Halloween is just around the corner and SeaWorld promises to make this year the most frightening one yet! SeaWorld San Diego Halloween events include the all-new Howl-O-Scream, an “intense horror-filled haunt” that will be the nighttime version of the family-friendly Spooktacular offered during daylight hours.

I’ll tell you about both.

  • Reservations are not required to enter SeaWorld San Diego.

Family-Friendly SeaWorld Spooktacular

A little girl in a witch costume wearing a mask views a dolphin through glass at SeaWorld San Diego Spooktacular
Photo courtesy of SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego is offering its ever-popular Halloween Spooktacular with family-friendly activities and excitement that are guaranteed to bring lots of fun for guests of all ages.

  • SeaWorld San Diego Spooktacular dates include Saturdays and Sundays from September 18 – October 31.

Costume Party

Show off your Halloween costumes when you take part in the Spooktacular Costume Party. If you are age 13 and older, leave the masks and hoods at home. Face paint for any age can only be done by SeaWorld artists.

Safe Trick-or-Treating

If your kids are understandably wondering how and where to go trick-or-treating in 2021, SeaWorld San Diego is one answer. They’ll be able to follow the colorful Spooktacular Trick-or-Treat Trail to collect candy and other assorted treats.

Reusable bags will be available for purchase at the entrance of the ocean-themed candy trail (and is required).

Pumpkin Hunt

The Spooktacular will also host a Pumpkin Hunt. Guests will be able to purchase a special map that allows you to search for SeaWorld animal-themed pumpkins for an exclusive Halloween prize.

Halloween Dance Party

Kids can join some costumed silly characters for a Halloween Dance Party set to family-friendly music along the Trick-or-Treat Trail.

Fall-Inspired Menus

A highlight of any seasonal theme park event is, no doubt, the food. Guests will be able to enjoy sweet treats like candy corn, cotton candy, pumpkin cheesecake, and more.


You’ll want to think about how much you’ll eat during your visit because that may determine which ticket or ticket upgrades you buy. You can buy tickets with all-day dining.

Kids Ages 3–9 Are Free

Thanks to our annual Kids Free San Diego event in October, one child ages 3–9 enters free with an adult holding a paid, full-price ticket. This is a substantial savings and is valid now through October 31, 2021!

You will need to purchase a qualifying adult ticket, which you can do through SeaWorld San Diego or my discount ticket site. At that time, you’ll also add a free child’s ticket to your cart. (Note: Sightseeing passes like Go San Diego Card do not qualify for Kids Free promotions.)

Annual Pass Members and Fun Card Holders Are Free

Annual Pass Members and Fun Card holders receive free admission to Spooktacular. If you don’t have either of these passes, you’ll need to purchase admission.

You can also read my advice on buying discount SeaWorld San Diego tickets that I keep up-to-date year-round.

SeaWorld San Diego’s Howl-O-Scream

But beware, once the sun goes down. SeaWorld San Diego Halloween fun transforms into a terrifying playland, intended for mature audiences.

There are a number of special elements that will be introduced this year with the all-new Howl-O-Scream event. 

  • Howl-O-Scream happens on select nights between September 17 – October 31, starting at 7:00 p.m. You may enter the park starting at 5:00 p.m.

You’ll Need a Separate Ticket

Tickets are priced separately from your regular admission and currently start at $44.99. You can buy Howl-O-Scream tickets through SeaWorld or my discount ticket site.

Annual Pass Holders and Fun Card holders can buy discounted Howl-O-Scream tickets through their membership portal.


You can buy front of the line upgrades to the haunted houses and select rides. Or, opt for a VIP tour guide.

Haunted Houses

Follow dark passageways around dimly lit corners as you explore three SeaWorld’s Howl-O-Scream haunted houses. They are sure to make even the bravest guest shriek with fright. 

Haunted House themes include Nightmare Experiment, Death Water Bayou, and Simon’s Slaughterhouse.

Scare Zones and Roaming Haunts

Scares are everywhere when you take part in Howl-O-Scream. There is no place to hide, as you walk through the park after dark. You will be fully immersed in the terror.

Stay alert and prepared for anything to jump out, or creepily lurk amongst the shadows. Remember not only should you beware of what’s up ahead, but also what may creep up behind you throughout six Scare Zones and 4 Roaming Haunts.

Frightful Shows

Howl-O-Scream will also provide the excitement of a less-terrifying variety with their indoor musical dance show. There will also be outdoor shows with fantastically frightful special effects.

There will be DJs and party zones with dance breaks between scares, to offer some levity and balance. You can’t be scared ALL the time!

Monster Coasters in the Dark and Haunting Experiences

Guests are invited to ride their favorite attractions in the dark for an ultimate thrill.

As if the thrill rides offered at SeaWorld weren’t adrenaline-inducing enough, imagine riding them in complete darkness.

Once you have had your fill of action, you may want to quench your thirst with Howl-O-Scream’s creepy cocktails and restless spirits at one of several uniquely themed haunted bars.

SeaWorld San Diego Halloween events are fun for everyone, of all ages, and fright levels. You have the opportunity to select whichever best suits your level of excitement; daylight’s Spooktacular or Howl-O-Scream in the dark of night.

Katie Dillon headshot

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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  1. Is the Dine + drink add on a physical lanyard that gets punched when you redeem an item like previous seaworld food fairs?