Halloween in the Parks (mid-September – October)

Florida Guide > Planning your Trip

This year one of our visits coincided with Halloween. Our daughters had never been there at this time and none of us had visited Disney or Universal for their Halloween events so we gave both a go. If you get the chance we can highly recommend this time of year. Disneyworld is so beautiful, hosting ‘Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party on specified days from mid September until the end of October. (Guests are required to have an additional event admission ticket and guest numbers are controlled). Attendees are encouraged to dress up in favourite Halloween costumes and there is a real feeling of everyone being part of the ‘party’. (Make sure you are comfortable as you’ll be in them for quite a while and need to get in and out of rides! ) If you’re from Europe you’ll be fascinated at the variety of costumes and the effort made by all ages.

As you arrive, high above the entrance you’ll find Disney characters made to look like theyre made from pumpkins smiling and greeting you. Orange material drapes and decorates lamp posts creating an immediate atmosphere of anticipation. As daylight disappears to dusk the lights down Main Street USA come on whilst additional lights decorate the buildings reflecting cobwebs. Around the park we found little areas themed into Halloween areas – nothing scary but fun to find and explore. Disney cast members wear brightly coloured Halloween outfits in green, purple and orange. Guests don’t miss out on Trick-or-Treating as there are friendly villains and ghosts handing out candy as well as stalls throughout the park where you can collect candy. Apart from the regular rides there is Mickey’s ‘Boo-to-You’ Halloween Parade. The Headless Horseman ‘heads’ up the parade with characters from the Haunted Mansion and other spooky characters following. To finish off there is a beautiful firework display. Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade is led by the Headless Horseman and is full of characters from the Haunted Mansion and other spooky favourites. Throughout the park, children can collect candy from friendly villains and ghosts! The parade was very popular so you may want to get into a position early.

It’s a safe environment for children to enjoy and participate. Disneyworld is a large park so if you’ve got young children remember they may get tired. And a tip from us is that if they are very young you may find it easier to leave just before the park closes before the main crowd start to depart.

However on 31 October we spent Halloween at Universal Studio’s Horror Nights. This is definitely for older children/teenagers and adults – not for the faint hearted. In fact looking back I think my husband and I were some of the oldest guests! ! We spent the day at Universal and left at 5pm when the park closes for a couple of hours. We took advantage of this time to eat in City Walk. We returned at 7pm when the park re-opens in darkness with a completely different atmosphere.

From the moment you enter you are greeted by characters out to shock/scare you in the main street. Just as you think you’ve got away there are more ‘monsters’ lurking in the side streets. We visited a maze based on a house. Our memorable experience was the House of Horror’s maze. Adult men did not hang about in this house too long! The maze queues were quite long but its definitely worth doing a few. The live props - actors - do an amazing job, not an everyday 9 – 5 job though! A visit to the San Fransico area saw ‘walkers’ from the Walking the Dead maze)

Bill and Ted feature in their own brilliant live musical show, full of colour with great singing and dancing. Up to date with reference to The Hunger Games, iPhone’s Siri, there are competing Snow White characters, Rock of Ages, President Obama and Mitt Romney featured in a rap as this was just days before the US election took place. The singing, effects, dancing and comedy were fun… and gave a great opportunity to sit down for our long day at universal.

Unlike Disneyworld guests are asked not to dress up and will be refused entry. This seemed a little harsh until you see the amazing costumes that Universal cast members wear. (You wouldn’t know who was a guest or a cast member if they allowed costumes. )

Don’t forget to take your camera/smartphone – there are so many photo opportunities which are different from a visit at other times of the year. It was an amazing night, one we will never forget.

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