It’s only July, but believe it or not, now is the time to start thinking about your Halloween plans if you are heading to Orlando for a fall vacation. Whether you enjoy Halloween or not, the local theme park events will impact your trip — and not just on October 31. Halloween events here run a full month, so if you are planning an Orlando vacation for September or October, you need to be in the know about the local Halloween festivities.

Giant pumpkin

Cheerful Jack-O-Lanterns adorn the Magic Kingdom for the Halloween party.

Big Theme Park Halloween Events: Disney, Universal and Sea World all offer Halloween events that range from the not at all spooky (Sea World) to the absoultely frightening and not for kids (Universal). Each party is very different and may or may not suit your needs. Research any event you plan on attending in advance, but here’s a quick rundown for planning purposes:

Disney World: Disney offers the family friendly Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in the Magic Kingdom theme park in both September and October — and occasionally into November as well. You’ll pay a separate fee of about $60 per person to attend — this fee is above the normal park admission price. You’ll get fun dance parties, trick or treating, great fireworks, character greetings and one of the best parades Disney puts on all year.

Universal Orlando: Halloween Horror Nights is offered select nights in September and October, and is a separately ticketed event. One night will set you back about $50, but you can buy a multi night ticket and save. This event is amazing but is not for kids or young teens, due to the scary haunted houses, fright zones, performers and shows.

Sea World: Sea World puts on a little kid friendly, daytime Halloween celebration each year. While this event is no where near as elaborate as the events put on by Disney and Universal, it is free with your park admission, and not at all scary, so put this one on your list if you want family friendly Halloween fun that won’t cost you anything extra.

What to do now for your Halloween trip:

If you’re heading to the parks, buy your party tickets for your preferred nights as soon as they become available, they will sell out. If you are not attending a Halloween party, but will be in Orlando when these events happen, don’t plan on visiting the Magic Kingdom or Universal Orlando on party nights, you won’t be able to get in.