Seaworld is most definitely one of my favorite places to go for the holidays – any holiday. It’s not just the fact that they have Christian-based activities, like their Easter services and Nativity show, or the fact that they are about education and preservation (even though that help you feel good about spending the money at an amusement park). No, it’s because Seaworld really does make for a nice experience.
I won’t go into depth on contrasting Seaworld to our main squeeze, Disney. Disney castmembers win by far when it comes to treating guests like royalty, but Seaworld excels in a comfortable environment. They give me a lot of what I want in a theme park. For holidays, I prefer Seaworld (sorry Disney).
Spooktacular is an example of one of those offerings. It occurs every weekend and some Fridays in September and October. There is no upcharge – Spooktacular is included with regular admission. That’s a huge perk for passholders.
I love to trick or treat here because I’m a bit of a helicopter mom. I don’t like taking candy from strangers in random houses. It was fine when I was a kid and we went to a neighborhood where my grandma lived and everybody knew everybody. Things aren’t that way anymore. Maybe when my baby is older. For today, we have Spooktacular.
I also love the fact that the event is really well organized, so you don’t come away wondering if you missed something that was off to the side that you didn’t see.
Here’s what to expect, both during and pre-pandemic:
Seaworld creates a not-so-spooky trail for guests to walk down. It’s not like a forest trail, but more like a botanical trail blended with a forest trail then spiced up with a carnival atmosphere. As you walk, you’ll experience mermaid grottos, Halloween carnival games, trick or treat stations, displays, photo ops locations, aquatic pumpkins, and much more!
First, let’s talk environment. The trail is in a different area than the rest of the park attractions. So, if Halloween isn’t your thing, you aren’t going to be crowded by a bunch of trick or treaters while you go to shows or rides, because they are in another area entirely. Entry is by way of a giant pumpkin.
The trail features lights and displays. Even the privacy screens that keep you on the path are decorated.
Not-so-spooky giant creatures appear now and then, like this giant gargoyle that’s probably 20 ft tall who looks down from the top of one of the beverage buildings.
Let’s not forget the little haunted houses!
Even the areas above are decorated with spooky Spanish moss and glitter chandeliers.
The open-air atmosphere is just fantastic.
There are loads of opportunities for great pictures, both by yourself and with fun characters that interact along the path. The photos with characters cost nothing, you just have to bring your own camera. The one exception to this is the mermaid grotto photo booth. All the others are just there to make guests happy like these two dashing pirates who pose with guests.
Please note that during the pandemic, you must wear a mask. Many of the characters’ photo ops are set up with a barrier to keep actors and guests safe.
There are plenty of actors on the trail for entertainment. Each one has an amazingly unique costume.
The candy here is extra great because major allergies can be accommodated. Most of the candy is not chocolate and there are even some fantastic additions, like Smash Crispies. While you don’t get the boatloads of candy that you do at MNSSHP, there isn’t an upcharge for the event. It evens out.
Pre-pandemic, you could bring your own bag, but purchasing a bag is required now. They are inexpensive and come in several cute designs (I only have three shown). Plus, they are really well made and useful afterward.
This was my son’s candy haul for the day.
Usually, trick or treating is done pretty normally with folks handing out candy at various stations. However, with the pandemic, Seaworld has built these beautiful little stations that protect everyone. Kids (and adults) hold their bag under a chute and the candy-giver is behind plexiglass or on a raised platform inside a kiosk like building. They are decorated super fun, so it doesn’t hurt the experience in the least.
Lines are spaced out with candy markers on the ground.
There’s also special merchandise just for the season with super cute designs.
There are food kiosks too with seasonal offerings for everyone in the family and even some alcoholic drinks for adults.
There are fun carnival games that are affordable and you’re guaranteed a prize. You can buy a single game or a lanyard with punches for $20, which gets you several games. The prizes are the coolest! Here’s the plush pumpkin, which is one of the smaller prizes. *Note: the lanyards are not available during the Covid pandemic, but will likely return once we are past it. The games are still available as shown below. Pre-pandemic, there were a few more than what is pictured. I expect those to return also.
Annnnnd here are some of the large prizes, including my enormous narwhal. He doesn’t look that big hanging on the wall of the game station, but he took up about 1/4 of the back of the minivan. He was much larger than I thought when we got him home (which you can see with the picture of my 3 year old sitting next to him)!
In addition to the regular rides, there are some fun additions, like a mock corn maze for the little kids which is located near Sesame Street.
In previous years, Seaworld was able to offer a fantastic array of Halloween shows with the live animals as well, but because of the pandemic like the Spooky Pets Ahoy show. Hopefully, these will return because they showed guests how trainable and wonderful adopted pets are.
Finally, there is extra fun available if you’re looking for more. Count von Count’s Breakfast and Cookie Monsters Cookie Decorating are both great events. The picture at the top is from breakfast in 2019 and we have a post from the cookie decorating here.
Spooktacular is highly recommended! We love Seaworld and do our best to support them and encourage other’s to do so also! They are a wonderful organization that blends education with fun.