The two theme park rivals offer competing takes on the spooky holiday with extra-fee after-hours parties.
Back-to-school preparations are full swing, and that has theme park companies Walt Disney (DIS) – Get The Walt Disney Company Report and Comcast’s (CMCSA) – Get Comcast Corporation Class A Common Stock Report Universal Studios thinking ahead to the next season.
These competing theme parks are busy each year preparing their different venues for various events for holidays, such as Halloween and Christmas.
What’s the next ‘season’ of entertainment coming up? Well Halloween of course! Kids of all ages love Halloween. How could you not love it? Getting to dress up in scary or silly costumes, parade around town getting gifts of candy.
Universal Brings Back Halloween Horror Nights
Universal Orlando Resort in Florida has it’s popular Halloween Horror Nights that starts Sept. 2 and resumes through Oct. 31. Admission to Universal Studios does not guarantee entry to Halloween Horror Nights, as those tickets are sold separately. Express Pass tickets are available as well, allowing guests to skip the regular lines.
Regular one-night single tickets are $73.99 per person, plus tax. The Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass tickets are $109.99 per person, plus tax. All prices are subject to change. Universal may have higher prices at the gate, so advance ticket purchases are the best option.
Universal warns that its Halloween Horror Nights is best for guests ages 13 and older. Unlike all of 2020 and much of 2021, masks are not allowed, albeit costume masks that is. Costumes are also not allowed when touring the attractions.
The Express Pass nights are limited, as well as the number of times you can use the Express Pass per attraction, which is once. There will still be lines, but the Express Pass will get guests through a lot faster. If you value time more than money and want to be scared out of your wits as much as possible, this is your best bet.
Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights has a full range of passes available for its guests, a single event pass, early ticket pass, VIP pass to see behind the screams, a themed dining experience, a frequent fear pass, a frequent fear plus pass, and an ultimate frequent fear pass. See Universal for specific restrictions and theme park admission required and is not included.
Disney’s Halloween Celebrations Making a Comeback
Disney World is bringing back the scare-tastic Mickey’s Boo to You Halloween Parade to the Magic Kingdom, after its cancellation in 2021. The parade will run on select nights starting Aug. 12 through Oct. 31. The Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade started back in 1999 but was previously called Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parade.
The parade is an annual Halloween-themed march that starts off the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. The parade includes Halloween fan favorites like the Headless Horseman and characters from the Adventures of Ichabod Crane and Mr. Toad. Disney’s Halloween events are for all ages, but tickets are not yet available.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is after the theme park’s normal hours. This allows guests who don’t want to be scared or even not so scared the choice not to attend. This also creates less of a crowd from the day-to-day Disney guests for those who want to join in on all the Halloween fun.
Magic Kingdom has its regular characters, but they are dressed up in spooky costumes. The parade has a myriad of floats stocked full of Disney villains and the Haunted Mansion graveyard diggers to boot.
Magic Kingdom hosts a Hocus Pocus Villain Spell-tacular with the Sanderson Sisters on the Cinderella Castle’s stage. The sisters use their magic to create a wickedly fun show. During the evening, guests can enjoy some wild firework displays complete with projections, special effects, music, and Disney characters.
Roam Disney and guests can collect bags of candy trick or treating through the park. Park patrons ages 14 and older are generally not permitted to dress in costume and can see specific dates and events for guideless or any exceptions for the event.
Whether you are ready to have deadly ghouls and goblins chase you through Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights or if you prefer a less terrifying evening, want to dress in your Halloween holiday best and attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary-Halloween Party with the little ones at Magic Kingdom, you definitely have choices.