Fright-free family activities during the day, but bets are off when the sun goes down.
Thrills by day, fright by night.
That’s the watchword on the Mountain –
, where the annual Fright Fest Halloween celebration opens Saturday night and continues for four terrifying weekends.
The park will be open for normal operation during the day with dozens of family activities, like mummy wrapping, costume relays and a pumpkin-painting patch.
A new activity for all ages will be Scaryoke, where traditional kid songs performed on stage by the guests are replaced by Halloween melodies.
“The Scaryoke is a Halloween version of our Kid’s Karaoke, one of the activities invented by an employee, Daniel Barsky,” said Jay Thomas, park president.
Barsky recruited a few fellow employees to help him build a performance space, taking lights and props from one of the park’s “boneyards” where discarded parts of rides and attractions are saved for re-use.
Kids visiting the park can sing or play one of several inflatable instruments in the “backup band.” Thomas said that the attraction has turned into one of the most popular spots in the park.
Fright Fest after dark is another story, complete with ghouls and sliders (those ghastly people who come out of nowhere, running and sliding on the pavement in a shower of sparks from washers attached to their pants and shoes).
Some of Fright Fest’s returning crew helped the park develop a storyline that tied mazes and haunted houses together as part of the ghoulish Willoughby family’s decaying empire, all emanating from the Willoughby’s Haunted Mansion at Samurai Summit – not intended for children – and including Willoughby’s Brutal Planet, a collection of sideshow freaks from an abandoned circus road show and Willoughby Industries Warehouse 13 – a toxic dump where work is mandatory and escape is impossible.
Popular favorites returning include Jokester’s Hideout in blacklight 3D and the scariest clown duo in
, Heckles and Twitch.
The monster coaster Colossus will run backwards for this event only and coasters X2, Tatsu, Scream!, Goliath, Batman the Ride, Riddler’s Revenge and Viper will all run without lights, to heighten the fright factor.
And when it’s time for a snack, guests can spin the Wheel of Fright at the Gotham Backlot Stage, where they can save a cockroach and dine instead on crickets, wax worms (an excellent source of protein, but very fatty, so should be considered a treat instead of a meal), night crawlers, caterpillars and snails. For dessert, park officials have prepared a special “pickled surprise.”
Park hours for Fright Fest will be Fridays 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to midnight (two hours longer than previous years), Sundays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., plus a bonus night of fright Thursday Oct. 30 from 4 to 10 p.m. and of course, Halloween from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Special Fright Fest tickets are available online, for more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.sixflags.com or call (661) 255-4111.