By Holley Long
Halloween-centric events are at an all time high this October across Orlando’s theme parks, attracting guests from all over the world. But while Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom make for a fun night, don’t sleep on some of the smaller local attractions.
Read on to learn about a few of the events, from family-friendly to truly terrifying.
This Kissimmee attraction is a popular one among horror fans for a reason. Located in Old Town Kissimmee, the two-story Victorian-themed house is full of scares, with live actors, animatronics, and special effects adding to the fear factor.
During the tour, you’ll learn all about the “history” of the manor, and come in contact with creepy artifacts and ghostly residents. The best part? This haunting attraction is open year-round, so, if you’re like me and think spooky season should have no end, you can enjoy a walk through this attraction at any time.
Happy Frights and Haunting Nights at Leu Gardens
Image by Happy Frights and Haunting Nights at Leu Gardens
On select nights, experience Halloween activities in the gardens with Happy Frights and Haunting Nights. Happy Frights is a family-friendly event in the early evening, with trick-or-treat stations, a neon-light maze, and a giant hay pyramid for kids to climb. The event runs from 5:00 PM to 8:15 PM, with each $25 General Admission ticket allotted a one hour window at your selected time.
Happening after dark, Haunting Nights is a little more spooky, so it’s recommended for older kids 13 and up. There are jump scares, a forest of eyes, and Dia de Muertos inspired attractions. You can also enjoy fall foods and drinks, as well as magic shows all night long. This event runs a little later from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM, with each $25 General Admission ticket allotted a one hour window at your selected time.
A Petrified Forest
Image by A Petrified Forest
This Halloween event, located in Altamonte Springs, has grown in popularity over the last few years. This year’s three haunted scare trails at A Petrified Forest will terrify guests with dark magic, sinister schoolteachers, and a twisted holiday monster.
The trails are open from September 29th through October 28th from 7:30 PM to around 10 PM nightly. Special nights include Kids Day on October 14, with trick-or-treating and a costume contest, and Total Eclipse Nights on October 18 and 25, with the only light on the trails coming from a glow stick in your hand (talk about a horrifying time).
Image by Orlando Haunts
Halloween trails and houses are all fun and games, but they can’t compare to actual ghosts and haunted locations. If you want to experience something close to the real deal, you can embark on the Orlando Haunts tour (hosted by US Ghost Adventures), which takes guests on a journey through the city, exploring sites of historical events, urban legends, and reported paranormal activity.
Skeptics and believers alike will learn about all the tragedy and mystery hidden throughout Orlando during the walking tour. This tour is also open year-round, so if your Halloween season is already packed with events, you can brave this one at another time.
From kid-friendly to spine-tingling, Orlando is full of events to indulge fans of Halloween. Many of them are only open for select days and nights, so make sure to check the availability before you go, and purchase tickets if necessary. But if you decide to explore any one of these attractions, we know you’ll have a delightfully spooky time!
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