Jack is coming to haunt your stay!

Back in April, our HHN Grand Poobah, Christopher Ripley wrote a great blog about how HHN once extended into the Resort Hotels. You can read this blog HERE. What we didn’t know (or maybe he did?) that history would be repeating itself this year at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort where guests can get exclusive access to a number of fright filled experiences!

Universal is inviting guests to “Jack up” their HHN resort expereince with:

Horror Icons Bar
Revel in past Halloween Horror Nights Icons in this wicked lounge. Purchase speciality drinks as well as spooky snacks. You’ll be surrounded by images of some of your favorite Icons, including Jack, Chance, The Storyteller, and more, along with props and costumes.

JACK’D UP Experience
Enter the twisted world of Jack the Clown and take a mind-trip through the chaotic Carnival of Carnage. Pose for photos, go inside Jack’s human-sized blender and undergo a maniacal transformation.

Both experiences are located at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. The JACK’D UP Experience is exclusive to guests of any Universal Orlando Resort hotel and the Horror Icons Bar is accessible to all guests.

JACK’D UP Experience takes place from 2 p.m. – 10 p.m. at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort on 9/3/21 – 10/31/21 only. Experience is only open to Universal Orlando Resort hotel guests with the presentation of the hotel key card. Guests of other Universal Orlando Resort hotels will receive a parking validation ticket for complimentary self-parking at Cabana Beach Bay Resort.

Dates, times, and/or experience details are subject to availability, changes, and/or cancellation without notice. Additional restrictions may apply – please always check directly with Universal Orlando.

All of the above is included in select HHN stay packages which can be booked HERE.

So there you have it, will you be booking these amazing HHN resort packages? Let us know in the comments!

Universal Studios Hollywood is Hiring More Than 2,000 Team Members for this Summer

Universal Studios Hollywood is casting a wide net to fill more than 2,000 jobs at the world-class theme park destination, offering prospective employees a chance to work within the exciting entertainment industry and alongside some of the most popular rides ever created.

The positions run the gamut from full-time, part-time and seasonal to professional career opportunities. A highlight of available jobs includes those in Attractions, Entertainment, including Production Assistants and Show Controllers, Guest Relations, Park Services, Wardrobe, Retail, Parking and Food, including posts as Bartenders, Baristas, Cooks, Bakers, Food Stand Attendants and Runners. To apply, please visit www.USHjobs.com.

An array of professional jobs is available from Finance, Marketing, Human Resources and Engineering to Environmental Health & Safety. To apply, please visit www.NBCunicareers.com.

Universal Studios Hollywood brings to life the magic of movie and television production, entertaining guests from around the globe and immersing them in such thrill rides as “Jurassic World—The Ride,” which now features the all-new, extraordinarily realistic dinosaur, the Indominus rex, “The Secret Life of Pets:  Off the Leash!”, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™” and “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem,” to name just a few.

The world-famous, behind-the-scenes Studio Tour takes guests through an authentic production studio, home to iconic outdoor sets and soundstages used in over 8,000 movies and television shows, as well as dynamic movie-based rides such as “King Kong 360 3D” and “Fast & Furious—Supercharged.”

More information about Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal CityWalk is available at www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com. Regular updates can be found on Universal Studios Hollywood’s Twitter @UniStudios, Facebook-Universal Studios Hollywood and Instagram @UniStudios.

Rumor: A Mini-HHN to Start this Week?

As reported last week, rumors of various HHN houses opening for a limited time during the daytime at Universal Orlando are continuing to persist.

No official announcement has been made but various strange occurances have started to happen around the park…

Universal Team Members have just been told that weekends are now blocked-out for comp passes. Is Universal expecting a big upturn in attendance in the coming weeks…? The Team UO site says:

We continue to evaluate business demand and adjust capacity for a carefully managed experience. As such, we will be blocking out Saturdays and Sundays at USF, IOA, and Volcano Bay from Saturday, September 19 through Saturday, October 31, for new ticket orders. Existing orders already placed for these dates will be honored. This blockout pertains to Team Member Comp Passes and Limited Blockout Comp Passes. UO IDs and Special Guest IDs will remain valid for admission.

The HHN Twitter account recently came back to life:

The HHN House Entrance rigs appeared in the park (currently there are two):

Two houses were suddenly approved by the City of Orlando for opening:

What with the news we heard last week of Universal Orlando extending the operating houses of the Studios park and various Scareactors supposedly being called back, it would look like a very mini version of HHN is going to be undertaken, possibly as early as this weekend!

What could the two houses be? We’re hearing, an Icon House and a house based off of the urban legend of a demonic Tooth Fairy…

Are you excited for this mini-HHN? Will you be attending? Let us know in the comments!

Remember: Nothing is confirmed until Universal confirms otherwise!

Is HHN dead for 2020?

Rumors are abound at the moment that Universal might be trying to undertake some form of reduced HHN at Universal Studios Park in Orlando.

Details are highly sketchy at the moment due to the issues surrounding the Corona Virus and various staff furloughs, so plans are likely to continue to change.

What do you know? We know for sure that Universal has extended the operating hours of the main Studio park for select days in October. Why is this strange? Because the park’s attendance levels has dropped massively during the Pandemic, Disney has been actively reducing hours due to low demand, so for Universal to extend hours they must have done this for a reason…

It’s impossible to commit here to all the rumors we have received at HHNU HQ but it would point to some form of add-on ticket likely being offered to day guests to possibly give them access to the Soundstage houses. We’ve heard from a number of Scareactor and technicians who have been called back for these select houses.

So whilst whatever is being planned will be no where near the level of HHN, this could be a smaller affair, a Diet Coke HHN if you please. In at least, that’s the rumor…. for now…..

Remember, these are just rumors and nothing is confirmed until Universal confirms otherwise.

Would you welcome a day-time Halloween Horror Nights, a type of extra ticket Halloween Horror Days or should HHN be saved for 2021 only? Let us know in the comments!

Beetlejuice revealed for HHN30 as new room opens in HHN Tribute Store

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice…. there we said it and he has arrived!  As previously reported, HHN30 for 2020 has been canceled, however, the very, very popular HHN Tribute Store still has a few tricks up its sleeves…

Beetlejuice as been revealed as the host of the secret “third room” at the Tribute Store.  Offering a mixture of Beetlejuice merch, photo opportunities and Beetlejuice inspired food offerings, the room defacto confirms Beetlejuice for the event.

Orlando Sentinel managed to get a sneaky peek this week, with the room soon to open to day guests.

Were you excited for Beetlejuice coming to HHN30?  Will Beetlejuice remain for 2021?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

All images are copyright of the Orlando Sentinel

HHN Fans Want HHN30 Cancelled

This past weekend HHNU’s Christopher Ripley ran a poll on Twitter to see whether fans wanted HHN30 to be cancelled or for it to be run.  The results can be seen below:

hhn30 2020.jpg

As you can see, the majority of fans on this small poll want the event cancelled.  But let’s look into why that might be?

Wider Tourism:

It is hard to find exact numbers and breakdowns for attendances to the theme parks, both Disney and Universal often keep these as closely guarded secrets.  However, we can look at other sources for clues.  For example, data from Orlando’s MCO Airport website between the beginning and the end of HHN for 2019 will have just over 6 million passengers flying in from the other U.S. States and 1.1 million passengers flying in from international airports.  You can then add in people who are travelling from neighbour States by car and the Florida State visitors, and this adds up to a significant number.

The TEA/AECOM Theme Index and Museum Index for last year believes that Orlando theme parks received a staggering 87.5m visitors, with Universal’s two main theme parks received a reportedly 19.8m visitors total. However, these figures are probably gate numbers, as the official Tourist Board figure for 2018 was 75m visitors.

And while these visitors aren’t all going to be visiting HHN, it should indicate how many people are coming to Orlando if there weren’t a global Pandemic happening.

 

International Guests:

From the MCO website, it has a league table of the makeup of the International guests, and while passengers are flying in from all over the world, the top 10 are:

1             London/Gatwick, England

2              Toronto, Ontario, Canada

3              Manchester, England

4              Mexico City, Mexico

5              Sao Paulo/Guarulhos, Brazil

6              Montreal/Dorval, Quebec, Canada

7              San Jose, Costa Rica

8              Bogota, Colombia

9              Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

10           Nassau, Bahamas

According to data from Google/WHO Brazil has the second-worst infection rate in the world (second to the U.S.) in cases % per 1m of population, the U.K. is 5th, Mexico is 11th, Canada is 19th, and Colombia is 21st.

The land borders between the U.S. and Mexico and the U.S. and Canada are closed for all non-essential travel until at least 23rd July.

Currently, there is a Travel Ban for International Passengers where most of the list above are excluded from travel into the U.S.  It is hard to accurately pinpoint the percentage of International Guests to Out-of-State Guests, but Visit Orlando believes it to be circa:

Florida & Domestic Visitors          60 to 78%            (including people who drive in)

Other U.S. State Visitors                 15 to 25%            (people who fly in)

International Visitors                      12 to 22%            (people who fly in)

 

Florida Locals:

In the past when international travel bans have been in effect, or there has been a downturn in visitor numbers to the Parks, it has been the local Floridians, especially the local Orlando communities that have helped the Parks and especially HHN.  However, the parks are currently open, and footfall is massively reduced.  Likewise, since Florida started to reopen and lift restrictions, COVID cases have jumped fivefold in the last two weeks.  Nobody knows for sure how many of these people will actually venture out for HHN.

Other States:

Different States have different policies on COVID where some are still in Lockdown; others are slowly opening up.  Currently, travellers flying to Florida from New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut must self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival.  Universal Theme Parks are currently open but with increased restrictions and social distancing, with reports from local visitors indicating that footfall at the parks is incredibly low.

 

Is HHN still happening?

As far as we know, yes it is happening.  Universal was reportedly testing the Lagoon Show for HHN this past weekend, yesterday on Twitter Universal was gaining permissions to use people’s tweets in a rumored announcement that is coming, HHN house construction is on-going and Universal is actively recruiting Scareactors.  See below:

Lagoon Show Testing:

 

Universal accepting applications for HHN roles:

IMG_0554.JPG

Christopher Ripley also posted this sage advice:

 

Conclusion:

Our poll was only small and gave a tiny snapshot.  It was also conducted on Twitter which is not the friendliest or most pragmatic social media platform.  However, when the above is considered, you can see why fans of HHN want it cancelled.  If they can’t travel to the event they love, it will be heart-breaking for them.  Likewise, what is the supposed to be the celebratory year of the 30th anniversary, people are equally miffed that the event can’t celebrate this achievement to the fullest due to all the likely restrictions that will no doubt be in the place for it.

Hopefully, if we do everything the “experts” tell us to do now, it will save Halloween.  There will come a time when this wretched disease has gone; however, we want it to go as fast as possible so we can all return to normal!  Let’s hope that normal comes soon and HHN will continue without this disease.

 

All of the data and restrictions were good as of June 29th 2020, and people should check current rules and restrictions before travelling.

So there you have it: do you agree with this poll?  Will you still be going to HHN?  Let us know in the comments!

Rumor: Big Changes to the Scares at HHN

Our good friends at TPU posted a fascinating rumor article this week that highlights a number of changes possibly coming to this year’s HHN which will likely impact how and when people attend the event.

The rumored changes being reported were:

Big Reduction in Scareactors:

Due to social distancing guidelines, guests will probably interact far last with a much-reduced lineup of scareactors.  The TPU article states that Universal is possibly looking to hire a much-reduced company of scareactors, a “skeleton crew” if you like, so as to comply with social distancing measures.

Capped Attendance:

The major theme parks in Central Florida have all been showcasing their reopening plans over the week we all of them ensuring that gate numbers remain low.  If this is to continue into the fall it will likely see a vastly reduced guest number with caps on how many patrons can enter each night.

The Official Universal App will Control Your Visit:

According to the article, virtual queues will be used throughout the houses (something HHNU first rumored back in March when this all started to happen).  After leaving the parking structure guests are likely to be put through security and health screening (for temperatures, as they are doing during the day), the app will then notify them which houses they can go to and when even including whether to use their Express passes; it’ll supposedly all be done via the app!

Jack to be the Digital Icon:

According to the article, Jack will be your digital guide every night via the app.  So instead of choosing the houses or experiences you want to visit, the app will guide you and give you limited choices based on the numbers of guests at each experience.  Jack was brought back to reassure us all at the HHN in 2001 and so he’s likely back again to do the same again for 2020.

New Activities to Replace Traditional HHN Mainstays:

To replace the possible cancelling of shows and limits to house numbers, we have heard that a number of added experiences will be used to occupy the guest’s time at the event (the TPU article also states this).  Jack as your digital psychopathic guide will lead you around the park to undertake scavenger hunts, set-off special effects, possibly win prizes and answer trivia questions.  The added experiences will likely be undertaken to replace or reduce the traditional scarezones and to keep guests under control if the houses and attractions are full.

So there you have it, would you welcome these changes?  Let us know in the comments!

Remember, these are just rumored changes coming to HHN30, nothing is official just yet!  Though we do expect an official announcement very soon!

To read the TPU article for yourself please go here.

 

 

 

 

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.