Now well underway in Orlando, Horror Nights continues to thrill fans. Houses and scare zones aren’t the only fiendish fun to be found – a host of Halloween Horror Nights dark details hide in plain sight.
For those willing to take a deep breath and look past the monsters and mazes, Halloween Horror Nights host haunting beauty, especially in its retail locations. From classic monsters to retro Halloween and even franchise fun, a spooktacular shopping experience awaits.
Blood, sweat and fear feed this year’s Halloween Horror Nights retail venues at Universal Studios Florida. The talented team at this theme park pulls out all the stops when it comes to decorating with delightfully dark detail. From the seasonal, event tribute store to its main gift shop, the park is packed with pumpkin-powered presentations.
Halloween Horror Nights dark details
Three Universal Studios Florida’s large gift shops are all dressed up for Halloween, Horror Nights style that is. In the New York area, a massive, three-sectioned tribute store wows fans of the event. Meanwhile, over on Hollywood Boulevard, the Universal Horror store is all decked out with retro Halloween fun. Finally, brightly colored classic monsters invade the main gift shop near the park’s entrance.
Monsters in the main gift shop for Halloween Horror Nights
Just as Universal Monsters make their way into this year’s event as a frightfully fun maze, these classic creatures also haunt the main gift shop. Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster and his Bride, the Wolf-Man and the Mummy take center stage. Each life-sized statue is stylishly splashed with colors complimenting this year’s 80’s theme. Inspired by the iconic art of Basil Gogos, these mighty monsters are a must see!
Retro Halloween haunts the Horror Shop
Within the former T2 gift shop, on Hollywood Boulevard, classic Halloween notes dance about this recently converted horror shop. Already dedicated to classic monsters, now scores of Jack-O-Lanterns, retro posters and even old-school costumes cast their magic upon this to-die-for spooky shopping destination. Frank and his Bride serve as the centerpiece in this to-die-for store.
The ultimate Tribute Store surprises with three rooms of dark details
Returning again, for Halloween Horror Nights 2019, the Tribute Store sports a new retro façade and entryway. Each room has its own Easter eggs and sinister secrets (but that’s another story).
Just inside this carnival-like portal, Slimer, from “Ghostbusters,” seems content atop an open refrigerator he seems to have just ravaged. Throughout this first section scores of “Ghostbusters” inspired pieces were painstakingly recreated. Other accents use authentic 1980’s props. Proton packs, uniforms and a bulletin board filled with insightful pins is well worth the examination.
Just beyond the celebration of 1980’s horror-comedy, comes another horror favorite set in the ’80s. Of course, the demodog “greeting” guests as they enter this room announces entry into the Upside-down of “Stranger Things.” Here hand-drawn maps of ominous tunnels line the wall while pumpkins rot overhead. Coca-cola even supplied a New Coke vending machine for the space.
Finally, fear fans find themselves in the Gothic realm of Classic Monsters. In this laboratory-like setting beakers, flasks and electrical apparatus are scattered throughout the area. Mixed in among these, a monster rests within a bubbling tank. Keep an eye (or two) out for a piece of Universal Studios history while shopping for collectibles or Horror-Ink tee shirts. Of note, those print on demand tee shirts feature elements of this year’s mazes and scare zones and they can even be personalized. This final, fearsome tribute room also hosts the shop’s registers and a tempting baked sweets selection.
A few dearly (de)parting words
All three of these locations are a feast for the eyes with over the top, passionately produced details. Its clear that those responsible are not only expert artisans but they also share a love for the content contained within.
In addition to this trio of terror-ific locations, be sure to also check out the gift shop adjacent to the Mummy. There, custom designed video game-like cabinets contain even more Halloween Horror Nights merchandise.
Source and images: Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights, Michael Gavin