At Walt Disney World, for example, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party begins on September 5, with the cast of characters donning vaguely menacing outfits designed to reflect the holiday without giving the wee ones nightmares. The Illinois Bureau of Tourism goes one further, deeming the two-month period a "fifth season" that they call Fall-O-Ween.
North Carolina's Outer Banks region, meanwhile, uses the Halloween halo to highlight its reputation as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic" and encourage people to check out its haunted houses and pirate museums. And if you need a beverage to get into the Halloween spirit when it's still 85 degrees outside, drop by the Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland, Ohio for a pint of Nosferatu, a red ale with a serious alcohol kick.
If the marketing gurus think this is the best way to wring extra revenue out of a traditionally slow period for travel, then more power to them. We would advise them, however, not to overlook Oktoberfest, which, as far as we're concerned, should last the whole year round.