Without trick-or-treating happening this year and amid the cancellation of many festivities that Americans typically look forward to every Halloween season, it’s easy to feel like this year’s most haunted holiday will pass unnoticed.
However, Florida’s major theme parks aren’t giving up quite so easily. While social-distancing requirements and limitations on crowd sizes make their usual large-scale, ultra-popular Halloween do’s impossible, Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando and Legoland Florida are coming up with creative ways to keep the fall festive spirit alive (or, perhaps, undead).
Based on the findings of a recent Florida Today report, we’ve created a rundown of what these big-name theme parks have in store for guests during the upcoming spooky season:
Walt Disney World
The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando has also seen fit to cancel its annual autumnal celebration: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary-Halloween celebration. While the Magic Kingdom’s much-loved, after-hours event won’t be happening this year, Disney is doing its best to ensure that park-lovers have something to look forward to this Halloween.
Many of the seasonal treats, trappings and other experiential elements that avid park-goers await all year long will still make their appearances, including the dressing up of the entire park in its seasonal autumn décor. There will also be plenty of fall- and Halloween-themed merchandise for folks to outfit themselves with festive gear, and the season’s special food and drink items will still be on offer.
And, for the very first time, guests of all ages are invited to wear full Halloween costumes in the Magic Kingdom park from September 15 – October 31 (remember, you’ll still need to wear approved face coverings). Everyone’s favorite Disney characters will also be dressing up to mark the occasion and can be spotted playing around in all parts of the park. Small-scale festive entertainment and performances will also pop up, such as a Halloween-themed cavalcade featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Pluto and others on Main Street.
Visit disneyworld.disney.go.com to learn more.
Although it was initially announced in July that Universal Studios was canceling its ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ altogether, the entertainment company revealed yesterday that it would partially revive the annual event for 2020.
Universal Studios will be opening a pair of haunted houses for limited daytime operation on weekends. Guests will be able to experience ‘Revenge of the Tooth Fairy’ and ‘Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives,’ but they’ll need to reserve a spot using Universal’s Virtual Line system on the Universal Orlando app once they’re inside the park.
Premier-level passholders registering today will have the opportunity to preview the houses on Friday, September 18, although Universal has yet to confirm any additional dates for operation of the haunted houses. For further Halloween fun, the Islands of Adventure park will be offering trick-or-treating for kids (ages 12 and under) and their families to observe the annual tradition safely.
Visit universalorlando.com to learn more.
Unlike the past two parks we’ve mentioned, LEGOLAND Florida is continuing its annual ‘Brick or Treat’ celebration on weekends in October, included in the price of daily admission. Select dates for this year’s completely kid-friendly event are October 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 24-25 and 31.
Kids are invited to wear Halloween costumes and enjoy neighborhood-style trick-or-treating by visiting six separate locations throughout the park where they’ll receive candy and “spooktacular” sweets through contactless distribution methods. Employees manning the stations will be wearing face masks, face shields and gloves, and appropriate social distancing between families waiting in queues will be maintained.
This ghoulishly cool event also celebrates the return of character experiences to the park, so kids can delight in meeting Halloween-exclusive, creepy-cool LEGO characters. The spooky squad includes classic monsters with a LEGO-style spin, like Rockin’ Frankenstein, Mummy and Lord Vampyre, and LEGO favorites like Scarecrow, Spider Lady, Brickbeard and more!
Families will also be treated to live-entertainment performances of ‘The Groovin’ Graveyard’ and ‘A Candy-Coated Curse’ with showtimes available throughout the day. For the littles ones, check out interactive activities, complete with enhanced health and safety measures, such as the Candy Corn Scavenger Hunt at DUPLO Valley, Mosaic Build of LEGO Kingdoms and a Competition Build at Pirates’ Cove.
Visit legoland.com for all the details.
The park’s annual ‘SeaWorld Spooktacular’ event is going ahead this year with all-new safety procedures in place, running September 19 – November 1 on Saturdays and Sundays. Access to this daytime event is included in regular park admission, and guests are welcome to dress up in their Halloween costumes, with some applicable restrictions imposed for everyone’s safety.
There’s a trick-or-treat candy trail for families so that kids can safely pick up some ghoulish goodies and meet some not-so-spooky Halloween characters. Social distancing, single-direction queues and limited capacity restrictions will be in place to keep everyone safe.
Other themed activities are available at an additional cost, such as Count von Count’s Spooktacular Breakfast, where kids can enjoy the most important meal of the day with some of their favorite Sesame Street friends (at an appropriate distance). There’s also an opportunity for guests to join Cookie Monster for some festive cookie-decorating, socially-distanced fun and photo opportunities. Enhanced safety precautions at both events include protective food-service barriers, single-party tables amply spaced to support social distancing and thorough sanitization of surfaces between guest visits.
Visit seaworld.com for further details.
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