We know there are a lot of queer travelers – especially those with kids – who enjoy a good time at a theme park and the fall season; and what better way to experience both than to plan a trip to LGBTQ+-friendly Orlando. The city is gearing up for an extraordinary autumn filled with Halloween thrills and fall festivities. With 93 days of frightful scares and family-friendly fun at theme parks and attractions, savory culinary experiences, and vibrant cultural celebrations throughout the destination, Orlando presents an exceptional lineup of fall events for visitors of all ages.
“From experiencing a taste of our dining scene at a discounted price to the Halloween thrills that you can only find in the Halloween Vacation Capital, Orlando offers something for every traveler this fall,” said Casandra Matej, president and CEO of Visit Orlando. “Lively local events, ranging from our local LGBTQ+ pride celebration to our Hispanic heritage celebration, round out the diverse offerings.”
Known as the Halloween Vacation Capital, Orlando is filled with spine-tingling excitement and spooktacular events at the theme parks. The festivities offer something for everyone, ranging from fright-inducing thrills for adults and teens at world-class haunted houses to friendly chills the whole family can enjoy.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World Resort (select nights, now through Nov. 1) makes a frightfully fun return at Magic Kingdom Park. The family-friendly, all-ages event features eerie entertainment that includes the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular! at Cinderella Castle, Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular, Disney Junior Jam for young partygoers, Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade, the Trick-or-Treat Trail, Disney Characters in costume, and more than 20 favorite attractions with a Halloween twist. Guests are also invited to wear costumes, with some restrictions.
Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida (Sept. 1 – Nov. 4) returns for a record-breaking 48 nights featuring 10 new, movie-quality haunted houses featuring everything from cinematic greats to original abominations including the all-new Stranger Things 4 and The Last of Us houses; five scare zones filled with creatures lunging from the shadows; and two live shows.
At SeaWorld Orlando, guests can experience two Halloween-themed events:
- Howl-O-Scream (select nights, Sept. 8 – Oct. 31) returns to terrorize guests at SeaWorld Orlando. Offering 24 nights of fully immersive fear, the event will feature fright-inducing haunted houses and scare zones; thrilling nighttime coaster rides and experiences; an interactive bar; and an electrifying live show.
- Little ones can dress up in their favorite costumes to trick-or-treat and meet colorful Halloween characters at the SeaWorld Spooktacular (weekends, Sept. 16 – Oct. 29), a family-friendly daytime event included with regular theme park admission.
Brick or Treat Presents Monster Party at LEGOLAND Florida Resort (weekends, Sept. 16 – Oct. 29), a signature Halloween event included with theme park admission, will feature tons of candy, an all-new show lineup, never-before-seen exclusive LEGO characters, and an all-new cinematic experience to create the ultimate family Halloween celebration.
The allure of Orlando extends beyond its adrenaline-pumping attractions with an array of savory eats and delectable treats throughout the destination.
Celebrating its 18th year, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining (Aug. 18 – Oct. 1) returns with more than 130 of Orlando’s best restaurants serving up three-course prix-fixe menus for either $40 or $60, as part of a new tiered menu system. This year’s roster brings 22 new restaurants to the dining program, as well as eight restaurants recognized by the MICHELIN Guide.
SeaWorld Orlando’s Craft Beer Festival (now through Sept. 4) features more than 100 craft brews, wines, seltzers, and cocktails, including an unbeatable mix of domestic and local Florida favorites. Guests can also savor more than 20 specialty food items expertly paired to match their preferred brews. Then, top it all off with nightly fireworks during Ignite.
At the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival presented by CORKCICLE (now through Nov. 18), guests can savor exciting and unexpected flavors from around the globe as they circle the iconic World Showcase. This delicious celebration features over 25 global Marketplaces, including a menu of new flavors and sips along with live entertainment, family activities, and more. This year, the festival welcomes back two fan-favorite flavor destinations: “Hawaii,” featuring flavors from the Pacific paradise; and “The Noodle Exchange,” offering savory ramen and noodle bowls. On Sept. 22, four all-new Global Marketplaces will debut to mark the Disney100 celebration that commemorates the 100th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company.
Central Florida Veg Fest Presented by Vegetarians of Central Florida (Oct. 28), the family- and dog-friendly vegan event held at Orlando Festival Park near downtown Orlando, returns for its 18th year. The event will feature a day of educational exhibits and activities from a diverse cross-section of vegan cuisines and lifestyles, including new products and ideas from over 200 vendors and 100 contributors as well as a wide variety of food preparation demos.
The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic (Nov. 10-11) will return for its 14th year, treating guests to a street party festival with unlimited food and beverage tastings at diverse food stations, featuring culinary selections from the hotel’s award-winning restaurants and wine from around the world.
Fall Festivals and Events
The city’s vibrant arts and music scene takes center stage with an array of lively celebrations.
Come Out with Pride Orlando (Oct. 21) returns for its 19th year for a celebration at Lake Eola Park in Downtown Orlando. This nonprofit celebration fosters a sense of community, encourages LGBTQ+ citizens to live openly and with pride, and educates the public. Attendees will be able to experience a diverse series of live entertainment featuring local artists and celebrity headliners; view The Most Colorful Parade with more than 100 groups of participants strolling a mile through downtown Orlando; and enjoy the signature Fireworks Grand Finale over Lake Eola.
Fall Fiesta in the Park (Nov. 4-5) will return for its 52nd year to Lake Eola Park where visitors and locals can celebrate the beauty of the season as hundreds of artist and crafter booths surround the park, along with a variety of food vendors, live entertainment, and a kid’s zone.
The Electric Daisy Carnival (Nov. 10-12) will return to Orlando at Tinker Field History Plaza featuring three days of more than 120 dance music acts, full-size carnival rides, and art, for one of the most vibrant and electrifying editions of EDC.
Plan an Orlando vacation to celebrate the spirit of Halloween and fall all season long. For the full schedule of this year’s fall festivities, go to VisitOrlando.com.