Orlando debuts new ways to celebrate Halloween and seasonal food festivals with creative social distancing measures this fall – including drive-thru events, virtual lines and limited capacity. According to MMGY, 54% of travelers say that they are more likely to travel in the fall this year than in previous years, due to missed summer vacations and new flexibilities with remote working and schooling. Information and planning tips on these new, creative autumn getaways in Orlando are available at VisitOrlando.com/blog.
Drive-Thru Halloween Haunts – With car trips accounting for 97% of travel this summer, according to AAA, and the trend expected to extend through the fall, the family car is new way to enjoy Halloween celebrations in Orlando. Each car-friendly option below offers two versions, depending on whether guests want extreme adult-level frights, or a milder fun version for the whole family.
- NEW: The Haunted Road: A Drive-Thru Halloween Experience (select dates Sept. 25 – Nov. 7) includes twisted creatures, immersive theatrical storytelling and bloodcurdling encounters as guests drive and park their car at each scene. A tamer, family-friendly version will be available on select weekends during the day and include hands-free trick-or-treating.
- NEW: Scream n’ Stream Haunted Drive-Thru at Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures (Sept. 25 – Nov. 1) lets visitors drive their cars “into” a movie screen to see a horror film unfold in front of their eyes, while lighting, sound, sets, props, special effects, and live performers roam all around them. Also includes a milder, family friendly drive-thru experience complete with contactless candy distribution, performers, fun Halloween props and music.
- NEW: “Flicks & Frights” at SeaWorld Orlando (Saturdays Sept. 19 – Oct. 31 and Fridays Oct. 23 and 30): A spooky drive-in movie experience under the stars where guests can enjoy locally sourced food trucks followed by a classic Halloween feature film (options each night include both a family-friendly and horror flick) from the comfort and safety of their own car ($40 per car).
Thrills & Treats at Theme Parks & Attractions – New this year, many of the famous theme parks and attractions are inviting both adults and children to dress in costume. Select theme parks may require reservations; please check respective websites prior to arrival.
- NEW: “Orlando Forum of Fear” (Oct. 1-31) includes a rotating, socially distanced walk-thru haunted maze by the masterminds of Halloween Horror Nights, and a three-course haunted séance dinner experience. On select dates, the event will feature a kid-friendly maze.
- SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular (Sept. 19 – Nov. 1): Guests can safely explore a slightly spooky trick-or-treat trail; twist and turn through a new Halloween maze; decorate cookies with Cookie Monster and meet silly Halloween characters with physical distancing protocols in place during this family-friendly event.
- Fall & Halloween Activities at Universal Orlando Resort (Sept. 26-27 and daily Oct. 3 – Nov. 1): New this year, two of Universal’s famous themed haunted houses are included in daytime admission instead of a separate ticket event, including Revenge of the Tooth Fairy and Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives at Universal Studios. The Virtual Line experience may be available for guests to select timed entry. Family-friendly costumes are encouraged for all guests in both parks for the first time, and trick-or-treating is available to guests 12 and under throughout Islands of Adventure.
- Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort (Sept. 15 – Oct. 31): For the first time, adults can join the fun as guests of all ages can wear Halloween costumes at the park. Guests can celebrate the spooky season amid glowing decorations, parades with infamous villains, as well as beloved characters dressed in Halloween costumes with themed photo opportunities and festive seasonal merchandise and foods.
- Gatorland’s Gators, Ghosts and Goblins (weekends Oct. 10 – Nov. 1): A family-friendly event where Oktoberfest collides with Halloween fun featuring spooky areas like the “Graveyard of the Darned,” a live polka band with German beer and food available for purchase; costumed character meet and greets; a trick-or-treat trail; a spooky train ride and more. Family-friendly costumes for adults and kids are encouraged.
- LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s Brick or Treat (select days Oct. 3-31): Celebrate the spookiest time of the year with contactless trick-or-treating on the Brick-or-Treat candy trail; take a family selfie with a 280,000 LEGO brick hearse or a 10′ tall LEGO ghost; and get into the Halloween spirit with “The Groovin’ Graveyard” and “A Candy-Coated Curse Show,” featured throughout the day.
Food and Wine Events
Four new – and re-imaged food and drink events entice visitors to experience unique dining options within the destination.
- NEW: The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort will debut a series of weekly food and drink themed events during Sip, Savor and Stay Saturdays: A New Twist on the Food & Wine Classic Experience. The limited capacity event, which requires an overnight stay, occurs every Saturday evening (Sept. 19 – Oct. 24) and includes a Champagne lounge, barbecue and Oktoberfest.
- Walt Disney World Resort’s Taste of Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, blends elements from the park’s beloved Flower and Garden event with food and wine festivities and is the longest festival in Walt Disney World history, running through the fall. New safety features include a digital Festival Guidebook listing the more than 20 festival-exclusive marketplaces and fun family activities.
- SeaWorld’s Craft Beer Festival (weekends through Nov. 1), features samples of more than 100 crafts brews, including a mix of domestic, international and local Florida favorites alongside more than 20 food items expertly paired to match your preferred brew. New health and safety enhancements include physically distanced food and beverage locations, modified serving procedures, expanded areas of seating and touchless transactions.
- Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month offers $35 three-course, prix-fixe dinners at more than 70 Central Florida restaurants (through Oct. 31). This year’s event includes new safety measures; takeout and delivery meal options for in-room or socially distanced picnics in one of Orlando’s many scenic parks; and venues offering open-air and outdoor dining.
The Orlando Destination
Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks, Orlando is the country’s No. 1 favorite family vacation destination and Theme Park Capital of the World®. Visitors create cherished memories with friends and family by immersing in the open-air adventures and lands of legendary theme parks from Disney, Universal and SeaWorld; relaxing at world-class water parks; soaring on outdoor thrill rides; exploring activities in nature; and dining al fresco at award-winning restaurants. With 450 hotels, Orlando offers a wide range of lodging choices, from wide-open expansive resorts to uniquely themed boutique hotels, many with elaborate pools featuring waterfalls, lagoons, water parks and even lazy rivers. Home to the most recognized travel brands in the world, Orlando’s theme parks, attractions, hotels and other businesses have developed comprehensive safety measures and worked closely with medical experts to create safe travel experiences. Please note that Orange County requires the use of face masks in public places.