Happy Frights Haunting Nights Leu Gardens Dragons - image by Dani Meyering

You're going to love this Halloween date idea – because we sure do! Are you ready to embrace the spooky season and indulge in Halloween fun like never before? The “Happy Frights Haunting Nights” event, presented by Massey Services and brought to life by Creative City Project and Memoir Agency, is a must-do!  We visited a media preview for this Halloween event at Leu Gardens, and we returned on opening weekend. To help you make the most of your visit, here are five essential things to know before you head to this spine-tingling event.

Happy Frights and Haunting Nights at Leu Gardens

1. Two Adventures, Two Different Events

Happening from Friday, September 29th to October 31st, 2023 on select nights, “Happy Frights Haunting Nights” offers two distinct Halloween adventures to choose from:

Happy Frights

This family-friendly option is perfect for all ages. It features immersive worlds, live characters, and even 8 trick-or-treat stations along the way. You can expect to meet a dancing bridge-troll, explore a neon-light maze, and experience much more Halloween magic. (best for ages 12 and under).

Happy Frights is a great way to introduce your kids to some of the elements of Halloween they may not have encountered before. Ned's Neon Maze for example is a safe wooden maze and a great way to introduce the concept of weaving through a maze during fall festivals and Halloween events. This maze is pretty easy to navigate, and during the early evening, it is very kid-friendly.

Trick or Treating for Kids

“Happy Frights” is perfect for families with kids, as it features 8 trick-or-treat stations along the way. Kids can enjoy collecting Halloween treats as they explore the immersive worlds. You can either bring along your own treat container or bag, or use the bags provided at the first station inside the welcome center.

Haunting Nights

For those seeking an elevated, artful, and slightly more thrilling experience, Haunting Nights is recommended for guests aged 13 and up. Encounter spooky characters, navigate a forest of eyes, and immerse yourself in the world of Dia de Muertos. Expect a few spooky moments, but nothing gory or dramatic like other haunted attractions. There are breaks and moments of rest in between the scares, and nothing is over the top.

Tickets are sold separately for these two events. The venue and the settings of each immersive world throughout Leu Gardens are the same for the two events. But some of the effects, characters, and other elements become more haunting during the later evening for Haunting Nights.

Apparition Alley at Haunting Nights Leu Gardens with purple lighting and haunted decorations
Apparition Alley at Haunting Nights Leu Gardens – image by Dani Meyering


Although it is all outdoors, you could consider Haunting Nights as one of the few Orlando haunted houses for kids.

2. A Vast Outdoor Venue

Prepare to be enchanted by the expansive outdoor setting of Harry P. Leu Gardens. This botanical garden spans nearly 50 acres –  so be prepared for lots of walking. Whether you've been to Leu Gardens before or this is your first time, this unique Halloween experience is such a treat because of the natural and beautiful environment.

Keep in mind that there will be plenty of walking involved as you explore the gardens' transformed Halloween wonderland.

Happy Frights Haunting Nights Leu Gardens Ned's Neon Maze with blacklights
Happy Frights Haunting Nights Leu Gardens Ned's Neon Maze – image by Dani Meyering


Each Halloween display area is thoughtfully spread apart from one another, creating a sense of adventure as you move from one immersive world to the next. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and plan for a stroll through the gardens as you discover the magic around every corner.

There are signs to direct you, but because Leu Gardens is such a large outdoor space, you may find yourself momentarily bewildered. Don't be afraid to ask a staff member for assistance.

Happy Frights Haunting Nights Leu Gardens Jack O Lanterns near sidewalk
Happy Frights Haunting Nights Leu Gardens Jack O Lanterns – image by Dani Meyering


You may want to bring along rain gear or umbrellas just in case. Finally, there are restrooms in the welcome center when you arrive. I suggest you use these restrooms before you head into the event, plus there is a water bottle refill station here. Once inside the event, the restrooms are smaller and harder to find.

3. Food and Beverages

Before you enter the event, be sure to satisfy your cravings at the food and soft drink stand. Casual eats like popcorn and cotton candy are fun indulgences for snacks. For something heartier and more satisfying there are pretzel dogs, chicken fingers, and covered tater tots. Wash it down with fresh lemonade, water, or soda.

a few guests wait to order at Happy Frights Haunting Nights Leu Gardens Food Booth
Happy Frights Haunting Nights Leu Gardens Food Booth – image by Dani Meyering


If you're in the mood for something a bit stronger, there's also a beer and wine booth available. Once inside the event, you'll find a handful of smaller booths for snacks and refreshments. It's a good idea to grab your favorite snacks and drinks before you embark on your Halloween adventure, so you can enjoy them as you explore the immersive worlds.

Note – you may not bring outside food and beverages to Happy Frights or Haunting Nights.

4. Tickets and Costume Guidelines

Tickets for both “Happy Frights” and “Haunting Nights” can be purchased online. General admission tickets cost $25 plus fees, and children 2 years and under get in for free. If you plan to park on-site, you'll need to purchase an on-site parking pass for $15 plus fees.

When you purchase your tickets you will select an entry time. This is to help spread out crowds and try to keep the flow of guests moving through Leu Gardens at a steady pace. Arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled start time.

Attendees in costume must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Costumes must be family-friendly and may not be obstructive, offensive, objectionable, or violent
  • Costume masks are NOT permitted
  • Costumes should not drag on the ground
  • Costumes should not contain sharp objects, pointed objects, or materials that may accidentally strike another guest
  • Props and other handheld items are not permitted
  • No weapons or items that resemble, can be used as, or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon are permitted (No swords, firearms, projectiles, or arrows will be allowed)

Happy Frights Haunting Nights Characters include a pirate, a dia muertos skeleton, and a troll
Happy Frights Haunting Nights Characters – image by Dani Meyering

5. Parking Information

On-site parking is available for those who purchase an on-site parking pass for $15 plus fees. I have attended multiple special events at Leu Gardens over the years and I do feel the on-site parking is worth it to save some time. However, there can still be a bit of a walk from your car to the actual event entrance.

However, if you choose not to park on-site, free off-site parking is available at Audubon Park K-8 School (1500 Falcon Dr, Orlando, FL 32803).
Complimentary shuttle service will transport you to and from Leu Gardens.

Arrive early to ensure enough travel time from the off-site parking area to Leu Gardens for your Happy Frights or Haunting Nights entry time.

two adults enter Happy Frights Haunting Nights Leu Gardens Jack O Lantern Jaunt
Happy Frights Haunting Nights Leu Gardens Jack O Lantern Jaunt – image by Dani Meyering


“Happy Frights Haunting Nights” promises to be a highlight of the Halloween season in Orlando. Whether you're seeking family-friendly fun or an artful, thrilling adventure, this event is a fun addition to the city.

Happy Frights and Haunting Nights
Leu Gardens
1920 N Forest Ave, Orlando, FL 32803