Boo! It’s that time of the year again for the spookiest caress and the sweetest candies and what better place to be than the Sunshine State?
Orlando transforms into one of the most electrifying cities during Halloween. With iconic attractions like Disney World, and Universal Studios, and enchantment around every corner, it’s a Halloween enthusiast’s dream come true.
Local parks get decked out in ghoulish decorations, casting a bewitching spell over the city. Neighborhoods open their arms to young trick-or-treaters, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
While Halloween tends to draw crowds to theme parks, with a bit of planning, you can make the most of your visit. Orlando has something for everyone, whether you’re a kid at heart or a fearless thrill-seeker.
And don’t worry, our guide is here to help you navigate the best attractions for Halloween at Orlando theme parks. Let’s dive in!
The Ultimate Guide to Halloween in Orlando in 2023
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The Best Time to Visit Orlando for Halloween
When should you visit Orlando for Halloween? Well, it all boils down to your preferences and how much you love spooky season!
If you’d rather avoid the heat and big crowds, think about coming in September or early October. That’s when the Halloween fun starts, and you can enjoy it without the major throngs. Mid-October is kind of a sweet spot – still warm, not too packed, and the eerie vibes are in full swing.
But if you’re all about the Halloween hustle and bustle, the last week of October, including the big night itself, is when things get wild. The Halloween amusement parks are jam-packed with revelers, but that’s part of the excitement, right?
Now, if October’s not on your calendar, early November is a decent alternative. Some Halloween events in Orlando might spill into the start of the month, and the weather is usually pleasantly cool.
Keep in mind, that weekdays are your secret weapon for avoiding the crowds and long lines. And don’t forget to snag those event tickets early – they tend to vanish like ghosts!
Top Halloween Attractions in Orlando Theme Parks
This annual event runs during the spooky season and is a big hit with people who love getting scared and horror fans. It features haunted houses that look like they’re from famous horror movies and TV shows, along with scary zones where creepy creatures wander around.
You can also watch exciting live shows and go on thrilling rides in the dark. With all the attention to detail, amazing special effects, and a serious commitment to scaring you, Halloween Horror Nights promises a super fun and frightening night that keeps people coming back year after year.
Don’t forget to head over to Cabana Bay Hotel for the Chucky Twisted Playground room. Guests of Universal hotels can line up for some more scary fun!
Formerly known as Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Disney After Hours Boo Bash is a special Halloween celebration at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. You need to buy a separate ticket for this event, but it’s a fantastic way to enjoy the Magic Kingdom in a spooky way after it gets dark.
You’ll have shorter waits for popular rides, get to go trick-or-treating all around the park, and meet your favorite Disney characters in Halloween costumes. The event also has cool Halloween-themed shows, like the “Disney Villains Cavalcade” and the “Boo-to-You” Halloween parade.
With fewer people around and a magical nighttime atmosphere, Disney After Hours Boo Bash promises a different and unforgettable Halloween experience for Disney fans of all ages!
Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is an annual Halloween event that invites you to face your fears. This event turns the park into a place of terror, with haunted houses, scary zones, and spooky live shows.
They put a lot of effort into making it look terrifying, and there are scary creatures everywhere you look. If you’re brave enough, you can go through mazes that are inspired by famous horror stories, all while trying to avoid monsters that are roaming around.
Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay offers a great mix of scares and fun, so it’s a must if you’re looking for an exciting Halloween adventure.
SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular
SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular is a Halloween event that brings a touch of under-the-sea magic to the holiday season. Happening every year at SeaWorld parks, including Orlando, this daytime celebration provides a safe and fun environment for kids of all ages.
You can enjoy activities like trick-or-treating, meet colorful costumed characters, and encounter whimsical pumpkin fish. It’s intentionally not scary, making it perfect for the little ones.
Besides the festive decorations and entertainment, you can also experience SeaWorld’s thrilling rides. Halloween Spooktacular at SeaWorld offers a delightful way to mix the enchantment of the sea with the Halloween spirit.
Step into a brick-tastic Halloween extravaganza that combines the world of LEGO with the spookiness of the season! This family-friendly event turns LEGOLAND into a playful Halloween wonderland.
Kids can dress up and go trick-or-treating throughout the park, collecting goodies and treats. There are also entertaining shows, character meet-and-greets, and the chance to build unique LEGO creations.
The park is decked out with vibrant Halloween decorations, creating a festive atmosphere that’s both fun and not too scary for young visitors. LEGOLAND Florida’s Brick or Treat is a fantastic way for families to enjoy Halloween in a creative and imaginative setting.
Gatorland – Gators, Ghosts, and Goblins
Gatorland’s “Gators, Ghosts, and Goblins” is a fascinating blend of Florida wildlife and Halloween chills. Located in Orlando, this unique event offers an exciting experience for visitors of all ages.
In addition to the park’s iconic alligators, you can meet costumed characters and discover spooky surprises everywhere. The night comes alive with haunted swamp tours, eerie animal encounters, and creepy entertainment.
If you’re looking for an authentic Florida Halloween experience, Gatorland’s “Gators, Ghosts, and Goblins” delivers with its gator-themed take on the spooky season. It’s a memorable adventure that showcases the wild side of Halloween in the Sunshine State.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort becomes even more magical during Halloween. J.K. Rowling’s immersive world is transformed into a Halloween wonderland, enchanting both fans and newcomers.
Hogwarts Castle is lit up with eerie, ghostly projections, and Hogsmeade Village streets are adorned with captivating decorations. You can savor themed treats like pumpkin pastries and butterbeer.
The Wizarding World’s shops offer a wide range of spooky merchandise, including costumes and collectibles. With special nighttime shows and enchanting experiences, Halloween at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando is a captivating adventure for witches, wizards, and Muggles alike.
Must-See Halloween Events in Orlando
If you’re looking to break away from the theme park scene, why not explore the city’s local Halloween festivities? As you step onto the streets, you’ll stumble upon shows, gatherings, and all sorts of spooky encounters around every bend!
Spooky Empire Orlando
Spooky Empire Orlando is like the ultimate family reunion for horror buffs. It’s the place where fans of all things eerie and spooky gather to revel in their love for the genre.
Every year, this event rolls out the crimson carpet for celebrity guests, cosplaying fanatics, vendors peddling creepy goodies, and just an all-around great time. If horror flicks give you the chills in the best way possible, this is your pilgrimage.
Boo on Broadway
Boo on Broadway is pretty much the Halloween bash you wish your neighbors would throw every year. It’s an annual extravaganza that turns Broadway Street into a fiendishly delightful Halloween wonderland.
There’s everything from costume showdowns to trick-or-treating extravaganzas and live performances that’ll have you howling with delight. Families and revelers of all stripes descend on this heart-of-the-city celebration for a spooktacular night.
Happy Frights & Haunting Nights
Harry P Leu Gardens knows how to turn up the spooky factor with Happy Frights & Haunting Nights. Imagine haunted houses that’ll give you goosebumps, mazes that’ll leave you breathless, and ghostly attractions that’ll make you jump.
It’s become a tradition for both families and those who adore spine-tingling thrills.
Screamin’ Green Hauntoween at The Crayola Experience
Screamin’ Green Hauntoween at The Crayola Experience is Halloween with a colorful twist. Families get to dive into all sorts of artsy activities, like decked-out pumpkin decorating and crafting monster masks that are more cute than creepy.
It’s a safe and imaginative way for kids to enjoy Halloween, blending spooky and artsy fun in one colorful package.
Scary Halloween Rides and Attractions in Orlando
Universal Studios Orlando
Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Orlando boasts some of the creepiest haunted houses you’ll ever dare to enter. They’ve recreated iconic horror movies like “The Haunting of Hill House,” “The Exorcist,” and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” for an epic scare-fest.
If you’re up for it, brace yourself for the nerve-racking “The Walking Dead” attraction!
The name says it all – Scream-A-Geddon is a total scream-fest for Halloween daredevils in Florida. This place is packed with shiver-inducing haunted houses, interactive horror encounters, and terrifying scare zones.
It’s where fearless adventurers come for a pulse-pounding rush and spooky excitement, making it a must-visit for anyone who wants to be thrilled to the core during the Halloween season.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror gets an eerie Halloween makeover. It’s like a drop tower ride on steroids, with ghostly surprises, moody lighting, and spooky effects. If you’re into thrills, this is a must-see.
The Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride
Though it’s a bit of a drive from Orlando, the Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride is a must for “Psycho” fans. This Orlando haunt takes you on a nerve-jangling journey through creepy woods and scenes inspired by horror classics.
Detailed sets, actors in terrifying costumes, and jump scares galore – it’s a thrill-seeker’s paradise right in Florida.
Family-Friendly Halloween Events in Orlando
Orlando has plenty of family-friendly fun in store, perfect for those who prefer delightful chills over frightful ones. Get ready for some wholesome family time with our top picks for kid-friendly events in Orlando!
Zoo Boo Bash at Central Florida Zoo
Zoo Boo Bash at Central Florida Zoo is a fantastic Halloween fiesta for families. Here, you can enjoy an array of activities, from costume contests to trick-or-treating and even educational encounters with animals.
It’s the perfect blend of wildlife education and Halloween fun, offering a safe and entertaining way to celebrate amidst the zoo’s natural beauty.
Not-So-Scary Family Fun Night at Leu Gardens
For those who prefer a milder Halloween experience, Not-So-Scary Family Fun Night at Leu Gardens is a great choice. Families can wander through the lush garden grounds while partaking in non-frightening activities like costume parades, scavenger hunts, and pumpkin decorating.
It’s a magical and safe way for kids to embrace the Halloween spirit amidst the beauty of nature.
Looking for family-friendly Halloween adventures? Head to SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium during the spooky season. Here, you can explore the underwater world while encountering costumed characters and searching for hidden pumpkins.
This aquatic twist on Halloween combines marine life education with the spirit of the season in a delightful way.
Ghost Tours in Downtown Orlando
Head to Downtown Orlando for more spooky fun with American Ghost Adventures. The meeting point is close to the Amway Center.
Embark on a thrilling 2-hour walking tour that uncovers the supernatural side of the city. Equipped with special K2 meters that detect paranormal activity, you’ll wander the haunted streets of Downtown Orlando after dark, making eerie memories as you go.
Get into the spirit of a ghost hunter as you explore the historic buildings of Orlando, starting from Church Street station. Discover the chilling and secret stories hidden within these walls, diving into the world of the paranormal.
And don’t worry, even if you don’t come face-to-face with any ghosts, a parting gift will be waiting for you at the end of the tour.
What makes this tour so exciting is its unpredictability. Every experience is unique, filled with surprises and mysteries that will give you a hair-raising sense of wonder.
Just a heads up, this tour can get pretty spooky, so we recommend it for ages 6 and above.
Ghost Tours in Historic St. Cloud
Just outside Orlando in Historic St. Cloud, you’ll find family-friendly ghost tours that delve into local legends and spooky stories. These tours immerse participants in the town’s haunted history, led by engaging guides who blend history and mystery for a captivating and educational experience of Central Florida’s paranormal side.
Where to Find the Best Halloween Costumes in Orlando
Get ready for some Halloween park fun by picking up a great costume in Orlando! Whether you want something ready-made, prefer a DIY project, or are just looking for more things to do on Halloween in Orlando, these places will have you covered:
Spirit Halloween is a seasonal treat in Orlando, popping up each fall. You’ll find these temporary stores all around the city, offering a wide range of Halloween goodies like costumes, decorations, and accessories. Whether you’re going for a spooky or funny look, Spirit Halloween is the place to go.
Orlando’s Halloween Superstores are famous for their huge collections of costumes, decorations, and accessories. These big, temporary shops usually open in September and close shortly after Halloween, fully embracing the city’s love for the holiday.
They often have different sections with plenty of choices for all ages, making them a top pick for Halloween fans.
In October, Party City in Orlando turns into a Halloween wonderland. This big store becomes a spooky paradise, packed with costumes, decorations, and party stuff.
Whether you’re into classic monsters or the latest pop culture characters, Party City has something for everyone. They’ve got tons of stuff, making it a must-visit for Orlando folks and visitors getting ready for an awesome Halloween.
Costume Boutiques and Stores
Orlando is home to lots of costume shops during Halloween season. Besides big chains like Party City and Spirit Halloween, you can check out local gems like Fairvilla Megastore, Costume Fun House, and Halloween Megastore for unique costumes and accessories.
These places have a wide selection, from creepy to fun, so you can look great for Halloween. To find the closest shops and make shopping easy, just check local listings and reviews.
Orlando also has boutique options for folks who want top-notch costumes. Stores like “Wicked Wardrobe” and “Masquerade” specialize in high-quality, handmade costumes and accessories.
They’re perfect for anyone who wants a standout look at Halloween parties or events. To keep up with the latest boutique options in Orlando, just read local listings and reviews. Things might change over time, so it’s good to stay in the know.
Best Places to Trick-or-Treat in Orlando
Vacationing and want to trick-or-treat? Put on costumes, grab your family, and visit these friendly neighborhoods. After a day at the theme parks, slow down for Halloween fun.
Main Street’s Celebration
Trick-or-treating on Celebration’s Main Street is a classic experience. Kids in costumes get treats from decorated homes.
Baldwin Park makes trick-or-treating a lively community event. Families explore the neighborhood, full of spooky decorations and welcoming residents.
Head to Winter Park for a local tradition. Stroll through charming neighborhoods with beautifully decorated homes that warmly welcome costumed children.
Windermere offers a picturesque setting for Halloween. Walk tree-lined streets, visit decorated homes, and get treats from friendly neighbors.
Lake Nona is a growing neighborhood known for welcoming trick-or-treaters. Families explore well-lit neighborhoods with decorated homes and treats for kids.
Top Tips for Planning a Halloween Trip to Orlando
Getting ready for a Halloween trip to Orlando? Here are some handy tips to make sure you have a spooktacular time:
1. Plan Ahead: Orlando can get pretty busy during Halloween, so it’s wise to book your accommodations and tickets well ahead of time.
2. Pick Your Park: Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights and Disney World’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party are classic choices for Halloween fun.
3. Costume Check: Don’t forget your costumes for the theme park events. Make sure to check the parks’ costume policies in advance.
4. Weather Watch: October in Orlando can still be quite warm, so dress comfortably and stay hydrated.
5. Event Details: Keep an eye on the specific dates and times for Halloween activities. They can vary, so you don’t want to miss out.
6. Online Tickets: Skip the long lines at the gate by buying your event tickets online.
7. Getting Around: If you plan to hop between attractions, think about renting a car or using ride-sharing services for convenience.
8. Stay Hydrated: The Florida weather can be humid, so it’s important to drink plenty of water during the day.
9. Dining Plans: Consider making dining reservations, especially if you’re interested in themed dining experiences during Halloween.
10. Early Bird: Arriving early at the theme parks is a smart move to beat the crowds and make the most of your day.
11. Extra Spooks: Don’t forget to explore Orlando’s other Halloween attractions like haunted houses, ghost tours, and special events outside the theme parks.
12. Safety First: Always follow safety guidelines provided by the theme parks and local authorities.
13. Souvenir Hunt: Plan to grab some Halloween-themed souvenirs to commemorate your trip.
14. Snap Memories: Bring a camera or smartphone to capture all the memorable moments of your Halloween adventure.
15. Most Importantly, Have a Blast! Embrace the Halloween spirit and soak up the enchantment of Orlando during this festive season.
How to Save Money on Halloween in Orlando
For a budget-friendly Halloween in Orlando, plan smart:
1. Book Early: Snag deals on accommodations and tickets by planning well in advance.
2. Set a Budget: Decide how much you want to spend on lodging, attractions, food, and souvenirs. Stick to it.
3. Discount Hunt: Look for early-bird specials, online promos, and discounts on event tickets.
4. Combo Deals: Check if combo tickets for multiple attractions save you money.
5. Coupon Scour: Hunt for coupons on websites, apps, and in local books to cut dining and attraction costs.
6. DIY Snacks: Bring your candy to avoid expensive park purchases. Pack snacks and reusable bottles.
7. Free Fun: Seek out free or low-cost local Halloween events and parades.
8. Go Car-Free: Consider public transit or ride-sharing apps instead of renting a car.
9. Budget Stays: Opt for shared accommodations like hostels or vacation rentals for cost-effective lodging.
10. Thrifty Decor: Shop for affordable costumes and decorations at discount stores or online sales.
11. Get Crafty: Make your decorations for a budget-friendly Halloween vibe.
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