Spooky season is nearly upon us, and Universal Orlando knows how to throw a haunted bash better than anyone else in Orlando. Their annual terror fest, Halloween Horror Nights, has consistently won Amusement Today’s “Best Halloween Event” award, with terrifying scarezones and haunted houses. That said, blood and guts are definitely not everybody’s cup of tea. If you’re looking for some Halloween fun at Universal without all the scares, check out these fun alternatives to Halloween Horror Nights.
Halloween at Universal
- Dead Coconut Club (Universal CityWalk)
- Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle (Islands of Adventure)
- All Hallow’s Eve Boutique (Islands of Adventure)
- Halloween Tribute Store (Universal Studios Florida)
- Unmasking the Horror Tour (Universal Studios Florida)
- Universal Monsters: Gallery of Legends (Cabana Bay Beach Resort)
- Festive Halloween Treats (throughout the resort)
Dead Coconut Club
If you've ever been to Universal CityWalk you may have noticed the Red Coconut Club located on the 2nd story of CityWalk. Tropical and modern-retro vibes are all around. Now during Halloween at Universal you can indulge in a Halloween tiki bar that is fun, kooky and a super fun Halloween date idea.
The Dead Coconut Club is open on Halloween Horror Nights event nights, 5pm – 2am. The best part? It is open to all guests. You DO NOT need to have tickets to Halloween Horror Nights to enjoy this cool Halloween themed tiki bar.
Sip on signature cocktails like “The Haunted Isle” with Pusser’s Navy and Plantation Pineapple Stiggins Rums with tropical juices, allspice bitters, and Falernum. There are beers and ciders, most of which are also served at Halloween Horror Nights. Figures of Universal's classic monsters bring spooky vibes with a tropical twist.
This is a great way to enjoy Halloween at Universal, without all the horror.
Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle
Islands of Adventure
On Select Nights September 16 through October 31
Head over to Hogsmeade Village for a fun and spooky alternative to Halloween Horror Nights. As darkness descends over the village, keep an eye out for Death Eaters causing havoc throughout the land. Then head over to the castle for Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle, an 8 minute light show featuring the darkest creatures and villains from the Harry Potter universe.
The first show starts at dusk, with subsequent shows running every 20-30 minutes until the park closes.
All Hallow’s Eve Boutique
Islands of Adventure
Also in Islands of Adventure, don’t miss the All Hallow’s Eve Boutique in the Lost Continent. This spooky-cute shop celebrates the Halloween spirit year-round, and its theme changes often to suit the season.
It was the “Voodoo Boutique” during Universal's Mardi Gras, for example, and it took on a fun classic monsters Tiki theme over the summer.
Right now, it has a fun vintage pumpkin patch feel, with cheerful ghosts and flickering jack-o-lanterns smiling down from every corner. This store tends to be cute and cozy, making it a cheerful and family-friendly alternative to the tribute store. Find the boutique in Lost Continent, just before you enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Halloween Tribute Store
Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios has a killer tribute store in the New York area of the park, sandwiched between Jimmy Fallon: Race Through New York and Revenge of the Mummy. The store is completely revamped each season to reflect a new event, with brand new sets, merchandise, music, and more.
The Halloween tribute store generally consists of several highly-themed rooms with photo ops, merchandise, and delicious seasonal treats. I’m a big Halloween Horror Nights fan, and love discovering all the thoughtful little details throughout each room. Even non-event fans can enjoy this immersive shopping experience! After all, no one does Halloween better than Universal Studios Florida.
No opening date has been announced for this year’s Halloween Tribute Store, but the store is typically open by the time Halloween Horror Nights begins. The 2022 theme will match the “Sweet Revenge” scarezone. This marks the first time the Halloween Tribute Store matches a scarezone theme.
Unmasking the Horror Tour
Universal Studios Florida
Finally, if you are interested in the creative design process behind Halloween Horror Nights but not into the scares, you might enjoy an Unmasking the Horror tour. This exclusive lights-on, daytime tour takes guests behind the scenes of several haunted houses.
Learn about the history and design of each house on the tour and discover the practical magic behind some of the coolest show effects. Tours start at $79.99.
Depending on which tour you book, you’ll visit 3-6 houses and spend up to five hours exploring behind the scenes. Best of all? You don’t even need a park ticket to enjoy this exclusive experience. Book here.
Universal Monsters: Gallery of Legends
Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Head over to Cabana Bay for a fun Universal Monsters-themed photo gallery experience. This monstrous encounter is exclusively reserved for hotel guests, so why not enjoy a weekend getaway with your love?
Don’t forget to stop by the Spooky Swizzle Lounge for creepy concoctions and Halloween-inspired decor. This experience runs from September 2-October 31.
Festive Halloween Treats
Throughout Universal Orlando Resort
Universal has a whole slew of specialty treats that are exclusively available during Halloween Horror Nights. And yet NEW this year, many spooky treats are available during the day – at some of the Horror Nights food and drink booths.
If you’re visiting during the day, however, you can still get your spooky sweets fix at select locations around the parks. Stop by the Tribute Store for a whole case full of delectable snacks, and check out the pastry and candy shops throughout the park for even more Halloween goodies.
Try the new Halloween-themed food and beverage options at select venues in Universal CityWalk, including Voodoo Doughnut, Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen, and Red Coconut Club (appropriately re-themed to Dead Coconut on event nights).
Even without Horror Nights, there is so much Halloween fun at Universal you may want to stay at one of the Universal Orlando Hotels. With even more Halloween-inspired specialty drinks and themed lounges, it’s the best way to experience the World’s Premier Halloween Event.
Check out Universal's foodie guide to Halloween Horror Nights for more details.
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Feature image made with images from Universal Orlando Resort and Beth Bell