The amusement and entertainment industry will see new Halloween trends for 2020. Despite COVID-19, a recent national survey showed that 70% of moms reported they expect to celebrate Halloween with their children. 35% of those moms anticipated buying costumes for their children, and over 30% said they would purchase costumes for themselves. When it comes to spending, most (60%) expected to spend the same on Halloween as they did in 2019.
A new trend gaining traction is “Trunk or Treating.” Initially started by church groups for safety concerns, trunk or treating involves a community coming together in a parking lot and creating an environment for children to trick or treat out of decorated car trunks.
The big theme parks — Universal, Disneyland, and Knott’s — have canceled their Halloween events in Southern California. Even though the famous California theme parks are out this year, many amusement parks and venues across the country are staying open to the public.
Tampa, Florida’s Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream will be open from September 25 – November 1. The event is promoting enhanced safety and health measures as the core of the modified event. Their event features open-air scare zones, limited admissions that require reservations, and physical distancing between timed groups.
Halloween will look different for the parks that are offering Halloween events to customers, but with some creativity, it can still be a fun and enjoyable night for all the guests that venture out. Just read the 2020 Halloween trends below to understand how your business should navigate this year.
1. Halloween crowd management
One of the most significant changes we’re seeing is queue line management and timed ticketing. Queue lines are now only moving in one direction – the days of zig-zagging in tight spaces are gone for now. Timed ticketing eliminates the need for large groups stacking up and waiting. Guests select when they want to enter a park or haunted house and arrive according to their designated time.
2. Creative cleaning and guidelines
Disinfecting publicly, in view of guests, is good practice. Unlike in the Pre-COVID area, guests are now happy to see staff wiping things down with disinfectants. It shows you’re taking safety seriously and puts guests in a mood where they can relax and enjoy their time at the attraction. Operators are getting creative and incorporating cleaning crews into their Halloween theme by outfitting them with costumes.
Guest satisfaction at events will be tied to the expectations set during marketing. Amid a pandemic, fear is probably not the best selling strategy. This year’s slogans will be better off using words like “celebrate” and “party.” Marketing your Halloween event as an opportunity to get out for an evening and spend time with a family and friends in a safe environment will go a long way.
4. Masks, costumes, and props
The good thing about Halloween is the encouragement of mask-wearing. You’ll want guests to follow best practices and wear masks. One way to incentivize them is to hold contests for the best mask designs. As far as costumes go, venues will be smart to avoid hospital and doctor costumes. Go with zombies and clowns to avoid coming off as insensitive to the medical community. Make sure to keep props out of reach to avoid having hundreds of hands touching them every night.
Halloween during coronavirus will look like no Halloween before, but it can still be an excellent time for all. Entertainment and amusement businesses can still offer guests a safe experience by finding creative ways to follow CDC guidelines and using these Halloween trends to help. By sticking to the CDC best practices and carrying the appropriate amusement and entertainment insurance, operators can rest easy and put on a great event despite COVID-19.