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Fright Fest or FrightFest is a Halloween-oriented event that takes place at some theme parks, notably Six Flags parks, called "Six Flags Fright Fest", and PARC Management-owned parks, called "FrightFest".
Fright Fest events are similar between both park chains because the PARC Management parks inherited Fright Fest from their Six Flags ownership. The parks are generally redecorated for the event. They also feature added or modified attractions along the lines of haunted houses, Halloween based shows replacing their normal summer shows, and any number of other changes. Parks may also feature "Scare Zones" in the general park where costumed actors are allowed to scare guests, though these parks also typically include "Non-Scare Zones" where the actors are not allowed, thus allowing a "safe" area for families with small children or otherwise not wanting to be scared. As well some parks feature promotions where guests can "compete" for prizes, such as exit passes.
The events at both chains typically occur during weekends in October each year, however some parks, such as Darien Lake, operate the event earlier; others are open certain weekdays.
Six Flags Fright Fest
Six Flags created Fright Fest after testing Halloween-based events through the 1970s at some of its parks. In 1989 Fright Fest was born at Six Flags Over Texas and expanded to all of its parks soon after. The events featured haunted houses, a trick or treat trail for kids, and more. One of the major additions was in 1999 when Six Flags licensed and opened some of their haunted houses as Alice Cooper's Brutal Planet, featuring music from the album and using similar elements in each house. Though Alice Cooper's name has been dropped, many of the Six Flags haunted houses still use the Brutal Planet name.
PARC Management FrightFest
PARC Management parks rebranded their Fright Fest events in 2007 as "Fall Family Fun Fest" whilst adding new elements not found in previous years' Six Flags Fright Fest at the parks. New additions included more family oriented areas such as hay mazes and pumpkin painting, but also kept older elements like haunted houses and trick or treat trails. The events were then rebranded again as FrightFest from 2008 onward. Elements have remained largely the same from that point.
"Six Flags Theme Parks Cash-In on Halloween; Theme Park Company Uses Halloween Fright Fest to Drive Incremental Attendance, Revenues.". The Free Library. Business Wire. 2000. Retrieved 10 Oct 2009.