Parent's Night Out: Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort

By: Carrie McLaren

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Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida -- it’s something I’ve heard about for years, but never experienced for myself until this year. 

Last week, my husband and I visited Universal Orlando Resort for a rare date night out to check out this terrifying event.

This annual event is intended for ages 13 and up and I quickly learned why -- Halloween Horror Nights is scary and very real. It is known as the number one Halloween event in the country.

As we approached the gates to the park, the spooky music and screams we heard were a good indication that this wouldn’t be a typical park visit.

Before we knew it, there were zombies from AMC’s The Walking Dead making their way down the street right toward us. Deep stares, grunts and stumbling around -- it was just the beginning of what would be a very frightful date night.

Our first house of the night was An American Werewolf in London, which came highly recommended and which many say is the best house of the year. Based on the John Landis horror film, the famed director actually partnered with the event to bring this classic tale to life. It is just like stepping inside the movie. Be prepared for screams and werewolves jumping out -- they will get you!

As we quickly learned, the Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass was a huge timesaver for us as we made our way through the park. For an additional cost, the Express Pass allows visitors to bypass the regular lines one time at each of the houses and attractions. If you go, this pass is definitely worth spending a little extra money on -- our wait times were lessened dramatically, allowing us to see and do more during the night.

Halloween Horror Nights isn’t just frights -- there are shows. too! Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure theater show and the classic Rocky Horror Picture Show are both ‘can’t miss’ shows during the night. Bill & Ted provided laughs and doing the Time Warp at the Rocky Horror show was great, too.

One thing we were surprised to discover during Halloween Horror Nights is that many of the larger rides and attractions are open -- typically with very little wait time. Because of this, we were able to check out the new Simpsons area, Springfield U.S.A and also Transformers: The Ride 3-D. Both of these new areas were spectacular and we loved experiencing them with smaller crowds.

Leaving the Transformers ride, we noticed a suspicious van sitting in the middle of the streetscapes.  A crowd started to form around and that’s when the back door of the van opened -- the Walking Dead were taking over all of Universal Studios.

We went on to see scenes from the shows like Atlanta and Woodbury, too. I’m not sure what was more fun -- watching the zombies or the people trying to run away. There was no escaping the fear!

As we got on the boat back to the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando, we were still laughing about our night of fun filled with fear and screams.  Who would have ever guessed that a perfect date night out would involve zombies -- but it did!

We're already looking forward to spending time with the zombies again next year.

To plan your visit to Universal Orlando Resort, visit http://www.universalorlando.com.  

To learn more about Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando and explore the travel packages available for the event, go to http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/

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