After Christmas, Halloween is one of the largest holiday seasons in Florida. It is reckoned some 300,000 people go to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights every year.
All the major theme parks in Florida put on special shows and events for Halloween and some stay open late but check the dates carefully as the events are on selected days/nights only.
The big news for 2021 is that all the Florida theme parks are hosting Halloween events and in fact there is one more than in previous years.
SeaWorld is following in the footsteps of its sister park Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and is introducing its own adult SeaWorld Howl-O-Scream event as well as continuing its family-friendly SeaWorld Spooktacular.
Universal Studios Florida, Busch Gardens and SeaWorld Orlando present intense scary events with thousands of extra cast members whose sole aim is to scare you out of your wits!! These kinds of events are not recommended for people who do not like horror films, are of a scary disposition or children under the age of about 13.
Families are better off considering the offerings from SeaWorld, Magic Kingdom or LEGOLAND Florida but bear in mind that only SeaWorld and Legoland include their family-friendly Halloween celebrations in the standard day tickets, all other parks charge a separate admission fee.
As well as all the major theme park Halloween events, there are a couple of other events including two “drive-thru” Halloween attractions in Central Florida that sprung up last year when all the theme park Halloween events were cancelled. They are both running again this year.
Gatorland are celebrating Halloween for the third year with their daytime “Gators, Ghosts and Goblins” which is included with normal admission.
It runs for four weekends on Saturdays and Sundays from October 9 to 31 with the Swamp Ghost’s Monster Museum, the Crocs and Cryptids Zone, themed haunt zones, interactive characters (including the park’s Skunk Ape), animal encounters, candy giveaways and children’s costume parades. It’s the third year for Gators, Ghosts and Goblins.
Live music will be provided by Polkageist, Gatorland’s “undead polka band,” alongside German beer and food for purchase Frank & Steins Octoberfest.
Costumes are permitted but “nothing scary or gory, please,” a Gatorland news release asks as Bubba and Skunk Ape are easily scared!
Scream n’ Stream Drive Through Experience
In 2020 a new “Scream n’ Stream” drive-through Halloween attraction opened at Boggy Creek Adventures, Kissimmee and took place at an abandoned Lakeside Drive-In Theater set with scare-actors along the route.
It returns this year to a secret research facility called “Station 5” at the Oviedo Mall (northeast of Orlando), featuring clowns and zombies.
It runs on select nights from September 17 through to October 31 and the experience lasts around 25 minutes as you drive through the set armed with laser guns as you attempt to take a kill switch to the drop point.
If purchased in advance online, ticket prices are $64 per car up with up to 8 passengers for a specified date and arrival time slot. Each car gets up to 3 laser guns, unlimited ammo and an interactive kill switch device.
If you just turn up at the gate, then prices are $84 per car and you may have to wait.
You can also purchase a VIP Admission online for $139 per car which gives you up to 7 laser guns, unlimited ammo, an interactive kill switch device, front of line access and anytime arrival plus souvenirs.
All prices are plus tax and tickets can be purchased from the official Scream n’ Stream website. Note motorcycles are not allowed and all passenger must have there own seatbelt, no riding in a pickup truck bed.
The Haunted Road
Like the Scream n’ Stream Drive Through Experience, “The Haunted Road” is another drive-thru attraction where you drive your own vehicle through a Halloween themed set.
It runs on select nights between September 30 and November 7. It is open Thursday to Saturday for the first two weeks and then Wednesday to Sunday (closed Monday/Tuesday) for the rest of the time.
The Haunted Road is located at Lake Pickett Road, Orlando in the same location as Corn Maze Orlando and Painted Oaks Academy.
In 2020 it featured a storyline based on familiar fairytale characters like Rapunzel and for 2021 the story centres around hunting for ghosts.
Tickets must be purchased in advance and are from $15.99 to $30.99 plus tax per person, for a specified date and entry time. Prices basically rise as you get nearer and nearer to Halloween night.
The journey through the attraction is one-way and takes 40 to 50 minutes. You must stay inside your vehicle apart from specified locations where you are allowed to exit the vehicle when looking for ghosts.
At the end of the drive you can extend your stay by visiting The Barnyard which costs $79 plus tax per vehicle.
At the Barnyard you can grab a drink at the early 19th century Ol’ Watering Hole and buy smoked BBQ meats with baked beans, corn of the cob and tator tots at the Smoked BBQ.
The Abandoned Butcher Barn is a separate walk-in attraction where the meat is not necessarily animal!
Local artisans are offering souvenirs at the Haunt Market.
All prices are plus tax and tickets can be purchased from the official Haunted Road website. Note motorcycles, bikes and oversized vehicles are not allowed and all passenger must have there own seatbelt, no riding in a pickup truck bed.
Some Halloween events are not suitable for young children, some allow costumes, others don’t and some parks charge a separate admission (see details below)
In previous years, Silver Springs in Ocala also put on a halloween event but on September 30, 2013 it became a State Park and they stopped seasonal events like Halloween.
In 2020 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, both Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Halloween Horror Nights were cancelled but Universal did then open up two houses during the daytime.
Most theme parks start to release details of dates and ticket prices around June/July time.
Florida Theme Park Halloween 2021 Events At a Glance
Click on the park names to read about the individual Halloween theme park events.
|Florida Halloween Events||Magic Kingdom Disney After Hours BOO BASH||Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights||SeaWorld Spooktacular||SeaWorld Howl-O-Scream||Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream||LEGOLAND Florida Brick-or-Treat|
|Suitable for children||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Included in standard admission||No||No||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Opening times||9:00 pm to midnight / 9:30 pm to 12:30 am||6:30 pm to 12:00 am / 2:00 am||normal park hours||7:00 pm to 12:00 am / 2:00 am||7:00 pm to 12:00 am / 1:00 am||10:00 am to 7:00 pm / 8:00 pm|
|Dates (select days only)||August 10 to October 31||September 3 to October 31||September 18 to October 31||September 10 to October 31||September 10 to October 31||October 2 to October 31|
|Number of events||28||42||14||27||27||10|