The Joys of Being a Halloween Horror Nights Fan

 

Each year Universal brings in more scary movie fans with their annual Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) event. This event provides the fans with an opportunity to live out scenes from their favorite horror films. Being able to live out these scenes provides an adrenaline rush and makes you want to comeback for some more. Once, you attend a Halloween Horror Nights event you are definitely hooked and will be back for years to come.  Here are a few things that true HHN fans do each year to prepare for the upcoming event.

Look for Universal’s Site to go live

All good things must come to an end and this unfortunately applies to Halloween Horror Nights as well. Once, the final lights go out and the costumes are returned to wardrobe Universal’s creative team turns the event’s website static and only shows pictures from previous years.  Around last March is when the fun begins for everyone, because this is when Universal goes live with the event’s site. This is usually a minor theme change, but it is at least a nod to the fans letting them know things are coming.  This is the point where seasoned fans begin to surf the Internet for rumors on which houses will be at this year’s event. I personally like to go to HHN: Unoffical, the best source for accurate Halloween Horror Nights rumors.

Wait for the first announcement

Once, you have seen the rumored list of houses for that year’s event it is then time to wait to see if they are true or not. Usually, around last April is when Universal announces the dates for the event and at least one Intellectual Properties (IP) house. This announcement is designed to stir up excitement for the event and let people know you better get ready to plan when you are coming.

Wait for various tickets types to be announced

Now that you know when the event is happening and have some idea what you will experience the next step is to wait for all the ticket type to be released. Once, the tickets are released you then can plan how to attack this year’s event. I usually attend the event during it’s first three weeks and go all out with the R.I.P Tour. This way I can experience everything at the event in just one night, and also save a lot of money thanks to the time frame.

Book your trip

Once, you know what nights the event happens and how you want to experience the event then it is time to make it official and lock down tickets. Those of us that have been to the event multiple years usually start booking our tickets around Mid-June. This is a very popular event and tickets sell out fast!

Wait for the full event reveal

After you have your tickets the next step is to sit back and watch all the announcements pour in. Universal usually have all the houses, shows, and scarezones announced in Mid-August.  This gives you a month to prepare for the event.

Pregame the event

How do you prepare for the event? It is quite simple just watch all the movies that will be at that year’s event. Universal’s creative time does any incredible job when it comes to designing haunted houses and scarezones. The creative team does such a great job that you actually feel like being apart of the movie yourself.  Another reason to watch the movies beforehand is that the creative team is known for leaving Easter eggs that a novice eye would miss.

Have your HHN experience

You have your tickets, seen all the movies and even listened to the commentary track now there is one thing left and that is brave the event itself. Now get to the park and have a blast! HHN offers an experience that is hard to describe. You will scream, laugh and even get a rush of adrenaline.  I believe the unique combination of emotions that this event provides is why we all become addicted.

Repeat

Congratulations you have survived a Halloween Horror Nights and now know what it is like to be in your favorite scary movie. Admit it you are hooked and can not wait to attend next year. Now there is only one thing to do, and that is start this cycle once again.

How do you rate your experience as a HHN fan?  Let us know!

Guidelines for HHN Newcomers

Each year Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) grows bigger and pulls in more fans then before. If this will be your first year attending an HHN event, then here are some guidelines to make sure you get the most out of the event as possible.

1. Get to the Park Early

HHN  is an incredibly popular event and gets more crowded the closer date is to Halloween. So, get to the event at 6:00 p.m. and enjoy as much as possible before the rest of the crowd gets there around 8:00 p.m. When the park is packed with people wait times in the normal queue lines can get up to two hours for the popular Intellectual Property (IP) houses.  So, the sooner you get in line, the quicker you can experience the house.  Not to mention, that all the waiting adds up and takes away from the other things you can do at the event like: watch the Academy of Villains dance show, checkout the scarezones throughout the park, and enjoy the food and beverages at the concession stands.

2. Upgrade your ticket

Halloween Horror Nights has become such a popular event that is nearly impossible to view all the haunted houses any night with just the standard admission ticket, so you will have to purchase some form of an upgrade if you want to see everything.  Most people purchase a multi night ticket and bare the normal queue lines to knockout three or four houses per night. Some people purchase an express pass which puts you ahead of the normal line once per house. The wait times using the express usually max out at an hour. The nice thing about the express pass is that it also allows you to jump the line once on all the rides as well.  Then there is the top dog of the update, which is known as the R.I.P Tour. The R.I.P Tour gives you a guided tour of each of the houses and puts you ahead of all lines. The most you wait for any house during the R.I.P Tour is ten minutes, so this upgrade is a godsend on those crazy busy nights where it is nearly impossible to traverse the streets of Universal.  Although, the R.I.P. Tour is a little more expensive it does provide you with a buffet meal, quick access to the bars, VIP access to one show, VIP parking, VIP access to one ride and express pass for all rides once. If you are worried about spending extra money, I recommend going during the first three weeks of the event when prices are cheaper.  The savings of going early makes the R.I.P Tour a potential choice of anyone.

3. Be respectful of the scareactors

Like it or not social media is ingrained into our society and everyone wants to show off what they are doing at all times. Please remember that just because you want to put a selfie of you and the actor in the scary costume on the social media does not mean the scareactor has to oblige you. The scareactors are there for one reason and that is to scary you.  That being said, Universal has done a great job over the last couple of years to allow everyone to have a chance to take selfies in the scarezones. Photos are not allowed in any of the haunted houses to protect everyone’s safety. Also, flash photography is prohibited at all times.  Taking photos with your flash on or in any house will result in you being asked to leave the park immediately.

4. Try not to over do it

Halloween Horror Nights is an event that allows you the opportunity to unwind and enjoy some adult beverages. Have fun enjoy your time at the park and make some new memories with your friends, but please do not act like you are at a college frat party. If you get wasted and cause a sense then you will be asked to leave the park or possibly even worse. Nobody likes being around an obnoxious drunk and it ruins the event for everyone involved. Please keep in the mind that the brave men and women of the Orlando Police department provide security for this event, and are willing to haul away anyone who is acting out to jail for disorderly conduct.  So, keep your drinking at a level you can control and help keep the event enjoyable for everyone.

5. Show no fear

This is a mature event and some very graphical scenes will be presented to you. If you are the type that closes their eyes during a horror movie then this event is properly not for you. For example, my sister-in-law has had panic attacks after walking through a couple of HHN houses. Universal’s creative team does an incredible job designing these houses.  Walking through a Horror Nights house feels like being in the movie. It is ok to get caught off guard once in awhile, but if you are walking in the streets with you head down avoiding eye contract with the scareactors then you will have a long night ahead of you. I have seen scareactors prey on scared young college aged kids plenty of times. Trying to avoid the actors only makes them want to play with you even more. It is quite common place for scareactors to follow scared people around in the dark streets messing them until the person runs away in fear.

What are your rules?  Should we add anything to these?

HORROR CLASSICS – CHUCKY AND KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE – COME TO LIFE HHN28

Two horror icons originating in the 1980s – Chucky and Killer Klowns from Outer Space – will come to life as terrifying scare zones at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights.

In the Revenge of Chucky scare zone, one of the most frightening icons in horror history, Chucky from Universal 1440 Entertainment’s film series, is back to create chaos in the streets of Universal Studios. Guests will enter a toy fair turned lethal, filled with diabolical twists on childhood toys from the past. They will be stalked by possessed toys – such as murderous monkeys, a board game turned deadly and more. And, guests will come face-to-face with the world’s deadliest doll.

In the Killer Klowns from Outer Space scare zone, an interstellar circus tent filled with the otherworldly klowns from Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures’ hit horror sci-fi film has landed in the streets of Universal Studios. The sweet smell of cotton candy will invite guests inside – but they will soon realize that the treats are spun from unsuspecting victims, and they’re next on the list. Guests will try to escape the killer klowns or face the wrath of their ray guns, which will turn them into grotesque cotton candy snacks.

Revenge of Chucky and Killer Klowns from Outer Space complete the scare zone line up for this year’s event. Three other original stories will haunt the streets – including Vamp 85: New Year’s Eve, Twisted Tradition and The Harvest.

Are you excited for these zones? Let us know in the comments!

The HHN Unofficial Story & Guide 2018 is OUT NOW!

The award winning and best selling story and guide to Halloween Horror Nights is out NOW!

The fear-filled coverage includes:

* Walkthroughs of every house and scarezone in HHN history
* Backstories of HHN icons like Jack the Clown and icons-that-never-were like Nathaniel Crowe
* Survival tips, crowd levels, maps and wait time graphs, and other tools for making the most of this year’s HHN
* Behind-the-scenes commentary from HHN notables James-Michael Roddy, Jason Surrell and event co-creator Julie Zimmerman
* A rundown of houses that never saw the light of day
* Lots of “Fun Fear Facts” about little-known HHN moments

GET THE STORIES BEHIND THE SCARES AND NEVER MISS A TRICK!

Get your copy NOW HERE!

The Connection Between A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday 13th and The Evil Dead

Halloween Horror Nights has given us several memorable haunted houses based off of intellectual proprieties (IPs) over the last twenty-seven years.  The list of IPs has grown to include A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and The Evil Dead.  Each of these films are considered classics from the 1980’s and have immense cult-like devotion from their fans.  That being said, most people do not realize that these movies are connected due to a few cleverly placed props.

It all began with a poster

While watching, “The Hill Have Eyes,” Sam Raimi noticed a scene with a half ripped poster from,”Jaws.” Raimi interpreted this as the movie’s director Wes Craven saying the movie was scarier then, “Jaws.” So, once Raimi finally got his shot to direct he decided to reference the half ripped poster in his movie, “The Evil Dead.” During the scene were Ash and Scott explore the cabin’s basement a half ripped poster from, “The Hills Have Eyes,” can be clearly seen on the wall.  So, Raimi is trying to say that, “The Hill Have Eyes,” is only as half as scary as ,”The Evil Dead.”

Wes plays along

Once, Wes Crave saw, “The Evil Dead,” and heard why Sam Raimi placed  a, “Hills Have Eyes,” poster in the film he decided to play along.  Craven winked back at Raimi by including a scene in ,”A Nightmare on Elm Street,” where lead character Nancy is watching, “The Evil Dead,” on her television while trying to stay up.

If the glove fits

Loving the fact that Wes Craven referenced his film in, “A Nightmare on Elm Street,”  he decided to take it to the next level in the sequel, “Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn.”  This time around Raimi referenced, “A Nightmare on Elm Street” by including two scenes where Freddy’s glove is clearly seen hanging in the background. The first scene is when Ash goes into the woodshed and Freddy’s glove can be seen hanging over the door frame.  The final reference can be seen when Ash in wondering in the basement looking for the missing pages of the Necronomicon Ex-Moris, or the Book of the Dead.

A Book is only worth what it is printed on

After the dismal box-office results of, “Friday the 13th part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan,” Paramount Pictures sold the franchise rights to New Line Cinemas in 1990.  This lead to one of the weirdest entries in the Friday the 13th series, “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday.”   In this film, Creighton Duke reads a spell from the Necronomicon, while another character stabs Jason with the Kandarian dagger.

The Ending or the Beginning everyone wanted

By now, everyone knows how, “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday,” ends. Freddy’s glove comes out of the ground and crushes Jason’s mask. This was the ending that every fanboy wanted and it lead to the film, “Freddy vs. Jason.” However, with the inclusion of the Necronomicon and Kandarian dagger many fans wanted a sequel called, “Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash.” The fanboys never did get this movie, but they instead got a limited six issue comic series published by Wildstorm and Dynamite Entertainment. This series ran from November 2007 until March 2008.

This could be the greatest house ever built…

This leads me to wonder why Halloween Horror Nights have not created a Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash house yet?  I believe this would be an incredible house and the billing alone would draw in the fans.  Please Universal give us a mega house that combines scenes from all three franchises and climaxes with Ash breaking out his boom stick and  chainsaw to send Freddy and Jason back to Hell!

So, did you know all these facts? Are you still hoping for a Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash movie? Do you think this would make a great HHN House?  Let us know!

My Top Five HHN Houses

My love for Halloween Horror Nights began almost four short years ago when I was lucky enough to attend HHN 25.  That year’s event showcased nine incredible haunted houses, five scarezones and brought back everyone’s favorite icon Jack the clown.  I was hooked the second I walked into one of the haunted houses and have been back every year since. Here are my top five favorite HHN houses from the last three Halloween Horror Nights.

1. Jack Presents: 25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem

This was the very first HHN house I ever dared to walk into and it set the bar for the rest. I was completely blown away with all the amount of detail that each scene contained. It was literally like being in all the monster movies I grew up watching. This house still has the honor of being the only one to actually make me jump from a scare. This was all due to the perfect timing of the scareactors and a well built false wall.

2. American Horror Story (Murder House/Freak Show/Hotel)

2016’s American Horror Story uber maze was the star of Halloween Horror Nights 26.  The Universal creative team did an incredible job combining the three seasons of: Murder House, Freak Show and Hotel into one house of pure adrenaline.  Even if you are not a fan of this show the house featured Twisty the clown, who is down right creepy and the actors that portrayed the character were on point.

3. Scarecrow The Reaping

Scarecrow The Reaping was the best house of Halloween Horror Nights 27 and some believe it may be the best house ever. This original concept maze had you walk through a farm during the 1930’s dust bowl, while being attacked by a pack of scarecrows.  What made this so memorable were the narrow halls that made everything feel claustrophobic.  Plus, it seemed that the actors were jumping at you from every corner possible.  Another bonus for this house was the facade, which included actual rows of corn that only helped you believe you were actually on a farm.

4. Insidious

HHN 25’s Insidious house took users through the further as shown in the first two chapters of the movie series.  You could tell who ever designed this house was a fan of the movies series, because every scare from the movies were included into this house. What I remember the most from this house was waking into a room and seeing the lipstick demon jump at the person in front of me. Trying to act all bad ass I looked the actor in the eyes as they slowly went backwards into a false wall only to see the actor’s eyes look past me as if something was hidden out of my sight. I figured go with it, so I turned around to find another lipstick demon right behind me looking over my shoulder.

5. The Exorcist 

The Exorcist was HHN 26’s most anticipated house and it lived up to all the hype. First, I would like to point out that the movie is considered one of the scariest movies of all time and Universal took on a huge challenge trying to create many of its memorable scenes.  What I remember most about this house was the smell of pea soup as you walked past vomit stained sheets.  This house scared my sister-in-law so bad that she refused to do anymore houses that night.

So, what are your favorite Halloween Horror Nights houses? Let us know!

Three Scarezones Announced!

Although scarezone announcements aren’t as exciting as House announcements, they’re a huge part of the event and make the experience that much greater. Today we learned about three scarezones we’ll see this coming HHN28

The Harvest

Last year’s House of the Year award winner “Scarecrow: The Reaping” is making it’s comeback for HHN28, and this time it’s in the form of a scarezone! That’s right, the frightening characters of last year’s scariest haunted house attraction are coming back, and this time outside of the confines of a haunted house! The scarezone will be themed as a large farmhouse, decorated with trinkets from each haunted house featured this year at HHN28

Vamp ‘85

As another callback to a previous Horror Nights event, Vamp ‘85 is a sequel to the HHN26 scarezone, Vamp ‘55. Whereas two years ago the scarezone was a high school pep-rally and parade being over-run by vampires, this scarezone takes us 30 years into this fictitious timeline. This time, though, it’s not a high school football hype party; it’s a New Year’s Eve party! Expect lots of confetti!

Twisted Tradition

Remember how Central Park was decorated with over 200 jack-o-lanterns in the Trick R Treat scarezone? This year the pumpkins are back, but this time they’re a bit rotten. The description of this scarezone is rather vague so far, but our understanding tells us to expect rotting pumpkin-people and other decaying creatures.

As always, check back with us here at HHNU for the lastest updates on HHN28!

 

Survey Hints at Possible REPEAT Houses & Numbers for HHN28

A survey was released today from Universal Orlando on the topic of HHN28. The survey primarily asked users about which years that they had attended HHN in the past and what expectations they had over the number of IP houses (external well known properties) or original concept houses.

This was all very interesting as the survey made reference to 10 houses and 2 shows through the different topics, which therefore suggests that Universal is likely planning on these numbers for HHN28. As of yet, Universal has not confirmed the number of houses, scarezones or shows but has hinted at a number similar to last year.

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The other tidbit of information was the below list of houses from past years that hint as to whether you’d be happy about them returning to the event, essentially being repeats. Whereas Orlando hardly ever repeats houses, it is common in the wider haunt industry to repeat various houses from previous years. The list is interesting as it contains two houses, which are highly rumored for this year, namely Halloween and Asylum in Wonderland. Which begs the question as to why Universal would want to know whether you’d be pleased to see these houses return?

 

Anyhow, this is just a quick update from us as it is very likely other official updates from Universal Orlando must surely be around the corner! Are you excited if any of these houses would return? Let us know in the comments!

Trick r’ Treat Returns for HHN28

Beginning September 14, Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood will bring Legendary Pictures’ cult Halloween classic Trick ‘r Treat to life in all-new Halloween Horror Nights mazes that dare guests to live by the rules or suffer the consequences.

Based on the critically-acclaimed and fan-favorite movie, directed by Michael Dougherty, the “Trick ‘r Treat” maze will transport guests to Warren Valley, Ohio on Halloween night to celebrate the holiday’s dark traditions. Recreating some of the anthology’s most iconic scenes, the disturbing new maze invites brave thrill-seekers to become entwined within the secrets of this sleepy suburban town.

Guests will experience some of the film’s most grisly scenes and encounter hauntingly familiar characters. They will meander through Mr. Kreeg’s infamous house, watch as college students viciously transform into bloodthirsty werewolves and dismember the town, as well as come face-to-face with Sam – the spirit of Halloween – who readies to punish those who break the holiday’s tradition.

Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” is the ultimate Halloween event. For more than 25 years, guests from around the world have visited “Halloween Horror Nights” in Hollywood and Orlando to become victims inside their own horror film. Multiple movie-quality mazes based on iconic horror television shows, films and original stories come to life season after season. And, the streets of each coast’s event are transformed into highly-themed scare zones where menacing scare-actors lunge from every darkened corner.

Additional details about Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” will be revealed soon. Select tickets and vacation packages for Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights are on sale now. For more information about “Halloween Horror Nights” at either Universal Studios Hollywood or Universal Orlando Resort, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com.

Was Trick ‘r Treat Accidentally Announced Last Night?

That’s right HHN fans it appears beloved Halloween property Trick ‘r Treat was accidentally released last night via Universal Orlando’s Youtube page, before moments later being swiftly deleted.

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Luckily, HHN fans quickly jumped on the video and re-uploaded it to Youtube.  So will we get the rumored announcement this week instead?  Will we see Sam return to HHN and make all HHN fanboys very happy?  Well it seems very, very likely that the official announcement must be imminent…