Halloween with the kids
By Dave Parfitt
Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland Anaheim (Courtesy Disney)
As the long days of summer wind down, many theme parks bring out silly costumed characters and candy to transform into a fun-filled pumpkin-palooza. If Halloween to you means more treats than tricks in your Halloween haunts, continue reading for five family-friendly Halloween celebrations appropriate for any age.
(MORE: Fiendishly Frightening Halloween Festivities in the Theme Parks)
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party – Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, FL
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom (Photo: Matt Stroshane/Disney)
Mickey Mouse welcomes everyone to trick-or-treat with his friends in the Magic Kingdom during “Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.” In addition to free candy, you’ll see the Headless Horseman trotting down Main Street, U.S.A. leading off Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade. New for 2015 is the “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular” – a show hosted by Sanderson Sisters from Disney’s film Hocus Pocus, and featuring appearances by a wide variety of Disney Villains. Capping off the night is the special “Happy HalloWishes” themed fireworks spectacular. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is held on 25 nights with tickets starting at $68.
Mickey’s Halloween Party – Disneyland, Anaheim, CA
Mickey’s Halloween Party requires a separate ticket (starting at $69), and is only held 17 nights between September 25 and October 31. You get early access to the park beginning at 4:00pm, before the party starts between 6:00 and 7:00pm. Mickey’s Halloween Party is the only time you’ll find Disney characters dressed in their Halloween costumes, a super-hero themed dance party led by Super Goof, Villains meet & greet opportunities in Town Square, the Cadaver Dans (an undead Dapper Dans Barber shop Quartet), special “Halloween Screams” fireworks hosted by Jack Skellington, and, of course, trick-or-treating. In addition, the new “Paint the Night Electrical Parade” added for Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary will continue during Mickey’s Halloween Party.
Halloween Spooktacular – SeaWorld Orlando, FL, San Diego, CA and Sesame Place, Langhorne, PA
The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular at Sesame Place (Photo: Stephanie Barnhart)
Enjoy sea-themed Halloween fun for the whole family at SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular in Orlando and San Diego. During this daytime event, families are immersed in an underwater “fantasea” including trick-or-treating stations for kids, whimsical pumpkin fish, sea-themed arts and crafts and up-close animal encounters. Sesame Place in Eastern Pennsylvania celebrates The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular with shows, a themed maze, and Sesame Street characters. There’s also a Neighborhood Street Party Halloween Parade that encourages families to dance along with the fun. SeaWorld’s and The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular all take place on weekends, September 26 – November 1 (depending on the park), and are included with park admission.
Hersheypark in the Dark – Hershey, PA
Hersheypark in the Dark (Courtesy Hersheypark)
On weekends October 16 – November 1, Hersheypark in the Dark offers rides and attractions, including their 13 roller coasters. During the last hour each evening, lights are turned off of four roller “ghosters” for guests to experience Comet, Laff Trakk, Lightning Racer, and Wildcat in complete darkness. Kids 12 and under can go trick-or-treating in costume from Hershey’s Chocolate World (just outside the park) through Treatville, a seasonal town setup inside Hersheypark. Families will find tall-themed food and drinks as well as seasonal entertainment such as “Bunsen & The Burners,” a band of crazy singing scientists and their monster friends. Tickets for Hersheypark in the Dark are $35.85 for adults (ages 9-54) and $24.85 for juniors (ages 3-8) and seniors (ages 55+).
LEGOLAND Brick or Treat – Carlsbad, CA and Winter Haven, FL
LEGOLAND Carlsbad (Courtesy Legoland)
LEGOLAND’s not-too-spooky festivals feature brick-or-treat trails, super-sized LEGO pumpkins, costume contests, and meet & greet opportunities with LEGO Halloween characters. Brick-or-Treat Party Nights are weekends in October, and the special event admission starts at $35 if purchased online in advance. Special event ticket holders can enjoy costume contests, trick-or-treating for children 12 and under at treat stations and candy carts where kids can gather tasty goodies and other surprises. The LEGO themed treat stations and candy carts offer a safe, fun and entertaining trick-or-treating experience for all to enjoy with festive music, live entertainment including the hilarious “Boo Crew,” a dazzling animated Spirits of Brick-or-Treat light show, and family favorite, the Ghost Cruise Scavenger Hunt.
Dave Parfitt of Adventures by Daddy contributed this to MiniTime. He is a father of two and a runner with a PhD in neuroscience who chronicles his family adventures as well as offer family travel advice and escapist fun from Dad’s perspective.