Why I think we WILL have an icon…

Across social media in the last few days people have been sharing a tweet from the official Halloween Horror Nights twitter account suggesting that we won’t be getting an icon this year at HHN27.  Here’s the tweet:

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People have been bummed out saying that this proves that we won’t be having an icon this year and we’re bummed too.  That’s why we wanted to look at this and see if that is the actual answer to the question that everyone has been asking… so here goes, this is why we think we WILL have an icon:

  1. English, English

George Edwards above tweets:

“It means no icon. Or is that what they want you to think?….”

The HHN handle answers to confirm his statement.  His statement however, is not just confirming the no icon but asking a question; he’s asking “that’s what people want you to think?“.  It’s this second part that the HHN handle confirms by the “ding, ding.

This theory is only compounded when the trickster HHN above says “23, 24 & 27” which is in reference to the years that HHN in Orlando did not have an icon.

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2. History, history

The HHN years 22, 23 and 24 did not have an icon.  There’s a couple of reasons for this but primarily the event was run differently in those years with more of a focus on mirroring the Hollywood event was implemented in Orlando.  A contract was signed to make The Walking Dead the main focus of the event and a backstage a reorganization saw the Universal Creative Team whom are usually tasked with building the attractions taking a more active role in HHN, whereas it had always previous been just the Art and Design Department.

Many of these new implementations were scaled back for 25 and 26 with more icon focused events.  Indeed, ironically Chance herself was also scaled back in 26.  But, the organization has moved on from 22, 23 and 24 where the theming was nil (lots of black and roots n’ stuff we now have color, skulls, and bags of theme) and the Creative department now being very busy with Nintendo’s, Fast and Furious’ and Fourth gates to be focusing on HHN.  That’s why we think we will have an icon, as A&D have always loved an icon…

If you wanna read more about HHN History, click here.

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3. Rumors, rumors

We reported here in April that the icon was likely to be scarecrow, this was based on some intelligence we received, this later morphed into the rumor that one of the houses would actually be scarecrow based.  Then comes along our friend the Ifrit…

Ifrit says the house featuring the Scarecrows could be more than just a maze, so could our icon theory from way back be right?  Combine this with the rumors on Lady Death, Nathaniel Crowe, Voodoo Queen, Caretaker and Cindy it would be a bit of let down to not have an icon as there has been so many rumors about one!  The only let down to this theory is that by this time last year, we already knew our icon, Chance.  If all else fails maybe we’ll get a mascot instead…

So there you have it, our theories and ideas behind the icon this year – but what says you?  Let us know in the comments!  Icon or not?

 

ScareZone Episode 35 – Erin Cline AKA Chance!

We had the amazing opportunity to sit down with the Clown Princess her self – Erin Cline, also known as CHANCE! She tells us about her start at Universal, doing Bill & Ted, her multiple appearances as Chance and more. Universal also tried to pull the ScareZone Curse on us while recording…. during the session they made that announcement of the new SOUL COLLECTOR program.

Listen now below or download to iTunes HERE.

The date of the next HHN update will be…

We think that we MAY have cracked the answer to everyone’s question.  We get people message us daily on this question.  It is an important question.  And one that Universal only knows for sure, however, we think we have an answer to it.  That question being:

“When will the next HHN update be?”

This tip comes from our pal known only as ‘The Web Master‘ who is also a website code extraordinaire.  So here goes…

“I been trying to see if Orlando was using any patterns when it came to releasing their announcements. The big thing I see is that they have been announcing on Wednesdays. March 29th, May 17th and June 7th. Looking deep in the code, before each entry we had an update the week before of data, that update happened this week as planned.  So, hopefully we get another HHN update this coming Wednesday June 28th.”

Also, the UK tickets went on sale on 3rd May which was a Wednesday, all tickets went on sale on the 7th June – a Wednesday AND the first code name (Checkmate) was leaked on Twitter by Mike Aiello on 25th January on, yes you guessed it, a Wednesday!

This can only lead us to one conclusion:

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The icon must be Wednesday Addams from The Addams Family…..not.  BUT this is also not as far fetched as you may think…

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Photo courtesy of Emmanuel Garcia via FB’s ‎Halloween Horror Nights Group

A family of icons?  A family of icons with a young girl at their center?  Say like The Caretaker and his daughter Cindy…. who was kinda based on Wednesday Addams!  Perhaps we’ll find our this Wednesday!!!

So what do you think?  Are we on to something with all these Wednesdays?  Or just a coincidence?  Let us know in the comments!

 

Restricted Photography

Unmasking the Horror Tours caused a lot of rucus last year when it was revealed that Guests were at first allowed to take photos at anything they wanted, then nothing, later on the restriction being only in ‘select’ houses.  This caused a lot of debate in the HHN fan community and a little confusion from guests who wanted that illusive snap of them with Krampus!

This year however, Universal are advising guests on the popular behind-the-scenes tours that photography is going to be “restricted”.  We have heard that the tours will now only allow guests to use their cameras in houses that are deemed as ‘original’ and not containing any intellectual properties – just how this affects one house that’s supposed is a cancelled IP house – we’re not sure!

Despite this setback for us HHN purists, the following information has been released for these tours:

GET A DAYTIME GLIMPSE BEHIND THE SCENES Daytime guests can shine a light on the darkness of Halloween Horror Nights™ with a Behind the Screams: Unmasking the Horror Tour™. On select days, get a chilling look into how Universal Orlando’s Art & Design team transforms the biggest names in horror into haunted houses on a lights-on VIP tour for up to 15 guests. Choose from the 2-2½ hour Morning Tour, or a 4-5 hour combination morning and afternoon tour. Enjoy exclusive VIP entrance to Universal Studios Florida™ with a guided walking tour of up to three houses per tour (six for the combination tour), a commemorative Halloween Horror Nights lanyard and the chance to photograph select houses. Reservations are required.

Due to the intensely graphic nature and lights-on viewing within the haunted houses, Unmasking the Horror Tours are not recommended for children under the age of 13.

Morning Tours Starting From $79.99 per person + tax
Morning and Afternoon Combination Tours Starting From $129.99 per person + tax
Dates available:
Sept 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30
Oct 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
Nov 3, 4
We have also heard that the tours aren’t currently loaded on the system, if true, we will update HHNU readers when we hear more.
More info and to book head to HHN’s official site here.
Will you be booking a tour?  Let us know!

Weird Theories Within The Shining

The 1980 film “The Shining” was an iconic horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson. Who doesn’t remember the baseball scene? Or the famous ad-libbed line “Here’s Johnny”? That’s the line that has been played over and over and is a part of pop-culture. That is all thanks to the craftsmanship of Kubrick and the over-the-top delivery of Nicholson. Together, they created a film that would hold its own down through the years of horror-centered films. Now—30 years later— it is known as one of the top films of its genre of all times.

Something interesting happens though with iconic things, films included: there are conspiracy theories abounding. One by one people come out of the woodwork with their own ideas of what the “real” story was with the movie. “The Shining” was definitely one of those films that created a number of its own conspiracies within the story line. Here are some of the most horrific, and memorable that we hope come to HHN27!

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HOTEL HELL?

Some conspiracy theorists come right out with the big guns and call the hotel setting of “The Shining” – hell. They believe that when Jack signs his contract there, he is literally signing his soul away to the devil. It all starts with setting. Stephen King wanted a place to inspire him when he was writing the novel. The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado was perfect. The real-life hotel was built in 1909 by the Stanleys. Though they are long gone, their spirits seem to have remained with the building. Mr. Stanley has been seen hovering over the reception desk through the years and Mrs. Stanley is reported to play her piano in the music room. When King and his wife stayed there, they were the only guests and that gave them full run of the location. Having stayed in room 217, they knew that there were plenty of activities to throw a scare into a guest. What better conspiracy than to think of the hotel as hell itself?

What makes this theory so believable is the main character, Jack Torrence’s descent into madness. He starts off as a loving father and husband who is just trying to find some work. He signs the contract, which theorists believe is the beginning of the end for him. What makes it so intriguing and possibly valid a conspiracy is that Jack slowly starts to lose his mind…just like one who made a deal with the devil would. Sure they have a long-term gig, but the cost is to go crazy and terrorize the very ones you originally signed the deal for.

It also is interesting to know that when Jack signs the contract, he starts seeing visions straight out of hell. The blood flooding through the hotel, the visions of ghosts, the fears he goes through—all are signs that he is no longer dealing with just an “earthly world” but has tapped into something far more sinister. The fact is many unexplained happenings go on throughout the movie and interestingly enough, in the actual hotel where it was filmed. Could it be that “The Shining” really was the story of a man’s deal with the devil?

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WW2

Another conspiracy theory within “The Shining” was that the film was actually reminding the audience about the Holocaust. This theory isn’t overt, but rather it has numerous small details that “add up”. Mainly, it is the setting that focuses on the Third Reich. They were famous for their list-making and details. That is exactly what Jack is doing on his typewriter—lists and outlandish details. Over and over he is hunched over his typewriter that has the symbol “Adler” on it. Adler translates into “eagle”, which was the emblem used by Nazis. Viewers can also see the eagle logo on Danny’s shirt and on the rental car license plate of Halloran. The repetition is indisputable. It was purposely repeated for a reason so conspiracy theorists hold that their view of the film being about the Holocaust is highly likely.

In addition to eagles and list making, there are some other details that support this conspiracy. Room number 237 is a focus. Multiplying 2 times 3 times 7, gives you “42”. There are known to be 42 cars parked in the hotel’s parking lot. Young Danny has a shirt with the number “42” on it in the film. Finally, Wendy and Danny pull up to the television to watch “The Summer of ‘42” midway through the film. So, what IS up with the number 42 and why is it supportive of this theory? 1942 is the year when the Nazis officially moved their inhumane “solutions” into motion.

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MIND-CONTROL?

Another conspiracy within “The Shining” is that the film is a tale about mind control and what the CIA can, and will continue to, do. A big part of this theory is based on Jack’s descent into madness. He comes in “normal” and slowly loses grip on reality. Not only does it affect him as he loses his mind, but it also affects his actions. It first starts with outbursts sparingly; then, it increases in intensity to the point of being dangerous to his family. What could cause a man to descend that quickly? Can it happen without some outside influence?

Mind-control theorists conclude that there was an external force plaguing Jack. That force was the CIA. This all started due to the word “Monarch” being clearly posted on a poster in the hallway. It appears when the eerie twins are seen. There is a poster, which is oddly positioned due to this being a reputable hotel. The poster is of a ski scene and the word is clearly written on it. The word though is code name for a “behavioral engineering” program that the CIA held, or possibly still holds to. The program reportedly looks to “break down” the human mind with experiments involving LSD, sleep deprivation and shock therapy. The conspiracy theory includes the hotel as being the CIA and the things that happen to Jack as being their experimentation into mind control. They rest their theory on the fact that a gradual degradation of mental ability and sanity is exactly what the main character goes through. Slowly, but surely he can be seen losing his mental stability. The fact that it is gradual, plays to their theory. Mind control and breaking down of the mind is always a long-term process that takes varying degrees of intensity. Jack suffers at the hands of the “hotel”, or CIA, and the viewer watches his mind break down over time.

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JUST A DREAM

When it comes to “The Shining” there are many conspiracy theories within the story. There is always the tried and true one of the whole story being a dream. Some people believe that the setting of the hotel is perfect for a dream-induced setting. The long hallways, the empty hotel, the doors that lead nowhere… all are perfect fodder for a hotel that was made up in someone’s overly-excited dream. This theory comes mostly from the hotel and its haphazard layout. What is more confusing than this hotel?

The fact is that dreams don’t make sense. They can have the most bizarre layouts and riddle-like settings. Conspiracy theorists believe that “The Shining” was really just Jack’s bad night of dreaming. There are enough ghosts and visions to make this a viable theory. What writer with writer’s block, in a hotel that creepy wouldn’t suffer some kind of dream that was out of the ordinary? Add to that the main character’s penchant for alcohol and you have the exact recipe for a night of outlandish dreaming. Conspiracy theorists hold to this one, stating that no way could this really happen without some combination of alcohol, mental instability and having a really bad night.

CONCLUSION

So which theory is the most viable? That depends. Each one has its own validity so which one the reader chooses to pick is up to them. All that is known is that “The Shining” was an iconic film that lasted throughout the decades for a reason. That’s why we believe this could be THE greatest HHN house ever!

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Scared and confused?  You will be! HHN27 is less than 100 days away! So who’s excited?  Let us know in the comments!

RED RUM!!! RED RUM!!! RED RUM!!! RED RUM!!! RED RUM!!!

 

 

The Mummy Comes to Universal Orlando

To coincide with the release this week of Universal’s new blockbuster The Mummy, Universal Orlando’s incredibly busy Art and Design department have installed a new Mummy exhibit at the Horror Make-up Show lobby.

Mike Aiello recently tweeted a preview of the exhibit:

The Mummy is the beginning of the new Dark Universe, which if successful, will include a whole series of movies based on the classic Universal horror movies.

The exhibit is currently open to guests during regular park hours.

 

Will you be visiting this new exhibit and are you excited for this new franchise of movies? 

Let us know in the comments!

An Old Rumor Returns

Here at HHNU we get a whole bag of news, reports and rumors which we like to sift through and present to our readers to ensure what we publish is interesting, thoughtful, and insightful.  We also like to ensure that when dealing with rumors we at least find and present things that are from good or reliable sources, that’s why what we have today is from a reliable source who has a track record of delivering quality intell.

He wants to remain anonymous for this item but you can rest assured what he’s saying is firmly within the ‘Jim Hill‘ style of rumor that it is to say, it is early in the process and things could change. That’s why with bated breath we wanted to tell you about what he told us, knowing full well that some of you are not going to be happy about this…

The Walking Dead

Our guy on the inside believes he has seen early concept plans to bring the popular zombie show to Universal Orlando in exactly the same way that Universal Hollywood has done, with a full-time walk through attraction for both day and HHN guests.

When this rumor was first talked up in March 2016 many locations were muted, these included Men In Black, parts of KidZone and the Terminator.  It is the latter that our contact has witnessed early concept designs for.

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Have you noticed that inside the Terminator it’s perhaps not at its best?  The projection and effects are not what they were and the motorcycle seems to have disappeared.  Well accordingly to our guy, its not unintentional, it appears from what he has seen the ride is having less maintenance and upkeep spent on it since its light refresh a few years ago.  All of which stems from last year’s “will they or won’t they”, a process of limbo which seems to reflect in what our guy is saying about it’s soon to be gone status.

Future Proofing

It appears that the whole area is deemed to be more or less on the construction schedule at some point.  Whether that schedule is during the Nintendo construction (which is rumored to commence in November 2017) or sooner, we’re unsure.

It hasn’t escaped anyone’s attention that Shrek is soon to be no more at Hollywood, this combined with the Terminator could lead for a larger more long-term project, a project that ultimately would need to be done after the Nintendo additions, that however would not fix the short term issues that right now exist in this area.

That’s why a cost effective refurbishment of Terminator into a Walking Dead attraction, using the tools and vendors they regularly use for HHN could be a quick and productive short-term upgrade to the area that could give the area some much needed spark.

Transformers when it was dropped into Orlando, it was already present in two other Universal parks, so the vendors and blueprints were already costed and tried.  That’s why with Hollywood’s TWD addition last year, it could be reproduced very swiftly and cost-effectively in Orlando.

Right now, it’s rumored to be firmly on the table.  Would we like to see this addition finally happen?  Well if it’s anything like the Hollywood version, then hell yes!

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Lets just hope it comes to Orlando in this form instead of another HHN house, but that’s just my opinion.  What’s yours?  Let us know in the comments!

 

The Problem With The Conjuring…

The Conjuring, for the uninitiated, is a series of horror films created by Chad Hayes and Carey Hayes with New Line Cinema, which is now a division of Warner Bros.  The films present a fictional take on the real-life cases of Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators and authors associated with prominent yet controversial cases of ghostly haunting. The main movies deal with these protagonists dealing with various demonic possessions and various hauntings, whereas the spin-offs in the series deal with the original stories of the ghosts and ghouls in question.

The franchise currently consists of two films in the main series, The Conjuring (2013) and The Conjuring 2 (2016), both directed by James Wan (of SAW fame) and revolve around two of the many famous paranormal cases the Warrens have been a part of, with the first film depicting the case of the Perron family, who are experiencing disturbing events in their newly acquired house in Rhode Island, and the second entry focusing on the controversial case of the Enfield Poltergeist from the UK while briefly referencing the events that inspired The Amityville Horror (which we hinted at last year).

The franchise also includes Annabelle (2014), a prequel directed by The Conjuring cinematographer John R. Leonetti, which developed the origins of the doll of the same name before the Warrens came into contact with it at the start of the first film. A further prequel, Annabelle: Creation, is set for release on August 11, 2017. A spin-off film, The Nun, currently filming, based on a character introduced in The Conjuring 2, and a third film in the main series has been discussed as a possibility.  As you can see from just 2013 this franchise has already built up an impressive resume that is perfect for any forthcoming HHNs – the fact that they are all owned by Warner bros is even more perfect, thanks to the boy wizard.

So what’s the problem?

The franchise has for a variety of reasons garnered a variety of legal issues.  The first issue came in 2015 when the owners of the house that the first movie was based on sued Warners and all the producers due to the popularity of the movie and the tole that was taking on their house.  They cited that their premises was getting vandalized from youths thanks to the consequences of the movie.  They added that various home invasions had occurred since its release along with finding various objects that lead them to believe some of the break-ins may have been down to local satanists (we’re not making this up).

The eventual lawsuit said that the owners had previously lived peacefully in the house since they bought it in 1987 until 2013 when the movie was released.  Supposedly, this case is still rumbling on in some capacity right now, though was expected by the press and various commentators to be settled in the near future.  Its current status is unknown, but that’s not all…

The author of a book about the real life protagonists of the movies filed a $900 million lawsuit against Warner Bros and the producers in late March this year.  He claimed that he had the exclusive rights to the their story and that what WB and others had created had all been done without his approval.

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The Hollywood Reporter quotes the attorney Patrick C. Henry II here:

“When Lorraine Warren granted the Defendants the right to use the Warren Case Files, which the Defendants themselves repeatedly state their movies are based on, she could not have done so because she had years earlier contractually granted that exclusive right to use those same Warren cases, Warren Case Files and related materials to the Plaintiff.  Lorraine Warren had nothing to convey.”

So why could this be bad for HHN27?

The Conjuring was rumored to be a house for HHN27 (technically it still is rumored), and if this is true it may mean that Universal have to rethink any potential plans of bringing this house to HHN.  Typically, when a dispute of this nature arises it often leads to further installments of a franchise being put on hold until such a time that the dispute can be amicably resolved (not always but often).  This being so, it would mean that any potential house for HHN for now or in future years would probably have to wait until the dispute is settled; the same could be said of any new feature films too.  Every case is different and this ensures that there is no typical path for this matter to follow.  However, we have seen something like this before…

Scream if you wanna go faster!

Back in 2015 the Scream house that had been built in one of the Sprung tents allegedly had to be pulled at the last minute.  It was quickly replaced with a Purge house using the same sets and props as the former’s house (you can read more about that here and here).  They had even made the HHN25 commercial by that point (see below), so it really was last minute dot com.  But is that the case with The Conjuring?

It has been rumored all year, but they are just rumors, nothing concrete.  The very same contact that told us about the Scream swap-out is the same contact that informed us about the Scream issue from 2015 – so it is possible.

Whatever happens, this is just firmly within the rumor category until Universal confirms otherwise.  The only additional rumor at this point is that it may have been replaced by The Walking Dead but again, this is firmly just a rumor at this point.  If true, we will no doubt here some of the super HHN fans grumble about *another* year of TWD (though last year’s house was actually very good!).

Click below to see Ghost Face in the non-released HHN25 trailer (Gosh HHN25 was soooo good!)

Would you love to see a Conjuring house at HHN?  Let us know in the comments!

Shining Confirmed for HHN27

Finally!  After six whole weeks of no updates from Universal Orlando on HHN (though plenty of updates regarding some volcano on the I4?) – Universal have finally confirmed that The Shining is indeed coming to HHN27.

Just to keep score: HHNU told the fan community that The Shining was coming back in January of this year and leaked the house description to our fans back last month (there was also a Jack in the site coding too).

To say we are excited about this announcement is an understatement, when we first heard reports of this house back in the winter we were beyond thrilled for this to come to HHN27 and cannot wait to see what the awesome creators of HHN have in store for us!

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So are you excited?  Let us know in the comments!

RIP Tours Start Booking On…

Last year was a record date for people booking RIP tours!  So-much-so that Team Members were drafted in from all over the resort to train up as tour guides just to meet the massive demand.

HHNU has also been inundated with people writing in asking us when the tours go on sale, and although Universal hasn’t officially announced the date, we have had it leaked to us that the general public booking of these exclusive tours go on sale on 17th May (they are already on sale for package holders).  As we say, this is just a leak – Universal may bring this forward or start selling them later than the date we have received – though we were right about the general tickets release date!

The non-private tours will likely include:

DURATION
• 4.5 hours long or until all tour inclusions are met.
TOUR SIZE
• Up to 12 guests per tour with several parties on one tour. Available for individual parties of up to six. Groups of seven or more must book a Private R.I.P. Tour.
DEPARTURE TIME
• 7:00pm, 7:30pm, 8:00pm, 8:30pm (8:30pm departure time available only on event nights with 2:00am closing). Times subject to change based on event dates/times.
TOUR INCLUDES:
• Exclusive VIP entrance to Universal Studios Florida for the Halloween Horror Nights event.
• Priority VIP entry to all haunted houses (one entry per house) while on tour with the R.I.P. Tour Guide.
• Commemorative R.I.P. Tour credential with lanyard.
• Complimentary standard valet parking
(one vehicle, subject to availability).
• Access to the R.I.P. Lounge with cash bar upon check-in and other exclusive cash bar locations during the tour.
• Reserved seating at Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure
• Universal Express ride access to participating attractions, with the R.I.P. Tour credential, after the tour (park hours permitting).
Private Tours will likely include:
DURATION
• Length of the event, including 30-minute break.
TOUR SIZE
• Up to 10 guests per tour with only your party on the tour.
DEPARTURE TIME
• 6:30pm Times subject to change based on event dates/times.
TOUR INCLUDES ALL R.I.P. TOUR BENEFITS PLUS:
• Customizable Itinerary.
• Priority UNLIMITED VIP entry to all haunted houses as well as select
regular park attractions while on tour with the R.I.P. Tour Guide.
• My Universal Photos 3-Day photo package which includes:
– Up to 3 consecutive days of photos in the parks.
– Unlimited digital downloads of photos in both theme parks.
– My Universal Photos themed lanyard and Star Card.
– Amazing Pictures Mobile App to view and share your photos†.
– 1 (one) free 5×7 or 8×10 print in folder and 1 (one) free 4×6 print.
– $5 5×7 or $10 8×10 prints at participating locations.
– Discounts on My Universal Photos products.
To book a Halloween Horror Nights R.I.P. Tour call:1-866-346-9350 any day of the week during normal business hours (EST 9am – 7pm) or email VIPExperience@UniversalOrlando.com
Will you be booking a RIP tour?  Let us know in the comments!