Halloween's offerings this year are as wide as the difference between orange mallowmars and fake eyeballs. This year's celebrations run the gauntlet between Disney World's Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Universal Studios' end-of-days Halloween Horror Nights. This season, theme parks, including the Universal Studios on both coasts, Knott's Berry Farm and Walt Disney World Resort, have plenty of scare fare and treats.
Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida
No scare was spared in the inception and development of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Beginning in 1991, the tradition began a new era in 2006, when characters became a part of the event, beginning with Jack, The Caretaker, The Storyteller and The Director. Descending into the the world of the undead last year included Dracula, Wolfman and the world of "Saw." This year, the event takes palce September 24, 25 and 30 as well as October 1-3, 7-10, 14-17, 20-24, 27-31. Halloween Horror guests looking to increase their nerves of steel will want to check out the Frequent Fear Pass options.
Universal Studios in Hollywood, California
Details of Universal Studios' Hollywood event have been kept under wraps, but its opening date is definitely September 24. Word of its new maze, Vampyre: Castle of the Dead, has trickled out: unlike other theme park rides, this experience is not based on a movie, but is totally original. Then, only the brave will step into Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses in Zombievision! (3-D), populated by chainsaw-wielding Klownz Gang members and sledge hammer-armed Lunatics, through the park's Streets.
Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park, California
From September 24 to October 31, the 38th annual Knott's Scary Farm will run every Wednesday through Sunday, except Wednesday, September 29. This year, among the 13 mazes will be three new ones, including Sleep Hollow Mountain, where you'll (hopefully) escape the Headless Horseman; "Virus Z," taking place in zombie-overrun Pleasanton; and Fallout Shelter, occupied by human/genetic hybrids, toxic mutants and nuclear freaks.
Additions to Knott's annual event cover the Necropolis scare zone, where Victorian Steampunk Vampires run the blood-powered "Ghost Town." Sliders will follow you around as you make your way through town, including "CarnEVIL," formerly Knott's Boardwalk.
Two new shows gracing Knott's stage this year, reported by LA Times Travel, will be illusionist Ed Alonzo who worked on Britney Spears' 2009 Circus tour, performing his "Psycho Circus of Magic and Mayhem," and "Bang," where Street Drum Corps will produce music out of normal, found objects at the Necropolis Theatre.
Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida
Those who prefer candy and have children with them can celebrate the holiday at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Running 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. from September 14 through November 1, the House of Mouse invites guests to dress up and trick-or-treat throughout the park in an event on select dates in Magic Kingdom that requires a separate ticket. Disney attractions include Mickey's "Boo-to-You" Halloween Parade, starting with a ride by the Headless Horseman and featuring Disney characters and stars from the Haunted Mansion attraction. Guests can meet Disney characters and villains in their Halloween costumes and watch them take the sky in the fireworks show, "Happy HalloWishes," and wander through the park's candy corn wonderland.