This year’s Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store opened this week at Universal Studios Florida. As always, this unique retail experience features intricately detailed theming, fun event merchandise, and even some exclusive treats.
One thing that stood out to me though, was how this year’s Tribute Store managed to keep a single through line from room to room. Rather than telling 4 separate stories, as is usually the case, the rooms for this Tribute Store were all part of a single “house.”
Being the 30th anniversary, I was impressed how the designers were able to weave in homages to past years of the event, while keeping within the theme as well. Here’s a photo update on some of the many props, concept art, and photographs from the event on display, as well as some of the fun nods throughout the Tribute Store for 2021.
Stepping into the HHN Tribute Store this year is like stepping into an old, creepy house. Haunted, but not by ghosts, but rather, memories. And from the notes scattered throughout the rooms, that seems to be part of the theme, (perfect for looking back on 30 years of fear).
Of course, there are some obvious nods to things related to the event, like the “HHN Bear,” but while still remaining in-theme for the house concept.
Something I thought was extremely clever, was using hutches and cabinets to display memorabilia and props from past years. Purpose-used furniture that fits within this parlor room setting, but also serves as a way to showcase items like a museum.
At first glance, I didn’t even realize this cabinet was displaying park maps and more from prior years. As someone that only recently started collecting theme park maps, boy do I wish I had saved mine from the first years I visited back in the 1990s. These really bring me back.
Across the room, glass cases showcase props, concept pieces, and even molds for scareactor masks from haunted houses over the years. The Legendary Truth pieces are perfect to go along with one of this year’s original houses.
The second room is lined with portraits and busts of many of the event’s headlining icons, including Jack the Clown above the fireplace.
Once again, curio cabinets offer a way to show off many props and items related to classic mazes from three decades of the event. Fans will recognize the Lantern straight away, but my eyes will always be drawn to Leave it to Cleaver’s iconic mascot!
With this room highlighting the icons of Halloween Horror Nights, scouring the cabinets can be a fun game of “who’s who,” looking for your personal favorite characters.
Photographs line the walls, and while they may not be as apparent at first, most are from previous years for the event. There are even photos from the first year, when it was called Fright Nights! You can also spot a couple photos from the event’s former Bill & Ted show, (if you look really hard on the second level balcony).
While the final two rooms don’t offer the same level of props and cases of curios to pore over, they are of course impeccably themed to the nines. The third room, designed to be grown over conservatory is my favorite of the bunch, with its dramatic lighting and unique setting. Look into the cabinet near the room’s exit for a scare!
Despite not offering any more cases of props, there are still a few fun nods to Halloween Horror Nights lore to be spotted before we exit.
I have only had one opportunity to walk through the Tribute Store so far, so I am sure I have missed plenty of homages and Easter eggs, especially considering how densely they’ve lined the walls with decor! What were some of the things I should look out for next time I visit? UPDATE: See the video for additional footage from the store!
For a look at some of the merchandise and treats available for sale at the HHN Tribute Store, see my previous piece. The store should be open now through Halloween. Happy hauntings!