Central Florida theme parks offer a wide range of Halloween events each year. Choose from playful trick-or-treating to trips through a haunted house, the choice is yours!
 
Here is a round up of the best Halloween events at Central Florida’s most popular theme parks.
 
Magic Kingdom

Halloween
 
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party turns the Magic Kingdom into a happy haunting ground, and it includes Disney activities not seen at any other time or place.
 
A highlight is Mickey’s Boo to You Parade, which features Disney characters in Halloween drag and stars a drill team of gravediggers. The parade is preceded by an appearance by a headless horseman who rides — on a real horse — through the streets of the Magic Kingdom. (That’s probably the only spooky part of the evening.)
 
There’s even “HalloWishes,” a seasonal variation of the park’s “Wishes” fireworks.
 
A Not-So-Scary event is one of the rare times that costumes are allowed at Magic Kingdom, although none are required for the park’s trick-or-treat stations. The haul of candy can be substantial.
 
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is thrown on select nights through Nov. 2. It’s held after the Magic Kingdom has closed, so a separate ticket is required. (Key attractions — such as Haunted Mansion, of course — are open during Not-So-Scary.) Admission ranges between $50.95 and $69.95, depending on the night. For more information, go to DisneyWorld.com/halloween.
 
 
SeaWorld Orlando
 
SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular is a gentle, kid-oriented event. It works especially well for the youngest ones because it takes place before nightfall — and bedtimes aren’t disrupted.
 
The area around the theme park’s Bayside Stadium is home to the holiday activities, including trick-or-treat stops. A dance party area known as Penelope’s Party Zone is set up on the stadium’s stage, and there are options for decorating candied apples and other treats.
 
The under-the-sea theme permeates the event, especially in costumed characters that aren’t usually seen at the park. Kids might not recognize Penny Penguin or Shivers the Polar Bear from bedtime stories or DVDs, but they like seeing the characters along with creatures such as mermaids and seaweed (on skates).
 
Spooktacular starts at noon on Saturdays and Sundays in October (plus two Fridays: Oct. 19 and 26). The activities are included in regular SeaWorld admission: $84.99 general, $76.99 ages 3-9. For more information, go to SeaWorldOrlando.com.
 
 
Legoland Florida

halloween legoland
 
New on our Halloween radar is Brick-or-Treat at Legoland Florida. The theme park opened in Winter Haven last October, but it concentrated on grand-opening matters rather than the Halloween activities seen at its sister park in California.
 
Programming includes costume contests for kids, a scavenger hunt, treat-or-treating and lessons on making your own pumpkin with Legos. The park also features the world’s largest Lego jack-o’-lantern, which is made of 26,500 Lego bricks.
 
Brick-or-Treat runs every Saturday and Sunday in October. The Saturday sessions extend into the evening, ending at 9 p.m., which gives a rare after-dark look at the park. We’re told that Miniland, the section that replicates famous American landmarks with zillions of Lego bricks, has extensive lighting within its landscape and it gives a whole new vibe after sunset. (Sunday sessions end at 5 p.m.)
 
The Halloween events are included in regular Legoland admission: $75 general, $65 for ages 3-12. For more information, go to florida.legoland.com.
 
 
Universal Orlando Halloween Hortor Nights
 
When guests check in at Halloween Horror Nights, they don’t have their pillows fluffed, hear soothing music or have a massage.
 
Instead, Universal Studios wants visitors to feel ill at ease, not the usual method of operation in the hospitality and tourism industry.
 
The twist for the 22nd annual event is to abolish the boundaries of its “scare zones,” specific outdoor areas stocked with live, horrifying characters. These “scare actors,” as Universal calls its Horror Nights employees, now will roam freely throughout Universal Studios.
 
Halloween Horror nights takes place selection nights from September 21 – October 27th. Advance tickets start at $69.99 for more information visit halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/
 
 
Howl-o-Scream at Busch Gardens
 
By contrast, Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens is a more intense and harrowing experience. The Tampa theme park says it’s for “mature audiences.”
 
Take that as a warning. Or as an enticement if you’d like to travel through a haunted house called “Bloody Asylum,” a serial killer’s playground. There’s a reason the park promotes the event as “the dark side of the Gardens.”
 
Howl-O-Scream has seven haunted houses, a lineup that mixes twists on traditional favorites and new scares. Houses set in Nightshade Toy Factory and a zombie mortuary return.
 
Also back is the intriguing, terrifying “Alone” house, which challenges Howl-O-Screamers to go through the maze solo. Reservations are required, and there’s a $50 charge for the experience in addition to regular event admission.
 
Howl-O-Scream runs after the park closes on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from Sept. 21 through Oct. 27. It requires a special ticket, not a regular Busch Gardens admission. Howl-O-Scream general admission is $79.99. For more information, go to howloscream.com/tampa.
 

 

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