Thrills by Day, Fright by Night....
Last Sunday Da Count and myself decided to pack up our crew and head on up to Six Flags Great America for their annual Fright Fest. The weather threatened to rain, but we decided that we were going to make the best of it. As we arrived to the park around noon, there was absolutely no line to get into the parking lot AND we even got rockstar parking about five/six rows back which told me it wasn't going to be very busy that day. This was confirmed when we were able to get on The Dark Knight Roller Coaster ride with a wait of less than 15 minutes and didn't even have to wait for the "press conference" video that we normally have to watch before entering the main waiting area.
Fright Fest is an annual tradition where Six Flags gets all gussied up in its Halloween Best. When you enter the park, you are greeted by the reflecting pool, which mysterously has changed from crystal blue water to a dark blood red. Holding court in front of the double-decker Carousel is a creature that we nicknamed "The Pumpkin King", a 20-foot tall animatronic tree-thing with branches as claws and the most evil jack o' lantern face sure to terrify kids both big and small. After a fun-filled merry go round ride on said Carousel, we walked around to admire the decorations. Everything changes during Fright Fest and that includes the names of the rides and themed areas. For example you might ride The Dying Trapeze (King Chaos) or The Black Widow (American Eagle). Orleans Place is transformed into Bayou du Vaudou, Yankee Harbor into Port Dread and Mardi Gras into The Last Stop: Burn 'Em and Buried Circus.
Speaking of The Black Widow, on this visit we were informed that Tiny the Spider (the giant inflatable spider that has made her home on the American Eagle every Halloween season for the past 20 years) had gone on to a better place, and a funeral was held for her on Opening Day September 29th. Rest in Peace, Tiny. :(
Now if rides aren't really your thing, there is still a whole lot to do at Fright Fest. There are the scary-themed shows and haunted houses. We managed to finally (after 9 years of Fright Fest attendance by Count and myself) catch a showing of Dead Man's Party, a musical with lots of spooky themed rock songs and ghoulish dancers. When we left the show, we discovered that the rain let up a bit so we decided to brave Necropolis: City of the Dead, a favorite of ours every time we come. There are many ghastly scenes, some not really appropriate for small children so take caution with the little ones. Because of the wet and cold, there weren't as many actors roaming about. However the ones that lurked through the area were horrifically creepy and did their job well of scaring the guests.
There are also five different haunted houses/areas within the park that are an extra fee, but this year there is a special where you can visit all of them for the low price of only $19.99 which equals $5 a pop which really isn't bad. They include Mausoleum of Terror (a yearly favorite), Massacre Medical Center (hospital themed mayhem), The Dead Line (a train ride to terror, including a trail at the end with some horrifying surprises), Manslaughter Manor (average haunt, with everything you'd expect) and Wicked Woods which we were unable to go through because it was closed due to weather.
Count Gregula, myself and our crew declared our day at Six Flags Fright Fest a ghoulishly good time and we give it **TWO FANGS UP**! Even though there were times when it was pouring out, most of the rides remained open and we were able to ride our favorites with hardly any wait. Also, with official Six Flags ponchos purchased at one of the stores within the park, we managed to stay dry and warm for most of our visit. :)
Fright Fest is located at Six Flags Great America, 1 Six Flags Drive, Gurnee, IL
Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in October, plus Thursday October 25
Thursday 6PM - 10PM
Friday 5PM - 11PM
Saturday 11AM - 11PM
Sunday 11AM - 9PM
For more info and to buy tickets to Six Flags Great America Fright Fest, visit http://www.sixflags.com/greatamerica/info/parkInfo.aspx
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