Halloween at the Parks
Universal Studios Orlando - Halloween Horror Nights
By far the biggest fright-fest in Orlando is found at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights. Universal Orlando is transformed into a twisted, freakish nightmare. Guests are scared rigid in a series of set-piece horror attractions, from terrifying psych wards and catacombs to spooky zombie zones infested with chainsaw wielding maniacs. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending which way you look at it, the Scare Zones must be walked through in order to get around the park. Each zone features macabre special effects and live actors lurking in dark corners, ready and waiting to leap out with blood-curdling props when you least expect it. Universal welcomes you into the frightfully haunting and awesomely terrifying haunted homes of Zombies, Cindy, the ghostly orphan who resides in a burnt down orphanage and many other unsettled spirits with horrifying back stories. This superbly-staged horrific event is an intense meeting with the supernatural and all things that go bump in the night and is definitely not recommended for the faint hearted, nor those younger than sixteen years old.
Should you brave it to a Halloween Horror Night, make sure to catch the infamously hillarious Bill and Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure show, which makes a mockery of the latest pop culture icons in raucous style.
- Dates - Halloween Horror Nights begins late September, each Thursday to Sunday leading up to the 31st October. The Halloween celebration commences after regular park times and requires guests to purchase a separate ticket for entry.
- Tickets - Tickets for Halloween Horror Nights usually go on sale about 2-3 months in advance and are available direct from Universal. Keep checking ATD's News Blog to find out when these tickets go on sale. They sell out pretty quickly though, so it is advisable to get in early – certainly well before you travel.
- Special Tickets - Gain unlimited admission to Halloween Horror Nights during the course of your holiday with the Frequent Fear pass or gain the privilege to skip the queues for the haunted houses with the Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass.
- Fancy Dress - Costumes and masks are prohibited from this event.
- Alcohol - Alcohol is readily available throughout the parks, however it is not sold cheaply. Guests aren't permitted to bring alcohol into the parks.
Walt Disney World
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, at the Magic Kingdom is another after-hours event, however unlike the scare-athon at Universal, this is a totally family-friendly fare, with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Co putting on their party best for a trick-or-treat festival featuring parades, shows, story-tellers and plenty of costumed characters. Highlights include Mickey’s Boo-To-You Parade, Happy Hallowishes Fireworks, Halloween Riverboat rides and the eerie makeover of Main Street USA which lends a superb ‘spooktacular’ appearance. There are also mask-making, face-painting and other activities for children, while most of the park’s rides are open until late. The fireworks are the most popular event, and people start staking out their spots in front of the Castle an hour or so in advance for the best views.
Good old fashion trick or treating, safe free tricks and treats can be found at Downtown Disney. Be sure to dress up in your best Halloween attire!
- Dates - Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party begins mid-september and continues till the first few days of November. The party commences after regular park times and requires guests to purchase a separate ticket for entry.
- Tickets - Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party needs to be booked well in advance on 407 934 7639.
- Costumes - Cosumes are permitted at this Halloween event and includes free trick-or-treat stations for all guests to change into their costumes.
- Alcohol - There is no alcohol sold at Magic Kingdom.
SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular leans more towards the fun than the fiendish. The Halloween celebration features specially themed shows Pets Ahoy, Clyde and Seamore and Shamu’s ‘Halloween Harbor'. The event is packed full with loads of activities and entertainment for the children, offering fun and safe trick-or-treating with a mouthwaterting selection of sweets, a Sesame Street musical stage show with Elmo and friends and street performers dressed as creatures of the great underwater world, interecting with the guests.
- Dates - Spooktacular will begin in October, be sure to check ATD's Latest News for current dates.
- Tickets - Entry to Spooktacular is included with general park admission, with all the event's Halloween additions on offer throughout normal park hours.
Busch Gardens Tampa
Howl-O-Scream goes full throttle towards the dark side with a riot of nightmarish scenarios to brave and devilish characters waiting to surprise the unwary. Busch Gardens introduced the extremely up close and personal scare experience, aptly titled Alone. Guests ventured through a haunted house on their lonesome and were integrated into a haunting plot that aimed to immerse guests into the horror and get inside their heads. Alone was horrifyingly successful at scaring the living daylights out of its patrons, so much so that many that began their expedition into the house had to cut their journey short and back out. However Busch Gardens made sure that, after rattling Alone explorers something silly, they left smiling. Although it is yet to be revealed what Howl-O- Scream has in store for its trick-or-treaters this year, expect scares as shocking and terrifying as this. The park, famous for Montu, Kumba, SheiKra and many of its chilling rollercoasters, offers the chance to ride these adrenaline surging coasters in the dark night sky. This is an experience and a half in itself.
Keep checking ATD's blog for more information on Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens here.
- Tickets - This Halloween celebration commences after regular park hours and requires guests to purchase a separate ticket for entry.
- Special Tickets - The VIP Fear Tour gives guests queue hopping privileges for the haunted houses, rides and special seating for any shows.
Want a Halloween in Orlando? Book your entire Halloween Holiday here.
Keep checking Attraction Tickets Direct Blog for the Orlando 2012 Halloween itinerary on ATD News.