Cast of Netflix’s ‘Never Have I Ever’ Caught Sneaking into HHN Whilst Dressed as Scooby-Doo Characters

In a moment of “it’s so funny you couldn’t make this up” comes news that members of Netflix’s hit new show ‘Never Have I Ever‘ were supposedly caught not just sneaking around the historic Hollywood backlot but also were caught sneaking into Halloween Horror Nights – whilst dressed at characters from ‘Scooby-Doo‘.  Surely this is a film we would all want to see!

The story comes from cast members Jaren Lewison and Darren Barnet who were recently interviewed by Vulture where they stated that they wanted to end their run of filming on the backlot with doing something memorable.

Apparently, the younger members of the cast formed a quick and lasting bond due to the heavy shooting schedule of the production.  The production was largely based inside soundstages on the expansive backlot at Universal Hollywood.  Towards the end of the filming, the cast started to get interested in the goings-on around the soundstages and started to venture out exploring between down-times.

Initially, the gang started to explore the neighboring sets to the soundstages but this was swiftly stopped.  Barnet said that they were prevented from doing this so rather than try their luck they decided to go bowling at a nearby bowling alley instead.  This continued for a while before the gang wanted to slip past the set security guards and get onto the wider backlot.

On the last day of shooting they snuck Scooby-Doo costumes in and swiftly changed into these when filming wrapped.  Sneaking by the security guards they managed to see the sights of the historic backlot before realizing that Halloween Horror Nights was running that night.  They then spent the rest of the night at the world-famous Halloween event before leaving.

Barnet explained that the act of sneaking-off together and celebrating the end of their production was a cathartic and celebratory experience for the young actors.  He explained that they had all auditioned for so many roles without getting cast, so to finally be starring in a big Netflix production on the legendary Universal backlot meant the absolute world to them.

Never Have I Ever is an American coming of age dramedy series exclusively airing on Netflix starring Maitreyi Ramakrishnan and created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher. It premiered this past weekend and has been widely received by audiences and critics alike.  The story reminded us of when HHN affected another show filming on the backlot, read about that here!

So if you had the chance to roam the historic sets of the Universal backlot – would you?  And what costume would you pick?  Let us know in the comments!

Advertisements

Episode #12 – JAWS Actor Robert Shaw with Actor and Son Ian Shaw

Join us for more spooky fun as we chat to actor and writer Ian Shaw about his new play ‘The Shark is Broken’ which debuts in London’s West End after a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe.  We also chat with him about his famous father and how he is now destined to return to the character of Quint which his father is most fondly remembered for.  Tickets will be available here: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/the-shark-is-broken/ambassadors-theatre/

Plus we have our usual spooky news, we talk a few HHN rumors and discuss our favorite shows right now on Shudder including a deep-dive into the Cursed Film series.

Starring Christopher Ripley, Boston White aka Amanda and The Spooky Voice Guy

Producer: The Amazing Aaron Adams

This podcast is a part of the After Dark Podcast Network and HHNUnofficial.com

Visit us at thehalloweenhalfhour.com or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

This episode is brought to you by Skyscanner UK. Click the link below to see all their current flights, car hire, and hotel – deals and offers. There’s no hidden fees, no hidden charges, and no funny business! Travel your way today at Skyscanner UK. Link: https://www.tkqlhce.com/click-9287851-13073934


skyscanner generic 728x90

How can HHN run this year?

We’ve had a lot of messages over the last few weeks where fans of HHN and the wider theme park communities have pondered the various restrictions that will likely be in place once the theme parks reopen.

As of yet, no concrete reopening date has been announced for Universal or Disney (though some analysts are stating they shouldn’t reopen until 2021), however, when they do reopen they will surely have a number of difficulties to overcome.

So what with the popularity of HHN, we thought we’d have a look at what possible changes are likely to occur if the event returns this year:

  • Team Members may be subject to temperature checks and health screenings by onsite health personnel.  A number of the Asian parks have tested temperature checks for both staff and guests, so it is likely Universal will have to ensure that their processes to judge their team members’ fitness to work are more robust to take account of Covid-19.
  • Everyone will possibly have to wear face masks, which is currently against HHN rules, however, this modification will likely be required for everyone.
  • Upon entering the event, with points throughout the park, and at the entry to every house, there should be hand sanitizers.
  • Attendance caps and a possible reduction in Frequent Fear Passes.  Universal will need to control the numbers of guests entering the event and will likely have to cap the capacity numbers, which could also lead to Universal extending the dates of the event into November.
  • No shows and less scarezones:  Stage shows encourage gatherings, which surely won’t be permissible and scarezones need to either be reduced in scope or made larger to allow for more social distancing.
  • Plans are already afoot to maximize mobile food ordering.  Therefore, the number of vendors with lines you can just walk up to will be reduced and guests will be encouraged to mobile order, even for orders that contain just drinks.
  • Virtual queues might be implemented.  Similar in scope to the boarding party lines that Disney used for Rise of the Resistance.  Essentially, for houses and food, the Universal app is likely to be essential.
  • Lines for houses will likely utilize social distancing, therefore, the lines will be bigger and more of the backstage areas will probably be used (even some of Islands of Adventure’s backstage areas might be used).  The lines should be kept to a minimum if the boarding party systems are used correctly.
  • More custodians will likely be employed throughout, not just to the park, but also into the houses.
  • Scareactor makeup and costumes will likely be adjusted to allow for Personal Protective Equipment to be used (masks under masks for example).
  • Staggered seating on select rides will be used, with pre-shows such as those in Gringotts not used for the duration.
  • Any themes to plagues, viruses, even zombies will likely be toned down or removed outright.
  • Inside the houses, SIF (stuff-in-face) and any items within the route of guests are likely to be pulled, with the possible addition of wider corridors to prevent guests from touching as much as possible.

These are just our thoughts on how the event can return if Covid-19 is still prevalent.   Universal has yet to announce what measures will be in place when HHN returns or for when the theme parks reopen.

Are you still planning to attend HHN this year?  Will these possible restrictions impact your experience or not?  Let us know in the comments!

Universal considers options for re-opening that may affect HHN

Universal sent out a survey yesterday that had a number of options contained within it that, if implemented, will have far and wide implications for its possible re-opening; implications which may last into the haunt season and affect HHN.

hhn30

They include:

Team Members:

  • To be tested every 24 hours for Covid 19
  • Closing of all indoor attractions
  • To have their temperatures taken
  • Touch-free payment only
  • Remove all security x-ray machines
  • To wear face masks
  • To wipe down all attractions before use

Shows:

  • Suspend all shows
  • Suspend all nighttime shows and parades
  • Only seating guests every other row and every other seat
  • Remove all 3D glasses from shows

Guests:

  • All guests to wear face masks
  • Requiring all guests and team members to social distance themselves by 6 ft from each other
  • Enhanced sanitation throughout the parks
  • Limit attendance each day to 75%
  • Limited attendance each day to just 25%
  • Remove all 3D glasses from attractions
  • All guests to have their temperatures taken
  • Test all guests for Covid 19

 

Would you welcome these precautions?  How will HHN operate if some or all of these restrictions are in place during the haunt season?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

 

Rumor: Is this the secret 2nd HHN for 2021?

We reported last week on a rumor that Universal was supposedly considering making a second HHN type event for 2021.  If it happens, it was rumored to be held in the summer months and would be a mixture of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Anime and Gaming.  HHNU affectionately labeled the proposed new event as “Sci-fi Summer Nights.”

summer-universal-cool-japan-9-e1560310466811.jpg

However, working with our buddies at Screamscape who have also received similar rumors, we can confirm that Universal has also trailed a similar event between 2016 to 2019 at Universal Studios Japan, named Universal Cool Japan.

img_map
Event map

The Universal Creatives created a number of temporary mini-attractions for the extra-hard-ticketed event in Japan.  These special attractions included: Godzilla, Sailor Moon (plus many other Anime shows), video game Monster Hunter, Detective Conan, Final Fantasy and Resident Evil.

The Godzilla 4D looked very cool:

thum_kv_godzilla.png

Where the rumors and surveys for Universal Orlando have differed from the Japan offerings is that they have included more horror and sci-fi elements plus many mentions of Nintendo (which Universal is now in partnership with).  Screamscape reported that the full IP list that was contained in the survey was:

Movies: Lord of the Rings, Back to the Future, Fantastic Beasts
Series: Westworld, Dr Who, Star Trek, Black Mirror, Game of Thrones, The Witcher
Games: Final Fantasy, Minecraft, Pokemon, Dungeons and Dragons, Fortnite, Legend of Zelda,
Anime: Dragon Ball, Death Note, Spirited Away, Attack on Titan, Naruto,

aotimg_kv.jpg

So hopefully this will give us a taster of what devilish plans are in store for us soon!

Would you like a 2nd HHN every year that was more focused on science-fiction and video game properties?  Let us know in the comments!

Remember: these are just rumors and nothing is confirmed until Universal says otherwise.

 

Rumor: Lost Icon to Return?

The very popular speculation map by Horror Night Nightmares has been released this week with a new revision.  The updated version of their map contains a number of properties, including originals and IPs which are all rumored to be at HHN this year.

One of the lesser spotted updates to the house list is a little spoken about original house that we too have heard rumors about.

IMG_3110.jpg

The rumor being that this house will possibly use a long forgotten icon that never really saw the light of day – even less so than Jack’s brother Eddie!  That icon is: Nathaniel Crowe.

So who is he? Created in 2008 by Mike Aiello with the purpose of linking backstories of various past icons who were associated with the Carnival of Carnage.  The back story is fascinating, for which you can read more of that here. The idea of this pumpkin headed icon was as a sequel to the wildly popular HHN17 (the year Freddy, Jason and Leatherface took center stage with Jack).  However, for reasons unknown Nathaniel was not used in the following year and instead the designers chose to build HHN18 around another new icon (at the time): Bloody Mary.

But like all good ideas and horror icons, they never really die!  That’s why we have heard rumors that the pumpkin headed monster is to star or even possibly headline this house. All perhaps done as a tribute to Mike Aiello who is now no longer working on HHN but is now working on the plans and designs for Universal’s new theme park, Epic Universe.

If true this would be an excellent addition to the event and a great way to utilize a forgotten icon that never really saw the light of day.  He also sounds hella scary, being a composite of pumpkins, weeds, candles, crow feathers and the size of a large scarecrow (and we all know how terrifying they can be!).

Here’s the opening poem that Mike wrote to accompany the icon:

Forgotten are the ways of old
traditions blood black and cold.
Up through dirt roots grow and burst,
evils’ return, you’ll see what came first.
When ravens and crows made the night black, Pumpkins were carved to keep the evil back.
When the howl of the wind sent shivers down spines, Graves of our dead covered in vines.
When black cats crossed paths and wolves howl,
True witches did more than laugh and scowl.
Your time has come, Nathaniel Crowe,
outside the box you’ll think, you’ll grow.
Terrors traditions in ways you will demand, Halloween’s true self is at hand.

For more information on this forgotten icon go here.

So there you have it, a little rumor to tide us all over to until the big updates start coming!  Would you be interested in seeing this icon finally get his time in the spotlight?  Sound off in the comments!

Remember, all rumors are just rumors until Universal confirms otherwise!

Tickets for HHN30 are on sale

When purchasing tickets for this year’s HHN we highly recommend buying directly.  Hollywood’s event is yet to put their tickets on sale, though Orlando’s are available right now.  The two types currently for sale are (click on the title to book now):

General/US Tickets:

Buy an Event Night, Get a 2nd Event Night Free – Limited Time Offer – Purchase by June 3rd
Get your tickets early and you can enjoy two nights of terror for the price of one. Purchase your Halloween Horror Nights ticket now through June 3rd and you can come back a second night for even more frights. Online only. Select nights, blockout dates and restrictions apply. $84.99 plus tax

Halloween Horror Nights Flex Promotional Ticket
Choose a night to experience The World’s Premier Halloween Event, now in its 30th terrifying year. Purchase by Jun. 3 and come one select event night from Sep. 10–Nov. 1, 2020. Online only. Select nights, blockout dates and restrictions apply. $84.99 plus tax

HHN Hotel & Tickets Package
Scream all day. Scream all night. Then rest in peace. Convenient packages offer the best way to experience all three Universal Orlando Resort theme parks and the World’s Premier Halloween Event.

Package includes:

  • 4-Night Hotel Accommodations
  • 3-Park 4-Day Park-to-Park Promotional Ticket 1 to Universal Studios Florida AND Universal’s Islands of Adventure AND Universal’s Volcano Bay (Book now–8/13/20)
  • 2020 Halloween Horror Nights Flex Plus 1 Night Free Promotional Ticket8 (Book by Jun. 3, 2020 and use any 2 nights Sept. 10– Nov. 1, 2020. Blockout dates apply)
  • Early Park Admission2 to one (1) Universal Orlando theme park as determined by Universal Orlando one hour before the parks open (valid theme park admission required; select attractions)
  • Access to select live entertainment venues1 at Universal CityWalk

Special add-ons:

  • HHN Express Pass:Skip the regular lines one time at each haunted house and participating attractions. (Separate event admission required; pricing varies by date, subject to availability. Restrictions apply.)
  • RIP Tour: Be one of the first to book this killer tour when you purchase a Halloween Horror Nights Hotel & Ticket package. Join other fans and get a guided V.I.P. walking tour of the event. See more with front-of-the-line entry to haunted houses. (Separate event admission is required; pricing varies by date, subject to availability. Restrictions apply.)

Starting prices at Universal Orlando Resort Hotels are based on Sunday–Thursday travel Sept. 10–Sept. 24, 2020.  Prices start at $135 per person plus taxes.

UK only tickets:

Halloween Horror Nights 1-Night Ticket

  • One night admission to Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights 2020 on any Sunday to Friday event date
  • This year, time twists and turns on itself—ripping cinematic greats, cult classics and even original nightmares from decades past into a new era of fear with more terrifying houses than ever, sinister scare zones and outrageous entertainment!
  • From £72 including VAT.

Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights Frequent Fear Plus Pass

  • Admission to Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights 2020
  • Opportunity to live the horror again and again on select event nights from 10 September to 1 November 2020
  • Experience More Houses Than Ever!
  • From £85 including VAT.

Halloween Horror Nights Buy a Night, Get a 2nd Night Free

  • Admission to Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights 2020
  • Opportunity to live TWO nights of horror on any Sunday to Friday event dates from 10 September to 1 November 2020
  • From £72 including VAT.

Have you purchased your tickets yet?  Let us know in the comments!

 

 

Episode #11 of The Halloween Half Hour – John Kassir the Voice of the Cryptkeeper

Join us for more spooky fun as we welcome John Kassir to the podcast to discuss his life and career.  John tells us some amazing stories of how he became the Cryptkeeper, working on Halloween Horror Nights, doing stand-up with Robin Williams and how he saved Jack Nicholson’s life!  Be careful what you axe-for as you won’t wanna miss this kiddies!

Plus we have our usual spooky news, we talk a few HHN rumors and discuss what you creeps at home are watching during this lock-down!

Starring Christopher Ripley, Boston White aka Amanda and The Spooky Voice Guy.

Producer: The Amazing Aaron Adams.

This podcast is a part of the After Dark Podcast Network and HHNUnofficial.com

This show is available on Apple, all good podcast apps or listen below NOW!

 

Walking Dead Actor alleges staff were assaulted at theme park

A scareactor from the now closed Walking Dead attraction in Universal Hollywood is alleging physical and sexual assault whilst working the former attraction.  The report by a number of sites states that the scareactors allege they were groped and physically threatened whilst working the now defunct attraction, with the theme park reportedly nothing doing anything (or very little) to stop it.

Kurt Logan filed a lawsuit against the company this past week with the Los Angeles Superior Court saying that he was personally punched by guests and saw a number of female scareactors be groped and sexually assaulted in the horror maze. “Universal actually incites its guests to fight the employees,” the lawsuit states.

A Universal Studios Hollywood spokesperson declined to respond to the specific allegations, they were reported as saying : “We don’t comment on pending litigation, however, the safety and security of our employees and guests is always our top priority,”

The attraction is now closed, with some online whispers being that this pending court case was the ‘nail in the coffin’ for the attraction.  An attraction that was reportedly set to return for their HHN this fall; though that is now surely in doubt.

The case notes that the majority of badly behaved guests were those that were possibly drunk.  Logan alleges he was punched in the face in July 2019 and then again by different persons in the August of the same year.  In January another drunken guest supposedly punched him in the stomach, for which he reported it to his supervisor and was reportedly told to take a break and then just go back to work.

The case reports that a number of female scareactors had their breasts and buttocks groped.  Scareactor Lisa Molenda who was working within a cage inside the attraction had a guest grab her breast.  She reportedly told her manager about the incident but was supposedly told that she “could have done to better protect herself.

Another scareactor, Josiah Steele, was reportedly hospitalized after a guest punched him so hard that he was knocked to the ground.  He supposedly took the matter further with Universal but they informed him that “most performers don’t press charges.”  The case also states that complaints by team members about their safety with guests inside this attraction go back 2 years.

Team Members and guest safety should be paramount during any experience such as this.  We must all play our part to report, ban and prosecute any persons who assault any team members or guests.  

 

 

Rumor: Two HHN Type Events Every Year?

We have heard rumors going back for over a year now that indicated that Universal was possibly looking to do something with Nintendo in the shorter term before the new Epic Universe opens up.  The rumors appeared to be pointing at a brand new seasonal event that would be the same format as HHN but with a Sci-fi theme and at a different time of year.

giphy.gif

Simpson’s Disney Already Did It

This “second HHN” is interesting as Disney started doing the exact same thing last year.  Since the 90s they have run their family-friendly-extra-ticket-event “Mickey’s Not So Scary” through the months of September, October and November (sometimes starting as early as August!).  However, starting last year they debuted Disney Villains After Hours at the Magic Kingdom Park which ran from February to July on select nights, and whilst this was a “diet coke” or slimed down version of their MNSSHP it would enable Disney to have spooky offerings from February through to November – a whopping 10 months of hard-ticket spooky type events!

DSC05542.jpg

Already Testing the Water…

So using Disney as a business case, Universal must have thought that they could do a similar action and provide a more horror sided type event outside of their popular HHN; which is exactly what they have tested (read our thoughts here)!  Starting this year at the popular Mardi Gras events, they started to test the waters with a little more voodoo than before: more street performers were added, a tribute store (which was arguable creepier than HHN29’s version!) complete with a Voodoo King mannequin and faux bayou shack, revised voodoo art and far more food offerings; sound familiar?  It was all well received and I am sure next year’s event will be even spookier.
The Evidence

We wrote an article back in February where we obtained an information request from the BBC as to whether Universal had approached them to use Doctor Who in any of their parks, you can read that lengthy investigation piece here.  We were then intrigued to see Doctor Who and a whole host of other sci-fi properties pop-up in a questionnaire that was send out yesterday to select participants.  The questionnaire supposedly made references to the following franchises:

·     Star Trek
·     Doctor Who
·     Back to the Future
·     Lord of the rings
·     The Witcher
·     Black Mirror
·     Zelda
·     Pokémon

IMG_3011

Additionally, there was another earlier questionnaire sent out in January which referenced a similar event that would be solely based around Pokémon with the following features:

·     Hard ticket event to be run in the evenings
·     Special tasks
·     New Pokestops
·     Obtain special event only Pokémon for the app
·     Themed lounges
·     Special dining opportunities
·     Special merchandise
·     Beta testing new generation of Pokémon
·     And much more!

Provisionally named within the questionnaire as “Universal’s Pokémon GO Fest” it would feature a whole plethora of Pokémon challenges, quests and experience for the fans of the popular video game and movie franchise.  One of the questions related to whether it should be a duel event and not just feature Pokémon, so as this might have been a popular option it would appear that Universal are now possibly looking to see what properties could be folded into this event to make its appear more reaching and to a variety of demographics.


When could it be released?

Right now, it is all possibly just blue sky thinking with the survey questions leading the design process.  We all know about the widely publicized deal Universal has with Nintendo, so it would be easy to think that any of their properties from Wario to Zelda could easily find their way to any such event.  Likewise, The Witcher which is produced by Netflix is a possible as Universal has very good links to that organization.  Back to the Future is a Universal property, Doctor Who we have discussed and Star Trek has been loooong rumoured to be appearing in the future at Universal.

Likewise, the calendar does provide some clues as right now on the Marquee Events landing page it only lists Mardi Gras (Spring), HHN (Sept to Nov), Christmas (Nov to Dec) and New Year’s Eve; no other events are listed (though this might be due to Covid-19).

Total possible events include:

·     Jan: Rock the Universe
·     Feb: Running Universal
·     Feb to April: Mardi Gras
·     May to June: Summer Concert Series
·     July: Fourth of July Celebration Nights
·     Sept to Nov: HHN
·     Nov to Dec: Holiday Celebrations

Looking at the above, the schedule does seem pretty full, however, Universal wasn’t planning to run the Summer Concert Series (it’s had an on and off history and this is as far as we know), therefore a new sci-fi themed event would be perfect for this window!

So there you have it, a speculative article with some evidence of blue sky thinking.  Let’s hope it pulls off and it amounts to something.  Would you like to see a “Sci-Fi Summer Nights” event at Universal?  Let us know in the comments!

Remember these are just speculative rumors and nothing is confirmed until Universal says otherwise.