Halloween is coming, which means you it’s time to get all excited about dressing up and heading to a Halloween-themed party. You could wait for October 31, or… you could start heading over to Universal Studios Japan (USJ) every September onwards to do the above and more!
We were invited to USJ in Osaka by KKDay last week to check out the newest Halloween installations, attractions, and menus the Park recently rolled out. Apart from plenty of screaming done on our end (I swear not all of them came from me), we got to go on the other signature rides the Park is famous for – a huge plus for me since this is my first time to USJ! Before I go into details about their Halloween activities, here’s some good-to-know info that might be useful.
How to get to Universal Studios Japan:
If you are coming from Kansai International Airport (KIX), buy your JR Line tickets to Universal City station. From KIX, take the train to Nishikujo Station, afterwhich, change to the Sakurajima Line, and you’ll be at Universal City station in 2 stops! The whole journey from the airport will take about 70 minutes, and will cost you 1000-1300 yen. The entrance to the park is just a 3 minute walk away.
Where to get your tickets:
Skip the queue and get your passes online at KKday! All you have to do is print and show your purchased KKday voucher, and scan your QR Code to enter the park! Easy!
Where to stay if you are intending to spend the night at Universal City:
We decided to spend the night at Universal City because we didn’t want to spend 140 minutes on the train traveling to and from Osaka to USJ. We chose to stay at Park Front Hotel, and it is literally a 2 minute walk to the Park entrance. Hotel Kintetsu Universal City and Hotel Keihan Universal Tower are next to the hotel I stayed at, but I ultimately chose Park Front because it’s the newest hotel out of the 3.
Halloween Horror Night
From the moment the park opens till it closes its doors, expect to experience a slew of Halloween activities and attractions dedicated to giving you a Halloween you will never forget. This year, USJ has introduced three new “horror attractions”: Dead or Alive, Trauma 3: The Terrible Prison Lab, and Cult of Chucky: Chucky’s Mad Hospital Ward. According to people we’ve met, Trauma 3 is the a level 10 on the fright scale – we didn’t manage to fit this ride into our itinerary (thank goodness!).
Besides these three new attractions, there are 4 others —A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Maze 3, The Exorcist: House of Exorcism, Sadako: The Cursed Attraction, and Gakkō no Kaidan (Haunted School): The Cursed Attraction.
We started our day at USJ running away from zombies.
Yup, you heard that right. We went through the Deadman’s Forest Escape experience and honestly, I will never put myself through ever again. Hand in hand with my friend Charlotte, we were screaming all the way as zombies came out of nowhere, some from the bushes, and some chasing us with an axe from behind. It did not help when we were told to choose one out of three correct routes through the forest, and that we had to memorise a 6-digit code to get us out of the forest lest we get attacked by another group of zombies. I have never desperately wanted to memorise 6 random numbers in my life, but alas, my memorizing efforts foiled – our pin code receiver was deliberately masked up so we could be in a vulnerable position for more zombies to attack. Great. Thanks guys.
The Forest of Death is only a 4 on the fright scale. I definitely do not want to know what Trauma 3 is like.
If you plan on recovering from the sweat and the intense heartbeat after putting yourself through a morning of Halloween scares, head to the Studio Stars Restaurant, or the
Three Broomsticks Restaurant located at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Both restaurants have Halloween-Special menus that include ingredients and flavours that will remind you of Halloween! You can check out the street cart food options too, like the Hello Kitty Chucky and Minion Dracula paus we had.
End the day with street zombies that roam the park from 6pm onwards. Expect 20 types of zombies (the widest variety in USJ’s history) attacking guests at every corner (there are “safe” zones for children). I must say, I am very impressed with the actors hired to play the zombies. They are incredibly passionate and so into their roles as zombies that nothing can stop them. Want a selfie? No chance, because since when do zombies take selfies?!
Of course, the park is not only limited to Halloween attractions and activities in the month of September and October. All other rides run as per normal! If you are a Harry Potter fan, definitely pay the Wizarding World and Hogsmeade a visit: Pick a wand, go on the Forbidden Journey ride, and stay till sundown to catch the Expecto Patronum Night Show.
The Japanese love their Despicable Me! Minions too, so a visit to the Minion Park cannot be missed. Walking around the park, you can spot hundreds of people dressed in yellow tees and blue overalls (like the minions!), and it really is no surprise a lot of their Halloween-Special Menus feature Minion-inspired designs.
I hope you guys enjoyed this quick how-to guide to USJ during Halloween season. I had a lot of fun traveling to Osaka for this, and I can safely say the excitement and post-USJ withdrawal symptoms last for days. Don’t forget to get your USJ passes online at KKday!