Theme parks’ Halloween events compete in poll – Orlando Sentinel

You may be in the “it’s too early for Halloween” camp, but many may disagree, including the folks at, who are running a popularity poll for “best theme park Halloween event.” Central Florida attractions are among the nominees.

It’s a little clunky as “multiple locations” of Halloween Horror Nights (Universal Orlando, Universal Studios Hollywood), and Howl-O-Scream at SeaWorld (Orlando, San Antonio, San Diego) are clumped together as single entries. Likewise for the multiple Howl-O-Screams at Busch Gardens parks and Brick-or-Treat days at Legoland properties.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, an after-hours/extra ticket event at Magic Kingdom that launched Aug. 12, is on the list of nominees, as is Oogie Boogie Bash at Disneyland in California.

Orlando-based SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment also is represented by the Count’s Halloween Spooktacular at Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pennsylvania.

Other contenders are scattered across the country, including Great Pumpkin Luminights at Dollywood in Tennessee, Halloweekends at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, and Knott’s Spooky Farm in Buena Park, California.

The 10Best site, a product of USA Today, uses a panel of experts to determine the nominees, and readers can vote online for their favorite once a day through noon, Sept. 12. The winner will be announced Sept. 23.

“Businesses are prohibited from obtaining votes by any fraudulent or inappropriate means, including, but not limited to, offering prizes or other inducements to members of the public, vote farming, or engaging in any other activity that artificially inflates the business’ votes,” reads the official rules.

Orlando parks have not scared up enough votes to win this contest in recent years. Last year’s winner was Halloween Haunts at Kings Island of Mason, Ohio. The only Florida top-10 finisher was Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, which landed in third place. Halloween Haunts also won in 2018.

Dollywood’s Luminights took top honors in ‘19, and Fright Fest, held at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, won in 2015 and 2017.

Other current 10Best polls include best haunted hotel, best ghost tour, best corn maze — which has Central Florida’s Long & Scott Farms in the running — best apple orchard and best destination for fall foliage.

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