Universal Orlando continues its progress on Halloween Horror Nights as opening night approaches. Visitors mostly have seen construction on the five HHN scare zones, but now folks can get a hint of the specialty foods that will be sold as some menus are popping up across the theme park.
The first look shows a lot of theming — and serious punning — going on in the streets of Universal Studios. For instance, there’s a garlic Philly cheese “stake” that’s listed for sale at $10.99.
An alleyway kiosk called Meetz Meats has raw meat (props) on display already, with menu items such as fried zombie brains (aka fried cauliflower with toasted sesame seeds), spoiled angry bear meat (Flaming Hot Cheetos with white cheddar-flavored cheddar) and fresh ground princess, which is a raspberry-flavored rice treat.
But can that brace customers for the spicy fried chicken offals, which sounds, well, awful until you know the ingredients: chicken, crunchy chili, scallions, sesame seeds, spicy gochujang.
The Meetz market dates back to 2009 and HHN’s butcher-heavy haunted house called Leave It to Cleaver.
“Sacrificial remains” typically aren’t appetizing, but follow those words up with mac and cheese and it could be tempting. The menu describes the dish as a chili mac ‘n cheese bowl with chorizo sausage finger for $8.49.
As usual at Universal events, there’s twisted tater to be ordered, but also, without explanation on the menu, twisted tater blood ‘n guts ($14.99). Less horrifying is the witches spell caldron stew, which is served with skeleton cornbread ($7.49).
Theme Park Rangers
The latest happenings at Disney, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld and other Central Florida attractions.
Some of the beverage offerings already had apropos names, including Spellbound Cabernet Sauvignon ($9) and Voodoo Brew Co. Lacto-Kooler (in a can for $12.25). You may also spot a bloody mary.
Also spotted: a cocktail tied to The Weeknd, who also will have a haunted house during the event. There were also social media reports of tastings by select park guests Wednesday evening.
Not all menus were posted on the stands, but changes in scenery happen every morning at this point. Even the QR codes on the posted menus just point to a basic Universal Orlando website page for now. The resort has not yet released an HHN menu.
We do know that the Tribute Store will have some sweets tied to the nearby scare zone named Sweet Revenge.
“Major Sweets is selling his goodies in the Tribute Store,” Lora Sauls, senior manager of creative development and show direction for Universal Orlando entertainment, art and design, said during an official Universal podcast announcing the haunts. A Major Sweets van is already positioned as part of the scare zone on the park’s New York street.
Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights launches Sept. 2 and runs on select nights through Oct. 31.
Email me at [email protected] Subscribe to the Theme Park Rangers newsletter at orlandosentinel.com/newsletters or the Theme Park Rangers podcast at orlandosentinel.com/travel/attractions/theme-park-rangers-podcast.