According to the Official Rock Father™ Seasonal Calendar (first revealed here), Fall/Autumn runs August 15-October 31 with the overlapping Halloween Season running September 15-October 31. That said, my favorite time of the year has begun, and for those looking for a fall travel adventure, the folks at Visit Orlando note that the City is conjuring up 78 days (and nights) of Halloween fun this year! From “Theme Park Frights” to “Boo! Beyond the Parks,” there’s something for everyone, with many highlights posted below.
THEME PARK FRIGHTS
- Halloween Horror Nights 28, Select Nights Sept. 14 – Nov. 3
This year visitors can expect horrors inspired by the ’80s at Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights, with a haunted house in the theme of Netflix’s mega-hit “Stranger Things,” as well as nine other haunted houses, for a total of 10 – the most ever in the event’s 28-year history. The event will also run for a total of 34 nights, tied for the longest run in its history.
- Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Select Nights Aug. 17 – Oct. 31
On select nights from Aug. 17 to Oct. 31, Magic Kingdom Park comes alive with jack-o-lanterns, special characters and entertainment for the whole family. Encouraged to come dressed for the occasion, visitors can trick-or-treat throughout the park, masquerade with costumed characters at the Boo-to-You Halloween Parade, sing along at the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular and end the night with a “Boo-tacular” fireworks show.
- SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular, Weekends Sept. 22 – Oct. 28
It’s an ocean of Halloween fun for the whole family at SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular. During this daytime event, families are immersed in an underwater “fantasea” including trick-or-treating, not-so-spooky live shows, whimsical sea creatures, and the chance to mingle with everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends including Elmo, The Count, Cookie Monster and more.
- Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND Florida Resort, Select Nights Oct. 6 – 31
Families will enjoy all the fun without the frights at LEGOLAND’s Brick or Treat this year. The event features trick-or-treating, the world’s largest LEGO jack-o-lantern, LEGO Halloween characters and a bewitching Halloween-themed fireworks show at Pirates’ Cove.
“BOO!” BEYOND THE PARKS
- Spooky Empire, the largest horror convention in the nation returns to Orlando Oct. 26–29 at the Caribe Royale Orlando. This year’s lineup of celebrity guests includes David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson of X-files fame, and Kathy Najimy of Disney’s Halloween classic Hocus Pocus, with more to be announced. Other thrills and chills at the convention include a tattoo festival, costume contest, zombie walk and film festival.
- A Petrified Forest features two outdoor scare trails for small groups to venture through a haunted forest at night. On a few special Total Eclipse Nights – which require a signed waiver for anyone under 18 – monsters can even touch the guests, and each small group is given only one glowstick to light their path, regardless if it is dropped or stolen by a creature. The event runs select nights, Oct. 5 – Nov. 3.
- American Ghost Adventures offers a wide variety of year-round paranormal experiences, with tour options all over Orlando, from the haunted pub tour, “Spirits with Spirits” to the “Dining with the Departed” tour, complete with a meal in a haunted restaurant.
- Zombie Outbreak challenges guests to see how long they could survive a zombie apocalypse. This Halloween season and all year long, the terrifically terrifying attraction puts guests in the middle of a military base overrun with the undead.
- Mortem Manor Haunted Attraction at Old Town features year-round scares, with two spooky stories, state-of-the-art animatronics and live actors. Entry is just $15, making this a bargain sure to scare the living yell out of guests.
- Maitland’s Historical Haunted Tours invite curious history buffs and ghost hunters to explore the haunted grounds of the Art & History Museum’s Maitland Art Center or the Waterhouse Residence Museum via two separate tours, available on select days in October. From ghost stories to creepy Victorian artifacts, guests will discover the chilling truth behind what is said to be one of the most paranormal places in Central Florida.
- “Screamin’ Green Hauntoween at The Crayola Experience invites guests to get “zombified” with all-new monster-ific crafts, dance parties, a themed scavenger and trick-or-treating every weekend, Sept. 22 – Oct. 31.
- SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology brings the dead back to life, with over 40 exhibits featuring 500 REAL animal skeletons. Special adult-focused event nights get even spookier, like SKELETONS After Dark: Forensic Night, where guests examine human skeletons and learn how to read the cause of death.
- The City of Orlando’s Moonlight Walking Tours take guests on a dark, historical stroll through Greenwood Cemetery. Trek four miles and visit nearly a hundred graves of notable individuals in Orlando’s history. The tour is free, but usually sponsored by rotating charities that will be accepting donations, so guests can feel philanthropic AND afraid.
HAUNTING HOTEL HAPPENINGS
- Three Hyatt properties are offering a “No Tricks, Just Treats” package, Sept.1 – Nov. 4, to get guests into the Halloween spirit. The package includes two complimentary “spooky” drinks or beverages of choice per stay as well as a special themed treat placed in their room upon arrival, available at Hyatt Place across form Universal Orlando Resort, Hyatt House across from Universal Orlando Resort™ and Hyatt Place Orlando Convention Center.
- Hilton Orlando is offering “A ROOM WITH A BOO” package, which includes daily breakfast, premium Wi-Fi and late checkout at 2:00 p.m.; perfect sleeping-in time for those “creatures of the night.” Use this link for booking.
Want more info? Check out http://www.visitorlando.com/Halloween