We’ve seen a number of reports coming unofficially from Universal that everything for HHN is business as usual and that the event is still being constructed and planned for September this year. Builders are apparently still building, organizers are organizing and designers are designing the scares. Here’s a few:
— Blake Braswell (@BlakeBraswell) April 6, 2020
We are working. Remotely? Yes. Physically distant? Yeah. But working and creating nightmares nonetheless. #HHN30 is still powering forward and until we hear otherwise that is exactly what we will continue to do. We are hungry to present what we have in store.#hellyeah#staysafe
— Patrick Braillard (@HHNmeanone) March 25, 2020
On that basis, we thought we’d look at how the event might be affected this year:
Please note that these are just our thoughts on this virus issue with Universal saying nothing more than the event will definitely be running this year.
Reduced Peril and No Virus Houses:
It goes without saying that houses or zones featuring any form of virus or zombie type connotation will be altered (if indeed they were ever planned as zombies have featured heavily in the last decade); for example, a house like Dead Exposure won’t be seen at HHN for a long time. After the events of 9/11 all gore, blood and any dust was removed from all houses (the event’s icon was also famously changed) and travel was severely reduced.
Likely Lower Attendance:
As the travel industry has been hit hard during this time and many people who have either lost their jobs or been furloughed has rapidly increased, it is likely that many out-of-state and international guests will probably not be able to attend HHN. During the 2001 HHN it was said that for the first time since the early 90s the event was virtually attended by just the locals of Central Florida. It is likely that many of them will still attend the event they love, however, if the virus is still present it might limit the number of times people visit and possible put the older generation of fans off completely.
Possible PPE & Social Distancing:
As it is unlikely that a vaccine can be ready by September, we can therefore only hope that the virus is diminished enough by social distancing that it won’t be prevalent during the fall. If it is still with us by this time it is possible that the event organizers may insist on all guests wearing masks and washing their hands regularly. Lines might be physically longer with more pulsing and less “conga” lines of people running through the houses, with people less corralled with a 4ft to 8ft rule of space between parties, which might also lead to less scareactors in the houses with more special-effect types scares deployed. It is hard to say exactly what will be required as we just don’t know how prevalent the virus will be in 6 months’ time.
HHN30 – Part 2 The Revenge in 2021:
Some events around the world which have either been rapidly reduced due to the virus or have been cancelled with for rescheduling for the following year. We know HHN returns every year, so it is possible as HHN30 is an anniversary year that any special festivities or experiences that get cancelled due to the virus will likely be re-run in the following year. Therefore, don’t think that this year’s event will be “one and done” because they missed the calendar anniversary, this is Universal and they live by their own rules – they will happily extend what we love if there is guest demand. Look at Disney when they celebrate anniversaries, this Disney World 50th anniversary will probably go on and on and finish with a special cupcake in 2023!
Nobody knows for sure what will happen 6 months from now. All we can hope is that social distancing and frequent washing will purge this nasty virus enough that it goes away quickly. If so, there might little to no change in regards to the coming HHN and it will be another record-breaking year for the world’s greatest Halloween festival.
All we can do is follow our respective state, federal and government guidelines and wait this out. Wherever you are in the world we hope you stay safe and healthy.
Do you think the virus will be gone in 6 months and it’ll be business as usual or do you believe it will have a lasting impact that might not go way to until after HHN? Let us know in the comments!