Here in Ohio, the changing leaves and cool evenings set the stage for pumpkin carving and costumes. Much like summertime, we’re longing to enjoy seasonal traditions and accepting the compromise of COVID precautions. But how is the attractions industry handling Halloween events to ensure entertainment and safety?
4 Constants for In-Person Halloween Events:
1. Masks On – Plan to incorporate a face covering into your costume design
2. Extra sanitization measures – No different than operating in the summer, venues are continuing extra rounds of sanitization to railings, vendors, bathrooms and other high-touch point areas.
3. Social distancing – Don’t expect up-close encounters with scareactors this year, venues are enforcing social distancing.
4. Capacity limits – In order to adhere to social distancing, venues are limiting capacity with pre-purchased tickets and people counting sensors like SafeSpace Occupancy Monitoring at the gates and within the park.
Our friends at Blooloop gave a great run-down of popular Halloween attractions and the changes being made this year. Although some parks have made the difficult decision to cancel events, many others are reimaging or taking a brand-new approach.
Family-Friendly Halloween Events
While Six Flags and Walt Disney World both canceled their traditional Halloween events, they’re still making the most of the season by decorating their parks, hosting themed-shows and characters and serving a spooky menu of treats.
Six Flag’s Hallowfest is kid-friendly by day including outdoor shows and trick-or-treating. There will be no indoor attractions or shows, all employees and guests are required to wear masks, and guests viewing outdoor entertainment will be separated by at least six feet.
Disney World will transform the Magic Kingdom into a Fall wonderland with characters dressed in their favorite Halloween costumes, and guests are encouraged to dress up as well, incorporating a face mask, of course.
All the Scares
By night, Six Flag’s Hallowfest entices daredevils and thrill-seekers to ride coasters in total darkness, experience Reaper Railways haunted ride and explore Ghost Town, among other nighttime attractions. The park is employing a limited number of scareactors who will remain six feet away from guests and each other. Tickets must be purchased in advance to adhere to capacity limits.
Scream Park’s Museum of Horrors in Sacramento will remain open in 2020, even though larger attraction venues in California such as Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood remain closed. The haunted house has adapted to COVID regulations by reducing capacity to 25% and omitting actors – the rooms are interactive with audio storylines and there will be staff present to enforce social distancing.
Drive-in and drive-through events are a popular alternative to otherwise walk-through events. Veteran themed-entertainment developers joined forces to create The Haunted Road in Orlando, a drive-through experience telling a twisted new take on the story of Rapunzel.
“With the arts and entertainment industry at a standstill, and an increasing need to find new, safe outdoor entertainment, we knew it was the perfect time to develop a unique Halloween experience so everyone can enjoy a dose of horror this upcoming Halloween season, from the comfort of their car,” said executive producer and creative principal Jessica Mariko. Blooloop: How theme parks are transforming eerie events for Halloween 2020
Learn more about an automated way to limit capacity at your amusement park, zoo, haunted house or family entertainment center this Halloween: