Halloween: Frightfully Fun In Florida

Guest Post By: Georgina Cruz

It’s that time of year for a “scare-lebration”
–and Florida is ready! Each year, in some cases beginning as early as
in September and continuing through early November, Florida sets the
scene for a variety of Halloween fests at various popular destinations
throughout the state. Some festivities are family-friendly; others are
for mature audiences –make that, daring mature audiences. Dates listed
are subject to change. Check each fest’s website for additional

·              Key West – The Last Key presents the 35th Annual
Fantasy Fest on Oct. 23-Nov. 1. An oftentimes outrageous costuming and
masking celebration, Fantasy Fest features flamboyant costume
competitions including even one for pets, promenades, street fairs and
a grand parade that stars marching groups, island bands and lavish
floats. The 2015 festival theme is “All Hallows Intergalactic Freak
Show.” Some events are free; others have fees. Info:

·              Lake Buena Vista – Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween
Party takes center stage at the Magic Kingdom Park on select nights
from Sept. 15 to Nov. 1. A family-friendly fest, separate ticket
event, guests are invited to dress in costumes and trick-or-treat
throughout the park after regular park hours. The boo-free bash
includes a parade, complete with a headless horseman, Disney
characters in costume, and HalloWishes, a bewitching fireworks
spectacular. The park’s Haunted House, of course, beckons foolish
mortals. Tickets are $68 for adults; $63 for children ages 3-9. Info:

Sea World Halloween
·              Orlando – Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights,
presented on select nights Sept. 18-Nov. 1, is considered to be one of
the world’s largest, most elaborate and scariest—you be the judge if
you dare—Halloween celebrations. There are nine terrifying haunted
houses, five scare zones, spine-chilling street experiences and two
outrageous live shows. Universal warns the event may be too intense
for young children and it is not recommended for children under 13. No
costumes or masks are allowed. A variety of tickets, passes and
vacation packages are available. Info: www.halloweenhorrornights.com.
Also in Orlando, but this one a family-friendly fest, is SeaWorld’s
Halloween Spooktacular featured during weekends during October. An
underwater “fantasea,” this event comes alive as youngsters
trick-or-treat among friendly sea witches, octopuses, mermaids,
pumpkin fish and more. Children may dress up or come as they are and
play with sea fairies, learn from a school of fish or dance with an
ice witch. This event is included with regular park admission. Info:

·              Tampa – This fall, for 19 select nights, Howl-O-Scream
2015 returns to Busch Gardens Tampa with sinister surprises and
unexpected terrors around every corner. Howl-O-Scream 2015 has
Unearthed a new evil and Busch Gardens’ 300 acres will be overgrown
with new dark and sinister fun. Hundreds of roaming creatures will
swarm in the streets, making escape nearly impossible. A chilling live
show will get pulses pounding, and thrill rides in the dark, including
North America’s tallest freestanding drop tower Falcon’s Fury, will
keep the screams coming all night long. Freaky Preview returns this
year and will open Howl-O-Scream 2015 on Friday, Sept. 25 and
Saturday, Sept. 26.  The event then runs Thursday through Saturday
nights, Oct. 1 – 31, and select Sunday nights, Oct. 18 and 25.
Operating event hours are 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. For a limited time, any
single-day admission to Howl-O-Scream 2015 is $45. Howl-O-Scream 2015
is a separate-ticketed night event. No costumes are allowed. .Info:

·              Winter Haven – Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND Florida
offers family-friendly Halloween festivities on select dates in
October. This spooky, kooky event features trick-or-treating along the
brick-or-treat trail, LEGO build activities, what is billed as the
largest LEGO Jack-O-Lantern in the world, a haunted scavenger hunt in
Miniland USA, Halloween-themed entertainment and an all-kids costume
contest with brick-tastic prizes. The festivities are included in
regular park admission. Info: www.legoland.com.

·              Halloween at sea – Prefer your spooky fun at sea?
Disney Cruise Line will present Halloween on the High Seas on select
voyages in September and continuing through Halloween. The spooky,
Happy Haunts sailings will feature Halloween-themed parties,
entertainment and décor including a magical tree, which eerily
transforms during the cruise. Info: www.disneycruise.com.

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