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Fright Fest generally refers to the Halloween-oriented haunt events at the Six Flags theme parks, "Six Flags Fright Fest", is an annual event at the individual theme parks which offers up various Mazes and themed 'Scare Zones', as well as live shows.
It can also refer to "FrightFest" at the PARC Management parks, as those events were inherited, being former Six Flags parks.
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 big additions to the event was during Fright Fest 1999 when Six Flags licensed and opened some of their haunted houses at the parks as Alice Cooper's Brutal Planet, featuring music from the album and using similar elements in each house, although the next year it became just simply "Brutal Planet" and dropped the Alice Cooper theme. Currently, there are not any Six Flags parks that house a haunted attraction with the name.
Many of the parks have similar shows and share names and ideas, like 'Dead Man's Party', which is at Six Flags St Louis, Six Flags New England, Six Flags Over Georgia, Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Flags Over Texas, and Six Flags Great America. Another show, "Love at First Fright" is only shown at Six Flags St Louis, and Six Flags Great America. But it was also shown at Six Flags Over Georgia for a while.
Most also have a specific show that unleashes the monsters into the parks, including "Freaks Unleashed" at Six Flags St Louis, "Awakening" at Six Flags Great Adventure and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, "The Uprising" at Six Flags Over Georgia, Six Flags America, Six Flags Great America, and "Unleashed!" at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
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.
Late Night Parks Fright Fest
Dollywood as Fright Fest has begun in 1999 as "Dollywood's Fall Festival" in 2000 as "Darkness Fright Nights" in 2012 as "Fright Fest", current attractions such is Slaughterhouse and Total Darkness and Mr Huggle's Toy Factory and Zombie Paintball Apocalypse and Insanity Valley and Ghost Train and Halloaboo during daytime in Dollywood in Pigeon Forge Tennessee and Silver Dollar City in Branson Missouri, attractions including trick or treat trail and not so scary shows such as Filmation's Ghostbusters Live Show and Winsome Witch and Jr's Halloween Adventure, during night, non scare zone located in Jukebox Junction and Sesame Street as Halloaboo Nights, such as Count's Dance Party and Winsome Witch's Driving Night. Current scare zones such as Zombieville (Wilderness Pass), Terror Canyon (Timber Canyon), Scarestreet (Showstreet), Minions of the Scare o Jack (Rivertown Junction and The Village), Carnevil (SpongeBob Land), Scary Farm (Owen's Farm and Craftsmen's Valley), Silver Dollar City In Branson Missouri, as Scary Dollar City, including Mazes and Scare Zones and Shows
- "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.