Halloween is really big over in America and in October I went over to Florida for 2 weeks. Many of the theme parks offer different Halloween events. I went to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party over at Magic Kingdom. The other Halloween event I went to was Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando.
Now in it’s 26th year it’s very popular and is held at select nights September to October. I went to it last year and had an amazing time. As I was staying on site at Universal I decided to go again.
Unlike Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, this one is aimed for at older guests, Universal doesn’t recommend it for people under 13, but there is nothing stopping younger kids going. I guess it’s just Universal covering themselves. At the event I saw loads of kids who looked well under 13. Kids love horror and gory things, they even show the Walking Dead on TV at tea time over there. Unlike the Disney one, there is no trick or treating or guests dressing up. They don’t allow costumes for guests, which I find sucks a bit. I mean the main part of Halloween is dressing up. The event is great, but I find the no costume rule is the only thing that lets it down. Universal really want to scare you and in this event and they do a really good job at it.
At Halloween Horror Nights you can find a number of walk through haunted houses from horror movies and tv. I think there were around 9 houses to visit in 2016 and the same amount the year before. All of the houses are movie quality and the wait times for the houses are very long, some even having a 2 hour wait. For this reason Universal offers separate Universal Express passes so you can skip the regular line. They even do an RIP Tour, which is basically a VIP Tour. This is what I did this year and the year before. I will explain more about the tour later on in this post.
Apart from the haunted houses, there were also two shows to watch and a load of scare actors in different halloween costumes walking around the park. They scream and jump at you, just basically trying to frighten you. A lot of them were also carrying chainsaws. Now you’re probably getting worried as you read that. Not to worry, even though you can smell petrol and hear them starting up, the actual chain has been taken off so no one is going to get hurt. It was very realistic though and very often the actors would start the chain up and chase after you with the thing.
The houses for 2016 were – Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Walking Dead, The Exorcist, Halloween 2, Krampus, American Horror Story, Lunatics Playground 3D, Tomb Of The Ancients and Ghost Town The Curse Of Lightning Gulch. Shows included Bill And Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure and Academy Of Villains.
Now you’re probably wondering what the RIP Tour I mentioned earlier was all about. As the event does get really busy and many of the houses have 2 hour waits, you can probably guess seeing all of them would be quite difficult if you waited in the regular line and wanted to see everything in one night. Express passes are available and a lot of people buy these. Express only cuts your wait down by half so you could still be waiting around 45 minutes in line to get in.
This is where the RIP Tour comes in. If you don’t want to wait at all and want the privilege of going straight to the front, you want RIP. I did RIP last year and although it isn’t cheap, I can tell you 100% that it is completely worth it. You are put in a small group and taken around by a guide who will tell you all about the houses and also take you the best way to get to all of them. Seating for Bill And Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure is also part of the tour.
When you book your RIP tour you choose a time you would like to go on it. I think the tour I went on was around 7.30pm. As I entered the park I was really excited for this year’s event as last year’s was amazing. Once you are in, you get shown to the RIP check in area which also includes a lounge where you can relax before the tour. Included in the tour was a buffet where you could get some food. Non alcoholic drinks were included, but there was also a bar selling alcohol too.
After getting something to eat, our tour guide came over to introduce herself. She was a really good guide and told us all about the houses. Throughout the tour were regular bathroom stops and if anyone wanted to go grab another drink.
The houses this year were amazing, and every single one was worth going in. The houses are very realistic, just like being in the movie. I thought the creepiest one had to be Krampus. I saw this in the cinema when it came out and going in the themed house was eerily reminiscent of the movie. My favorite house had to be Lunatics Playground 3D. This one isn’t themed off any movie, but is a Universal original. The house is entirely in UV/day glow colors and you go around it with 3D glasses on, making the colors stand out even more. I love really bright stuff and this house was extreme day glow. American Horror Story, The Walking Dead and Texas Chainsaw Massacre were fantastic too. Out of all them my least favorite had to be Halloween 2. I just didn’t think it was as good as the others.
I decided to skip the Bill And Ted Show. The great thing about this tour was if anyone did want to give the show a miss they could go off and do their own thing and come back to a meeting point at a certain time. I saw the show last year and really didn’t think much of it. It is supposed to be a comedy, but I really didn’t get the humor and didn’t find it funny. So this year I skipped it and decided to go on the Simpsons ride instead.
At Halloween Horror nights a number of daytime attractions are open and most of them have really short wait times. Men In Black, Simpsons, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Transformers, Revenge Of The Mummy and Escape From Gringotts are open at the event.
The tour got even better when our guide said we would be going on Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts. We wouldn’t have to wait in line but would have VIP access to it. This was even better as this ride isn’t available on Express. So if you bought a Halloween Express pass you wouldn’t be able to use it on this ride. We also got VIP access to Transformers too which was excellent.
Universal offers different tickets for the event and they vary by what day you go to the event.
General Admission from $104.99. Only get this if you don’t have a ticket to go in Universal in the day.
Add On. Most people will have this one and if you have your ticket to go into Universal in the day you can get an add on ticket. From $55.99 to $82.99
Express Passes. If you have bought a express pass to use in Universal in the day, you won’t be able to use it at Halloween Horror Nights. A separate express pass is required, these ranged from $79.99 to $139.99 each, on top of your ticket for Halloween.
RIP Tours. These vary from what day you decide to go. There are private and non private tours. Private tours are just you and the guide and are the most expensive. Non private is what I went on and you are part of a small group. The RIP tours don’t include the ticket to the event, so if you want to go RIP, like Express you will have to pay for it on top of your event ticket. Prices for non private vary from $159.99 per person and private from $1599 per person.
I really enjoyed the event and highly recommend it. If seeing all the houses in one night in a priority, then I strongly recommend the RIP tour, you won’t regret it.