Food Friday: Gas Station Edition

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Another weekly post I’m adding! I introduce to you: Food Fridays!
I think its self explanatory….it involves food in some way/shape/form.

This week I was going to write about something totally different. But due to unforeseen circumstances (read: I fell asleep) I got another idea.

When you think of good food you often don’t think of a convenience store do you? Yeah, me neither. BUT I did find something that has changed my opinion on that in a certain way. This, ladies and gents, is the ‘Smoked Turkey & Jack Cheese’ sandwich from 7-11.

Now before you all click the search bar because you think I’ve gone batty for glorifying a turkey sandwich, hear me out. This thing has become a morning staple for school or work bound breakfasts. Its turkey, cheese, lettuce, and southwest mayo in between cracked wheat bread. It’s part of 7-11’s Fresh To Go selection. And to be honest it really is a great refreshing start to a day.

So if you are at a 7-11 and having hunger pains…I can suggest you one item at least!

-Sakina

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Epcot International Food & Wine Festival {Round 1}

I had the opportunity to attend the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival this past week. It’s something I look forward to every year. So much food (and now since I’m old enough so much wine) to try out. Although the weather was still too a little hot during they afternoon hours it’s starting to finally feel like Fall in central Florida. Hallelujah! Hiding in pavilions between eats because of the heat is not a good look!

Last year was probably the first time that I was able to take in the Food and Wine Festival for all the amazingness that it is. And yes, amazingness is a word. Okay maybe just in my mind, but I’m ranting. So anyways, I really tried to go for so many different things and I really enjoyed it so much. This year I plan on going multiple times, and trying things I’ve never had. Isn’t that the whole point? To expand one’s palette?

I plan on going a couple of times, so I didn’t try to overdose myself this one go-around. Our “theme” this year is kind of a vintage travel. But let’s get down to the real business here:

THE FOOD 

Booth: Australia
Item: Shrimp on the Barbie w/ Pepper Berry Citrus Glaze ($4.50)
Review: I thought it tasted really good. It was a mix of spicy and sweet at the same time. A little more on the spicy side though, but I love spices so I found it great!

*No Picture*

Booth: China
Item: Pork Pot Stickers ($3.50)
Review: I didn’t really like them. I found them kind of hard. And I couldn’t taste the pork so much. Eh?

Booth: Germany
Item: Nürnberger Sausage in a Pretzel Roll ($4.50)
Review: I really enjoyed this one! I might do a repeat on this in my next round. The sausage tasted amazing, not spicy though but very good. And the pretzel roll was just right. And all that mustard all together, it was great! Loved it!


 

Booth: Hawaii
Item: Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise ($3.00)
Review: This one was also very good. I thought that it was going to be doused in sauce, but it wasn’t. The pork wasn’t dry either. Just the right mix of everything! Very good!

Booth: Mexico
Item: Flan ($3.00)
Review: This one might be a bit biased because I love flan. But this one was REALLY good! It was very moist and the flavors was awesome…I didn’t want to share this one! Great last dish for the night!

I went late in the afternoon so I didn’t get a chance to try a whole lot, plus I wanted to leave some things for the next couple of rounds. I also didn’t try any of the wine. I plan on doing that in a week or so.

Also if you weren’t aware there is also a concert series that takes place during the Food and Wine Festival. “Eat to the Beat” shows are 5:15, 6:30, 7:45 , at the American Gardens theater in the America pavilion.

The official schedule of artists are as follows:

  • Taylor Dayne: 9/30-10/2/11
  • 38 Special: 10/3-5/11
  • Jon Secada: 10/6-7/11
  • Roger Hodgson formerly of Supertramp: 10/8-9/11
  • Billy Ocean: 10/10-12/11
  • Starship starring Mickey Thomas: 10/13-16/11
  • Sugar Ray: 10/17-19/11
  • The Orchestra starring former members of ELO: 10/20-21/11
  • Howard Jones: 10/22-23/11
  • Boyz II Men: 10/24-26/11
  • Gin Blossoms: 10/27-28/11
  • Sister Hazel: 10/29-30/11
  • Hanson: 10/31-11/1/11
  • The Pointer Sisters: 11/2-3/11
  • Night Ranger: 11/4-6/11
  • Air Supply: 11/7-8/11
  • Richard Marx: 11/9-10/11
  • Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: 11/11-13/11
*Bold artists are the ones I plan on seeing.
That’s about it for the first round of the Food & Wine festival over at Epcot. There’s more to come as the fun unfolds.
What foods do you want to try??
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Where is it Wednesday #2

Here’s this week’s installment!

Write in the comments below where you think this could be!

Answer: In the line of the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at Universal’s Islands of Adventure!

Shout out to Angela who answered correctly! =)

Stay tuned next week!!

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Take 7 for October

October is here! October is here!

Goodbye summer tourists.

Goodbye 3 o’clock rain showers.

Goodbye 100 degree feeling weather.

I hope you are excited for this month, because I sure am! It’s one of my favorites! All the fun and amazing weather is upon us.

This is my top 7 list of things you should check out / do this October:

  1. Halloween Horror Nights: It’s a must, I really insist so. If you’ve never been, I am going to insist it even more! I’ve already been a couple of times and you can find my review here.  TIP: A large group of friends helps you “feel” safer at least, I can’t guarantee it will work though!
  2. Carve a Pumpkin: Okay, it sounds kind of kid-ish. But if you find yourself with some free time I suggest you run to the store and pick up a pumpkin. There are tons of different patterns you can find online. Check out Zombie Pumpkin and Martha Stewert just to give you a couple of ideas. A Google search can suffice if you are looking for something specific.
  3. Dress Up!: Again, not something that everyone likes to do, or even does. But it can be a lot of fun. I like to do it. Whether you are going to a party or heading downtown for the Halloween weekend you need a good costume. You can throw a couple of things together you have in the back of the closet, go thrift store shopping, or ditch the hassel and just buy your costume.
  4. Horror Movie Marathon: What better to do late at nights than catch horror movies? Do you reach for the classics? Do you like newer movies? Will they make ANOTHER Saw? Or you could even grab a group of friends and do trivia on horror movies. Anyone know what happened on Elm Street?
  5. See Rocky Horror Picture Show in a theater: Speaking of movies, if you’ve never seen this movie run out rent it first. Note: The movie is rated R for a REASON! It is a live interactive performance of the movie. I’ve been a couple of times, and I’ve loved it every time.  They do it twice a month every month usually and it is always at the theaters in Universal Citywalk. Also Near Halloween they always do a special show. For calendar and even more details including FAQ check out the Rich Weirdos website.
  6. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: Always a fall staple. Food and drinks around the world with a couple of friends is NEVER a bad idea! All of the dishes are sample sized, but run less than $6 a plate. The drinks run about $5-$11 bucks depending on sizes. I find the drinking part a little expensive, so I tend to lean towards the food part. They also have a concert series that takes place during the festival with bands like Starship, Boyz II Men, and Hanson all coming out to Epcot. Look out for my reviews coming soon.
  7. Eat your Favorite Candy: Who cares, try every candy till you find a new one that you like! I think this one might go hand in hand with #6. But whether you are craving Sixlets or you haven’t had Razzles since the 80s go ahead and eat it. You can also dig through a younger family members Halloween night stash to try something out. I won’t tell anyone! =P

Hope you get a chance to try out some of these things, I know I will be doing them!

What other things do you guys like to do during the month of October??

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…And They Lived Happily Ever After

Disney is the place of dreams coming true, and where fairy tales are made daily. So wouldn’t it make sense for it to be an amazing destination for weddings? Yes and yes!

I was lucky enough to be able to attend an open house for Disney Fairy Tale Weddings. It was held at the beautiful wedding pavilion where so many “happily ever after”‘s begin. (cue sigh)

In Franks studio they had a set up of different types of cakes and table settings. Everything ranged from very Disney to very classic. They can basically cater to almost your every need!

They had also some various bouquets available to view.

Inside the pavilion itself they held a question and answer session with specialist from all over, from florists to wedding planners. They answered questions from everyone that was there. Also available were samples of wedding cake to try.

Outside around the fountain they had a couple of modes of transportation that you could use on your big day as well!

They also had a reception area set up in one of the ballrooms at the Grand Floridian so that we were able to see.
In all it was a great open house, we learned so much about everything that Disney has to offer for brides to be (which neither I nor my BFF are. We’re just avid fanatics of Disney as a whole).

Disney weddings can go from simple to all out.

According to the Disney Fairy Tale Weddings site there are 4 choices as to location of various celebrations as in:

  • Florida
  • California
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Hawaii (New)

In the Florida and California sections there are 3 different tiers that your Disney wedding can fall in:

  • Escape
  • Wishes
  • Couture (These weddings were developed with celebrity wedding planner David Tutera)
If you want to look into specifics of what exactly Disney weddings encompass here are a couple of blogs that fall into that category:
  • Ever After Blog: The official blog for Disney Fairy Tale Weddings. Includes spotlights from real Disney weddings, as well as tips, inspiration, and news from anything having to do with Disney weddings. Also something I love, Wedding Cake Wednesdays!
  • The Disney Wedding Blog: Disney bride alumni (Sure, lets go with that saying. You get to be part of an amazing group after all) Carly features Disney wedding spotlights, Disney engagement sessions, vendor information, planning information and tips. I love this blog, so many beautiful features and so much great information available!
Take some time to  check both blogs out. They are great resources for information as well as entertainment!
That about wraps it up for out wedding filled post!
So I’ll leave it wanting to hear from you guys. What would encompass your “dream” wedding (doesn’t necessarily have to be Disney based)?
-Sakina
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Where is it Wednesday #1

So I’m starting a new series here on the blog!

I think that the title kind of describes it all. I’m going to post up a picture and you guys get to guess were it’s at. Later in the day (or the next day) I’ll post up the actual location!

Drumroll for this week please……..

Take your guess in the comments section below! Good Luck!

-Sakina

Answer: In the river of Animal Kingdom near Camp Minnie-Mickey! 

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Sweet Dreams

It’s Tuesday night, and I’m craving dessert. There isn’t a sweet within a mile radius of my kitchen, and I’m not making a mess. So instead, I will blog about something delicious.

Talk about living in a fantasy world.

This my friends, is the Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcake. Let me just say, it is amazing.
I’m not somebody who is fond of cheesecake and the cheesecake frosting was PERFECT with the red velvet cake. And the little crunchy pieces, I don’t even know what they were, but they were awesome too!

Want to try it for yourself??

You can find it at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Starring Rolls Cafe.
If you are heading out there note that the cafe closes way earlier than the park does, usually at 4pm.

-Sakina

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Halloween Horror Nights 21 *Review*

This year marks year number 11 that I have been continuing this Halloween tradition. We’ve come a long way from since than, and it always just keeps getting better.

I got the chance to experience opening weekend fun with our Frequent Fear Passes. Of course Florida weather had to intervine and it did BIG! Both nights we had thunderstorms, but only temporarily so the fun resumed after a while. Also, I love to add pictures for you guys, but because of, again, that lovely weather I decided to leave my camera in the car instead of risking water damage.

I did get a chance  to do every single house once, and some of them even twice. Although because of the weather when I went through some of the scare zones there were empty, so there are two that I have yet to experience.

All in all I had a pretty good time. I’m not going to say it was the best Halloween Horror Nights ever, because in reality it wasn’t. It does have a few hiccups, but I wouldn’t call the event a disaster either.

So I’m just going to give a quick rundown of what I thought about each house/scare zone/show. I’m going to try to leave out spoilers of any kind to my best ability. The great thing about an event like this is that everyone can see it in a different light, you have to experience it first hand to completely be able to judge it for yourself. I just want to share with you my personal thoughts on the event itself. But I do hope if you are able to, take the time to go out there, even if it is for a night. or two. In all it’s great fun, especially in a group.

Houses

Nevermore: The Madness of Poe

Description: The madness of Edgar Allen Poe’s greatest works has come to life. Step into the mind of the iconic writer, where every turn of the page takes you closer to the brink of insanity.

Review: I have to say this was one of the best houses. I really like the way it was done. I went through it twice opening weekend and both times I got different experiences that were really great.

Rating:  8 /10

The Forsaken

Description: Four ships began Columbus’s fateful voyage, only three became legend. Condemned to a watery grave, the mutinous and cursed crew of that 4th ship has returned with a vengeance. For within the walls of a Spanish fort, a maelstrom has brought from the depths….death itself.

Review:  I also ran through this house twice and I’m not going to lie. I thought that this was going to be my favorite house. Ships and sea tales have been done before at HHN, and in my mind they have been very successful. This one…literrally SANK. It had a couple of good scares, and a couple of cool effects, but it wasn’t completely there for me.

Rating:   5/10

H.R. Bloodengutz Presents: Holidays of Horror

Description: Join creature feature host, H.R. Bloodengutz, in his final televised broadcast as he presents a SCARE-athon of holiday-based horror that is guaranteed to cleave you screaming for more.

Review: The comic relief house. I thought it was so-so. I got way more laughs then I did scares. Then again, that is the point of these houses (like if you’re familiar with the Psychoscarapy series). So I am gonna kind of rate it against houses of it’s type since it’s “technically” not supposed to be entirely scary.

Rating:  6 /10
The Thing

Description: Paranoia spreads like an epidemic among a group of researchers in an isolated Antarctic outpost as they are infected, one by one, by a horrifying creature from another planet. In a place where there is nothing, they found something.

Review: This one got me. GOOD. It was very different from what I expected really, but I guess I was trying to compare it to The Thing Assimilation house that was done a couple of years ago. All in all, it was a pretty good house in my mind.

Rating:   7/10

Saws N’ Steam: Into the Machine

Description: Spinning blades and massive, crushing pistons await you around every corner as you are forced deeper into the bowels of a mechanical nightmare. Give yourself to “The Machine.”

Review: I didn’t get a whole lot of scares out of this house, but I thought it was pretty damn cool. If you visited the year they did a Saw house, this felt to me very similar to that (and coincidently it is in the same location). It was more of a show house in my opinion. But those chainsaws though, they are a killer…literally.

Rating:   7/10

The In-Between

Description: An ominous portal reveals a 3rd dimension where all is not what it seems: a realm where our world and another collide. Surrounded by fiendish creatures, your eyes will deceive you with every step through this phantasm of terror.

Review: LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! This house was amazing. This is the 3D house that they have been boasting about and let me tell you, I think they did a pretty good job with it. Between the light, the darkness, and the distortion you will have an awesome experience in there. By far my favorite house.

Rating:   9/10

Winter’s Night: The Haunting of Hawthorn Cemetery

Description: As snow falls on this normally serene gothic cemetery, the deceased souls that occupy its confines have their sights set upon you, insuring that the chill you feel up your spine is more than just the cold of night.

Review: This is my second favorite house. Universal knows how to tell a story. No let me rephrase that, Universal knows how to PUT YOU in the middle of a story. I felt like I was outside in a real cemetery, in the winter time (that air conditioning felt amazing on those muggy humid nights HAHA!!) A lot of great scenes in this house, and both times I went through it was entirely different. Loved it!

Rating:   9/10

Nightingales: Blood Prey

Description: Within every war, the Nightingales have appeared. Able to transform themselves to fit any setting, these savage banshees feed on the weak and the helpless. Patrolling WWI era trenches, you discover that you are more than just at war…you’re being hunted.

Review: I kind of got it, but I didn’t like it a whole lot. I only got to go through this house opening night so I’ll have to give it another go. I was expecting something else entirely so I guess in a way that made me disappointed in the end.

Rating:   5/10

Scarezones

Acid Assault

Description: For decades now the city has been degrading from the effects of Acid Rain that still falls today, caused by factories which sprung up on the city’s edges during the 20th century. Those that have lived and survived the blistering decay are all alone in the city. Survivors have stripped the city of all life to sustain their own…dare to enter the ACID ASSAULT.

Review: I’m only going to tell you for sure, check out ALL the buildings in this area. I’m not going to say anything else about that. AMAZING. Also this scare zone did a pretty good job with scares. Just by overlooking the area you couldn’t really pick out exactly everyone who is a scareactor. So in it’s defense it works great for the element of surprise. Overall great job.

Rating:   6/10

Canyon of Dark Souls

Description: Upon entering into the Canyon of Dark Souls, you will feel like a small spec of humanity as the overwhelming sense of death surrounds you. Creatures that dwell within the Canyon are not welcoming so walk slowly as to not disturb them.

Review: Okay, I know I said I was going to avoid spoilers, but if you are anyone thats familiar with the Harry Potter series you will notice that these guys sort of look like Death Eaters. Although I probably would’ve been more intimidated by actual Death Eaters than these guys. I didn’t like it.

Rating:   1/10

Grown Evil

Description: Enter, if you dare, into our garden where Evil grows. Nature has taken this once well manicured sanctuary back from the humans who once kept it. Now the creatures that inhabit the garden are making any human that enters their prey.

Review: This area was so-so. There is lots of fog and it’s very dark, so it is really kind of creepy going through it, and it limits your vision.

Rating:  5 /10

NightMaze

Description: Journey through the ever changing maze of darkness. This all black maze will morph and change as you walk through it. You will not be scared the same way twice.

Review: I really really really really really wish that Universal would just do this as a house. I believe there was something similar to this a long time ago. But this was pretty cool after I went through a couple of times. Each time was different. And it definitely scared the crap out of me!

Rating:   7/10

7

Description: As daylight shines upon our Temptresses, their appearance, though evil, allows you the spectacle of beauty. As night falls, these 7 temptresses will show their true colors and take on their true Fatal Evil forms. Beware of your own temptations.

Review: I think this has become my favorite scarezone. You have to run through it twice though. Once in the beginning of the night, and again near the end of the night. I don’t want to spoil the surprise for you, but there are significant differences between the two times!

Rating:   7/10

Your Luck Has Run Out

Description: Enter if you dare into the lair of the LUCKY! Your choices will determine if you make it out alive. Witness lucks deadly wrath, will she choose you to be her next victim?

Review: The only reason this scare zone got more than Canyon of Dark Souls if because of some other people that are in the zone and NOT Lady Luck. I won’t spoil it for you…but in this case there IS such a thing as too much. You’ll understand.

Rating:   3/10

Shows

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure

Description: Party on as those two most excellent dudes return to skewer the biggest names in entertainment and pop culture.

Review: Kinda excellent! While not the best Bill & Ted’s. It was better than last years in my opinion. It also kind of got me thinking that this year lacked in the pop culture department. But the one’s that they did get, they did do a pretty good job with. Take the time out to catch a show for sure. You’ll enjoy a couple of good laughs.

Rating:   7/10

Death Drums

Description: A seductive, hard-hitting and raw extreme drumming experience.

Review: *Didn’t get to it yet*

Rating:   /10

Other

Another thing that I also did try was the drink that they change every year to match the theme. This year it’s called the “Ante Up.” It looks very similar to whatever it was called last year, but it tasted very different to me. Actually I really didn’t like it too much. What did it taste like? Imagine cherry Robitussin and a Four Loko had a baby…that, ladies and gents, is the Ante Up. Oh well, I got the blinking red cup to add to my collection!

So that about wraps it up for my review of Halloween Horror Nights 21. Like I said before, I hope you get to go out an enjoy the event for yourself. In all Universal does a great job with this, and I really enjoy it every year.

-Sakina

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{Don’t Overlook} Hollywood Studios Edition

Although I there are so many things to do in any one of the theme parks in a day, everyone always flocks to the big ticket items first and formost. I don’t blame them, they are usually the most promising attractions in the parks for a reason! But there are also a lot of smaller or lesser attractions that don’t get any fame or glory at all.

So this is for the underdogs. I’m writing this series on things that I think are more likely overlooked. So I’m going to highlight a few things and maybe next time you have downtime between attractions you can check out some of these other places as well.

This week we’re going to look at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

When naming off attractions in this park you can usually count the biggest ones using one hand..

  • Tower of Terror
  • Aerosmith Rock N Rollercoaster
  • Star Tours
  • Toy Story Midway Mania
  • Lights, Motor, Action

Those more times than less have a large wait time. (Unless you go to the park during slow season, where no line is larger than 15 minutes)

So let’s go to those attractions that I feel aren’t seeked out as much:

One Man’s Dream

It’s not a crazy roller coaster, or an awesome 3-D show. But it’s the story about a guy, a rather famous one at that. His name is Walt Disney. Sound familiar?

It essentially is a walk-through of Walt Disney’s history. Not only with the parks, but with animation as well. There are tons of models, and pictures, and actual pieces from Disney history.

Old Plushes

Can you guess what this is a model of?

I personally think it’s really great that there is so much history behind Walt Disney World as a whole, I think that’s what sets it apart from a lot of the other theme parks. I’m a big Disney fan, so I love just exploring through the exhibit.

Recreation of the studio filming for the Florida Project

At the end there is a movie about Walt Disney. I think it’s a well put together film, even though some of the things mentioned in the film you’ve probably heard before if you are, again, huge on Disney history. If you don’t want to watch the film and just see the exhibit, you can just walk through the theater and out the side doors.

All in all I think it’s a great exhibit if you have some downtime during the big rides. It’s also a great way to get out of the heat or beat the rain, since Florida weather can be cruel sometimes!

Animation Building

Outside of the building


While it IS getting a little more popular in there recently due to the fact that it is now the meet and greet area for Mickey Mouse, I’m still going to cover it.
I stumbled on that particular fact a while ago. The official place that you could meet Mickey was an empty soundstage a little walk after the Toy Story Midway, which was closed a while ago.

So the way my story goes, it was raining, My boyfriend and I were with my Godson and of course wanted out of the rain. We had just got out of the Playhouse Disney (now Disney Junior) show and ventured over there since it was close by and BAM! we are face to face with the one and only Mickey Mouse! (which, of course, is a HUGE deal when you are 2 years old! Haha)

Not only was Mickey there, there was a slew of other characters as well! The Incredibles, Little Einstein’s, and Handy Manny, just to name a couple. So of course this was the holy grail of character meet and greet spots.

Meeting Handy Manny!

Other than the fact that you can fill up your autograph books in one spot, it also has some great exhibits as well. On display now is some of the work that was done for the Winnie the Pooh movie that just released.  There are even animators working in some booths that you can see through a glass. Some of Disney’s animated films have actually been done here at the studios. If I’m not mistaken one of the cast members told us Mulan was one of them.

Inside there are also a variety of interactive screens with activities having to do with animation. And the Animation Academy, in which an animator teaches you to draw a Disney character. (It’s not always the same I believe, they change throughout the day.)

On the way out there is a shop with lots of collectibles and even drawings of your favorite  characters available for purchase.

So whether you want to get out of Florida weather (I know it seems like a recurring theme, but sometimes it’s just necessity), want to meet some of your Disney friends, or are an animation junkie, I believe the Animation Building has something for everyone!

Honey I Shrunk the Kids: Movie Set Adventure

Entrance sign

While the main group this playground is aimed towards may not have even HEARD of the series that it’s designed after, I believe this is a great for kids and adults alike.

Film slide (literally)

While it is a recreation of the world that was done in the movie Honey I Shrunk the Kids, it also doubles as a playground. So if you have little ones, this is a great way to let them work off some of that excess energy that they mysteriously gain. If you don’t it’s a great place to explore and take lots of interesting pictures, especially if you are a fan of the film.

That about wraps it up for Hollywood Studios. Hope that next time you are in the park you get a chance to check these attractions out!

-Sakina

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Horror By Day

Today I took the day out for a yearly tradition — going to buy Frequent Fear Passes for Halloween Horror Nights and taking pictures of the scare zones during the day time.

Our Frequent Fear Passes!

It’s going to be very photo heavy right now. I tried to get as many pictures as possible, so here’s the best of the best!

Pride stage in "7" Scarezone

Sloth stage in "7" Scarezone

Envy stage in "7" Scarezone

Greed stage in "7" Scarezone

Wrath stage in "7" Scarezone

Gluttony stage in "7" Scarezone

Note: There was a breakdancing show going on right in front of the last stage, so I wasn’t able to get a picture of it.

Street in Acid Assault scarezone

Acid Assault

Someone's luck ran out....

Canyon of Dark Souls

Entrance to Grown Evil

Blood thirsty bats in Grown Evil scarezone

That’s all the pictures I have for you!!

Halloween Horror Nights starts this Friday! I’m going to try my luck…will you??

-Sakina

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