Oh, my! Things Go Bump In The Night In Florida
By Georgina Cruz
If we were able to take a quick look at the social calendars of the ghosts of the world, we would find that they are all headed for Florida in October! There is a great variety of Halloween events filled with ghosts, goblins, witches and more in various popular destinations in our peninsula. Some festivities are ideal for all ages as they are not too intense, but others are just for adults –and among them, maybe only for the fearless! Here is a list of some Halloween events in Florida this year. Dates and other details are subject to change, so verify before planning a trip.
- Key West – The Last Key presents the Annual Fantasy Fest Oct. 20-29. A 10-day celebration, sometimes outrageous, Fantasy Fest features costume contests – including even one for pets –street fairs and a big parade with marching bands and floats –note that some costumes may be X-rated. Info: www.fantasyfest.com.
Lake Buena Vista – Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party began being offered at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on select nights in August and continues being offered on select evenings through Nov. 1. Ideal for families, it has separate ticketed admission, and it invites attendees to wear costumes and go trick or treating in the park –to the delight of young and old! Among the attractions is a Halloween parade including a headless horseman, Disney characters in costumes, and a spectacular fireworks display themed to Halloween. The park’s Haunted Mansion, with its many ghosts, calls foolish mortals to come in if they dare! Info: www.disneyworld.com.
Orlando – Universal Orlando presents its annual Halloween Horror Nights on select dates through Oct. 31. This Halloween event is one of the biggest in the world, as well as one of the scariest –you can judge for yourself if you dare to go! There are 10 haunted houses, five scare zones, zombies and ghouls on the streets and live entertainment. Universal Orlando warns that this event may be too intense for children and does not recommend it for kids younger than 13. Costumes and masks are not permitted. A variety of tickets and packages are offered. Info: www.halloweenhorrornights.com. Also in Orlando, but this event ideal for families is SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular, featured on select dates through Oct. 31. Themed to the sea, children can go trick or treating among friendly sea witches, octopuses and other fanciful creatures. This event is included in park admission. And also at SeaWorld Orlando, Howl-O-Scream is presented on select nights through Oct. 31. This is an intense, frightful event that is not recommended for children.. Info: SeaWorld Orlando Theme Park – Water Park, Zoo & Aquarium in Florida.
- Tampa – This fall, on select nights, Howl-O-Scream 2023 returns to Busch Gardens Tampa with sinister surprises and terrors for the fearless. “Unspeakable horror lives in every dark corner,” according to a Busch Gardens spokesperson. Hundreds of monsters and ghouls walk in the streets and the 300 acres of the park –oh, my!—and there are terrifying shows as well as roller coasters in the darkness of the night. This festival of terror is featured on select nights through Oct. 31. Howl-O-Scream 2023 is a nighttime event with separate admission that may be too intense for children. Costumes are not allowed. Info:www.HowlOScream.com.
Winter Haven – “Brick-or-Treat in LEGOLAND Florida offers festivities for the whole family on select dates through Oct. 29. Among the activities are trick-or-treating along a special trail, Halloween-themed entertainment and costume contest. Info: www.legoland.com.