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HHN Curtain Call, Disney Genie Debut, and Holidays on Deck: Your Weekly Theme-Park Recap (October 18 – 14)


Here’s the Orlando theme-park news you need to know for the week of October 18 – 24. 

1. It’s Not Goodbye, It’s See You Later

As we turn the corner into this final week of October, we say goodbye to spooky season and, more painfully, to another year of Halloween Horror Nights. This year was a big one for several reasons, not the least of which was the fact that it had been two years since Universal Studios Florida hosted a full-scale HHN. On top of that, this was an anniversary year, which means that the houses and festivities were full of fan-service and easter eggs – just how we like them. If you still want to sneak in a visit to Halloween Horror Nights 2021, there’s time. HHN will run from Tuesday, October 26 – Sunday, October 31. 

Read our full review of Halloween Horror Nights 2021 here

2. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Does anyone else notice that Thanksgiving seems to just be…looked over? It’s hard being the middle child between Halloween and Christmas, but there we are. At Universal Orlando Resort, the holiday season is just around the corner, officially kicking off on Saturday, November 13 and running through Sunday, January 2. Christmas decor can already be found in Port of Entry and Seuss Landing, both at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. 

Check our guide page here for a complete overview of the holidays at Universal Orlando Resort. 

3. We Dream of Genie

This week, Disney Genie and Genie+ debuted on the MyDisneyExperience app (have you checked your updates?). Disney Genie is a free service designed to help guests better navigate their day at Disney parks. For a charge, Disney Genie+ provides access to the Lightning Lane service, which replaced the Fast Pass system.

Does it seem like a lot? Here are the bare bones: 

Disney Genie
Free; includes wait times and itinerary planning
Disney Genie+
$15 day, per person; includes access to Lightning Lane for certain attractions (not Individual Lightning Lane)
Individual Lightning Lane
Cost varies depending on attraction and day you go; individual purchases to ride certain attractions at each park

Here’s everything you need to know about Disney Genie and how it works, along with a list of attractions included in Disney Genie+ and those identified as Individual Lightning Lane. 

4. Festival of the Arts Dates Announced

EPCOT’s popular International Festival of the Arts is officially returning on January 14, 2022! This festival will run through February 21, allowing for the perfect Valentine’s Day date idea or family outing to cure those wintery, post-holiday blues. 

Check out our guide page here for a list of everything the International Festival of the Arts has to offer!

5. La Dolce Vita

Need a perfect date night, or just an excuse to go out and enjoy the fall weather? Harbor Nights is the event you’re looking for. These adult-only events are hosted on the magnificent and romantic waterfront of Loews Portofino Bay at Universal. Here, guests mill about the harbor and enjoy unlimited samples of fine wines and gourmet foods as they listen to live entertainment. Harbor Nights returned on October 22, and stay posted for announcements on when the next event will be! 

Keep an eye out for our review of Harbor Nights next week on our blog.

That’s it for this week’s news! See you at the parks.


Songs, Slides, and Spirits: Your Weekly Theme-Park Recap (October 11 – 17)

REVIEW: Harbor Nights at Loews Portofino Bay

About Aryn Bordelon

Aryn Bordelon grew up eating rice and kimchi in the Panhandle and was indoctrinated with a love of Florida theme parks from a young age. A long-time follower of OI, she has spent years attending the parks in a variety of ways, from repeatedly attending Halloween Horror Nights to racing (and placing) at Universal Running events alongside her husband, Ian.