Staging a Monster Bash: Studio Promotes Creepy Fun to Boost Halloween Crowds

THE ORLANDO SENTINEL - Monday, October 14, 1991
Author: Vicki Vaughan

Universal Studios Florida will join the forces of darkness, calling out ghosts and goblins, as well as Beetlejuice and Frankenstein, to throw parties it hopes will boost attendance on the last weekend of October, typically slow for tourism.

The giant studio tour in south Orlando is planning a huge Halloween party Friday, Oct. 25; Saturday, Oct. 26; and Halloween night, Thursday, Oct. 31.

On those Fright Nights, Universal plans "to capitalize on our 60-year history we've had with movie monsters," said Randy Garfield, executive vice president of marketing.

Universal Pictures, an MCA Inc. subsidiary that is one of the owners of Universal 's studio tour, along with The Rank Organisation PLC, has a film vault stuffed with such classics as Dracula, The Fly, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Phantom of the Opera, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Universal is touting, as part of Fright Nights , the "Dungeon of Terror," which will house "a murderous assortment of mazes," along with monsters and nightmarish images.

Tickets to each Fright Night cost $12.95 a person, plus tax and service charge, or $15.95 the day of admission.

On Oct. 25, 26 and 31, Universal Studios will close at 5 p.m. instead of the usual 7 p.m.

Garfield promised that partygoers will be treated to some surprises.

Walt Disney World, as part of a 15-month-long 20th anniversary celebration, is touting surprise gifts and shows. Garfield said Universal 's Fright Nights, though, are not an attempt to do battle with Disney.

"This isn't a response to Disney's 20th. It's an attempt to establish our franchise on Halloween and to take advantage of the legacy of monster movies we've had for 60 years. And it's strictly to take advantage of people's desire to party on Halloween."