Get Your Fright on at Six Flags’ Fright Fest

Get Your Fright on at Six Flags Fright Fest

Dean Carlson, News Reporter

When the Halloween season comes around, lots of people look forward to Six Flags Great America’s annual Halloween event, known as Fright Fest. This raises the question: is Fright Fest, in Gurnee, a good choice for Six Flags Great America?

The numerous changes to Six Flags that turn it into Fright Fest include five premium haunted attractions, four Scare Zones (areas where the dress-up actors go around and scare people), the park’s collection of monster coasters (Halloween-themed roller coasters) and three all-new frightful shows. 

Six Flags makes all this possible by setting it all up in just one week, says junior Alex Lehman. Lehman is the rides’ lead for Batman the Ride at Great America, which means they are the manager of the individual ride itself — making sure the ride is safe and ensuring that the staff working at the ride are doing all their jobs. A general admission ticket gets one into most Fright Fest special attractions, though Great America does charge an extra fee to go into any of the haunted houses, some attractions, as well as live performances. 

With a base cost of $40 for admission on weekdays and $50 on weekends, the question arises of whether Fright Fest is really worth the extra cost. Sophomore Maggie Lanza believes Fright Fest is definitely worth it because there are more actors and more scenery to get a greater Halloween vibe. 

But because of COVID-19, Six Flags has put restrictions in place, which has created several differences at the park compared to past years. A few of these included limiting capacity at rides and cleaning them every so often. Additionally, people could not go in buildings, so the rides like Battle for Metropolis and The Dark Knight, just to name a few, were unfortunately closed because the guests would have had to wait indoors to get on the ride. 

Lehman continues by saying that there is just one restriction still in place, and that is that everyone has to wear masks indoors. Lanza explains that even with the mask wearing, it does not affect the experience of Fright Fest at all.

This experience generally involves wanting to be scared, but this isn’t the case for sophomore Teddy Riefke.

“I absolutely do not like Fright Fest because the dressed-up people scare the crap out of you,” Riefke said. “I knew I was going to Fright Fest to get scared, but I never expected it to be as scary as it was … It felt like [the actors] were actually going to kill you.”

But, most people like the creepy aesthetic, so it draws in more people into the park than usual. Alex Lehman has seen firsthand evidence of this. He explains that over the past few weeks, the park has reached full capacity and has had to start denying requests to go into the park, saying that this is the first time this has happened since he first started working at Six Flags in 2019.

With all the added options, along with the Halloween vibe, Lanza feels that Fright Fest does make Six Flags better. 

“If you go to Six Flags during the summer, you just wait in long lines and go on a few [rides],” Lanza said. “But with Fright Fest, once you get off the rides, you have to deal with the scary actors and monsters, which greatly adds to the amount of thrill you get.” 

Lehman adds to this by saying that he loves how the park gets completely transformed when the clock strikes six p.m.

“It’s just so different because I love the Halloween/spooky season and it’s just so fun seeing the guests getting scared and having so much fun,” Lehman said.