When it comes to Halloween the Americans and in particular the Floridian theme parks sure know how to go all out for it so I thought that I would dedicate today's Orlando, Florida Travel Tips post to what's on offer Halloween-wise in and around Orlando and I'm already a little jealous of anyone visiting during the month of October. Depending on who you're on holiday with, there are plenty of options, both in the family friendly realm and for the adults. And as I mentioned, the theme parks really know how to do Halloween on a whole different scale from anything that you will probably have experienced before and not only that but there are so many different attractions, shows and scares to be had. So let's get right into it and start with the one of the longest running and most scare-inducing events held in Orlando for Halloween; HHN (Halloween Horror Nights).
Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando
Select nights September 18th - November 1st
Halloween Horror Nights has been a Halloween highlight for 25 years now and there's nothing quite like wandering around Universal Studios as the Floridian sun starts to set and you see and feel the park completely transform before your very eyes. Let's just say, if you're a fan of horror movies or getting a good fright then HHN is the Halloween event for you.
This year, for HHN 25, there are brilliant haunted houses featuring some of the biggest names in horror. There's The Walking Dead, Insidious, Freddy Vs Jason, The Purge, Body Collectors, Asylum in Wonderland 3D and An American Werewolf in London. And as a big Insidious fan I am insanely jealous of anyone who gets to make their way through that house. I've just got my fingers crossed that it makes a return for HHN 26 as I will be visiting Orlando myself next October.
As always for Universal Studios, the level of detail and the way in which they stage everything is impeccable. To say that it feels quite unbelievable to be walking through Universal to be met with hordes of mutants, monsters and maniacs, would be a definite understatement. You really do feel like you've stepped onto the set of your favourite horror movie but it's even better and much scarier than when you're sat in the comfort of your own home or a cinema.
In addition to the haunted houses there are also five scare zones dotted around the park. And they really have nailed the description when calling them scare zones as I challenge you to walk through one without jumping, screaming or shrieking (or all three at once). This year's scare zones include characters from the Shadybrook Asylum, the All Nite Die-In, as well as some of HHN's Icons.
Universal Studios are also renowned for their great shows and there are two fantastic ones on offer this Halloween. Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure and The Carnage Returns, which just so happens to feature a terrifying clown named Jack. If you happen to have a fear of clowns you might not want to bump into Jack on a dark night at HHN.
Additional info: No costumes or masks allowed. Event may be too intense for young children and is not recommended for those under the age of 13.
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom
September 15th - November 1st
If you happen to follow me on Pinterest (I'm @ellistuesday on there too), then you might have seen me pinning a whole lot of Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party pictures to my Walt Disney World board. Like Universal Studios, WDW sure know how to put on a show and the Halloween Party is no exception. And unlike HHN this Halloween event is perfect for all ages and if you're anything like me and grew up watching every Disney movie that you could possibly set your eyes on, well this party will make you feel like a child once more. Expect all of your favourite Disney characters plus some more that don't ordinarily make an appearance at the Disney parks. This leads me onto a show that I wish I could see in person this Halloween; the brand new Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular.
Fans of Hocus Pocus and the incredible Sanderson sisters will be over the moon to see a whole show dedicated to the trio of witches and some of their spooky comrades, ie. a few of best Disney villains to ever grace the screen such as Maleficent, Cruella de Vil, Dr. Facilier and even Ooogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Who doesn't love a good Disney villain?
There's plenty of fun to be had and they even sing my favourite song from the movie and basically the best Halloween song ever; I Put A Spell On You. I may have already watched clips of this show on YouTube several times just to appreciate how incredible it is. Oh if only I was there in person to see it.
And if there's something that Disney and in particular the Magic Kingdom know how to do well it's a parade and Mickey's "Boo-To-You" Halloween Parade takes it to a wonderfully spooky level. The parade starts with an appearance from the Headless Horseman himself. I know it's not a Disney movie but who else adores Sleepy Hollow? I'll definitely need to watch it again before the 31st.
All of your favourite Disney characters are dressed up for Halloween on their floats and one of my favourite rides, The Haunted Mansion, makes an appearance thanks to these three (as pictured). And the night ends with Happy HalloWishes, a Halloween take on the Magic Kingdom's normal firework display Wishes, complete with music from Peter Pan, Fantasia, The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Little Mermaid.
Additional info: Costumes are allowed as long as they are not obstructive or offensive. Entertainment is subject to change without notice.
Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND Florida
October 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 23-25, 30-31
Growing up I was rather obsessed with LEGO (what child isn't to be honest?) and I can only imagine how incredible it would be for young children who love playing with LEGO to then be met with life size LEGO characters and more LEGO bricks than you could even imagine, when visiting LEGOLAND Florida. I have a feeling it would be like all your Christmases had come at once for a child like that. And despite it being quite a while since I was playing with LEGO, something about seeing builds made entirely from LEGO just makes me smile. Oh and if you love LEGO be sure to take a trip to Disney Springs for Disney related LEGO creations but back to Brick-or-Treat. There's a vampire build which you get to help out with, as well as a 13 foot LEGO hearse, which is probably pretty spooky to behold as a child. And on top of that, then there's something even more Halloween related made entirely from LEGO bricks.
You can have your photograph taken next to the world's largest LEGO Pumpkin (as pictured). All I can say is it must take some patience and manpower to complete something of that size.
And when in Orlando, Florida it's not just all about meeting and greeting Disney characters and those at Universal. At LEGOLAND Florida, this Halloween you can meet some of the brand new LEGO characters. From Wanda the Witch to Vladimir the Vampire, Frank N. Stein (love it!), Mortimor the Mummy and Mad Scientist this is definitely more of a child friendly way of getting into the Halloween spirit. And to top it off there's also a nightly fireworks display, as well as a costume contest.
Have you ever visited Orlando during the month of October? If so, did you visit any of the parks and the events that they hold? Did you stock up on Halloween candy and treats to bring back with you? And what will you be doing for Halloween this year?
Image Credit (Magic Kingdom Pumpkins - HHN25 Opening Night - HHN Performers - HHN Show - Magic Kingdom Halloween Party - Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular - Mickey's 'Boo To You' Halloween Parade - RIP Seymour Models - LEGOLAND Brick-or-Treat - LEGOLAND Pumpkin)