Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

New drive-thru Halloween experience coming to Orlando this fall

Posted By on Tue, Jul 28, 2020 at 12:37 PM

  • Image courtesy 'The Haunted Road'
At a time when most Halloween events are canceling on 2020 completely, a group of Central Florida creatives is hosting a drive-thru experience to scare the crap out of you — in the safety of your own car.

The "Haunted Road" bills itself as Orlando's first immersive, completely contactless drive-thru Halloween experience. They plan to tell an original, theatrical story through twisted creatures and "unexpected scares" in every drive-thru scene.

It's all about physical distancing and having fun, says the Haunted Road team, which will present some familiar characters in nightmarish new scenarios. One plot line follows the story of Rapunzel, "as she journeys into a world of disarray, faces bloodcurdling creatures, and hundreds of shocking scares."

There will be a family-friendly version of the event offered in the daytime and on select weekends. The daytime events will adapt the immersive scenes and storyline into a Halloween story for the whole family.

Unlike other super-fun-looking events promising to come to town this fall, like the "floating cinema" pitched by anonymous promoters to cities across the country, the Haunted Road boasts some talented local names behind the scares.
The team is led by executive producer and creative principal Jessica Mariko, who created the interactive "DRIP" experience on International Drive, which combined rock music and dance with audience participation for five successful years. Nick Graves, a writer, producer and director who worked with Walt Disney Entertainment for 23 years is also on the project team. He last worked as live entertainment director and associate producer for B Morrow Productions. That's the firm creative director Brian Morrow founded after leaving SeaWorld. The leadership also includes creative director Jeremy Crawford, who worked at Universal Orlando before starting his own conceptual-design business for theme park rides, attractions, and entertainment experiences.

Together, these award-winning creative minds have worked on globally-renowned shows and attractions, as well as Broadway marketing and theme park operations. That's some big-league local talent, presenting a completely new experience at a time when larger horror events like Orlando's Dark Horizon and Fantasm had to bow out entirely this year, with even Universal canceling Halloween Horror Nights last Friday, just days after ending virtual auditions for "scareactors" to perform in the park.

Here is where the Haunted Road has a clear advantage. They're hosting virtual auditions for cast members on Aug. 13-16, with applicants assured they'll be far enough away from screaming guests to avoid those truly terrifying saliva droplets. By not forcing talent and other employees to interact at close range with visitors, they might just draw many of the experienced frightmeisters from down the interstate.

"With the arts and entertainment industry at a standstill, and an increasing need to find new, safe outdoor entertainment, we knew it was the perfect time to develop a unique Halloween experience so everyone can enjoy a dose of horror this upcoming Halloween season, from the comfort of their car," said Mariko.

Admission will start at $15 per person. The firm dates have not yet been set, but organizers tell us it will run from the end of September through the end of October. You can sign up to receive updates on their event website. You can also follow their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds for more.

The Haunted Road will launch a Kickstarter campaign in the coming days, allowing supporters to secure tickets in advance, and to access to a virtual version for out of town donors. Besides auditions, they are also seeking volunteers to make it all work.

Please follow CDC guidelines and Orange County advisories to stay safe, and please support this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you news on how coronavirus is affecting Central Florida. Please consider making a one-time or monthly donation. Every little bit helps.

Tags: , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 19, 2022

View more issues


© 2022 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation