Last updated: 04:00 PM ET, Fri August 12 2016

Universal Orlando's New Halloween Horror Night VR Experience: Is It Worth It?

Destination & Tourism | Erik Yates | August 12, 2016

Universal Orlando's New Halloween Horror Night VR Experience: Is It Worth It?

Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando

Halloween Horror Nights fans have been clamoring for years for a unique experience that is different than your normal haunted attraction. Universal Orlando us finally obliging this year with The Repository, an upcharge experience that will be about $50 dollars extra, on top of your already upcharged  HHN ticket. Upcharge experiences at theme parks are nothing new, but will this new experience be worth the money you’ll have to shell out? I’d like to say yes… yes it will be.

The Repository is an all new experience which will take you out of the normal theme park crowd, and place you into an intimate experience with three other players. You’ll explore a centuries old warehouse that is owned and operated by a secret organization that stores and collects paranormal artifacts. The artifacts are haunted, but none of that matters, as the organization has new technology that will transport you over to the spectral realm. You will cross over and explore what is essentially the ghost realm. What will you discover?  What will happen? You’ll have to experience it to find out.

The Repository will use a combination of live actors, sets and VR technology to tell the story. The cost will be $50 dollars, but you’ll experience it in groups of four, which means you will not have the traditional conga line of guests. The experience will be as intimate as you can get, and could be tailored to your specific fears. The new experience will begin on Sept. 29 and run to Oct. 31. You will have to have a HHN ticket to experience it.

Immediately fans are responding with complaints about the cost. It’s a legit complaint, which begs the question “is it worth it?” Universal isn’t the first theme park haunt to offer an upcharge attraction to their events. Knotts Berry Farm not only did it with a VIP haunt, but also with their Skeleton Key rooms. The rooms give you a new experience, on top of the haunt, which expands the story. Howl O Scream did it with Alone, and The Experiment. Both attractions were personal, and saw only six people at a time. It was a typical haunt. Guests already pay for things like Express, which allows you to skip the lines at Universal, as well as VIP Tours, which not only give you more information, but also let you skip every single line. Other parks offer things like dinner, and early access for a fee.

READ MORE: Universal's Halloween Horror Nights 2016: The Blood-Curdling Lineup So Far

Here’s why it becomes a worth it. Universal does story better than arguably any other haunted experience out there. They have an unparalleled art and design team that isn’t able to stretch their creative legs very often. However, when they do, the houses they come up with are usually some the most beloved fan favorites of all time.

Second, there is new technology at play here. VR is creatively being used to make roller coasters do incredible things. Imagine what you can do with a haunted environment, using live actors. Even more, you add an immersive story with immersive technology, and the possibilities could be endless.

This feels like it could be a test for many more larger experiences down the road. Legendary Truth, after all, was headed by the same team that is bringing the Repository to life. Legendary Truth was a mix of in park puzzle solving and online game play, which began in 2005. Over the past few years, Legendary Truth has grown from a dozen participants to several thousand. All in all, this might be worth a look. Tickets go on sale Aug. 23.

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