European Halloween Theme Park Events

Don't know about you but October is always the perfect time for me to go away and experience some European Halloween goodness. The UK has an excellent line-up of scares and haunts, but there really is nothing like a European theme park all dressed up for Halloween! I've slowly been ticking off my must-do events, so here's a run down of my most recommended/wanted in Europe.

Europa Park Horror Nights
Probably THE destination Halloween event in mainland Europe, Horror Nights at Europa Park is currently celebrating its tenth season of scares. Not only is the park absolutely COVERED in pumpkins and halloween crap (they turn Eurosat into a giant pumpkin for god's sake!), they also have a second gate award winning scream park after dark.

 And it's massive: they turn the station of one of their coasters into the Vampire's Club dance party complete with DJ and bar, and whilst the whole park isn't available for rides in the dark some of the smaller ones are, as well as a horror themed ice show, 6 horror mazes including one escape room and 3 scare zones. It's pretty impressive - on paper. The atmosphere at Horror Nights is fantastic, but this one isn't for you if it's extreme scares that you're after. Production values are high but actual terror is pretty thin on the ground, so grab a drink and soak up the atmosphere instead!

Scare Factor - 3
Fun Factor - 4

Walibi Holland Fright Nights
Not to be confused with the UK attraction of the same name, Fright Nights at Walibi Holland is another huge destination Halloween event in Europe. The park is fully accessible after dark, meaning plenty of night rides on the coasters can be enjoyed by the faint-hearted as well as SEVEN scare zones and FIVE scare attractions, including THE CLINIC, new for 2016 where you face the creatures inside alone.

Fright Nights truly is a full park Halloween takeover with extreme scares akin to what you'd find at Universal Halloween Horror Nights. You can't turn a corner without bumping into a disgusting chainsaw-wielding clown or similar!

Scare Factor - 5
Fun Factor - 4

Movie Park Germany Halloween Horror Fest
Think Universal Halloween Horror Nights on a budget, and that's pretty much what you can expect from Halloween Horror Fest at Movie Park Germany. Set amongst film 'studio' building, the park floods the streets with lights, fog and a whole cast of blood-soaked cretins ripped straight from the silver screen to send you into full on panic mode.

Alongside some own brand creations, rides in the dark and horror themed shows, surely the biggest draw to this attraction are the constantly updated IP mazes on offer. This year guests can test their mettle through three infamous horror genre themed attractions: The Walking Dead Escape, Insidious 2 and Friday 13th 4D. Whilst the full blown event makes no apologies for its extreme content by inflicting a 16+ age rating for most of its attractions, the park also offers a toned down family-friendly Halloween offering too before the sun goes down and shit gets brutal!

Scare Factor - 5
Fun Factor - 3

Halloween at PortAventura
Probably the most family friendly Halloween offering sits on the Costa del Sol at PortAventura. Considering how long this park has been established for and how high quality a resort it is, it's always surprised me that they haven't really gone all out with a Europa style scream park offering. Instead, Halloween at PortAventura feels more like a box ticking exercise, but that doesn't mean the park doesn't look awesome all covered in pumpkins!

Expect something a lot more traditional from this event: shows, cute but conventional Halloween decorations, pumpkin carving for the kids and a spattering of scare zones and resident horror mazes (their staple Penitence has been going for a WHILE now) for the more brave of heart. Interestingly, PortAventura also have an IP lead maze in [REC] based on the Spanish found-footage zombie flick of the same name. OK, so chainsaw wielding freaks aren't exactly key to the narrative of the film, it seems to be a crowdpleaser and returns year after year, so you can't fault them for giving the public what they want!

Scare Factor - 2
Fun Factor - 4

Parc Asterix Peur sur le Parc
Aimed at more of a tween audience and with an emphasis on shows, Parc Asterix Peur sur le Parc is probably the European park that puts the most emphasis on atmosphere and theming for their Halloween events as opposed for going full throttle with the scares.

And they really do go all out, making the effort to turn the whole of Rue du Paris (an inside themed street) into a live scare zone with scary street theatre and loads of Halloween theming. Again, in true Asterix style, there's a much larger emphasis on a Scooby Doo kind of creep factor over intense horror, meaning it's light hearted ghoulish fun for families and even the more 'intense' haunted houses are a lot more theatrical and titillating than terrifying.

Scare Factor - 3
Fun Factor - 5

We're officially in Halloween season now and that means my schedule is now fully packed with haunts pretty much every weekend until the big day - and I can't wait!

Talk later xoxo