Six Flags Fright Fest
Fright Fest (formerly known as Fright Nights) is a Halloween-oriented haunt event held annually at Six Flags theme parks in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It mainly features haunted attractions, themed areas named Scare Zones, and live entertainment.
|Six Flags Fright Fest|
|Season||Halloween (September – October)|
|Six Flags St. Louis|
|Opening date||October 19, 1988|
|Six Flags Over Georgia|
|Opening date||October 21, 1988|
|Six Flags Over Texas|
|Opening date||October 13, 1989|
|Six Flags Great America|
|Opening date||October 19, 1991|
|Six Flags Great Adventure|
|Opening date||October 17, 1992|
|Six Flags Magic Mountain|
|Opening date||October 16, 1993|
|Six Flags New England|
|Opening date||October 6, 2000|
|Festival Del Terror|
|Six Flags Mexico|
|Six Flags Darien Lake|
|Opening date||October 7,1989|
|Six Flags Fiesta Texas|
|Six Flags America|
|Six Flags Discovery Kingdom|
|Great Escape (amusement park)|
|La Ronde (amusement park)|
|Six Flags AstroWorld|
|Closing date||October 30, 2005|
|Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom|
|Six Flags Elitch Gardens|
Fright Nights era (1986-1993)
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 haunt event for AstroWorld in 1986 that they named Six Flags Fright Nights.
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. 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)
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 and DC Comics's Suicide Squad.
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.
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. Halloween-based shows are also performed, most notably "Love at First Fright" at Six Flags St Louis and Six Flags Great America, 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. 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.
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, Six Flags Over Texas, and Six Flags Great America. Another show, "Love at First Fright" is only shown at Six Flags St Louis, and Six Flags Great America, but was also shown at Six Flags Over Georgia for a while. Most also have a specific show that unleashes the monsters into the parks, including "Freaks Unleashed" at Six Flags St Louis, "Awakening" at Six Flags Great Adventure and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, "The Uprising" at Six Flags Over Georgia, Six Flags America, Six Flags Great America, "The Arrival" at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, and "Unleashed!" at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
As of 2018, Six Flags Fright Fest events are held at the following parks:
- Six Flags Over Texas
- Six Flags Great America
- Six Flags St. Louis
- Six Flags Magic Mountain
- Six Flags New England
- Six Flags Over Georgia
- Six Flags Great Adventure
- Six Flags Fiesta Texas
- Six Flags America
- Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
- Six Flags Darien Lake
- Six Flags Mexico
- Great Escape
- La Ronde
- Frontier City
"Fright Fest" was previously also held at former Six Flags park Elitch Gardens. The park was sold to PARC Management in 2007, 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.
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.
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