Halloween is my favorite time of the year! Every year, I like to take my kids to fun places and events to enjoy the spookiest fun of the season. Now that my youngest are in middle school, they're old enough to enjoy the scarier side of Halloween, namely all the haunted houses and mazes! This year we visited Halloween Haunt at California's Great America for the first time ever, and we had an amazing time.
We had no idea what to expect, because strangely enough, I couldn't find too many guides or articles about Halloween Haunt. So I decided to write my own guide, for families who think they might want to attend, but aren't sure because they don't know what to expect. Keep reading below for everything you need to know about the Halloween Haunt at Great America!
What is Haunted Halloween?Every year, zombies and skeletons and ghosts descend upon California's Great America, transforming the park into a monster wonderland on weekend nights in October. The park features special Halloween attractions, including haunted mazes, scare zones, and live shows.
Haunted MazesThis is what everyone comes to Halloween Haunt for! Great America has nine spooky themed mazes, all decorated down to the last horrifying detail, including strobe lights, black lights, fog, and creepy music to set the mood. As if that weren't enough, costumed actors are lurking through the maze at every corner, ready to jump out at you without warning and have you jump out of your skin!
The Haunted Mazes at Halloween Haunt for 2015 are:
- Insanitarium -- No one gets better at this medical facility.
- Dia De Los Muertos -- Black light illuminates the legends and mysteries of the Day of the Dead. Probably the least scary and the most visually appealing maze.
- ZombieHigh -- A high school reunion to die for.
- Wax Museum Chamber of Horrors -- A haunted wax museum where you can't tell which displays are wax and which ones are alive. Our favorite maze!
- Roadkill Road House -- Zombies with meat cleavers invade a barbecue restaurant, spattering guts and gore everywhere.
- CornStalkers -- Scarecrows live up to their name as you make your way through hay bales and corn stalks.
- MadameMarie’s Massacre Manor -- A haunted southern mansion filled with voodoo and ghosts.
- Mirror Mirror -- The classic fun house mirror maze is anything but fun.
- Toy Factory -- Creepy toys comes to life.
Scare ZonesIn additional to the Haunted Mazes, Halloween Haunt features three Scare Zones, which are outdoor areas that all visitors pass through as they make their way around the park. Each Scare Zone is decorated in a specific theme, and costumed actors roam the area
The Scare Zones at Halloween Haunt are:
- Killer Clown Town, featuring zombie clowns with hammers and chainsaws
- Lockdown, featuring zombies coming out of giant shipping containers
- Evacuate, featuring zombies crawling out of abandoned vehicles
Live ShowsLive, Halloween-themed performances happen throughout the park. We watched a group of amazing percussionists combing drumming, neon lights, and sparks into one entertaining show at Planet Snoopy.
Regular AttractionsMany of the park's regular attractions are open, so you get the thrill of riding your favorite rollercoasters like Flight Deck, Gold Striker, The Grizzly, and The Demon in the dark.
Dates and timesHalloween haunt is open at California's Great America on weekends in October:
Friday and Saturday nights through October 11: 7pm-midnight
Friday and Saturday nights, October 16-31: 7pm-1am
Sunday nights: 7pm-midnight (opens 7:30pm on October 4 and 18)
Note: tickets to Halloween Haunt do not grant park admission during the day, and there is no readmission to the park.
PricesHalloween Haunt tickets start at $36. Many discounts are available, including volume discounts, discounts for 2015 and 2016 regular season pass holders, student discounts, AAA discounts and more. Admission is free for 2015 and 2016 Gold Pass holders.
Extras: Fright Lane passes cost an additional $50 (combo discounts with Haunt tickets are available). and the Haunt Boo-fet (all-you-can-eat dinner, 5:00-7:00 on selected days) costs $13.95 per person.
- The event is recommended for ages 13 and up. They don't enforce the age restriction, though, so parents will have to decide. My boys are 11, and my 14 year-old daughter was way more terrified than they were! If you do want to celebrate Halloween at Great America with younger kids, buy a day time ticket and enjoy The Great Pumpkin Fest with Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang. They have trick-or-treating, pumpkin decorating, and a hay maze until November 1.
- Grab a map after you pass through the ticket stiles so you can find all the Haunted Mazes, Scare Zones, and shows.
- Visitors are not allowed to come in costume.
- Actors are not allowed to touch you (and vice versa!).
- Flash photography is not allowed (but you can take photos/videos without a flash).
- You can purchase a "No Boo" glowing necklace so you can pass through the Scare Zones without any of the actors approaching or scaring you. Note, the No Boo necklace doesn't guarantee a no-scare experience because the actors may not see the necklace until it is too late. Also, No Boo necklaces aren't allowed in the mazes.
- The lines for the mazes were as long as 30-40 minutes. One of the people I spoke to said the line for the Roadkill maze reached 2 hours long the night before! If you want to make sure you see all the mazes, purchase a Fright Lane pass. Note however, that the Fright Lane pass does not work for any of the regular park rides, only the 9 Haunted Mazes
- If you want to visit the Mirror Mirror maze, go there first (it's near the Flying Eagles and Firefall attractions). Space is limited, so they will assign you a return time (kind of like Disney's Fast Pass) on a first-come, first-served basis until the attraction is full for the night.
Halloween Haunt is a great way for older kids and adults to celebrate Halloween! I would definitely recommend it to families with middle-school kids and up to go to California's Great America for some spooky fun..... if you dare.......
Disclosure: I received complimentary media passes to Halloween Haunt to facilitate my review. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.