The Daytime Details of Halloween at Carowinds
Now entering its 18th year, SCarowinds is Carowinds’ Halloween Haunt event, and takes place on select weekend nights; Fridays and Saturdays in September and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in October. We’ve visited SCarowinds at night the last two years (you can check out our reviews of 2015 and 2016 here!), but have never really noticed to the level of detail at SCarowinds that is obviously easier to see with the benefit of daylight and no fog anywhere.
During a visit to the park yesterday, we not only wandered around Carowinds’ daytime family Halloween Event, The Great Pumpkin Fest, but also through SCarowinds’ six scarezones, five of which have new homes in the park, and was able to see so much more detail than I had in previous visits to SCarowinds.
The Great Pumpkin Fest
Before undergoing its transformation to Camp Snoopy in 2018, Carowinds’ “Planet Snoopy” Kids’ Area is hosting The Great Pumpkin Fest for the fifth consecutive year.
In addition to Planet Snoopy’s wide range of rides, Carowinds’ younger guests can participate in several Halloween activities, including a Hay Bale Maze, Foam Zone, and a Pumpkin Patch where children under 12 can take home a miniature pumpkin of their own. There’s also a mural wall for children to color their favorite Peanuts Halloween scenes.
Inside Planet Snoopy, there are plenty of Halloween Decorations, and even the costumed Peanuts Characters get into the act, with Halloween costumes of their own.
If you’re like me, and have a “dad jokes” sense of humor, The Great Pumpkin fest has you covered there as well!
The Great Pumpkin Fest takes place on Saturdays and Sundays through October 29, and is included with Carowinds Admission.
SCarowinds By Day
With only Friday and Saturday operation for SCarowinds until October, visiting the park on a Sunday meant that I could experience the park in the daylight hours, and really take notice of all of the detail inside of SCarowinds’ six scare zones.
As detailed in this blog post from Carowinds, five of the Scare Zones have moved locations from previous versions of SCarowinds.
- E.H. Bailey’s Psycho Circus – Moved from Crossroads (Near Plants vs. Zombies) to the New County Fair.
- Mass Acres – Moved from Crossroads (in front of Boo Blasters on Boo Hill) to Celebration Plaza, near the front gate.
- The Playground – Moved from Planet Snoopy (near Flying Ace Aerial Chase) to Crossroads (Near Plants vs. Zombies)
- Scary Tales – Moved from Vortex Plaza to the Carolina Boardwalk (Near the exit for Carolina Goldrusher)
- Blood Yard – Moved from County Fair to the Thrill Zone (Near Hurler)
There’s some great theming throughout the park for SCarowinds.
The Mass Acres Graveyard’s new location provides a great welcome to SCarowinds.
Each grave monument in this cemetery depicts the name of a member of Carowinds’ executive team, including a giant Grim Reaper representing Cedar Fair President and CEO Matt Ouimet.
Monuments for Carowinds VP/GM Pat Jones and VP of Operations, Jerry Helms.
A few more looks inside Mass Acres, which will also host the popular Skeleton Crew acrobatics show this year.
And I’ve never seen these Giant Brazilian Spiders at SCarowinds before, but if you have arachnophobia, I’d steer clear. They might even jump out at you.
Turning left out of Mass Acres, you arrive at Fleet Street.
With Carowinds’ Panda Express moving to Planet Snoopy earlier this season, it has given Fleet Street a slightly larger footprint near Ripcord, which can almost guarantee more scares in the area.
Each Full-Time Carowinds associate gets their own tombstone located somewhere in the park.
There is also a cemetery section for former rides and attractions at Carowinds.
Even E. Pat Hall, Carowinds’ founder, has a tombstone in his memory.
Over at The Playground, the new scare zone is a lot more spread out than the former version in Planet Snoopy. This will undoubtedly result in several more scares, and there were even kids’ games like hopscotch and tic-tac-toe scattered around the area.
The giant blocks will make for great set pieces.
E.H. Bailey’s Psycho Circus
New to SCarowinds in 2016, E.H. Bailey’s Psycho Circus has expanded its midway and taken over the Carowinds County Fair. Many of last year’s set pieces have returned, including the advertisements for various circus acts.
The carnival midway has returned as well, along with several other circus displays.
Psycho Circus’ Skeleton Key, Jack’s Revenge, seems to fit perfectly inside of the County Fair/Psycho Circus theme.
Scary Tales’ new location should provide a completely different experience than past years, when the location was inside of the Vortex Plaza.
One of my favorite set pieces from Scary Tales was this angry looking tree.
And though not directly involved with Scary Tales, Carowinds’ animatronic troll is making another appearance this fall.
Probably my favorite ScareZone to walk through in the daylight was Blood Yard, which has received the added bonus of the Blood Drums show that formerly occupied Carowinds’ Plaza Stage.
I think I enjoy this one in the daylight the most because of all of the graffiti’ed detail on the shipping containers.
There are some great “Easter Eggs” inside Blood Yard. There is graffiti for Matt Ouimet, Pat Jones, and even former Carowinds VP/GM Mike Fehnel, and if you look closely, you’ll see that Jerry Helms, in addition to serving as the VP of Operations for Carowinds and owning the J.R. Helms Mining Company at Carolina Goldrusher, also owns his own Salvage company.
Blood Yard has also received some new set pieces, which have been appropriately graffiti’ed.
While the scare zones are out in the open, SCarowinds’ six mazes aren’t easily accessible during the day and are tucked away in different areas of the park. However, the signage looks amazing!
The Great Pumpkin Fest takes place on Saturdays and Sundays through October 29. SCarowinds takes places on Fridays and Saturdays in September, and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in October, through October 29. For more information and park hours, be sure to visit the SCarowinds website.
And don’t forget, Winterfest is lurking just around the corner!