Fall in Orlando brings fun and new exciting things! Pumpkin Spice everything, cooler weather, less crowds in the parks, and HALLOWEEN! Multiple parks are gearing up for Halloween festivities including Tampa Bay’s Largest family Halloween event, ZooBoo! ZooBoo at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is in its 16th year and will feature hair-raising haunts, seasonal displays, lights, music, speciality merchandise, night rides, and inflatables for the kids! Advance tickets are on sale online (only) for the thrills, chills and family frights starting September 26-27 with Shriek Peek Preview Weekend*, a discounted soft opening.
New this year, get goosebumps exploring turn-of-the-century England in “London Frightmare,” the latest haunt inspired by the city’s notorious sites and supernatural legends.
The haunts at ZooBoo are designed to provide a startling experience for those who choose to participate without depicting violence or gore. Extensive decorations, animatronics, lights, sound effects, and costumed character actors (inside haunts), scare up a good time.
A “skull” rating system of one to seven is assigned to each attraction to indicate the scare factor. Seven is the most intense, intended for mature audiences.
- NEW! London Frightmare (7 skulls): Join us in our frightmare and become part of London’s horrifying history. Travel back in time to an age of adventure and suspense. Uncover the dark secrets that lie within and beneath the streets of the most frighteningly haunted city in England.
- French Quarter Phantoms 3D (3 skulls): Haunted by phantoms and the city’s notorious past, New Orleans has been called “the most haunted city in America.” Explore the secret and sinister side of the Big Easy and discover where spirits still dwell.
- Wake the Dead (6 skulls): Ghost hosts warn of the perils to come in this alarming attraction where the residents refuse to rest in peace. Venture into the graveyard darkness with the un-dead. Zombies and giant ghostly apparitions do their best to keep you as one of their permanent residents.
- Tangled Terror (7 skulls): A hybridization experiment with carnivorous plants fails. The subject plants all die…but come back to life! Ravenous, they begin their terrifying hunt for food. But only one thing will devour their undying hunger…revenge on their mad scientist creators. Don’t get tangled up in their path or you might become dinner.
- Pharaoh’s Tomb of Revenge (6 skulls): Far from the burial ground discovered in an Egyptian desert, a tomb full of findings, purchased and relocated by an eccentric tycoon, is being reassembled for display by all. Everything seems well, until unsettled spirits attached to the artifacts come alive and unleash the curse of the Pharaoh.
- Little Beasties Bungalow: Walk into a world of dazzling lights and friendly Halloween scenes, smiling monsters and not-so-scary characters.
- Spooky Fun Fair: A frightfully fun inflatables area with bounces and games of skill like Monster Basketball, Pumpkin Pitch and more.
- Fun and Free Rides: Shake, rattle and roll for free! Take a spin on our one of the Zoo’s wild rides, re-named for the occasion: Batty Bumper Boats, Pumpkin Patch Express (kiddie train), Roarin’ Roller-Ghoster (family coaster), Flyin’ Boo-nanas (kiddie flying bananas ride), Flume of Fear (water flume ride), and Scary-Go-Round (carousel).
While most Zoo animals are not available for viewing during nighttime events like ZooBoo, guests can encounter a few special “spooky” species.
- Flying Fox / Bat House: Fly by the Zoo’s Bat House, featuring a group of “Flying Fox,” the largest bats in the world.
- Stingray Bay: Glide by our touch pool where you can feel, feed and get splashed by slippery stingrays moving like ghosts through the water.
The Zoo’s signature family Halloween event takes place September 26-27 (Shriek Peek Preview Weekend) and continues October 3-4, 10-12, 17-19, 23-26, 30-31 and November 1. Gates open at 7 p.m. on all event nights. Due to outdoor settings, numerous haunts do not open until dusk.
Children (ages 11 and under) are invited to arrive in their most spooktacular attire. Toy weapons of any sort will not be permitted. For the comfort and safety of all guests, adults (ages 12 and older) are prohibited from wearing masks, wigs, face paint or costumes of any kind.
Shriek Peek Preview Weekend* is a soft opening for haunt operations and event adjustments. Admission is reduced to $12 per person (ages 3 & up) or $10 for Annual Zoo Pass holders (ages 3 & up). ZooBoo attractions may experience technical difficulties or be closed without notice. Refunds and rain checks not issued during Shriek Peek Preview Weekend.
General admission prices for all other nights is $18 for adults, $14 for children (ages 3-11), and free for children age 2 and under. Annual Zoo Pass holders receive discounted admission with valid membership card presented at ticketing. Parking is free. Purchase tickets online at www.LowryParkZoo.org/ZooBoo. Find ZooBoo on Facebook.
The Zoo gratefully acknowledges presenting sponsor floridacentral Credit Union as well as additional sponsors who make this event possible: Bright House Networks, Edy’s, Lindsay Olives, MetroPCS and Winn-Dixie. Event proceeds benefit animal care, education programs and global conservation initiatives at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, a private nonprofit organization.
Zoo School Halloween Happenings
The Zoo School at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is also getting into the Halloween spirit with spooktacular seasonal programs: a ZooBoo Family Sleepover is scheduled for Saturday, October 11; and Halloween-themed birthday parties with ZooBoo admission are available from 5:30-7 p.m. on select ZooBoo nights; Registration for education programs is required no less than one week in advance, and is available online. Space is limited.