Central Florida's theme parks have embraced the notion that Halloween can be celebrated for more than just one October evening. Their special events now stretch for weeks, with some spilling into November. Here is a recap of major-park activities, arranged from the friendliest of kid-friendly to the more intense, gory gatherings.
Where: SeaWorld Orlando
When: Noon-8 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays in October
What's new: The Spooktacular Dance Party, which takes place in the front of the park an hour before closing.
What's returning: SeaWorld has a gentle blend of trick-or-treating and arts-and-crafting, all set amid costumed sea creatures. A live DJ entertains at Penelope's Party Zone in the Bayside area of the park.
What it costs: Spooktacular is included in regular park admission. A one-day ticket is $92 ($84 for ages 3-9).
Parental guidance: Although there is the potential for sugar shock, kids won't be alarmed at Spooktacular unless they have issues with friendly, way-bigger-than-life pumpkin fish. It's a relaxed atmosphere that takes place mostly before dark.
More info: SeaWorldOrlando.com
Where: Legoland Florida
When: 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturdays and 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sundays in October
What's new: The event is similar to past years' Brick-or-Treat, although the Winter Haven park has added a World of Chima area, which includes a water-cannon ride for families.
What's returning: Brick-or-Treat trail with six treat stations (opening at 1:30 p.m. on event days), a Spooky Scavenger Hunt in Miniland USA, a dance party, the world's largest Lego-based jack-o'-lantern and a children's costume contest with three age categories.
What it costs: Brick-or-Treat is included in regular Legoland admission. A one-day ticket costs $81 ($74 for ages 3-12).
Parental guidance: The most unnerving part could be potential stage fright during the costume contest. Like the rest of Legoland, Brick-or-Treat is kid-driven.
More info: Legoland.com
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Where: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World
When: Select nights through Nov. 1