Halloween Horror Nights
Where the nightmares never end!
It’s scream season at Florida’s Universal Orlando where clowns with chainsaws, the infamous Overlook Hotel and all things that go bump in the night come together for this year’s Halloween Horror Nights.
The 27th edition of Halloween Horror Nights runs on select nights through Nov. 4 and is highlighted by more event nights and terrifying frights than ever before.
Touted as the US’s premier Halloween event, Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) is extremely popular, and agents with clients looking for a fright are advised to book early.
HHN has come a long way since opening in 1991 with one haunted house. Dubbed “The Festival of the Deadliest,” this year’s version features nine haunted houses/mazes, five scare zones and two live shows.
At a Sept. 15 grand opening event, Universal officials said ttheir thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by recent hurricanes, and earthquakes and noted that Halloween Horror Nights is an opportunity to give guests an escape… “if only for a few minutes on a sound stage.”
“There’s something for everyone. You’ll come away with something either very entertaining or very terrifying [or both].”
And once within the confines of Universal Studios, there’s no escaping the horrors.
“Nowhere is safe, except the bathrooms,” said one official. “We have no legal rights there – yet!”
For the brave, the horrors come to life in nine disturbingly-real haunted houses based on some of the most horrifying legends in pop culture.
- American Horror Story: Feel the wrath of the disturbing “Raspers” and infamous serial killer Bloody Face from Asylum, fearsome Salem witches and their bloody rivalry within Coven, and the ghosts of the blood moon in Roanoke from FX’s groundbreaking anthology “American Horror Story.”
- The Shining: Succumb to the overwhelming “shine” and the murderous ghosts inhabiting the eerie Overlook Hotel from Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining.”
- SAW: The Games of Jigsaw: Fight to survive “Jigsaw’s” scariest game yet, featuring infamous traps from the legendary film series and the upcoming eighth instalment JIGSAW, inside “SAW: The Games of Jigsaw.”
- Ash vs Evil Dead: Fend off demonic Deadites alongside Ash Williams and his trusty chainsaw from the STARZ Original Series “Ash vs Evil Dead.”
- The Horrors of Blumhouse: Attempt to escape the clutches of the menacing demon Bughuul from the Sinister franchise; a gang of bloodthirsty home invaders from the inaugural instalment of The Purge; and Insidious’ paralyzing Lipstick-Face Demon along with the hauntings from Dr. Rainier’s nightmarish childhood in “The Horrors of Blumhouse.”
- Guests can also step inside the twisted minds and terrors of four haunted houses based on original stories – Dead Waters, enter a pestilent swamp that oozes evil, the hellish realm of the Voodoo Queen; The Fallen, get caught in the crossfire of the eternal war of light versus dark; Scarecrow: The Reaping, at a long-abandoned depression-era farm, vengeance takes root; The Hive, the crumbling house on 19 Hemingway Lane harbours a nest of bloodthirsty vampires. Try not to wake them!
And there’s even more horror lurking in the streets of Universal Studios Florida with five unique “scare zones,” two of which are based on two celebrated horror films Trick ‘r Treat and The Purge – as well as three original concepts.
HHN also features two live shows. Academy of Villains returns for a second consecutive year with an all-new show, Academy of Villains: Afterlife – incorporating fearsome elements from this year’s Festival of the Deadliest “scare zone.”
Plus, Bill and Ted fans take note, the excellent adventure is coming to an end. After 26 years of Excellent Halloween Adventures, pop icons Bill and Ted bring their “Farewell Tour” to Halloween Horror Nights, where they review this year’s most outrageous moments.
Note: Halloween Horror Nights is a separately ticketed event and will not get guests into the theme parks during regular hours. A variety of tickets/passes are available. To maximize the experience, agents might suggest that their clients purchase an Express Pass, providing shorter wait times.
HHN dates are as follows: Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, 30, 31, Nov. 3, 4 (6:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.); and Sept. 29, 30, Oct. 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29 (6:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.).
Planning the perfect Halloween getawayweekend
Where to stay: Loews Sapphire Falls Resort – Reminiscent of a leisurely estate in the heart of the tropics, Universal Orlando’s newest resort caters to every comfort. Guests can unwind in the lusciously landscaped resort-style pool or enjoy a Caribbean-inspired meal with a scenic view.
Where to grab drinks: Strong Water Tavern (Loews Sapphire Falls Resort) – Step into a nautical retreat that marries old-world elegance and contemporary fare. A wall of rums (including rare and vintage), complete with your own rum specialist, is situated next to the ceviche bar. Outside, guests can relax on the patio featuring a large outdoor fire pit with waterfall and lagoon views. The menu features tapas-style dining options.
Where to enjoy a night out: Universal’s CityWalk – This is the hub for entertainment (movies, clubs, concerts) dining and shopping. The 30-acre complex offers top entertainment experiences, including Hard Rock Live, Blue Man Group, Hollywood Drive-In Golf, and AMC Universal Cineplex 20 with IMAX.
Restaurants include the unique Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen, Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food, Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurant & Market, The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, NBC Sports Grill & Brew, and Pat O’Brien’s.
Where to relax: Universal’s Volcano Bay – The impressive 25-acre water park features more than 18 attractions, from a serene winding river ride to the thrilling Ko’okiri Body Plunge, which takes riders atop the signature 200-foot volcano and features a 70-degree fall through a trap door before participants plunge 125 feet into the pool below.
The lush park has a South Pacific feel to it and utilizes new TapuTapu technology, a waterproof wearable which allows guests to virtually “wait in line” for rides while enjoying other areas of the park, as well as make cashless purchases.
Halloween Horror Nights Vacation Package:
Your clients can enjoy on-site hotel accommodations, park-to-park daytime admission to all three theme parks – Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay – admission to Halloween Horror Nights, and more from US$229 per adult, per night.
The package is available on select nights through Nov. 4. Advance purchase required.
For a truly unique, fright-filled and blood red carpet Halloween Horror Nights experience, your clients can take part in the R.I.P. Tour, which includes “Behind the Screams: Unmasking the Horror Tours,” a daytime, lights-on, chilling look into how Universal Orlando’s Art & Design team transforms the biggest names in horror into haunted houses.
Agents can book the perfect Halloween weekend at www.universaltravelagents.com/en/us .