(Thank you, SeaWorld Orlando for partnering with me on this review of the SeaWorld Halloween Spooktacular event. I received admission and compensation, in return for my unbiased and honest opinion. Every opinion stated is 100% mine.)
Everything You Need to Know About SeaWorld Halloween Spooktacular
I look at the clock. Oh dear, it’s already 9:00pm, I better get upstairs and kiss the big kids goodnight and thank them for an awesome weekend. I normally have to wrangle books out of the kids’ hands and get them to shut off their lights. But not tonight. The sight that greets me when I walk into Jacob’s room is pure sweetness.
His 11 year old long and lanky body is casually draped across his bed. His legs stick out of the comforter, while his arms are tightly wrapped around his new stuffed polar bear. I don’t remember last time Jacob cuddled a stuffed animal. But tonight, the polar bear is glued to his body. He’s clinging on to it as if it was a life raft.
Jacob spent his carefully saved birthday money on the big white ball of fluffiness this past weekend at SeaWorld Orlando. We told him he could spend his money at one of the many gift shops, but a stuffed animal was probably the last thing we thought he would buy. He was hell-bent on getting a stuffed animal after he saw the arctic animals at the Wild Arctic exhibit.
Our kid who was already an animal-lover from birth, had his infatuation with wildlife rekindled after this weekend, and I couldn’t be happier.
This back-to-school season has been quite unusual for most kids in the South. The kids returned to school, only to hit the “pause” button on their new routine due to Hurricane Irma. We are now a few weeks back in the swing of things and it sure feels good to have some resemblance of normalcy and schedule in our lives.
This past weekend, we took the liberty of escaping reality for a few days. I highly recommend getting your fall-season kicked off with a bang, or should I say “splash,” as we did!
Our destination of choice was SeaWorld Orlando for several reasons, the biggest draw this time of year is their Halloween Spooktacular event, which is included with park admission. (Check out our pictures… we had so much fun as a family!)
What is SeaWorld Halloween Spooktacular?
It’s a daytime Halloween celebration catering to kids of all ages. We have four boys ages 11, 8, 5 and 3 and all of them enjoyed the attractions, decorations and events.
- Costumes are optional, but welcome.
- Kids 12 and younger are allowed to wear full costumes with masks. However, guests older than 13 need to refrain from wearing masks or hoods.
- Remember, Florida is HOT even in October, so for your kids’ comfort – and your sanity, keep the costumes light.
- Trick or Treating.
- They have candy stations set up throughout the Halloween Spooktacular area and there is plenty of candy to go around. (The lines were not long and all the kids we saw conducted themselves perfectly.)
- Penelope’s Garden Party.
- There’s music, colorful underwater-themed decorations, characters and LOTS of bubbles in the air.
- Fun photo-ops throughout the area either with or without characters.
- Did I mention the bubbles?! Our 3 year old LOVES bubbles, so they were a big hit with him – there’s simply nothing better than chasing after a bubble or two!
- Sesame Street’s Countdown to Halloween.
- Fun and engaging performance by all your favorite Sesame Street characters.
- Lots of singing, dancing and having fun – and the audience is invited to join in.
- Great way to revisit your childhood and forget all about being a serious adult, at least for a few minutes.
Tips to get the most out of your Spooktacular day at SeaWorld:
- Arrive early! We got there right as the park opened, jumped on a few rides before the lines formed and before the Spooktacular opened an hour later.
- Dress your kids in fun Halloween t-shirts or a light costume (see above), but stay away from big fuzzy HOT costumes. It was over 90 degrees when we visited the park in late September.
- Bring COLD water for everyone in your party.
- Wear sunscreen, hats and sun glasses – yes – even in October.
- Take lots of pictures of your kids enjoying the sights, attractions and decorations.
- They hand out trick or treat bags at the entrance of the Spooktacular event, but it can’t hurt for you to have a small plastic bag on hand for candy collection, in case you miss the cart with the bags.
- Bring or rent a stroller if you have young kids because you WILL be walking a lot. (We recently got rid of our double stroller, and our poor 5 year old got tired towards the end. A double stroller would have been nice to have.)
- Spend a few minutes studying a map of the park and plan out which attractions and rides are a must-see for your family. (This way you avoid late afternoon meltdowns when someone in your party didn’t get to see or do something they wanted.)
Our favorite SeaWorld animal encounters:
Although SeaWorld Orlando has some of the coolest, fastest and longest thrill-seeking rides in this part of the country, our family enjoys the park primarily for the animal encounters. As a parent, there is simply no greater joy than watching your kids in amazement as they experience wildlife up close. You can literally SEE how they are connecting with the animals – that’s something I will never get tired of watching.
I love how the animals at SeaWorld bring a new level of global awareness to the kids. All of a sudden, the arctic isn’t just a faraway place, but actually something we can connect with here locally.
The kids commented on how clean the park and the animal exhibits were – and if our kids notice something like that – then it has to be clean.
- The Wild Arctic attraction was an all-time favorite of Jacob (11) and Jordan’s (8). Their eyes were big as saucers as we walked through the place. They couldn’t contain their excitement as they felt transported into a different (much colder) world. The walrus returned Jordan’s wave, which is something he’s still talking about.
- The dolphin and orca pools allowed for awesome up-close encounters. All the kids were blown away at the fact that these huge water mammals were mere inches away from them, only separated by the walls of the pools.
- I was so impressed with Jacob’s courage at the hands-on shark habitat. Without hesitation, he followed the instructions and touched the back of the small sharks with his bare fingers. He conducted himself incredibly maturely and best of all – he LOVED every minute of it. He was so fascinated and took in the experience with every ounce of focus and attention. It was almost magical for me to watch.
- Before we left the park, Jacob was adamant, we had to visit the manatee rehabilitation area… so we did. The big tranquil animals were well worth the meltdowns from the two youngest kids, as they were worn out and hot.
Every animal exhibit we encountered was met with amazement, wonderment and magical twinkles in the kids’ eyes.
Our day at SeaWorld was spent in part enjoying the Halloween Spooktacular festivities, but also experiencing the wildlife exhibits and those will never get old. We truly love SeaWorld for the wonderful work they do to bring awareness and conservation efforts into homes of families throughout the country.
Thank you, SeaWorld for giving our family the opportunity to “disconnect” for a weekend and reconnect with the ones we love… and also for reigniting our kids’ love for wildlife. We can’t wait to go back to visit our animal friends.
Now it’s your turn to have fun with your family. Get your tickets today to SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular. The event is included in park admission (regular tickets AND Annual Passes) and runs weekends until October 29, 2017!
Single Park Tickets (Save $20 when you buy 1 day in advance)
Multi-Park Tickets (Save $30 when you buy in advance)