Mom's Review: Great Adventure Fright Fest Thrills by Day

Balancing the sweet with the spooky is a fine line for family-fun venues during Halloween season. Six Flags Great Adventure does it by segmenting its annual Fright Fest into two parts: Thrills by Day, from 11am-6pm, is designed to appeal to all ages. Fright by Night, from 6-11pm, gets a ton more intense, with interactive scare zones and terror trails filled with costumed actors determined to freak guests out. MomSpeaker Jennifer Auer and her three young sons were invited to visit Thrills by Day; here, she shares her Top 10 reasons why full families shouldn't worry about braving the park during daylight hours. (Catch it through Sun., Nov. 2)

1. The Halloween decorations on each ride are anything from silly spooky to slightly scary.

2. Fright Free Zones are available throughout the park. All children’s areas, the Plaza del Carnaval and the Lakefront between Fort Independence and Safari Kids are free from scary props or characters.

3. Great Adventure provides a great map with a chart detailing all Fright Fest activities and rating them on a scale of scariness, from a pumpkin symbol for not scary at all to a 3-skull, the scariest of them all.

4. One of our favorite activities was the Six Flags Spooktacular Street Party, where friendly monsters danced to popular songs we all can recognize. Some guests, including us, even got in on the dancing.

5. Along the Trick or Treat Trail, you can trick-or-treat and have your picture taken with your favorite Loony Tunes characters (like Porky Pig) dressed up for Halloween. Although the line in this area might be long, it moves quickly and you never feel rushed while taking all the pictures you want. My kids enjoyed the decorations along the trail and then checking out their loot when they were done.

6. The Bloody Fountain was a treat to see. The water has been changed red and it’s surrounded by skeletons in various poses. Warning: After 6pm, when things gets scary, the skeletons move.

7. The Spooky, Kooky, Magic Show was a hit with the kids. It wasn’t scary at all. Raul plays a mute magician with a belly dancer assistant who does his speaking. During this 30-minute show, Raul took several opportunities to get kids involved as helpers for his various magic tricks.

8. Four more family-friendly shows. Between the rides and Trick or Treat Trail we didn’t enjoy all the shows  Fright Fest had to offer. There is also a Paw & disORDER animal show, plus Sea Lion Scary Tales, Doc Snooker’s Halloween Time Machine and You Otter Know; all are rated as a pumpkin. Check the schedule when you arrive. Some shows are offered only a few times during the day.

9. The Safari Off Road Adventure is also open for fall fun, but those lines might close early based on demand. If the animals are on your must-see list, see them first or make plans to visit an additional day.

10. All the great photo props. Whether you are looking for traditional fall pictures with hay and pumpkins or something a bit creepier (like posing with a coffin), Great Adventure has the props you need for that perfect fall picture.

Jennifer Auer is a South Jersey mom. This post is adapted from her blog, Jersey Family Fun.

Categories: MomSpeak