Fiends, Frights, and Fun: Halloween in Orlando

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Fiends, Frights, and Fun: Halloween in Orlando
By ATD’s Florida Experts, Susan and Simon Veness
Enjoy the holiday season in style with these Orlando Halloween parties!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Where most Halloween events focus on the fright factor, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is exactly what it says—not too scary and therefore just right for children, and for families and adults who would rather focus on the fun. There are no chainsaw-wielding freaks here, just the gentle “spookiness” of Mickey and his friends dressed in their own Halloween costumes, and a superb after-dark atmosphere in the Magic Kingdom, complete with a special parade (don’t miss the Headless Horseman!), trick-or-treat stations, and speciality foods and merchandise.

Mickey's Not so Scary Halloween

Every guest attending the party is given a treat bag to fill up along 14 ‘treat trails’, well-marked on the evening’s map. Halloween themed entertainment is laid on, including the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular stage show, featuring the Sanderson Sisters from the movie Hocus Pocus; two showings of Mickey’s Boo To You Parade, and the spectacular Happy Hallowishes fireworks display. Naturally, there are plenty of photo opportunities with all of your favourite Disney characters for special keepsakes of the evening.

And this isn’t the evening to be shy; adults as well as kids dress up—often elaborately—so plan ahead and get in on the fun. We promise, you won’t look out of place!

Happy Hallowishes

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party runs on select nights from 7pm until midnight. Your ticket gets you into the park at 4pm, so you can make the most of the extra time to enjoy the attractions, or grab a spooky treat or a meal before the party starts. 

Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights

Let’s just say it right up front: it doesn’t get any scarier than Halloween Horror Nights. As the name suggests, this is one big, bad fright-fest; an unrelenting night of terror with little room to catch your breath. And that’s why it’s also the most popular Halloween event in Orlando—possibly in the whole of the U.S. Take note 2015 is the event’s 25th anniversary and Jack the Clown plays host, so you know it’s going to be better (worse?!) than ever.

HHN

This is no home-spun event, either; these are professional actors in settings that are ghastly, gruesome, and gory, and that’s half the fun. If you can keep your eyes open as you endure total immersion, you can’t help but marvel at how exceptional the theme is.

This year’s houses include:

The Walking Dead: The Living and The Dead - Based on the popular television show, this is the realm of ‘walkers’ with only one thing on their minds: you. 

Freddy vs. Jason - Need we say more? It’s a battle between two evils with you as the prize.

Insidious - They’re dead and not happy about it. You’re their ticket back to the land of the living.

The Purge - Don’t blink or you’ll be purged.

An American Werewolf in London - based on the 1981 horror classic movie. The wolf pack isn’t done yet, and if you enter their territory you’ll find out why this is arguably the most terrifying house in the line-up.

Jack Presents: 25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem - 25 years of perfecting horror is all here in one tidy building. Tidy for now, that is.

Run: Blood, Sweat, and Fears. Enter the game show where the most grisly death wins.

Asylum in Wonderland 3D -. Alice’s adventures never looked so horrific.

Body Collectors—Recollections, where bodies are collected. Well, parts of them, anyway.

 

This year’s scare zones are:

Scary Tales—Screampunk featuring the dark side of popular fairy-tale characters.

Icons—HHN filled with iconic personalities from past Halloween Horror Nights events.

Psychoscarapy—Unleashed with wandering psych patients. It’s going to get ugly.

All Nite Die-In—Double Feature where horror movie characters come to life.

Evil Roots brings to life those terrifying scarecrows HHN fans have grown to fear, along with other creatures nature never intended to be evil.

 

 

And, of course, there is the wildly popular Bill And Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure stage show, where nothing is sacred. Celebrities and news-worthy events of the past year get skewered in the most hilarious—and hugely irreverent—ways!

The recommended minimum age for attending the event is 13, though anyone is allowed to attend. Err on the side of caution if you’re not sure if it is right for your youngsters.

Busch Garden’s Howl O Scream

Nearly as terrifying as its neighbour in Orlando, Howl O Scream at Busch Gardens in Tampa takes its cue from the same theory: that scaring your guests into submission is a sure-fire recipe for return visits. With 7 haunted houses and the naughty-nurse popularity of the Fiends Show, the idea is similar, but at least at Busch Gardens the frights are spread out enough that you have time to regain your sanity again before you encounter the next one.

Howl o Scream

This year’s houses are:

Unearthed: Scarlett’s Revenge - Scarlett’s dark magic has been unearthed, summoning an unholy host of demonic characters.

Zombie Containment Unit 15: Moving Targets. They’re zombies. In a containment unit. Grab a laser gun and get in there!

Deadfall: Thirst for Blood. The tranquility of a Victorian garden is undeniable; until it’s feeding time.

Death Water Bayou - The VooDoo Queen’s backwater shack may look small, but the scares in its ramshackle recesses make it the most immersive—and horrific!—house of them all. Enter at your peril!

The Basement - Mama’s been cookin’ somethin’ up in her basement, and it may just be someone you knew.

Circus of Superstition: The Last Laugh - It’s a glow-light Big Top and the clowns aren’t funny. They will have the last laugh.

Zombie Mortuary - Remember we mentioned gory and gruesome? This one’s it.

 

SeaWorld’s Spooktacular

After all that terror, let’s bring it down several notches at Seaworld’s Spooktacular. This is serious ‘younger children’ territory, though guests of all ages will enjoy the gentle, family-friendly atmosphere. It’s colourful, it’s light-hearted, and there’s candy.

Spooktacular

SeaWorld’s treat trails are lined with sea-themed characters for photo ops, along with fun bubble effects, speciality merchandise, live entertainment, and Penelope’s Party Zone, where guests can play games, create themed crafts, and dance to the sounds of a live DJ.

The Count, Elmo, Abby, and their Sesame Street friends perform Countdown to Halloween in the Seaport Theater, and, for an extra fee, guests can attend the Spooktacular Brunch, a Halloween-inspired version of Dine with Shamu.

This event takes place during regular park hours and is free with park admission. SeaWorld’s Spooktacular is offered on October 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 24-25, and 31.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness

Okay, so it isn’t a formal event, but if you want to experience the U.S.’s obsession with Halloween and you’re not here on 31 October, this is the place to do it. Campers really get into the spirit of the holiday, and some of their campsite decorations are extremely elaborate. Viewing the displays is free, though we recommend hiring a bike or a golf cart if you want to cover more ground.

 

If you think you have the stomach for Halloween in orlando, it's not too late! Be sure to check out Attraction Tickets Direct’s line-up of Halloween Horror Nights tickets here.

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