We’re big amusement park fans. This year alone we’ve been to four different parks in three states. I’m embarrassed to admit our theme park adventures didn’t take us to Six Flags Great America until a representative from Discover Card emailed and invited us to Fright Fest.
Fright Fest was a different adventure from what we were used to because the rides, shows and characters were all Halloween-themed. These really fun, costumed ghouls wandering the park just walked up to people and interacted. One time a ghoul grabbed a camera and started taking photos of a group. Another time a ghoul put his arm around a young woman who must have thought he was one of her friends. She didn’t even realize he was there for about a block. When she did realize it, she jumped and screamed. The rest of her group laughed. It was fun to be in the park because the other guests there were all in the Fright Fest spirit.
Our favorite ghoul moment came as we were leaving the park. A family walked in front of us. The father kept calling “Samantha.” She ignored him. A ghoul in a bloody bride’s dress heard him and started screaming, “SAMANTHA, answer your father.” She followed the family until they left the gates. We were all in tears because we laughed so much. The bloody bride was relentless. She screamed and screamed at Samantha. It was hysterical.
We did enjoy Love at First Fright. It was all you would expect from a Halloween show. Every song had a Halloween connection, with the Time Warp getting the biggest response. The girls knew most of the songs and laughed at the costumes. Our middle school neighbor understood the show on a different level. She caught most of the adult jokes and sang all the songs. I just sat back and enjoyed the current event references woven into the plot.
We made it on all the roller coasters we wanted to ride, often more than once. Our blond twin is a well-documented roller coaster fanatic. It cannot go high enough or fast enough for that crazy girl. The blond twin went on the Eagle three times before I decided it was enough. All told she rode different roller coasters more than a dozen times in one night. She loved every ride.
For me the ride I won’t go on again is the Orbit. It looks so harmless. You get into your cage and it starts to spin, kind of like a Ferris wheel. The difference is the Orbit takes you upside down as you are spinning. When it stopped, I could hardly walk straight. The other three girls were running to get back into line. I went on it a second time, but I wouldn’t do it a third. I was dizzy for a few blocks after that ride. It was the last time I went on a ride that I didn’t watch first.
During Fright Fest, several haunted houses join the attractions. We didn’t visit the haunted houses. I’m not sure our girls are quite ready for that. Yes, I get the irony. The blond twin will go on anything that twists, turns and goes upside down with frightening speed. She’s afraid of haunted houses. We call her the thrill seeker, but she is only seven years old. The brunette twin wouldn’t even walk near the haunted houses.
The scariest moment of the night came when we were on the Eagle. At the top of the first hill, it started to rain. I kept thinking, “I’m on top of a crazy roller coaster, in the dark, in the rain, looking at traffic on the Tri-State.” It was a great, as was our night at Fright Fest.
Disclosure: Discover Card sent Shari free tickets to Fright Fest. She and her family paid for all the other theme park adventures themselves.
This is an original Chicago Moms Blog post.