From theme parks to haunted hotels; Better has the scoop on all the greatest places to get a fright or find delight this holiday season.
Host: Time to go tripping with better, Reanne N. spoke with our travel expert Gabe Saglier from travelzoo.com about some haunting locations. Reanne: Halloween is just around the corner. We’ve got some spooky ideas for the entire family this year. We welcome Gabe Saglier with travelzoo, an online guide to the world’s best travel deals. Hi Gabe. Gabe: Hello, good to be with you. Reanne: Yes, it great to have you. Now the first thing you say is amusement parks really get into that Halloween spirit this time of year. Gabe: Yes, across the country, they can be small, they can be medium, they can be the mega theme parks we all know and love but for the most part, all of them put on a Halloween theme a couple of weeks before the 31st of October. The only trick with these Halloween parks is making sure they’re age appropriate. For example, Universal Orlando has their Halloween horror nights. Not recommended for little kids. Very spooky but that’s definitely sort of a grownup kind of a thing, maybe early teenager kind of an event. On the other side of the spectrum, Walt Disney World has their Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween and as the name might imply, that is definitely sort of a family friendly event. You’ve got the Disney characters doing their Halloween parade, trick or treating throughout the park so make sure if you’re going to a theme park that it is age appropriate and then it’s fun for the whole family. Reanne: And just quickly you said, also check your local and regional theme parks as well if you don’t want to spend so much money. Gabe: Indeed, certainly the big mega parks are going to be doing a lot of promotion for their Halloween events but really all these little regional theme parks that may be just a couple of minutes down the road, they’re all doing these little Halloween themed events for about three weeks leading up to Halloween and in some cases up to a week after the Halloween holiday. Reanne: Okay, you also say stay at a haunted hotel. Are there really such a thing? Gabe: There are hundreds of hotels. In some cases these are just stories that guests put out there and they spread quickly, thanks to the internet. In some cases, hotels themselves will sort of market themselves as spooky places to stay. Most of them are open year round. Rates tend to go up a little bit during the Halloween season. These are places where if you want to get a little of a scary thrill, it may be a place you might consider staying like the Stanley Hotel in Estes, Colorado. This is where Stephen King stayed and wrote The Shining. This is where The Shining was filmed and there are a couple of rooms that supposedly have some haunted reality to it. There’s also the Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach California, the famous ship that is now a hotel. Of course, they do these haunted tours throughout the year but people have said they hear the haunting and screamings and shacklings in the machine rooms down below in the Queen Mary down in Long Beach California. Reanne: Very scary, I guess if you like that kind of thing. You also say visit a classic Halloween haunt. What does that mean exactly? Gabe: Yes, the haunt, these are old buildings that have transformed into haunted houses or empty fields that are transformed into cemeteries or mazes during the Halloween season. There are some major ones across the country from coast to coast and a lot of them will actually draw regional crowds. People will drive several hours to go experience these haunts. A place called ScreamWorld in Houston that started back in 2000 and draws thousands of people. It has three haunted houses and outdoor maze and an outdoor cemetery and for one price, people sort of get to experience all of them. They’re in L.A., they’re in New York. They’re throughout the Midwest so really these are major haunts as they’re called and they’ll draw people willing to drive several hours to get scared. Reanne: Thank you so much Gabe for that today. If you like that sort of thing.