Universal Studios theme park has opened the Halloween version of its Tribute Store, and inside you’ll find sights and scents of the spooky season.
The merchandise store is tied to Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights event, but it’s open during regular daylight park hours, too, and the line to get in and do some shopping tends to be dramatically shorter than during HHN.
Like the rest of Horror Nights, the Tribute Store this year is leaning into traditional Halloween tropes — the witches and jack-o’-lantern scheme.
The first room is a pumpkin patch/corn field motif, and there’s a large, looming pumpkin-headed creature in the center, a stark contrast to the E.T. figure that was in this general vicinity in the previous incarnation.
The bulk of the merchandise sold in the Tribute Store can be found in other Universal locations, but this spot has more atmosphere. Right now the rooms are tied together with a “track” on the floor, a la dark rides (check out the end of the rail), and there are several photo ops to be considered.
Still, in the first room, one might be drawn toward the pumpkin lord candle, tied to the menacing HHN character that greets visitors to the event. (Take a whiff to get a snootful of pumpkin spice latte.) Also available: Lil’ Boo candles.
The second room is cemetery driven with many headstones and an upright coffin for posing. Among the items in this room for the horror fan who has everything: A backpack themed to the 1978 slasher film “Halloween.”
The third room is a witch’s cottage, and here’s where Universal has switched up the meter from previous Tribute Store formats and put food options, including a pumpkin cheesecake trifle cake, ghost s’mores, and yet again, a Lil’ Boo cake in a jar.
The fourth and final room is a Halloween festival in Haunted Hallow Hills, and Universal has said the setting is the same as the Sweet Revenge scare zone, which is near, on event nights, the store’s exit.
No need to rush back out into the sun as there are more creative posters to take in on the way out, including one for the Tribute store (”make sure to visit over and over again,” so meta), one for the Dead Coconut Club offering at Universal CityWalk during HHN and, finally, a nod to the electric chair that was outside the now-shuttered Monsters Cafe. (Too soon?)
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