Haunted house attractions in the pandemic: What you’ll see in 2020

(CNN) — It feels like 2020 has provided more than enough scares. But for people still seeking an extra jolt of fear and adrenalin, it’s the time of year for those shocking haunted house attractions.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has curtailed a lot of long-distance travel, especially by plane, these Halloween-themed attractions around the world usually draw a more local crowd. So they shouldn’t be hurt by people making more short-haul trips this year.

They do face other hurdles, though.

In the carefree nights of 2019, the big questions on these attractions were: Which ones are the best? How scary are they?

In the cautious nights of 2020, we have different questions: Are haunted house attractions even opening this year? And if they are, is it safe to go?

With cases of Covid-19 again on the rise, medical experts advise a careful approach.

A mix of openings and closings

The results: Seven are open this year. Three have decided to shutter for 2020. The seven that are open are:

The Bates Motel is taking reservations in 2020.

The Bates Motel is taking reservations in 2020.

Christopher Brielmaier/Rogues Hollow Productions/Bates Entertainment Group

— Bates Motel, 1835 Middletown Road, Glen Mills, Pennsylvania 19342; +1 610 459 0647
— The Dent Schoolhouse, 5963 Harrison Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio 45248; +1 513 445 9767
— Erebus, 18 S Perry St.., Pontiac, Michigan 48342; +1 248 332 7884
— Haunted Overload, 20 Orchard Way, Lee, New Hampshire 03861; +1 855 504 2868
— Netherworld Haunted House, 1313 Netherworld Way, Stone Mountain, Georgia 30087; +1-404-608-2484
— Scream Town, 7410 US-212, Chaska, Minnesota 55318; +1 888 317 7308
— The 13th Gate: 832 St Philip St, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802; +1 225 389 1313

Citing safety concerns because of Covid-19, three of 2019’s top 10 decided not to reopen. They are Freakling Bros. Trilogy of Terror in Las Vegas, the Haunted Trail of Balboa Park in San Diego and Scared by the Sound (at Playland Park) in Rye, New York.

A longtime Las Vegas favorite, Freaking Bros. Trilogy of Terror decided not to open for the 2020 season.

A longtime Las Vegas favorite, Freaking Bros. Trilogy of Terror decided not to open for the 2020 season.

Edison Graff www.stardustfallout.com

In a message to fans on its website, Freaking Bros. in Nevada said, “Current regulations will not allow us to present our horror shows with the intensity that we are famous for, nor can we guarantee a way to protect our patrons or our valued employees and volunteers properly during this pandemic.

“After months of deliberation and careful assessment, we’ve regretfully had to acknowledge that the only responsible way to handle this is to put safety first, and close for the 2020 season.”

The venues that are opening are emphasizing Covid-19 safety.

The 13th Gate is where folks in Louisiana find their thrills.

The 13th Gate is where folks in Louisiana find their thrills.

13th Gate

For example, the 13th Gate in Louisiana has an entire page devoted to Covid-19 measures. Visitors to amusement parks this past summer will find this all quite familiar.

13th Gate’s measures include mandated masks for guests and actors, virtual queues, reduced capacity, temperature screenings and new setups to maintain

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Florida Attractions – Busch Garden, Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens is undeniably a strong draw for the Tampa Bay area, as it combines an excellent zoo with some of the best roller coasters you'll encounter. Sprawling over 300 acres and the area's biggest theme park draws big crowds. Despite the theme park atmosphere, the real stars are the thousands of animals wandering around African-style environments.

Despite the woolly mammoth-sized admission price, a trip to Busch Gardens is worth it. You should probably pay out $ 16 more per person for a Next-day Ticket, which will entitle you to a visit the following day. Consider a combination ticket to Busch Gardens and Adventure Island.

Stop at the Visitor Information Center (813-985-3601; 3601E Busch Blvd; 10 am-5:30pm Mon-Sat, to 2pm Sun) across from the park for discounted tickets which will save you time as well as money.

You can use the Skyride cable car as an orientation tour. The Hospitality Center overlooking the Serengety Plain has a welcome center where you can get a complimentary 10oz cup of Anheuser-Busch Beer. The Clydesdale Hamlet features trademark Budweiser Clydesdale horses.

In general, lines are far shorter than their Orlando counterparts on a high-season day, you'll probably only have to wait 10 minutes for a ride. Themed shows, performances and craft demonstrations occur several times daily and change often. Check at the ticket window for the day's shows and activities. The same goes for animal acts starring alligators, elephants, tortoises, orangutans, warthogs and tigers; They occur at various villages around the park.

Additionally, in an attempt to stay ahead of the curve, the park is always inventing new rides and theme areas. Check at the gate. Quite a few rides have height restrictions which vary from 42 inches to 56 inches. Plan to spend the whole day at Busch Gardens.

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