From the bloodcurdling events at Universal Studios to spook-themed fun for all the family at Walt Disney World and aquatic-inspired shows with a scary twist at SeaWorld, Florida’s theme parks are the place to be this October.
So whether you’re after extreme scares or something a little tamer you can share with your little ones, take a look at what’s new for 2017 and don’t miss out on any of Florida’s frights.
Halloween Horror Nights – Universal Studios
Halloween Horror Nights is by far one of Florida’s biggest Halloween events – if not, the biggest. Each year you can expect new frights with a whole host of new characters waiting to scare you.
This year they’ve really outdone themselves, and by that we mean more mazes and extra scare zones over an impressive 34 select nights. But if there’s one thing Universal do extremely well, it’s bringing some of the horror world’s most famed films and TV shows to life.
If you’re a fan of the hit TV programme American Horror Story, you’ll be happy to know that the attraction will be returning for the second time this year. You won’t just get to experience one season either – visitors will get to walk through three terrifying seasons – Asylum, Coven and Roanoke.
But there’s one new addition that’s got everyone talking this year, and that’s the all-new The Shining house. As one of the most iconic psychological thrillers released, experience Stanley Kubrick’s classic like never before.
Thriller fans will not only get to wander through the film’s eerie hotel corridors and never-ending maze, but they’ll also come face-to-face with room 237 – the dreaded redrum room.
This year will also be your last chance to see Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure show. Running for 26 years, fans should catch the performance before Bill and Ted say their final goodbyes.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party – Walt Disney World
On the tamer side of the scale, is Disney’s Halloween affair – Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Considered the happiest place on earth, the event isn’t known for its scares and trick-or-treaters of all ages are welcome.
Shows, meet and greets, fireworks, costumes and parades, as you can imagine this is quite the event. Plus, you can go trick-or-treating around the park too, surely that beats Halloween at home?
Although there aren’t many differences compared with last year, guests can experience more parties than ever before, we’re talking 32 fantastic festivities. What’s more, there are also some new photo opportunities and a Moana meet and greet.
Disney kicked things off even earlier this year with parties starting in late August. But don’t worry, with events running until 4th November, there’s still plenty of chance to attend.
If that hasn’t got you excited, just wait until we tell you Magic Kingdom’s Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular stage show will be returning. Taking place in front of the famed Cinderella Castle, get ready for a night of magic with everyone’s favourite witches, the Sanderson Sisters.
SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular! – SeaWorld
This year SeaWorld will host its annual sea-meets-scare events. From dressing up, to character meet and greets and shows, SeaWorld’s Halloween happenings are similar to Disney’s but with creatures from the underwater world.
This event is ideal for mini Halloweeners, as you won’t find anything too scary here. Instead, families will be able to enjoy daytime activities and shows with a spooky-theme.
Children will love collecting pictures with all their favourite aquatic characters, before singing and dancing to a live DJ at Penelope’s Garden Party. And there are also plenty of opportunities for little ones to pick up some candy along the way, with trick-or-treat stations dotted throughout the park.
Brick-or-Treat – LEGOLAND®
Now into its sixth year and running every weekend during October and Halloween, Brick-or-Treat is perfect for families and LEGO® lovers alike. So, if you’re looking for something a little different this Halloween, head on over to this brick-inspired park.
Take advantage of special events such as costume contests, a chance to meet LEGO®‘s spookiest characters, trick-or-treating, a scavenger hunt in Miniland and LEGO® building of course. If you want to show off your dance moves, don’t forget to attend the Monster Bash, the ultimate Halloween party.
Then after a night of spooky antics, make your way to Pirates’ Cove for a firework spectacle like no other. Starting at 8.00pm this is a great way to end your LEGOLAND® Halloween experience.
Howl-O-Scream – Busch Gardens
Running for a total of 18 nights, Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream in Tampa Bay has enough thrills to keep you coming back time and time again. With unearthly creatures roaming the park and thrills in the form of themed houses and scare zones, Busch Gardens has really upped its game this year.
Among the haunted houses you’ll find a deserted motel with a supernatural presence, a swamp full of sadistic creatures and a voodoo queen as well as a zombie confinement unit where you’ll be forced to fight the undead.
There are also two new houses as well – Demented Dimensions, an abandoned manor where each door reveals another universe. Then there’s the Undead Arena, which is home to a live horror event, not to mention three new scare zones including Meat Market, Carnie Camp and Class Deceased – we’ll let you envision what they’re about.
What’s more, if the Halloween thrills don’t scare you, you can also take on some of the parks biggest rides in the dark. But be warned – you won’t just find other coaster-goers seated next to you, nightmarish creatures have been known to ride alongside you too.
So, do you dare spend Halloween in Florida’s theme parks?