We’ve been home for almost a week, and we are slowly getting our schedules back to normal, especially with our daughter. We had a blast last week, although the heat was a little much for us in October. UGH!
We arrived on Sunday, and headed straight over to Cabana Bay to check in and hopefully unload our car and get settled in our room. We actually drove down the night before and stayed with my parents in Ocala so we could get an early start on Sunday. It’s only about 90 minutes between my parents’ house and Orlando.
We were lucky enough to be able to get into our room right away, so we quickly unloaded our car and headed out to Universal Studios to meet some friends for lunch. We ate at Three Broomsticks, and rode Gringott’s before my husband and I needed to head back to the resort to get our daughter settled for the night with an AMAZING friend who agreed to watch her during Halloween Horror Nights. We returned just in time to enter one of the holding areas while the park cleared guests and prepped for the evening.
We had a poolside family suite, and we were very happy with it! Our daughter is a very light sleeper, although my husband would say otherwise, so having a place where we can close her off really helped everyone sleep better. I’m somewhat dreading our next trip around Thanksgiving where we will all be in the same room. We were a little rushed when we arrived, so we failed to take any pics of the room before we settled in and unpacked. I’ll be sure to get some great pics next time!
If you are planning on Halloween Horror Nights, I HIGHLY recommend adding it on to a day ticket and getting into a holding area early. We were over in Springfield, USA and were able to eat a quick dinner before they started allowing guests to pre-load into the queues for the houses. I promise you, there is no way to be able to do and see everything we were able to accomplish without either starting here first, or coughing up the cash for an Express Pass.
Our first house was The Walking Dead, followed by The Purge and Insidious. A member of our group ran into some friends on our way into Insidious, and they had just entered the park and this was their first house. They were shocked to hear it was our third. See? Getting into the holding areas has its perks. 🙂
We managed to see all the houses, including American Werewolf in London twice, as well as the Jack show and Bill & Ted. Bill & Ted is always hilariously raunchy. A good sense of humor is a must for that show.
I’ll be honest….I get scared in haunted houses. But let’s also be realistic, I know they aren’t haunted. They are more like startle houses because that’s all the “scareactors” are allowed to do, just startle you. And they startle the living daylights out of me! I don’t recall actually seeing much of The Walking Dead house because my eyes were closed so tight. This is not a good thing to do. If they see that you are scared, you will become a target to them. I learned this very quickly. They didn’t touch me, but they would get close enough that I could feel their breath on my arms. Ew.
My bravery increased with each house, and by the 4th house, I no longer needed to hang on to my husband through the entire house. Yes, I still grabbed onto him when things were pitch black, but I was able to at least let go for a minuted here and there.
I also learned another trick about these houses, and that is they throw off your senses by overstimulating your hearing. Big time. If you are planning on HHN in the future at all, bring ear plugs. I began to plug my ears with my fingers, and this actually helped with the startling. I was able to at least view the scenes in the houses and appreciate the detail that went into making them without almost peeing my pants. Plugging my ears also meant I couldn’t grab onto my husband in some of the darker areas, but I was okay with that. Earplugs are definitely a must for me next year.
Being with a group of photographers meant lots of stops in the scare zones. I had my camera with me, too, so I also got into pics a little bit. Our favorite scare zones were the classic horror movie characters at the Die-In Feature and the Scary Tales Scream Punk characters. Our group had a great time in both of these scare zones and looks lots of great shots. I didn’t quite understand the Icon scare zone until we went into the Jack house and saw them in there, too. I apologize for the somewhat out of focus pics, but I was the big time amateur of the group. I don’t believe my husband has posted any pics of HHN yet, but our friend Mark has created a separate Instagram account for his HHN photos from that night, and trust me, they are far better than anything that I took. LOL
By the end of the night, I had logged over 12 miles that day on my FitBit, and I was exhausted. We didn’t ride anything during the event, because, well, we can ride that stuff anytime we visit. When/if you go, focus on the event attractions and not the attractions that are open all the time.