Both Orlando and Hollywood’s versions of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios feature The Weeknd this year. The “Blinding Lights” singer collaborated with Universal Studios to not only bring a haunted house inspired by his After Hours album to live, but also a bar as well with on-theme cocktails. While Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort only has one The Weeknd drink you can order, The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare Bar at Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood has a full menu of Insta-worthy cocktails.
Despite being the only The Weeknd-inspired drink at the Florida event, the Save Your Tears cocktail was my favorite at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights this year. A refreshing blend of bourbon, peach brandy, lemon juice, agave nectar, and bitters made this drink the perfect sip to enjoy while waiting in line for the next haunted house. Since it was so great, it set some high expectations for The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare Bar in Hollywood. While the drinks on the west coast would win you more likes on Instagram, they may not be what you would want to order again.
What’s On The Menu At The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare Bar?
The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare Bar in Hollywood is great if you’re hungry and thirsty. The menu features specialty fries for a late-night bite, like Pizza Fries topped with marinara sauce, mozzarella, and pepperoni as well as bleu cheese buffalo, BBQ, and truffle parmesan with black garlic fries. These were ideal if you are staying out late and already had dinner, but need a tasty snack.
If you’re going to The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare Bar, though, you’re probably looking for a drink. There are four cocktails inspired by The Weeknd’s music from his After Hours era. First up is the After Hours Nightmare that has tequila, raspberry puree, peach juice, and lime juice, and it comes with a grenadine-filled syringe. In my opinion, this drink is a little too sweet, and that’s even before adding the grenadine in the syringe. The presentation is scary good, but this may not be the drink you need when you’re staying out late and avoiding a sugar crash.
Looking for a vodka drink? If so, there are two cocktails with vodka as a main ingredient. The first is the Save Your Fears, which has vodka, Stella Artois, grapefruit, lime juice, and comes with a tajin rim. The other is the Blinding Lights that comes with vodka, sour apple liqueur, lime juice, club soda, and a lighted ice cube to fit the name of the drink. These drinks are supposed to be inspired by After Hours, but there is also a drink in the lineup that references The Weeknd’s current album, Dawn FM. The Out Of Time is for rum lovers and is a blend of rum, blue curacao, lime juice, and Sprite with a gummy toad on top. The toad garnish is a nod to the toad The Weeknd licks in his “Heartless” music video, and is one of the Easter eggs you’ll find within The Weeknd haunted house as well.
Is The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare Bar Worth It?
Some of the drinks may be sweet, but if you happen to like one of them, it’ll be hard to order a second. The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare Bar has some pretty long lines. Not only do you have to wait in a line to get into the bar area, but then you’ll need to wait in a second line to order. It really takes away from your time, which may be valuable if you don’t have an Express Pass ticket and will have to wait in the long standby lines for all the houses. Also, Universal Studios Hollywood is kind of hard to get around since you have to travel up and down several escalators to get from the Upper Lot to the Lower Lot where the bar is located.
However, if you do have the time, it may be worth it to visit the After Hours Nightmare Bar to sit back in their comfy couches and rest your feet a bit. There are also some photo opportunities in the bar area to snap a group pic with your friends to post to Instagram. Overall, The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare Bar is worth a visit only if you have the time, are tired, need a snack, are a big The Weeknd fan, or just want to snap some selfies to share on the ‘Gram to remember your frightfully fun evening at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights.