U.S. Theme Parks Get Spooky for Halloween

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Guests can enjoy sea-themed Halloween fun for the whole family at SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld San Diego’s Halloween Spooktaculars.
Guests can enjoy sea-themed Halloween fun for the whole family at SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld San Diego’s Halloween Spooktaculars.

Theme parks across the country are going from classically sweet to super spooky as Halloween quickly approaches. Families can save on dining, hotel stays and park admission with these special deals and packages.

SeaWorld Spooks
At SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular, guests enjoy sea-themed Halloween fun, such as trick-or-treating stations for kids, arts and crafts projects and animal encounters. SeaWorld Getaway packages allow families to save 10 percent on dining and receive early admission to the park, as well as front-of-the-line ride access when they book their stay at one of SeaWorld’s official hotels or partner hotels. Packages include the Kids Free option, where families get one child’s admission free with the purchase of an adult ticket (limit two free tickets per package); the Eat Free option, where groups enjoy complimentary all-you-can eat, all-day dining at SeaWorld and Aquatica; and the Orlando Flex Ticket option, where guests have access to SeaWorld, Aquatica, Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Wet ‘n Wild with one ticket and get the fifth night free when booking five or more nights. SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular takes place every weekend from Oct. 3 through Oct. 25, as well as on Halloween day (Oct. 31). SeaWorld Orlando tickets start at $70 pp for one week-day admission pass. For more information, visit seaworldorlando.com or seaworldgetaways.com.

In San Diego, California, SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular encourages kids to dress in costume for treat-or-tricking, face-to-face encounters with spooky and not-so-spooky animals, and photo opportunities with mermaids. The whole family can enjoy Halloween-themed shows, including Clyde & Seamore’s Big Halloween Bash at Sea Lion and Otter Stadium and Sesame Street’s Who Said Boo? at the Mission Bay Theater. During the entire month of October, guests receive one free children’s single-day ticket with the purchase of one full-price adult single-day ticket. Children ages 10 to 12 receive free admission to SeaWorld’s dolphin and beluga interaction programs, plus kids eat free at the Breakfast with Shamu and Dine with Shamu restaurants. SeaWorld San Diego’s Halloween Spooktacular runs from Sept. 26 to Nov. 1 on Saturdays and Sundays and is included with park admission. Tickets start at $59 pp. For more information, visit seaworldsandiego.com.

Guests are in for a howling good time at SeaWorld San Antonio’s Howl-O-Scream Unearthed. The park will feature haunted houses, terror-tories, roaming creatures and live shows every weekend in October as well as Unearthed–Scarlett’s Revenge, a haunted house produced and directed by horror filmmaker Robin Cowie. Guests can skip the lines with the standard Fear Pass, the VIP Fear Pass, the Unlimited Fear Pass and the Ultimate Howl-O-Scream VIP package, which provides priority access to all five haunted houses. The VIP package also includes reserved seating to all day and nighttime shows. SeaWorld San Antonio’s Howl-O-Scream single-day admission tickets start at $59 for adults and $50 for children ages 3 to 9, although the festivities are not recommended for children under 13. Priority access passes start at $22 pp. For more information, visit howloscream.com/tx or seaworldsanantonio.com.

Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream offers chills and thrills to guests brave enough to venture into the dark side of the gardens.
Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream offers chills and thrills to guests brave enough to venture into the dark side of the gardens.

Busch Gardens Bewitches
Busch Gardens Tampa is also celebrating the most “terrifying” month of the year with its own Howl-O-Scream Unearthed. Guests experience the thrills and chills of haunted houses, roller coaster rides and comedy shows on the Sept. 25 and Sept. 26 preview dates or during the regular schedule, Thursday through Saturday nights from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31 and on select Sunday nights (Oct. 18 and Oct. 25). Families can choose from three deals to enhance their experience at Howl-O-Scream, such as the VIP Tour packages, starting at $89 pp, which include event admission, a tour guide and commemorative photos, as well as merchandise discounts, complimentary beverages and front-of-the-line access to the haunted houses. The Front Line Fear pass, starting at $49 pp, grants guests front-of-the-line privileges to most haunted houses, or guests can upgrade to the Front Line Fear Extreme pass, starting at $59 pp, including front-of-the-line access to haunted houses and thrill rides. Fright Feast perks, starting at $26 pp, include a buffet, an exclusive performance of the Fiends show, and 30-minute early access to the haunted houses with front-of-line privileges until 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit buschgardenstampa.com or howloscream.com.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Howl-O-Scream also features haunted houses and live stage shows, but offers a different deal. Guests can purchase the Fright by Night vacation package, starting at $50 pp per night for a family of four staying three nights, to receive unlimited admission to Howl-O-Scream, dining certificates valid for one park meal per guest, and their choice of hotel accommodations. Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Howl-O-Scream runs Sept. 25 to Nov. 1 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, visit buschgardens.com/va or howloscream.com/va.

Celebrate silly, not-too-spooky fun at The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular at Sesame Place.
Celebrate not-too-spooky fun at The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular at Sesame Place.

Sesame Place Scares
For family-friendly fun suitable for all ages, guests can visit Langhorne, Pennsylvania for Sesame Place’s The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular. The “silly” festivities take place on weekends from Sept. 26 to Nov. 1 and feature a hayride, a rubber duckie costume dance party, and Abby Cadabby’s magical Halloween maze. Kids can also ride three new Count von Count-themed mechanical rides and see the Neighborhood Street Party Halloween Parade as it marches through the park. On Oct. 31, guests can enjoy a delicious meal, dessert, plus singing and dancing with their favorite Sesame Street characters at the Count’s Halloween party. For a real deal, check out the Count’s Halloween Spooktacular package, which includes a minimum of a 1-night stay at an official Sesame Place hotel or partner hotel, a savings of $37 on a 2-day admission ticket, and savings of $60 on popular add-on items. For more information, visit sesameplace.com.