What better place to spend Halloween than at an Orlando theme park?! Family attractions at places like Walt Disney World and Sea World are designed for even the youngest visitors, and the temperate Florida climate means your little ghosts and goblins won’t have to wear a winter parka over their costumes (like we do here in Colorado). Plus, Orlando also offers super-spooky attractions if you have older kids who really want to get their fright on. Here are some top events happening this autumn for Halloween at Orlando theme parks, plus other local events:
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom: For this special event, happening on 24 evenings from September 14 and November 1, 2010, the Disney folks say the fun is “ghostly not ghastly.” That is, even the scarecrows sport smiles along Magic Kingdom’s Main Street. Note that this special party requires a special ticket (about $50) to attend, but includes a “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade, a Halloween-themed fireworks show, Disney Characters in costumes and trick-or-treating galore.
SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular: Included in the price of daily admission to SeaWorld, the Halloween Spooktacular festivities include trick or treating with a special Spooky Map to 14 treasure stations around the park, as well as a Countdown to Halloween live Sesame Street Show. The celebration takes place most weekends in October.
Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights XX: This ultra-frigetning annual event is not recommended for kids under 13 — yep, it’s that scary. Like its sister park in Hollywood, Universal Studios Orlando pulls out all the stops to scare the pants off of teens and adults on select nights in September and October. Haunted houses and “scare zones” with ghoul-like characters include themes like “Hades: The Gates of Ruin” and “Catacombs: Black Death Rising, ” “Zombie Gras,” and “Fear Revealed.” Live shows feature Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure and illusionist Brian Brushwood, whose magic show is titled “Menace and Malice.” Tickets are a whopping $75, so don’t chicken out and make the most of your Horror Night!
Celebration Town Center Oktoberfest: This event isn’t Halloween, per se, but I’ve got to give a plug to a festival that I attended a few years back, when my family was visiting our Orlando friends. Central Florida folks don’t witness the changing of the seasons — and fall foliage — quite like we do in Colorado, so the town of Celebration stages its own “falling leaves,” one weekend in early October, this year October 8 and 9. Colorful tissue-paper leaves fall from the sky and kids collect them in paper bags. There’s face-painting, hay rides, live music and more fun… best of all, it’s FREE!
Long & Scott Farm’s Corn Maze: See if you can quickly make your way through the massive 6-acre corn maze on this family farm in Mt. Dora, Florida, about 45 minutes northwest of Orlando. Smaller corn mazes are appropriate for young kids, and there is also a “Super Slide,” playground, and hay rides. All sort of good ol’ fashioned farm fun for cheap: $10 for adults, $8 for kids and teens, beginning October 2, 2010.
As Halloween draws near, be sure to consult the Orlando & Orange County Visitor’s Bureau for an updated calendar of autumn festivals and spooky special events in the area. The Vacation Gals wish you a boo-tee-ful vacation in the Orlando area this October!