Orlando is the “Halloween Vacation Capital of the World!”
You may think of Orlando as “theme park capital of the world” but in the fall, it transforms into the “Halloween Vacation Capital of the world” with over 150 Halloween theme park event nights and spooky festivities all around town. The City Beautiful becomes “The City Boo-tiful”!
From the super scary events for adults and teens, to not so scary ones for the entire family and everything in between, there is no shortage of Halloween fun in Orlando. There’s even a delicious side to Halloween in Orlando with spooky cocktails and foodie events. Orlando is all about family fun but there are also plenty of adult experiences to keep all ages entertained and terrified this season. Get your friends and family together and go for a not-so-scary, terrifying or delicious Halloween outing!
Here are the best ways to celebrate Halloween in Orlando you don’t want to miss.
The Not-So-Scary Halloween in Orlando
Kids of all ages can enjoy the fun of the season and eat all the candy they want without fear of being chased by a zombie. Here are my favorite not-so-scary events.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
For the ultimate trick or treating experience fun for the entire family, visit Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Park during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This after-dark specially ticketed event is held on select nights Aug. 25–Nov. 1, 2017. Guests are welcome to dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes for trick-or-treating, meet and greets with Disney characters (who by the way are also donning their best Halloween look), and entertainment uniquely created for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party after regular park hours.
Led by the infamous Headless Horseman, “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade,” is featured twice nightly. This year, Hocus Pocus’ infamous Sanderson sisters, Winifred, Mary and Sarah; return to the Cinderella Castle stage during the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular. “HalloWishes,” a green and orange fireworks display complete with Disney villains caps the night. For more information and dates, visit the event website.
SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular
SeaWorld Orlando invites families to dive in and explore an underwater “fantasea” at SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular – a family-friendly event where children can trick-or-treat, dance with fanciful sea creatures, and create sea-themed arts and crafts. Held from Sept. 30–Oct. 29 and included with park admission.
Guests can search for hidden “sea” treasures using their Spooktacular maps at different locations, and stroll among colorful, playful schools of pumpkin fish and other whimsical characters like Penelope Pumpkin fish, Shamu, Dolly Dolphin, Shivers the Polar Bear, Pete and Penny Penguin and more! Visit event website for more information.
The Terrifying Halloween in Orlando
Teens and adults who love a good fright will definitely fear the darkness at these Halloween events. Go with friends and you’ll be scared together. It’s a great bonding experience!
Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 27
Teens and adults can step right into some of the most pulse-pounding moments in horror history at Halloween Horror Nights 27. On select nights from Sept. 15–Nov. 4, 2017, the streets of Universal Studios Florida® theme park come alive with a horde of horrifying mutants, monsters and maniacs. Explore nine terrifying haunted houses, make your way through multiple street experiences where creatures lurk around every turn, enjoy outrageous live shows, and experience many of the park’s most exciting rides and attractions.
This is truly one of the most well designed Halloween events for adults in the country. Universal enlists a “scream team” of designers to research the human psyche and its deepest fears to create haunted houses and “scare zones” of terrifying magnitudes for guests. Visit event website for information.
On select nights, Howl-O-Scream transforms Busch Gardens Tampa Bay into a nightmare of inescapable fear that will overwhelm the senses with a new spin on horror. The devious creatures that infest haunted houses, scare zones and thrilling shows have plenty of psychotic surprises in store and bone-chilling roller coasters to keep the screams coming all night long. This event is for teens and adults on select nights Sept. 22–Oct. 29, 2017.Visit event website for more information.
Spooky Empire Horror Convention
This is not your ordinary convention! It’s the largest horror convention in the U.S.! Spooky Empire, headquartered in Orlando, is a convention for fans that enjoy the dark side of comic con. From Oct. 27–29, 2017, fans can meet and mingle with their favorite horror movie and TV stars, visit more than 200 vendors and artists, see new and up and coming films, take part in one of the largest Zombie Walks and even get tattoos. Visit event website for more information.
Could you survive a zombie apocalypse? The year-round terrifying attraction Zombie Outbreak, on International Drive puts you in the middle of a military base overrun with the undead. You’ll be provided with realistic weapon replicas, and the zombies wear high-tech sensors to record each shot. But while the ammo isn’t real, the pulse-pounding thrills most certainly are. Open seven days a week; operating hours vary by day. Visit website for information.
The Delicious Foodie Halloween in Orlando
Halloween is not all about spooky and frightening events. There are delicious ones too! If you’d rather sip a spooky cocktail and nosh on some themed cuisine, check out these events.
The Alfond Inn Get Your “Spooky” Jazz On
The Alfond Inn at Rollins, Winter Park, holds their popular Get Your Jazz On Concert Series on October 27th, with a Halloween theme. From 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. guests enjoy a live jazz concert out on the lawn, with unlimited select wine, beer, spirits and seasonally blended cocktails, roasted chicken, Chef Jason’s award-winning roasted pig and vegetarian selections. The After Party takes place in the lounge at 9:30 p.m. Halloween costumes encouraged and prizes will be awarded. Visit Eventbrite for tickets and information.
Tickets are $50 plus fee at EventBrite.com or $55 at the door, including complimentary valet parking. Limited VIP section tickets are now available for $65, including seating directly in front of the stage with designated server. Patronage of the event helps fund The Alfond Scholars Program at Rollins College.
The Pumpkin King is the perfect cocktail to sip in the Forbidden Lounge, the second level of Morimoto Asia. Their inventive mixologists concocted seasonal deliciousness with house made pumpkin cider and cinnamon infused whiskey. Best part it’s topped off with a Trick or Treat spiked candy garnish!
When you’re craving a tasty tonic, order the “Dark and Smokey” cocktail made with smoked rum and pumpkin liqueur at Paddlefish in Disney Springs. This popular restaurant aboard a paddleboat turned luxury yacht is one of my favorites for cocktails and seafood and sunset views from the top deck. The relaxed setting may help soothe your frazzled Halloween nerves. Add an order of Lobster corn dogs and crab fries to make it a perfect pairing.
Raglan Road Irish Pub Dracula Celebration
Everyone knows Dracula! But did you know that Bram Stoker, the author and mastermind behind the famous spooky character, was a Dublin native? Though he traveled the globe, Stoker never visited Eastern Europe, the setting for his most famous novel, “Dracula,” classified not just as a horror story but also as “romanticized Gothic.” This Halloween, Raglan Road Irish Pub in Disney Springs will celebrate the genius of Bram Stoker’s myth-making and Halloween’s Celtic roots with subtle styling of the pub to reflect the era of gothic romanticism. They will also be serving a special cocktail to toast Ireland’s native son. Chill your bones with a Spiced Caramel Apple Martini made with a dry ice effect. Drink up, and beware of bats in the belfry.
Read all about Raglan Road’s 2016 spooky cocktail. I can’t wait to try their spooky creation this year!
Visit their website for more information.
Disney Springs eateries are serving up plenty of themed treats and potions for a delicious Halloween. In addition to the above restaurants, the following shops and dining locations are featuring special offerings plus don’t miss doing the monster mash at the nightly DJ Dance party at the Marketplace. Frightful entertainment will be around the property like stilt walkers, strolling piano, and zombie drum corps!
> Amorette’s Patisserie – Fall in love with fa-boo-lous confections. Edible works of art include a Pumpkin Mickey Character Cake, fall time petit cake, pumpkin-shaped Mickey Mouse pastry and a pumpkin crème brulee.
> B.B. Wolf’s Sausage Co. and The Daily Poutine – You won’t need lederhosen or dirndl to enjoy tastes from Germany’s most famous festival. Visit each of these kiosks to try a twist on an Oktoberfest Special. B.B Wolf’s Sausage Co. is serving up bratwurst with cheese spätzle, pretzel roll and house-made pickles—and The Daily Poutine’s creation features sausage, beef gravy and cheese curds.
> Disney’s Candy Cauldron and Goofy’s Candy Company – Summon your sweet tooth and discover a large selection of enticing desserts—including specialty apples, marshmallows, crispy rice treats and cake pops.
> D-Luxe Burger – Complement an order of burger and fries with a delectable pumpkin shake.
> Dockside Margaritas – Unwind with a Halloween-themed margarita or Southern Tier Pumpkin Ale.
> The Ganachery – Drop by to savor seasonal chocolate ganache flavors and chocolate-caramel skulls. Chocolate gift boxes featuring decorative fall sleeves are also available.
> Ghirardelli® Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop – Sink your teeth into luscious milk chocolate Pumpkin Spice Caramel squares—available all October long.
> Joffrey’s Tea Traders – Spice things up with a festive pairing—a Halloween-themed frosted doughnut and an expertly blended seasonal tea.
> Sprinkles – Invited to a Halloween party? Slay the dessert table when you bring a BOO Box with caramel apple cupcakes.
> STK Orlando – Get ready for some haute haunts! This swanky steakhouse is hosting an adult-only Halloween costume party on their rooftop on October 31, 2017. Event highlights include themed specialty drinks and a DJ.
> Vivoli il Gelato – Please your palate with a variety of seasonal flavors like apple pie.
Bulla Gastrobar Horror Happy Hour
Have a BOO-ya night on Halloween, October 31st, and take part in the all-day #HorrorHappyHour at Bulla Gastrobar in winter Park. The bustling bar and restaurant, inspired by the tapas bars of Barcelona, has become a popular favorite of Orlando locals for its high energy atmosphere, inventive small plates like Huevos Bulla, a messy concoction of homemade potato chips topped with soft yolk egg, jamon Serrano, potato foam and truffle oil, and their hand-crafted cocktails. The Halloween celebration includes complimentary paella tastings on the patio from 5pm – 9pm and happy hour pricing all day. Don your best and craziest Halloween costume for the chance to win dinner for two valued at $125 for first place, bar tab of $50 for second place and $20 gift card for third place. Get spooked with Spanish spice!
Best Places to Trick or Treat for Halloween in Orlando
Here are a few options where the kids can trick or treat and everyone can have Halloween fun!
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 contest on October 28.
If you want to know more of the best places to trick or treat in Orlando, check out this great compilation by my friends at OrlandoFLConnections.com
Do you have a favorite Halloween event I didn’t include? Please let me know in the comments below. I hope this list inspires you to take every opportunity to celebrate with family and friends. Go #MakeSomedayHappen
Have a spooky, delicious and safe Halloween!