ORLANDO, Fla. — Your Halloween tradition is all out of whack this year. That includes a major disappointment for diehard fans of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida. The event is another COVID cancellation.
But, wait! On Friday, Universal opened an expansion to its tribute store to quench your thirst – in a retro way.
Here are the five things you need to know:
1. The Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store has been opened with two rooms – a Frankenstein-themed one and another saturated with beloved and feared icons. But on Friday, August 21, Universal debuts two more rooms filled with merchandise, throwbacks, and – for the first time – food.
2. “The Tribute Store itself is becoming an attraction on its own,” says Director of Visual Merchandise and Store Design Rob Cametti. But, before you get to the third room, Universal created a transitional hallway. “This is really a pictorial history of Halloween Horror Nights,” Cametti told Spectrum News on Thursday during an after-hours sneak peek. “There’s some behind-the-scenes shots and production photos.”
3. As you enter the third room, almost everything is black light-activated. You feel like you’re in a creepy old attic with lots of memories. “This is our quintessential HHN house room,” Cametti smiles. “It feels like you’re in one of the houses or coming into a facade.”
4. Universal’s culinary team is debuting nearly 20 sweet, savory, and sour treats. The sour one is the showstopper – cherry-flavored gummy hearts that physically “beat” behind the display case.
5. The fourth and final room is a throwback to year one of — what was then called – Fright Nights. Three decades ago, Beetlejuice – “the ghost with the most” – helped kick off 30 years of haunts at Universal Orlando Resort. The Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store is now open during regular park hours and will be around through the fall. Merchandise is available in all four rooms.