This fall, Orlando goes from being not only the “theme park capital of the world”, but also the “Halloween capital of the world”, with over 130 Halloween theme park event nights – plus destination-wide festivities – that range from extreme scares for adults and teens to frights for the family. Uber-popular villains from both big and small screen – including “American Horror Story,” “The Exorcist” and “Hocus Pocus” descend into Orlando for the holiday. Plus, this year the destination also welcomes the national’s largest horror convention, Spooky Empire, featuring the actress who plays Eleven in the Netflix hit series “Stranger Things”.
Sinister Celebrations for Teens and Up
Some may be surprised at the breadth of adult- and teen- focused frights in this destination known for family-friendly fun. Haunted houses with cutting-edge technology, cinematic-grade scares, an outdoor haunted forest, and a zombie walk are just a few of the adrenaline-pumping options guaranteed to send even the biggest “kids” screaming, and then coming back for more.
- Halloween Horror Nights 26 at Universal Orlando Resort, bringing nightmares to life for hair-raising entertainment. On select nights Sept. 16 – Oct. 31, visitors can explore nine all-new haunted houses, featuring characters from fan favorites like “The Exorcist”, “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” and the popular television show “American Horror Story”. Even outside the houses, guests aren’t safe from spooks, as monsters prowl the streets between in “Scare Zones”. This year, Universal takes the horror experience even further with a new add-on virtual reality horror experience, “The Repository”.
- Spooky Empire, the largest horror convention in the nation, taking place Oct. 7 – 9. Bigger than ever, this year’s lineup of celebrity guests includes Millie Bobby Brown from the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things,” and popular comedian and musician, “Weird Al” Yankovic. Other thrills and chills at the convention include a tattoo festival, costume contest, zombie walk and film festival.
- A Petrified Forest, bringing the demented to life with two outdoor scare trails, live music, food, and more on select nights, Sept. 30 – Oct. 29. This year, the unsettling haunt invites guests to relive their childhood fears, from monsters under the bed to the darkest “scary” tales imaginable. A demented dream land beckons visitors in, but when – or if – they return is anyone’s guess.
- Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, select nights Sept. 23 – Oct. 30. For those who can’t get enough of menacing mayhem, Howl-O-Scream is just a quick trip outside Orlando. Offering haunted houses, creepy characters and a lot of dark corners, this year’s “Evil Encore” theme includes two new haunted houses and the eerie fantastic Fiends Show.
- Orlando Ballet: Dracula at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Oct. 28 – 30. Michael Pink’s internationally renowned Dracula combines the fascinating horror of Bram Stoker’s 1897 classic with expressive, dramatic choreography, well-placed theatrical effects, a colorful score by Philip Feeney and intriguingly dimensional sets.
Ghoulish Events for All Ages
Orlando’s family fun reflects a mischievous mood in the fall with a boo-nanza of events where kids can celebrate with monsters and villains, dress in costume and trick-or-treat in some of the world’s most beloved locations.
- Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World Resort. On select nights Sept. 2 – Oct. 31, the Magic Kingdom comes alive with jack-o-lanterns, special characters and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. Encouraged to come dressed for the occasion, visitors can trick-or-treat throughout the park and encounter favorite Disney characters. Guests can groove with Disney-Pixar film characters from Monsters, Inc. at the Scream-O-Ween Dance Party, sing along at the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular and end the night with a fireworks show nothing short of boo-tacular.
- SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular, where guests are immersed in an underwater “fantasea” that includes up-close animal encounters, trick-or-treating, playful pumpkin fish and sea-themed arts & crafts. Guests can also reserve seats for Sesame Street’s Countdown to Halloween for the chance to interact with beloved characters. The fun takes place every weekend in October.
- Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND Florida Resort, select nights from Oct. 1-31. At this spooky, kooky celebration, guests can trick-or-treat, participate in LEGO building activities and even join a scavenger hunt through the park. Other highlights include the world’s largest LEGO jack-o-lantern, LEGO Halloween characters like Vladimir the Vampyre and a bewitching Halloween-themed fireworks show at Pirates’ Cove.
- The Crayola Experience, featuring “monster mania,” where guests can trick-or-treat while exploring 25-colorful-hands-on attractions including creating monster-ific crafts and taking pictures with their ghostly characters during the whole month of October.
- Zoo Boo Bash at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens, offering a night full of ghoulish fun in the wildest neighborhood in town. Guests can trick-or-treat, enjoy face painting and participate in costume contests on select nights, Oct. 22- 30.
- I-Drive 360 will cast an orange illumination on the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye in celebration of Halloween Oct. 29 – 31. In addition, trick-or-treating, a live DJ and costume and dance contents create fun for the entire family.
The Orlando Destination
Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks, Orlando is the No. 1 family vacation destination, theme park capital of the world, and most visited destination in the United States. An unparalleled mix of unique experiences create cherished memories for visitors, including legendary theme parks from Disney, Universal and SeaWorld, an array of world-class water parks, entertainment venues, an award-winning food scene, shopping, sports and nightlife. And, with 450 hotels, Orlando offers more lodging options than nearly any other destination in the world, from expansive resorts to uniquely themed hotels.
About Visit Orlando
Visit Orlando is the official tourism association for the most visited destination in the United States, with representation in more than a dozen countries around the world. Visit Orlando, together with its 1,200 member organizations, represents the area’s leading industry.