Eye on the World: A Screaming Good Time at Universal Orlando

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I squealed with excitement upon learning that I would be visiting Universal Orlando for the first time in eight years. Not only is the theme park resort exhibiting exponential growth with the recent openings of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem 3D ride, and CityWalk expansions, but it’s also celebrating 25 years since opening in 1990. Your clients will shriek when they hear which iconic characters have returned this year for Halloween Horror Nights 2015—The Caretaker, The Storyteller, The Director, The Usher and the event’s demented host Jack the Clown. Between fending off werewolves (“An American Werewolf in London”), Freddy Krueger (“Freddy vs. Jason”), and murderous vigilantes (“The Purge”) in nine haunted houses and dodging hundreds of “scareactors” dressed as zombies, asylum inmates and twisted fairytale characters throughout five scare zones, I nearly lost my voice. Your clients probably would too, because let’s face it, whether it’s from high-speed roller coasters or haunted houses straight from our favorite horror films, we all screech for one reason or another at Universal Orlando. Relive the best moments from my trip in the flip book below:

 

A 60-ft., fire-breathing Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon sits atop Gringotts Wizarding Bank

A 60-ft., fire-breathing Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon sits atop Gringotts Wizarding Bank

The triple-decker, purple Knight Bus has momentarily taken a stop at Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The triple-decker, purple Knight Bus has momentarily taken a stop at Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The only place to stock up on Extendable Ears, Skiving Snackboxes, Love Potions and Ten-Second Pimple Vanishers is Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes

The only place to stock up on Extendable Ears, Skiving Snackboxes, Love Potions and Ten-Second Pimple Vanishers is Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes

Honeydukes shelves brimming with every kind of wizard treat, including  Acid Pops, exploding bonbons, Cauldron Cakes, treacle fudge, Fizzing Whizzbees, and Chocolate Frogs

Honeydukes shelves brimming with every kind of wizard treat, including Acid Pops, exploding bonbons, Cauldron Cakes, treacle fudge, Fizzing Whizzbees, and Chocolate Frogs

Got a little adventurous at Florean Fortescue's Ice-Cream Parlour and tried the Chocolate chili- salted caramel blondie combo. Absolutely delicious!

Got a little adventurous at Florean Fortescue's Ice-Cream Parlour and tried the Chocolate chili- salted caramel blondie combo. Absolutely delicious!

Lunch at the Leaky Cauldron wouldn't be complete without a foaming cup of Butterbeer

Lunch at the Leaky Cauldron wouldn't be complete without a foaming cup of Butterbeer

If you want to open an account at Gringotts bank, you’ll have to journey through cavernous passageways and elude Voldemort and Bellatrix with a little help from your friends Harry, Ron, and Hermione

If you want to open an account at Gringotts bank, you’ll have to journey through cavernous passageways and elude Voldemort and Bellatrix with a little help from your friends Harry, Ron, and Hermione

Step onto Platform 9 ¾ to ride the Hogwarts Express between Universal Studios’ Diagon Alley and Islands of Adventure’s Hogsmeade village

Step onto Platform 9 ¾ to ride the Hogwarts Express between Universal Studios’ Diagon Alley and Islands of Adventure’s Hogsmeade village

I suggest you grab that cup of Butterbeer after riding the high-speed coaster Dragon Challenge at Hogsmede village in Islands of Adventure

I suggest you grab that cup of Butterbeer after riding the high-speed coaster Dragon Challenge at Hogsmede village in Islands of Adventure

Krustyland resized

Krustyland resized

The highly anticipated Skull Island Reign of Kong opens next year

The highly anticipated Skull Island Reign of Kong opens next year

A new beginning is on the horizon for Universal Orlando with the summer 2017 opening of the Caribbean-inspired Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

A new beginning is on the horizon for Universal Orlando with the summer 2017 opening of the Caribbean-inspired Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel’s Villa Pool offers a quiet retreat from the crowded theme parks with private cabana rentals and upgraded lounge chairs

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel’s Villa Pool offers a quiet retreat from the crowded theme parks with private cabana rentals and upgraded lounge chairs

Guests can hear a unique blend of classic opera, romantic and festive every evening at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel’s Musica della Notte (Music of the Night) musical celebration

Guests can hear a unique blend of classic opera, romantic and festive every evening at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel’s Musica della Notte (Music of the Night) musical celebration

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel’s upscale Italian-themed guestrooms range in size from 650 to 2,725-sq.-st. of European elegance

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel’s upscale Italian-themed guestrooms range in size from 650 to 2,725-sq.-st. of European elegance

The strolling musicians at Mama Della’s Ristorante at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel’s serenade guests as they dine on Italian specialties from Tuscany, Naples and Piemonte

The strolling musicians at Mama Della’s Ristorante at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel’s serenade guests as they dine on Italian specialties from Tuscany, Naples and Piemonte

The best fried calamri on planet Earth can be found at Mama Della’s Ristorante at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

The best fried calamri on planet Earth can be found at Mama Della’s Ristorante at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

The island-chic guestrooms at Loews Royal Pacific Resort are a contemporary take on the South Seas

The island-chic guestrooms at Loews Royal Pacific Resort are a contemporary take on the South Seas

Emeril's Tchoup Chop restaurant blends Asian and Polynesian cuisine with master chef Emeril Lagasse’s own creations

Emeril's Tchoup Chop restaurant blends Asian and Polynesian cuisine with master chef Emeril Lagasse’s own creations

Stop by the Loews Royal Pacific Resort’s lagoon-style pool on select evenings for a torch-lighting ceremony featuring the oli aloha welcoming chant and a fire dancer

Stop by the Loews Royal Pacific Resort’s lagoon-style pool on select evenings for a torch-lighting ceremony featuring the oli aloha welcoming chant and a fire dancer

The king may have left the building but guests of the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando can live the rock 'n' rock lifestyle in the hotel's Graceland penthouse suite, named after Elvis Presley's former residence

The king may have left the building but guests of the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando can live the rock 'n' rock lifestyle in the hotel's Graceland penthouse suite, named after Elvis Presley's former residence

The pool stays rockin at the Hard Rock Hotel Orlando with ping-pong tournaments, hula-hoop contests, dive-in movies, live music and DJ sets

The pool stays rockin at the Hard Rock Hotel Orlando with ping-pong tournaments, hula-hoop contests, dive-in movies, live music and DJ sets

The Cabana Courtyard offers billard tables, a bean bag toss, table tennis, chess, checkers, shaded picnic tables, a fire pit and two pavilions

The Cabana Courtyard offers billard tables, a bean bag toss, table tennis, chess, checkers, shaded picnic tables, a fire pit and two pavilions

Cabana Bay Resort's 10,000-sq.-ft. zero-entry pool features a water slide, sand beach, interactive kid's splash pad and a hot tub

Cabana Bay Resort's 10,000-sq.-ft. zero-entry pool features a water slide, sand beach, interactive kid's splash pad and a hot tub

Guests can belly up to the poolside Atomic Tonic bar for a specialty cocktail, beer or non-alcoholic beverage

Guests can belly up to the poolside Atomic Tonic bar for a specialty cocktail, beer or non-alcoholic beverage

After guests make their rounds around the theme parks, they can enjoy a game or two at Cabana Bay's 10-lane Galaxy Bowl bowling alley

After guests make their rounds around the theme parks, they can enjoy a game or two at Cabana Bay's 10-lane Galaxy Bowl bowling alley

Cabana Bay's Game-O-Rama arcade features the modern high-tech games, as well as a old school favorites

Cabana Bay's Game-O-Rama arcade features the modern high-tech games, as well as a old school favorites

At Cabana Bay's Jack LaLanne Physical Fitness Studio guests can work out using an array of Life Fitness equipment or take a walk down memory lane viewing memorabilia of the late fitness expert

At Cabana Bay's Jack LaLanne Physical Fitness Studio guests can work out using an array of Life Fitness equipment or take a walk down memory lane viewing memorabilia of the late fitness expert

For a morning pick-me-up, guests can grab a coffee, tea or a light snack at Cabana Bay's onsite Starbucks cafe

For a morning pick-me-up, guests can grab a coffee, tea or a light snack at Cabana Bay's onsite Starbucks cafe

Universal's Cabana Bay Resort nails the 1950s-60s retro vibe right down to the neon colors, geometric patterns and printed shapes blanketing the guestrooms

Universal's Cabana Bay Resort nails the 1950s-60s retro vibe right down to the neon colors, geometric patterns and printed shapes blanketing the guestrooms

Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the return of Jack the Clown

Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the return of Jack the Clown

This is how the Caretaker takes care if his patients

This is how the Caretaker takes care if his patients

This year’s Icons scare zone features a mini show from the vengeful Usher

This year’s Icons scare zone features a mini show from the vengeful Usher

The Director is also making a comeback in the Icons scare zone. Looks like his next project will star a few of the park guests

The Director is also making a comeback in the Icons scare zone. Looks like his next project will star a few of the park guests

Make sure to check out one of Blue Man Group’s musical performances after your park visit. There’s a reason why the comedic group’s artistic stage productions have endured since 1991

Make sure to check out one of Blue Man Group’s musical performances after your park visit. There’s a reason why the comedic group’s artistic stage productions have endured since 1991

Mini golf at Universal CityWalk's Hollywood Drive-In Golf has a spooky twist. Wind your way through a haunted house or try to save the world from suspiciously adorable aliens

Mini golf at Universal CityWalk's Hollywood Drive-In Golf has a spooky twist. Wind your way through a haunted house or try to save the world from suspiciously adorable aliens

Cowfish's Firecracker roll is a spicy specialty fusion roll with shrimp tempura, tempura flakes, yellowtail and salmon

Cowfish's Firecracker roll is a spicy specialty fusion roll with shrimp tempura, tempura flakes, yellowtail and salmon

CityWalks new Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar restaurant specializes in burgushi a tasty fusion of burgers and sushi

CityWalks new Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar restaurant specializes in burgushi a tasty fusion of burgers and sushi

The new NBC Sports Grill & Brew has more than 100 varieties of beers from around the world on tap and by the bottle

The new NBC Sports Grill & Brew has more than 100 varieties of beers from around the world on tap and by the bottle

A 60-ft., fire-breathing Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon sits atop Gringotts Wizarding BankThe triple-decker, purple Knight Bus has momentarily taken a stop at Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry PotterThe only place to stock up on Extendable Ears, Skiving Snackboxes, Love Potions and Ten-Second Pimple Vanishers is Weasleys' Wizard WheezesHoneydukes shelves brimming with every kind of wizard treat, including  Acid Pops, exploding bonbons, Cauldron Cakes, treacle fudge, Fizzing Whizzbees, and Chocolate FrogsGot a little adventurous at Florean Fortescue's Ice-Cream Parlour and tried the Chocolate chili- salted caramel blondie combo. Absolutely delicious!Lunch at the Leaky Cauldron wouldn't be complete without a foaming cup of ButterbeerIf you want to open an account at Gringotts bank, you’ll have to journey through cavernous passageways and elude Voldemort and Bellatrix with a little help from your friends Harry, Ron, and HermioneStep onto Platform 9 ¾ to ride the Hogwarts Express between Universal Studios’ Diagon Alley and Islands of Adventure’s Hogsmeade villageI suggest you grab that cup of Butterbeer after riding the high-speed coaster Dragon Challenge at Hogsmede village in Islands of AdventureKrustyland resizedThe highly anticipated Skull Island Reign of Kong opens next yearA new beginning is on the horizon for Universal Orlando with the summer 2017 opening of the Caribbean-inspired Loews Sapphire Falls ResortLoews Portofino Bay Hotel’s Villa Pool offers a quiet retreat from the crowded theme parks with private cabana rentals and upgraded lounge chairsGuests can hear a unique blend of classic opera, romantic and festive every evening at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel’s Musica della Notte (Music of the Night) musical celebrationLoews Portofino Bay Hotel’s upscale Italian-themed guestrooms range in size from 650 to 2,725-sq.-st. of European eleganceThe strolling musicians at Mama Della’s Ristorante at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel’s serenade guests as they dine on Italian specialties from Tuscany, Naples and PiemonteThe best fried calamri on planet Earth can be found at Mama Della’s Ristorante at Loews Portofino Bay HotelThe island-chic guestrooms at Loews Royal Pacific Resort are a contemporary take on the South SeasEmeril's Tchoup Chop restaurant blends Asian and Polynesian cuisine with master chef Emeril Lagasse’s own creationsStop by the Loews Royal Pacific Resort’s lagoon-style pool on select evenings for a torch-lighting ceremony featuring the oli aloha welcoming chant and a fire dancerThe king may have left the building but guests of the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando can live the rock 'n' rock lifestyle in the hotel's Graceland penthouse suite, named after Elvis Presley's former residenceThe pool stays rockin at the Hard Rock Hotel Orlando with ping-pong tournaments, hula-hoop contests, dive-in movies, live music and DJ setsThe Cabana Courtyard offers billard tables, a bean bag toss, table tennis, chess, checkers, shaded picnic tables, a fire pit and two pavilionsCabana Bay Resort's 10,000-sq.-ft. zero-entry pool features a water slide, sand beach, interactive kid's splash pad and a hot tubGuests can belly up to the poolside Atomic Tonic bar for a specialty cocktail, beer or non-alcoholic beverageAfter guests make their rounds around the theme parks, they can enjoy a game or two at Cabana Bay's 10-lane Galaxy Bowl bowling alleyCabana Bay's Game-O-Rama arcade features the modern high-tech games, as well as a old school favoritesAt Cabana Bay's Jack LaLanne Physical Fitness Studio guests can work out using an array of Life Fitness equipment or take a walk down memory lane viewing memorabilia of the late fitness expertFor a morning pick-me-up, guests can grab a coffee, tea or a light snack at Cabana Bay's onsite Starbucks cafeUniversal's Cabana Bay Resort nails the 1950s-60s retro vibe right down to the neon colors, geometric patterns and printed shapes blanketing the guestroomsUniversal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the return of Jack the ClownThis is how the Caretaker takes care if his patientsThis year’s Icons scare zone features a mini show from the vengeful UsherThe Director is also making a comeback in the Icons scare zone. Looks like his next project will star a few of the park guestsMake sure to check out one of Blue Man Group’s musical performances after your park visit. There’s a reason why the comedic group’s artistic stage productions have endured since 1991Mini golf at Universal CityWalk's Hollywood Drive-In Golf has a spooky twist. Wind your way through a haunted house or try to save the world from suspiciously adorable aliensCowfish's Firecracker roll is a spicy specialty fusion roll with shrimp tempura, tempura flakes, yellowtail and salmonCityWalks new Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar restaurant specializes in burgushi a tasty fusion of burgers and sushiThe new NBC Sports Grill & Brew has more than 100 varieties of beers from around the world on tap and by the bottle