Today’s been one WILD day back in Universal Orlando as Halloween Horror Nights continues to creep up on the parks… but during the day!
A “lite” version of Halloween Horror Nights has been modified so fans can still face their fears, even if the actual event is canceled. Since two daytime haunted houses have made their way into the parks along with a bunch of new eats and drinks (oh, Twisted Taters, how we’ve missed you!), the parks have been extra busy today.
As we’ve been exploring all the new terrifying entertainment and treats in the parks, we’re all giving you a look at what Universal Orlando looked like this weekend!
The Halloween Horror Nights houses, trick-or-treating, and the Scarecrow Stalk are in a trial mode, just for this weekend. While Annual Passholders were able to experience the haunts on September 18th, the additional offerings opened up to the public on September 19th. Since Universal Orlando is just testing them at the moment, we’ll have to wait to hear if these houses will be in the parks all spooky season long.
But, Halloween Horror Nights fans were ALL for it, ready to head to the Revenge of the Tooth Fairy and Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives! The parks were officially scheduled to open at 9AM this morning. When we arrived at 8AM, though, there was already a hefty line of guests at the entrance.
The attractions were operating with Virtual Queues that disappeared FAST in the morning. The lines at the haunted houses were about 30-minutes –totally different from the hours of waiting that Halloween Horror Nights houses usually have.
Although the Virtual Queues hit capacity pretty quickly at park opening, we were able to snag a pass later in the day for the Revenge of the Tooth Fairy for a second time. If Universal brings back the houses after this weekend, they could possibly go to stand-by if the lines are shorter.
A Team Member informed us that, at times that the line has gotten shorter, they’ve offered guests to just enter the line without a Virtual Line pass.
However, they may not let guests in later and additional Virtual Queue slots aren’t always guaranteed. Be sure to check at the houses if you’re curious. We recommend arriving as early as possible to hop in the Virtual Queue at 9AM if you really want to secure a spot visiting the houses.
The houses were located at Soundstage 24, which is one of the biggest areas in the parks that can hold 2 houses at once. Guests were distanced from one another in the attractions with markers on the ground…
…as well as blue dots to designate where people should be standing.
Since so many guests wanted to visit Revenge of the Tooth Fairy and Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives, the lines seemed a lot longer with the Virtual Queues hitting their capacity.
But, the crowds didn’t stop there! Since Universal Orlando served up returning event snacks and introduce new goodies today, guests were SUPER excited to grab funnel cakes and Twisted Taters at the Food Trucks.
Cafe La Bamba was also transformed into the Skeleton Bar with a new form of loaded dessert fries, themed drinks, and more! The line outside was sectioned off around the street as many people wanted to get a taste of the limited-time treats.
While La Bamba would usually be transformed into the RIP Tour Lounge during the actual Halloween Horror Nights event, the restaurant created a completely new spooky atmosphere this year!
Guests were distanced even further as they were required to walk through different sections at the Skeleton Bar for food and then for drinks as well.
However, the rest of the park was seeing some increased crowds during the weekend as well. The Virtual Queue for Revenge of the Mummy was HOPPING (especially since the gift shop is also a stop on the Scarecrow Stalk)…
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…and wizards and witches were trying their own hand at spells with a decent amount of guests heading to Diagon Alley.
Since the Hogwarts Express is the gateway between the two parks that allows you to have transportation without having to exit one of the Universal theme parks, we thought we’d check to see how busy the line was!
And, the wait time to get on the Hogwarts Express at the King’s Cross entrance was OVER two hours during the day (!!!).
While the parks normally haven’t been that busy in Universal Orlando, the introduction of Halloween Horror Nights houses definitely attracted more guests. As Universal continues to move forward with its re-opening procedures, the testing weekend was a way for them to determine whether they could continue to have these additional Halloween offerings and still maintain distancing and sanitation efforts.
As soon as we know more details on whether the houses and new treats will be permanent additions in the parks for the Halloween season, we’ll give you all the updates you need to know!
Were you able to experience the two daytime Halloween Horror Nights houses? Let us know in the comments below!
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