountain

  • Six Flags Great Adventure's Fright Fest

    Six Flags Great Adventure's Fright Fest
    Six Flags Great Adventure

    Thrills by day, frights by night is the theme in New Jersey, where the scariest great adventures come after dark. While the sun’s up, family-friendly fun abounds with spooky magic shows, eerie animal antics, a trick-or-treat trail and more. But the fun turns dark when the clock strikes six and this thrill park becomes a chill park for those brave enough to stay. Devilish demons and a real-live carnival of horror are among the terrors on tap in 2015.
    Photo courtesy of Six Flags Great Adventure

  • Fright Dome

    Fright Dome
    Adventuredome at Circus Circus

    The glitz and glamour of legendary Las Vegas morphs into murder and mayhem inside the fearsome Fright Dome, consistently ranked among the top Halloween attractions in the nation. Each year, this unique, indoor fear festival transforms the Circus Circus Adventuredome into a horror-lover’s playground; multiple houses and scare zones, 25 rides and attractions and live shows that bleed entertainment.... Literally. Think you can survive the murderous clutches of the Insanitarium or the murderous animals of the Slaughterhouse? Only time will tell.
    Photo courtesy of Fright Dome

  • Kings Dominion Halloween Haunt

    Kings Dominion Halloween Haunt
    Kings Dominion

    A host of new haunts are on tap at this Virginia favorite, where dangers lurk in the eerie woods just off the Blue Ridge Parkway and the ghosts of criminally insane inmates are looking to satisfy their eternal bloodlust – though “Skareoke” at the Annex at Club Blood could prove the most frightening entertainment of all! Live shows, mazes and more are in store and each year the mayhem spreads like a Halloween virus. Kings Dominion’s fierce fans are most definitely infected.
    Photo courtesy of Kings Dominion

  • Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights

    Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights
    Universal Orlando Resort

    It’s been Amusement Today’s Best Halloween Event for seven years running. There’s got to be a reason. Celebrating 25 years in 2015, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights immerses gleeful guests in gore from end to end. Killer clowns, brain-starved zombies and violence-bent Purgers are among the characters you might meet as you navigate the streets– which transform each evening into a hellscape of bone-chilling screams. You’ll find little refuge in any of its nine horrifying houses.
    Photo courtesy of 2014 Universal Orlando Resort.

  • HalloWeekends

    Cedar Point

    Cedar Point rolls out the orange carpet for kids and grown-ups come Halloween time. When the sun goes down, its cheery exterior morphs into the stuff that haunts your dreams. On tap this year: chemical-created mutants, mortuary miscreants, eerie Egyptian ghouls and an all-new attraction that may bring you face to face with the proof that lycanthropes live among us. Bring the wee ones during the day for a family-friendly affair that’s trick-or-treat’tacular.
    Photo courtesy of Cedar Point

  • Hersheypark In The Dark

    Hersheypark In The Dark

    The treats are still sweet come nightfall at Hersheypark, but they do take on a Halloween theme that offers a fanciful bump-in-the-night for families. The park’s famed thrill rides become “roller ghosters” and a trick-or-treat trail offers extra interactive fun for the kids. Theming throughout adds holiday allure and a “Creatures of the Night” flashlight tour at neighboring Zoo America gives guests an educational extra to pair with all that candy.
    Photo courtesy of Hersheypark

  • Phantom Fright Nights

    Phantom Fright Nights
    Kennywood Park

    For 14 years running, Phantom Fright Nights has been luring Kennywood fans back for Halloween-themed thrills they can’t get any other time of year as their favorite attractions go Jekyll-Hyde, transforming into dark, fearsome alter egos well suited for the holiday. Raging Rapids, for example, is drained to become Voodoo Bayou, a devastatingly dangerous attraction for those brave enough to enter. Also on tap: BioFear, Mortem Manor, Villa of the Vampires and more. Don’t come alone.
    Photo courtesy of Kennywood

  • Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights

    Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights
    Universal Studios Hollywood

    Mixing the biggest names in horror entertainment with exciting original content is the Universal specialty. This year’s California event bring six haunted houses to life, including blockbuster brands like AMC’s The Walking Dead and the iconic, classic-slasher horror of Halloween’s Michael Myers. All-new offerings include the exceptional dance moves of America’s Best Dance Crew winners, Jabbawockeez, and for those less enthused about taking part in The Purge, the Terror Tram will provide safe haven…. Or will it?
    Photo courtesy of 2015 Universal Studios Hollywood

  • Howl-O-Scream Williamsburg

    Howl-O-Scream Williamsburg
    Busch Gardens Williamsburg

    While Busch Gardens sometimes shares scare content across parks – as it will this year with Unearthed, an all-new house from the fertile, freakish minds that brought “The Blair Witch Project” to the big screen – there’s more than enough to inspire serious horror fans to visit both. Williamsburg’s outdoor Terror-tories scare zones are fraught with fearsome frights. Fiery fiends, a graveyard of lost pirate souls, a trip through Jack the Ripper’s foggy London hunting ground and more await visitors in 2015.
    Photo courtesy of Busch Gardens Williamsburg

The top 10 winners in the category Best Theme Park Halloween Event are:

  1. Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest - Valencia, Calif. 
  2. Six Flags Great Adventure’s Fright Fest - Jackson, N.J.
  3. Fright Dome - Las Vegas 
  4. Kings Dominion Halloween Haunt - Doswell, Va. 
  5. Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights - Orlando
  6. HalloWeekends - Sandusky, Ohio  
  7. Hersheypark In The Dark - Hershey, Pa. 
  8. Phantom Fright Nights - Pittsburgh, Pa. 
  9. Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights - Orlando
  10. Howl-O-Scream Williamsburg - Williamsburg, Va. 

Other nominees included:Brick-or-Treat Halloween Party in Carlsbad, Calif.; Count's Halloween Spooktacular in Pennsylvania; Howl-O-Scream Tampa; Kings Island Halloween Haunt in Mason, Ohio; Knott's Scary Farm in Orange County, Calif. ; Mickey's Halloween Party in Orange County, Calif.; Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in Orlando; Nightfall in Old Tuscon, Ariz.; SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular Orlando; SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular San Diego and Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights in Los Angeles. 

10Best and USA TODAY extend their congratulations to all the winners. 


License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo



AlertThe Experts

Robert Niles

Robert Niles

Robert Niles

A.D. Thompson

A.D. Thompson

A.D. Thompson