Universal Orlando's Horror Make-Up Show

Location: Universal Studios Florida - Hollywood

Height Restriction: None

Age Appropriateness: Any

Seat Type: Theater

Attraction Description: Universal Orlando’s Horror Make-Up Show is a 25 minute comedy show that demonstrates how horror film special effects are done. The title of the show may have the faint of heart concerned, but this performance is quirky, entertaining and very light on any actual gore. As you wait in the lobby you can get a feel for what the show is all about as you browse memorabilia from classic horror films and some insider peeks at how the effects were created.

When the show begins, the show’s make up artist enters the theater with great fanfare and over-acting while sporting a fake stake through his chest – the outrageousness of his reactions quickly dispelling any real scariness in the bit. As the show progresses, you’re shown a short clip of scenes from various horror movies. If you have very sensitive children you could shield their eyes from this, but the clips pass by so quickly you can barely register most of them.

After the video clip, your hosts will choose a volunteer from the audience. If you don’t want to be picked, raise your hand and look them straight in the eye. Without fail they will choose a timid looking women who has “don’t pick me” written all over her face. The only part of the show that may make some people squirm is a bit where the hosts attempt to cut off the volunteer’s arm. The trick knife appears to penetrate her skin and fake blood pours out. However, the reality of the effect is soon reveled and the audience gets to see exactly how the prop knife works.

More comedy ensues as the show host and makeup artist banter over various special effects. Guests in the front few rows may get a little wet, so aim for the back of the theater if you’re set on staying dry. You’ll see a second video clip featuring classic horror films in black and white with effects so outdated most children today would find the idea of them being “scary” as completely laughable.

One of the highlights of the show is a demonstration of how some of the effects for “American Werewolf in Paris” were created (accompanied by one more short film clip). A special effects figure operated by air pressure is unveiled and the transformation of the face is demonstrated several times.

After this last bit, the “lucky” volunteer will be brought up once again for the show’s finale. The curtain on the left side of the stage, previously alluded to in many bits, is pulled back to reveal a giant monster. The volunteer is dressed in a vest, gloves and helmet which she’s told will track her movements and cause the monster to mimic them accordingly.

*SPOILER* Though you’ll probably see this last trick coming a mile away, as soon as the volunteer poses for a picture in front of the monster, it comes to life and chases her across the stage before turning its attention on the makeup artist who leads it through a door at the back of the stage. The only other appearance of fake blood in the entire show occurs when he slaps his hand against the window as the creature is, we presume, mauling him backstage. He soon returns in one piece, however, and the show concludes.

Getting Ready: If you don’t want to get sprayed with water, sit toward the back of the audience. Small children may find the left side of the theater (your left if you’re facing the stage) a little less intense because the monster runs to the right. Remember to enthusiastically volunteer if you don’t want to get picked.

Worth the Wait: Check show times beforehand, and plan to get to the theater 10 to 15 minutes early. Doors open about 10 minutes before the show and close at show time. You’ll generally be able to get a seat if you arrive anywhere in that window. The busiest show is the first one after lunch (look for a significant break period in the show schedule to pinpoint lunch) but the attraction rarely fills up completely.

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