Disney and Universal aren't the only theme parks that go all in for Halloween. Both thrills and thrill rides are on offer at these regional parks across the country:
Knott Berry Farm
Buena Park, California
The theme park that started the Halloween event craze, Knott’s Berry Farm, will be kicking off its 48th annual Knott’s Scary Farm on Sept. 16, in Orange County. There will be eight mazes, including Dark Ride: Castle of Chaos, which takes guests into an abandoned carnival ride mysteriously filled with severed body parts, which may teach riders to heed the warning about keeping their arms and legs inside the moving vehicle at all times, and Pumpkin Eater, which features a 7-foot-tall creature whose appetite extends beyond orange gourds. And Knott’s famous Timber Mountain Log Ride will get a Halloween Hootenanny makeover.
Among the park’s six shows will be “Puppet Up! Uncensored,” featuring off-color improv comedy performed by puppeteers from the Jim Henson Co. After all, as the fan-favorite "RuPaul's Drag Race" challenge has reminded us, everybody loves puppets.
► Theme park Halloween plans: See what's in store at Disney, Universal, Legoland, Six Flags, SeaWorld parks
If treats appeal more to you than tricks, then it makes sense to visit the candy capital of America at Halloween. Visitors can experience Hersheypark in the Dark on weekends starting Oct. 15, which will include lights-out rides on some of its coasters.
Many other parks will be going to the dark side this fall, a small sampling of which includes Phantom Fall Fest on weekends starting Oct. 1 at Kennywood. The event is being billed as "half-family, half-fright." Bring the kids early for festive food and check out the decorations or come after 6 p.m. to experience the five haunted houses and four scare zones. Thirty rides will be available, the most in Phantom Fall Fest history.
Knott’s is part of the Cedar Fair chain of parks, most of which will also offer Halloween events. Visitors to Haunt at HalloWeekends at Cedar Point can experience mazes such as Deprivation and Hexed: Black Magic on select nights starting Sept. 17. There will also be fortunetellers and over 1,000 carved pumpkins on display.
Kings Island, located in the southwest corner of Ohio, will present Halloween Haunts on Friday and Saturday nights, running Friday and Saturday nights from Sept. 24 through Oct. 30. Featured mazes include Slaughter House and KillMart (hint: steer clear of the blue light special.)
Charlotte, North Carolina.
Blood on the Bayou will be one of the Halloween Haunt mazes offered on select nights from Sept. 25 through Oct. 31 at Virginia’s Kings Dominion, located between Richmond and Washington. It would also be especially appropriate to take a ride on the park’s indoor Flight of Fear coaster.
California's Great Adventure
Santa Clara, California
Cedar Fair's northern California park is also getting in on the Halloween Haunt party on select nights from Sept. 24 through Oct. 31 Mazes include Backwoods and Tooth Fairy, which if nothing else, may scare you into flossing more regularly.
Pennsylvania’s Dorney Park kicks off its own Halloween Haunt on selected nights between Sept. 18 and Sept. 30. Mazes include Blackout, CarnEvil and Cornstalkers, which sounds just close enough to "Children of the Corn" to be terrifying without knowing anything else about it.
Valleyfair rebrands itself as ValleyScare for its Halloween Haunt celebration on Friday and Saturday nights from Oct. 2-30. Mazes include the aptly named Blood on the Boundary Waters and Carnevil: Ringmaster's Revenge. For families with little kids, there's the Peanuts-themed Great Pumpkin Fest, which features a costume parade and the Peppermint Patty-themed Corn Maize.
Worlds of Fun
Kansas City, Missouri
Santa Claus, Indiana
This town may have a Christmas-y name but unlike retail stores, it hasn't skipped ahead to December yet. Holiday World's Happy Halloween Weekends run Saturdays and Sundays starting Sept. 25 through Oct.31. New for this season: ScareBNB, a family funhouse.
Salt Lake City
Visitors can explore the "dark side of Lagoon" through its Frightmares event, which is included in park admission and runs Sept. 10 through Oct. 31. Families with small children can stick to Kiddieland, where there are no scare zones. But if you're up to it, check out the Fun House of Fear or live Seance show. (Note: Halloween costumes, face makeup and masks are prohibited.)
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Halloween: What's in store at Kennywood, Cedar Point and Carowinds?