We’re back at the Universal Orlando Resort! The parks have been closed due to Hurricane Ian, but today, Volcano Bay and CityWalk reopened for resort guests. Even though the theme parks did not open today, Halloween Horror Nights was still on for guests with tickets. Of course, we made our way over to the Universal Orlando Resort late in the afternoon, excited to be back in the fog.
It was very quiet when we arrived in CityWalk.
CityWalk had plenty of live entertainment for guests to enjoy. After a few rough days, many people are looking for a way to escape and forget the real world for a little bit.
The lines for Guest Services were insanely long. With the parks being closed for two days, there was a very long wait to speak to someone over the phone, too.
As part of the hurricane prep, the banners and medallion were removed from the arch. There hasn’t been much time to put the park back together after the storm, but we appreciate everyone who has helped out to make the event happen tonight.
We are lined up and ready for the gates to open!
The Horrors of Halloween scare zone was barricaded off when we arrived and all guests were being directed down Hollywood Boulevard. Universal Studios Florida has been closed all day, but the park opened at 5 PM for the event. It felt a little bit like Stay and Scream, without waiting for day guests to exit the park.
Crowds headed down Hollywood Boulevard and then started to split off towards different houses. Several people ran towards the bar window at Cafe la Bamba to start their night off the right way. There was a very quiet, chill vibe to the night.
Lil’ Boo is safe!
Big Garg has weathered the storm, too! We know that the Universal Team Members worked very hard to get food booths and scare zone props put away before the hurricane and we appreciate it.
Food! We were very surprised to see food being served at the event so quickly after the hurricane. There may not be facades to the booths, but tents have been put up and food is being prepared. Again, we have to give Universal Team Members a hand for putting this event back together so quickly for tonight.
The Tribute Store plaques are now discounted. The Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store mausoleum plaques can be purchased for 30% off. Find out more info on the plaques here.
This week’s magnet release features the foods of Halloween Horror Nights. This is my personal favorite magnet out of the entire series.
The Frankenstein popcorn bucket is now part of a promotional deal. If you make a qualifying purchase of $45 or more, you can get the Frankenstein popcorn bucket for $28. Just a reminder that these were accidentally priced at $25 during their original release and then raised up to $38.
Thankfully, there seemed to be very little damage to the park. We know there were a lot of people working behind the scenes to clean things up, too. Not much was open at this point in the night, but guests were allowed to line up for houses. We got into line for Halloween with a wait time of 30 minutes. We entered the house around 6 PM and had a great time.
We walked out of Halloween and directly into Fiesta de Chupacabras. The wait time said 10 minutes, but we walked directly into the house with no wait.
The Horrors of Blumhouse always has a high wait time, so we were excited to find the sign outside saying the wait time was 15 minutes.
Ian, you had one job.
We walked directly into this house without waiting, too. We have a good feeling about this night.
The bar behind Lombard’s is a hidden gem. Seriously, you need to go here if you’re looking for a drink.
The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare had an extended delay, so we were glad we started over at Halloween. You can see the only house with any wait at this point is Halloween. This was the highest wait time of the night.
Bugs: Eaten Alive had no wait. We noticed the screens at the entrance seemed to have a little bit of water damage, but everything else looked great.
Every house we’ve hit has been a walk on so far. It’s not even 7 PM and we have been through 5 houses.
The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare has opened once we got to KidZone. The sign outside said 20 minutes, but we timed it at a 4 minute walk. The scareactors tonight have been on point and there were some really fantastic scares inside the Weeknd house when I walked through around 7 PM. This is still one of our favorite houses.
Completed Universal Monsters: Legends Collide next. If you haven’t guessed yet, it was dead.
Nightmare Fuel was performing, but Ghoulish was not. There were barricades at both entrances of Central Park and all was quiet. You can watch Ghoulish here if you missed it.
Most of the booths in KidZone had their themed facades back in place and were open, except for the Good Guys booth.
Lines were short for food, too. The lighting was a little low, but we appreciate everyone pulling together to provide food during the event.
We took a leisurely stroll through the scare zones on our way to get a snack before finishing up the rest of the houses. The Pumpkin Lord was out, but most of the scare zones felt kind of quiet. We assume most of the scare actors from the scare zones were pulled to help out in houses for the night. Many Team Members were dealing with the aftermath of the storm, so we know that the park was probably short staffed. Our thoughts are with all the Team Members impacted by Hurricane Ian.
Time to recharge with a snack from Gramercy Park. Tonight, we’re snacking on a No Chance in Hell deep fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Don’t stand in line for the pop up bars around the park when you can go to Lombard’s. This is the best kept secret and I’m sharing it with you.
Vodka and cranberry juice, discounted in my blinky cup! Skip the premixed drinks and go for the good stuff behind Lombard’s. Now we’re on our way to house number 8!
Dead Man’s Pier: Winter’s Wake had a 25 minute wait. We grabbed our drink just for this line. We waited just under 20 minutes to get into the house, and it’s well worth the wait. Visually, this house is just stunning.
Spirits of the Coven was up next. We walked directly into this one. This house has a good concept, but it just fails. This would be my lowest ranked house at this point in the season.
The final house on our quest! Hellblock Horror! This was originally our lowest ranked house, but it has improved a lot over the season. Tonight, this was the scariest house of the 10.
If you can ever time it right and get to walk through a haunted house with nobody in front of you or behind you, the experience is completely different. It’s pretty rare here at Universal Orlando, but tonight, I felt like the only person inside Hellblock Horror at one point. I screamed so much and nearly fell to the floor at one point it was so scary. Thankfully, this is a house with good lighting or I’m sure I would have gotten lost along the way.
Spotted a Team Member from Bugs: Eaten Alive shopping in the gift shop.
We stopped into the Dead Coconut Club to check out the new Lagoon Room located upstairs. There was a rope up at the staircase, but a manager took us up to check it out.
There are so many props we recognize from the past. This is absolutely beautiful up here. Everything is so detailed.
This looks like a lot of effort for something that is supposed to be temporary for Halloween.
Just took a quick look out onto the balcony.
Give me a good drink and I’d stay here all night.
Because the Lagoon Room is on the second floor, you can look down and see people dancing and enjoying themselves in the club. It’s such a great vibe in here and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves.
That’s all for this visit to the Universal Orlando Resort. Thanks for following along with us tonight as we made it through all 10 houses for the reopening of Halloween Horror Nights. For a closer look at the night, check out our full vlog below.