|Halloween Fun at Walt Disney World|
1. Go batty. Imagine being face to (upside-down) face with giant fruit bats with six-foot wingspans. Enter -- carefully -- the rustic, open-air lair of bats on the Maharajah Jungle Trek at Disney's Animal Kingdom. photo by Theresa Johnston
2. In-your-face fright. Scurrying mice at your feet, a cat that morphs into a lion, a fang-bearing snake close enough to touch? It's all part of the 3-D illusion at Epcot's "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience," sending guests on an unforgettable film-and-special-effects adventure into a world of duplicators and shrinking machines at the Imagination Institute.
3. Going (heh, heh) down? Drop-ins are welcome at the Hollywood Tower Hotel; leaving with your sanity is the hard part. Legend holds that lightning struck the hotel on Halloween night in 1939. Disney-MGM Studios guests enter this frozen-in-time world of cobwebbed lobby furnishings and a dank, dusty boiler room. What awaits in the rusted service elevator is, well, a pulse-racing trip to the Twilight Zone. Hold on -- and wonder what fate befell hotel guests who vanished that stormy Halloween in 1939. photo courtesy of Walt Disney World
4. Creepy crawlers. Tarantulas, spiders and roaches are the stars of "It's Tough to be a Bug!" an animated 3-D adventure with special effects inside The Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The hilarious -- and sometimes terrifying -- film gives guests a bug's-eye view of the trials and tribulations of insects.
5. S-s-s-shark! Typhoon Lagoon water park guests don free snorkel gear and slip into Shark Reef where a sunken tanker is home to tropical fish and cruising nurse, leopard and bonnethead sharks. These are the passive variety. Landlubbing disbelievers can watch through portholes. photo courtesy of Walt Disney World
6. Witch way out? One of the most beloved fairy tales comes to life, in spooky detail, in Fantasyland's Snow White's Scary Adventures. Hearts pound as Magic Kingdom guests follow the chilling recreation from the haunting castle where the Evil Queen transforms herself into an old hag to the dense forest where she poisons Snow White to the gripping climax where the Dwarfs chase her off a mountainous cliff.
7. Dinosaur! Talk about chase scenes: picture 65 million years ago and YOU being stalked by a rampaging carnotaurus with dinner on his mind. That's just one of the dizzying thrills of DINOSAUR at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Guests in lurching, out-of-control time-travel vehicles dodge meteors as they come face-to-face with fierce, gigantic dinosaurs. photo courtesy of Walt Disney World
8. House boo-tiful. "Grim grinning" guests of the Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion will find ghouls and ghosts of every shape and size. Rumor has it there are 999 Happy Haunts in the mansion, but there's always room for one more. Any volunteers?
9. Eats, shrieks! What would Halloween be without candy and costumes? It's all here, with a Disney villains theme, at the Beverly Sunset shop at Disney-MGM Studios. Choose from villains snow globes, mouse pads, computer games, Cruella De Vil collectibles, Sorcerer Mickey items from clocks to key chains, pencil sketchings of Hades, Gaston, Ursula, etc., and candy galore. Kids (and kids at heart) can outfit themselves as Captain Hook (complete with hook), Jack from Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" or Malificent from "Sleeping Beauty."
10. Halloween hayride. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow inspires hayride thrills at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. Rides depart every 30 minutes across from Pioneer Hall. Be regaled by a storyteller and hold on for surprises aboard these 20-minute nighttime rides along Swamp Trail. You never know if a certain headless horseman is in the vicinity. Call for dates and prices.
11. Nightmare, anyone? Disney villains turn Mickey's dreams into nightmares in "Fantasmic!" an eye-filling nighttime spectacle at Disney-MGM Studios. A giant snake lights the night, a fire-breathing dragon lights the water and guests are fear-struck -- until good triumphs over evil and Mickey saves the day.
12. Villains on parade. Specially created for the ongoing 100 Years of Magic celebration, the Magic Kingdom's "Share a Dream Come True" parade features one float full of nasties you'll want to approach with caution. Disney's biggest and baddest villains ride together with their villainous leader, the Evil Queen from "Snow White" riding inside Chernabog's ("Fantasia") snow globe.
13. Think all aliens are cute and cuddly? Think again. The ones who greet guests at The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter are big, slimy and ultra-scary. What starts out as a simple demonstration of interstellar technology turns into a frightening display of science gone awry -- with Magic Kingdom guests going head-to-head with a runaway space creature of the menacing kind. (closing Oct. 11, 2004)
Central Florida Favorites