The two most popular theme park operators approach their Halloween events quite differently.
Universal, known for attractions featuring King Kong, Harry Potter’s creepy archenemy, Voldemort, and the flesh-eating zombies from “The Walking Dead,” offers the PG-13-ish Halloween Horror Nights. The separate-admission events at its Orlando and Hollywood parks feature haunted houses filled with blood, gore, jump scares, and plenty of other things that are the stuff of nightmares.
As you might expect, the home of Mickey Mouse, princesses, and talking toys counters with toned-down parades, shows, and other lighthearted fun. Things do get a little weird when characters from offbeat auteur Tim Burton get involved. But the Halloween offerings at Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida are generally as innocuous as the chirpy “it’s a small world” dolls.
Read more about the 2019 Halloween events at the Universal and Disney parks in my USA Today article.