It’s October and you know what that means, it’s Spooky Season. Well technically here in Central Florida with all the theme parks we start Halloween season back in August, but that’s besides the point. All across the country there are numerous local haunting attractions, and we are no different here. However the creme de la creme of these events in my opinion has to be Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights.
This is my fourth straight year going since moving to the Orlando area. We have a few others available but this is the one I really look forward to each year. As with previous years there are 10 houses / mazes, 5 scare zones, a stage show, a lagoon water show, and plenty of special themed food and drinks. Oh and did I mention new collectible medallions, oh yeah they have those as well. But first let’s take a little walk around the park to see some of the festivities before we track down those coins.
The scare zones are always fun, and you can really have some great interactions with the scare actors. Plus there is plenty of fog to really get the atmosphere set to spooky mode.
As with the houses / mazes each scare zone has a pretty detailed back story to it. Some have stage shows that are all apart of the on going story as you pass on through.
I was able to survive all 10 of the haunted houses at the event. The lines can be quite long so just be prepared for that, but my little tip is that the lines do shorten later on at night. I won’t give any spoilers away about details within the houses, but I do always get asked what my favorite houses were so here are my top 3 for HHN 2022.
#1 Dead Man’s Pier Winter’s Wake
#2 Universal Monsters: Legends Collide
#3 Fiesta De Chupacabras
Next let’s visit a few of the food stands for some interesting eats this year. First one I came across was at a Food Stand near Finnegan’s Bar & Grill. It was the Pepperoni Pizza Skull. Pretty self explanatory, but it looked really cool and was stuffed with plenty of pepperoni and cheese. How can you go wrong with that combination.
The second item that I really enjoyed was located at the Universal Monster’s Food booth near the Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone. This was the Garlic Philly Cheese “Stake” with seasoned curly fries.
It’s about time we headed over to the new Tribute Store which is just as detailed as some of the houses we went through. Universal has really put a lot of work into this themed store and it’s become an attraction all to its own. Inside is jam packaged with plenty of Halloween Horror Nights merchandise and lots of sweet treats and savory snacks. Be warned that the check out line during HHN events can be very long, but the Tribute Store is also open during regular park hours and in my experience has much short lines.
After you have picked up your event merchandise, as you head towards the exit you will pass through one last little hallway and is where you will encounter the new collectible medallion machine. It has an updated marquee sign for the 2022 event, and I also noticed that there is no longer a cash payment option. Your only options are now to use a credit card or digital form of payment like ApplePay or Google Wallet which also forces you to buy four coins in total, you can no longer just pay cash for one medallion. Just for clarification on this, you can obviously get one of each design for the full set, or any combination of coins to get your four coins. Technically you could also just get four of one design if there is one that you really like.
The designs in this years set include Dracula from the Universal Monsters, the Pumpkin Lord who is this years event icon, Casper the friendly ghost for some reason. I actually saw merchandise with Casper on it as well, but he’s not in any of the houses or scare zones so I’m not sure exactly why he’s here especially when there are so many other design options they could have included with this set. But they did finish strong, the fourth design is of the crowd Favorite Lil’ Boo who was a social media phenomenon even thought he was just a small decoration outside of one house during the 2021 event.
Once again Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights seems to be another success this year. Then entire event is so much fun, with plenty of things to do and lots of scares but nothing too intense. I’m so happy to see that Universal has continued releasing new medallion sets. I always say it would be nice to see something like this as a pressed penny, but I’ll keep collecting these coins as long as they keep putting them out.
Have a truly Spooky Halloween season, and as always Keep on Collecting!