Six Flags Fright Fest

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Six Flags
Fright Fest
Six Flags Fright Fest (logo, 2011-present).png
Columbia Carousel during Fright Fest, 2022.png
Ride statistics
Attraction typeAnnual event
ThemeHalloween
OperatorSix Flags
DateSeptember to October
WebsiteOfficial website

Fright Fest (also known as Festival Del Terror at Six Flags México) is a Halloween-oriented haunt event held annually at Six Flags theme parks in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.[1] It mainly features haunted attractions, themed areas named Scare Zones, and live entertainment.[2]

It opened as Fright Nights at Six Flags AstroWorld in 1986.[3] In 2020, Fright Fest was reimagined to Hallowfest, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[4]

History[edit]

Fright Nights era (1986-1993)[edit]

After testing various Halloween-based seasonal events throughout the 1970s to mid-1980s, Six Flags, then owned by Bally Manufacturing, created an all-new Halloween event for AstroWorld in 1986 that they named Six Flags Fright Nights.[3][5]

In 1987, the event began to be expanded to Six Flags' other properties. Six Flags Over Georgia was the second park to introduce the event.

Six Flags Over Mid-America was the third park to introduce Fright Nights in 1988 with Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street as the event's "entertainment chairman". The all-new Fright Nights featured House of the Living Dead, a walk-through inside of the ride building for the Time Tunnel dark ride, as well as the "Terror Train", a horror train show on the Tommy G. Robertson Railroad.

In 1989, Fright Nights debuted at Six Flags Over Texas.[6] Like the parks in Texas and Missouri, Freddy Krueger was the central figure of the event. It featured haunted houses, a trick or treat trail for kids, and more.

Fright Fest era (1993-present)[edit]

In 1999, Six Flags licensed and opened Alice Cooper's Brutal Planet haunted houses at some parks, featuring music from the album and using similar elements in each house. The next year it became just simply "Brutal Planet" and dropped the Alice Cooper theme. Since then, Six Flags has licensed other intellectual properties for mazes and scare zones, including the Saw films[7] and DC Comics's Suicide Squad.[8]

In 2018, Fright Fest returned to Frontier City and Darien Lake, two former Six Flags parks re-acquired by the company on May 22, 2018.

To comply with the new health and safety protocols implemented by Six Flags due to the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020, the company announced that their Halloween event would be rebranded to Hallowfest. The change from Fright Fest to Hallowfest included no haunted houses or indoor shows.[4][9][10] Six Flags Discovery Kingdom held a different event called Boo 2020! for the 2020 season, as the park operated as a zoo for the season to act in accordance with local government guidelines with the state.[11][12]

In 2022, Six Flags introduced another Halloween event along-side Fright Fest, called Kids Boo Fest, a kids-oriented Halloween event with trick-or-treat trails along with in-park entertainment, that is held in mornings.[13][14] On October 7, 2022, all Six Flags amusement parks implemented a new policy in which it limited the size of bags and subjected all bags to X-ray screening.[15][16] While a reason for the change was not stated by the parks, an editor from the Theme Park Tribune said the new policies could be related to recent guest altercations, including shootings, at Kennywood and Six Flags Great America.[17]

Attractions and shows[edit]

Six Flags parks are heavily decorated for Fright Fest, and mainly feature haunted attractions at an extra charge, as well as live entertainment and scare zones.[18] Halloween-based shows are also performed, most notably "Love at First Fright" at Six Flags Great America,[2] Six Flags St. Louis[19] and Six Flags Over Texas,[20] as well as opening ceremonies and closing finales such as "Freaks Unleashed" and "Final Freakout" at Six Flags St Louis which brings all the actors into the park for a first and last scare.[21]

The parks also feature themed "Scare Zones" in designated areas of the park where costumed actors are allowed to scare guests, though these parks also typically include areas where the actors are not allowed, thus allowing a "safe" area for families with small children or otherwise not wanting to be scared.[2]

Many of the parks have similar shows and share names and ideas, like "Dead Man's Party", which is at Six Flags St Louis, Six Flags New England, Six Flags Over Georgia, Six Flags Great Adventure and Six Flags Over Texas.[22] "The Ringmaster's Cabaret" is another show, but is exclusively shown at Six Flags Great America.[23]

Most also have a specific show that unleashes the monsters into the parks, including "Freaks Unleashed" at Six Flags St. Louis,[21] "Awakening" at Six Flags Great Adventure and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom,[24] "The Uprising" at Six Flags Over Georgia, Six Flags America, Six Flags Great America,[23] "The Arrival" at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, and "Unleashed!" at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Some parks also have their own respective characters that lead Fright Fest at their park, such as Dr. Diabolical at Six Flags Fiesta Texas[25] and Nox at Six Flags Great America.[2]

Locations[edit]

As of September 2022, locations with Fright Fest
Park Opening season Last Season Refs
Six Flags AstroWorld October 1986 October 30, 2005
Six Flags Over Georgia October 16, 1987 [26]
Six Flags Over Texas October 15, 1988 [27]
Six Flags St. Louis October 19, 1988 [28]
Frontier City October 7, 1989 [29]
Six Flags Great America October 19, 1991 [30]
Six Flags Great Adventure October 17, 1992 [31]
Six Flags Magic Mountain October 16, 1993 [32]
Six Flags Fiesta Texas October 1996 [33]
Six Flags Darien Lake October 1998 [34][a]
Six Flags America October 1999 [35]
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom October 1999 [36]
Six Flags Elitch Gardens October 1999 October 2006 [37][b]
Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom October 1999 October 2009
Six Flags Great Escape and Hurricane Harbor October 1999 [39]
Six Flags New England October 6, 2000 [40]
La Ronde October 2002 [41]
Six Flags Mexico October 2012 [42]

Awards[edit]

Fright Fest at Six Flags Magic Mountain has won USA Today's Reader's Choice Award for Best Theme Park Halloween Event twice, in 2016 and 2017.[43] Additionally, Fright Fest for all parks has also been nominated for the same category in 2022, placing second place, behind Kings Island’s Halloween Haunt.[44]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Fright Fest did not operate from 2007-2017, when Darien Lake was not operating as a Six Flags park
  2. ^ Elitch Gardens was sold to PARC Management in 2007,[38] and PARC Management originally replaced Fright Fest with "Fall Family Fun Fest" after purchasing the park, adding family oriented areas such as hay mazes and pumpkin painting. The event was rebranded again as "FrightFest" from 2008 onward, avoiding the space between the words Fright and Fest as Fright Fest is a registered trademark of Six Flags. This continued in the years 2011-2014 when Herschend Family Entertainment managed the property. Elitch Gardens is currently managed by Premier Parks, LLC, and FrightFest remains.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Six Flags Fright Fest". sixflags.com. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d "Six Flags Great America Fright Fest presented by SNICKERS® - Visit Lake County - Official Travel Site". Visit Lake County, Illinois. Retrieved August 23, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Fright Fest at AstroWorld scared and amused a generation of Houstonians". mysanantonio.com. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Six Flags announces a reimagined haunt season with Hallowfest". August 18, 2020. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  5. ^ "Astroworld Timeline". facebook.com. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  6. ^ "Fright Fest". SFOT Source. 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
  7. ^ "New haunted house at Great America's Fright Fest -- Daily Herald". dailyherald.com. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  8. ^ "Six Flags Scares Up Suicide Squad Zone - License! Global". licensingexpo.com. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  9. ^ "Coronavirus: Six Flags replacing Fright Fest with Hallowfest". August 17, 2020. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  10. ^ "Hallowfest will return to Six Flags Fiesta Texas, but without haunted houses or indoor shows". August 19, 2020. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  11. ^ "Another California theme park launches a new Halloween event". October 16, 2020. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  12. ^ "Vallejo's Six Flags debuts Halloween festivities with COVID-19 safety protocols in place". October 18, 2020. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  13. ^ "Six Flags Fright Fest Returns This Year With More Fall Fun". www.nymetroparents.com. Retrieved September 5, 2022.
  14. ^ Swidler • •, Francie. "Everything We Know About This Year's Fright Fest at Six Flags Great America". NBC Chicago. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  15. ^ Davis-Friedman, Samantha (October 7, 2022). "New Six Flags bag policy implemented for Fright Fest". Attractions Magazine. Retrieved October 8, 2022.
  16. ^ "Six Flags Over Texas implements new security measures for backpacks". WFAA. October 8, 2022. Retrieved October 8, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ Gregory, John (October 7, 2022). "Six Flags parks limiting large bags for Fright Fest - Theme Park Tribune, theme park news". Theme Park Tribune. Retrieved October 8, 2022.
  18. ^ "Fright Fest". SFOT Source. 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
  19. ^ Jaredserra (October 11, 2021). "Love At First Fright at Six Flags St. Louis -". Retrieved September 10, 2022.
  20. ^ "Fright Fest Returns to Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington Sept. 11-Oct. 31". www.arlingtontx.gov. Retrieved September 10, 2022.
  21. ^ a b Knudson, Annalise (August 25, 2021). "Six Flags Fright Fest begins Sept. 10: Haunted mazes, thrilling rides and more". silive. Retrieved August 23, 2022.
  22. ^ "Dead Man's Party at Six Flags America Fright Fest". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 23, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. ^ a b "Six Flags Great America Fright Fest returns for its 30th anniversary". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 23, 2022.
  24. ^ "Fright Fest 2014 Park Guide" (PDF). Six Flags Great Adventure.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  25. ^ "Fright Fest 2022 | Six Flags Fiesta Texas". SFFT Source. Retrieved September 10, 2022.
  26. ^ "Fright Fest 2016". sixflags.com/overgeorgia. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  27. ^ "Six Flags Over Texas Fright Fest 2016". dallas.culturemap.com. October 14, 2016. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  28. ^ "Fright Fest 2016". sixflags.com/stlouis. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  29. ^ "Fright Fest - Frontier City". frontiercity.com. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  30. ^ "Great America Fright Fest 2016". www.coaster101.com. October 26, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  31. ^ "Fright Fest 2016". jerseyfamilyfun.com. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  32. ^ "Magic Mountain Fright Fest 2016". www.latimes.com/. August 21, 2015. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  33. ^ "Fright Fest 2016". sixflags.com. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  34. ^ "Fright Fest Returns To Darien Lake". darienlake.com. Retrieved September 24, 2018.}
  35. ^ "Fright Fest 2016". sixflags.com. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  36. ^ "Fright Fest Stumbles at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom". micechat.com. October 24, 2015. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  37. ^ "News - Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park". elitchgardens.com. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  38. ^ "Six Flags sells seven parks - Park World". archive.org. December 13, 2007. Archived from the original on December 13, 2007. Retrieved March 31, 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  39. ^ "What's New for Fright Fest 2016 - The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom". sixflags.com. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  40. ^ "Fright Fest 2016". sixflags.com/newengland. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
  41. ^ "What's New for Fright Fest 2016 - La Ronde". sixflags.com. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  42. ^ "Festival del Terror - Six Flags Mexíco". sixflags.com. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  43. ^ "Best Theme Park Halloween Event Winners (2017) | USA TODAY 10Best". 10Best. Retrieved August 30, 2022.
  44. ^ "Vote for Fright Fest at Six Flags as 2022's Best Theme Park Halloween Event". 10Best. Retrieved August 30, 2022.

External links[edit]