By Valerie Padilla
As the cool winds of October slowly begin to settle in over the hot desert called Lancaster more and more Halloween-themed activities are underway. For example, a scarily familiar event is currently happening quite a few miles away from our quiet abode, Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. This year's theme revolves around the biggest horror movies recently released and other timeless villains that continue to rule the horror genre. Haunted houses such as “Halloween,” featuring Micheal Myers in his famous mask and attire, weirdly cute “Killer allowed from outer space” wanting to eat you, and more terrifying creatures have been popular tales for years. Overall, the haunted houses at this year's Horror Nights are hot with interest as crowds of people flock to get their general passes and express tickets in order to be scared all night long. Recently, Danna Solano was one of those lucky individuals that got to experience the real-life horrors of 7 haunted houses. For her birthday, Danna’s sister Valerie gifted her tickets to Universal Horror Nights, and the trip was decided, excitement was the only thing that described how Danna was feeling.
The car ride there was too fast for her to register her thoughts, and suddenly Universal’s iconic Minions perched on top of the upper level of the theme park came into view and Danna’s stomach could not help but turn into a flock of butterflies. The environment was exuberant, crowds and crowds of people trudged out of Universal Studios after spending their day at the normal park hours, riding the rides, and enjoying the flavors of Butterbeer without being afraid that a scarer would walk up and startle them. Even more, individuals lined up to get their bags checked and bottled water confiscated as they entered the park just in time for the real fun to begin. Danna was sure to describe the feeling of fear yet excitement as she neared the entrance of the overly-filled park as this was her first time experiencing the horror nights at Universal Studios. Her expectations were high but also based on assumptions because what each haunted house consisted of was a mystery to her. Although, as time passed and Danna’s wonderful express pass allowed her to skip lines very quickly and experience the scares all before she had a second thought she realized that she was having the time of her life! Her trip turned out to be a successful endeavor and she and her sister Valerie realized that Halloween Horror Nights at Universal would be a good investment next year.
Attending this spooky event also allowed Danna to keep in mind things she would do again next year to really come prepared for such a fun event! Here are some tips she was generous enough to share with us:
Express passes are definitely worth it!
Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios is by no means an underrated event, hundreds of people dedicate their weekends and even weekdays to going in time for Halloween. Standard lines are no joke with wait times spanning up to 75 minutes. Even if the express pass you get your hands on is not unlimited, if you want to get through the Haunted Houses, go on the Terror Tram, and get a chance to ride all of the rides the express pass is worth the money.
Make a list!
People you know or strangers on the internet will definitely attend Horror Nights before you and most likely post their favorites and least liked houses of the night. If the express pass is not an item you want to invest in, check out all the descriptions of the Haunted Houses and other spooky events Universal has listed on its website! Plus, be sure to look through the opinions of others who have gone recently, that way you can have in mind what houses you wanted to prioritize and wait patiently in line for.
Ride and then scare!
If you invested in an express pass going in a pattern might help the scare adrenaline rushing through your veins. If you are easily frightened and find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer amount of jumpscares present in a haunted house, going on a ride is a good way to get rid of any fear for the next haunted house you may want to go to. For example, Danna’s first house was “The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare,” and after having to walk through a terrifying mirror maze Danna made sure to stop by the Transformers ride before making her way to “Killer Klowns From Outer Space.”
Even if you are an impenetrable force and unable to be easily scared, going with friends and enjoying yourself at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios is definitely recommended by Danna and others who have attended such a fun event. So hey! If you have a chance to go, keep these helpful tips and personal experience from our generous Danna Solano in mind and do not forget to bring back the fun Horror Nights merch they have to offer.