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Special Feature


The Hollow Scarecrow at Knott’s Scary Farm


Happy Halloween! S


easonal events provide a way for theme parks to boost their guest experience, encourage repeat visits and bring in additional revenue outside of the main summer season. The modern incarnation of Halloween, highlighting trick or treating, candy and costumes, has historically been an American holiday, but in recent years it has become more and more popular elsewhere across the globe. Park World spoke to a number of parks to get their take on the holiday, covering special edition attractions, themed live entertainment and more…


Knott’s Berry Farm, USA The California park, which transforms into ‘Knott’s Scary Farm’ each year, is the first, largest, and longest-running Halloween event to be held at a theme park, according to North American editor Paul Ruben. Originally a three-night affair in 1973, the annual, month-long event celebrates its 46th year in 2018. This year guests will come face-to-face with fear as they brave through the


park’s 14 haunted attractions, including two new mazes. The Depths is an abandoned port village where ancient creatures lurk inside pitch-black underground caves. In Dark Entities, guests are teleported to a lone space station where an extraterrestrial mutation is on the prowl for new hosts… In a new and unearthly scare zone, Forsaken Lake will unleash gothic


creatures wander their crypts preying on unsuspecting visitors to drag back to their watery graves. A new show features the twisted, improvised comedy antics of ‘Hacks’, in which, with the help of the audience and lots of ‘B’ movie clichés, they create a tongue in cheek comedy Halloween show on the spot.


Cedar Point


The Bird Cage Theatre, meanwhile, will once again become the home of comedy and magic, with award-winning Fox’s Masters of Illusion taking the stage to amaze and amuse. Returning favorites include Dark Ride: Castle of Chaos, where visitors journey


through an abandoned carnival ride where cruel carnie folk still linger in the shadows. Trick-or-Treat: Lights Out features state-of-the-art special effects, unexpected scares and other eerie surprises. The Shadow Lands maze invites valiant wanderers to fight off demon samurais whose souls are cursed to rot within the depths of purgatory. Mazes include the Pumpkin Eater; Special Ops: Infected; The Haunting of Hayden Hill: Paranormal Inc. and the Red Barn maze. Knott’s Scary Farm is far more than a collection of haunted attractions. Every night monsters spill out onto the streets and turn theme park midways into murderous scare zones. From the world famous Ghost Town Streets to the Boardwalk area filled with evil clowns, there’s nowhere to hide at Knott’s Scary Farm…


Cedar Point, USA The Ohio amusement park will debut two new indoor daytime ‘tweener’ attractions this Halloween: Zombie Jr. High School and The Mystery of Eerie Estate. Both of these attractions are haunted houses in the evening, but give younger guests the chance to go inside and not get scared and to complete a few fun tasks as they walk through. HAUNT, meanwhile, introduces a new fright zone called Trail of the Forsaken, and a new twist on existing haunted house ‘Hexed: Lights Out’, where guests will have to navigate through the Hexed haunted house with just a flashlight while the house is in total darkness. New activities, shows and dining options complete the offering. “One of our communications challenges is that many guests think the entire


park is a scary place, but it’s quite the opposite,” Tony Clark tells Park World. “We provide the overall layer of the Cedar Point experience with all the rides and attractions our guests enjoy, but we’ve added decorations, music and activities for the entire family. HalloWeekends is always a popular time of the year for us, and the popularity continues to grow every year. Fall is a favourite time of year for many people – sweaters, pumpkin spice EVERYTHING, cooler temps and Halloween all happen together.”


Europa-Park, Germany Germany's largest theme park takes Halloween very seriously, transforming into an unmissable spectacle featuring 180,000 pumpkins, 15,000 chrysanthemums, 6,000 corn plants and 3,000 straw bales, in addition to cobwebs, vampires and skeletons.


44 SEPTEMBER 2018


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