When Universal Orlando made the hard decision to cancel their most popular event of the year, Halloween Horror Nights, their fans were heartbroken. But earlier this week we got some surprising news that they were going to have two of the HHN houses open during during normal park hours this weekend. Right now it is not publicly announced that they will continue these houses after this weekend, but we are certainly hoping they will. Today was a fantastic reminder of how much we love HHN!
It is important to know, you will want to arrive to the park early because the line is very long. Today it wrapped down CityWalk all the way to Islands of Adventure (which was also a pretty long line because of trick or treating). There were people who arrived as early as 6:00 am to ensure they got into the park. You are also going to want to make sure you are familiar with the Universal Orlando mobile app before arriving as well as their virtual que system since you have to obtain a virtual que time in order to enter either of the two houses. The park opened at 9:00 am and by 9:30 am the houses reached capacity for the day. They do not offer a stand by line so if you miss getting into the virtual que you will miss out on the houses. I would also like to mention both parks reached capacity by 11:00 am.
We were lucky enough to obtain our spot in the virtual que for both houses, The Revenge of The Tooth Fairy and Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives. We were very impressed on how well they are doing with social distancing and keeping up with safety and health precautions. Outside while on line they have markers on the ground for the spacing of 6 feet or more between you and the other parties. At the beginning of the house a team member will provide you with hand sanitizer that you must use. There was talk earlier that before entering a house, guests were given a glowstick to to help team members recognize where one party started and one ended, however we did not obtain one in either of our times visiting the houses. That being said, inside each house, each team member was really good about making sure to stop us for a bit until there was no one in our eye sight. They also wore masks as well as face shields. The Scareactors wore masks that went with their costumes and had plexiglass installed between themselves and the guests. But even with the plexiglass, don't be fooled, it is still just as scary!
For those missing the HHN fun "treats" consider visiting the Skeleton Bar which is housed inside of Cafe La Bamba. You are also able to just walk through the experience if you did not want to order anything. The food and beverage offered at the Skeleton Bar are listed below. We sampled each one of the speciality drinks and enjoyed all three of them. Be warned, the Mango Inferno was pretty spicy (with a jalapeno topper) it may not be enjoyable for everyone.
Bloody Charred Tandoori Skewer: $8.99 curry marinated chicken, mango and radish slaw, pineapple tamarind sauce
Incantation Shrimp Cocktail: $9.99 spiced cold poached Gulf shrimp, horseradish cocktail
Screaming for S’Mores Fries: $6.99 sweet potato fries, marshmallow, dark chocolate chips, crumbled graham crackers
Vegan Jack’Dup Mac: $8.99 cavatappi pasta, plant-based sausage, mushrooms, basil pesto, bell peppers, tomatoes, dairy-free cheese, artisan crostini
Frozen Candy Corn: $5.50 non-alcoholic candy corn flavored frozen beverage topped with whipped cream and sprinkles
Circus Peanut: $12.50 Skrewball peanut butter whiskey, Bols creme de banana, Campari, orange juice
Mango Inferno: $12.50 El Jimador Blanco, Mango Juice, yellow curry powder, lime juice, agave nector, salt
Loup - Garou: $12.50 Pussers British Navy Rum, Cruzan Dark, pineapple juice, honey, chamomile tea, lemon juice, pimento bitters
The infamous HHN Tribute Store opened earlier this month but just recently added a Beetlejuice room which is so much fun. There is a lot of great HHN merchandise inside. Watch our video walk through below.
There is HHN merchandise sprinkled around the park, including fun Beetlejuice merch. It makes you think there was a good chance Beetlejuice would have been a house this year. They also have some yummy Fall/HHN donuts over at Voodoo Donut in CityWalk just outside of the park. We decided to grab some goodies to enjoy back in the room!
Today was a good day. We are really hoping that an announcement comes later this week that Universal Studios will be extending the houses through the next few weeks. For those of you going tomorrow, get some rest tonight and make sure to get there nice and early.
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