Writer: Jerrica DuBois
2 min read October 2021 — With COVID making Oct. 31, 2020, one of the least spookiest Halloweens on record, many are looking forward to celebrating this year in grand style. Orlando has a variety of events to offer those ready to have a little fun this season, and the shenanigans have already begun.
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom kicked things off all the way back on Aug.10 with the grand opening of Boo Bash. A revised version of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Boo Bash gives the crowd what it expects: randomly bumping into your favorite characters, exclusive snacks and, of course, candy stations.
For those who like a little guts and gore, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights is a long-time favorite. Although the 2020 run was canceled due to COVID, Horror Nights is back in action, complete with up to hour-long but worthwhile waits for the more popular haunted houses. And be advised that while Universal Orlando is not requiring masks for Halloween Horror Nights, patrons are encouraged to wear them while indoors.
Gatorland is also getting in on the fun. Back for its third year, Gators, Ghosts and Goblins boasts multiple-themed haunt zones, interactive characters and a costume parade. Gatorland also brings back Swamp Ghost’s Monster Museum, a fan favorite, to make this their best season yet.
There is still fun to be had for area residents who are not fans of the big displays and huge crowds. Many local events are available for people who prefer smaller, more community-based gatherings. (There are even virtual options for those who want to celebrate at home.) The following events are a sampling of what the city has to offer this season.
Winter Garden’s Halloween Experience: live entertainment, a hay maze, themed decorations and food, plus outdoor movies. Oct. 22-31, Downtown Winter Garden.
Longwood’s Monster Mash 5K: running race, food and fundraising for the Longwood Historic Society. Costumes are encouraged. Registration costs $20 for the 5K run/walk and goes up in price closer to the event. A kid’s dash is free. Oct. 30, 8 a.m., 135 W. Church Ave.
Cocktails & Screams: Halloween-themed bar hosts a family trick-or-treat brunch complete with a “Hocus Pocus” singalong and costume contest. Tickets are $13.13 before taxes and fees. Oct. 30, noon-4 p.m., 39 W. Pine St.
The City of Lake Mary’s Halloween Spooktacular: trick-or-treating followed by a movie in Central Park, live entertainment, face painting, food vendors and more. Oct. 30, event begins at 4 p.m., outdoor movie begins at 6:30 p.m., 100 N. Country Club Road.
Avalon Park’s Spooktacular: trick-or-treating, a costume parade, a pumpkin patch, bounce houses, live entertainment, games and food trucks. Oct. 30, 5-9 p.m., 3801 Avalon Park East Blvd.
Orange County Library System: Online events including crafts with spiders, story time and a demonstration with spooky snacks throughout October.
Whether the preference is big or small events, dressed in full costume or jeans, tricks or treats, there is something for everyone to do in Orlando this Halloween. For a full list of upcoming events, click here.