Orlando Haunted Houses and Spooky Thrills in Orlando

Say the word Orlando and “vacation” may come to mind, along with theme park rides, thrills and characters. But come Halloween, some people prefer their rides, thrills and characters living in Orlando haunted houses. Others, especially those with younger children, may seek a more light-hearted approach to the frightful autumn occasion.

Spooktacular at SeaWorld
Toddler-friendly Spooktacular takes over SeaWorld during the fall.

We’ve found a few fun Halloween events in Orlando, Florida that speak to each respective interest. If you want to please the kids without having them cry all night, our “low freak out” feature is just what you’re looking for. If you are after tantalizing frights, look to our “high freak out” events for more thrills than you’ve ever experienced.

Whatever fear factor you prefer, find a great deal on an Orlando hotel and save big this season.

Low Freak Out Factor: SeaWorld Orlando and LEGOLAND

Orlando’s Spooktacular at SeaWorld offers much for the younger set who aren’t ready for Orlando haunted houses. Special Halloween events included in park admission will run weekends, September 17 – October 31, 2022. Kids are welcome to dress up for “Trick or Treating” at 12 different treasure stations around the park. Stop at the Pumpkin Patch and dance while a DJ entertains visitors.

Characters of all shapes and sizes, including the staff dressed in fantastic costumes, roam the park throughout the day greeting kids. Check their site for price info as well as for spooky sleepovers available on select dates.

Count von Count’s Spooktacular Breakfast will thrill early risers. Check out the Sesame Street Halloween Parade for super cute costumes. Face painters are available on demand for kids who need a boost to their costume or didn’t wear one.

Legoland characters greet visitors to the LEGOLAND Florida theme park where Halloween festivities are the top fall attraction.
Lego characters greet visitors to the LEGOLAND Florida theme park where Halloween festivities are the big appeal for fall family getaways. Photo c. Visit Orlando.

LEGOLAND Florida is hosting its fun Brick-or-Treat Trail again this year, themed to Monster Party. The kids will have fun choosing heart-stopping beats from vintage rockers that new LEGO characters will perform live. There’s a trail of treats to explore, lots of fun LEGO sculpture to admire and rides geared to ages 3 to 12 decked out in their finest Halloween duds.

Low Freak Out Factor: Disney’s Not-So-Scary Halloween

A very gentle style of scare means not too scary. That’s why Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party held in the Magic Kingdom on select nights Aug. 12 to Oct. 31, 2022 is an annual sellout. Guests of all ages are encouraged to dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes. Even better, you can collect candy as you trick-or-treat around the Magic Kingdom theme park.

In addition to many favorite Disney attractions, the themed entertainment includes a Mickey Halloween Parade and fireworks. Get autographs from a lovable cast of Disney characters and Disney villains in special Halloween costumes. This party boasts lighting, music and theming effects that transform special areas of Magic Kingdom into happy haunted hollows. Who can guess what Elsa and Anna (from “Frozen”) will wear?  It is sure to be a hit with preschoolers.

Need a cheap rental car for Orlando fall fun this year? Go here.

Medium Freak Out With Live Alligators

Hannah Scarecrow with albino alligator at Gatorland, Florida.
Hannah the Scarecrow and her albino friend Sawyer greet goblins of any age to Gatorland’s Halloween event. Photo c. Gatorland

One of Orlando’s most classic attractions is Gatorland, which has featured scary alligators, crocodiles, reptiles and lizards in dark, dank environments since 1949. Fast forward 73 years. Families now find a petting zoo, aviary, sightseeing train, zip line, splash park, story telling and animal encounters. How better to spend a fall day?

This year marks Gatorland’s 4th annual Gators, Ghosts and Goblins Halloween event. Encounter gators by day in a safe and friendly way for gentle frights and family fun the last three weekends in October.

High Freak Out Factor in Tampa at Busch Gardens

Take a day off from terrifying Orlando to head west to Tampa Bay. Here, Howl-o-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa has ramped up the fear factor to become one of the best local Halloween attractions. It takes place Sept. 9 to Oct. 31 after 7pm, primarily weekend nights. Expect the entire theme park to be engulfed in blood and gore suitable for teens and older.

Skillfully styled haunted houses are located among outdoor scare zones and live shows to make your skin crawl. Even the park’s top thrill rides are turned over to Halloween devils. For the ultimate thrill with your group over age 14, get VIP Passes ($249 each) and relax — if possible — in a private bar. No need to rush when you book front-of-the-line passes, free parking and a guided tour of the haunts.

Highest Freak Out Factor: Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights

Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights Monster
A monster from Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights.

As a movie-themed park, Universal Orlando knows what it takes to put on an honestly horrifying Halloween event. The theme park is celebrating nearly 30 years of creating fear and, on select nights from September 2 through October 31, 2022, it seems that zombies are going to be taking control of Halloween Horror Nights.

The park annually hosts over 500,000 horror-loving fans from all over the world. Horror lovers especially appreciate the haunted shows, so there’s definitely plenty of live fright to go around. Orlando haunted houses and six scare zones bring the dead to life. Look for haunted houses based on horror franchises like “Insidious” and “Freddie vs. Jason;” they change annually. This event is recommended for teens age 14 and older! Visit Halloween Horror Nights for more information about this and their RIP Weekend Getaway hotel packages.

The Visit Orlando tourism office has a full, up to date list of this year’s Halloween events for all ages. We will add one, too! Be sure to drop by Spooky Empire which will be in Orlando, Florida this year from October 21 to 23, 2022. The Spooky Empire, the largest horror convention in the nation, features celebrities, costumes, live performance artists, seminars, and several other activities.

Moreover, if you’re looking beyond the parks and more reasons to visit during the value season, check out our Orlando & Other Favorite Fall Getaways section.

Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.

14 Replies to “Orlando Haunted Houses and Spooky Thrills in Orlando”

Comment on this article

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.