Halloween in Orlando 2023, for EVERY age group


We survived Halloween in Orlando and lived to tell the tale! America does Halloween better than anywhere else, so if you happen to be visiting in September and October, you are in for a trick… and treat.

As well as regular Orlando Halloween events (like local children playing trick and treat in their own neighbourhoods and some private houses decorated with pumpkins and banners), the major theme parks go to town celebrating the spooky holiday with different Halloween-themed special events, beginning at the end of the summer season. The biggest and most elaborate of the Halloween events in Orlando is Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, which has been running at the theme park for over 30 years. This high-production scarefest is fantastic for adults, but recommended only for children over the age of 13.

TOP TIP: Tickets just went on sale for the 2023 HHN event, so get in fast!

That doesn’t mean that younger children can’t celebrate Halloween in Orlando ‘American-style’. Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Peppa Pig Theme Park and more will all be throwing Hallow’d parties this year, so which one is best for you and your group?

Cover image: Helen Wright. This page contains affiliate links


Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort

halloween in orlando
Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights is an event like no other (Image: Universal Orlando)

The legendary Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights is not only one of the most fantastic Halloween events in Orlando, the eight-week scaretacular is the highlight of the Florida calendar for thrill-seekers and movie fans.  Halloween Horror Nights uses movie influences to create 10 epic haunted houses/mazes packed with over 3000 live ‘scareactors’ out to get you, five sinister scare zones and two live shows.

This year, Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights is running for a record-breaking 43 nights, so there has never been a better opportunity to scream your head off.  The event is separately ticketed, taking place in the evening, which means it is not included in your daytime entry to Universal Orlando. Selected rides stay open during the event, including Hollywood’s Rip Ride Rocket, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and Revenge of the Mummy. Halloween Horror Nights is like a festival for Halloween in Orlando, with an electric atmosphere, food and alcohol served at pop-up stalls and a bonkers street-party vibe. Don’t miss it – it’s absolutely brilliant. 

Read our full post on Halloween Horror Nights 2023 here

Event dates: September 1st to November 4th 2023
Tickets from £59 per person.
Recommended for: Age 13+
Are costumes allowed: No

Where to stay:
Universal Orlando has eight hotels, all with free transport to the Universal theme parks. The boutique-style, Aventura Hotel is a great option for adults, with a New York vibe and a rooftop bar. For bigger groups, the new Universal’s Endless Summer, Dockside Inn and Suites is currently offering fantastic deals starting from £69 a night.

View our Halloween Horror Nights vlog below to see more:

Where to celebrate Halloween in Orlando with younger children:

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at WALT DISNEY WORLD

halloween in orlando
Halloween parade at Magic Kingdom (Image: Hideya Hamano)

Of course, Disney does Halloween in Orlando with a far more family-friendly twist if you have younger guests in your party. The Disney After-Hours BOO Bash is a chance to go back into Magic Kingdom Park beyond regular park hours and join in a happy Halloween Disney party. Halloween-themed music and garlands pop up around the park. Characters in special Halloween costumes will appear for photo opportunities and pass by on spooky cavalcades. The Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade and fireworks show, Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular provide the entertainment along with the brilliant Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular show, performed on the castle stage. Cinderella Castle will also be lit up in her fall colours for the event. Kids can claim their free candy with Trick or Treating ‘candy stops’ throughout the park handing out sweet treats for your bucket.

This is very different to a Halloween Horror Night style event, more in line with a traditional old-school Halloween celebration. Think more ‘cute kids in witches hats’ (or ears) and less ‘murderous zombies with chainsaws’. Having said that, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is a separately ticketed event, with access to the park from 4pm, but the actual ‘bash’ doesn’t start until  7pm, which is still quite late for pre-schoolers. Having said that, we went lasy year and loved it! 

Costumes for both adults and children are allowed and Magic Kingdom Park rides that open during the party usually include TRON, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion – of course! Capacity is restricted for the event, so it is also a great opportunity to ride some of the most popular attractions with little to no wait time.

Event dates: Selected evenings between August and October
Tickets from £99 per person. Not included in your regular admission ticket for Walt Disney World.
Recommended for: All ages.
Are costumes allowed: Yes. Full face costume masks are not allowed on guests over 14.

Where to stay:
Walt Disney World has over 25 hotels, all with free transport to the Disney theme parks. Where you decide to stay will very much depend on your taste and budget, but our pick would be Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter resort, themed on New Orleans, which is said to be the most haunted city in America. Alternatively, you could stay outside the Walt Disney World resort. We have stayed at both a villa resort and at serviced apartments, just 15 minutes from Magic Kingdom.

Halloween in Orlando: HOWL-O-SCREAM AT SEAWORLD (new)

events at sea world
Killer whales and zombies (Image: Inside the Magic)

This is one of the newer Halloween events in Orlando, but SeaWorld Parks are no stranger to scaring people as they have been hosting this event at their sister-park, Busch Gardens in Tampa for 20 years. Finally coming to Orlando for Halloween, SeaWorld’s Howl-o-Scream will see terrifying Haunted Houses with live actors, psychedelic scare zones and a monster-themed live show. While all the terror goes on around the park, you can also ride some of SeaWorld’s epic roller coasters, including Ice Breaker, Mako and Manta.

Event dates: September 9th to October 31st 2023
Tickets from: seaworld.com/howl-o-screamPrices to be confirmed.
Recommended for:
Are costumes allowed:

Where to stay: SeaWorld have a range of partner hotels, including Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld and Hilton Garden Inn at SeaWorld. Or you can stay at a villa resort in nearby Kissimmee.


halloween in seaworld orlando
Spooky SeaWorld (Image:Jeff Kern)

In addition to the more adult-appropriate event above, SeaWorld also gives younger guests the opportunity to celebrate Halloween during their long-running Halloween Spooktacular daytime event, which is held on selected dates during September and October.

SeaWorld have always been big celebrators of Halloween and the Spooktacular has been going at the park since 2008. The lovely, child-friendly festival is included with your daytime SeaWorld admission and features daytime trick-or-treating, autumn dance parties, a happy halloween maze, costume contests and (animal safe) face painting. Sesame Street characters make appearances throughout the day and you can also meet a mermaid! Guests of all ages can wear costumes if they choose to.

Event dates: September 10th to October 31st 2023
Tickets: Included with your park admission. SeaWorld admission starts from £145 for a two park pass with Busch Gardens or Aquatica.
Recommended for: All ages
Are costumes allowed: Yes, but no full face costume masks for guests aged 13 and over.

Where to stay: As well as SeaWorld’s partner hotels above, the park is really close to the Universal Orlando Resort, which has some fantastic hotels for kids as well as super budget-friendly options too. Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort has its own lazy river and Endless Summer Surfside Inn has excellent value family suites that sleep up to six people.


brick or treat legoland
Brick or Treat at Legoland Florida (Image: Crosa)

For something a bit different, another theme park hosting a fun Halloween event is Legoland Florida. Not strictly in Orlando (Legoland along with Peppa Pig Theme Park are around an hour drive from the tourist areas in Orlando), this park is well worth a visit and very popular with younger guests and Lego fans alike. The park features family-friendly attractions like children’s coasters, water rides and laser games, and opportunities to meet your favourite Lego characters.

During Halloween, Legoland Florida has a special event called (brilliantly), Brick or Treat which is included with your general admission ticket. This includes a fancy-dress competition for kids, a trick or treat trail with free candy, two live shows and a firework display. This relaxed Halloween event is fun for everyone and excellent value, so well worth the drive out to Winter Haven for the experience.

Event dates: Selected weekends from September 24th to October 30th
Tickets: Included with your park admission. Legoland Florida admission starts from £70 for a one-day pass. You can also buy a combined ticket with Peppa Pig Theme Park.
Recommended for: All ages
Are costumes allowed: Yes, but no full face costume masks for guests aged 13 and over.

Where to stay: Legoland Florida now has two great hotels, ideal for families to stay overnight. The original Legoland Hotel includes free breakfast and parking, kids scavenger hunts and children’s evening entertainment at the hotel.

So far, no special Halloween events have been announced for Peppa Pig Theme Park for 2022. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for new Orlando updates, travel inspiration and more.

See what else there is to do in Winter Haven in our Orlando: outside the theme parks post.

Halloween in Orlando: The Haunted Road Drive Thru Experience

halloween in orlando
Very spooky (Image: The Explorographer™)

For a very different Halloween experience in Orlando, do you dare the Haunted Road? Formally one of many, this ‘haunted road’ drive thru experience is the last remaining one in Orlando, with legend saying the road really is haunted… Terrifyingly trapped in your car, travel through the haunted road, stopping at designated dark lookouts but beware of ghouls, ghosts and some very eerie goings on along the way.

Event dates: Dates TBC
Tickets: from thehauntedroad.com 2023 prices TBC (approximately between $20 and $35 per car)
Recommended for: 8+
Are costumes allowed: Yes, but you will stay in your car, so probably not worth the effort.

Where to stay: The Haunted road is 30 mins east of Orlando, so any hotel or resort in the Orlando tourist areas near Universal and Disney are suitable.

Halloween in Orlando at GATORLAND: Gators, Ghosts and Goblins

gatorland halloween in orlando
Wild fun for the whole family (Image: Gatorland)

Gatorland is one of our favourite attractions in Orlando, so we ‘snapped’ up the chance to check out their new Halloween event. In true Gatorland style, all of their special events have a light educational element, so you can go search for Cryptids in ‘The Crocs and Cryptids Zone’ and meet Gatorland’s Skunk Ape while searching for hidden cryptozoological beasts.

There are also themed haunt zones, a Swamp Ghost’s Monster Museum, fun shows and live music, interactive characters, animal meet-and-greets, a children’s Halloween Costume Parade with treat bags for all kids who participate. This is all included in the regular admission price for Gatorland and there are also some fun extras available at Gatorland year-round, including the Screamin’ Gator Zipline and a Stompin’ Gator off-road adventure for an additional cost.

Event dates: Dates TBC
Tickets from: £23 per adult and £15 per child for gate admission.
Recommended for:
All ages
Are costumes allowed:
Yes, children and adults can wear family-friendly costumes but nothing scary or gory.

Where to stay: There is a range of affordable accommodation in Kissimmee, near to both Gatorland and Walt Disney World. The GreenPoint Hotel is a peaceful haven with excellent reviews.


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