Theme parks across the country gear up for Halloween from September onwards with additions like creepy mazes, haunted houses and ghouls straddled across roller coaster railings to attract visitors. Earlier too regional theme parks extended their operations well into autumn season with spooky themes even as cold temperatures made open air rides less appealing to families. As schools have reopened children avoid visiting parks after summer vacations are over. The first theme park to host Halloween themed programs was Knott’s Berry Farm which introduced Scary Farm Event in 1973 which was quickly adopted by others.
Nowadays Disney, Universal, Six Flats and SeaWorld besides Busch Gardens and other regional level parks have introduced their own themes around Halloween with shows and characters to impress visitors. President and CEO of ITEC Entertainment Bill Coan stated that special events are at the core of business plans for theme parks as it goes through slow phases and then attractions are created during holiday season to get people back to the parks during off season. These events have become very popular with local and international visitors so they need little incentive to visit theme parks during Halloween.
During February this year Six Flags reported that its Fright Fest during Halloween last year followed by Holiday in the Park events helped to boost the company’s revenue by 5 % during the fourth quarter. Universal also witnessed record earnings during 2018 from its Halloween Horror Nights events while revenues of Comcast’s theme park wing rose by 3.5 % to $ 1.5 billion during last quarter of 2018. Today most parks begin their events themed around Halloween from September onwards with details like limited time mazes and haunted houses. Disney recently launched its Halloween party with Mickey’s Not-so Scary Halloween party which is for 36 nights. It started pumpkin decorations during mid-August and is planning to extend the party to 1st November.