With its exciting alligator exhibits, splash pad, and line-up of educational shows, Gatorland is a hidden gem in Central Florida that’s worth visiting with your family any time of year. For the fifth year in a row, Gatorland is throwing in a little something extra for families who want to experience a bit of Halloween fun, its Gators, Ghosts, and Goblins event.
During this event, families can experience everything from a Halloween costume parade to trick-or-treating to a haunted house. It’s among the most well-orchestrated Halloween events my family has experienced during our time visiting the area’s theme parks, and the best part of all is it’s included with normal Gatorland admission, which happens to be 50% off for Florida residents through October 31.
Here’s a quick overview of what to expect when visiting Gatorland’s Halloween event.
What to Know About Gatorland’s Gators, Ghosts and Goblins Event
- This Halloween-focused event runs over three weekends in October 2023.
- The dates for Gators, Ghosts, and Goblins are October 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, and 29.
- While normal single-day tickets to Gatorland cost $32.99, Florida residents get half off admission through October 31, making admission just $16.50 for adults and $11.50 for kids.
- The event happens during regular daytime park hours, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
- Costumes are encouraged, but to keep the environment family-friendly, it’s asked that they not be too scary or gory.
- There’s fantastic Halloween merchandise for sale in Gatorland’s gift shop, specially designed for the park this year. In addition to t-shirts commemorating the event, don’t miss the Halloween bags, souvenirs, and more.
What Happens During Gators, Ghosts, and Goblins?
Here’s everything that happens, on top of normal Gatorland activities and attractions, during the park’s Halloween event:
Swamp Ghost’s Monster Museum Haunted House: In this haunted house, guests will be led on a tour that teaches all about the history of Halloween before things get slightly scary in the swamps of Gatorland.
Two haunt-zones: There are two delightfully spooky scare zones at this event: Monster Midway and Gator Gulch.
At Monster Midway, kids can play carnival games with Frankenstein, Dracula, and other classic monsters. Gator Gulch is a spooky town straight out of the haunted Wild West, where skeleton horses pull carriages and ghoulish cowboys interact with guests.
The Cryptid Express: This haunted train ride is a hunt for spooky beasts like the Florida Skunk Ape, Moth Man, a Chupacabra, and more. Be on the lookout for Yeti!
Fun Halloween activities: In addition to costumes being encouraged, the event includes Halloween character meet-and-greets, trick-or-treating, and a kids’ Halloween costume parade. There will also be shows, special vendors, candy giveaways, and more.
(The children’s costume parade happens each day at 1:30 p.m. at the Upclose Arena.)
How scary is Gators, Ghosts and Goblins?
The beauty of this Halloween event is its simplicity. Kids of all ages can dress in costumes, meet characters, and trick-or-treat. Kids who feel a bit more brave will enjoy seeing the haunt-zones, as there are no jump scares and the makeup and costuming on each actor is truly impressive.
The only part of the event that may be slightly spooky is the haunted house, but on a level of 1 to “Halloween Horror Nights,” I’d give it a 2.
After entering the first part of the house, where a spooky guide talks about the origins of Halloween, there’s an opportunity to leave with the guide or continue through the remainder of the house with a new scary character.
When I visited the event, I completed the entire house and found that while there were a few jump scares, it was pretty tame in comparison to other haunted attractions in the Orlando area.
Simply remind more adventurous kids that the house and its actors are just pretend, and they should have a frighteningly good time walking through it.
- Bring your own refillable water bottle to stay hydrated
- Dress comfortably, the swampy environment of Gatorland tends to be humid
- Bringing your own trick or treat bag makes things easier and is better for the environment
- Parking is free at Gatorland
- No outside food is allowed