This year has been challenging for everyone. Theme parks are doing the best they can to adapt to the changing times. Halloween Horror Nights has been cancelled and replaced by two daytime houses, Howl-O-Scream is only doing scare zones, and most parks have completely cancelled their events. Cedar Point has decided to go a more family friendly route with the Tricks and Treats Fall Fest.
By Justin S. Landers
The event is in place of their normal scare zones and haunted houses—Halloweekends—a very popular event that doesn’t allow for the kind of social distancing necessary for these times. This new, temporary event (that I hope becomes a permanent daytime fixture during the normal Halloweekends) runs Saturdays and Sundays from Sept. 12 – Nov 1.
This is a very family-friendly event. When you come in the gates, the first thing noticeable from the rest of the season is the massive amount of Halloween décor through the front gates and down the midways. Tombstones—including the normal “ride graveyard”—are found strung out the center of the midway. Skeletons stand tall in the grass and surrounding areas, but there are no scareactors. There are family-friendly characters strolling the midway, waving fans, dressed in costume, and interacting. These characters are, of course, wearing masks. In Kiddy Kingdom, there are faux doors built with little sets where kids can trick or treat. There are new midway games, a corn maze, and decorations throughout the entire area.
As you make your way deeper into the park, you will find different entertainment offerings. There are bands performing, marching bands marching, and stage shows. Near Forbidden Frontier, there is another show with special effects including smoke, pops and flashes, and more. Creative arts and crafts can be found in multiple sections of the park.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Cedar Point without the rides. Most of the rides are still in operation, with all the major coasters still running — albeit, still requiring access passes for the big four: Maverick, Millennium Force, Top Thrill Dragster, and Steel Vengeance. With the new park hours of 12-8 p.m., access passes are now given at 12 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. in front of each of the rides that require them.
Overall, this event is wonderfully done. If we are being honest, though, there isn’t much to do for teens and older guests. It is certainly a much more tame event than the one we know, but it is a great replacement for the current circumstances. Even though there were not many activities for me to participate in, I still really enjoyed walking around the park with Halloween décor around every corner. With Halloween being my favorite holiday, I’ll take any kind of spooky atmosphere I can get! I also will never complain about a day at Cedar Point with some of the best roller coasters available. If you have children, this event is a huge hit that will surely make them smile.
29-year-old Justin Landers owns Just Shoot Light Multimedia Productions. He has been involved in the amusement and theme park industry since 2013 as a freelance photographer and videographer. You can follow him on Instagram @Inverted_Therapy and Just Shoot Light on YouTube.