By: Joella Brooks -- Eagle staff writer
Halloween is a well known holiday and celebrated by many people in the US, so it's no surprise that theme parks like Carowinds, Kings Dominion, and many others have started getting in on the act. The idea? Make Halloween more enjoyable by making their parks more exciting and thrilling.
The staff members at the parks go through months of training to prepare for October. During the month of October the parks shut down early to get ready for the "Halloween horror" shift with makeup and costumes. Crew members dress up to bring people's darkest fears to life and when the park reopens, staff hide around the park to scare visitors as they enjoy the rides and park during the evening hours.
While this is a great idea, there are some pros and cons of each park's Halloween horror show. Kings Dominion's "Halloween Haunt" has around 60 rides, shows, water park features, and attractions in their Halloween haunt, but they are only open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from September 22- October 29th. However, I believe their crew is better dressed and better trained to scare people than other places. While you walk around the park you'll come across a ton of haunted houses, but know that they're all inside which closes some of the rides for regular use. Even with this, I still think Halloween Haunt is worth the trip.
Carowinds is another theme park, located on the border between North and South Carolina. Their "Scarowinds" is open from September 16th - October 29th. They have over 65 rides, including Snoopy Land and their well known water park. They have a good introduction to their scare event when you arrive but the park isn't as big as others so it feels very crowded. They also have a lot of music and performances going on during the hours of the haunting; the only problem is it's not as scary. It's clearly more for entertainment than actual thrills. Also since their park is so small the lines are incredibly long for everything, but since the price of admission is only $30 it's not so bad to wait for a little while.
All in all, Kings Dominion's Halloween Haunt offers more scares but on a pretty limited schedule, while Scarowinds is cheaper and open longer but smaller and less scary. Either way, both are opportunities to enjoy great parks after dark.