Universal starts Halloween season with 'Taste of Terror'

August 10, 2023, 3:41 PM · Halloween Horror Nights doesn't start until September 1 at Universal Studios Florida but starting tonight, horror fans can get a "taste" of what's coming at this year's event.

Tonight is the opening night for the first-ever "Taste of Terror" Halloween Horror Nights preview event. And when Universal says, "Taste," they mean that literally. This is a food and beverage event inside the park's Soundstage 33, where fans can sample some of what will be on the menu at this year's after-hours Halloween event.

Universal invited reporters attending today's Minion Land press event to try "Taste of Terror" in advance of its grand opening tonight. Here's my walk-around video from inside the event, showing you what fans can expect.

Universal is now charging $136 per person, plus tax, for the two-hour tasting event. Yes, alcohol is included at that price, but park admission is not, and you will need that to get in.

Menus are subject to change, but here is what I found available this afternoon:




Taste of Terror runs 6:30-8:30pm tonight and on August 12, 13, 18, 19, 25 and 26. Tickets are available on Universal's website. (Scroll down to "Enhance the Horror with Event Add-Ons.")

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Replies (5)

August 11, 2023 at 7:55 AM

I've been tempted the past few years to try all of the horror-inspired food around HHN, but as a guest who's typically only at the event for a single day, I don't want to waste time standing in line and eating novelty food when there are houses, scare zones, and shows to experience. I'm sure all these novelties are great for Universal's bottom line and a good diversion for those with Frequent Fear passes or can visit the event on multiple days. However, for those of us that only get a single day at HHN, this stuff is nothing but a distraction.

I do wish the RIP Tours included a few tastes of these specialty items or tours took a few minutes at the food stands instead of arranging stops at the various bars around the park.

August 11, 2023 at 9:27 AM

@Russell - Totally agree even when we were on our own doing express we typically wouldn't try the food cause the lines were just too long! I was so happy last year that the buffet had pizza fries. Hopefully this year they include more options on the menu.

Hate to give Universal more ideas to make more money on me but they should have had HHN food available for sale at Lombard's when all the tours stop. Would be difficult to coordinate but I'm sure they could have a few items for sale that the buffet didn't include. That would be win win :)

August 11, 2023 at 9:39 AM

@Francis - You're absolutely right. The RIP Tours have at least 3 bar/bathroom stops around the park, yet none of those stops are near areas where there are food stands. I know why tours make those bar stops (big spenders buying RIP are likely to spend more on alcohol throughout the night if given the opportunity), but if those stops were also near the food stands, presented with a short spiel by the tour guide (on our last tour, our guide mentioned some of the food as we walked by a few stands and recommended we get some after the tour, but we didn't stop), more guests will buy the food and also buy more alcohol. As John Taffer often says, food might not be profitable in a bar on its own, but it will get customers to spend more on drinks.

I don't know if selling items in Cafe LaBamba during dinner would work unless they dumbed down the quality of the buffet. What they could do is roll in or position carts with thematic foods in front of the area when guests finish their tour.

August 11, 2023 at 10:26 AM

Taste of Terror is basically what Universal did pre-pandemic at the start of the press event for Halloween Horror Nights' opening night - samples of the event's themed food with a hosted bar for the themed drinks. It's only running before HHN starts this year, but yeah, it would make total sense to build some of this into the RIP package during the event.

August 14, 2023 at 11:55 AM

Saw videos on youtube and I wouldn't mind trying this. Too bad they don't do it all throughout HHN. I do agree with the reviews though that the atmosphere seemed lacking. They could re-adjust pricing if needed and have scareactors walking around that would be a top seller for sure!

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