Orlando has been dubbed the Halloween holiday capital for several good reasons. Whether you want the adrenaline rush of traversing terrifying haunted houses that take you into the world of horror movies at Universal Studios or the sheer joy of feeling like a kid again at Mickey’s Not-too-delicious Halloween party So-Scary Disney World theme parks don’t hold back the Halloween fun.
Here are some of the most enjoyable things to do in Orlando this fall. 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
Until October 31, Mickey’s Not-So-Spooky Halloween Party is the one fall event you should try in Orlando even if you’re not going to any others. The elaborate party takes place at the Magic Kingdom, and it’s a separate ticketed event from a regular Disney World pass. It’s family friendly, and as its title suggests, it won’t give you 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’s Castle, and Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular. There is a Disney Junior Jam for children and Disney characters can be seen in costume. Of course, more than 20 rides are also open for the event, and there may be shorter lines than during normal park hours.
Guests are encouraged to wear costumes for Mickey’s not-so-spooky Halloween party, so you’ll be ready to trick or treat. The Trick-or-Treat Trail is highly anticipated each year. Trick-or-treat stations are spread throughout the park and every child is included. Vegan candies as well as hypoallergenic treats and non-food treats are available. If you’re vegan or have an allergy, just tell them at the treat station, and they’ll give you a coin to redeem later for treats at designated locations.
Another great thing about this celebration is that it is for everyone. While many theme parks still don’t get it when it comes to making rides inclusive of all sizes, just about every ride at Disney World has been designed for people of all sizes. So every member of your family and group of friends can enjoy this event together without anyone feeling stressed or left out.
Universal Orlando Resort Halloween Horror Nights
This event is for older teens and adults, so kids should stay home for this one. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying all the spooky fun at Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights. There are 10 awe-inspiring haunted houses that range from weird to hauntingly horrifying. You shouldn’t miss the brand new “The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare”, inspired by The Weeknd’s “After Hours” album.
The spookiest haunted house is the one filled with Michael Myers which is aptly named “Halloween” after the film franchise. You’ll feel like you’ve just stepped into an actual classic movie experience, and few make it through the entire house without at least a scream (or 20). The scenography is so well done that it seems that the film has come to life.
Halloween Horror Nights includes five spooky areas that all have lots of spooky creatures ready to swoop in and scare you. Be careful not to look too scared! They are said to gravitate towards those who give them a strong reaction. Also, don’t miss the two live Halloween shows at the park; they are creative with talented and captivating actors.
Screamin’ Green Hauntoween at Crayola Experience
If being scared isn’t your thing, here’s another kid-focused family gathering. Families can enjoy decorating pumpkins and making slime. 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 to breathe in the fresh, crisp air and enjoy that fabulous fall weather. The Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour lets you do just that, seeing interesting sights that can only be appreciated from Winter Park’s beautiful three-lake chain and two man-made canals. A friendly guide will be happy to teach guests about the history of Winter Park, which was originally founded in the 1800s.
Cry and flow
If you want to get a little scared from the comfort of your own car, the Scream n’ Stream Drive-Thru Haunted House is for you. You can stay in the vehicle while enjoying the music, live performance, and fog for ambiance. For an additional fee, you can also experience a sensory terror experience called Deprivation.
Where to stay in Orlando
Orlando offers 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 various vegan restaurants, a championship golf course, and a luxurious spa. It is also considered an Official Walt Disney World Hotel, so guests receive free theme park transportation and early admission to each Disney theme park.
Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center
There’s enough to do at 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 fall activities for families to enjoy together. Set on four and a half acres, the resort’s interior garden atriums are fun to explore. Then there’s the Relâche Spa, a serene place to relax when your feet hurt after running around the theme parks.
JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa
The JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa offers absolute luxury in its guest rooms and suites that reflect the resort’s holistic wellness philosophy. Located near Disney World Resort with a free shuttle to Disney theme parks, it’s popular for 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 kiddy pool, and the rooftop deck is an idyllic spot to watch Disney’s nightly fireworks display.
The AC by Marriott Orlando Lake Buena Vista Hotel
The AC Hotel by Marriott Orlando Lake Buena Vista is a brand new hotel that just opened in 2022. Each guest room has been 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 what AC stands for, it was named after 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 free shuttle to the theme park. There are no resort fees or parking fees, and a full breakfast is served each morning. As the name suggests, this is a comfortable hotel where you can relax and get a good night’s rest.