Universal plans usual 'ghoul time' for Halloween

ORLANDO -- Universal Studios Florida will unleash its 11th annual Halloween Horror Nights on 19 dates between Oct. 5 and Nov. 3.

The dates are Oct. 5 to 7; Oct. 11 to 13; Oct. 17 to 21; Oct. 25 to 28; Oct. 30 and 31, and Nov. 2 and 3.

The theme park on those nights will be transformed "into the ultimate Halloween experience," according to park officials.

There will be encounters with "undead creatures" lurking in dim alleyways; a Festival of the Dead parade with floats, stiltwalkers and costumed characters, and five new haunted mazes, which park officials claim "will disorient and startle even the most fearless of thrillseekers."

Also presented will be shows focusing on the bizarre, including the Bill and Ted Halloween Show, which parodies famous icons of contemporary society.

Returning will be the Midway of the Bizarre, which features sinister sideshow games.

Rides operating during the Horror Nights include Jaws, Earthquake-The Big One, Terminator 2: 3-D and Men in Black Alien Attack.

The latter is a ride-through video game.

The rides are subject to infiltration by Universal's ghouls.

There is a $21.15 surcharge, plus tax, to attend Halloween Horror Nights for clients who hold a daytime ticket for either Universal Studios or Universal's Islands of Adventure.

To attend Halloween Horror Nights alone will cost $50 plus tax.

Although the Halloween festivities begin at 7 p.m. and end at midnight, the park at times will remain open until 2 a.m., a ticket sales employee said.

For information, call (407) 22-HORROR or visit www.halloweenhorrornights.com.

The Web site also lists other special events at the Universal parks.

In conjunction with the event, Universal Studios Vacations is offering a two-night Frightful Adventure package priced from $199 per person, double.

The plan covers a room at the Best Western Plaza International Drive, a two-day pass to both Universal theme parks, one night admission to Halloween Horror Nights, a CityWalk party pass and a coupon book with $250 in savings.

For further information, call (800) 224-3838.

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