Orlando Florida is always ready to celebrate a holiday, and Halloween is right up its (dark) alley. This year, Halloween conveniently lands on a Saturday — so if you have a weekend “to kill,” why not take advantage of the Halloween events and spend a couple of days celebrating with a (bewitching) getaway? If you are busy that weekend, no worries: in Florida Halloween festivities are definitely not confined to Oct. 31, but begin in some cases in early September and spill over to Nov. 1 — so everyone can enjoy the fun.
Here are some details we’ve been able to scare up on what awaits you at Central Florida’s attractions.
The theme parks go all out for Halloween. Festivities start in early September in one park, late September in the two others, and continue on select nights through Oct. 31 (in one park through Nov. 1). Two of the events, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and SeaWorld Orlando’s Spooktacular, are suitable and fun for families with small children.
Here are some gory details:
- Horror Nights at Universal Orlando — Your worst nightmare is about to take shape during this event that Universal Orlando warns “may be too intense for young children.” In its 19th year, ghastly and ghostly –and ghoulish–creatures make their presence felt everywhere, blood-curdling scenes from demented movies come to life before your eyes, and haunted houses, scare zones and live shows are definitely not for the faint of heart.
Halloween Horror Nights are presented on select nights from Sept. 25 through Oct. 31. Visitors are not allowed to wear costumes or masks. Single night admission is $69.99 (a variety of other tickets are offered including Frequent Fear Passes for multiple visits for the price of one night). A Florida Residents’ discount is available online with tickets from $39.99. Gory Getaway Packages including one night’s lodging in Orlando, ticket to Universal Horror Nights and other features are priced from $129 per adult. Two night packages are also available. Visit The Official Ticket Center.
- Mickey’s Not-So Scary Halloween Party — One of the highlights of this annual event in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade ushered in by a spooky headless horseman and featuring floats, the stars of the park’s Haunted Mansion, and many of the Disney characters parading around in their costumes –and you can bring your costume too. Special lighting, effects and music turn the park into happy haunted hollows.
The family-friendly party also offers opportunities to go trick-or-treating at a variety of locations in the park, and the Magic Kingdom’s most popular attractions are open for the evening. The Happy HalloWishes Fireworks display, where Disney villains go trick-or-treating in the sky, is one of the evening’s not-to-be-missed highlights.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is presented on select evenings from Sept. 4 to Nov. 1. Advance tickets (for every evening except Oct. 31) are $46 (ages 3-9) and $52 (ages 10 and up). Day of event tickets cost $53 (ages 3-9) and $59 (ages 10 and up). On Oct. 31, tickets are $59 for children and $64 for adults. For information, visit The Official Ticket Center.
- Spooktacular at SeaWorld Orlando — Halloween meets the sea during this park’s “Spooktacular,” a “fantasea” that offers fun for the whole family on select nights Oct. 3-31. This annual event features the opportunity for costumed children to go trick-or-treating among friendly sea witches, mermaids, octopuses and pumpkin fish; play with sea-fairies and dance with an ice witch.
Shamu’s Happy Harbor area is transformed into an autumn festival, adorned with scarecrows and pumpkins. The Halloween festivities begin at 11 a.m. on the selected days and are included in regular admission to the park: $74.95 for adults; $64.95 for children ages 3 to 9. Florida and Georgia residents pay $64.95 (adult and child each).
SeaWorld Orlando also offers Spooky Spectacular Family Sleepovers. Participants may dress up in their favorite costume, come face to face with stealthy stingrays and those terrors of the deep: sharks. Kids can trick-or-treat around the park’s spooktacular exhibits.
The sleepovers are designed for families with children in kindergarten through the fifth grade and run from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m. the following day. Included are a pizza snack and continental breakfast, crafts and activities. Cost is $78 per person. Sleepover dates are Oct. 16, 17, 23 and 24. For park information, visit The Official Ticket Center.
Source: Orlando Sentinel