I think I found a new fall tradition: Halloween at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City. It’s like summer vacation meets sweater weather. It’s fabulous. Read on to learn more about the Great Pumpkin Fest, which is best for younger kids. I shared some tips to help you make the most of Worlds of Fun in October.
UPDATED: This post was written in 2016 and has been updated with 2019 hours, prices, activities and additional details.
My family was invited by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company and Blog Meets Brand to experience the Great Pumpkin Fest at Worlds of Fun for the first time ever this year. We’d had a blast at Worlds of Fun in the early summer, so I was curious to see how different it was in the fall.
(If you want to try yet another season, try visiting during the holidays when the theme park puts on WinterFest!)
Here’s how to make the most of it fall activities at Worlds of Fun, especially if you’re going to visit with young kids.
Beware: Daytime Halloween is completely different from nighttime Halloween at Worlds of Fun.
1. Time your visit right for your family
The park is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays this month. Great Pumpkin Fest is on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Go then if you’re looking for the fall festival feel.
Things turn mighty creepy after 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights for Halloween Haunt. Go only if your kids are old enough (recommended age is 14+). Click here to get the park hours and be doubly sure you’re going at the right time.
And in case you were wondering, most rides are open and the lines are much shorter in October than they are in the summer. Holla!
2. Going on Saturday for Great Pumpkin Fest? Hit the big rides early
Saturday is the only day that has both Great Pumpkin Fest followed by Halloween Haunt. The older crowd that’s planning on going to Haunt start arriving before it actually starts (scares begin at 6 p.m.), but not so early in the day as you think.
If your kid is tall enough for roller coasters and the other big rides at Worlds of Fun, ride them before about 2 or 3 p.m. to enjoy the shorter wait. There is a notable uptick in visitors later in the day and those grown ups are headed to the thrill rides.
3. Plan ahead and get your preschooler a FREE ticket
Worlds of Fun offers kids ages 3 to 5 a free Pre-K pass for the season!
Get started here.
4. Let your kids wear costumes
There’s a costume contest in Planet Snoopy at 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays for ages 11 and younger. Kids love dressing up regardless. But, more importantly, in this age of Instagramming everything, just think of the cute photos. Which leads me to the next tip.
5. Bring the camera
Throughout the park, you’ll find great fall-themed photo opportunities. Be sure to tag Worlds of Fun, you just might end up on one of the TVs throughout the park. Use #WorldsOfFun and if it’s your first time going there, use #WOFFirstTimer.
And yeah, some of the photo opps will be creepier than others.
6. Pick your Halloween fun
My kids wanted to ride everything AND see everything, which just isn’t possible. So they picked what they really wanted to do: Meet Snoopy, pick a pumpkin out, and trick or treat. Throw in a handful of rides and it was a great afternoon.
Here’s the rundown for your family to pick your Halloween must-dos, you’ll find all of this in Planet Snoopy:
Note: These activities typically run from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays during the run of the Great Pumpkin Fest.
– Photo ops with Peanuts characters walking around
– Linus’ Labyrinth is cute for the littler kids – kids 12 and younger can choose a mini pumpkin to take home
– Count Snooptacular’s Costume Contest
– Franklin’s Cool Coloring
– Pig Pen’s Creepy Crafts
– “Haunted Homecoming” – A cast of teenage deadheads are stuck in the 1960s perform a rock review.
– Skelton Crew (Sundays at 4, 5 and 6 p.m.)
– Sally’s Dance Spectacular
If you go
Halloween events at Worlds of Fun
When: Great Pumpkin Fest runs from Sept. 14 through Oct. 27 and is held on Saturdays and Sundays.
Halloween Haunt runs from Sept. 14 through Oct. 26 and is held on Friday and Saturdays (Fridays, from 6 p.m. to midnight, and Saturdays, 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.). Halloween Haunt is not recommended for children younger than 14.
Where: Worlds of Fun, 4545 Worlds of Fun Avenue, Kansas City, Mo.
Cost: Great Pumpkin Fest tickets start at $39.99. Tickets cover admission to all Great Pumpkin Fest starts activities and if you wanted to, you can stay for Halloween Haunt.
Halloween Haunt-only tickets start at $39.99. Parking starts at $15. But online to save some money.
Make a trip of it!
My family has had a long love affair with Kansas City. For ideas for other fun things to do with kids in Kansas City, start here!
If you can’t make it to Kansas City this fall, consider winter because, seriously, it’s the best time to visit! Worlds of Fun has its own holiday event called Winter Fest. Plus, here are 15+ things to do in Kansas City at Christmas time, and here’s a KC weekend winter itinerary.
Looking for a Kansas City hotel?
Need a hotel? Check out this great Courtyard we stayed at with the kids. A little further from Worlds of Fun, but closer to some fantastic attractions is the Sheraton the my kids still talk about (that rooftop pool…).