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. 17 – Oct. 31, 2018. 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. Sing along at the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular and end the night with a “Boo-tacular” Fireworks show. 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 every weekend from Sept. 22 – Oct. 28 and included with park admission.
Guests will be immersed in an underwater “fantasea” featuring not so spooky shows and whimsical sea creatures. Search for hidden “sea” treasures using 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 28
Teens and adults can step right into some of the most pulse-pounding moments in horror history at Halloween Horror Nights 28. On select nights from Sept. 14 – Nov. 3, 2018, the streets of Universal Studios Florida® theme park come alive with a horde of horrifying mutants, monsters and maniacs. Explore ten 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 year horrors are inspired by the 1980’s featuring haunted houses based on Netflix’s mega-hit Stranger Things, Poltergeist, Halloween and more.
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.
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. 26 – 29, 2018, 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.
Read all about Raglan Road’s 2016 spooky cocktail. I can’t wait to try their spooky creation this year! You can warm your chilled bones with Pumpkin Irish Coffee, made with fresh espresso topped with whipped cream and paired with a pumpkin crème brûlée tart.
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 offering special treats from September 28 through October 31, 2018:
• Candy Cauldron – Satisfy your sweet tooth with Halloween-themed pumpkin and “poison” specialty apples, mummy and pumpkin cake pops, themed crispy treats and fall cookies and cupcakes.
• Goofy’s Candy Co. – Treat yourself to Halloween-themed pumpkin and “poison” specialty apples, mummy and pumpkin cake pops, themed crispy treats and fall cookies and cupcakes.
• Amorette’s Patisserie – Fall in love with fa-boo-lous confections. Edible works of art include a Mickey pumpkin macaroon and a petite chiffon cake made of cinnamon and nutmeg, layered with salted caramel mousse, cranberry- cherry pâté de fruit and roasted hazelnuts. You can also make reservations for a cake class that will feature a Halloween-themed dome cake.
• The Ganachery – Drop by to savor chocolate skulls filled with ganache flavors including cranberry orange and pumpkin spice latte. Delight in Jack Skellington and Minnie Witch piñatas.
• Sprinkles – Invited to a Halloween party? Slay the dessert table when you bring a BOO Box with caramel apple cupcakes—available on October 1, 2018
• D-Luxe Burger – Complement an order of burger and fries with a delectable pumpkin shake.
• Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar – Fall into the season with the Autumn Smash made with Captain Morgan Rum, lemon juice, peach nectar, simple syrup and a touch of cinnamon.
• Dockside Margaritas and our Outdoor Vending Carts – Enjoy a variety of fall-inspired hard ciders including the Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Cider, the Pumpking Imperial Ale by Southern Tier Brewing Co. and the Autumn Smash—an elixir made with spiced rum, lemon juice, peach nectar, simple syrup and a touch of cinnamon.
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!
Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park
Pumpkin Cheesecake Gelato is back for a limited time! You won’t be able to resist this pumpkin spice gelato with cheesecake bits in one of the freshly dipped waffle cones! It’s the perfect accompaniment as you stroll down Park Avenue in Winter Park this season.
Even their famous Chocolate Covered Popcorn got a fall look. Available in milk and dark chocolate, 24 oz. tubs are ready to be gifted for any fall or Halloween event. Click here for more information.
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, invites guests to get “zombified” with monster-rific crafts, dance parties, a themed scavenger hunt and trick or treating every weekend from Sept. 22 – Oct. 31.
Zoo Boo Bash at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens, offers 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 20-21 and 27-28. Included with regular zoo admission.
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!