Halloween at theme parks in the United States is a big deal. But which is the best for the spooky season? We have the answer.
While theme parks are spread far and wide across the US, Florida is home to, arguably, the most popular. On sheer scale alone, the Walt Disney World Resort is a behemoth of theme park entertainment, having been opened for the last 52 years following Walt Disney’s successful Disneyland opening in 1955.
Joining Walt Disney World in the Sunshine State is Universal Orlando Resort. Together, the pair make up six of the most visited theme parks worldwide, including Magic Kingdom Park and Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
At Halloween, both of these destinations light up with all things spooky. Walt Disney World hosts the annual Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party on select nights from August through November at Magic Kingdom, while Universal Studios Florida becomes home to the haunts and horrors of Halloween Horror Nights.
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And while some may think one of these two may be the best Halloween experience at a theme park, the highest-ranked park lies elsewhere.
Nestled in Sandusky, Ohio, the Cedar Point theme park is owned and operated by Cedar Fair. Thought to be the second-oldest running amusement park in the United States, having opened in 1870, Cedar Point is the flagship location for the corporation. Other locations include Carowinds in North Carolina, Worlds of Fun in Missouri, and Knott’s Berry Farm and California’s Great America in California.
The latter, which is found in Santa Clara, California, hit the headlines recently after featuring a Taylor Swift takeover in line with the musician’s record-breaking (and economy-saving) The Eras Tour, which played at the Levi’s Stadium in late July.
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Back in the Midwest, though, and Cedar Point is home to some of the most thrilling attractions around. From Magnum XL-200 to Millennium Force to the hypercoaster Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point is known for its roller coasters as well as its wide variety of other attractions, live shows, and entertainment.
Unlike other parks across the US, such as Universal resorts and Disney parks, Cedar Point is a seasonal park, opening partially through the year and then on weekends from Labor Day through Halloween; these are known as HalloWeekends.
And it is Cedar Point’s Halloween offering that has cemented it as the best in the US, killing off the competition, including Magic Kingdom Park, Universal Studios Florida, and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in the Sunshine State.
Per a ranking conducted by Jeffbet and sent to Inside the Magic via Journo Research, it is revealed that Cedar Point tops the list for US theme parks this Halloween.
Based on various factors like amenities, attractions, availability, price, crowding, theming, and popularity, the ranking reveals that the top 10 theme parks in the US this Halloween season are as follows:
- Cedar Point, Ohio
- Knott’s Berry Farm, California
- Disneyland Park, California
- Six Flags Magic Mountain, California
- King’s Island, Ohio
- Hersheypark, Pennsylvania
- Universal Studios Hollywood, California
- Six Flags Great Adventure, New Jersey
- Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Virginia
- Disney California Adventure, California
“The 364-acre amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, also scored the best for value for money, with the $46.99 entry fee and $25 parking well worth it when the whopping 72 attractions and time spent in the park (up to 13 hours each day over the spooky season) are accounted for,” the report reads.
“The park also performed particularly well for theming, as there are a staggering 19 Halloween-specific ‘nighttime frights’ planned over their ‘Halloweekend’ events, including mazes, outdoor scare zones, and ‘sinister’ live shows.”
The report also details how the data showed that Cedar Point was popular, with the second-highest annual search volume after Universal Studios Hollywood. And in terms of reviews, the park has a 4.6 out of five.
Rounding out the end of the list, and outside the top 10, are Six Flags Great America in Illinois, and Magic Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, all found in Florida.
It’s interesting to see some of the biggest names in US theme parks land at the bottom of the list, but when taking into consideration the elements that this ranking was based on (attendance, crowds, pricing, etc.), it’s easy to see why.
Both Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort face some of the biggest crowds in the world. In fact, Magic Kingdom is the most visited theme park on the planet. Then, when it comes to ticket costs, both have some of the biggest price tags in the theme park space and when adding on the separate cost of the hard-ticketed Halloween events, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Halloween Horror Nights, those prices can soar rather quickly.
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Cedar Point’s HalloWeekends runs through October 29 with a range of “daytime delights” and “nighttime frights.” As for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Halloween Horror Nights, the former has its last party on November 1, and the latter wraps up its scare-fest on November 4.
What do you think is the best Halloween at theme parks in the US? Would you put Cedar Point at the top? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!