Halloween Haunts at So Cal Theme Parks

PUMPKIN PATCH DISPLAY AT DISNEY’S GRAND CALIFORNIAN HOTEL & SPA (ANAHEIM, Calif.) – At Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, guests will feast their eyes on a pumpkin patch built out of cereal treats, 200 pounds of icing, 100 pounds of chocolate and 300 pounds of fondant. This delicious display sits 15 feet tall and 12 feet wide inside the lobby of the hotel, and the Oogie Boogie pumpkin is over four feet tall. Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort runs from Sept. 7 through Oct. 31, 2018. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

It’s the season of things that go “bump in the night” and this year’s offerings of Halloween “thrills and chills” far exceeds anything seen in the dead of the Southern California night to date.

The theme parks have upped the ante, and are offering new and original thrills to park guests who visit this October.


Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest

26101 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia, 91355.

Friday, Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 28

Six Flags Magic Mountain has unleashed the “no safe zone” Fright Fest for 2018. The 26th annual Fright Fest will offer new haunted attractions including two new scare zones, three new mazes and a truly terrifying recreation of scenes from the upcoming horror movie release “Hell Fest.”

A total of 13 mazes and dare-to-enter scare zones with monster coasters experienced “in the dark,” as well as the usual cast of zombies, ghouls and demons should find guests almost literally “jumping out of their skins.”

“Six Flags Magic Mountain is the top-rated theme park Halloween event in the entire country, and this is our biggest and scariest Fright Fest ever. We’ve added new mazes, more iconic characters and unmatched attention to every scary detail,” said Park President Neal Thurman.

The new “Hell Fest” maze will depict scenes from the movie including:

The Mausoleum, an increasingly narrow corridor that forces guests to feel the touch of death;

The Mask Room, a haunting room filled with floating white faces that could spring to life when visitors least expect it;

The Doll Room, filled with dolls straight out of the worst nightmares; and

The Torture Chamber, where the bodies of the disassembled, dissected and disemboweled wish to share their horrific ending.

Room by room, guests must find their way out, or risk being trapped by “The Other,” the movie’s deranged antagonist.

New this year four haunted attractions incorporate state-of-the-art makeup, props, and special effects:

Condemned – Forever Damned, is a new maze full of horrific haunts of a dilapidated home where the walls are alive and the spirits of those who once lived there unleash their fury on anyone who dares enter;

A new maze, Sewer of Souls, takes guests into an underground world of lost souls and terrifying tunnels where evil oozes.

The Shadows is a new scare zone offering eerie whispers, long windy howls and mysterious gory creatures who lurk in total darkness.

The new scare zone, Witches Lair, transforms the City of Metropolis into a haven for wicked spells and black magic.

The region’s largest outdoor maze ever built, Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising covers more than 40,000 square feet is a post-apocalyptic city inhabited by nomad warriors who rule with bone-crushing iron fists and where the dead stalk the living. Larger-than-life props, fire, fog and other special effects make this a truly terrifying maze.

Other mazes include:

Red’s Revenge where in this fairytale guests and the wolf are hunted by Red and her demonic minions.

Willoughby’s Resurrected, a reincarnation of the Willoughby family’s haunted mansion including long harrowing hallways where evil lurks.

Four additional scare zones around the park include:

Demon’s Door inhabited by evil spirits; steam-spewing mechanical beasts relentlessly hunt down their victims in TERRORtory Twisted; Nightmares – A Twisted Fantasy will make your childhood favorite bedtime stories into nightmares and Freak out on Exile Hill where sinister souls appear without warning.

Spooktacular shows include the hypnotists and the popular VooDoo Nights.

Guests can face their fears in the dark when the lights go out on several coasters, including Twisted Colossus, Full Throttle, Tatsu, Viper, X2, Scream, Goliath and The New Revolution, among others.

For the little monsters, a Trick or Treat Trail and Halloween Crafts are offered during daylight hours.

Be aware, after 7 p.m. there are no more “safe zones” in the park this year. Bugs Bunny World will go dark.

Fright Fest is now open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 28. Fridays and Saturdays the park is open 10:30 a.m.-1 a.m. and Sundays the park will be open 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m.

Tickets for Fright Fest start at $53.99. One-day admission for all day and Fright Fest at night. Some haunted attractions require the purchase of a separate Maze Pass.

Haunted Maze Pass is $18 and offers unlimited trips through all haunted mazes on a single visit to the park. The Express Haunted Maze Pass at $33 will offer a reduced wait and unlimited trips through Haunted Mazes on a single visit.

Daily admission plus maze pass start at $82.99.

Buy tickets and maze passes together online at least one day before your trip and save.

For information on Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest visit www.sixflags.com/magicmountain


Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood

100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, 91608

“Halloween Horror Nights,” Oct. 4-7, 11-14, 18-21, 25-28, 31 and Nov. 1-3.

Universal Studios Hollywood, the movie studio that invented the horror genre, invites guests to discover the dark secrets lurking in the Upside Down of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” as well as other spine-chilling mazes:

“Stranger Things” – Netflix’s critically-acclaimed series comes to life for the first time in an all-new maze featuring the Upside Down and the predatory Demogorgon.

“Poltergeist” – Inspired by MGM’s iconic supernatural horror film characterized as one of the scariest movies of all time.

“Universal Monsters” – A contemporary twist on Universal’s original cinematic Monsters featuring an original score produced and composed by Grammy Award-winning musician, SLASH.

“Trick ‘R Treat” — Based on the Legendary Pictures’ cult Halloween classic movie directed by Michael Dougherty.

“The First Purge” — Inspired by Universal Pictures’ blockbuster thriller franchise, where all crime is legal for 12 hours.

“Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers” — The iconic slasher is back in an all-new maze based on the classic Halloween franchise.

“The Horrors of Blumhouse: Chapter Two” — A killer maze that unites two hit movies produced by Jason Blum – Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare and Unfriended.

“The Walking Dead” — Universal Studios Hollywood’s permanent attraction inspired by AMC’s record-breaking television series

“Terror Tram: Hollywood Harry’s Dreadtime Storiez” – The notorious serial killer clown that terrorized Universal’s famed backlot returns as the host of this year’s Terror Tram.

Jabbawockeez —The award-winning hip hop dance crew returns.

If all that “scaring” gives you an appetite specialized “Halloween Horror Nights” food has been crafted by the park’s executive chef and culinary teams.  

Guests can feast on “Stranger Things” food including:

Benny’s Burgers: This classic burger, aptly named after the show’s family-owned diner, features a juicy beef burger served on a potato roll.

The Upside-Down Burger: served “upside down,” this signature burger features spicy queso served on a potato roll with lettuce, tomatoes.

Benny’s Chicken & Waffle Sandwich: Drizzled with sage-maple aioli and topped with sweet and sour onions, lettuce and tomatoes, this grilled chicken sandwich is served on waffles.

Demogorgon’s Totcho: A twist on the classic nacho, this snack piles up tater tots, doused in spicy queso, chili, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, sour cream and scallions.

Eleven’s Waffle Extravaganza: Inspired by the lead protagonist’s favorite food, this tasty treat mixes Reese’s Pieces, jelly beans, chocolate chips and whipped cream stacked high on three waffles.

Additional treats will be served throughout the theme park, including Mini Meatball Subs, Loaded Mac ‘n’ Cheese and Stir Fry Noodles, as well as Voodoo Doughnuts.

Single night tickets begin at $69 with special day/night passes (after 2 p.m.) starting at $99. RIP experience tickets begin at $299. Frequent Fear passes run from $109 to $399.

For information and tickets visit Hollywood.HalloweenHorrorNights.com.



1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, 92802

Now through Oct. 31.

It is still the “Happiest Place on Earth,” even during “Halloween Time.”

The biggest draw is the Haunted Mansion Holiday ride after dark where the mansion has been transformed into Jack Skellington’s “Nightmare Before Christmas.”

“Each year for the past 17 years, we’ve created a new gingerbread house for Haunted Mansion Holiday. This year, we wanted a monster-movie vibe, so we designed a giant five-foot spider with eerie glowing eyes and moving legs and mandibles. This multicolor spider is suspended above the Haunted Mansion’s Grand Hall table and it’s trying to pry the edible mansion from its foundation. That reveals the candy cane rebar and sparking lights. Chaos erupts as gingerbread zombies watch in astonishment and cocoon-wrapped gingerbread zombies wait to become spider snacks,” said Tim Wollweber, Associate Art Director, Disney Parks.

Expect to stand in line if you want to a photo at the icon “Mickey” pumpkin sculpture at the beginning to Main Street U.S.A.

Don’t forget to try a pumpkin churro, as they are offered only for a limited time.

Tickets for the Mickey’s Halloween Party, the annual after-hours Halloween party for kids at Disneyland are $130 each for peak demand days.

Tickets to Disneyland are priced $97-$135 depending on the day you visit.

For park information visit https://disneyland.disney.go.com/destinations/disneyland

For tickets visit https://disneyland.disney.go.com/tickets


Disney California Adventure

1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, 92802

Now through Oct. 31.

The big news at Disney California Adventure is that this year the entire park is adorned with Halloween decorations and attractions.

The drop-tower ride, Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, has also been remade with an escaped-monsters theme just for Halloween Time at Disney Resort.

Now, exclusively for the Halloween season, the attraction transforms nightly into Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark.

Rocket finds his Guardians of the Galaxy pals trapped in the Fortress of The Collector and guests assist with a daring escape plan. The Monsters After Dark transformation picks up moments afterward, as Rocket discovers that in the hurry to free his friends, they have inadvertently left Groot behind. Now Rocket needs to distract all the monsters he has unleashed inside the Fortress, and he enlists the guests to help while he rescues his little friend.

Joe Rohde, creative executive for Walt Disney Imagineering, called it “creepy, chaotic and very funny.”

In keeping with the dark humor of the experience, an all-new 1970s-style punk rock song, “Monsters After Dark,” enhances the thrill of the experience. The song was written especially for this attraction by Tyler Bates, composer for the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films.

In Cars Land everyone will be celebrating “Haul-O-Ween” and the Radiator Springs ride is now Radiator “Screams.”

Plaza de la Familia, inspired by the Disney Pixar film “Coco,” offers guests Mariachi performances, Mexican fare and a colorful craft area where alebrije masks of the characters Pepita and Dante can be made in between visits to the Tree of Life and ‘The World of Coco’ exhibit. As a special tribute to the tradition of Día de los Muertos guests can share special memories of their loved ones on the Memory Wall.

Tickets to Disney’s California Adventure are priced $97-$135 depending on the day you visit. The Park Hopper ticket which allows entry to both Disneyland and California Adventure is $167.

For information visit https://disneyland.disney.go.com/destinations/disney-california-adventure.


Knott’s Scary Farm

8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, 90620

Oct. 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 31.

Knott’s Scary Farm is the largest Halloween experience in Southern California. This year Knott’s Berry Farm has expanded its scare zones, the areas where guests are chased and menaced by costumed actors, to include all areas of the 160-acre park. Every inch of the park is “Halloween ready,” with more than 1,000 “creatures” ready to jump out at guests from every corner.

The fully transformed theme park features haunted mazes and attractions, sinister shows and more than 1,000 horrifying creatures lurking in the fog and hiding in every corner of the park. Not recommended for children under 13.

A single-night ticket to Knott’s Berry Farm’s Halloween festivities is $82, but if you buy your tickets online you can save $40 and pay only $42.

For information and tickets visit www.knotts.com/play/scary-farm.

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