Universal Orlando invited us out to get a preview of their new “Taste of Terror” experience, a separately ticketed event that will offer guests an exclusive preview of select items that will be featured at the event.
The new “sneak peek” gives fans a chance to see what they can expect at this year’s event, especially as Universal has increased focus and efforts on their food & beverage options in recent years.
With some heavy hitter franchises being featured at Halloween Horror Nights 32, it also gave Universal Parks chefs an opportunity to get really creative with their offerings, especially when it comes to The Last of Us.
Included in the experience, guests can enjoy:
- An exclusive preview of all-you-care-to-enjoy tasting-sized portions of select Halloween
Horror Nights food and beverage items (including beer, wine, and the pre-mixed alcoholic concoctions)
- A souvenir Halloween Horror Nights light-up cup (21+ only)
- A Halloween Horror Nights Coca-Cola Freestyle cup
- One digital download photo taken at the Taste of Terror experience
Everything featured on the menu at the event will be available during Halloween Horror Nights except for 2 items – the Fall Harvest Salad and Mutilated Pork Loin. Those dishes are exclusive to the Taste of Terror.
It should also be worth noting that there are more food, drink, and dessert items that will be featured at Halloween Horror Nights 32.
There are 8 areas total; with 6 for food and 1 for dessert, with the middle serving as the bar area – each themed to a unique property that will be featured at this year’s event.
After trying a handful of the items, here’s a quick rundown of our favorites:
Left Behind Ravioli – Mini Cheese ravioli w/ marinara, truffle cream, and tempura fried enoki mushrooms.
Our favorite of the day! It’s a simple dish but sometimes simple is all you need. For not being a mushroom fan, we found the tempura fried enoki mushrooms to be quite delicious. The presentation is also one of the best ever in Horror Nights history. The best part – you get to KEEP the can.
Peanut Bludder Burger – Smash Burger w/ Peanut sauce, raspberry jelly, cheddar cheese, shaved onions, jalapeño bacon & cherry peppers
It definitely sounds like a lot, and it technically is – but it works! Each ingredient complements the other, despite the eclectic mix of flavors. Just a bit sweet, just a bit of heat, finished with the meaty taste of the burger patty.
Vegan Walking Taco – Fritos chips topped with Vegan Chorizo, shredded mozzarella, roaster corn salsa, pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, and cilantro
We’re not big on Vegan options, but we found ourselves really enjoying the Walking Taco. Ultimately, it is a cool presentation for a taco. Yes, all tacos are technically “walking” tacos – but Fritos are delicious so who cares?
Surfer Boy Hawaiian Pizza – French Bread style pizza with crispy spam, pineapple chutney, jalapeño scallions, and mozzarella. Vegan Option includes vegan sausage crumble and vegan mozzarella.
Pineapple belongs on pizza. Yea… we said it. Another solid option that offers a nice balance of the saltiness from the crispy spam and the sweetness of the pineapple. The French bread was crispy enough for a good crunch, but soft where it didn’t shred the roof of your mouth.
Bloody Campground Poutine – Crispy fries, topped with Asian-inspired gravy, char-sui roasted pork, cheese curds, scallions, and crispy chilis
We weren’t blown away by the poutine, despite the interesting spin on the classic dish. We think it may have been the Asian-inspired gravy that turned us off a bit – but the char-sui roasted pork was VERY good!
Fried til the End Chicken – Fried Popcorn Chicken tossed in Nashville Hot Sauce, drizzled with ranch, topped with scallions and chili threads
Ultimately, it came down to the dish not being hot or saucy enough for our liking. We’re sure it’ll have fans because of that – but we like our Nashville to bring the heat!
So is it worth it? We think so – especially with what you get at the newly-reduced price of $135.99; but there is “a big hook” missing at the event that could seal the deal for fans on the fence. Ideally, we feel the event would benefit if they added a sneak peek at a couple of the characters for photo opportunities that would truly offer up a “taste” of the upcoming event.
Of course, everyone’s definition of value is different, but considering you can choose to have as much or as little food, drink, and dessert as you like – there is definite value there; especially when you consider it includes the blinky & freestyle cup.
The Taste of Terror will take place on select nights through August 26 from 6:30 p.m.
to 8:30 p.m.
Guests can purchase a Taste of Terror ticket online at www.UniversalOrlando.com. Universal Orlando Annual and Seasonal Passholders can take advantage of a 15% discount off.
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