Tuesday, October 17

The Quad: Kick-start Halloween festivities Friday with these spooky attractions


(Ellen Mei/Daily Bruin)

(Ellen Mei/Daily Bruin)


Many Bruins will be disheartened to know that Halloween is falling on the Tuesday of week five.

While this won’t stop us from going out and celebrating, some Bruins might find homework, jobs or midterms dampening their Halloween fun. Therefore, even though UCLA will be filled with people walking around like zombies on Oct. 31, it may be more from study-related sleep deprivation rather than costume choice.

But take heart. Even though Halloween might be ruined, we still have Friday the 13th.

Here are some events that can kick-start your spooky spirit:

Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights

Universal is known to present very realistic monsters, often accompanied by stunning visual and audio effects, which are guaranteed to raise goosebumps.

“It’s pretty much movie magic come to life,” says Magdalena Enriquez, a fifth-year Chicana/o studies and Spanish student who has visited Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights for four years in a row.

Enriquez recommends getting there as early as you can to avoid long lines that can have up-to-two-hour wait times. She also recommends looking up the different maze descriptions on the Studio’s website, so you can pick favorites in case you are unable to visit all mazes.

The standard Universal rides – besides The Mummy and Jurassic Park – and staged performances don’t really add to the spooky theme. Feel free to use these rides as a breather from the scare tactics of the maze but keep in mind that fighting Decepticons or dancing along to the Jabbawockeez – an alien band from the outer space – might feel a tad weird right after screaming your lungs out at the Walking Dead attraction.

Location: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

Time: 7 p.m – 1 a.m

Dates: Sept. 10 – Nov. 4

Price: $95 for general admission


Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

For those students who survived and loved the movie “It,” the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is a great opportunity to get another dose of clown paranoia, since this year’s theme is centered around vicious clowns.

You also have the opportunity to get off the hayride midway and trudge through a “cornfield,” so the ride allows people to experience both a pseudo-tram ride and a horror maze.

Come dressed in thick pants since the hay barrels on the ride poke through thin leggings and can irritate bare skin. The best part of the experience is the Dark Maze, which as the name indicates is a blacked-out maze. I would also recommend buying the general pass for this event for $44 rather than spending $35 just for the hayride ticket.

Location: 4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA

Time: 7 p.m – 1 a.m

Dates: Sept. 29 – Oct. 31

Price: $35 for Hayride only, $44 for GA


Dark Harbor

The Queen Mary’s Halloween celebration draws a lot on the historic ship’s role during the World War II. All mazes either have backstories which originate during the war or create an old-world vibe that adds a glamorous feel to the spooky horror. The organizers have also expanded and added a fourth maze aboard the ship – “Feast” – which is this year’s central attraction.

The organizers have also tried to connect the stories of the different mazes to each other using the history of the ship – a connection that is lacking in almost all of the other options on the list. I would definitely recommend visiting this event if you feel oversaturated by the omnipresent zombies and clowns, or if you want to cross items off your Los Angeles bucket list list, since the ship itself has an eerie history.

However, there is a caveat. Even though the ship might have an old-world feel, most reviews say that the food on the ship is not just overpriced but also subpar, so grab food before you visit Queen Mary. After all, it’s better to swipe yourself into Covel dining hall then spend around the same on a small plate of fries aboard the ship.

Location: 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, CA

Time: 7 p.m – 1 a.m

Dates: September 28 – November 1

Price: $34 for GA


Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest

Although the park offers a variety of mazes with vivid themes, ranging from zombies to monster massacres, and has the cheapest tickets of all the attractions, I would recommended foregoing the maze pass in favor of a GA pass.

The GA pass, while restricting your access to the mazes themselves, will let you ride all of Six Flags’ 11 open rides – including favorites like Goliath, X2 and Colossal – in pitch darkness, which is a scary proposition in itself. The park adopts a spooky theme at night, so merely walking from one ride to another is fun, because having random monsters jump at you and chase you breaks the monotony that mazes can sometimes have. Pass holders also have access to all scare zones and performances that the park offers.

Location: Six Flags Magic Mountain, 26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia, CA

Time: 7 p.m to 2 a.m

Dates: Sept. 16 – Oct. 31

Price: $17 for Maze Pass and $55 for GA ticket from UCLA’s Central Ticketing Office

Knott’s Scary Farm

The amusement park – considered one of the best for Halloween-themed celebrations – goes to great lengths to create a memorable experience. This year, it features nine mazes, four scare zones, and three Halloween-based performances.

Despite its popularity, the lines for all mazes are usually under 30 minutes and the Knott’s mobile app cuts down on wait times. The Wi-Fi is known to be spotty around Knott’s, however, so download the app before you head over.

However, the waits for the rides are another story. Diane Lee, a biochemistry alumna, said that her friends waited between three and four hours before they got to ride on one of the roller coasters. It is a definite time sink, since the evening attractions are only open for seven hours. Lee also felt that the famed Knott’s mazes got predictable after a point.

Location: 8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA

Time: 7 p.m – 2 a.m

Dates: until Oct. 31

Price: $42 for GA

All in all, I would say that in terms of convenience, Universal Studios and the Haunted Hayride may be your best options. However, if you want to do something different, check out Dark Harbor. Whatever you end up doing, be sure to utilize this day and all its spooky potential regardless of whether you are free on Oct. 31. Have a happy Hallow-13!

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Appurva Goel is a Daily Bruin Quad contributor. She likes writing about different cultures, fashion and social issues.


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