Travel back to Halloween in the '80s at this theme park

  • Tubular ... and terrifying!

    Stranger Things, arguably HHN28's hottest horror house, may be a new series, but as it takes place in the early '80s, it appeals to both the millennials, who so love the decade's film, fashion and music, and the gen-X'ers, who actually remember what it was like to grow up like the boys of the Hawkins AV club – so mercifully free of helicopter parents!  Last year, HHN bid farewell to longstanding '80s icons Bill & Ted, but more than makes up for it on its menu, its mazes, its merch and more.

    Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort 2018

  • Byers beware

    Joyce Byers' brilliant holiday-lights Ouija board to the Upside Down is honored in as sweet a way possible, via enormous special-event cupcakes. At $4.99 a pop, they come in chocolate or red velvet and are the stuff social-media food porn dreams are made of, but they aren't the only beauty of the bunch.

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • Eggomaniacs

    Honor Eleven's love of Eggos with one of the waffle-based selections from HHN's new snack menu. Options include this, the Triple Decker Extravaganza, with layers of whipped cream, chocolate, peanut butter morsels, and jelly beans ($9.99 at the San Francisco Bakery). Others include bananas foster and strawberry shortcake varieties, fudge-dipped waffles on a stick and even a Syrup & Waffles frozen beverage.

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • Doughnut be afraid of the dark

    The calories, however, may haunt you well past Halloween. Behold, 11 Mini Donuts ($7.99). Options here are powdered sugar or cinnamon – and if you want a treat reminiscent of El's nosebleeds, you can go for the drizzle of sauce on top. 

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • Wicked rad punch

    It's one of HHN's two signature cocktails this year, another salute to the 1980s featuring blueberry and raspberry vodkas, triple sec, lemonade, and grenadine, which glows an alluring blood red in its 20-ounce, light-up souvenir cup. $12.99 for your first, $8.99 for refills thereafter.

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • Totally "L.I.T."

    It's a totally tubular take on Long Island Iced Tea (LIT) comprised of vodka, tequila, gin, rum, triple sec, lime, sour mix and Coca-Cola. Same price as the punch, of course, and since the glass has a divider and a two-prong straw, you can try both signature cocktails at once with the "Gnarly Twist" version. Note: USE THE STRAW. The cup's design makes it a serious party-foul hazard if you get absent-minded and try to sip directly therefrom. At $9-13 a pop, you'll want to drink it, not suck it, vamp-style from your Evil Dead t-shirt. 

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • Suck it

    Speaking of which, you can hear the solidly mid-'80s playlist of the Vamp '85 Scare Zone, where Wang Chung, Lisa Lisa and AC/DC help set the scene for your time travel back to New Year's Eve. Wandering party-goers, metalheads, punk rockers and surfer dudes among them (was that Bill from Bill & Ted?) inspire a sense of revelry as a news crew captures the action.

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • LL Ghoul J

    With a gold grill, a track suit and a Kangol cap, your MC and host for the evening helps set the stage and interacts with park guests before introducing a menacing troupe of dancers in the Solid Gold tradition. 

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • Shoot to thrill

    Is it me, or is this party getting kind of Lost Boys? The dance routine heats up and the ball starts to drop. The dancers are looking a little suspicious to the camera man, but his unwitting partner, a chirpy '80s reporter on the go, ignores his warnings as the countdown starts.

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • Love at first bite

    There aren't any George Hamilton vamps in this scare zone, though you will find other '80s doppelgangers, including Michael Jackson- and Prince-inspired vamps amid the melee of the New Year's Eve blood feast.

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • It's not Child's Play

    In case you were wondering, there's no age minimum, though Universal's site states the following: "Event may be too intense for young children and is not recommended for children under the age of 13." The Revenge of Chucky scare zone lovingly recreates the hokey horror this evil doll of the '80s made famous. Toys turn creepy here, but none are more disturbing than the man-sized "baby" doll who looms menacingly in nothing, save a diaper and bib. 

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • They're heeere

    Vignettes for each of the houses make for great photo-ops, none better than the static-screened TV and horrific clown of 1982's Poltergeist, one of HHN28's top mazes in this fan's opinion.

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • Post-millennial monstrosities

    It's not ALL '80s, of course. Not to be confused with the 1986 metal-themed horror film, Trick or Treat, Sam returns from last year's Scare Zone fun to host his own maze themed on 2007's Trick 'r Treat, a newer classic where the impish if murderous rag doll exacts revenge on those who fail to respect the code of Halloween. In this Tribute Store display, he is a guardian of holiday commerce.

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • Final-girl fashion

    There may be more Michaels in the Halloween 4 house than demogorgons in the maze for Stranger Things. I couldn't get a solid count between gleeful heart attacks, but my 14-year-old daughter believes you can't have too many of either, so we hereby suggest an Alien vs. Predator-style mash-up maze featuring both for HHN29. In the meantime, though, this awesome tee could be the tag line for the whole 2018 event.

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • Masking your age

    Costumes in 2018 are a billion-dollar industry; back in the day it was as easy as one box from the local five-and-dime. For just a few bucks, you could be Alf or Pac-Man, Jem or Strawberry Shortcake. You'd want to get your candy gathering done in reasonable time, though, because that mask elastic wasn't going to make it through the night. Now you can relive those days with wall hangings reminiscent thereof.

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • Game out your night

    More '80s immersion ensues at the Universal Studios Store (near the park entrance) where a slew of era-appropriate video games awaits play. Quarters won't work here – because seriously, who carries change in 2018 anyway? – but token dispensers are on-hand to convert your cash or credit into HHN tokens the games will take. Keep one as a collector's item, for sure.

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • Close encounters...

    In space, no one can eat ice cream. Or so said the tag line of the 1988 classic, Killer Klowns from Outer Space. These Klowns not only have their own scare zone here on Earth, they've got an ice cream truck, too. They make for vivid and memorable selfies – super popular with fans! – but be careful while you're going over your pics...

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson

  • ...can be a KILLER!

    ...because when they get the drop on you in a dark corner, they are utterly terrifying!

    Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson


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