2020 may have brought a considerable amount of change to Central Florida’s theme parks, but there is still plenty of Halloween action – from kid-friendly fun to serious scares – for guests to experience and enjoy. Not sure which fall festivities are right for you? Fear not (or, maybe, a little) – here’s our guide to all things spooky taking place in the various parks this year.
Universal Orlando Resort
Although our beloved Halloween Horror Nights was cancelled this year, the Halloween spirit is still alive and well at Universal Orlando Resort. You can get your spook on in either theme park this year, as there are now activities and attractions for all ages offered in both.
Haunted houses: for the first time ever, two haunted houses – Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives and Revenge of the Tooth Fairy – are now open daily until November 1 and included with regular park admission. These frights are on par with a typical Halloween Horror Nights house (since that’s what they started out life as), so if you are easily scared… beware!
HHN Tribute Store: the Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store is back and bigger than ever, featuring four highly themed rooms and a plethora of menacing merchandise and treats. The atmosphere of the store is an experience in itself and worth a walkthrough for any Halloween enthusiast.
Skeleton Bar: located in Cafe La Bamba, this new installment offers seasonal, HHN-inspired food and beverages. Similar to the Tribute Store, the immersiveness of this venue alone makes it a must-see.
Food trucks: two Halloween-themed food trucks can also be found in Universal Studios Florida, serving favorites such as Twisted Taters and new treats like the Franken Fried Chicken and Funnel Brains.
Scarecrow Stalk: this new fall activity invites you to hunt down 13 creepy (and awesomely designed) scarecrows, each located in a different Universal Studios Florida gift shop. Receive a stamp for each one you find and redeem a bag of candy!
Trick-or-treating: as yet another first for Universal, trick-or-treating stations have been set up in various locations across Islands of Adventure. Catering towards the younger crowd, this activity is clear of fear and only offered to children aged 13 or younger.
Costumes: both kids and adults are welcome to wear costumes to Universal Orlando through November 1, breaking the company’s strict no-dressing-up streak of years past.
SeaWorld has gone all-out with family-friendly fall fun at this year’s SeaWorld Spooktacular. This event is free of frights and geared towards younger children, offering plenty of less-spooky, more-silly Halloween festivities for families to enjoy together.
Trick-or-treat trail: kiddos can follow the map and make a stop at each candy station for safe and socially distanced trick-or-treating. Reusable trick-or-treating bags are available for purchase at the head of the trail, where a DJ can also be found spinning Halloween hits.
Halloween maze: this outdoor pumpkin patch-themed maze is a simple and spaced-out attraction for families to walk through.
Halloween mermaid meet: friendly mermaids, decked out for the holiday, can be found for photo ops along the trick-or-treat trail.
Count von Count’s Spooktacular Breakfast: a zany breakfast experience featuring several Sesame Street characters and hosted by the Count himself, this activity is sold separately and priced at $32.99 for adults and $16.99 for children.
Cookie Decorating with Cookie Monster: families can decorate cookies together and take fun photos with Cookie Monster during this yummy, Halloween-y experience. The cost is $14.99 for all participants, regardless of age.
Flicks & Frights: this never-before-offered drive-in movie experience allows you to watch Halloween classics under the stars without having to leave your car. You can catch it every Saturday in October, with a price tag of $40 per vehicle.
Walt Disney World Resort
Despite the cancellation of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, there are still ways to celebrate the spooky season at Walt Disney World Resort this year. From your favorite costumed characters to elaborately themed treats, these fall festivities will be just enough to satisfy your inner Jack Skellington.
Halloween entertainment at Magic Kingdom: from September 15 through October 31, Magic Kingdom is boasting its iconic fall decor and sending character cavalcades with an eerie bent down the streets, allowing guests to spot such luminaries as Mickey and friends in their Halloween gear.
The Dapper Dans also return as the Cadaver Dans — their ghostly alter egos — with a haunting cappella performance.
Costumes: as usual, costumes are welcomed for both children and adults at Magic Kingdom this Halloween season.
Fall treats: a large selection of autumn treats and beverages can be found throughout the Disney World theme parks, resorts, and Disney Springs. A few of our favorites include Constance’s for Better or for Worse Wedding Cake (sold at Magic Kingdom), the Poor Unfortunate Souls Float (Magic Kingdom), the Scar Cupcake (Animal Kingdom), and the Poison Candied Apple (Hollywood Studios).
Some highly coveted Halloween merchandise has also appeared along with these seasonal offerings, such as the Oogie Boogie Premium Popcorn Bucket and the Madame Leota Sipper (both available at Magic Kingdom).
Minnie’s Halloween Dine: located in Hollywood & Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this family-friendly character dining experience includes spooky decor, music, and – of course – your favorite Disney friends, Halloween-ized.
Fall at Disney Springs: while there are no special entertainment offerings this fall at Disney Springs, you should note that there are many seasonal treats and beverages to be found throughout the numerous venues here, along with some photo-worthy fall decorations and holiday-appropriate Disney merch.
Busch Gardens Tampa
Howl-O-Scream is still very much happening this year at Busch Gardens Tampa (on weekends, in fact, from September 25 through November 1). The most significant difference from previous events, however, is that there are no haunted houses for 2020 – but there are fearsome scare zones, featured entertainment, and seasonal menu offerings, which will certainly help curb your Halloween appetite.
Scare zones: ten fright-filled, open-air scare zones can be found throughout the park this year, including four new ones: Lycan Landing, The Shortcut, The Junkyard, and The Escape. (Yes, this is to compensate for the lack of houses.)
Fiends: this show, located in a socially distanced outdoor entertainment venue, stars Dr. Freakenstein and his unsightly crew in a hilariously horrifying musical adventure.
Día de Los Muertos: you find several speciality food items in this themed zone, including tacos, tamales, and margaritas.
Speciality drinks: scare-inspired signature cocktails and syringe shots can be found in multiple venues across the park. Cheers to your fears!
Are you planning to experience any of these Central Florida Halloween happenings? Or, if you’ve already done them, what did you think? Discuss it all with 150,000+ other fall die-hard fans in our Orlando Informer Community on Facebook.