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Travel & Leisure

Universal Studios Japan avoids zombie crowds with 'Minions' Halloween

Cute characters aim to cheer up pandemic-fatigued parkgoers

Universal Studios Japan visitors boogie with zombies for Halloween in 2019. The theme park aims to avoid close contact this year. (Photo by Kento Awashima)

OSAKA -- Universal Studios Japan will skip its annual horror-themed offerings this Halloween season to help alleviate crowding, instead creating a festive entertainment program for guests wanting a break from the new coronavirus.

Rather than being chased by zombie hordes at night, visitors to the Osaka theme park will be greeted during the day by "Minions" monsters and other Universal characters under plans announced Thursday. The popular dance that guests would otherwise do with the zombies will return -- but before dark, and with social distancing.

Attendance will remain limited to no more than half of the park's capacity during the Halloween program from Sept. 18 to Nov. 8.

Responding to a growing trend of taking a day off during the week in the new normal, USJ is also offering new discounted packages. A weekday stay at an affiliated hotel that comes with an adult park ticket and a hotel dinner is priced at 14,300 yen ($134) per person.

"Minions" monsters and other Universal characters will dress up for Halloween at the Osaka theme park. (Image courtesy Universal Studios Japan)

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