SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular
We Visit the The Trick-or-Treat Trail at this Popular Autumn Event
October 11th, 2022
| by Mealtrip
event is a popular autumn favorite that ushers in cooler weather (well, not really), but it does celebrate Halloween in a family fun, not so scary kind of way. The event usually runs between mid September all the way through October 31st (Halloween) — but only on the weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and some Friday's in October. It's always best to check on the official SeaWorld site calendar page before you go, that page is located here … SeaWorld Orlando Calendar
I hesitate saying it's for young children, because ... I just went, and lots of fun! SeaWorld has another, scarier Halloween event called Howl-O-Scream — most of those activities are on the other side of the park, and are mostly at night. I think they've done a great job of keeping those two things totally separate.
There's all kinds of things to do at Spooktacular, a Count von Count's Spooktacular Breakfast (that I'd really like to go to one day), the normal Sesame Street parade gets a special Halloween overlay, cookie decorating, costume contests, and even a Scavenger Hunt (which is sooooooo hard, I couldn't even find a map to purchase, how many things I'm supposed to be looking for, how much it cost, or what the prizes are — so good luck with that one — but I do really love a good Scavenger Hunt — maybe next year).
The main action though, is along the Trick-or-Treat Trail. Here's a map that SeaWorld provides … which is useful enough. Basically, all the not so scary Spooktacular Trick-or-Treat Trail stuff happens on the left side of the park… (I get lost in this side of the park all the time). Fortunately, there's all kinds of flags and signs that, more or less lead you around the path.
This is SeaWorld's map for the 2022 Spooktachular event. But you can pretty much find your way around without it.
I'm getting ahead of myself though. The first thing you'll need to do is buy a Trick-or-Treat Trail Bag… you can't just bring your own bag and get candy. I know what you're thinking — oh great, another corporate money grab… but honestly, this is one of the best deals around. The bags are $3.99 plus tax (if you're an annual passholder, your normal discount applies… I think I have a Gold Annual Pass and my bag ended up being $3.62 or something like that.)
Honestly, I think it's a really fair price to pay considering the bag itself probably cost them a buck to make, plus the candy you get, and the remaining percentage of that goes to all the extra dressed up characters you'll meet and get to take photos with along the way.
The Trick-or-Treat Trail Bags are available near most gift shops. I found found them for sale right at the front of the park, and there wasn't too many people around… so that's where I got ours.
You can find the Trick-or-Treat Trail Bag near most of the gift shops that are in and around the Spooktacular side of the park. The bags are just $3.99 and are designed with cute animals wearing Halloween costumes. Passholder discounts do apply, so make sure you have your pass handy while checking out. I have a gold pass and my bag ended up being $2.64.
Once you're ready to go, head over to the left side of the park, kind of like you're going to the Sting Ray Lagoon… that'll get you heading in the right direction.
The first thing I noticed is this big sign and these candy corn colored flags next to it. Those flags are all along the trail, and if you're standing near one — there's almost always another one visible somewhere off in the distance, so they're kind of like bread crumb trails that will lead you around (in case you're like me and get lost frequently).
This large billboard is a sign that you're getting very close to the start of the Trick-or-Treat Trail at Spooktacular.
I guess technically, that big sign and flags, are markers — letting you know that you've entered the Spooktacular Trick-or-Treat Trail area. Just past that sign, we encountered our first interactive costumed characters …. Tall People from Atlantis!
I really enjoy seeing the different costumes the stilt walkers at SeaWorld wear for the various holiday themed events. At Spooktacular, I saw two different costumes... these Atlanians and Scarecrows over in the Dance Party area.
At this point, I'm not really going to do a step-by-step walk though of the Trick-or-Treat Trail. It's fun discovering things on your own. Instead, I'll just cover a couple interesting points.
Halloween Bonarty Flags
As I mentioned, those candy corn colored flags are great… but there's also these cute little Bonarty style printed flags hanging from all the light poles, that really add to the environment.
These little flags on all the light posts were so cute! Each had a different Halloween character on them. It was fun trying to find them all.
Since I couldn't find any info on the Scavenger Hunt, I had fun trying to take a picture of all the different flags as we moved through the Trick-or-Treat Trail!
The origins of the "Bonarty Flag" can be traced back to Japan, where a poster-like flag was often used to advertise outside of small sushi shops and street-side vendors.
How Does Trick-or-Treating Work?
All along the Trick-or-Treat Trail, you'll find these cute little candy stands with candy corn signs next to them.
There's a dozen of these small candy stands set up along the Trick-or-Treat trail at SeaWorld's Spooktacular event.
The sign lists what candy that stand is giving out. I don't think there's too much in the way of food allergens here, but some of the candy (like Smarties or Lollipops) are hard, while others (like swedish fish) are soft. There's also one stand that's giving out Potato Chips. If you're an eagle eyed parent trying to aviold getting a certain type of candy, the signs will help to identify which stands to stop at, and which ones to pass by.
These "treat signs" let you know which treats each stand is handing out. So (for example) if you don't want any "hard candies" in those trick-or-treat bags, you'll know before getting in line.
Each of the stands has two holes cut out on either side that act as candy shoots.
There's a candy shoot on either side of the booth. It's just a PVC pipe and the candy comes sliding down into your bag... rather than the cast member having to lean over and place candy in each bag. The system is fun, and I only misaligned my bag once.
You can walk up to either side, place your bag under the shoot — and say "Trick-or-Treat" — don't forget to say "thank you" when that treat comes sliding down.
Here's a great shot of the full set-up. The candy stand, the sign that tells what the booth is handing out, and the line!
There's around a dozen stands located around the trail. There's usually a small line, but those lines all move along really quick. Some of the sands are located close to other things (like this one in front of the underwater dolphin area)…
Hummmm... these Trick-or-Treaters don't look like kids... but I mean, this is the Smarties booth, and everyone loves Smarties!
… which ends up being a little confusing, but I didn't see it causing too many problems.
None of the stands are giving out chocolate treats — which is probably a good thing, since this all takes place during the day, and it's still really hot out there. There's a pretty typical selection of hard and soft candies, along with a great bag of chips from Lay's!
So what does a typical candy haul look like? Well here's what was in my bag after just one go around…
I went around to all the booths just once, and this is what I ended up with!
There's around 38 pieces of candy in there, and I managed to get to each of the candy stands once. I say that… because the only thing from stopping you from going around a second time, is the oppressive, life sucking heat. But you're young — stay hydrated, you should be just fine.
My bag was probably about 1/3 full from just one go around (those chips take up some room) — but honestly, with all of this costing just $4, I kind of felt like going around again would be taking advantage of the situation.
Gift and Candy Shop Stuff
I like taking a quick pause here and there in the different shops along way. Not only to they have air conditioning, but there's usually at least one table of seasonal items and some decorations set up.
There's all sorts of little Halloween knick-knacks in the shops along the Trick-or-Treat Trail ... and they have air conditioning too!
Not only did I find a couple of cute nick-nacks but there were some jumbo decorated marshmallows on sticks over at the Sweet Sailin' Candy Company shop.
I found these Jumbo Marshmallows Pops over at the Sweet Sailin' Candy Shop... they're $2.99 each.
I found two great spots for getting a chance to see some Pumpkin Fish in their natural habitats! There was a whole bunch of orange ones in a Pumpkin Fish patch near Dolphin Cove. You first had to walk though a giant pumpkin.
You'll have to walk though this giant pumpkin to get to the Pumpkin Garden to see all the Pumpkin Fish!
And then there was an entire Pumpkin Fish garden! They're so fun to take pictures with, and they all have their own personalities.
There's so many Pumpkin Fish to look at in the Pumpkin Garden!
They all have different personalities!
You're not supposed to climb on the Pumpkin Fish (there's little signs everywhere), but you can get really close and take all kinds of pictures with them!
At the other end of the trail (and not really marked on the Trick-or-Treat map), I found some very rare Mexican Pumpkin Fish!
There's even a few rare Mexican Pumpkin Fish!
These Pumpkin Fish, (decorated a little like Oaxacan Alebrije Wood Carvings, but not quite as detailed), are located near the Scarecrow Dance Party area, and not with the other Pumpkin Fish.
There is a Scarecrow Halloween Dance Party at the end of the trail (or at the beginning, depending on where you start). I missed the actual "party" by a couple of minutes, but I'm told there are tall dancing Scarecrows! How cool!!!
There's a large area at one end of the Trick-or-Treat Trail for the Scarecrow Halloween Dance Party! These are the DJs. There's also very tall dancing Scarecrows than come out every now and then. This whole area has more of an "autumn/country" vibe than the other Spooktacular locations.
The Dance Party area is decorated with more of a "autumn hayride hoedown" feel, and the DJ's stay out all the time spinning some pretty great tunes.
There's A Mermaid Too!
The "mermaid photo area" is a little more… "contrived" that the other character meet and greets along the way… so… more like getting a photo with Santa or the Easter Bunny. There's a big set, and a line, and photo purchasing opportunities.
The Mermaid set is quite large and there's SeaWorld photography cast members on-hand for taking photos with the Mermaid.
Street Characters and Environment
Honestly though (no offense to Miss Blue Mermaid), the Street Characters that you get to meet and take photos with along the way were a real surprise for me. There were more of them that I was expecting to see... and these random, low pressure meet and greets can be so much more memorable than a posed photo.
There's so many different street-side characters to meet along the Trick-or-Treat Trail at Spooktacular!
What I mean by "low pressure" is — that while you do still have to wait your turn, there's no "photo selling" cast members around. It's just, cool looking dressed up characters that are all playing up their roles.
What a great looking Día de los Muertos costume!
Let's face it, everyone has a camera in their phone and getting a random, un-staged, candid shot can be more meaningful than a fully posed photo sometimes.
When there wasn't anyone near the cute little spider house lady, she started having conversations with her spiders!
When no one was around to take photos with the Spider Princess ... she had conversations with the little spiders in her house!
The hardest working character was the Spider Pirate though. This guy was in full-sun the entire time and never broke character, constantly rousing guests as only a pirate can — as everyone stopped by to take photos with him, and his giant spider.
The Spider Pirate had soooo much energy! He was really playing up the part, which was really fun to watch!
There's even a Pumpkin Princess over near the Pumpkin Fish Patch!!!! She's so pretty and sparkly and covered with leaves!!!
The Pumpkin Princess was located over by the Pumpkin Garden.
This is an elusive Magenta Gargoyle. They like to eat Manta Rays and small children… which is probably why I found this one perched above the stingray paddock at SeaWorld's Spooktacular. There were ample supplies of sting rays and small children on hand.
All in all — I had a ton of fun on the candy trail at Spooktacular. As an annual passholder — I really appreciate events and overlays like this. While it's difficult to compare Spooktacular to something like Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party… the easiest contrast I can make, is the cost.
I'm an annual passholder at Disney and SeaWorld. To go to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party on a discount night, it would have cost around $100.00. Yes, there's fireworks and a parade, and even chocolate candy — but it is $100.00.
As an annual passholder at SeaWorld, the Spooktacular event cost me $2.64.
Did I have $97 less fun??? No I did not. Getting to walk around and see the decorations, interact with the characters, and get a little candy is, honesty, all the Halloween you really need. I hope it's not just me that feels that way — because SeaWorld is really doing something here that's accessible to the people that live and work here in the Central Florida area.
Now ... if I could only wake up early enough in the morning to go to that Count von Count's Spooktacular Breakfast. Hey SeaWorld — any chance we could make that a "brunch" next year?
If you want to check out all the offerings at Spooktacular or any of the other Halloween activities at SeaWorld… here's a direct link to the Spooktacular event page on the official SeaWorld, Orlando site