Words and Photos by Jaimz Dillman
The turn of the calendar from August to September calls the creeps out from their crypts and fans of all things spooky to Universal Studios Florida. Halloween Horror Nights 31 is now open select nights through October with this year’s slogan- Never Go Alone.
A throwback to vintage settings of the past seems to be the overall look and feel this round. From merchandise to rockabilly music blaring at the entrance, and even some scare zones and houses set in the 50s, you definitely get the sentiment that every day is Halloween.
Haunted mazes of original content and IPs have grown to 10 including houses with big names like The Weeknd (my personal fave) and Blumhouse. Classics come back for more in the form of Universal Monsters and Halloween - of John Carpenter fame. Another much-talked about and anticipated house is Bugs: Eaten Alive, giving many the creepy crawlies just thinking about it.
Speaking of houses, getting there is half the fun through 5 scare zones including 2 different areas of scary scarecrows, a graveyard come to life, witches calling forth the spirits, and sweets that have turned a town upside down.
Menus of limited-available foodstuffs are another big key to the success of HHN. Where else can you get a Chucky Burger, African lentil Coffin, and Lil’ Boo bun? Many more new vegetarian and gluten-free options appear on menus than have before as well. Top it all off with an Ecto Cooler or custom mixed drink like the Burning Skull (served in a flashing skull mug, of course) and you’ve got a meal to die for.
Two shows round out the lineup- starting at the lagoon with Ghoulish. Huge fountains dance in time to an amplified soundtrack along with lights, and projections on the surrounding buildings bringing the center of the park to life.
With a promise of being hotter and sexier than last year, Nightmare Fuel fires up the stage again, and boy does it deliver! A definite must-see for anyone wanting to increase their heart rate.
Without the plexiglass barriers and distancing of the past, Halloween Horror Nights is back bigger and better than ever. And we’re ready for it.
For more information about Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights and to purchase tickets, visit www.universalorlando.com/halloween.