Epic Guide To Halloween Horror Nights 2018
Disclosure: I was a media guest and received complimentary admission to Halloween Horror Nights event from Universal Orlando Resort. No other form of compensation was received and I paid for my own food and beverage. All opinions are my own. As always, I only share with you experiences and products I love to inspire you to celebrate with friends and Make Someday Happen one delicious bite, sip and trip at a time.
The Halloween event to rule all Halloween events is Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights™ in Orlando. In its 28th year, the “World’s Premier Halloween Event” is bigger and better than ever! But with more haunted houses, 10 to be exact, 4 Scare Zones, 1 killer dance show and more themed bites and drinks in the event’s history, one thing is certain: you will be terrified and you won’t have time to do it all. I braved the event to bring you my list of the Must Eat, Must Drink, Must See and Must Do at Halloween Horror Nights.
STRANGER THINGS WAFFLES GALORE!
Fans of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” not only get a chance to go through the show’s themed haunted house, but you’ll have the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end as you hear the eerie music playing through the park and get a taste of Hawkins, Indiana with foods inspired by the hit show.
Fun fact: the Executive Chef of Universal Studios Florida, Tom Danboise, and his team are behind the new menu creations. Danboise watched every episode in season one three times to specifically gather inspiration for the “Stranger Things” offerings at this year’s event. The results are nostalgic, inspired and surprisingly sweet!
If you like waffles like Eleven does, then this year’s Halloween Horror Nights is Waffles Galore!
You’ll find Fudge Dipped Waffle on a Stick topped with peanuts or sprinkles at one of the kiosks across from the Stranger Things Haunted House and Monsters Cafe.
Triple Decker Extravaganza: Orlando’s version of Eleven’s Waffle Extravaganza from season 2 features three waffles filled with layers of whipped cream, chocolate and peanut butter morsels and jelly beans. Stop by the Beverly Hills Boulangerie or San Francisco Pastry Company for these sweet scary treats.
Strawberry Shortcake: This tasty concoction features two waffles, fresh strawberries, strawberry sauce and whipped cream
Bananas Foster: Two waffles with banana cream cheese and hazelnut spread, topped with raisins, walnuts, whipped cream and a bananas foster sauce.
My favorite: Waffle Ice Cream Pocket Sundae features two warm chocolate chip waffles stuffed with your choice of ice cream flavor and topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, sprinkles, chopped peanuts and a cherry. You can find this special creation at Louie’s Gelato Window.
CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTS CUPCAKES:
Inspired by the iconic scene from ”Stranger Things” featuring the erratic display of Christmas lights in Joyce’s house as she attempts to communicate with Will, choose from red velvet or chocolate cupcake topped with whipped cream frosting and jelly beans. Found in the San Francisco Bakery and Beverly Hills Boulangerie.
Other Stranger Things inspired creations include 11 Mini Donuts covered in powdered sugar or cinnamon with red frosting inspired by Eleven and her nose bleeds when she uses her telekinetic powers. Syrup & Waffles, a non-alcoholic frozen drink blending syrup favors with tiny waffles on top. Pepperoni & Sausage Pizza inspired by the first episode in season one when Dustin offers Nancy a slice of pepperoni and sausage pizza and she slams the door in his face. You’ll also find “Benny’s Burgers” featuring cheeseburgers, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and fries. These are all somewhat basic offerings but if you’re in the mood for donuts or burgers, you’ll get your fix.
Found in Louie’s Pizza and Kids Pizza Zone, share a tin pan of French fries smothered in pizza sauce, Mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and sausage. It’s exactly as it sounds. No calorie counting here!
If you like spicy, the Fiery Onion Ring Burger is found at “Mel’s DIE in.”
HHN TOMBSTONE DOUGHNUT:
If you want a themed Halloween Horror Nights treat before or after the event, stop by Voodoo Doughnuts in City Walk for a special edition Halloween Horror Nights Tombstone doughnut. A yeast-raised doughnut with raspberry Bavarian cream, cookie crumble dirt and green grass sprinkles.
Fans of Universal Studios know that there is always plenty of bars to find an adult beverage. This year’s Universal Orlando’s “Halloween Horror Nights” features beverages inspired the 1980’s theme and Halloween.
My favorite beverage was a refreshing sweet and sour combo of both the Wicked Rad Punch and Totally L.I.T. cocktails served in a cool half and half souvenir glass that glows in the dark with a twisted straw.
You can also get the Totally L.I.T. (Long Island Iced Tea) of Vodka, tequila, gin, rum with triple sec, lime, sour and Coca-Cola or the Wicked Rad Punch made with Blueberry vodka, raspberry vodka, triple sec, lemonade and grenadine by themselves. But why?
For beer drinkers, a Shipyard Pumpkin Ale or Terrapin Hopsecutioner IPA will continue the Halloween spirit.
If you want a really sweet drink, try the Candy Corn, a frozen beverage with different layers just like candy corn. The bottom layer is toasted marshmallow, the middle is traditional candy corn flavor and the top is whipped cream with sprinkles.
ACADEMY OF VILLAINS: CYBERPUNK
With a wicked mix of dance, acrobatics and theatrics, Academy of Villains is back for an all–new performance of pounding synths and neon lights. This award winning dance company, featured on America’s Got Talent, World of Dance and So You Think You Can Dance is not to be missed. The show is interactive and a great replacement for the Bill & Ted’s show of years past.
THE PROP SHOP:
On a quiet corner along the Streets of Hollywood, you’ll find the antiques and old props shop. You may not be able to afford all the cool memorabilia inside but it is pretty cool to check it out. A mix of props from Halloween Horror Nights of years past, other Universal Orlando events, movie and TV memorabilia and antique clothing. Take a little break from the horror with a little window shopping. The only scary thing in there are the prices!
This year’s Halloween Horror Nights brings together stories and visions of the most notorious creators of horror and takes them to the next level. It’s all about nostalgia and cult classics! Choose the houses that sound most appealing to you – there’s 10 to choose from. The folks at Universal put a lot of time and creative effort to create haunted houses full of details. Allow yourself to get scared, scream and jump and get into it. Guaranteed you’ll have a good time. The scare actors won’t touch you although they do come close and in the end remember this is all make believe so don’t get so scared that you don’t enjoy the ride!
You’ll find a mix of the most recognized horror movies of all time combined with Universal’s own twisted creations. As a child of the 1980’s, I was quite excited to venture into the Stranger Things and Poltergeist Haunted Houses. I only had time to see four houses, I rank them below in order of my favorites:
1. Netflix’s “Stranger Things”:
A definite Must See for fans of the show. Not sure if you would really get all the details from the hit show that were crammed into this maze if you’ve never seen the show. Brave the Upside Down and beware of the demogorgon’s everywhere! It was such a fun experience and I screamed at every turn.
If you recall the little girl sitting in front of the fuzzy TV saying “They’re Back” and dead bodies coming up from the muddy pool in the movie, you’ll love this maze. It even has the musty smells of wet dirt as you enter through the pool. Incredibly well done and now I want to watch the movie again. Lots of details here too!
3. Dead Exposure Patient Zero:
After the Twitter tease this Summer, I was definitely looking forward to this house. Expect lots of strobe lights, French signs, and scary zombies. Not as scary as The Walking Dead in previous years but nicely done.
4. Halloween 4:
Nostalgia for sure from this classic horror movie but having multiple Mike Myers around every corner was not as scary as you might think.
As you walk around the theme park you’ll walk through various scare zones. You’ll hear the eerie music mixed with screams and nervous laughter coming from the shadows, you’ll face monstrous creatures roaming about the streets and you’ll be completely immersed. These scare zones are just as much a part of the Halloween theme as the houses.
A Variety of Scare Actors!
Be prepared for the sound of chainsaws!
And more chainsaws…
Not sure that I was scared in this Scare Zone but it was definitely entertaining and the more you looked at these killer klowns the creepier they became!
And they definitely liked to creep up behind you….
1985: Vampire New Year’s Eve:
It was tough not to get into the mood of the era with a DJ blasting 1980’s hits as vampire versions of your favorite superstars like Michael Jackson, Prince, Run DMC and others roam about the streets of New York City. Don’t miss the gruesome scene on stage and the TV news reporter and her camera guy running around the horror scene.
Zombies never looked so cool.
Welcome to Carey, Ohio
One of the spookiest scare zones features the harvest with hundreds of pumpkin heads. Go through this dark walkway if you dare!
The Good Guys & Chucky
1950s teens run around scared in the streets of Hollywood as Chucky, the killer doll and a whole slew of twisted individuals roam about. This area had a bit of gore and “live” actors.
MUST DO BEFORE YOU GO:
- Buy your tickets online and don’t forget to get an Express Pass. The wait time at the Haunted Houses can be over two hours without it.
- Download the Universal app. You can check out the map, wait times and even access trivia while you wait in line at each Haunted House.
- Wear comfy shoes and clothing. It’s been hot as hell and it’s hotter in the houses.
- Make a plan. You may not have enough time to see it all so be sure to go to the Haunted Houses you really want to see. Some recommend to start in the back and make your way around. When we first entered, the Stranger Things house which is near the entrance, had a 2 hour wait. Around 10pm, the wait dropped to 1 hour.
- Stay on site at one of the Universal Orlando Resort Hotels and take advantage of early admission. Check out the brand new Universal’s Aventura Hotel or choose from various class and themed hotels such as Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, and Hard Rock Hotel.
“Halloween Horror Nights” event is held select nights September 14 – November 3, 2018. For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com.
What are you most excited to eat, drink, see and do at Universal Studios Florida Halloween Horror Nights?
Go celebrate the spookiest Halloween and #MakeSomedayHappen one delicious bite, sip and trip at a time!
Disclosure: I was a media guest and received complimentary admission to the event from Universal Orlando Resort. No other form of compensation was received and I paid for my own food and beverage. All opinions are my own. As always, I only share with you experiences and products I love to inspire you to celebrate with friends and Make Someday Happen one delicious bite, sip and trip at a time. For more information, review my guidelines.