PHOTOS, VIDEO: Jack’d Up Experience Disappoints at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort for Halloween Horror Nights 30
Guests at Universal Orlando Resort Hotels can now visit Cabana Bay Beach Resort for a special Jack’d Up Experience for Halloween Horror Nights 30. Located on the second floor of the lobby building within the Fun in the Sun Rec Center, the experience is open from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m. nightly through October 31.
Guests journey through Jack the Clown’s history with props from Halloween Horror Nights over the last twenty years. Photo ops are available, including the chance to step “into” Jack’s human-sized blender.
Guests must have a valid key card for a Universal Orlando Resort Hotel to enter the Jack’d Up Experience. Cabana Bay Beach Resort guests have priority access. All other hotel guests will be given validation for complimentary parking at Cabana Bay during the time spent at the experience.
The Jack’d Up Experience indeed lives up to its name and is one of the most jacked-up experiences we’ve ever had. We waited an hour, alongside many other people eager to find out what is behind that “J” door. Well, everyone who walked out of the exit looked extremely disappointed. No smiles or laughs. One couple came out and said “that was the biggest waste of time.” We should have heeded their warning. Hopefully, you’ll heed ours.
You walk in, and there is a room decorated with lights and carnival-esque decor.
There’s a small makeup vanity with pictures of Jack using his blender in the past.
The blender photo op is set up next to the vanity. Guests can take their photo standing “inside” the blender by walking behind the cut-out. With a push of a button, red and green lights flash and smoke comes out. A Team Member offers to take photos for groups.
The Team Members might be trained for this “experience,” and they are friendly, but they clearly don’t know Jack (get it?) about HHN. They make some forced casual conversation with guests about whether they’ve been to the event and what houses they like. Any further conversation about the event quickly reveals that most of them haven’t been and aren’t very familiar.
The blender photo op is particularly disappointing because, in 2013, the Orange County Regional History Center hosted an exhibit called “A Year in the Life: Backstage to Onstage at Universal Orlando Resort,” during which guests had the opportunity to see HHN props. The photo below is from the exhibit, where guests could get inside Jack’s actual blender from The Arrival (its debut show at 2016’s event).
You then walk through a “hall” with photos of Jack (that you can’t see because it’s too dark) into a second room.
There are some screens and gears and an image of Jack. The Team Member says Jack has a message for you and then starts a generic video of Jack, much like the marketing campaign.
You are allowed to take photos or selfies with a Jack mannequin. It looked like the exact one from the Tribute Store last year. So we posed with the Jack figure and walked out with a disappointed expression for everyone waiting in line to see. We’ll never get that hour of our lives back.