My Top Five Best ScareZone Episodes So Far

The ScareZone Podcast, HHNUnofficial’s sister podcast show has put out some great shows out over the last few years and some of the most highly downloaded episodes have been the interview shows.  With this in mind, I wanted to share with you my favorite shows for you to enjoy!  To listen to these shows now simply visit the Apple Podcast/iTunes app or listen now from the plugin below:

 

Here’s my list:

  1. Eileen Dietz

Eileen popped into the ScareZone Studio a couple of years ago to talk about her Hollywood career but to also discuss her roles in movie The Exorcist which had been a house presented at HHN26.  It was interesting hearing how she played both the Pazuzu (the main demon) and stand-in for Linda Blair.

  1. Leigh Whannell

The creator of SAW and many other iconic horror movies chatted to ScareZone in Episode 46.  He cited how he was literally thrown out of his own maze at HHN Hollywood and was humbled to hear that Chris Ripley thought his movie Dead Silence had made the greatest house ever at Orlando’s HHN.

  1. Gianni Garofalo (The Director)

Gianni was interviewed over a special two-part show (episodes 28 and 29) where he discussed becoming the iconic HHN icon The Director.  The other tales he told about the misadventures he and Dean Karr (the HHN commercials director) were also legendary and so funny; think Weekend at Bernie’s meets American Pie and they even featured a young Jennifer Aniston!

  1. James Keaton (Jack the Clown)

Our buddy James headed to the ScareZone Studio to recount his decades of service at Universal Studios Orlando bringing to life some of the most famous characters and monsters to ever grace the silver screen.  From Beetlejuice to The Grinch he’s played them all, but not forgetting everyone’s favorite icon Jack the Clown!

  1. Julie Zimmerman

Julie is to Halloween Horror Nights what Walt Disney is to Disneyland.  Right back in our very first full-length episode Julie came on to tell us all how it ‘all started with a rat!’

 

What’s your favorite episode of ScareZone?  Let us know in the comments!

 

HHN Secures First IP for HHN29

News came last night that Universal have apparently just locked in their first IP property for the 2019 edition of HHN.

Obviously, we’re not told yet what it is yet but it was teased via Universal’s John Murdy on the official Hollywood HHN handle on Twitter:

A nice and early property in the bag is great as now the idea can be worked on and developed in time for HHN29 / HHN2019.

But what could this property be? Rumors are swirling at the moment and many are speculating that after last year’s absence of Warner Bros and Fox properties at HHN that this trend could continue.

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Horror Made Here exclusively used properties from Warner Bros, New Line Cinema and DC to fill their streets and mazes

Why are these properties supposedly not in contention? Well it’s only speculation but last year Warner Bros held their own event, Horror Made Here in Burbank, California. Many commentators said at the time that perhaps they wanted to hold onto their own properties for exclusive use to really kick their new event off in style, plus HHN Hollywood is only a short car ride away. And as for Fox, well who knows what’s happening there, Disney are buying Fox and I’m sure they’d love their Central Florida competitors using their newly acquired properties…

So if we assume Warner Bros and Fox are off-the-table, what properties could be coming to HHN? There is one property that’s been speculated about for years and we know HHN takes years to secure the best properties!  We also know that the gentleman behind this franchise has a long association with HHN (read more here and here) and he

That property is rumored to be HellraiserHHNU first broke the rumors back in 2017 when a number of factors pointed to possible meetings being held to discuss the potential use of the franchise at HHN. To read our original article from Chris Ripley click HERE.

But there’s more clues… On the latest edition of Universal After Dark Chris Ripley, Boston White and the team discussed these clues and what it could mean for HHN29. Click HERE to listen now.

One of these clues we’ll share with you now…

Look closely at this recently posted photo by HHN’s Mike Aiello. Those DVDs are all in alphabetical order, except the ones at the end where we can assume are all ones that have been recently watched or maybe newly acquired (the tweet refers to this)… there sure are a few Hellraiser ones there! But surely this is just a coincidence right? Remember, everything is just a speculative rumor until Universal confirms the line-up next year!

But if you want to know the true identity of the property that’s just been secured you then need to watch this video!!  😆 😆 😆

So there you have it, a nice bit of early speculation to kick-off the beginning of the HHN rumor season. Are we right though? Let’s us know your thoughts and let us know which properties you’d love to see at HHN29!

Scooby-Doo Goes All Horror!

We all remember as kids watching Scooby-Doo and how each week some comedic caper would ensue but what would happen if Scoob’ and the gang instead of unmasking disgruntled fair ground owners and instead came face to face with some of horror’s greatest foes?  Well Travis Falligant has the answer!  Since 2014 he has been producing a series of mashups featuring the classic artwork of these beloved classic cartoons but with a modern horror twist.  And this year he has expanded his work to include many more horror icons, many of which featured at HHN28.

If you’re interested in his work he sells a number of different items via his official site HERE.

Below we have selected some of the best works that feature connections to HHN:

 

Why you need to be a UOAP (Annual Passholder) for HHN29!

We get a lot of people ask us at HHNU what are the top tips for HHN or how to pre-plan for the next HHN. And the list is vast but one of the best tips surely has to now be, to become an annual passholder. Here’s why we think this:

  • Exclusive access and early entries

For HHN28, UOAPers got early access on four select event nights and a specially dedicated entrance just for this (note: all of which had to be pre-booked).

  • Free nights

Premier Passholders got one night of Halloween Horror Nights included with their Annual Passes. Nights had to be specially chosen prior to the event but getting one free night is super awesome.

  • Exclusive deals on hotel stays

UOAPs get special deals with the onsite hotels that aren’t available to the general public.

  • Parking!!!

According to research we have undertaken, the average UOAPer goes to HHN some 12 nights. If you have the Preferred or Premier passes and drive to the event and want to park in the preferred spaces some 12 times that’s a total saving of $360! That’s a huge saving!

  • Even more discounts!!

Discounted HHN Tickets: Passholders saved up to $58 on select nights for 1-night tickets or Frequent Fear Passes, some 23 nights, for less than the price of one when you bought online.

R.I.P. Tour Discounts for Premier and Preferred Passholders saved 10%, and Power Passholders saved 5%; which is a lot as these tours can be expensive!

Preferred, Power and Seasonal Passholders got a 10% discount, while Premier Passholders enjoy a 15% discount on all food items on select nights at HHN28.

  • Free buttons

Okay, so this one is a bit tenuous but if you collect the UOAP buttons there was one released for HHN28 that was just for UOAPers. Likewise, there was a number of shirts and pins that were for passholders only.

Now these perks are always subject to change, and they might be totally different for HHN29 but we think it’s a good tip to be a passholder at Universal Orlando.

So it makes total sense! The best way to prep for HHN29 is to become a Universal Orlando Passholder! Click here to join now!

Are you a UOAPer? Did you manage to get big savings on HHN28? Let us know!

Is HHN28 Slicing a Chunk Out of MNSSHP’s Market?

A rumor came into the HHNU Office this week that might point to HHN taking more of a market share in the night-time entertainment offerings of the Central Florida theme parks.  Namely, that HHN is attracting more people to their event who would otherwise had gone to Disney’s night-time hard ticketed event ‘Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween’ Parties.

The evidence for this is scarce as the parks don’t formally report attendance for these night-time parties but if you dig around enough there is another evidence to show that HHN must be experiencing huge attendance bumps whereas Disney might just be doing the same or less business than last year.

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Your prices are scary Disney but that’s all!

MNSSHP has sold out twice this season with October 4 and 31.  Whereas last year one date in September sold out as early as August and then a further five nights sold out throughout October.  This was on top off alleged reports that Disney might have increased the number of tickets they were offering to the public.

So why is this year possibly quieter for Disney?  If we take the MNSSHP event as the reason, we can say that not much is exactly new at the now 20+ years old event. The Boo-to-You Parade, Hallowishes and Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular have all been around for a few years now and have hardly been updated in this time.  And whereas the candy has improved, the merchandise is slightly better (maybe?) and they’ve added actors into the Pirates ride (Note: the actors aren’t scary or funny so what is their point?), these are all still not massive jumps forward but one item that has significant increased in this time and that’s the price!  The price in 2014 was $62 + tax, whereas now it is $126.74 for a Saturday night, the price has virtually doubled in cost in the space of only a few years but we can hardly say the entertainment and offerings have increased by double!

A new take on the Party by our pal Derek Burgan…

Comparing the Florida MNSSSHP to the Californian version at Disneyland is hard as the Californian version has special experiences that run all day for the daytime guests too, namely: The Nightmare Before Christmas overlay at The Haunted Mansion or the terrifying Halloween redo of Space Mountain with Ghost Galaxy – all of which are missing in Florida.  And then if to save further costs it appears Disney is quietly dropping the ‘Not-So-Scary’ portion of the name by now sharing the marketing budget with Disneyland’s event and calling it simply ‘Mickey’s Halloween Party’.  Changing the name just to save money on marketing is very ‘poor show’. Disney marketing trying to be ‘scary’…

Ticket windows outside Epcot right now:

But it’s not all Disney’s fault!  HHN28 is AWESOME and if you include the show and all the scarezones, there’s 16 brand new attractions for you to enjoy.  And whereas Disney has more than doubled the cost of their event tickets in 3 years, HHN has increased between $10 to £28 (depends on the ticket), which is merely inflationary at best.  And there’s more houses now than ever before!

Then there’s Stranger Things.  The hit genre defying Netflix original series that is a hit with all age ranges and appeals to wider demographic than say just the Halloween franchise.  This alone will be bringing in people from all different age groups and fandoms that perhaps had never tried HHN before.  And whereas houses like Dead Exposure and Seeds of Extinction are genuinely terrifying experiences, other offerings such as the Killer Klowns scarezone and the Academy of Villains are downright fun experiences. Combine these with the open rides and there’s more than enough for younger people or people who don’t want to be ‘scared witless’ to do.

And the final piece of evidence is overwhelming, in that for the first time in my knowledge, HHN has been selling out on select nights.  Universal doesn’t need to restrict attendance numbers in order for people to have fun or experience the rides; people aren’t there to ride Transformers!  Whereas at Disney they do, as having shorter lines for the rides at the Magic Kingdom was one of the big draws for many people in attending MNSSHP.  So for HHN to sell-out on select nights, basing that on day-time attendance limits, shows that HHN28 must not only being doing record business for Universal but they must also be taking a huge slice out of Disney’s night-time market too!  Add in the extra nights that have been added to the HHN calendar and it all adds up!

The new normal for HHN…?

What are your experiences with HHN and MNSSHP?  Let us know in the comments!

Cover photo by Meg

HHN takes on Food & Wine with increased offerings!

This year, “Halloween Horror Nights” brings a taste of Hawkins, Indiana to Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort inviting guests to enjoy foods inspired by Netflix’s “Stranger Things” that also complement the terrifying “Stranger Things” mazes debuting at both parks. “Halloween Horror Nights” begins on Friday, September 14, 2018.

The specialized foods were created by the executive chef and culinary teams at each park to further enhance the already immersive “Halloween Horror Nights” experience.

Here’s what guests can expect to feast on during “Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Studios Hollywood:

  • Benny’s Burgers: This classic, aptly named after the show’s family-owned diner, features a juicy beef burger served on a potato roll and a side of Tater Tots®.
  • The Upside Down Burger: served “upside down,” this signature burger features spicy queso and Flamin’ Hot® Cheetos® served on a potato roll with lettuce, tomatoes, and a side of Tater Tots.
  • Benny’s Chicken & Waffle Sandwich: Drizzled with sage-maple aioli and topped with sweet and sour onions, lettuce and tomatoes, this grilled chicken sandwich is served on iconic Kellogg’s® Eggo® waffles with a side of Tater Tots.
  • Demogorgon’s Totcho: A twist on the classic nacho, this dangerously delicious snack piles up Tater Tots, doused in spicy queso, chili, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, sour cream and scallions.
  • Eleven’s Waffle Extravaganza: Inspired by the lead protagonist’s favorite food, this tasty treat mixes Reese’s Pieces, jelly beans, chocolate chips and whipped cream stacked high on three Kellogg’s Eggo waffles.

Additional treats will be served throughout the theme park including Mini Meatball Subs, Loaded Mac ‘n’ Cheese, and Stir Fry Noodles as well as Voodoo Doughnuts.

Here’s what guests can expect to dine on at Universal Orlando Resort:

  • Waffles Galore!: All inspired by Eleven’s favorite food, guests can enjoy a variety of waffle treats at “Halloween Horror Nights,” including a Fudge Dipped Waffle on a Stick topped with peanuts and sprinkles; a Waffle Ice Cream Pocket Sundae which features two chocolate chip waffles stuffed with strawberry ice cream and topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, sprinkles, chopped peanuts and a cherry; the Triple Decker Extravaganza, which is Orlando’s version of Eleven’s Waffle Extravaganza – and more.
  • Syrup & Waffles: Enjoy Eleven’s favorite food…beverage-style! This non-alcoholic frozen drink is a delicious blend of syrup flavors with tiny waffles on top
  • Christmas Tree Light Cupcakes: Inspired by the iconic scene from ”Stranger Things” where Joyce uses Christmas lights to communicate with Will, guests can choose from chocolate or red velvet cupcakes, each topped with whipped cream frosting and covered with jelly beans to resemble the colorful lights
  • 11 Mini Donuts: These donuts are covered in powdered sugar or cinnamon and topped with red frosting – inspired by the nosebleed Eleven typically has when she uses her telekinesis powers
  • Pepperoni & Sausage Pizza: Inspired by the slice of pizza Dustin offers his crush, Nancy, in the first episode of season one
  • Benny’s Burgers:  Universal Orlando will also feature a Benny’s Burgers food location, where guests can grab a variety of burgers, chicken sandwiches and more

Universal Orlando’s “Halloween Horror Nights” will also feature additional highly-themed food and beverages inspired by this year’s ‘80s theme and Halloween overall, including a unique Candy Corn frozen drink, a sweet and sour drink called “Gnarly Twist,” a special HHN Tombstone Doughnut at Voodoo Doughnut, and more.

For the first time ever, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Singapore are partnering with Netflix to bring “Stranger Things” to life at this year’s “Halloween Horror Nights” events.  Fans of the series will get the chance to brave the Upside Down and confront the supernatural as each park debuts all-new mazes inspired by season one of the critically-acclaimed series.

The amount of food this year is mind-blowing, it’s like a food festival for the horror fanatic!

Let us know in the comments which is your favorite or which item you are running to get when you visit HHN! Let us know!

Awesome new RIP Tour coming to HHN Hollywood

The all-new R.I.P. Tour is Universal Studios Hollywood’s first-class ticket to terror this Halloween Horror Nights, featuring a private guided tour with trolley access, a gourmet buffet dinner, unlimited Universal Express line privileges and exclusive access to a specially-themed “Stranger Things” lounge.

A premium experience that will sell out, the R.I.P. Tour is a must for guests who prefer to scare in style. This year’s “Halloween Horror Nights” dates in Hollywood are: September 14-16, 20-22, 26-30, October 4-7, 11-14, 18-21, 25-28, 31, and November 1-3, 2018. Tickets are available for purchase at Hollywood.HalloweenHorrorNights.com.

Each R.I.P. Tour accommodates groups of 12, making it ideal for large parties or smaller mix-in groups.

Highlights include:

•  Exclusive “Stranger Things” experience featuring themed photo ops, props from the popular Netflix series and scare-actor make-up demonstrations

•  Unlimited line privileges via Universal Express access to all mazes, Terror Tram and available rides

•  Private VIP trolley transportation to backlot mazes and Terror Tram

•  Reserved VIP seating at the Jabbawockeez live show

•  Gourmet buffet dinner, featuring specially-themed “Stranger Things” foods, including appropriately named Upside Down Sliders at exclusive VIP Dining Room

•  Two complimentary drinks

•  Access to the two Lounges, including the “Stranger Things” themed lounge and lounge on the theme park’s lower lot

•  Commemorative R.I.P. Tour credentials

•  Complimentary valet parking

“Halloween Horror Nights” brings together the sickest minds in horror to immerse guests in a living, breathing, three-dimensional world of terror inspired by TV and film’s most compelling horror properties.

This year’s terrifying line-up includes:

•  “Stranger Things” gives fans a chance to brace the Upside Down in this new maze inspired by Netflix’s critically-acclaimed television series

•  Poltergeist brings guests into the light based on the iconic supernatural horror film, directed by Tobe Hooper and produced by Steven Spielberg

•  “The First Purge,” based on Universal Picture’s blockbuster thriller, bears witness to the tradition that unleashed the anarchy

•  “Trick ‘r Treat” brings director Michael Dougherty’s cult Halloween classic to life daring guests to live the rules or suffer the consequences

•  “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers” unmasks Haddonfield’s infamous serial killer based on the fourth installment in the classic slasher series created by John Carpenter

•  “The Horrors of Blumhous,” makes an encore performance at this year’s event, bringing leading producer of horror Jason Blum’s Truth or Dare and Unfriended blockbusters movies to life in an all new maze

•  “Universal Monsters” is inspired by Universal’s original cinematic Monsters and the studio that invented the horror film and featuring an original score produced and composed by celebrated GRAMMY® Award-winning musician, SLASH, long hailed as one of the 10-best electric guitar-players of all time

•  “The Walking Dead,” Universal Studios Hollywood’s permanent attraction inspired by AMC’s record-breaking television series, adds to the evening’s carnage

•  The Jabbawockeez award-winning hip hop dance crew returns by popular demand with an all-new, high-energy performance created exclusively for “Halloween Horror Nights”

•  The return of serial killer clown, Hollywood Harry takes a stab at the Terror Tram while guests amble about a portion of the world-famous Tram Tour.

To book your RIP Tour visit:

Hollywood.HalloweenHorrorNights.com

MGM’S SUPERNATURAL CULT HORROR FILM POLTERGEIST COMES TO LIFE FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER IN ALL-NEW HAUNTED MAZES AT HHN28

They’re Here. Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood will bring guests “into the light” as part of this year’s Halloween Horror Nights events featuring terrifying new mazes inspired by Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures’ (MGM) iconic supernatural horror film, Poltergeist, beginning September 14.

Directed by Tobe Hooper and produced by Steven Spielberg, Poltergeist garnered critical and consumer success when it first premiered in 1982. Characterized as one of the scariest films of all time, this groundbreaking movie paved the way for a new era of supernatural ghost stories that will come to life for the first time ever at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights. This living representation of the film will take guests into some of its most iconic scenes and encounter memorable characters that spawned their first true nightmares.

The mazes will lure guests to the Freeling family house built atop a cemetery where malicious ghosts threaten the lives within. From the underground graveyard to ghostly apparitions, guests will come face to face with infamous scenes from the film including the iconic flickering TV screen, menacing Beast from beyond and pool filled with floating corpses. As guests cross into the ‘light,’ they will find themselves surrounded by a surreal landscape of vanishing walls, floating furniture and a creepy clown with a menacing smile. In a rush against time, guests will be forced to make it back to the world of the living or forever be trapped…

Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights is the ultimate Halloween event. For more than 25 years, guests from around the world have visited Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood and Orlando to become victims inside their own horror film. Multiple movie-quality mazes based on iconic horror television shows, films and original stories come to life season after season. And, the streets of each coast’s event are transformed into highly-themed scare zones where menacing scare-actors lunge from every darkened corner.

Additional details about Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights will be revealed soon. All tickets and vacation packages are on sale now. For more information about Halloween Horror Nights at either Universal Studios Hollywood or Universal Orlando Resort, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com.

Did Universal just accidentally announced two houses for HHN28 today?

Over the weekend we all saw the furore that was caused by a certain local Orlando hotel chain accidentally releasing images containing, so far, unannounced houses for HHN28.  But did Universal just also accidentally announce these two houses by themselves?

Well possible, take the below screen-capture taken from the official website today.  Literally, no one ever reads the site’s T’s and C’s, but we should!  Take a look…

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Orion, copyrighted for 1988; Orion was purchased by MGM but it did not release Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, but this movie was released in that same year.

Likewise, Poltergeist a 1982 film was made by MGM.  And there’s Legendary for 2018, could this be for Trick ‘r Treat or something else unknown?

Coincidences….?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Thank you to our webmaster for the heads up!

Official Artwork for Stranger Things Maze Released

Things are about to get turned upside down at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights’ with the first look reveal of the “Stranger Things” maze key art designed exclusively by Kyle Lambert, the official illustrator of the mega-hit Netflix original series.

Featuring the series’ cast standing adjacent to the predatory Demogorgon, the ominous image depicts a nearly palpable account of what guests can expect to experience when the “Stranger Things” maze debuts as part of “Halloween Horror Nights” this fall.

The “Stranger Thing” maze, inspired by season one of the Netflix series, will come to life at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort, beginning, Friday, September 14, and at Universal Studios Singapore, beginning Thursday, September 27, 2018.

The parallel universe, referred to as the Upside Down, that terrorized the small town of Hawkins, Indiana in “Stranger Things,” will bring the chittering, predatory Demogorgon to “Halloween Horror Nights” to stalk unwitting guests as they encounter iconic scenes, characters and environments from the mesmerizing series.

Working collaboratively with Netflix, along with the creators and executive producer of the blockbuster series—Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer and Shawn Levy, the mazes will be authentic representations of “Stranger Things,” designed to transport guests into artfully recreated scenes and storylines. From the menacing Hawkins National Laboratory, under the U.S. Department of Energy, to the Byers home adorned with an erratic display of flashing Christmas lights and the eerie Upside Down woods oozing a shower of floating orb-like spores, the chilling new mazes will offer surprising twists and unexpected turns around every corner.

Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” is the ultimate Halloween event. For more than 25 years, guests from around the world have visited “Halloween Horror Nights” to become victims inside their own horror film. Multiple movie-quality mazes based on iconic horror television shows, films and original stories come to life season after season, while the streets of each park’s event are transformed into highly-themed scare zones with menacing scare-actors lunging from every darkened corner.

For more information about “Halloween Horror Nights” visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com.