Fall time is upon us again and with that comes a sense of nostalgia and fond memories of past Halloweens! But this is also the age where our wee teens start to develop drastically different sensibilities.
One year, they’re only too happy to go trick-or-treating and the next, they find the entire ordeal positively juvenile. A Disney-themed Halloween party is just not going to cut it anymore! From covering their eyes and holding you close when watching a scary movie to now partaking in horror movie marathons and gore-fests, a lot has changed.
So where do you find PG13 Halloween fun for your not-so-little terror-chaser? Orlando, of course! With the hot, sultry summer months drawing to a close, the temperatures dropping, and the Halloween spirit looming near, it’s the perfect time to visit Orlando, the Halloween Capital of the World. If you don’t know where to start, don’t fret (at least not yet), because we’ve got you covered.
In this article, we go over all the best scary things to do in Orlando for Halloween with teens to make the process of planning your October trip to The City Beautiful as effortless as possible. Your teenager will have a great time and you will be the coolest parent on the block! Read on to know what Orlando has in store for you.
Scary things to do in Orlando for Halloween: A Petrified Forest
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A Petrified Forest is a moderately priced adventure that begins on 30th September and functions throughout the month on select dates. Comprising three eerie scare trails for groups of six or less, the experience involves you navigating your way through the haunted forest where you might encounter some uninvited company.
This spooky adventure is not for the weak of heart, so consider yourself warned! But if haunted houses aren’t enough to get your teen’s heart racing, this event held in Altamonte Springs is a perfect choice.
The tour even features special nights called “Total Eclipse” where all you’ll be given to help you make your way through the trail are a couple of glowsticks! The monsters and other terrors in your path during Total Eclipse have full liberty to make contact when trying to snatch your glow stick. Whether they do so through blood-curdling, shrill noises and calls or through touch is for you to find out!
A Petrified Forest is a strictly PG13 event with the exception of one kids’ night. If you wish to participate in the “Total Eclipse” night, all kids under the age of 18 will require signed waivers from parents. Also, note that over-the-top costumes with Halloween masks or props like swords and knives are not allowed on the trails.
Universal Studios Presents Orlando Halloween Horror Nights
Known as Orlando’s premier Halloween destination, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal studios is a must-visit for every thrill chaser looking for scary things to do in Orlando for Halloween. 2024 marks the 33rd year of this spine-chilling event. The HHN33 commences on XX September and runs on Fridays and weekends all the way through till November.
The theme park has looming terror hiding behind every corner of its large grounds. From the 10 intricately designed haunted houses and hordes of creatures keeping their keen eyes on you, to multiple Scare Zones; Universal Studios leaves no stone unturned to keep you on your toes.
Every year, the park comes up with a different theme to catch you off-guard. For instance, in 2018, the haunted house emulated Netflix’s flagship show, Stranger Things! This year Last Of Us has been added.
Universal always goes the extra mile to elevate the scare factor beyond the usual flickering lights, eerie sound effects, and ghosts. If your young adult is a horror-movie fanatic, they will thoroughly enjoy the cinematic tributes and be startled by the jump scares (even if they don’t admit it!). Additionally, the food and drinks at the HHN32 are to die for.
Enjoy the creatively-themed feasts along with the live shows and diabolical company. Just keep in mind the lessons you’ve learned from all the scary movies; if you wander off alone, you might not return the same way! Tickets for this event are sold separately and not included in the theme park pass.
To maximise your chances of seeing all 10 rooms in one night, consider an Express pass for this special event or visit a couple of times.
Scary things to do in Orlando for Halloween: Disney’s Haunted Mansion
The Disney Haunted Mansion is a dark spooky ride that will take you on a ghostly yet entertaining journey through a haunted house. This year the haunted mansion are celebrates it’s 50th birthday so if you’ve been there before you can expect a few surprises which I won’t spoil it by sharing it here
You will begin the ride with a “Doom Buggies” then you tour the library, conservatory, Stairway, the endless hallway and corridor of doors which has that famous Haunted Mansion wallpaper. Y
ou will then partake in a seance meeting with a floating head inside a crystal ball around. Over to the attic where you encounter Constance Hatchway, a bride who’s known for decapitating her many husbands with an axe.
Like that’s not enough, you will then descend into a graveyard of grim grinning ghosts who are out to socialize.
Each version of the Haunted Mansion at different Disney parks has its own unique features and storyline, but the general concept of a haunted house filled with playful and mischievous spirits remains consistent throughout.
It’s a must-visit attraction for many Disney park enthusiasts and is especially popular during the Halloween season.
I have to warn you though the queue takes about 60 minutes so if you can, get there early. Watch out for a QR code on the wall as you walk in, this will allow you to get your photos at the end of the ride.
Disney’s Haunted Mansion has stood the test of time and is our all time favourite of all Disney Halloween themed activities.
You need to pay attention to the little details in this ride to really appreciate it. The illusions are very simple, but extremely effective – pure engineering genius. If you have one ride to do in the park this Halloween, this has to be the one.
Scary things to do in Orlando for Halloween: Mortem Manor
Mortem Manor Haunted House just outside Orlando provided an incredibly thrilling and terrifying experience.
The attention to detail in this haunted house is phenomenal, it creates an atmosphere of genuine fear and excitement.
The actors are exceptionally talented and committed to their roles, making the entire experience even more immersive.
The haunted house was well-designed, with a perfect balance of jump scares and eerie ambiance. Your teenager will love this heart-pounding scares and expertly crafted haunted environments, Mortem Manor Haunted House is a must-visit Halloween attraction. You can visit Mortem Manor all year-round and tickets start from $18
Scary things to do in Orlando for Halloween: 13 Films Of Halloween
Why should a vacation hamper your Halloween time movie ritual? You can always carve out a day to celebrate it, and the Enzian Theater is the perfect venue for you and your family to do just that!
Located a mere 20 minutes from downtown Orlando, the cinema hall is one of the most beloved movie spots in the city.
For Halloween, the theater screens thirteen curated horror flicks that are a combination of classics and new hits all through the month of October.
Every film requires a separate ticket, and with it comes a free drink that is inspired by the movie playing! There is even a Halloween party that caters to kids under 13, making this Halloween attraction perfect for the whole family.
Día De Los Muertos & Monster Party
For the art-lovers both young and old, this event is sure to spook you as much as it entertains and educates you! Taking place at CityArts on October 20th from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., the party involves exhibits that showcase several art pieces by local, national, and international artists.
All the artworks displayed draw inspiration from either Halloween or Dia De Los Muertos (the Day of the Dead), a festival that is celebrated in Mexico. Aside from the fascinating exhibition, the outdoor festival also includes delicious food, drinks, and entertainment to make it an unforgettable experience for all.
You will also find several art vendors selling their hauntingly wonderful pieces of art for you to take home with you so don’t miss out on those!
SeaWorld Orlando Presents Howl-O-Scream
If you and your teen are the types to laugh at horror movies that leave others shivering, the Howl-O-Scream is probably where you need to go. This after-dark sinister soiree is no amateur Halloween event!
The transition that the lovely, kid-friendly SeaWorld goes through is truly remarkable and involves the entire theme park being restructured to create haunted houses, multiple terror zones, and a space for a live show.
The highly immersive experience mainly involves escaping all sorts of monstrous creatures and evil beings. And mind you, they aren’t the easiest to get away from either!
The pitch-black alleyways with plenty of terrors that tower over you will keep your stomach in a state of constant unease. Every haunted house flaunts a different theme, each with its own distinct way of scaring the bejeezus out of you.
Ride the night coaster afterward as a special treat (because if a roller coaster in the dark doesn’t get your heart pumping, we don’t know what will!). After the entire ominous ordeal, finally catch your breath while filling your belly and quenching your thirst at the many eateries and bars situated around you.
There’s even a live DJ, a music and dance show, and a dance floor for you to shake a leg after you break a cold sweat! The full experience is available right from September 9th till October 31st on every weekend and Friday.
Scary things to do in Orlando for Halloween: American Ghost Adventures
American Ghost Adventures is an event that takes the excitement of Halloween to a whole new level. Open year-round, this Halloween ghost tour does not follow the stereotypical Halloween decor, but prides itself on being the real deal!
People from all over the world fly in to visit the haunted locations, many even swearing to have seen looming shadows and felt paranormal presences and other unsettling experiences for themselves.
The company offers several cleverly named tours to choose from; a haunted pub tour called “Spirits with Spirits” and a daunting dining experience called “Dining with the Departed” are its most sought-out packages.
Remember that alcoholic beverages are served during these tours, so make it a point to supervise your teenager at every juncture to ensure that the experience is completely kid-safe (apart from being frighteningly entertaining, of course).
If you are staying in Orlando and don’t mind a 90-minute drive for some awesome scares, then the Scream-A-Geddon in Dade City will not disappoint.
Referred to as the scariest haunted house in the continental U.S, this horror park’s Halloween festivities begin on September 9th and run for the whole month on select dates.
The Scream-A-Geddon is a pandora’s box of terror that offers you 6 horrifying experiences spanning over 60 acres. While not the most creatively named, The Zombie Paintball Assault delivers what it promises.
It begins with a bus that takes you around the campus where you will be under attack by zombies from every angle possible! Your task is to obliterate the zombies with your paint gun before they get to you.
The Ravenhill Asylum, as the name suggests, is an interactive experience in which you walk through an institution filled with demented inmates and patients who have been locked up for decades.
The Demon’s Revenge, on the other hand, is set in an old church surrounded by a wooded area. From women with chainsaws to a variety of demons and even dragons, the church shrouds many horrors within its doors.
Rage 3D is another experience that is replete with cutting-edge special effects and a terrifying ambiance that sets it apart from the many disappointing 3D illusion centers in malls. Similar to the Asylum, the Blackpool prison is also an interactive experience, but one with criminals instead of the deranged!
Ticket prices vary depending on how soon you book them. The pass gives you access to 5 of the above attractions, while the Zombie Paintball Assault needs to be bought separately.
Apart from the base ticket and pass fares, there are also a couple of upgrades that you can opt for at additional costs. Hair-raising experiences, games, and eateries with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, this place is the real deal when it comes to having a spooktastic time with your teen on Halloween!
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