It’s that time of the year when thrill-seekers, horror aficionados, and fans of all things spooky gather to celebrate the spine-chilling festivities at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Orlando. My recent escapade into this world of eerie delights left me with hair-raising stories and unforgettable memories. Join me as I recount the highlights of this heart-pounding adventure!
Arrival and Dinner Delights
My journey into the realm of horror began just before 4 pm when I arrived at Universal Studios Orlando. With the speed and efficiency of a seasoned traveler, the security check took only about 10 minutes, and I was soon making my way to CityWalk. The atmosphere was electric with anticipation, and I couldn’t wait to dive into the night’s adventures.
For dinner, we decided to indulge at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., and the experience was nothing short of fantastic. No reservations were necessary, and within a mere 5 minutes, our table was ready. The waitstaff, with their charming cues like “Run, Forest, Run” or “Stop, Forest, Stop,” was exceptional. We dug into a mouthwatering bowl of gumbo that left us craving for more.
Exploring the World of Horror
Following a satisfying meal, we explored the merchandise stands at Halloween Horror Nights, uncovering a treasure trove of eerie delights. From ghoulish apparel to collectible memorabilia, there was something to satiate every horror enthusiast’s desires.
Our excitement was building, and we couldn’t wait to step into the darkness. We joined the queue at 5 pm, and being about 10 people back, we knew we were in for a manageable wait. Although the gates were rumored to open at 6 pm, it was closer to 6:15 pm for our group. We missed the opening show due to our height, but the spine-tingling sounds were enough to get our hearts racing. As we ventured deeper, we were met by chainsaws and eerie characters in the first scare zone, Dr. Oddfellows’ Collection of Horrors.
Bloodmoon Dark Offerings was our first stop, with a posted wait time of 20 minutes, but in reality, we only waited about 10. The house was a masterclass in scares, offering a perfect blend of jump scares, intricate set designs, and a relentless sense of dread.
Venturing into Iconic Horror
No visit to Halloween Horror Nights would be complete without exploring the Stranger Things house, even if the wait exceeded the posted time. With a wait time listed at 50 minutes that stretched to about 75, it was undoubtedly worth every spine-tingling second. The attention to detail, character portrayal, and thematic immersion were astonishing. The scares, too, were beyond thrilling, making it a must-see attraction.
To keep our energy levels up, we grabbed souvenir drink cups with free refills and then made our way across the park to Darkest Deal. By keeping a close eye on wait times, we navigated the park efficiently, except for the mad rush to Stranger Things. With a posted wait time of 50 minutes that had just dropped from 70, we waited for approximately 45 minutes. Darkest Deal was another phenomenal haunted house, boasting intricate theming and attention to detail that left us in awe.
Journey Through Scares
As we made our way to Darkest Deal, we stumbled upon our second scare zone, Jungle of Doom: Expedition Horror. These unscripted zones provided exhilarating scares, adding an extra layer of suspense to the night.
The Last of Us, though high on our list, came with a daunting wait time of 125 minutes. Not willing to wait that long, we ventured to Diagon Alley, which offered a dark and spooky ambiance that fit the night’s theme perfectly. We explored the shops and had the perfect timing to experience the Death Eaters Encounter. It was truly captivating, with these spooky figures lurking and surprising us as they roamed around.
Capping off the Night
Our night reached its climax with a visit to Universal Monsters Unmasked, which turned out to be our favorite house of the night. While the posted wait time was 45 minutes, we ended up waiting just about 5 minutes – a delightful surprise! This house was exceptionally terrifying and delivered on its promise of spine-tingling scares.
As the wait times remained high and seemingly unyielding, we retraced our steps toward the front of the park, passing through the next scare zone, Dark Zodiac. Once again, the theming and unexpected scares were a delightful surprise.
We then headed to our favorite scare zone, Vamp ’69: Summer of Blood. The theming was spot on, and we were treated to some hair-raising scares.
A Spooky Conclusion
Our Halloween Horror Nights adventure concluded around 11 pm. Given our travel plans and a pesky back issue, we called it an early night, but it was packed with excitement and unforgettable moments. We thoroughly enjoyed the event and found it to be spooky, fun, and perfect for our horror-loving hearts.
For next year, we plan to make some adjustments. We’ll plan earlier, booking as soon as the event is announced, and we’ll consider a Scream Pass, the Express Pass for HHN, or even the RIP experience. We’ll also choose a different day, so we’re well-rested and ready for maximum scares.
In the end, Halloween Horror Nights is a frightful celebration that’s worth every penny, and we can’t wait to do it all over again next year!