Theme Park Halloween Events


Orlando Theme Park Halloween Events Comparison

Orlando Theme Park Halloween Events Comparison – We visited three Central Florida theme parks for Halloween events in 2021 and two Halloween events previous to 2021. We thoughts we would take a moment to compare the experiences to help you choose the right event for your Central Florida family.

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(Steven Diaz, photographer)

Our Comparison Review:

Halloween and around the holidays, are the best times to live in Central Florida. Between lower humidity, cooler weather and events, you can’t ask for more. It all kicks off with Halloween and the parks know how to bring the scares (and non-scares) to get us in the spirit! Below, you’ll find our Family Video Reviews from 2021, and some from prior to this year (if we haven’t yet made it out the new experience yet). Let me be clear, you can’t go wrong with any of them. They all bring something fun for adults and/or kids. You just have to choose what’s best suited for YOUR family.

Here are our awards for each event (and our video reviews are below):

  1. Best houses for decor and theatrics: Halloween Horror Nights
  2. Best kid’s Halloween event: Disney’s Boo Bash (formerly Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween)
  3. Best crowds/fewest wait times while still offering a great experience: SeaWorld Howl O Scream
  4. Best price for the experience: SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Howl O Scream
  5. Scariest Houses: My real opinion? Either Howl O Scream. While the decor, intensity, and overall feel of HHN is superior, I screamed or jumped more at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Howl O Scream events.
  6. Best Family Experience? Disney’s Boo Bash or LEGOLAND won’t leave you wondering if you’re a bad parent.
  7. Best night out with adult friends or a parent’s night out? HHN or Howl O Scream
  8. Best overall experience? All of them. For My Central Florida Family, with an 11 and 19 year old, we could enjoy Disney or LEGOLAND for something softer, SeaWorld or Busch Gardens for smaller crowds and cheaper prices or HHN to prove nothing can scare us!

These are based on opinion and we thank each of the parks for allowing us to come out and review each of their events year after year so that we can help spread the word and share the experiences with you.

Below is our Video Comparison of all the Halloween Events:

Check out video, images and our experiences at each of these events below.

Halloween Horror Nights Family Video Review (2021):

Busch Gardens Howl O Scream Family Video Review (2021):

SeaWorld Spooktacular Family Video Review (2020):

SeaWorld Howl O Scream Family Video Review (2021):

Disney Mickey’s Not So Scary Family Video Review (2018):

LEGOLAND Brick or Treat Family Video Review (2020):

Our Takeaways:

There are two types of Halloween Events in Central Florida: Adult vs. Kid (and what’s appropriate for the kids?)

If we were to rank the BEST adult (and mature kiddo) Halloween Events, they would be:

  • Halloween Horror Nights: With 10 houses and 5 scare zones, the decor and immersive experience is the best. No one does it better. It is more expensive. It is more crowded. But, the houses and overall experience are outstanding.
  • Busch Gardens Howl O Scream: With 5 Houses and multiple scare zones, we love Busch Gardens because nearly all the rides are open and you can enjoy those AND the houses. At Universal, most of the rides are open, but not all of them. At Busch Gardens, the tickets are less and so are the crowds. The wait times are less too. The houses are just as scary, but perhaps not quite as long and the decor is just below the quality of Universal. However, honestly, I’m just as happy going to Busch Gardens.
  • SeaWorld Howl O Scream: We love SeaWorld. And, to be fair, this was their inagural year AND they have to compete with Universal down the street. That said, they only opened about half the park, had 4 houses and 4 scare zones. The shows were a bit on the dull side, so we didn’t stay to watch them all. Once SeaWorld can expand with more of the park open and more houses, we’re sure their event will exceed expectations. If we were to choose SeaWorld, it would be for the close proximity to home, the smaller crowds, the less expensive tickets and the shorter wait times because the houses are really awesome and brought out the scare in us quite a bit!

If we were going to rank the BEST kiddo events, they would be:

  • Walt Disney World Boo Bash: How can you beat Disney for Halloween for the kids? Though we didn’t go to Boo Bash this year, we heard it was MUCH less crowded (a great thing), but more expensive than years past. I miss the day of $59 tickets to attend (we’re going back to the beginning). I heard that people missed the big parades, substituted for the calvacades. There is trick or treating and short lines on waits this year, so we heard. No stage shows were available due to COVID. So, we’re hoping this event will be back in all its glory next year, but it doesn’t sound like we missed anything new for 2021. We do miss Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween (review above)
  • SeaWorld Spooktacular: This event is a small portion of a day at SeaWorld. It’s a strip of walkway from Wild Arctic to the front of the park. It’s lined with trick or treating stations, characters, and non-scary scenery. It’s just a nice free addition to a weekend trip to SeaWorld for the kids!
  • LEGOLAND Brick or Treat: Of course the kids that love LEGOs will love Brick or Treat. With trick or treating and LEGOs dressed for Halloween, what’s not to love?

Other Halloween Events:

Don’t forget there are other Halloween Events your family can enjoy this season. I’m so sorry we don’t have Family Video Reviews for all of them, but they are listed on our Halloween Event Guide for you to discover.

Gatorland’s Gators, Ghosts and Goblins (2020):

Scream and Stream (2021):

Disclaimer: Events and information listed on this site are subject to last minute cancellations and changes which might not be reflected in this post. Please always confirm with this family-friendly business by calling or clicking the links for the most up-to-date information.

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