Florida Guide > Universal Parks
Halloween at Islands of Adventure
October 2002 was the first time that Universal had held their special
‘Halloween nights’ at Islands of Adventure, prior to this it had always been
held in the Universal Studios park. The park closes for the day at
approximately 5pm to allow the staff time to prepare for the events of the
night. With Islands of Adventure being part of Universal Studios you know that
the whole presentation will be nothing less than professional.
The park then re-opens at around 7pm for the Halloween spectacular. After
entering the park you walk through the Port of Entry, which is shrouded in
mist. The mist gradually clears to reveal a scene from an English mediaeval
marketplace complete with the hangman’s gallows. Various characters are lurking
in fog filled corners waiting to lunge at you when you least expect it.
Moving on from here you now have a choice, turn right towards ScreamHouse and
The Lost Continent or left towards Fear Factor & Marvel Super Hero Island.
We chose to head towards The ScreamHouse & joined the queue for what proved
to be the most popular attraction in the park. We were marshalled by the
Caretaker, a giant of a man dressed all in black with top hat & long black
coat. His sinister appearance was straight out of a horror movie & his make up
obviously applied by experts. Entering the aptly named ScreamHouse we made our
way through a dimly lit labyrinth, which was filled with the sound of screams
from unsuspecting victims. (Not for the young or faint hearted!)
Ten to Fifteen minutes later you exit the ScreamHouse & your pulse gradually
begins to return to normal. As you make your way through The Lost Continent,
Dwarves & Ghouls are hiding in the shadows waiting to give you another fright.
Your attention then gets drawn to the sound of a chainsaw revving up, you look
to your left & see a male making his way quickly towards you wearing an ice
hockey mask & wielding a chainsaw above his head. The crowd begins to run & you
do your best to keep up, all the time hoping that the ever-present sound of the
chainsaw will die away. Eventually your pursuer gives up & returns to pounce on
more unsuspecting victims.
Making your way around the park you suffer fright after fright as various
characters appear from nowhere in various guises. A number of the bigger rides
are open for those wishing to escape to a more traditional way of raising the
What makes this a night to remember is the incredible atmosphere of the
place. Everywhere you go there is a feeling of the unknown, no one knows what
will appear around the next corner. In addition to the regular rides of the
park there are also 4 or 5 ‘special areas’ such as The ScreamHouse, Max Carnage
& Scarey Tales. It’s these that add that extra special ingredient that only
true moviemakers can provide. What gives Universal the advantage over their
competitors is the fact that they do this for a living. Their Halloween nights
give the rest of us a chance to live the movies if only for one night!
This is well worth the entrance money & despite the various scares & frights,
is pure entertainment!!!
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