Editor's note: Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.
Fans of Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights might not have to wait until next year to get their fix of frights. Even though the 2020 event is still canceled, Universal Orlando announced Halloween experience testing this week, and this Sept. 19 and 20, guests can visit two haunted houses at Universal Studios Florida as well as enjoy trick-or-treating at Islands of Adventure. Plus, guests can wear family-friendly costumes to both parks, and they don’t have to pay extra for any of it — these seasonal experiences are included with admission to the theme parks.
After reopening this summer, Universal Orlando canceled Halloween Horror Nights, a specially ticketed event held at Universal Studios Florida on nights throughout the fall. Each year, the park is transformed into the ultimate scary experience, complete with themed haunted houses, frightening scare zones, live entertainment, seasonal food and drinks, and more, but this fan-favorite event was called off this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, Universal Orlando will have two haunted houses open during regular park hours on Sept. 19 and 20 — Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives and Revenge of the Tooth Fairy. Both promise plenty of scares, so they’re not recommended for children under the age of 13.
There will be new health and safety measures in place at the haunted houses, including face coverings worn by team members (including scare actors) and guests, social distancing guidelines in the queue and houses, plexiglass installed in certain areas to separate guests and actors, required use of hand sanitizer before entering the houses, and limited capacity within the houses. Universal will also be using the Virtual Line experience for the haunted houses, according to the website.
Over at Islands of Adventure, guests 12 and younger can enjoy trick-or-treating this weekend. Kids can grab complimentary trick-or-treat bags at participating locations in the park and look for pumpkin signs denoting retail locations where they can pick up their treats.
There’s still no reopening date set for Universal Studios Hollywood, so horror fans on the West Coast may have to wait until 2021 to enjoy the Halloween Horror Nights houses again.
Elizabeth Rhodes is an associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure who loves all things theme parks. Follow her adventures on Instagram at @elizabetheverywhere.
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