Theme Park of the Day: Disney's Animal Kingdom

Orlando and Central Florida theme parks get ready for this year's Halloween season

July 11, 2010, 10:25 PM · It is that time of year again. That time of year we start hearing details about the upcoming Halloween season at the some of the countries top horror events.

And quite famous for Halloween events are the Central Florida theme parks. Between Busch Gardens Tampa and Universal Orlando Resort you have two premiere haunting events each year. Let's also not forget the Not-So-Scary Halloween event at Walt Disney World.

Halloween Horror Nights XX

It has been 20 years since horror found its home at Universal Orlando's Fright Nights. Since then we have seen the name change to what is now the trademark name in annual horror events, Halloween Horror Nights. This year marks a huge milestone for Universal as it prepares for Halloween Horror Nights XX - Twenty Years of Fear.

Universal Orlando has launched a new part of the HHN website encouraging you to take a look at the past twenty years. From the beginning with Fright Nights to the Iconic Era there is plenty of images and videos to go through to get you in the mood for this years event.

This year's the haunt will last for 24 nights between late September and all of October. Ticket prices have risen to $74.99 from last year's $69.99. Frequent Fear Passes will include 14 nights. Limited HHN Express will be sold again with the price varying each night.

Howl-O-Scream Is Gonna Rock

Over in Tampa at Busch Gardens, the team is also getting ready for its halloween event, Howl-O-Scream. This year marks the 12th year for Busch Garden Tampa's Event and it has been said that it "Is Gonna Rock!" Details are limited about the theme but the Howl-O-Scream website is hinting towards an all-girl rock group with a twist.

This year's party will run for 18 nights from late September through to the end of October. Tickets are on sale online with a special advance online purchase price of $35.95. Upgrades from the single day admission will cost $24.95.

Not So Scary Halloween

Now let's move on to something not so scary, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween. As with previous years this event takes place at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom park and will include Mickey's "Boo-To-You" Halloween Parade, Happy HalloWishes fireworks, and many more surprises. This year Mickey will transform the Magic Kingdom park for 24 select nights into a kid-friendly "Not-So-Scary" party. Tickets for the event vary per night and will range from $47.95 to $58.95 per child (ages 3-9) and $53.95 to $64.95 for adults.

As more details emerge about this years events I'll be posting it to a new twitter account I created just for the Central Florida Halloween events (@cfl_halloween) as well as here on Theme Park Insider.

Replies (9)

July 12, 2010 at 9:22 AM · I will say that I was very impressed with Disney's Halloween Party! It has to be one of the best parades I have ever seen! Plus, lots of candy!

Of course, there is no real scary things going on, but its still fun for every age.

What about Fright Fest at Six Flags? I know its a FL park roundup, but its something I would love to see! I would love to hear, probably closer to the season, how Six Flags parks do their Halloween celebrations since I think it might be park specific!

July 12, 2010 at 1:21 PM · I personally was very disappointed with Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween. Considering the price, I expected a lot more. The parade had its' moments - Haunted Mansion float, Headless Horseman - but was shorter than I would've liked and reused too many of the regular parade's pieces. Plus, some of the scenes were incongruous - country-western float - while obvious ones were neglected - Nightmare Before Christmas. The stage show was weak and the fireworks were standard. Also, the treats given at the stops were all too similar. More variety would've been appreciated.

The one thing I really did like, and wished Disney would expand upon, was the incredibly brief atmospherics. I realize that this event is for kids and can't be made to be too creepy, but the ghostly captain on the Liberty Belle and the woman in the Mansion's graveyard were wonderful touches that brought a better sense of the holiday and created a sense of mood that Disney is famous for. As is, I doubt I'll ever go back.

On another note, I am curious to find out the price point for the new Frequent Fear Pass with HHN Express will be. If they can manage to sell it for around $100, it is something I would definitely consider.

July 12, 2010 at 3:24 PM · Domenik... i'm assuming you're the lucky guy who's gonna cover the Halloween events at the theme parks??? AWwwwwWww when i find you i'm gonna fight you for that honor. haha j/k! j/k!

instead of the two guys reviews above... i'm a fan of the drippy, gross, Halloween fear stuff so you will DEFINITELY see me at HHN and HOS!!!!! If it's Halloween, then get in the spirit of it! The creepy stuff, not the cute stuff.

I really enjoy seeing how the parks I visit all the time suddenly wear a costume of its own that you can barely recognize it at night.

July 12, 2010 at 3:50 PM · Make no mistake Pyra, I am a HUGE fan of the blood & guts Halloween events. I've been going to HHN every year for the past 7 years and can't get enough of it. Part of me would even love a permanent exhibit themed to the holiday at Universal. I'm incredibly excited for the 20th anniversary this year. Already have my trip planned for the end of September at the Hard Rock.
July 12, 2010 at 4:35 PM · You got me! I am not a fan of that!
July 12, 2010 at 6:16 PM · i cant wait for it. Money has been tight for me this year, so im still not sure if i will be able to swing it. I really would hate to miss the 20th aniversary. Im going to save up now, cause i know its going to be special.

hopefully they bring back the best houses of the past 20 years.
original psycho-scarapy
dungeon of doom
anything with jason, freddy, and michael myers
the funhouse with jack the clown
the disorientorium (my favorite of all time)



July 14, 2010 at 11:04 AM · I so badly wish I could attend HHN. Every year, I drool over the impressive website, blog reviews, and YouTube clips that surround it. My family and I have always been Halloween enthusiasts. For the past five years, I've been in college, meaning Halloween-themed keggers were the order. However, one unfortunate trend in Halloween practices has been the transition from scary to funny and/or sexy costumes. Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining about college chicks wearing clothes that would make their grandmothers faint - but I do miss the novelty of scaring people, and I'm happy to see theme parks keep that tradition alive, particularly Universal.
July 14, 2010 at 6:14 PM · Uhh Joshua.... have you SEEN the "sexy nurses" at Howl-O-Scream???
July 14, 2010 at 6:35 PM · No, but I'm in the process of Googling them.

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