Disney Refugee Gets Scared for the 1st Time

Hey! I’m a little early for this trip report. I keep making changes and adding things to this trip and want to share. I was doing it in my last report post, but figured that stuff would be more applicable in the actual trip report.

I don’t leave until Saturday morning and I’m just too excited…

Some of you who follow along with my Universal trip reports know a lot of this. However, I recently looked back at a TR I did earlier in the year and it was such a great personal journal. I’ll definitely print / store these reports at the end of the year. So, for myself and anyone just joining here, are the overall details

This will 9.5 day trip… It was originally planned as a 5 day trip, but due to some good deals and personal good fortune I have made this trip much longer. Also, my DD20 will be joining me mid-week. She doesn’t go at my “theme park junkie” pace. I’ll have 5 days solo to do what I want as much as I want (hopefully) before she arrives. This is the first time either of us have been to Halloween Horror Nights!! We are the type of people that love Halloween. I custom make yard decorations and such. I decorate more outside my house for Halloween than during Christmas!

(We both have 3 Park Seasonal Passes and Rush of Fear HHN Passes)

DD20 just signed her first lease - finally! (She’s been at home this summer, but rarely there)

She came by the house last night to get some things and I really stressed to her the need to not “plan”, but have “priorities” for HHN and UOR. I know she didn’t get to do everything she wanted last time. (She couldn’t stay out past 8pm and walk as much as me)

However, it’s so hard to get any kind of notion of what she wants! :crazy_face: :rofl:

She’s more of a “I’ll have to wait and see how I feel” person. Don’t get me wrong, my biggest stress is that I want to spoil my kid! (while still getting to do everything I want!)

I really want her to be able to do stuff in IOA/USF that she didn’t last time while getting to do all of what HHN offers. HHN looks like a lot!! (In a good way) My concern is trying to balance out the daytime activities with the HHN stuff. Do we skip EPA and sleep in? Do we take long mid-day breaks so we can be out after midnight? When do I plan meals?

Oh well… It’s going to be fun and she’ll get to do as much / whatever she wants. If she doesn’t get to “do-it-all” it will through no fault of my own! :rofl:

Right now I’m trying to double book dining reservations so I have lunch and dinner options. I have things already booked, but now it’s about “safety nets” since I need to be more flexible. However, it’s pretty hard to get anything so close to the dates now.

I did manage to snag a “hard to get” breakfast reservation at The Kitchen at HRH. I say it was difficult because I’ve been looking for a week for a solo resrvation. Then I just changed the number of guests to “2” and had full availability. (looks like my “other” guest will not make it that morning!)

My bags are, basically, packed and I’m just waiting to leave with two day to go!

(I’m still compulsively checking the hotel rates to see if I can get an even better “last minute” deal on our rooms)


No such thing!

If that’s the reason, then you’re a bit late!! :rofl::rofl::rofl:


WAHOO! So excited for this report. I will be taking alllll the notes!!


Never having done HHN I’m not sure, but my inclination would be to aim for early entry because you can achieve so much, then take a long midday break, with a snooze if you can, then stay up as late as you want. Then maybe sleep in the next day and alternate that way going forward if it feels right.

You’re going to have a blast and I can’t wait to follow along…


My biggest “issue” is that we always do EPA. Therefore, we’ve done Hagrid’s/VC/Forbidden Journey more than anything because that’s all that is open. I don’t want to make her get up super early to do the same rides as before. (Even if Hagrid’s is the best ride anywhere!)

I just don’t know how important “Stay & Scream” really is… everyone says it’s “vital” to go to this if you to want to knock out a couple houses quickly. You have to arrive by 4pm and then stand around until 6pm

However, I also hear that if you can stay past 11pm the house queues drop dramatically. (I’ve actually been watching the App this last week late at night and that is true.)

I really don’t think DD can stay out past 11pm without a big break midday. :man_shrugging:

We could sleep-in, go to a park for rides around 10am, eat lunch and leave by 2pm. Go back to the room and sleep until 6pm and go to HHN after 7pm (maybe even after 8pm)

It’s so hard trying to please other people sometimes!! :crazy_face:

We do have 4 HHN nights - two of them are midweek. I’m not concerned that we’ll see it all. It’s just can we repeat houses? (I am leaving a day later, so I get one full night of houses solo)


That’s not a thing.

I just said that. Stop interrupting.


ok stay with me here. Can you arrive at 4, do your jam, leave at 7:30ish then go back at 10:30? Unconventional, but maybe it would work? Full disclosure - I went to Universal once and it was not Halloween, so I may be way off base. But sometimes thinking out of the box makes sense.


I think it would be really hard to get her back up after 7pm. She’d curl up under blankets and be done. I need to get her up by 5pm - definitely before sunset!


Same for me. Naps work against me if their over 30 minutes or it’s dark!


I did just save about $50 by continuing to check hotel rates. I do have to move on my last night from CBBR to Dockside. (I was having to “check out” of CBBR that day and “check in” again anyway for a single add-on night.)

I’ll go back to the hotel with DD to put her in the Uber to the airport and get my bags at the same time to go to Dockside. It really doesn’t change anything since I was coming back to the hotel anyway. I wasn’t going to VB the next morning. I’m just, basically, sleeping in and eating before going to the airport. Might as well save the money where I can!

Yeah…she’s one of those people that claim they “can’t” nap. However, if I give her multiple hours she’ll eventually doze off. Plus, you have to think about the travel time to the parks. By the time you “wake-up / wash your face” and really get moving it’s probably another 30+ minutes before you even get out the door. It’s all those little “interruptions” that steal your time away and a lot of people don’t consider in their planning.


I present to you my niece, who claims to not be tierd and who my sister said “hasn’t taken naps since she was 2”.

It’s 2:49, and we got back to the room around 12:10. I made her turn off the ipad at 12:30 and turned out the lights. Now she doesn’t want to get up!

In other words, getting up early and riding coasters can take it out of you. I ordered us some food and we’ll eat and then head into stay and scream.

You’ve seen me say it before that yes, stay and scream is a big deal… it’s a bigger deal on Friday and Sunday, and especially if you don’t think you can go the distance to 2am. If you have multiple nights then you will still get everything done even if you just do the busy middle part of the night, but who wants to spend all their time in a queue? The HHN queues are just temporary switchbacks… super boring.

FWIW, the plan for tonight is to head in and do stay and scream in Springfield. We’ll hit the houses back by Men in Black, the Weeknd (both niece and I are excited for that one), some scare zones and the Nightmare Fuel. Show. We may have a middle of the evening break somewhere, depending on how she’s doing. If she does then we’ll come back and do whatever houses have short waits.


Your plan sounds fun!

How old is she?

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My HHN article is going up tomorrow and my suggestion is to do stay and scream in NY for Halloween and to enter the line no later than 430. Then after that hit Winters Wake and Chupacabra before heading to the back of the park.


She’s 9 tomorrow!


Happy (early) birthday to her!

My oldest daughter is celebrating a birthday today :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


That’s the plan for Saturday. I’m still up in the air for tomorrow. I hate Fridays… too busy.


Yay (almost) birthday twins!


Also make sure to visit the dead coconut club!


It’s on my arrival night “to do” list!!

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She’s incredibly brave. My 8 year old turns 9 in November and can’t even handle “Goosebumps” books or movies! She’s the biggest chicken! (whispers: she gets it from me.)