Halloween Horror Nights – Universal Orlando… The Hype vs. The Reality

It’s that time of year again… Candy, horror movies and costume parties, Halloween. I recall being a kid and absolutely loving this time of year. Dressing up, wandering un escorted around the neighbourhood with a pillow case loaded with 15lbs of free candy and Halloween swag. Not to mention generally running amok and getting into all sorts of random mischief at the same time 😉 Ah, the carefree days of youth.

Well my youth has long since left the building, that’s not to say that I am not a great big 40’something child at heart. Because I am such the child! But my passion for Halloween just isn’t really part of my adult childhood. I have been out of the habit of dressing for Halloween for many years now. It just doesn’t do anything for me. I do though realize that many people love this time of year for the opportunity to be something else for just one day. They relish the opportunity to get all dressed up and be silly. To each his/her own as they say.

Despite my general disinterest in the day, I do still enjoy a “good” horror movie. I mean I  know that is kind of an oxymoron as most films in the genre do not exactly qualify to be referred to as good. Nonetheless it’s still nice to have that heart pounding experience of being startled by the unexpected. In that vein we attended Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando this past Saturday. I had heard a great many glowing reviews of the event and based on that decided to give it a go. I thought I would share my feelings on the event.

Here is a video to give you an idea of what you can expect:

Let me first start by saying, I love the parks for their rides and the general vibe. They are a lot of fun an any given day despite the regularly enormous rides and throngs of tourists. I will also say the admission fees for the parks are absolutely absurd. I mean honestly. How your average American family could afford an outing at Universal is beyond me. I won’t even get into the associated expenses one might expect such as food, drink, fuel and lodging and stick to just the admission prices. For general admission to the park during the day (this does NOT include access to Halloween Horror Nights) a single adult on the weekend would pay $136.00! No that is not a type, that’s ONE HUNDRED THIRTY SIX U.S. DOLLARS for ONE DAY! Granted that includes both park, but really… that is serious coin for a day at the park. Oh, did I mention that does not include parking? Pretty sweet I know, but it’s true… that is minus parking. But wait, there’s more… cost for EACH CHILD, $130.00 each. I applaud Universal for the whole $6 less they afford to children.

I won’t bore you with the calculations as to what that would cost a family of 4 for a single day at the park. I’m certain your minds have already quickly tabulated the damage. If that isn’t a painful enough prospect, let’s move on to the additional costs you will be paying for access to Halloween Horror Nights. For each adult on a Friday or Saturday night the cost is $95.99. As I’m sure you have already calculated what a single Saturday would run you to ride the rides then attend the evening’s festivities I will also assume your head hurts right now. That is some truly silly spending for a day of amusement. So if you are planning to take the family for a day of fun I suggest you start looking for that second job now.

I am sure you have already decided that there is no way you are spending that much for this type of entertainment. I agree wholeheartedly. There are far better ways to spend the day with your family that are far less costly and equally as entertaining. But, I did promise a review. So here it goes… I was underwhelmed. Sorry Universal, the make up was quite impressive in spots and the concepts overall pretty well thought out. The execution and overall impact just didn’t do it for me. As a grown man it would take quite a bit to scare me and we didn’t even approach that threshold. I will say however some people may find it a bit jarring to have someone step out of the dark and be scant inches from your face. So for those of you with spatial issues such as myself, you are gonna have some moments. They get awfully close at times.

In summary, think, of other things to do with the family this Halloween and save your money.

Happy Halloween


Halloween Horror Nights – Ticket Prices

Universal Orlando – Ticket Prices

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