The Scariest Place in Orlando –
Some would say that Halloween Horror Nights, or what many refer to as HHN is one of THE best places to get your scare on for Halloween. Because of this, the event grows in attendance each year. Making it some what of a challenge to experience “it all” without a really good plan. Or if you live close enough your could grab a multi night HHN pass.
Now for some your stay at Universal and HHN might be for just one night. So how can you see ” IT ALL” . All the houses/mazes, the shows, all the scare zones!?!
What if you didn’t have to wait in huge lines? And on top of that you get private VIP or should I say RIP entrance access?! Throw in prime reserved seating at a show and some food and libations and you would be set!
Well may I introduce you to …… The RIP TOUR!
Now I’m going to assume you already know about HHN, and that you might have experienced some of the hurdles I explained above. Well if that is the case than I am glad you found this.
So when we experienced HHN we decided to make a weekend out of it. We stayed at one of my six favorite places on property, The Hard Rock.
We picked the Hard Rock because of the location. It is the closest resort to the Universal entrance! I also like feeling like “a rock star…just looking for a band”, but thats a whole other article.
Since we did stay on site we didn’t use our Parking Voucher, but this is included in our tour.*
But what we did use, and it was AWESOME, was the private entrance to the park just for RIP guest. If you have ever experienced the entrance at opening time for HHN, well the crowds crossed over the bridge all the way to NBC Sports Grill & Pub. Yeah….. Oh the faces of my group when they saw that. But what was even better was the expressions I got when I said, “come on this way”.
We walked to the far right of the crowd and into our special “RIP ” entrance. We checked in and they gave us a Lanyard That was worth the extra money right there for me! But I knew this was only the beginning.
If HHN merchandise is what you want to, there are locations throughout the park. From shot glasses to T-shirts, and even professionally used props. They have something for any HHN fan!
No wait , hassle, lines…
I do wanna make it clear, you still will need a HHN ticket to enter.
The RIP Tour is like the Fast-Pass on steroids. You will understand more as you read on….so read on!
Now since we pre booked our tour for 7pm ( I strongly suggest you make reservations) we have almost an hour until we needed to check in. And good thing, the streets were starting to crawl with Ghouls and Zombies. No, not other guest, but actual bloody cheerleaders and Zombie motorcycle riders.
VIP CHECK IN
We made our way to Cafe La Bamba for our check-in.
I was excited for two reasons, one was clear, we are doing the RIP Tour, and the other was I had never been inside the La Bamba Cafe
We were immediately greeted by our host!
When you check-in you are given a card for your group….We were the Goblins!
The Tour also includes Some light finger foods and deserts. Being Vegan we really didn’t have many options, but we figured as much, so we went for the R.I.P. Lounge and grabbed a spooky cocktail.
Once the time comes to start your RIP tour, your group of 12, in our case Goblins, gather with your tour guide.
For me this is another HUGE plus over a fast-pass, a small guided group.
Now your RIP guide is in that position for a reason, and ours was amazing!
She shared facts about the park. Facts about the houses/mazes.
Her friendly personality and strong knowledge about the event gave first timers like ourselves more of an understanding of what has become a almost cult like following of the event.
As we walked towards our first house a few staff members saw us approaching, they stoped the line and let us walk right in!
Let me repeat myself, We walked up to the house where the line was already a good 300 deep, walked right up to the front, they stopped the line and we walked right in!
I wont repeat this for all the houses we visited, but it was the same for all.
It worked the same for the Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure (RIP) …The RIP Tour included reserved seating, which was a nice break from the walking. We got about 30 minutes of bleacher time before the show started. Getting early access ahead of all waiting lines was awesome. And with seats 3 rows from the front, center stage, our view was unobstructed!
Your RIP Tour also includes front of the line access to select rides! So we walked right on to Gringgots! There’s only one thing better than Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Orlando Resort at night! (Diagon Alley)
So lets go over whats been offered in the past, since the 2018 RIP Tour details are not out.
- 4.5 hours long or until all tour inclusions are met.
- Up to 12 guests per tour with several parties on one tour. Available for individual parties of up to six^. Groups of seven or more must book a Private R.I.P. Tour.
*TIP* Get a group of 10 and you can book a Private R.I.P. Tour with all your friends!
- 7:00pm, 7:30pm, 8:00pm, 8:30pm (8:30pm departure time available only on event nights with 2:00am closing).
**Times subject to change based on event dates/times
*TIP* We did the first tour at 7PM and finished a little after 11:30. This gave us time to ride rides and adventure the scare zones and park again!
- Exclusive VIP entrance to Universal Studios FloridaTM for the Halloween Horror Nights event.
- Priority VIP entry to all haunted houses (one entry per house) while on tour with the R.I.P. Tour Guide.
- Commemorative R.I.P. Tour credential with lanyard.
- Complimentary standard valet parking (one vehicle, subject to availability).
- Access to the R.I.P. Lounge with cash bar upon check-in and
- other exclusive cash bar locations during the tour.
- Reserved seating at Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure
- Universal ExpressTM ride access to participating attractions, with the R.I.P. Tour credential, after the tour (park hours permitting)
The RIP Private Tour is an great way to enjoy HHN with your friends!
PRIVATE R.I.P. TOUR
• Length of the event, including 30-minute break.
• Up to 10^^ guests per tour with only your party on the tour.
Times subject to change based on event dates/times.
TOUR INCLUDES ALL R.I.P. TOUR BENEFITS PLUS:
• Customizable Itinerary.
• Priority UNLIMITED VIP entry to all haunted houses as well as select
regular park attractions while on tour with the R.I.P. Tour Guide. • My Universal Photos 3-Day photo package which includes:
– Up to 3 consecutive days of photos in the parks.
– Unlimited digital downloads of photos in both theme parks. – My Universal Photos themed lanyard and Star Card.
– Amazing Pictures Mobile App to view and share your photos†. – 1 (one) free 5x7 or 8x10 print in folder and 1 (one) free 4x6 print. – $5 5x7 or $10 8x10 prints at participating locations.
– Discounts on My Universal Photos products
So is the RIP Tour worth the extra $ on top of a HHN ticket…….YES!!!
With private restroom stops, a lounge just for RIP guest and all the benefits I listed above, we feel it was well worth it.
Add the lack of any stress while at Halloween Horror Nights, with ALL the fun we had with our group, and getting to experience “IT ALL” made it worth every extra penny!
*Please note this is a review of the RIP tour from 2016…..not much has changed but we do hope to have un updated review for 2018!
Want more? You can keep checking back often for the latest on Pop-Culture, Theme Parks, Attractions, Local Events and Plant-Based food around the Sunshine state. Or, you can make it easy and click the Like and Follow buttons below for what Social Media platform you like to use. This way you will never miss a beat! And make sure to stop by the Busch Gardens/SeaWorld community, where we are always sharing the latest news, deals, discounts, and tips.