Spooky events to enjoy at Central Florida's theme parks this year

Left photo from Walt Disney World, Middle photo from Universal Orlando Resort, Right photo from SeaWorld Orlando

Falling leaves, cooler temperatures, and pumpkin spice lattes.

These are all signature signs that Fall has arrived. However, in Central Florida, the best indicator of the season is the arrival of Halloween-themed events at our theme parks.

All three major theme park companies in Central Florida – Walt Disney World., Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando – have ticketed events for fans of spooky season.

We break down each one and what you need to know.


This Halloween season, something special is brewing for Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. "Disney After Hours BOO BASH" will be a three-hour event that begins when the park closes on select nights from Aug. 10 t

'Disney After Hours Boo Bash' kicked off at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom on Tuesday.

This is an all-new Halloween event that is held after the park closes on select nights between August 10th and October 31st. Access to this event is a separate ticket from daytime admission as attendees get to enjoy Magic Kingdom to themselves from 9 p.m. to midnight. However, Boo Bash tickets allow guests to enter the park as early as 7 p.m.  

Those who visit the park will notice that Main Street U.S.A. is decorated with colorful foliage, Halloween decor, and frightful tunes to mark the season.

walt disney world magic kingdom fall

Photo from Walt Disney World

Attendees of the event can wear costumes but must follow these rules:

  • For guests ages 13 and under: Costumes and some costume masks may be worn. However, masks must provide unobstructed peripheral vision at all times with openings that allow the eyes to be fully seen.
  • For guests ages 14 and older: Costume masks of any kind may not be worn. Costumes must be family-friendly and not obstructive, offensive, violent, or objectionable. They cannot contain any props or accessories that resemble or could be mistaken for a weapon. They also may not contain sharp objects, pointed objects, or materials that could strike someone by accident. Costumes cannot reach or drag on the ground. If you have a cape, it must stop above the waist. Layered costumes or props that surround the entire body are strongly discouraged and could require additional security screening. Those dressed as characters may not pose for pictures or sign autographs for others.

Remember: Disney has the right to deny admission to or remove any person wearing attire that is considered inappropriate or attire that could detract from the experience of other guests. Visit the Walt Disney World website for more detailed rules on the theme park dress code.

Boo Bash guests can trick or treat throughout Magic Kingdom. Select complimentary snacks and beverages will also be available. 

In addition, other specialty food and drinks will be available for purchase. These include:

  • Prince John Suck at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies: Green apple lemonade slush topped with whipped cream and a ring pop
  • Mocha Chocolate Chip at Golden Oak Outpost: Frozen mocha topped with whipped cream, chocolate chips, and a sugar acorn
  • Maleficent Churro at Main Street Outdoor Vending Carts: Churro covered in chocolate cookie crumble drizzled with purple icing topped with green and purple sugar
  • Five Dozen Egg Slush at Storybook Treats: Frozen custard with brown sugar topped with whipped cream garnished with a cinnamon stick
  • Foolish Mortal Funnel Cake at Sleepy Hollow: Funnel cake topped with chocolate cookie crumbles, purple vanilla ice cream, caramel drizzle, and milk chocolate M&M’s
  • Apple Ginger Dale at Golden Oak Outpost: Frozen apple cider mixed with ginger ale topped with whipped cream and chopped Twix bars

Disney Parks Blog

Select attractions throughout the park will operate with shorter wait times given the event's limited capacity. Some of the rides that guests can expect to see open are the ‘Seven Dwarfs Mine Train,’ ‘The Haunted Mansion,’ ‘Jungle Cruise,’ and ‘Space Mountain.’

There will also be special cavalcades popping up throughout the park, including ‘Mickey’s Happy Halloween Cavalcade,’ ‘Disney Villains Halloween Cavalcade,’ and ‘Jack’s Nightmare Cavalcade’ featuring Jack Skellington, Sally, and Oogie Boogie riding down the parade path to ‘This is Halloween.’

Tickets are on sale now for the ‘Disney After Hours BOO BASH’ event. You can purchase tickets on the Walt Disney World website or by calling 407-939-4240. Tickets for several dates are already sold out, including Halloween night. Prices start at $129 per person.


After skipping its 2020 event because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Universal Orlando Resort said that Halloween Horror Nights will return on Friday, September 3rd. The horror event will operate until Sunday, October 31st, giving guests almost two months of spooky fun.

Universal Orlando Resort said that there will be ten haunted houses this year:

  • Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House: Based on the Netflix series, 'The Haunting of Hill House,' this maze reportedly takes guests on the dark journey that the Crain family experienced in the show. Iconic scenes will be brought to life, including the Red Room and the Hall of Statues. Guests must escape the home before falling victim to it.
  • Beetlejuice: Beetlejuice was actually the first "ghost host" of Halloween Horror Nights in 1991, when it was called ‘Fright Nights. Being that this is a milestone year, Universal Orlando said that Beetlejuice is back in a maze inspired by the 1988 film. Guests will move through iconic scenes, facing the film's characters and the Maitland home’s haunted attic, model graveyard, and Dante’s Inferno Room.
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Universal Orlando said that this haunted house is inspired by the 1974 slasher, ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.’ Guests will attempt to outrun Leatherface and his chainsaw while moving through scenes from the film.
  • Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives: This maze picks up where the 1935 classic film left off – with the Bride becoming a scientist and starting her mission to revive Frankenstein's Monster. Guests will be entwined in her battle to find eternal life.  Last year, Universal Studios opened this house for guests to enjoy during the day.
  • Halloween Horror Nights Icons: Captured: Halloween Horror Night has been hosted by numerous icons throughout the last 30 years and they will reportedly join together for this haunted house, displaying horrifying moments from event legends like ‘The Caretaker,’ ‘The Director,’ ‘The Usher,’ ‘The Storyteller,' 'Jack the Clown,' 'Chance,’ and more.
  • Welcome to SCarey: Horror in the Heartland: Carey, a town featured in previous Halloween Horror Nights events, will come back in this maze. Universal Orlando said that there will be a combination of stories that pay homage to the town’s history. For example, vampires from ‘The Hive,’ the decrepit from ‘Dead End,’ and characters from ‘Leave it to Cleaver’ will return.
  • Case Files Unearthed: Legendary Truth: Legendary Truth is another story from Halloween Horror Night’s past, the theme park company said. This year, guests will step into the shoes of private eye Boris Shuster as he searches for clues to a series of strange occurrences in New York City. Along the way, there will be ghouls, poltergeists, and other terrors.
  • The Wicked Growth: Realm of the Pumpkin: Universal Orlando said that the Pumpkin Lord will welcome guests into a maze of traditional Halloween domains, including a haunted house, a graveyard, and a witch’s cottage — all overrun by ghastly pumpkin growth.
  • Puppet Theatre: Captive Audience: Guests will reportedly find themselves in a theatre located in early 1900’s San Francisco. Pasek’s Puppet Troupe will be practicing for their next performance when they spot guests "trespassing" into the theater. They must escape or face being turned into life-sized marionettes.
  • Revenge of the Tooth Fairy: Guests will uncover the darker ritual behind the childhood tradition, Universal Orlando said. Evil creatures will greet them and attempt to extract their teeth by force. Last year, Universal Studios also opened this house to enjoy during the day.
halloween horror nights texas chainsaw massacre

Photo from Universal Orlando Resort

In addition, there will reportedly be five scare zones for guests to enjoy:

  • Crypt TV: Based on the show ‘Crypt TV,’ this scare zone will reportedly confront guests with monsters that have overtaken San Francisco. They include, ‘Look-See,’ the ‘Sunny Family Cult,’ ‘Harclaw,’ and ‘Miss Annity.’
  • 30 Years, 30 Fears: Legendary characters from past Halloween Horror Night events will reportedly take over the Avenue of the Stars for a reunion of creatures, monsters, and chainsaw-wielding fields.
  • Seek and Destroy: Universal Orlando said that guests will find themselves in a New York dystopia where an alien cyber regime, led by ‘The Controller,’ has taken over and is scanning the city for humans and turning them into fuel.
  • Gorewood Forest: The Terra Queen returns as she takes root in Central Park, transforming it into the ‘Gorewood Forest,’ the theme park company said. Guests will have nowhere to hide from her minions, who look to harvest fresh blood for the Queen to feed on.
  • Lights, Camera, Hacktion: Eddie's Revenge: Jack the Clown’s brother, Eddie Schmidt, will reportedly return to Halloween Horror Nights to film a gory Hollywood sequel featuring real monsters, vampires, evil clowns, creatures, and other horrific beings from the event’s past.

Then, when it is time to take a break from the frights and screams throughout the park, Universal Orlando said that there will be two all-new shows to enjoy:

  • Marathon of Mayhem: Carnage Factory: The theme park company said that this is an all-new show on Universal Studios' lagoon that features ‘Jack the Clown,’ icons from Halloween Horror Night’s past, and frightening scenes from films and series like ‘The Haunting of Hill House, ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,’ Universal Monster classics, and more.
  • Halloween Nightmare Fuel: Nocturnal creatures, aerialists, and fire performers reportedly join together for a performance set to the beat of rock, metal, and electronic music.
universal orlando resort halloween horror nights

Photo from Universal Orlando Resort

In addition, the Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store from last year will return for guests to purchase specialty merchandise, unique treats, and more.

A ticket separate from daytime admission is required to attend Halloween Horror Nights. Single-night tickets are on sale and begin at $70.99. Prices fluctuate based on the date you attend.

If you would like to attend multiple nights, there are a variety of multi-day tickets on sale. These include:

  • Rush of Fear Pass: Admission to Halloween Horror Nights for the first 16 nights of the event. $129.99 per person plus tax.
  • Frequent Fear Pass: Admission to Halloween Horror Nights for every Sunday through Thursday and the first weekend. $159.99 per person plus tax.
  • Frequent Fear Plus Pass: Admission to Halloween Horror Nights for every Sunday through Friday and the first and last Saturday. $189.99 per person plus tax.
  • Ultimate Frequent Fear Pass: Admission to every night of Halloween Horror Nights. $284.99 per person plus tax.

Visit the Universal Orlando website to make a purchase.


For the first time ever, Howl-O-Scream will be held at SeaWorld Orlando.

The nighttime Halloween event is typically held at Busch Gardens in Tampa only but this year, it will be held at both theme parks. 

Attendees of the Orlando event will have an array of haunted activities to enjoy, including houses, scare zones, shows, and themed bars.

For example, there will be four haunted houses. They were described by the theme park as:

  • Water's Edge Inn: "What began as an escape to a peaceful seaside hotel has turned into a terrifying struggle to find an escape from it."
  • Captain's Revenge: "When a cursed pirate has plotted your demise, perhaps you shouldn’t go searching for him in the murky depths of his ship."
  • Beneath the Ice: "No one has heard from base camp since it was entombed in snow. You’re here to find survivors…but you’ll wish you hadn’t."
  • Dead Vine: "This is no innocent garden stroll. You’ve just wandered into a terrifying realm of ravenous plants and hidden horrors."
seaworld orlando howl-o-scream

Photo from SeaWorld Orlando

In addition, there will be four scare zones for Howl-O-Scream attendees to enjoy. They were described by Seaworld Orlando as:

  • Deadly Ambush: "The year is 1961. You’ve wandered into a quaint campground, nestled in nature. It might sound like a dream, but a new nightmare has just begun here. What’s happened to the campers? Creatures are emerging from the darkness. There’s nowhere to hide, and no park ranger to rescue you. Get back to civilization now, before it’s too late."
  • Sea of Souls: "This is it…the site of that horrific shipwreck. Those marauding pirates were too arrogant to see their downfall coming, and now they’re doomed to wander through a sea of gruesome reminders. Their souls are restless, and their anger is real. They’ll never stop seeking revenge on those who’ve escaped their ghostly fate. Steer clear—if you can."
  • Frozen Terror: "You might think you’re a safe distance from the snow-entombed research facility, but you’re not free from the frozen horrors. This inhospitable Arctic wasteland is swarming with icy, subhuman walkers. They may have pickaxes and shovels, but they’re not here to help dig for survivors. They’re here to turn you into one of them."
  • Witchcraft Bayou: "The cult is growing, and the lure is powerful. It’s hazardous to pass through this backwater bayou, but there’s no way around. Voodoo and witchcraft aren’t real, right? Tell that to the zealous worshippers trying to shackle you with their spells. They won’t rest until your soul belongs to her too. Stay alert, or the dark magic will drag you down."
seaworld orlando howl-o-scream

Photo from SeaWorld Orlando

There will also be three 'roaming haunts' that will greet guests with frights. They were described by the horror event as:

  • The Sirens: "These sirens don't need to lure you with song. They bring terror to you."
  • The Creatures: "Even the trees and plants are after you. Good luck camouflaging your fear."
  • The Minions: "Evil craves worship. Don't fall under the spell of these sinister occult zealots."
seaworld orlando howl-o-scream

Photo from SeaWorld Orlando

For those wanting to quench their thirst with a specialty drink, Howl-O-Scream said that they will have several themed bars to enjoy. They described them as:

  • Sirens' Last Call: "Creatures of the shadows need a place to play too. Could it be this rusted-out underground warehouse? Glance around and do your best to blend in. The regulars here are followers of the siren, and they know how to spot an outsider. Be sure to pay homage to her by trying the bar’s signature drink, 'The Siren's Kiss.'"
  • Longshoremen Tavern: "When pirates pull into port, this be the tavern where they warm their bellies with rum. Take a break from the monsters and squalls, plant your weary hides, and join the merriment. In here, you might discover that an old SeaWorld treasure has been (partially) resurrected. They’re the Longshoremen, and they’ve been dying to entertain you again."
  • Tormented: "This is one place where a cold frosty one is a good thing. Take refuge from the wintry terrors of the Arctic hellscape outside and do a little refueling here. If you’re feeling mischievous, you can even join in and frighten your fellow expeditioners while they’re braving the horrors beneath the ice. How’s that for refreshing?"
  • Poison Grotto: "What’s your poison? Unwind with a refreshing concoction and explore the enticing atmosphere of this unearthly lounge. It’s a fleeting escape from the deadly vines and savage servants nearby. Just be sure to keep your eyes open and pay proper respect to the one who invited you in. You’re her guest here, and she’s always watching."

When guests are ready to take a break from the screams, two shows are available to watch. SeaWorld Orlando described them as:

  • Sirens' Song: "The sirens are here to tell their story…and feast on your fears. Don’t miss a moment of this mesmerizing outdoor show."
  • Monster Stomp: "Prepare yourself for a darkly entertaining, pulse-pounding musical performance starring the one and only Jack the Ripper."

For those not looking to face their fears, the roller coaster 'Mako' and rapids attraction ‘Infinity Falls’ will be open to ride.

seaworld orlando howl-o-scream

Photo from SeaWorld Orlando

Guests must purchase a ticket separate from daytime admission to attend Howl-O-Scream. Single-night tickets start at $31.99 and vary depending on the date you visit. There are also ‘Unlimited Visit’ tickets, which costs $89.99 with blockout dates or $99 without them. Ticket options that include a visit to the Tampa Howl-O-Scream event are also available to purchase.

 Visit the SeaWorld Orlando website to purchase tickets. 

Watch FOX 35 Orlando for the latest theme park news.