Don’t Panic: There Are Still Halloween Festivities In Florida
By Georgina Cruz
Although Covid-19 has caused the cancellation of some of the major Halloween festivities in Florida –including the 2020 Fantasy Fest in Key West – there are still some fun events in various popular destinations including Orlando, the often called “Halloween Vacation Capital.” Among the planned events to satisfy the thousands of visitors who typically come in search of ghosts, witches and things that go bump in the night, are festivities at some theme parks that have reopened after spring closures due to coronavirus.
The Halloween events have security measures in place like temperature checks, use of face masks and social distancing, and the emphasis this year appears to be more on outdoor fun than in indoor frights at haunted houses.
Among the Halloween celebrations that typically begin in mid-September and culminate on Oct. 31 are family-friendly events and there is one fright fest traditionally recommended for adults as it may be too intense for youngsters. Here are some Halloween festivities planned for this year. As with any special event, dates are subject to change –especially in the era of coronavirus—so it is important to verify before making travel plans.
- Lake Buena Vista/Orlando – The popular Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in Disney’s Magic Kingdom park, will not be presented this year. But Halloween will be celebrated with pretty fall decor including glowing pumpkins in Mickey shapes in the Magic Kingdom’s Victorian-style Main Street U.S.A. section. For the celebration, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 31, visitors will be able to come to the park wearing costumes and there will be a cavalcade with Disney characters including Mickey, Minnie and Pluto in their Halloween finery, and Chip and Dale will be sporting their favorite costumes in the Frontierland section of the Magic Kingdom. Visitors ill also be able to purchase treats, food and merchandise themed to Halloween. The Magic Kingdom and theme parks have put in place security measures including temperature checks, admission via reservation, enhanced cleaning protocols and social distancing. The Halloween festivities are included in regular park admission. Info: www.disneyworld.com.
Orlando – Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights has been cancelled this year, which is the 30th anniversary of the park’s opening. But as a nod to the popular and sought-after fright fest, Universal has announced the Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store, with themed merchandise and a prop and set museum of 25 years of Halloween Horror Nights that fans are sure to recognize from past visits to the event. Info: www.universalorlando.com. Visitors to Orlando who are in search of Halloween fun, may wish to opt for SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular. This event is presented on weekends from Sept. 19 to Nov. 1. Themed to the ocean, children can come in costume as they go in search of treats among friendly sea witches, mermaids and other creatures as well as characters from Sesame Street. This event, with security measures, is included in regular park admission. Info: www.seaworldorlando.com.
- Tampa – This fall, Howl-O-Scream 2020 comes to Busch Gardens during 18 nights on weekends from Sept. 25 to Nov. 1. The fest features open air fright zones this year and security measures. It is a limited-admission event with separate ticket and it is presented from 7 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays. Info: www.HowlOScream.com.
- Winter Haven – Brick-or-Treat in LEGOLAND Florida offers family-friendly Halloween fun on weekends during October with security measures. Among the activities, there is a special treat trail and Halloween-themed entertainment. The Halloween festivities are included in regular admission to the park. Info: www.legoland.com.