Who is Lil’ Boo at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights?

by Chelsea Tatham Zukowski
Photos courtesy of Connor Webber

What started as a tweet to “claim” a favorite pumpkin during a preview of Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights has grown into a dedicated fan base for the fright fest’s new mascot. We’re talking about Lil’ Boo, arguably the cutest pumpkin decoration at the park.

During last year’s event, Attractions contributor Conor Webber — who was working for Universal at the time — snapped a photo of a wide-eyed, anxious-looking foam pumpkin nestled among a display of them outside the Wicked Growth haunted maze. In a reply, the official Halloween Horror Nights page named him Lil’ Boo.

“I just took the photo that maybe people would find their own pumpkin to ‘claim’ and then HHN named him, and the rest is history,” Webber said.

Horror Nights fans had a field day last year with the character, and the pumpkin was featured several times on HHN’s and Universal Orlando’s social media pages. The love even carried on into the holiday season when Universal Orlando tweeted an image of Earl the Squirrel holding a string of Lil’ Boo lights.

Lil’ Boo is now the star of the show at this year’s event with appearances on official HHN merchandise and promotional material.

Fans can buy Lil’ Boo drink sippers, scented candles, a festive throw blanket, a pumpkin-shaped purse, hats and earrings, Halloween decorations, Christmas ornaments, pins and buttons, T-shirts, and other clothing.

Buy a Lil’ Boo drink sipper at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando.
Courtesy of HHNstagram.

You can even get a Lil’ Boo HHN commemorative coin.

Fortunately for those who can’t make it to this year’s event, many of these items are available to purchase through Universal Orlando’s online HHN store.

So, where did Lil’ Boo come from? The little fellow has actually been a part of Halloween Horror Nights since 2017 when he was part of the beautiful gourd display for the “Trick ‘r Treat” scare zone.

He was created by Emory Alvarado, a local artist who now has an entire page dedicated to the character on her website. And earlier this year, the Orlando Sentinel published a feature story about Alvarado and her famous creation.

Lil’ Boo (top) has been a part of Halloween Horror Nights since the 2017 “Trick ‘r Treat” scare zone.
Courtesy of HHNstagram

Though Alvarado sculpted a few other foam pumpkins for the 2017 scare zone, what pushed Lil’ Boo into the spotlight was his move to The Wicked Growth: Realm of the Pumpkin house. He was much lower to the ground and in a spot perfect for selfies.

“I guess his anxious face was definitely super relatable after the whirlwind of a year that was 2020 (and, truthfully, 2021 as well),” Alvarado wrote in her post.

Beyond official HHN merchandise, Lil’ Boo also has an unofficial Twitter page and other themed gifts created by fans and Alvarado. One fan animated him, and another wrote a song about him on TikTok.

Of course, Lil’ Boo’s success arguably means the most to his “mom” Alvarado. The artist has been busy creating more art and scenes featuring the character as well as writing an illustrated short story, which she self-published.

Horrors of Halloween Scare Zone Walkthrough at Halloween Horror Nights 2022

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights runs select nights from Sept. 2 through Oct. 31, 2022. Find more information and tickets at UniversalOrlando.com.


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Emory Arts September 10, 2022 - 3:52 am

💙🎃💙 omg!!! this is the first time i’m seeing this article, thank you so much!!! no one told me about this. i remember my first attractions magazine order from years ago. :’) thank you for the feature and i appreciate the work y’all do. and special thanks to Chelsea Tatham Zukowski for your lovely words. ✨

just a quick li’l note: the Orlando Sentinel article is from this year!!

Matt Roseboom September 10, 2022 - 9:49 am

Thanks, we have corrected it.


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