Orlando has been called the Halloween Vacation Capital for several good reasons. Whether you want the adrenaline rush of going through terrifying haunted houses that take you into the world of scary movies at Universal Studios or the pure joy of feeling like a kid again at Disney World’s delightful Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, the theme parks don’t hold back on Halloween fun.
Here are some of the most delightful things to do in Orlando this autumn. Orlando wasn’t hit as hard as some areas by Hurricane Ian, and these events are still on the calendar for guests to enjoy before or on Halloween.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Running through October 31, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is the one fall event you should try in Orlando even if you don’t go to any others. The elaborate party takes place at the Magic Kingdom, and it’s a separate ticketed event from a regular pass to Disney World. It’s family-friendly, and as its title suggests, it won’t give you any nightmares!
Several experiences in the park are unique to this event. You’ll see Disney characters in costume, the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular! at Cinderella Castle, and Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular. There’s a Disney Junior Jam for kids, and Disney characters can be seen in costume. Of course, more than 20 rides are also open for the event, and there can be shorter lines than during normal park hours.
Guests are invited to wear costumes for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, so you’ll be ready to trick or treat. The Trick-or-Treat trail is highly anticipated each year. The trick-or-treat stations are spread throughout the park, and every child is included. Vegan candy as well as allergy-friendly treats and non-food goodies are available. If you are a vegan or have an allergy, you just tell them at the treat station, and they give you a coin to be redeemed later for treats at designated places.
Another great thing about this celebration is that it’s made for all. Whereas many theme parks still don’t get it when it comes to making rides inclusive for all sizes, pretty much every ride at Disney World was designed for people of every size. So, every member of your family and friend group can enjoy this event together without anyone getting stressed or feeling left out.
Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights
This event is for older teens and adults, so the kids should stay home for this one. Don’t let that keep you away from enjoying all the spooky fun at Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights. There are 10 awesome haunted houses that range from the weird to the hauntingly horrifying. You shouldn’t miss the all-new “The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare,” which was inspired by the “After Hours” album by The Weeknd.
The scariest haunted house is the one filled with Michael Myers which is aptly named “Halloween” after the movie franchise. You will feel like you just stepped right into a real-life experience of the classic movie, and few get through the whole house without at least a scream (or 20). The set design is so well-done that it does seem like the movie has come to life.
Halloween Horror Nights includes five scare zones that all have plenty of scary creatures ready to lunge and give you a fright. Beware of looking too scared! They’re said to gravitate to those who give them a strong reaction. Also, don’t miss the two live Halloween shows at the park; they are creative with talented, captivating casts.
Screamin’ Green Hauntoween at Crayola Experience
If getting spooked isn’t your thing, here’s another family-friendly gathering that is child-focused. Families can enjoy pumpkin decorating and slime making. What kid wouldn’t want to learn how to make slime? There are also activities like a themed scavenger hunt and crafts. Trick-or-treating is even offered on weekends.
Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour
One of the best things about this time of year is breathing in the crisp, cool air and enjoying that fabulous fall weather. The Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour lets you do just that as you see some cool sights that can only be enjoyed from Winter Park’s lovely chain of three lakes and is two man-made canals. A friendly tour guide is happy to teach guests about the history of Winter Park which was originally founded in the 1800s.
Scream n’ Stream
If you want to get a little scared in the comfort of your own car, the Scream n’ Stream Drive-Thru Haunted House is for you. You get to stay in the vehicle as you enjoy music, live performances, and fog for atmosphere. For an additional charge, you can also have a terror-sensory experience called Deprivation.
Where To Stay In Orlando
Orlando has a wide range of accommodations for every fall budget. Here are some special places to stay:
Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Set on 482 acres, the Waldorf Astoria Orlando is a truly luxurious hotel with diverse, vegan-friendly restaurants, a championship golf course, and a luxurious spa. It’s considered an Official Walt Disney World Hotel, too, so guests get complimentary transportation to the theme parks and Early Entry into every Disney theme park.
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
There’s enough to do at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center to keep you busy for several days. Its Cypress Springs Water Park has the new Crystal River Rapids action river, and there are autumn activities for families to enjoy together. Set on four-and-a-half acres, the resort’s indoor garden atriums are fun to explore. Then there’s the Relâche Spa, a serene spot to unwind when your feet are sore from running around theme parks.
JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa
The JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa offers blissful luxury in its rooms and suites that reflect the resort’s philosophy of holistic well-being. Situated near Disney World Resort with a complimentary shuttle to Disney’s theme parks, it’s popular for both families and solo business travelers. It has specialty restaurants with delicious selections for vegans and others with special dietary needs. Its resort pool has a splash pad, and the rooftop terrace is an idyllic spot for watching Disney’s nightly fireworks display.
The AC Hotel by Marriott Orlando Lake Buena Vista
The AC Hotel by Marriott Orlando Lake Buena Vista is a brand-new hotel that just opened in 2022. Each room was designed to maximize space and avoid unnecessary clutter. Plus, if you have any energy left after your Halloween celebrations, the hotel has a 24-hour fitness center. (If you’re curious about what the AC stands for, it was named after the founder Antonio Catalan.)
Comfort Suites Near Universal Orlando Resort
Comfort Suites Near Universal Orlando Resort – The Comfort Suites Near Universal Orlando Resort is a popular choice for budget accommodations. It is very close to Universal Studios and offers a complimentary shuttle to the theme park. There aren’t any resort fees or parking fees, and a full breakfast is served each morning. As its name suggests, it’s a comfortable hotel where you can enjoy downtime and get a good night’s rest.