Today we have a guest blog by Brian Saeger of SkywalkingAdventure.com, checkout his awesome travel and theme parks blog, but in the meantime take it away Brian…
Universal Orlando Resort – One of America’s most popular and visited theme parks. People come from all over the world to enjoy the thrills of excitement and enjoyment of planning there vacations to immerse them in a world of escape from reality. Taking a flight on a Hippogriff or levitating in a floating chair on Forbidden Journey at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter or teaming up and seeing your favorite Super Heroes at Super Hero Island at Islands of Adventure from the X-Men, Spider-Man, or Captain America as some examples.
However when it comes towards the fall season and the sun goes down, the park becomes a different kind of park and the vibe and atmosphere becomes totally different. What we are referring here is the most top voted and nominated Halloween event of the season of Halloween Horror Nights. This event is not just a simple some ordinary event, it’s where your living the horror and being part of your favorite intellectual property films and shows from the genre and is a multi-million dollar event and drawing in a ton of revenue for the park and hundreds of thousands of visitors too.
This event ranges towards other countries at other Universal Studios Parks & Resorts from Japan and Singapore too. Anyways that was a brief introduction if your not familiar with the event or the park in central Florida but, there is something to discuss even though it’s not on anyways minds as of right now and that is the partnership with Universal Creative Entertainment and the mega billion dollar-Japanese gaming franchise of Nintendo.
In this post we’ll be discussing the event of HHN and it’s new future challenger once it hits the park even though Nintendo will be coming towards Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan in Osaka. We’ll be focusing more on Orlando more in certain sections in affecting attractions, soundstages, scare zones, and more that the event plans and prepares well ahead of it’s schedule in the fall. So here’s a small breakdown of how Nintendo can affect that in those three points mentioned and “rumored” supposedly that Nintendo will come towards Universal Parks & Resorts some point around the Tokyo Olympic Summer Games in 2020.
Note: This is all just personal speculation and brainstorming ideas here and are all subject to change once ground breaks for the parks for Nintendo and this is all just guessing as a fun creative post for the future impact of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort.
It’s not quite sure or likely of how much of the modification process will be affecting the soundstages since HHN utilizes and gets permission for licensed horror television shows and films to set it at a such highly professional quality production for these sets. Speculation we can think of here it may or may not affect towards the back end of the park versus of the main front end of the park where the bigger or aka “uber houses” take up a ton of space and for examples such as last year’s highly popular American Horror Story, The Exorcist, Krampus were used.
Currently this year, there will be a brand new attraction of Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon on April 6th, 2017 that replaced the storm chasing attraction-set show from the film of Twister: The Ride. It is that is near a soundstage that was used and also for you 90s kids out there, of Nickelodeon Studios that HHN used numerous times of past and fan favorite horror films and television shows. So it’s likely that Nintendo wouldn’t be the correct or ideal spot in affecting the main end of the park.
This is also where some of the non-intellectual properties or “original houses” and can be unfortunately being eliminated or relocated because of how much space the Nintendo expansion can be taking up. Last year’s original houses were “Tomb of The Ancients” and “Ghost Town: The Curse of Lighting Gulch” and around the time when 2020 comes those possible options would a Universal Creative decision if that would be the case.
Now the biggest candidate and selection of where the Nintendo expansion is speculating is the potential of replacing the kidzone play area and “rumored” the last opening day one attraction of Steven Spielberg’s E.T. Now we are not sure or how much space will be demolished once the gaming IP will taking over and from the reports if you have been reading online lately that this seems the “ideal” spot for this expansion.
However this expansion is going to come at bigger cost and more expensive then Diagon Alley from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2014 for a whopping cost of 40 billion yen in Japanese currency for Universal Studios Japan and for American USD currency of $351-more than $400 million dollars just for the average budget. Potential scheduling delays and over budget could affect the expansion but, we can’t predict if this will this will be for certain in the coming future in 2020.
Universal Creative Entertainment is working with in partnership with the gaming company’s creator of “Mario” and legendary game designer and producer, Shigeru Miyamoto and with president of Universal Creative Entertainment and recently appointed chairman vice president, Mark Woodbury to bring the gaming company to life for the parks.
The kidzone area consists of different children television and animated cartoon shows from Curious George, Barney the playful dinosaur, and others would be the victims that would be eliminated for the Nintendo take over.
Nintendo and Universal Studios came towards a mutual agreement in May 2015 and quote from the Universal Orlando Blog post that “The agreement brings two icons of entertainment together and represents a significant partnership for Nintendo as it expands the reach and popularity of its characters and intellectual property”.
Halloween Horror Nights has been a consisted and frequent number of 9 different IP and non-IP houses all around and the back end attractions of the park ranging from MIB: Alien Attack, The Simpsons: Springfield area, Diagon Alley, and the upcoming Fast & Furious: Supercharged opening up next year in 2018. It could be a chance and from what HHNUnofficial.com posted on December 17th 2016 for the houses around those attractions that quote:
“The addition last year of the new MIB tent that housed Chance’s house this year could always be on the cards, likewise, the same kind of building could be sourced and dotted somewhere else in the park. The soundstages, though bottlenecks, could also be used to house additional houses (subject to production requirements), though this would be tough, seeing how AHS had to use an empty soundstage to house it’s mammoth queue this year.”
It’s hard to stay this would be a definitive move to relocated or build additional soundstage since parks these days are buying up land or adding some sort brand new parking structure for these new immersive and themed expansion lands those there parks. The event is always improving and gradually getting bigger and better and better to raise the bar each year for there guests.
Universal Orlando has always been consisted of offering 4 different scare zones (or more) and surprisingly haven’t been any licensed zones from films or television shows in the last few years. One of last year’s most popular scare zones was “Vamp 55′” like a Lost Boys mixed with a The Outsiders 1950-1960s influenced type of zone. This is just a example we can take in a account and generally speaking there might be a slight altercation for the guest flow for the zones. Depending on the nights for the event and the crowd calendars that always consistently and frequently change and whenever Nintendo opens up that, it’s really honestly hard to say if the park would hit crowd capacity with a two in one deal of HHN and the expansion.
Nothing else can be said but, as mentioned in those two points up above that the zones may have a fair chance to be affected around the attractions and the crowd flow especially on weekend nights and sometimes weekday nights in which it it can get busy. If Universal Creative wanted too that they could shrink down a scare zone and have like small mini scare zones but, this wouldn’t probably happen since the scare actors would be all crammed into one spot and making there jobs not so easy and uncomfortable for them.
Now last thing we need to mentioned here is pricing for the event, annual passholders and for those who are Florida residents. Halloween Horror Nights 27 not too long ago got confirmed for this year for September 15th-November 4th, 2017 and tickets start at $69.99-$80.99 (varying different nights through out the season) a pop and not mention with package deals or even the “Frequent Fear” pass which gives you different options to go multiply HHN nights. Last year’s HHN was a 3% increase for general admission which were $104.99 including tax according towards the Orlando Informer or even with your annual pass discount if that’s accepted.
Also not to forget the “Stay and Scream” pass that can be added on towards your daytime ticket to experience Universal Orlando for your favorite attractions and experiences and “does not” have to used the same day during a night of Halloween Horror Nights. We also got to take the general admission for the park and the other factors that the park always changes there prices every year. Recently Universal Orlando increase there prices for a one-day ticket at $110 from $105 and park hopper towards Islands of Adventure at $165 from $155.
So if your just going towards the park by yourself and your looking at average about paying $200-$300 range with general admission and Halloween Horror Nights and package deals are offered if that’s the direction you want to take for your visit. So what are we trying to sum up here once Nintendo comes into play by 2020?
Basically with all these tier level prices for annual passholders that are or are not Florida residents or anyone coming out from out town that, Nintendo is guarantee or no doubt hike up those prices because the huge investment for the profit being more then Harry Potter will affect there paying guests.
4 years down the road in a estimate theory that Halloween Horror Nights could be probably in the upper $100 dollar range for a general admission ticket and general admission for the park would be slowly merging into towards the upper $200 or more range just get in the park for a simple one-day ticket. This is just all guessing and speculation here and take it as a grain of salt since this isn’t diffident or in the plans yet for the parks.
So anyways guys what you think of these points and do you agree that we’ll see more expensive prices and will affect those three points mentioned? Also, what is your dream or ideal list for what you wanna see at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights for licensed horror television or horror films?! Leave it down in the comments section below!
This is a guest blog post written by Brian Saeger for HHNUnofficial.com and is a freelance writer for his own blog over at SkywalkingAdventure.com about the themed entertainment and tourism industry. His blog is over a year old now since last year in April when it first launched and covers different aspects and themed entertainment from parks ranging from Disney, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, and Universal Studios Parks & Resorts including Islands of Adventure.