Say the word Orlando and “vacation” may come to mind, along with theme park rides, thrills, and characters. But come Halloween, some people prefer the spooks and chills of the hauntingly horrifying holiday complete with Orlando haunted houses. Others, especially those with younger children, may seek a more light-hearted approach to the autumn occasion.
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 want to experience Halloween for all its tantalizing frights, our “high freak out” feature will give you more thrills than you’ve ever experienced before.
Whatever fear factor you prefer, find a great deal on an Orlando hotel and save big this season.
Low Freak Out Factor: SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular
Orlando’s Spooktacular at SeaWorld offers much for the younger set who aren’t ready for Orlando haunted houses, with special Halloween events included in park admission on October weekends. Kids are welcome to dress up for “Trick or Treating” at 15 different treasure stations around the park, while an ice DJ entertains visitors with interactive games and activities. 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 and character breakfasts, available on select dates.
Check out the Zoo Boo Bash (mid-October). Face painters are available on demand for kids who need a boost to their costume or didn’t wear one. There’s also a goodie bag and trick or treat stations throughout the park.
Low Freak Out Factor: Disney’s Not-So-Scary Halloween
For a very gentle style of scare, check out Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party held in the Magic Kingdom on select nights September 1 to October 31. 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, fireworks, your lovable cast of Disney characters and Disney villains in special Halloween costumes, as well as 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? Sure to be a hit with preschoolers.
On the way to Disney, pause with older kids at the Orlando Haunted Maze, open during weekends in October in the town of Maitland. It’s the place your family can try to escape from monsters, ghosts and spiders in a fun (but pretty scary) environment.
High Freak Out Factor: Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights and Orlando Haunted Houses
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 years of creating fear and, on select nights from mid-September through November 1, it seems that zombies are going to be taking control during Halloween Horror nights.
The park annually hosts over 500,000 horror-loving fans from all over the world for their haunting shows, so there’s definitely plenty of fright to go around. Eight smaller, yet no less important, Orlando haunted houses and six scare zones include the “Walking Dead” maze with an entire street dedicated to bringing the dead to life, plus haunted houses based on horror franchises like “Insidious” and “Freddie vs. Jason.” 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.
While at Universal Studios, be sure to ask about “Spooky Empire” which is hosted by a major hotel the week prior to the holiday. The Spooky Empire is the largest horror convention in the nation and will feature celebrities, costumes, live performance artists, seminars, and several other activities that hotel guests can get a look at.
And if you’re looking beyond the parks, or for other reasons to visit during the value season and find even more Orlando haunted houses, check out our Orlando & Other Favorite Fall Getaways section.
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.