In October, I was able to go to Orlando with my parents and sister during the week of Halloween. My parents have had a timeshare out there for a little over 30 years, so it would take a couple of hands for me to count the times I’ve been there #thankful. This was the first time we were traveling there during Halloween and we were all really excited. It was awesome at the parks during that time of year, so I wanted to give you guys an overview and some Do’s and Don’ts while visiting the parks during Halloween.
Parks with Halloween Events Overview
- Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights
- 10 haunted houses ranging from “Stranger Things” to “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers” and even the “Poltergeist.”
- Five “scare-zones” where you’ll run into actors dressed as Killer Klowns, Chucky, vampires and more.
- A couple of rides are open as well for you to go on while coming down from a good scare.
- Costumes are not allowed (I guess so you don’t get confused with the characters working).
- Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (Magic Kingdom)
- There is Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade, Happy HalloWishes Fireworks and the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular.
- Some of the characters walking around are different that those you’d see on a regular day.
- You can trick or treat! No matter how old you are, they let you get candy and trust me – you get a lot.
- Some of the rides are open as well – there’s no Fast Pass, but since everyone is busy elsewhere the lines are pretty short.
- Costumes are allowed here! Obviously, they must be family friendly, no weapons, not dragging on the floor, no masks, etc.
- My favorite ‘rule’ was “Guests may dress as their favorite characters but may not pose for pictures or sign autographs.” I chuckled at that one.
Do’s and Don’ts
Do go to Epcot. This time of year is the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. So awesome. I believe this year there was 30+ kiosks featuring food, wine and beer. You can get a festival “passport” that comes with stickers so you can keep track of where you’ve eaten/drank throughout your time there.
Don’t try to truck your way through all the Disney parks in one day (especially if you’re going to Epcot). We started at Animal Kingdom, then went to Hollywood Studios and ended the night at Epcot. Since we definitely wanted to make it to Epcot, we kind of cut through Hollywood Studios – especially after spending more time in Animal Kingdom where we hadn’t been in 10+ years. We all said to each other afterwards that we wished we had more time in Epcot to enjoy the festival.
Do get a Fast Pass for Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights. Five minutes after the park opened, the regular line wait for the “Stranger Things” house was two hours. Even with the pass there were a few lines we had to wait on, but nothing too crazy. Also, the Fast Pass could be used on the few rides that were open (Men in Black, Revenge of the Mummy, etc.).
Don’t wait until you get to the park to try to buy your tickets. The night we went to Universal Studios, our family friend came with us hoping they’d be able to buy tickets at the gate. They were turned away as it was sold out. We had bought our tickets a few weeks before we flew to Florida to be on the safe side.
Do go to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. As I mentioned, there’s free candy and no matter your age – free candy is good candy! Pus, it’s just a really cool environment with the decorations and special characters … Especially if you’ve never gone during Halloween.
Don’t think that you’re too cool to go to Disney. I don’t care who you are, you’ll never be too cool for Disney. I’m almost 27 and I can guarantee I’ll never say no to a trip down there.
Do get in the spirit! Even though you can’t wear a costume to Universal, you can still dress a little spooky like my sister and I did. Also, for Disney, dress up! We didn’t wear costumes, but we all had a little Halloween spirit in our outfits.
Do separate the days you want to go to the parks regularly and when you want to go to the Halloween events. In both Magic Kingdom and Universal Studios, the Halloween events didn’t start until later in the day (after 5pm). The parks were open during the day, but MK/US closed early so they could get set up. We separated our days because we didn’t want to spend 12+ hours at the parks (come on, we’re not 18 anymore!!). Also, we wanted to be able to see as much as we could and enjoy everything.
How Our Days Were Split
This is just how you can see how we got everything done. We were in Orlando from October 26th to November 2nd.
10/27: Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure
10/28: Hung out with family friends
10/29: Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot
10/30: Spent the morning at the resort, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (Magic Kingdom)
10/31: Spent the morning at the resort, Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights
11/1: Disney Springs – always have to do some shopping!
If you’ve never been to Orlando during Halloween, I would 100% recommend it. I can’t believe it took me 26 years to go there for the first time! You’ll absolutely catch me there for Halloween again sooner rather than later.