Halloween is just around the corner and SeaWorld promises to make this year the most frightening one yet! SeaWorld San Diego Halloween events include Spooktacular and 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

SeaWorld Halloween character and little girl pulling scary faces
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 15 – October 29.

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

SeaWorld San Diego offers a great family-friendly option for trick or treating in 2023. You can follow the park’s popular Candy Trail, where enchanting Halloween mermaids lead the way, 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).

Little girl dressed as Batgirl trick or treating at SeaWorld Halloween event

Pumpkin Hunt

The Spooktacular will also host a Pumpkin Hunt. Guests can purchase a special map at the park’s store that allows you to search for SeaWorld animal-themed pumpkins. The map can then be exchanged 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. A fun option for the whole family to show off your best freeze dance and limbo moves.


The all-new O.P. Otter’s Spooktacular Surprise debuts this year, with the song and dance show playing multiple times per day at the park’s Mission Bay Theater.

hay maze

The park’s festive Hay Maze features fun fall characters for a fun, family-friendly experience.

dia de los muertos

Spooktacular celebrates this Mexican holiday, which runs from November 3rd to 5th. Traditional Catrina statues welcome guests who would like to give offerings of traditional flowers and mementos to loved ones who have passed. Traditional food options for the holiday are also available for purchase in the park.

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, 2023!

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. You’ll need to purchase admission if you don’t have either of these passes.

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. Mingle with creepy and sinister characters throughout the park as you enjoy themed rides and bars, live entertainment, and DJ dance parties.

This year, Howl-O-Scream has added 5 new Haunted Houses, 5 new Scare Zones and 5 new Horrific Haunts to the creepy fun.  

  • Howl-O-Scream happens on select nights between September 29 – October 31, starting at 7:00 p.m. You may enter the park starting at 6:00 p.m.

You’ll Need a Separate Ticket

Tickets are priced separately from your regular admission and currently start at $39.99. 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 of 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.

Bonus: The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular at Sesame Place

Sesame Place Halloween front gate showing Big Bird in costume

Sister SeaWorld San Diego theme park, Sesame Place San Diego, celebrates Halloween with the popular Count von Count character and his Sesame Street friends.

There’s a pumpkin patch, trick-or-treat stations throughout the park, and tons of fun activities. The park’s water attractions are open through October 29, so you can enjoy it all in one go!

  • The Count’s Spooktacular runs on weekends from September 16 through October 29.

halloween parade & costume party

Festive floats feature in the huge Halloween block party, which also includes music, dancing and performances by favorite Sesame Street characters. Beginning September 30th, families can also meet in Abby’s garden for a fun costume parade throughout the park. A Halloween Costume Contest will be held on October 28 and 29, with prizes for both Children and Family categories.

A woman dressed in a pumpkin costume dancing at San Diego Seaworld Halloween event

halloween treats with count von count

Guests can pay for this upgrade option, which includes sweet treats, Halloween crafts, and a photo op with the Count.

scavenger hunts

The whole family can enjoy two different scavenger hunts around the Sesame Street Neighborhood – the Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt and the Spot-The-Ghost Scavenger Hunt. Pick up a map/activity sheet for either or both options and exchange them for a special Halloween prize once completed.

See also: How to Buy Discount Sesame Place Tickets

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?