October was a fun-filled, spooktacular month in the city of Orlando! From terrifying haunted houses and hilarious costume contests to renowned film festivals and mesmerizing mermaid encounters, here’s a list of all the highlights just in case you missed it!
Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights is one of the world’s largest, most elaborate Halloween celebrations, and rightfully so! Ever year, Universal enlists a “scream team” of designers to research the human psyche and its deepest fears to create haunted houses and “scare zones” of terrifying magnitudes for guests. This year, time twists and turns on itself—ripping cinematic greats, cult classics and even original nightmares from decades past into a new era of fear with more terrifying haunted houses than ever, sinister scare zones and outrageous entertainment. Halloween Horror Nights continues for select nights until November 3rd so don’t miss out!
Back again in 2018, it’s the happiest haunting on Earth! Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is Walt Disney World’s annual Halloween event that proves to be fun for all ages! The festivities ran until October 31st and featured the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, Happy HalloWishes Fireworks, Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade and much more! Visitors came dressed for the occasion and enjoyed Trick-or-treating throughout the park along, eerie entertainment and photo ops with iconic Disney Characters that go bump in the night.
The world-famous Mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park have been wowing audiences for more than 70 years with their underwater performances and Sea Life Orlando Aquarium had the pleasure of welcoming the Mermaids to Orlando’s only indoor aquarium every Friday through Sunday from September 28th-October 21st! The mermaids dove into the tanks to mesmerize guests with their unbelievable underwater feats as they performed alongside their fellow underwater creatures. Daily meet-and-greet opportunities were available for children and for those of us with an inner mermaid-loving child!
SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular is Orlando’s premier daytime Halloween event! This year it returned to The City Beautiful for an entire month of family-friendly Halloween fun. Visitors to SeaWorld between September 29th-October 28th enjoyed a Halloween Dance Party, trick-or-treating around the park, and the opportunity to meet whimsical characters inspired by the sea. Even everyone’s favorite furry friends from Sesame Street were present as The Count, Elmo, Abby and others take the stage in “Sesame Street’s Countdown to Halloween.”
Get ready for a major clash of the BBQ Titans! The Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards BBQ and Blues Festival took place from October 12th-14th and featured five of the nation’s top BBQ Rib Competitors from all around the country. The chosen few competed against each other in an epic battle for the top spot as the Lakeridge Winery “Rib Champion”. In addition to plenty of delicious BBQ, the event also featured live music on an outdoor stage, solo acts and the always popular Arts & Craft Village with local vendors offering a wide variety of art and hand crafted items. As always guests were also able to enjoy a free winery tour & tasting, plus their favorite Lakeridge wines, cold beer, ice cream, and a variety of other tasty treats available for purchase.
Named as one of the top “25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” by Moviemaker Magazine, the Orlando Film Festival was proud to return to Cobb Plaza Cinema Café in downtown Orlando from October 18th-25th. The event, run exclusively by working filmmakers, featured an immersive eight day festival on six screens with over 350 films, nightly parties, daily events, panels, workshops, activities, happy hours and an annual prize package valued at over one million dollars! Hundreds of filmmakers from around the world will tell you that the Orlando Film Festival is truly a film festival “for filmmakers by filmmakers.”
On Saturday, October 6th, Wall St. Plaza was transformed into the ultimate German party with their annual BlocktoberFest! The free festival featured German food, German Oompa music, lots of Jägermeister and of course Sam Adams Oktoberfest beer! Guest who got their hands on a Sam Adam’s Beer Stein enjoyed unlimited Octoberfest beer from 7-10pm and then Sam Adams Oktoberfest beer specials all night! When the clock struck midnight, attendees enjoyed the Midnight Jägermeister toast with 100 free shots at the round bar in front of the stage. Sam Adams even sponsored a Stein Hoisting contest which saw competitors attempt to hold their stein straight out for the longest for cool prizes such as their very own Sam Adams Oktoberest Ceramic Stein.
The Creative City Project presented their annual event, IMMERSE, from October 19th-20th. Guests experienced a world where more than 1,000 artists and performers brought the heart of the city to life in downtown Orlando. Attendees of IMMERSE discovered a diversity of artists with amazing talents including interactive shows, art installations and inspiring live performances such as the 100 piece CFCArts Orchestra on 5 stages – surrounding the audience with an immersive orchestral experience. The fusion of performance and technology extended far beyond the stage as attendees found themselves surrounded with inspiration.
Just when you think the show can’t be topped, Spooky Empire brings it bigger and better the next year! From October 26th-28th, the Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel & Convention Center was packed with horror fans of all ages for Spooky Empire’s Ultimate Horror Weekend. The beloved event has become one of the largest horror conventions in the nation, with more and more fans attending each year. The horror hootenanny featured one of the largest Zombie Walks, a costume contest, panel discussions, a tattoo festival, films, live performances, over 200 vendors and artists, and plenty of celebrity guests including David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson and others.
Plazaween 2018 was 3 epic nights of of the biggest and best Halloween Block Parties in Downtown Orlando! Goblins and Ghouls across Orlando started their Halloween off early at the Pre-Plazaween Block Party on Friday, October 26th. Saturday proved to be was the main event as attendees put on their best costumes and got on stage to compete for free drinks for a year on Wall Street! Plazaween continued on Halloween Night with live music from The Adam’s Family Band, DJ Draven and Korndogg in addition to one more chance for a lucky contestant to win free drinks for a year on Wall Street!