If you’re anything like me, preparations for Halloween start in June. Spooky thoughts infect me; I find myself devising all my ghastly plans, like whether I’ll have a themed party, what costume I’ll wear, or which scary movies I want to binge in preparation for the horror.
But if you’re really like me, the highlight of the season is Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) at Universal Orlando Resort. And part of this planning, of course, is figuring out where to stay when you’re not in the parks, wandering through the fog or experiencing the frights.
Being a guest at one of the eight Universal Hotels comes with some scary good perks — I mean, after a night of eerie entertainment, nothing seems better than being minutes away from crashing in your hotel room, am I right? But these perks go beyond the proximity to the parks. In fact, there are many additional guest benefits that come with staying at a Universal hotel while you’re attending Halloween Horror Nights. Let’s plunge right in.
Exclusive Photo Ops
This is the first year that Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is featuring five optical illusion photo ops to its popular HHN photo experience — hello, Insta-worthy photos! If this isn’t enough to get you booking your room presto, wait until you find out who the main star (or should I say doll) of the show is…Chucky!
Themed after the horror-lovers-can’t-stop-binging TV series “Chucky” on USA & SYFY, “Chucky’s Twisted Playground” consists of five hair-raising photo opportunities for you and your scream squad, each with its own spooky set up for those perfect HHN snapshots.
1. In Chucky We Trust
When you first walk in, Chucky is there to greet you for the first photo opportunity. This is more than a photo op, as it even offers an exclusive sneak peek into the third season of “Chucky,” premiering October 4th on USA & SYFY. With that being said, I won’t be giving anything away, so you’ll have to check that one out for yourself.
2. Falling For Chucky
Falling For Chucky is one of my favorites, not only because of how it captures Chucky’s deranged essence, but also because of how you get to pose with the main doll himself. When else could you pose with Chucky as he pushes you off a city skyline?
3. Trapped By Tiffany
Chucky’s Twisted Playground wouldn’t be complete without an appearance from the Missus, Tiffany Valentine. To know Tiffany’s hot-headed attitude is to know that she would have you trapped in a birdcage like she does in this photo illusion.
4. Chucky’s Army
Chucky’s Army is where funhouse meets terror. This photo opportunity is what I would describe as my worst nightmare. Imagine walking into a maze of mirrors, only to find Chucky staring at you from every direction. But, hey, isn’t bringing nightmares into reality what HHN is all about?
5. Perspective Chucky
If you’re like me and have been binging the past seasons of “Chucky” on Peacock, you’ll get this one right away. At first glance, you may question why assorted knives, baby dolls heads, hammers, and syringes are incoherently placed until you stand in the perfect spot which transforms the perspective of these horrifying objects to spell out “Chucky,” just in like the series’ intro.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to limit yourself to only bringing the friends who know your angles. This optical illusion photo experience will have floor markings to get you your picture-perfect shots. Be sure to share all your photos on social media using the hashtag #StayInHorror!
PRO TIP: The Chucky-themed photo opportunities are open to any Universal Hotel guest, not just those staying at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort . Be sure to bring your room key as that’s your ticket into the experience.
As if a hotel-exclusive Chucky photo experience wasn’t enough reason to stay at a Universal Orlando hotel during Halloween Horror Nights, this year’s HHN is coming to ALL eight hotels. Aside from Cabana Bay, the other seven hotels will each have a 3D photo opportunity in the lobby, featuring Universal Monsters. While I can attest that each of these photo opportunities is epic, I’m most excited about Phantom of the Opera at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Invisible Man at Universal Aventura Hotel, and Frankenstein and Bride at Universal Endless Summer Resort — Dockside Inn and Suites. While you’re hotel-hopping for your Classic Monsters photo hunt, be sure to check out select bars at each hotel for Halloween-themed cocktails.
Late Night Bites after the Event
Those coming back late from HHN, after burning quite a few calories from screaming their lungs off, have the chance to enjoy Late Night Bites offered at each hotel until 2 a.m. each event night. Treat yourself to pizza, wings, burgers, candy, beer, wine, and more — some even with a spooky flare. My personal favorite is the cupcakes that come in a set of three flavors that are to die for. There is a red velvet cupcake topped with a gory gummy eyeball and bloody raspberry drizzle, a devil food cupcake with chocolate buttercream and Halloween-themed sprinkles, and a vanilla cupcake topped with a brain-shaped frosting made of vanilla buttercream, raspberry drizzle, and an edible fondant knife.
Resort-Exclusive HHN Entrance
All Universal Orlando Hotel guests are invited to skip the regular entrance line and use the resort-dedicated guest entrance, marked by signs as you approach the main gate. This benefit will get you into the event sooner so you can spend less time waiting in line and more time cackling in terror.
PRO TIP: Be sure to have your hotel room key and Halloween Horror Nights ticket in hand to use this benefit.
Hopefully you can now see that I wasn’t kidding when I said staying at one of the eight Universal Orlando Hotels is the best way to enhance your time at Halloween Horror Nights. Your HHN experience doesn’t have to end when you leave the parks. Keep the party going and stay in the horror by clicking here! Learn more about this year’s Halloween Horror Nights in this article.
Must be 21+ with a valid photo ID to purchase and consume alcoholic beverage