You may know him more for his appearances on the Dancing with the Stars show but for a certain Generation X-ers, Joey Fatone will always be known as one of the stars of the chart-topping boyband NSYNC.
What many people don’t know is that Fatone is a huge fan of HHN! The Orlando local is no stranger to both HHN in Orlando and Hollywood where he said to visit both coasts each year; now that’s some HHN fan dedication right there!
The NSYNC star, who married his childhood sweetheart and Hollywood screeenwriter Kelly Baldwin in 2004, has reportedly filed for divorce in Orlando on May 13. Joey, who has 2 daughters with Kelly, is now said to be dating new girlfriend and Florida local Izabel Araujo, who also just happens to be another huge fan of HHN. Apparently, since moving to the US as a kid from her native Brazil (reports say she settled in Tampa before moving to LA), she has been a regular attendee at HHN in Orlando.
And this is where it gets interesting for the two celebrity HHN fans, as it was at HHN Hollywood where they had their first date back in 2014; which if you’re both uber HHN fans we literally cannot think of a better place to have a first date!
She said on her official Instagram, “4 years ago I met him at #halloweenhorrornights for our first date. We’ve been celebrating it every year at the same place ever since. Not your typical love story but I wouldn’t change a thing!! Looking forward to celebrating many more with my partner in crime!”
And because they are both super fans of HHN, she has documented her dates at HHN with the former popstar:
Fatone and Araujo are not alone as celebrity fans of HHN. From regular A-listers to the local TV stars, celebrities from across the industy love to attend HHN! And so they should, they’re people too and afterall IT IS the world’s greatest Halloween event!
Have you seen any celebrities at HHN? Or have you ever bumped into Fatone? Let us know in the comments?
It was confirmed yesterday for all Team Members that they will not be able to attend HHN29 from October 11 to 27, some 12 nights of the event. Universal has made this decision due to how busy they forecast the event will be during this period. Here’s the quote:
Dear Fellow Team Members,
As you know, Halloween Horror Nights has become more popular than ever. Last year, we had our highest attendance yet… our Guests can’t seem to get enough!
This year, we have another great lineup of original content and franchise favorites, like Universal Monsters and the return of Stranger Things – with even more being announced soon – so we’re again expecting high demand. To provide the best Guest experience to as many as possible, we have made some important decisions: start even earlier, expand the number of event nights, and better manage capacity.
Especially for peak nights, capacity management is critical for the best Guest experience. So, for the first time, we are blocking out Team Member IDs during the event’s peak period. Here’s how it’s going to work:
There are 41 event nights in total; we are blocking out IDs and Special Guest IDs October 11–27, which is 12 nights.
Team Members are able to visit on any of the other 29 event nights with their ID.
Like last year, Team Members can exchange one of their quarterly comp passes for an event ticket on one of 10 select event nights.
Team Members will continue to receive discounts on select single-night event tickets.
We will always make sure that Team Members are the first to experience Halloween Horror Nights, before anyone else. This year’s Team Member Preview will take place on Wednesday, September 4 and will remain exclusive to our teams, our third party and Loews partners.
Our Team Members – you – have made Halloween Horror Nights the World’s Best Halloween Event for eleven years and counting. I recognize this is something we all take such great pride in, and acknowledge that blockouts are not popular. The good news is there is still plenty of opportunity and this will help deliver the best event for everyone, so thank you.
I hope to see you at Preview!
The posting also confirmed that the Team Member preview for HHN29, which will be the FIRST time anyone can experience the delights of the event, will take place on Wednesday September 4.
Are you a Team Member and does this block out ‘bum you out’ or would you have just have avoided the crowds anyway? Let us know in the comments!
Terminator 2: 3D performed its very last show in late 2017, and since then a lot of construction noise has been heard from inside the old building and lots of rumors of what the new possible attraction could be have littered the online forums, but no concrete evidence or news from Universal has come forward to say exactly what new addition to the park is coming within this massive piece of park realty.
The only official word we had from Universal Orlando was that it will feature “an all-new live action experience based on a high-energy Universal franchise” and that it should hope to open sometime in 2019. However, since its been nearly two years and no further word has come forward as to what it could be it got us wondering, what’s going on in there?
As you can see from the below, the theater is huge!
There’s an unannounced project in progress at the former Terminator 2 3D theater in Universal Studios Florida. Building modified several weeks ago. All work is inside the theater now. pic.twitter.com/g7Swdxu69z
Our first port of call was the local building permits office to see what permits have been registered and how far progressed they are. From these public accessible documents it would show the following select items of work have occurred:
A complete new layout within the theater (but likely not the pre-show and queue areas). According to our pal Alicia Stella who did a walk around recently, it would appear the old theater’s stage has been made larger. The revised layout also extends to the basement where the old gun toting terminators would spring from, they and the large flanking screens for the 3D portion of the show were all removed in early 2018.
The building has been completely stripped. We know this as many of the props and signage from the old show have been popping up in Williams of Hollywood but also by the fact that the permits indicate a great deal of structural alterations and reapplications of masonry (all of which up until the very last few weeks were approved by the city inspectors).
A new catwalk system has been installed. This addition, along with the larger stage would suggest some kind of stunt show or something that uses 3D (hence the need to regularly get up into the high ceilings on a regular basis).
The lengthy amount of time the project work has taken is possibly due to the sheer amount of renovation that is happening, from new CCTV to new roofing, from new insulation to a massively upgraded fire protections. Universal is swifting bringing this 1990s building right up to the current building codes.
The project is refered to internally as “Project 126”.
Orlando Business Journals also confirms the construction rehab work here.
A new rumor:
We’ve had a few people write into HHNU HQ saying that they believe the new show could be themed to Universal Monsters or at least, have something to do with the, and that it might possibly debut sometime within HHN’s run. Now this could just be highly speculative! But take a look at this tweet, again, from our pal Bio:
A guess is new show in former Terminator 2 3D theater will be Universal Monsters based. Steady change in gift shop to Monsters merchandise and now props, such as a repurposed HHN hearse. pic.twitter.com/pxBx3lvqGi
It got us thinking here at HHNU HQ that there could be something here, as if the show exit doors from the old Terminator building remain the same (they are still there and are untouched as above) this would indicate that whatever the new show is it will offload the guests from the show straight into the new Universal Monsters themed store.
So the question is: Why would Universal drop a lot of cash highly re-theming the old Terminator store when the attraction inside the old Terminator show space is rumored to be Jason Bourne?
That doesn’t make any sense as the theming would be all wrong!!
Unless, the show that is being built in there is someting to do with the Universal Monsters. This also satisfies the criteria that IT IS a Universal owned property and due to the level of building permits signed off it COULD open by the end of 2019, right when HHN kicks off.
So there you have it. What we know to be FACT and what we know to be just RUMOR. And remember these rumors are just that, rumors! And nothing is official until Universal confirms it!
What would you like to see in this building? Let us know in the comments!
Cast your minds back to the awesomeness that was HHN26 where our icon was her majesty Chance the Clown. She reigned over the event with her fun presence and would provide laughs and chills a plenty on her mini show and throughout the event.
Portrayed by the fabulous Erin Cline, the fReAkS behind HHN decided to dress the stores of Universal Orlando with two different Chance mannequins, one with her new outfit and one with her straight jacket. As with most of these props they would eventually end up in the theme park’s repository for old props: Williams of Hollywood, where Universal would actively seek new owners for the past props.
Eventually, the Chance dolls made their way to Williams and after a few weeks they were sold. And finally, Chance has resurfaced! And is for sale on eBay. The listing reads:
This is a very nice HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS original life size Chance figure that was used at the Universal Studios main store. There were only 2 Chance figures created for the entire event (The other was on display at the Tribute Store and has been long gone. There was also a Chance figure wearing a straight jacket. It is shown in a photo above but she does NOT come with this version. She also is long gone.) She features original hand painted features and the face is definitely creepy! Chance was the main horror icon for their Halloween Horror Nights event in 2016. Please note you are only buying the Chance version shown above in the skirt and boots. Comes with a tag from Universal Studios. This is a very rare opportunity to acquire an icon of horror from Universal Studios!!!
The current asking price is $6000.00! And the buyer must collect from the seller who is based in Lakeland, Florida. The original asking price from Williams was rumored to have been $5000, so this is a nice profit if he can find anyone to adopt this Chance.
Universal Orlando Resort has revealed Depths of Fear as the second original content haunted house coming to Halloween Horror Nights 2019 – the world’s premier Halloween event.
In an all-new original story created by the twisted minds of Universal’s Entertainment team, guests will be transported to a deep-sea mining company that has been infested by the parasitic “Mouthbrooders,” who spew their acidic flesh-eating eggs upon unsuspecting humans, turning them into crazed hosts. As the infected are driven to madness, guests will try to escape, but as pressure begins to build, implosion awaits – will they make it out alive or fall deep into their watery graves?
The workers of a deep-sea mining company have found themselves in a dire situation. They’ve delved too deep and encountered a parasitic race of creatures that turn out to be deadly. Panic ensues as you find yourself encountering infected miners and acidic creatures. The pressure builds as the self-destruct sequence counts down to the inevitable implosion of the facility.
As you venture further into the depths, you’ll encounter the creatures known only as the “Mouthbrooders.” Picture being trapped in a claustrophobic mining installation underwater with a countless number of these slithering monsters. Your worst nightmares will come to life as these fiends spew flesh-eating acidic eggs at human hosts, and you witness miners being driven mad by the infection.
On select nights from September 6 to November 2, the most terrifying names in horror will take over Universal Studios Florida, as the sun sets on days filled with thrills and the night awakens with a frightening chill for Halloween Horror Nights. Guests will face 10 all-new elaborately themed haunted houses and five scare zones as well as enjoy Universal Studios’ most exhilarating rides and attractions. Now through June 5, guests can take advantage of a limited time ticket offer and vacation package where they can get a second night free when they buy one night. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.
Are you excited for this original house? Let us know in the comments!
In recent weeks there have been loads of rumors of the yet unannounced houses coming for HHN29. Many of them probably true and many of probably not so true but one that keeps coming back is a house based within a supposed graveyard. So here at HHNU we thought we’d look into why a possible graveyard house might have some substance to it!
It all dates back to 2017 and before we start a big thank you for the tip-off by our reader Eric. Eric, who is based in London, has had some dealings with Universal’s PR department in London. And for about 4 years now, Universal has done big marketing pushes for HHN in the U.K. which usually sees either a press preview, a media blitz or even a presentation by Universal to the various media outlets in London.
The one we should be concerned with is the summer push they did for HHN in the London of 2017. According to Eric, that once the media push had been finished in central London, a number of Universal staff, many for whom had flown in from the US, wanted to visit Highgate Cemetery in their own time.
So what is Highgate Cemetery and why does it attract millions of visits each year? And why would Universal staffers want to visit it?
Highgate Cemetery is a place of burial in north London, England. There are approximately 170,000 people buried in around 53,000 graves across the Cemetery. It is notable both for some of the people buried there as well as for its de facto status as a nature reserve and how peculiar and interesting some of the many graves have been left. Then there was the police reports of a vampire… yep actual sightings were reported!
According to newspaper reports from the late 1960s and early 1970s, many people living around the Highgate area alleged that a vampire was stalking the cemetery. It caused a media frenzy with one group alleging they had caught the vampire within its coffin and had driven a wooden stake through its heart. There were also police reports of voodoo, satanism and even a live exorcism was performed in the grounds! Literally not making this up. The events also inspired a movie, Dracula AD 1972 which was made by Hammer Studios and starred Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.
As this was the summer of 2017 it would have likely been too late to add a Highgate Vampire house to the 2017 slate of houses but it would be perfect timing for its addition to the 2018 or 2019 lineup with a great original concept house based on this strange urban legend.
So there you have it. Are we onto something? Could this be the genesis of the idea for HHN29? Let us know your name thoughts in the comments!
Remember, these are just rumors and nothing is FACT until Universal officially announce the houses! All we know for sure right now, is that HHN29 is going to be AWESOME!
Universal has recently announced that Halloween Horror Nights will debut two original concept houses featuring their enduring classic Universal Monsters.
And now Scream Factory is celebrating horror icons Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi with Universal Horror Collection Vol. 1 which will be released on Blu-ray on June 18, and it is also available right now for pre-orders.
This new release will feature never seen before features that include an excellent mixture of commentaries, original trailers and documentaries that will easily induct all HHN fans into the genesis of these characters.
The set includes the movies: The Black Cat, The Raven, The Invisible Ray and Black Friday and the following features:
THE BLACK CAT
NEW Audio Commentary by author/film historian Gregory William Mank
NEW Audio Commentary by author/film historian Steve Haberman
NEW Dreams Within a Dream: The Classic Cinema of Edgar Allan Poe – narrated by Doug Bradley
NEW A Good Game: Karloff and Lugosi at Universal Part One: The Black Cat
Vintage footage – The Black Cat Contest
NEW 2K scan of the original film elements
NEW Audio Commentary with author/film historian Gary D. Rhodes
NEW Audio Commentary with author/film historian Steve Haberman
NEW A Good Game: Karloff and Lugosi at Universal Part Two: The Raven
Audio Recording: Bela Lugosi reads “The Tell-Tale Heart”
THE INVISIBLE RAY
NEW 2K scan of the original film elements
NEW Audio Commentary with authors/film historians Tom Weaver and Randall Larson
NEW A Good Game: Karloff and Lugosi at Universal Part Three: The Invisible Ray
Re-Release Theatrical Trailer
NEW 2K scan of the original film elements
NEW Audio Commentary with filmmaker/film historian Constantine Nasr
NEW A Good Game: Karloff and Lugosi at Universal Part Four: Black Friday
Inner Sanctum Mystery Radio Show: “The Tell-Tale Heart” starring Boris Karloff
The set is a great introduction to the horror movies made by Universal in these early days when they effectively created the genre! So pre-order your set today by clicking below!
Or get Christopher Ripley’s book on the actual genesis of these monsters, both will be great for your homework in preparing for HHN29!
Let is know in the comments if you are excited for these houses!
It was April 13 that Theme Park University broke the rumor of Ghostbusters potentially coming to HHN29. And whilst the article doesn’t give any sources for this rumor, we at HHNU thought we would do some digging and see what we can find out.
Jim Hill referenced the article in his show the Universal Joint whilst also expressing he had heard the same rumor. And other than these two sources spreading the rumor, there has been, as far as we can find, no other sources talking it up. So we did some further digging and this is what we could find:
Universal does not own this franchise and the IP holder is Sony who they would need to get approval from to build a haunted house. Luckily for them, Sony is hitting the licensing market hard right now in preparation for the franchises’ 35th anniversary this year.
We found a number of sites promoting the IP for licensing, with one saying that this year alone they have possibly licensed to over 170 different vendors. Some of these most famous vendors being: Playmobil, Hasbro, Funko, Reebok, Halifax Bank, Virgin Media, Compare the Market, Dunkin Donuts and many more. So if Sony are in the market for licensing this property to the maximum they would probably welcome the publicity that HHN brings.
It’s a fun fact that Universal has licensed this property since the 1980s for their parks. Ghostbusters Spooktacular was an opening day attraction at the Orlando park and it ran from 1990 to 1996. The property has also been used in the same park for shows at HHN, meet and greets and even parades over the years since the attraction closed. So in theory, as Universal have had such a long and successful partnership with Sony in presenting this franchise at the parks it would make sense that this relationship could continue and extend to HHN houses?
3. It’s been at HHN before…
In the very first year of HHN in 1991 it featured many many shows and one of which, and the one that received top billing was Beetlejuice Dead in Concert Featuring the Ghostbusters! A video of which is presented below.
And if you include the appearances of the characters and their famous ECTO1 at the Robosaurus Show, Festival of the Dead parades and unofficially spot appearances at Bill and Ted, it would conclude that the property has been successfully added to various HHNs throughout the years.
There’s also the cost-effective argument. We know that Universal have a huge offsite storage warehouse and if they have stored the hundreds of props, costumes and sets that they have produced for this franchise over the years then they could reuse them for a HHN and save building new ones! It’s just a thought…
4. Anniversary Year
This year, as previously mentioned, is the anniversary year for the franchise. Some 35 years since the team donned their famous proton packs and busted some ghosts. And you’d be wrong if you think Sony will be letting this anniversary pass without celebration. So here’s what we found on one licensing website:
Who Ya Gonna Call? Ghostbusters is one of the most successful film franchises of all time. It follows three unemployed parapsychology professors who set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.
Starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Erinie Hudson, Ghostbusters has a loyal fan base and is recognised as a cult property with many TV shows and films referencing it and expanding its appeal further.
For Ghostbusters 35th Anniversary in 2019, Sony Pictures Entertainment is producing a jam-packed year of activations, partnerships and incredible exclusives lined up in celebration of the 1984 classic film.
It hints at the shear volume of licenses that have been granted this year and the dozens of world wide events that are being held to mark this anniversary. And there was a tease on one site that “big announcements will be made in early June.”
We found that on June 11 a new special edition DVD is being released and June 8 is the official anniversary date. June 7 will have an international fan fest convention occurring in California. And let’s not forget another movie to the official canon is being made. So although the teaser could be to do with any of these upcoming events but it *could* be referencing something to do with HHN. And a joint announcement as we’ve seen before with HHN and their IPs would be some grade A synergy!
This is just a fun point but nonetheless truthful; many of the cast have strong connections to Florida. Which is important as many of them likely have some form say over the direction of the franchise.
Dan Aykroyd is regularly spotted in Florida due to his business connections, including Crystal Head Vodka and The House of Blues (yes the one located in Disney Springs). And as we know that HHN houses take years to come to fruition, it was a little strange to see Aykroyd roaming inside Universal Orlando in March of 2015. He allegedly stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel and was sighing bottles of his vodka in the evening but it begs the question: was he here for any other reasons?
Likewise, the mysterious legend that is Bill Murray also regularly visits Florida. Not only is he regularly spotted at the glorious and amazing golf courses that are found in Central Florida but his brothers all supposedly live nearby and with them he owns a restaurant in St Augustine. So if he ever gets the message via his infamous voicemail recorder (he supposedly doesn’t have an agent!), then you never know if he’ll just turn up unannounced (wishful thinking surely)!!
So there you have it, just our thoughts on this rumor. But we want to hear your thoughts! Let us know in the comments!!
And remember, this is just a rumor and nothing is confirmed until Universal confirms it!
HHN28 was a momentous year for many reasons, one of which was the house Slaughter Sinema which featured a number of original movie ideas and many became instant cult HHN fan favorites. One of which seemed to have piqued the HHN fans’ interest the most was the Attack of the Swamp Yeti.
The plot of this “movie” was just in one large scene and revolved around four friends who go camping in the woods at night. One of the guys tells the story of the Swamp Yeti living in the woods. The Swamp Yeti then proceeds to start killing the friends one by one. It was a legendary section of an awesome house!
So it got us thinking, what is the origin of this idea and are there any an actual Swamp Yetis out there!?
The story of the Yeti or Bigfoot is as old as time with humans reporting the sightings of larger humanoid type creatures as far back as early civilisation. From the Green Men in the U.K. to the Bigfoot of Washington State to the Abominable Snowman of the mountains of Tibet, these crytoids have been reported in every corner of the planet! And let’s not forget Disney dedicate a whole E-Ticket ride to this beast at their Animal Kingdom park.
But we don’t need to concern ourselves with these other creatures, we need to look closer to home and look at the Yetis that supposedly haunt the swamps of the southern US!
The local swamp based yetis are known by different names in the respective different states, and include: the skunk ape, also known as the swamp cabbage man, the swamp ape, stink ape, Florida Bigfoot, Louisiana Bigfoot, myakka ape, swampsquatch, and myakka skunk ape and for some, the Swamp Yeti.
Reports of this swamp dwelling Yeti were particularly common in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1974, sightings of a large, foul-smelling, hairy, ape-like creature, which ran upright on two legs were reported in suburban neighborhoods of Dade County, Florida, though some say it was a diseased bear with mange. Other sightings have even led to whole towns creating further legend and speculation which have created enough notoriety to create mini tourist industries for these towns. Yet despite the sightings, footprint casts and hair recoveries, the United States National Park Service considers this beast to be just a giant hoax (or possible mistaken bear sightings).
Whatever the true reason behind the sightings, the legend is here to stay and has even spawned a number of films, TV shows, comics and books. The most famous of these being the the Swamp Thing franchise, which fun fact the accompanying TV Show was shot entirely at Universal Studios Orlando. Most of the outdoor sets were located where the HHN Sprung Tents now reside! And incidentally, the franchise is about to be rebooted by DC and Warner Bros with a new feature coming to theaters very soon.
The most famous sighting of this strange creature was in the autumn of 2000, when the police of Sarasota County, Florida (a neighboring County to Tampa!) received a letter from an anonymous woman.
With the letter were two attached photographs of what the woman described as an escaped orangutan who had been stealing fruit from her back porch for the last three nights.
These photos were later found to be taken near the Myakka River which is only 140 miles from Orlando. After the images were released to the public, cryptoid enthusiasts dubbed the creature in the photograph the “Myakka Skunk Ape.” And since then the legend has inspired countless investigations and research from serious bonafide investigators to YouTube sleuths. The below is a fav!
Whatever the truth is behind this strange legend, we are hopeful that the scary Swamp dwelling crytoid will one day make a triumphant return to HHN!
Christopher Ripley factoid add:
When I interviewed a former HHN Show-runner (who shall remain nameless) he informed me that his number one phobia was coming face-to-face with a Bigfoot/Yeti in the wild and as such never pitched the idea for a house as he would be too frightened to design it, let alone walk it when it was built!
So there you have it, a fun history of the Swamp Yeti. Would you like him to come back to HHN? Let us know in the comments!
It was with a glimmer of hope yesterday that HHN fans saw the demise of Warner Bros’ Horror Made Here event at Burbank. Not because of some trivial or tribal loyalty to HHN but because the event was the likely reason behind the limiting of horror properties being licensed to HHN for potential houses back in 2018.
But with the announcement yesterday of no Horror Made Here for 2019 it gives fans hope that Warners will now instead begin releasing their properties to Universal for HHN use. In fact, it goes deeper that one insider at WB has tipped us that Horror Made Here may never return to Burbank, and the possible reason? Money.
Warners, via their parent company AT&T, recently released their quarterly report for their businesses. The report is VAST and reflects on the business performance of the past 3 months, which would include the Horror Made Here event.
The report discusses the effective increase of licensing across WB for all manner of things, from posters to popsicles, and it has remained largely flat within the business that handles licensing for their horror properties. Why could this be? Well it might due to them not licensing their properties to Universal for HHN and instead doing their own Horror Made Here event. For which the business that handles the tours of the Burbank (the business unit that handled their Halloween event) was also reportedly flat in sales too; which might suggest why the event is not returning!
So if Warners can make more money licensing to Universal than running their own event, it would be silly for them to keep their IPs away from HHN! In short, it would appear that Warners properties are very much back in contention for HHN29 and possibly for HHN30 and beyond!
Our old pal the Ifrit has been up to his old tricks again! The above was tweeted out today and reads in Italian ‘All roads lead to Rome‘. So what is he referring to? We surely don’t know yet, however we have been tipped by a few peeps in the know that this could be tied to an original house that is thought to be in construction based on the last days of Rome. An ancient Rome house perhaps? Think togas, stonework, curses and even lava zombies? Well Jason did warn us last year…
And remember, nothing is confirmed or fact until Universal confirms it, just RUMORS!
So there you have it, two awesome rumors for your Thursday! Let us know in the comments whether you heard anything too and what you think on the Ancient Rome rumor!