Saturday, September 19 was the first day of SeaWorld Spooktacular at SeaWorld Orlando, and I was there to check it out. This is a fun alternative to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, and since that was canceled I have a feeling that SeaWorld Spooktacular is going to be more popular than ever this year.
There are fun extras, such as a maze and a pumpkin-fish patch. The main attraction, though, is the Trick or Treat Trail. Kids 12 and under head to different stations to get free candy. This is being handled very well.
At each station a team member stands behind plexiglass. There is a chute, and he or she drops the candy down (with gloved hands) into the bag. The kids will then move to the next station. Each station is marked with the type of candy, and some are more popular than others.
Another extra for the event is special characters. They are still out, and there were barriers in front of them to allow for social distancing. I did see a couple of kids get too close, but for the most part it was done well.
What was not done well was getting into the park. SeaWorld has let a lot of people go due to the closures and limited attendance, and it showed in the parking lot. After I parked it took 35 minutes to get to the Temperature Check tent! I haven’t seen a line that long since before the closures.
Most people were trying to social distance, but the gaps were more like three feet between groups than the recommended six. In less than 60 seconds I counted 20 people who were not even close to wearing their masks correctly. This is not a case of “if you don’t feel safe, stay home”. It is instead a case of people blatantly disregarding the rules and the safety of those around them. Since SeaWorld is understaffed, there was no one to enforce the policy. There were also plenty of people trying to cut in line. If they plan to continue events like this, they need to make sure that they are better staffed.
If you’re thinking about heading to SeaWorld Spooktacular, here’s what you need to know. It runs on Saturdays and Sundays, through November 1. It is included in park admission. The hours for the event itself are 11:00-7:00, so it does not run the full time that the park is open. You need to purchase a SeaWorld Trick or Treat Bag in order to get the candy, but they are only $2.49 each. Kids 12 and under can wear costumes that follow the park’s guidelines. And arrive early, in case it takes forever to get through Temperature Check.