Fear Factor Live at Universal Studios allows park guests to step into the popular show and face their fears. Daring stunts, encounters with critters, and facing your fears makes this Universal Studios attraction a fun show to watch or participate…if you are brave!
This is a guest post from my husband Jeff. He faced his fears and was part of the Fear Factor Live cast at Universal Studios in Orlando Florida.
When my family first visited Universal Studios Orlando in February of 2017, I was surprised to find out that they had a Fear Factor Live stage show. Although we didn’t watch the show during that visit, I found out that they had open casting for the show and that I would be able to participate in the future. I made up my mind that day and the wheels were in motion. I was going to do it.
As a family, we decided to visit Universal Orlando again at the end summer of 2019. I had talked myself up in my mind that I was going to be a contestant this time…. and I was going to win.
I was all set. This was my time. We got to Universal Orlando, and the attraction was …. closed.
My domination would have to wait. We have season passes and I’d get my shot.
Facing My Fears at Fear Factor Live at Universal Studios
As my family prepared for the Christmas holiday, my wife was secretly planning another trip to Universal. I was going to get another shot.
Due to the pass that we had, and some unfortunate blackout dates, we’d only have one day to spend at Universal Studios Orlando. As much as I wanted to relive my glory days as an athlete, I felt that it would be selfish of me to dominate the day for myself when I knew my kids wanted to ride all the rides in the park.
But, as luck would have it, the day we went was overcast and the park turnout was very low. We went on all the rides that we had planned on riding, and we made our way to lunch.
It was then, a Florida downpour occurred and we had to poncho up and get out of the rain. At lunch I told my wife that I was going to go to the open casting to try and get on the show. She agreed that since the weather had turned, we had nothing but time.
Casting for Fear Factor Live at Universal Studios
I made my way over to the Fear Factor Casting area. The park map said to be at the casting approximately 70 minutes prior to the show for casting. I got there to find … no other contestants.
I introduced myself to the cast members and told them that I was interested in being a contestant. They cast for three different roles. You can do the physical stunts, eat something gross, or let them put bugs on your head.
I decided on the physical stunt show and they said that if they couldn’t get anyone else, then the show would cancelled. Luckily for me, two more contestant showed up (possibly to get out of the rain), and they said that the show would go on with just us three contestants.
Preparing for Fear Factor Live at Universal
They checked our weights and made us watch a 5 minute video showing us what we would be doing. It was at this time that I felt like I had made a big mistake and the nerves were starting to kick in. I like to think that I’m a pretty athletic guy. I played football in college. But that was 20 years, and 15 pounds ago.
The medical staff then talked to us and had us sign some medical waivers and forms. Then some cast members got us some gear to wear for the show. This includes some water shoes, spandex shorts, a spandex shirt…and some paper underwear.
The next thing that we as contestant had to do was to shoot a promo video to be played during the show. They told us to have fun with it, and we could talk a little trash if we wanted. I decided to play it safe and keep it pretty basic. My inner WWE star didn’t shine through.
They showed us another video showing us the stunts that we’d have to do and let us ask questions. They asked if any of us were afraid of heights and I sheepishly raised my hand. This wasn’t going to be pretty for me.
First Challenge: Fear of Heights
The first stunt was we were to hang from a bent iron bar, 30 feet above the stage. Typically, they have 6 contestants during the show, and the first two to fall off the bar are eliminated.
There were only three of us during this show, the first to fall would be eliminated, and would have to make the walk of shame.
The safety staff then got us into our safety harnesses and triple checked everything to make sure we were safe. It was almost ready for the show to begin.
They led us up to the catwalk at the top of the stage. Then led us out to our platforms where we would grab the bar. As I inched my way out on the platform, I was super nervous.
3,2,1 … the platform dropped and I was still hanging on.
After 10 seconds, a fan started blowing on our faces while we were hanging and I thought about just dropping at that point. I heard the announcer talking about how well all three of us were doing after 30 seconds, and the first signs of fatigue were starting to show for me.
Luckily, I caught a glimpse of another contestant falling off the bar at around 40 seconds and I knew that I had made my way to the finals. I lasted 53 seconds, but it was not enough to beat the last contestant.
Second Challenge: Fear of the Octopi
The other contestant lasted longer on the bar than me, and he earned an advantage in the second round. In this round, we would be suspended on a rope and swung back and forth, while trying to toss octopi into giant basins.
I had three octopi and my opponent would have four. No matter. I told my handler that I was going to go three for three. He appreciated my confidence, but I could tell he was unimpressed.
They pulled us back and let us go. I was swinging so wildly on the first pass that I don’t even think I saw the basin and just let my octopi go. I missed wildly.
My next throw was closer to the target but hit just short. My final toss had a great chance … but fell short as well. Luckily for me, my opponent missed with all four of his tosses as well. We’d be equal headed into the final event.
Last Challenge: Fear of Heights + Obstacle Course
The final event consisted of us having to climb a ladder and gather 4 separate flags as we climbed. Then we would have to make out way over to a giant pole, grab a key, and slide down the pole and use the key to start a car.
That car is then lifted 25 feet into the air, where we would then get out onto the hood of the car and gather three more flags. Then we would have to climb back into the backseat and fire a rocket launcher at a target to win the show.
What I didn’t realize, was that there would be tons of water raining down on me during this entire process. I felt somewhat confident headed into the last event and was ready for the competition.
The countdown started and I made my way to the ladder. I thought I was doing well until I got to the third flag and I heard that the other contestant was already making his way to the car. Despite trying to gain some ground by making a crazy dive from the hood of the car into the backseat for the rocket launcher, l lost by a couple seconds.
For my participation I was given a fear factor t shirt, and a photo of me and the winner after the last event. I felt bad as if I had let my kids down, but there were excited for me and it took some the sting out of my loss. The hugs I got from them made it all worth it.
All in all it was a very interesting and rewarding experience and I would recommend it to anyone looking to step out of their comfort zone while spending the day at Universal Orlando. I know I’ll be training for my next shot and next time I’m gunning for the championship. I’m coming for the title. My opponent better get ready.
Tips for Fear Factor Live at Universal Studios
- Arrive early at casting so you can pick the challenge you would like to face. They suggest arriving 70 minutes before show time.
- This will take up a big part of your day at the park. You will arrive early and stay a bit after the show to clean up and shower.
- Be sure you are in good physical health. Medics check you before, during, and after the show.
- Family has special seating and should arrive about 15 minutes before show time. You will be told where to line up before the show.
- Have fun with it! It is a fun way to really experience the parks and be part of the show.
Read Next: Ultimate Guide to Universal Studios
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