The delightful month of October brings all things pumpkin spiced, the incoming of dark nights, autumnal walks through crunchy fallen leaves and of course Halloween festivities! It’s the time of year where you can let out your inner child. Dress up like a ghost, ghoul, vampire or one of your favourite horror personas – Michael Myers anyone? The kids go crazy on lanterns full of sweets and scare events pop up all across the UK – but have you ever considered Halloweening elsewhere?
All across the world, from America to Spain, everyone is getting ready to celebrate this spooky holiday. So if you’re looking to fully immerse yourself in this fun-filled holiday, we’ve got some great recommendations for your next scarecation!
Orlando – Florida
Why only celebrate Halloween for one night when you can visit Orlando and enjoy this spook-tactular event from summer ending until Christmas starting!
Orlando may be most famous for being the home of Walt Disney World which is reason enough to visit this amazing destination. Walt Disney World celebrates Halloween from the middle of August through to November 1st. See each park decorated for the season, attend special events such as Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party and meet characters you wouldn’t usually have the chance to! Arrive at Magic Kingdom dressed up or feel free to attend as you are. Disney at Halloween is great for families with teens or young that aren’t quite ready for the scary side of this holiday.
For those who do want a good scare Orlando is also home to Universal Studios which does their very own Halloween Horror Nights! Not for the feint-hearted or anyone younger than 13, Horror Nights opens your world to the worlds of all your favourite film frights. Previous haunted houses have been inspired by The Walking Dead, Halloween, Netflix’s Stranger Things and The Purge, so who knows what the next turn will bring!
There’s no escape, even out on the streets. Scare-zones fill the majority of the park area with Zombies, film maniacs and scare-actors all out on the prowl. Scream your way around the park and onto the rides – they’re all still open too! It’s a night full of adrenaline that’ll get you into the spirit of Halloween perfectly.
Where to stay
Rosen Centre Hotel, International Drive, Florida
Rosen Centre Hotel in Florida
Practically located in the heart of I-Drive, the Rosen Centre Hotel is only a 15 minute drive to Walt Disney World and less than 10 to Universal! The complex itself includes lots of restaurants, a large pool and a spa. Holidays to Orlando can be a bit full on so for those days where you just need a bit of down time, the Rosen Centre Hotel’s pool area that’s lined with palm trees and comfy loungers can be a great place to retreat. There’s an onsite bar providing Cuban and Caribbean themed snacks and drinks throughout the day too!
A large entertainment complex named Pointe Orlando is also only a 10 minute walk from the hotel. Here you’ll find bars hosting live music, an ice bar which will be even more tempting when you’ve been subject to that Orlando heat and there’s even activities for little ones too. With a huge indoor amusement park and an IMAX cinema, it’s great for if you want a night or two outside of the major parks.
The hotel has a shuttle service to Universal or easy access to public transport which can get you to any area of Disney. However if you would be hiring a car, the hotel has onsite parking chargeable per day.
New Orleans – Louisiana
Halloween in New Orleans is insanely popular, it’s actually the second most celebrated time in the city – trumped only by the famous festival of Mardi Gras. New Orleans is one of the worlds most fascinating cities, one of the best to visit for fun times, parties, events and lots of culture! Visit New Orleans in October and you’ll be spoiled for choice with all things spooky.
Look forward to everything from haunted houses to street parties, themed parades and even festivals! New Orleans is known for its haunted history with hotels, streets and other locations throughout the city known to have spirits floating among them. What better way to hear these tales and get into the spirit of Halloween than by taking a haunted tour among the French Quarter.
If that’s not your thing, the decoration surrounding New Orleans is enough to capture anyone’s attention. Stroll the streets of the local neighbourhood to truly see how the Americans do it for Halloween. A top spot is St Charles Avenue lined with stunning mansions covered head to toe in unbelievable Halloween frill.
You can also dress up in your craziest costumes, the crazier the better and head to Frenchmen Street which is most certainly the place to be on Halloween. Dress to impress because in New Orleans, Halloween is as serious as it comes! Then enjoy hopping from bar to bar where you can indulge in live music all night long. Frenchmen Street is the place to embrace the vibrant spirit of New Orleans over this period.
Costa Dorada, Salou – Spain
If you wish to stay somewhat close to home but fancy a bit of heat and fun with all the family over the Halloween period, Costa Dorada in Spain is home to PortAventura World theme park which transforms into a spookville spectacular! From late September until early November, you’ll be continually surprised as the theme park transforms into a place of darkness and gloom! SésamoAventura and other strange characters roam the streets of the park helping you to celebrate. Walk through passages of terror before witnessing an amazing show on the parks most gloomiest lake!
Where to stay
El Paso Hotel, Portaventura, Costa Dorada, Spain
El Paso Hotel in Costa Dorada, Spain
The El Paso Hotel is only a five minute walk to PortAventura theme park and the best part, if you stay at this hotel you can have free unlimited entry! With a four-star First Choice rating, the hotel offers an All Inclusive package with a highly desirable location. Just a 15 minute walk will also get you to Salou‘s main promenade and if you fancy a day trip to Barcelona whilst you’re here, that’ll be just an hours drive.
El Paso Hotel is great for families with young children, they’ll have their own pool complete with a semi-submerged pirate ship! Your main pool covers a huge area and comes lined with comfy loungers to catch some sun and cabanas if you prefer some shade. There’s ample entertainment on an evening in the form of a mini disco and various shows, plus with your free access to the theme park you can also go there and enjoy watching the firework display!
All this free time at a theme park is great right! But what about your All Inclusive package? Do not worry, those on All Inclusive are able to order lunch and dinner from a selection of the theme parks food outlets at no extra cost, rather than continuing to return to the hotel to make the most of your package! Staying at El Paso Hotel also gives you discounted entry to PortAventura Caribe Aquatic Park and a free day ticket to Ferrari Land.
Traditionally this celebration of the dead coincided with All Saint’s Day on November 1st in Italy. It’s this traditional take on Halloween that Italy blends with the modernity of the Halloween festivities we know today. If you decide to head to Italy for Halloween you’ll find the main events take place on All Saints’ Day on November 1st and All Souls’ Day on November 2nd. Halloween in Italy is way more subtle than the American equivalent however if you’d prefer to sight-see your way around this holiday, it’s got numerous spooky locations for you to create your own Halloween itinerary.
One of the best Halloween celebrations in Italy takes place in the streets of Borgo a Mozzano in Tuscany. From the 28th until the 31st many mysterious legends and stories related to the area come to life! Visit Ponte ella Maddalena, also known as the Devil’s Bridge to get involved and listen to the tales of its river beneath which is said to represent the underworld…. – Spooky!
Then there’s the “Passage of Terror” a horror route through the city which consists of more than 10 live sets full of creepy characters. You’ll play an active role in the show so be sure to keep your wits about you!
So now that you know of some of the best places to go celebrate Halloween, it’s time to decide! Where to first?
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