Interactivity part of Halloween fun
Virtual reality, spooky Airbnb rentals and the start of a final season for Disneyland’s Twilight Zone of Terror are all part of this Halloween’s freaky fun.
Here’s a sample of what’s happening around the country. Check with individual venues for dates, times, prices and ages.
It’s the final Halloween season for Twilight Zone of Terror at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. If you visit after twilight, you’ll get a chance to free fall in the haunted elevator shaft in total darkness. The tower closes for good Jan. 2.
Also at Disneyland this season is the “Frightfully Fun Parade” at Mickey’s Halloween Party, featuring grinning ghosts, Disney villains and the headless horseman from Sleepy Hollow. Two other attractions have been given holiday makeovers: Space Mountain is Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion is now Haunted Mansion Holiday, combining themes from Halloween and Christmas.
In addition, there’s a giant Mickey Mouse jack-’o-lantern on the theme park’s Main Street, U.S.A., and the Mexican “Dia de los Muertos” tradition is celebrated with a skeleton display in Frontierland, near Rancho del Zocalo restaurant.
In Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Walt Disney World hosts Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade and a green-and-orange fireworks display called HalloWishes.
Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles include the transformation of the theme park’s famous tram ride into a “Terror Tram,” themed on the story of a celebrity clown turned murderer, created by horror-genre filmmaker Eli Roth. The Hollywood park also features a “Walking Dead” attraction that opened this past summer.
New for Halloween at Universal Orlando Resort is The Repository, a virtual reality experience in which participants undo an ancient curse by following clues through rooms in an old warehouse.
Halloween Horror Nights at Universal parks on both coasts also feature haunted houses, scare zones and freaky mazes. Many attractions are themed on horror films like “The Exorcist” and “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.”
Zombies, Virtual Reality and More
According to the Haunted Attraction Association, technology and interactive experiences are playing a bigger role in Halloween than ever before, with escape rooms, virtual reality monsters and zombie battles.
It’s Fright Fest season at Six Flags parks. At Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell, Georgia, in addition to mazes, scare zones and more than 400 zombies and monsters, guests can don VR headsets to experience an interactive virtual reality roller coaster, Rage of the Gargoyles at Dare Devil Dive, that includes a simulated helicopter ride and a futuristic battle with gargoyles.
At Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, the “Terror Behind the Walls” attraction challenges guests to become part of the story of escaping what was once an actual prison. Guests can either explore the prison and watch, or they can mark themselves for interaction with the freaky prisoners.
At Creepy Hollow Haunted House outside Houston, guests can play a virtual reality zombie firstperson shooter game wearing VR headsets. The Fear Factory in Salt Lake City offers a VR haunted house. Lake EERIE Fear Fest at Ghostly Manor Thrill Center in Sandusky, Ohio, offers five haunted houses including “The Haunted Mine Ride,” a motion-theater experience using VR technology to create a roller coaster with 4-D effects.
This undated image provided by Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia shows a scene from the site’s “Terror Behind the Walls” Halloween attraction.