Hey guys, what’s up?
Before we get started I thought I’d introduce myself a little bit. I’m Gary - also known on my YouTube channel as “That Florida Guy” - and as you probably guessed by the channel name, I’m a Florida fanatic.
Me and my fiancée go to Florida every year and vlog our memories and share them all with you! I like to put a little twist on my videos and add a cinematic aspect to them. I’m also a keen photographer and have had some of my photos published on Universal Orlando’s official social media pages as well as Ocean Floridas. Last year we were lucky enough to work with Ocean Florida and continuing into 2019 I was asked to write a blog. First up is my top tips for Halloween Horror Nights.
Also, be gentle… This is my first time writing something like this…
1 - Plan more than one night
Once upon a time you could get everything done in one night at the event. Even maybe now if you plan like a military operation you could do it, but why run around frantic all night when you can spread it out, take in the sights and of course the smell of fog that Universal pump around the park?
Last year Horror Nights was the biggest it has ever been, sporting 10 houses and 5 scare zones. Netflixs hit-show Stranger Things headlined the event, and that brought in the crowds by the thousands. From my own experience, last year was the busiest I’ve ever seen it with lines for Stranger Things hitting 200 minutes long!
What I’m getting at is, plan more than one night and you have plenty of time to do all of the houses and soak in the atmosphere in the scare zones. See the show and sample some of the speciality food! At the moment there is a BOGO (buy one get one) offer on tickets where you get a second night free!
2 - Spend time in the scare zones
A lot of newbies to HHN will simply have a slow walk through the scare zones, not me! Me and Becca can stand in a zone for maybe 30-45 mins taking in the atmosphere and watching people get scared by Universals scare actors. Each scarezone has a theme whether it be a universal original or IP (intellectual property). Last year (HHN28) my favourite zone was Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Now the movie is not a scary one and neither was the zone. It was so fun to see the klowns from the hit 80’s movie dance and goof around interacting with guests.
3 - Think about what ticket you want
As I’ve already explained, at present there is a BOGO offer on tickets BUT the ticket options don’t stop there. Oh no, Horror Nights has a vast array of tickets to suit every horror fan, though I won’t explain them all in detail as it could take a while. Of course you can start at a one-night ticket option all the way up to their “Ultimate Frequent Fear Pass” which covers you for EVERY night the event is on, and on top of the ultimate ticket you can add express to that to skip those standby lines, but be prepared to sell a kidney as the Ultimate with added Express is expensive. The best thing in my own opinion is the “RIP Tour”. You get your own expert guide for the night who literally walks you right to the front of the lines with absolutely no waiting, you get to go through all the scare zones with added drinks stops and also priority seating for the show or shows. This is an add-on and again it’s quite pricey BUT if you only have one night then this is the way to go!
4 - Take an Unmasking The Horror Tour
If you’re unsure you could handle Halloween Horror Nights but would like to try it, why not try the Unmasking the Horror Tour first? This is a day-time tour of selected houses to see everything with no scare actors and with the lights on. You’re guided through and given facts about the house such as how it was designed, where scare actors will pop out from and also how the special effects are done. You can do the shorter 3 hour tour or the longer 6 hour tour, but do note they recently changed their policy on video and photography, meaning you can only use your cameras in certain houses.
5 - Respect the actors
I wanted to include this as sometimes the actors aren’t treated as they should be. They have a job and their job is to scare. In more recent years there are more and more reports of scare actors being verbally abused and even physically punched or kicked. A lot of this is down to alcohol consumption, so know your limits and stay hydrated with water. Scare actors normally won’t mind you taking a quick selfie with them but do remember their job is to scare and they may ignore you if it gets in their way. Respect them and politely move on. I have friends who work the event as scare actors and I asked them to which both replied they don’t mind stopping for selfies BUT if it stops them scaring or playing their role they will simply move on.
And there we have it! My top-5 tips for Universals Halloween Horror Nights. I could have crammed a lot more into there and probably written a book as I have a great passion for the event. If you do go this year and have read my blog, drop me a tweet and let me know how you enjoyed it!
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