Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood RIP Tour

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Los Angeles hasn’t hosted a R.I.P. Tour from Universal Studios Hollywood for several years. When I heard it was back, I would have done a backflip if my body would have let me. My daughter, her boyfriend and I grabbed tickets as fast as they became available. Let it be known, I am a HAUNT JUNKIE. 

I wanted to give everyone an idea of what to expect at the event so you can decide for yourself if the $300 is worth it. The ticket comes with valet parking, unlimited front of the line access, a gourmet buffet with soft drinks and two alcoholic beverages (beer or wine), and a personally guided walking tour of the event.

Since early entry to the event is offered starting at 5pm, the trick was to arrive early.  We breezed through security and were directed to the VIP check-in line.  It was about a 10 minute wait, which was the longest we waited all evening. We were given lanyards and our designated buffet arrival time and were let loose to enjoy the park in the meantime. Front of the line access is active IMMEDIATELY at check-in!

Buffet time arrived and we were given 50 minutes to eat and drink before our tour was to depart.  This may seem like a long time, but trust me, it’s not.  The buffet is small but had big choices!  All of the food was labeled with delightfully disturbing names such as Devil’s Island Road Kill (tri-tip), Witches Rocks (assorted olives), Creatures from the Black Lagoon (mussel & shrimp salad), and Shredded Human Heads (pulled pork).  Don’t forget the Blood Brownies and Maggot Krispies for dessert.  It is good to note that all soft drinks were in cans and all water was bottled which allowed you to take some out of the VIP area for use all evening.   However, the alcohol did have to be consumed at the buffet.

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We were merged in a group of 14 with tour guide Alec.  He gave us a brief rundown of what to expect throughout the night.  Alec was ours for about the next 3-4 hours.   At any time we were free to leave the tour as long as we let him know we were bailing out. Here is what we did in the order we did them:

  • The Horrors of Blumhouse:  Including snippets from The Purge, Sinister and the soon-to-be-released Happy Death Day.  Unfortunately it was still light outside when we entered, and with minimal ceiling coverage, the scares were few and far between.  TIP:  Make sure you do this one in the dark kids!  We did go back later in the evening which improved the appearance drastically.
  • The Walking Dead: This permanent attraction had quite a long line and we were very happy to breeze past all of the mayhem. The Walking Dead still holds a big chunk of my black heart, but we all felt they should have added something extra for the event.
  • The Titans Of Terror Maze:  Alec told us that this one was thrown together last minute as a replacement to The Conjuring. Apparently an inside source leaked confidential blueprint layouts of the would-be Conjuring maze, which broke contract agreements with the company.  If this is true, they did one HELL of a job putting this one together. This one had tons of jump scares.  I mean, really, who doesn’t love their party crashed by Jason, Freddy and Leatherface?
  • Titans of Terror Tram: Early on some workers were clearing a path during construction of the Terror Tram and found a log that strongly resembled a bunny rabbit.  Each year It is planted somewhere on the trail and is dressed up as , well, a bunny.  This was about the only interesting thing we encountered while walking this snooze of an attraction. This year had an overload of occupational Freddys, and not enough substance.  Thank the maker for the Norman Bates photo op, or this would have been a total bust.  We all thought it was much shorter as well.  I don’t know what can be done to save this dying beast – it’s just like that smelly aunt you don’t want to hug but know you are going to just because.   
  • The Shining: Heeeeeere’s Yawny!  - Borefest-orama!  I was really pumped for this maze but my nervous anticipation was robbed of its orgasm.  I did like the Pepper’s Ghost effect, but otherwise, blah.
  • Insidious: Red Doors.  Long black hallway.  Great jump scares, but few and far between. Past incarnations of this one have been better, but we still loved it none the less.

At this point we were offered a 15 minute break to rest, use the restroom, or grab a snack.  We used our time to do The Mummy. After that we then started the long trek down to the back lot.

  • Toxic Tunnel: This scare zone is unavoidable as it leads to the backlot.  Lots of strobe lights and ….construction workers?
  • Urban Inferno: Utilizing a plethora of last year’s Purge props, this was a fantastic scare zone which did pull out a few awesome heart attacks. Very fun visually.
  • Ash vs Evil Dead: Definitely the favorite of the night. This maze brings all the things to the table you’d expect from the perspective of the most beloved one-armed death machine.  It’s a visually exciting, unexpected cheesy fun time. I LOVE GRANNY!  
  • Saw: Although not so scary, every room leads to yet another room of gorgeousness.  The portrayal of Jigsaw’s contraptions is nothing short of glorious.  That saw room?  Enough said.  Repeat visits a must!
  • AHS Roanoke: Blood moon. Peeling leg skin. That’s about all I remember. This was not a favorite for anyone in our group.

Our tour concluded on the backlot where we were given an option to follow Alec to Jabbawockeez or stay at the backlot to continue enjoying the atmosphere.  We chose to stay – we felt the best mazes were in this area.

So, is the RIP Tour worth it?  Abso-frickin-lutely!  Other than the disappointment of the VIP lounge not being available for access all night like it had been in the past, the unlimited front of the line pass, scrumptious buffet and $40 valet parking included more than makes up for the shortcoming. For more information on the RIP Tour visit http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/hollywood/2017/RIPTour.php

Trisha Thompson