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Sponsored Post: Planning a Fall/Halloween Getaway? 6 Great Reasons to Visit Orlando (Hint: There’s something for foodies, footballers and music lovers too!)

Halloween has had a major comeuppance as a holiday. This realization was sealed for me a few weeks ago when I walked into Walmart to buy school supplies in early September, only to find the “Back to School” section completely disbanded and replaced with the Halloween section.


Really? Already?


Yes. Already.


So if yours is one of those families who like to do it up big for Halloween and are already planning your Hallo-getaway, you might want to check out these great themed activities, which range from mild to wild!


Why not head to Orlando, where the theme parks really go all out for Halloween? For a “mild” but majorly fun experience you can’t lose with “Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party” from Sept. 13-Nov. 1 on select nights. Each fall, guests are invited to dress in costume and trick-or-treat throughout the Magic Kingdom after the park shuts down. The boo-free bash includes Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade and the bewitching “Happy HallowWishes” fireworks spectacular. And the event wouldn’t be complete without a ride on the Haunted Mansion. Tickets range from $59.95-$62.95 for adults and $53.95-$57.95 for children ages 3-9. You can find information on discounted tickets at www.disneyworld.com or at 407-824-4321.


Another crowd pleaser for the younger set is SeaWorld Orlando’s “Halloween Spooktacular,” Oct. 1-30, on select dates. This underwater “fantasea” comes alive as youngsters trick-or-treat among friendly sea witches, octopuses, mermaids, pumpkin fish, and more. Children may dress up in costume and play with sea fairies, learn from a school of fish, or dance with an ice witch. Entrance to “Halloween Spooktacular” is included in regular SeaWorld admission, which is $81.99 for adults and $73.99 for children ages 3-9. Visit www.SeaWorldParks.com or call 888-800-5447.


If you want something a little scarier for the PG-13-and-up crowd, consider Universal’s “Halloween Horror Nights.” Celebrating “21 years of fear,” Universal Studios Florida is transformed into a frightening labyrinth of haunted houses, electrifying scare zones and outrageous live shows during select nights between Sept. 23-Oct. 31. Considered one of the world’s largest, most elaborate Halloween celebrations, Halloween Horror Nights pushes the limits of fear. Admission is $81.99 for general admission; visit www.halloweenhorrornights.com or call 407-363-8000.  


If you love Fall like I do but Halloween isn’t your thing, Orlando is jam-packed with other great Fall activities for foodies, sports fans and music lovers. Check out these hot happenings:


Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Sept. 30-Nov. 13

From the seasoned connoisseur to the knowledge-seeking amateur, this popular foodie event attracts a diverse audience to sip, sample and savor treasures from some of the world’s most famous wineries and celebrated chefs. Guests can boost their wine IQ at wine and beer seminars and polish their culinary skills at numerous demonstrations and tastings. The Festival is included in regular Epcot admission, which is $85 for adults and $79 for children ages 3-9. Visit the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Web page (http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/epcot/special-events/epcot-international-food-and-wine-festival/) or call 407-824-4321.


Orlando Calling

Nov. 12-13

This brand-new music festival features more than 80 bands on four stages playing everything from blues to hip-hop, from country to rock. Event headliners include blues legend Buddy Guy and Kid Rock along with KiD CuDi, The Roots, and more. The event is being billed as the biggest live music event of its kind in Florida, with up to 40,000 fans expected each day. Single-day tickets are $87.50 each for field access and $175 for VIP; 2-day tickets are $160 for field access and $295 for VIP. Visit www.OrlandoCalling.com or call 800-745-3000.


Florida Classic

Nov. 19

Catch this annual football rivalry game between Florida A&M University and Bethune-Cookman University—one of the largest historically black college and university football events in the country. Each year, the game attracts nearly 70,000 fans who pack Orlando’s Citrus Bowl Stadium just outside downtown Orlando—and many fans show up just for the highly anticipated halftime “Battle of the Bands.” The game is the culmination of a week of activities surrounding the Florida Classic. Visit www.floridaclassic.org or call 407-423-2476.


If you’ve got a Halloween or Fall getaway on your mind, a visit to Orlando is a surefire treat.

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