As Florida gears up for the fall months, visitors can look forward to more than just cooler temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes, and slightly less crowded tourist attractions. Every year, Florida’s theme parks welcome guests with Halloween celebrations ranging from frightening to family-friendly. Here is a sampling of what your clients can expect for this year’s festivities.
Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream
Those headed to Tampa can get their fear-induced adrenaline rush with a visit to Busch Gardens for the theme park’s monthlong Howl-O-Scream events. Available on select nights Sept. 21 through Oct. 28, 2018, Howl-O-Scream features specified scare zones filled with creepy characters waiting to startle guests, plus haunted houses and more. This year, new scare zones include a Day of the Dead themed area and Camp D.O.A., where guests can be reminded of their days at childhood summer camps, but this time with a twist: swamp mutants roaming the grounds looking for their next victim. Two new haunted houses are also available, including one suggested only for guests who are at least 17-years-old. This particularly intense experience is known as Simon’s Slaughterhouse. By stepping inside, guests have agreed to play Simon’s sick games as they journey through the Meat Market, where cannibalisitic creatures feast on humans.
For the extreme Howl-O-Scream fanatic, a Front Line Fear pass grants access to all haunted houses and special discount offers throughout the park. Front Line Fear is available each event night for $35. Getaway packages, like the Overnight Fright or Wild & Wicked Weekend packages, are also available.
For more information, visit buschgardens.com.
Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights
In a Halloween tradition not for the faint of heart, Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights invites only the bravest park goers to immerse themselves in iconic horror films and TV shows by navigating through mazes inspired by these original stories. Running on select dates Sept. 14 through Nov. 3, 2018, this year’s Halloween Horror Nights will feature new mazes inspired by the movies “Trick ‘r Treat,” where guests will find blood thirsty werewolves ready to dismember the town, and “Poltergeist,” where only those who dare can explore the Freeling family house and an underground graveyard. This year’s Halloween Horror Nights will also bring a Netflix favorite to life with the debut of an all-new maze inspired by “Stranger Things.” Having worked alongside Netflix to create this maze, park goers can expect to dive deep into the parallel universe of the Upside Down where they’ll encounter demogorgons.
For more information, visit universaltravelagents.com.
Walt Disney World’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
For families (or fear-adverse adults) looking for a fun Halloween celebration that won’t give them nightmares, Walt Disney World is hosting its traditional Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Starting earlier than ever before, the special-ticket event made its 2018 debut on Aug. 17, and will run on select nights through Oct. 31, 2018 at Magic Kingdom Park. As always, guests should keep an eye out for dancing ghosts, the Headless Horseman, plus Mickey Mouse and other beloved Disney characters who take part in Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade. Meanwhile, new experiences launched this year include the Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular, created in honor of the film’s 25th anniversary; new pirates taking over the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride; plus new spooky details added to Space Mountain and other park attractions.
Guests staying at one of the seven Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels can take advantage of discounted rates through the Magic of Fall promotion, which is available now through Oct. 31, 2018. Starting rates at these properties range from $79 to $110 per room per night. For more information, visit disneyworld.disney.go.com and disneyspringshotels.com.