Do you feel that chill in the air? Well, maybe not — it is Orlando, after all. But fall has arrived in The City Beautiful with plenty of seasonal activities to keep you busy. One of our favorites is SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular. While 2020's event will be a little different to keep health and safety a priority, you can still expect family favorite activities, including toadally adorable costumes and a trick-or-treat trail. The boo-tiful festivities run Saturdays and Sundays from Sept. 19 through Nov. 1. What makes SeaWorld’s Halloween celebrations unique to others in the area is that the party goes on all day, from park opening until close — rather than starting at dusk like many celebrations. We think this makes SeaWorld one of the most hoppening spots around to celebrate Halloween with your younger tadpoles!
Don your favorite costume, find your way through an all-new Halloween Maze and grab some candy on the Trick-or-Treat Trail at SeaWorld Orlando for an awesome, spook-free experience … all included with regular park admission. (As if we needed to scare up another reason to visit!)
To maximize the opportunity for social distancing, capacity will be limited at SeaWorld Orlando. Guests wishing to attend Halloween Spooktacular will need to reserve their spot in advance, and face coverings are required. As an additional safety measure, SeaWorld asks that all guests participating in the Trick-or-Treat Trail purchase a new reusable bag in order to reduce contact. For more information about the health and safety measures currently in place at SeaWorld Orlando, hop over to our full guide on what to know before you go.
Counting the Reasons We Love SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular
1. Halloween Spooktacular Trick-or-Treating
Who else is here for the candy?! SeaWorld is an excellent place for stress-free trick-or-treating. Upon entering the Festival Pathway (where a majority of the Spooktacular fun takes place), you can purchase nice, sturdy and decently large trick-or-treat bags for 99 cents! Plenty of room for candy. You can always bring your own too.
SeaWorld is also a great spot for those sensitive to allergies. Upon picking up your treat bag, you can consult with an employee to get information on the allergy-friendly offerings. Also, each trick-or-treat station is labeled with what candy is being given out. This is a win-win: You can be sure to dodge anything you or your tadpoles may be allergic to, and make a bee-line straight to your favorites! Last year, some stations included Airheads, Tootsie Rolls, Cowtales and more.
Parents, don't be shy — you can get in on the fun too! We thought trick-or-treating may only be for tadpoles, but have no fear. We saw many grownup frogs hopping around getting candy too! There are many trick-or-treat stations throughout the path, so be sure not to miss any, and feel free to double up on your favorites.
2. Halloween Spooktacular Costumes
Costumes are, of course, all part of the Halloween fun. Unlike other Halloween parties in the area, costumes aren’t as much of a staple at SeaWorld. We find it to be the happy medium, as costumes are appreciated and admired, but not obligatory. You can feel comfortable dressed up or dressed down, or anywhere in between. This is a great option if you feel like getting into the spirit without packing a whole ensemble for the event.
All guests are welcome to wear their spookiest attire. Before you go all out with the special effects makeup, note that face painting is not allowed on any guest unless done by a professional park artist. All costumes are subject to normal dress code for the park, so be sure to stay appropriate!
Beyond those simple rules, we have one major recommendation: Dress for the weather! Halloween weather in Florida differs greatly from the chilly season in most parts of the country. Be prepared for weather in the 80s — lose the long sleeves, so your tadpoles don’t get cooked in the sun! Theme park days are exhausting enough as it is without adding overheated children into the equation. As always, be sure to keep water on deck to stay hydrated as you hustle around chowing down on sweets.
3. Brand-New Experiences
New for 2020, guests can try their hand at a winding, silly Halloween Maze for guests of all ages. Capacity will be limited to promote social distancing. Also new this year is Cookie Decorating with Cookie Monster. This upgraded experience comes at an additional cost ($15) and includes photo-ops with Cookie Monster, and of course, COOOOKIES!
4. Easy Access to Sesame Street Land
If your tadpoles are toadally into the Sesame Street gang, don't forget to hop by Sesame Street Land! Located near the Trick-or-Treat Trail entrance, and just past the Halloween Maze, this land takes guests straight to Sunny Days, complete with rides perfect for smaller fans, interactive experiences and the opportunity to say hello to favorite characters.
5. Count von Count’s Spooktacular Breakfast
For an extra cost, you can start your family’s day off on a particularly festive foot by enjoying breakfast with all of your Sesame Street friends. At $33 for adults and $17 for children (ages 0 to 2 are free), we can't complain about the price of this character meal that includes a full breakfast buffet. If your tadpoles are Sesame Street fans, we toadally recommend this! The food will get you fueled for a day of fun, and the characters are a blast to interact with for great photo memories.
6. Meet a Mermaid
You don’t have to go under the sea to meet a beautiful mermaid in Orlando … simply visit SeaWorld! Toward the end of Festival Pathway on the right, you’ll find Mermaid Grotto. One of a few different mystical mermaids will be visiting at her seashell for photo-ops and fun conversation! Of course, Lily couldn’t miss this opportunity. These pink- and purple-haired wonders will make bubbly conversations with your little ones, certain for great memories. Lily dressed as a mermaid herself for Halloween and enjoyed comparing her tail with the mermaid at the grotto! For 2020, the experience will be immersive and the mermaids will be greeting guests from a safe distance.
7. Pets Ahoy Halloween
We are huge animal lovers, of course, so we’re big fans of the traditional Pets Ahoy show at SeaWorld. It’s a blast to see the dogs, cats, ducks, pigs and more work together to perform hilarious on-stage tricks. This is a fun show, as it highlights less exotic animals and all of the fun tasks they’re able to accomplish, too! Best of all, the animals are all rescues.
The Halloween edition of this show isn’t too different from the original, but adds a few bits of seasonal theming to make it festive and fun. Pets Ahoy typically only takes place once a day, so be sure to check it out!
8. Halloween Spooktacular Merchandise
Want to get into the spirit at the last minute? No worries. SeaWorld has a great variety of kids costumes on-site, from your Sesame Street faves to the trendiest mermaid garb. The face painting stations are also a great way to get into the spirit!
We have also loved the exclusive SeaWorld Halloween merch in previous years. There’s usually a great selection with cool designs with sizes fit for the whole frog squad.
9. Halloween Spooktacular Food & Activities
As you explore the Spooktacular area, you’ll find an array of carnival-style games, complete with Halloween-themed prizes including super cool Day of the Dead-style plushes. Purchase the $20 game pass in advance to get five games for the price of four — all with a guaranteed prize! This was a great way to keep Tad and Lily entertained AND score some souvenirs to take home.
Be sure to stop at the craft station, where you can make custom family-style art and décor with your little ones! I was a huge fan of the “Mummy-Daughter” handprint art. How adorable! There are plenty of spooky, creative designs for your whole family to get in on.
It’s not a trip to SeaWorld without some delicious food and drinks, and there’s no shortage on Festival Pathway. Mama and Papa frogs can enjoy the seasonal craft brew sampler. The rest of the gang can snack on classic theme park favorites with a “spooky” twist. Our favorite were the warm cinnamon sugar doughnuts ... yum!
SeaWorld Orlando's Halloween Spooktacular is one of our favorite times to visit the park. More than anything, we cannot say enough great things about how convenient and fun it is to celebrate the season with your younger tadpoles. And since the fun lasts all day, it never gets too chaotic. It's perfect for families catering to a variety of ages! Our favorite part is how the Halloween festivities are condensed into one area, so that way you don’t have to hustle around the entire park to get the full experience. Hoppy Halloween!
Have questions about SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular? Share them in comments below! Planning a visit to SeaWorld Orlando or the other Orlando theme parks? We've got easy-peasy park plans to help you make the most of your visit!