Looking to scare up some Halloween fun in the Central Florida area? Sure, you can enjoy Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights or Busch Garden’s Howl-O-Scream, but for less than a sawed-off arm and leg, you can scream to your heart’s content at A Petrified Forest, just north of Orlando.
Set in a woodsy area among bustling traffic, shopping and nightlife, A Petrified Forest has created a scare trail to rival any of the big guys. More than 65 live, garishly creepy characters are guaranteed to get your blood pumping throughout your adventure, and the detailed set designs, scenes and layouts are just as impressive. Thrill seekers are sent through the scare trail in small groups of six or fewer to enhance the intensity of the experience, which I have to say, is very effective.
Gates open at 7:30 p.m., and lines can get very long, but have no fear – there are various live musical acts to entertain you during your…anticipation. Food and beverage vendors are on site, so bring the whole family, but be warned: the scare trail is not recommended for ages 12 and under, although allowed at the parents’ discretion and responsibility. The park officially closes at 11 p.m. but will stay open until the last group completes the trail. There is also an adjacent laser tag field, chock full of many scare tactics of its own, which I found to be an extra-spooky and fun addition to the park.
A Petrified Forest is open most Thursdays-Sundays during October, with Halloween being the last night until the following year. 2011 was its fourth year of operation, so if you missed it, be sure to catch it next year, as every year it gets bigger, better and scarier!
Admission cost is $15 per body. Laser tag is an extra $5 each. Parking is free.
Location: 1360 E. Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701