The two major amusement parks in Ohio, Kings Island and Cedar Point, are offering spook-tacular events this Halloweeen season!
From trick-or-treat to monster-ous parades, both parks have a little something for everyone, rides included.
• Cedar Point
The witches are preparing their brew. More than 50,000 pumpkins and cornstalks are placed. Fog is creeping across the midway. That means it’s time for Cedar Point’s 19th HalloWeekends, the Midwest’s biggest and baddest combination of fall family fun by day, and thrills, chills and shrills by night. In 2015, HalloWeekends takes on two distinct personas.
The Great Pumpkin Fest, every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., features attractions, crafts, activities and shows geared just for little spooksters and their families hosted by the ever-lovable Peanuts pals.
Kids can enjoy Peanuts-themed attractions, like Franklin’s Tractor Trek, a hay bale course where they can use their pedal power to race each other on miniature tractors; Linus’ Mummy Pit, a foam pit that’s just like a bubble bath but without the water; Trick-or-Treat with the Peanuts every day, where kids can meander through Planet Spooky for sweet treats; and The Magical House on Boo Hill, a not-so-haunted house with fun surprises around every corner.
The Great Pumpkin Fest is highlighted by the Monster Midway Invasion Celebration Parade, a Halloween spectacle with friendly monsters, larger-than-life floats, characters of all shapes and sizes, fun music and of course, Snoopy and his Peanuts pals. The Monster Midway Invasion Celebration Parade steps off on the Main Midway and Wicked Twister Midway Saturdays and Sundays at 5 p.m., weather permitting.
Plus, there’s Count Snooptacula’s Kids’ Costume Contest, spectacular live shows, Charlie Brown’s crafts and pumpkin-inspired landscapes throughout the park that make for the best family getaway during the season of sweater weather.
But when the sun goes down, evil rises at HAUNT, Friday and Saturday nights. Monsters and the undead take to the midways to bring guests a truly terrifying trip into the darkness. New at HAUNT, guests are “dead meat” inside the Slaughter House indoor maze. It’s a demented trip to the butcher shop where visitors become the fresh cut of the day. Slaughter House is located on the Frontier Trail. In total, HAUNT is home to six indoor haunted houses, including Hexed, Zombie High School, G.A. Boeckling’s Eerie Estate, Eternity Infirmary, Eden Musee and the new Slaughter House.
HAUNT’s six outdoor fright zones are just as intense. New this year, Fear-y Tales welcomes guests into a disturbing, twisted storybook where demented fairy tale characters are determined to make sure happily ever after doesn’t happen! Fear-y Tales is located near the Gemini Midway. Returning to the haunted walk-through lineup are Blood on the Bayou, CornStalkers, Cut Throat Cove, Maniacal Mechanical Screamworks and Tombstone Terror-tory. All outdoor fright zones are clearly marked, but guests who don’t wish to be scared can purchase a “No Boo” necklace, guaranteed to keep the monsters away.
HalloWeekends has great experiences for everyone, though, including the new HalloWeekends Pumpkin Blaze, located along the Top Thrill Dragster Midway. It’s a massive display of more than 1,000 pumpkins, all hand-carved and most lit from the inside. By day, it’s truly a sight to behold. By night, it takes on a completely mesmerizing look and feel.
The screaming doesn’t stop at the haunted houses — all of Cedar Point’s 71 rides and attractions add to the excitement.
HalloWeekends welcomes guests every Friday night from 6 p.m. to midnight, Saturdays from 11 a.m. to midnight and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Nov. 1.
For more information on HalloWeekends, visit halloweekends.com.
• Kings Island
Experience evil incarnate for yourself, with haunted mazes and vile creatures, at one of the largest, most terrifying Halloween events in Ohio, Halloween Haunt at Kings Island.
Halloween Haunt will start Sept. 25 and run every Friday and Saturday night through Oct. 31.
A veritable playground of terror, Halloween Haunt features 11 haunted mazes, four outdoor scare zones, three live shows and more than 600 monsters lurking in the shadows along the midways, plus 20 rides including the Banshee, Beast and Diamondback roller coasters.
New this year is Blackout, an eerie dark indoor maze experience. Screams of pure panic will pierce the night as visitors become lost within the darkness and the level of fear is amplified as they become aware they are being followed by ghouls and whispered at.
Popular returning mazes include: Board to Death, CarnEvil, Cornstalkers, Delta Delta Die, Kill Mart, Madame Fatale’s Cavern of Terror, Slaughter House, Tombstone Terror-Tory, Urgent Scare and Wolf Pack.
“Blood Drums,” a percussive blood bath of rhythm and music, and “Hot Blooded,” a seductive after-life music revue, return for their fourth and sixth seasons, respectively. A new show, “Monster Rock” featuring the music of Journey, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith and more, rounds out the live entertainment lineup.
Halloween Haunt is a seven-hour experience from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., making it one of the longest and most intense horror nights in the country.
Tickets for Halloween Haunt are as low as $29.99 when purchased in advance online at visitkingsisland.com/haunt or the park’s mobile app, which iPhone and Android users can download for free.
Visitors looking to make the most of their night can add Fright Lane with Skeleton Key for as low as $40, which allows them to bypass waiting in line to experience each of the 11 haunted mazes. The Skeleton Key unlocks a secret extra room inside of five mazes: Delta Delta Die, Kill Mart, Madame Fatale’s Cavern of Terror, Slaughter House and Urgent Scare.
Parents, be advised. Halloween Haunt includes graphic scenes, suggestive themes and intense imagery and is intended for mature audiences; not recommended for children.
For more information about Halloween Haunt, log onto visitkingsisland.com/haunt.