Introducing the Upside Down Whopper

We all remember last year when Stranger Things debuted at HHN28 and not only could you visit the world of Hawkins but you could also eat a series of different topped Eggo’s.  As it was this very year that Universal really stepped up the food offerings at HHN with the debut of over 20 different food options, with most of them themed to Stranger Things.

But skip forward to 2019 and it’s not just Universal that getting in on the themed food fad, but now Burger King is also having some fun trolling us all with a new specially themed Whopper: The Upside Down Whopper.

Working in partnership with Coca-Cola and Netflix, select BK restruants across the US will be swopping their classic Whopper Sandwiches literally upside down in an attempt to draw some publicity for the show’s third season.

BK foodies can find the Stranger Things themed burger at the following resturants: Miami, Houston, Boston, Atlanta, Philly, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, L.A., and New York starting Friday June 21.   They will also be offering special Stranger Things themed t-shirts, crowns, ketchup packets, and pins!

Season 3 of the hit show will begin airing exclusively on Netflix on July 4 and from what we’re hearing the season will also be represented at the end of the forthcoming HHN houses this September!

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Scareactor Dining is Awesome

In all the confusion and updates of last week, it was easy to miss the upgrade to the official HHN site that now includes the ability for guests to book their places onto the fantastic Scareactor Dining.  The official site reads:

Make your meal part of the horror with this event-exclusive dining experience at Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters Cafe. Enjoy special scareactor photo opportunities, a digital download of a photo taken during the dining experience and an all-you-care-to-eat themed dinner buffet.

Reservations are required. For those who purchase through the Agent Store, Attraction Ticket Desks or at the Front Gate, after reserving and purchasing your dining experience, you must call 407-224-FOOD (3663) (EST 7:30 am–10pm Mon–Sat; 7:30 am–9 pm Sun) up to 24 hours before arriving to confirm your table.

For more information on this MUST DO addition to HHN29 you can call the above number or hit-up the official site here.  And we would highly recommend you pre-book as these dates do sell-out!!

Dates Currently Available:
Sep: 6, 7, 8, 12, 14, 15, 19, 21, 22, 26, 28, 29
Oct: 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 23, 24, 26, 27, 30, 31

Will you be doing the Scareactor Dining this year or have you done it in the past?  Let us know in the comments!

 

Rumor: Universal Team Members Blocked from HHN for 3 weeks

Rumor has it that Team Members working for Universal will be barred from accessing HHN from 11th to 27th OctoberBlackout dates are nothing new for Team Members or guests on certain annual passes, but it does show that the possible only reason to exclude a bunch of people from attending the event will be due to capacity issues, aka Universal are expecting this period to be VERY busy.

The dates also include Columbus Day on 14th which is typically very busy and is often around the HHN fan community’s named ‘hell week’ where the house lines are just too long, even for most dedicated HHN fReAkS among us.

Basically, they are expecting this during this period:

Another date for your diary that is off limits to ALL guests and HHN fans is October 16th, which has weirdly been omitted from the schedule of nights.  Rumors were that Microsoft had yet again booked their convention named Ignite for the October 16th at Universal but this has been found to be incorrect as their convention has now moved to the Orange County Convention Center and is taking place from November 3rd to 8th – well after HHN has finished.

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Microsoft’s Ignite convention had for the previous two years had exclusive use of Universal Orlando for one night only every October, effectively knocking one night of HHN off the rota.  Hashtage, thanks Bill Gates!

As for now, no one knows who the mystery booker of October 16th is but be sure to keep your eyes peeled on HHNU as we’ll let you know as soon as we do.  That is assuming that Universal just didn’t want HHN on that night and that there is no mystery booker – but if that was the case then why would the Team Member blackout dates be during this time?  So someone is surely taking October 16th off the schedule….surely?

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Are you a Team Member and does this affect your HHN plans?  Equally, do you know what’s happening on October 16th?  Let us know in the comments!

Remember, all rumors are just rumors until officially confirmed by Universal.

Rumor: HHN Trivia App to be Extended

Released last year to HHN was a great addition to the official Universal Orlando mobile app called ‘Terror Trivia‘.  Those that didn’t play it while waiting in the ‘conga’ lines of HHN28, it involved competing HHN fans the chance to test their HHN knowledge against other fans (btw: if you want to bone up for HHN29 we can recommend a really good book!).

The game contained 11 horror-packed levels where trivia surrounding the 10 haunted houses was used to enable each guest to compete, followed by a bonus ‘History Rewind’ level reserved entirely for the die-hard Halloween Horror Nights fans amongst us. This final level would quiz guests on previous event years, including past houses, HHN icons scarezones and so much more.

Apparently, the game was a resounding success and proved to be a popular past-time for HHN fans waiting in line.  Sadly, the HHN section is no more (obvs) but you can still download it now ready for this year here.  But it’s not just Orlando that got in on the fun, the Hollywood edition of the Universal app also participated.

And Universal Hollywood are currently working on their next installment:

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So the rumor:

We heard from a couple of our sources that Universal have wanted to expand the reach of the app and apparently have looked into developing a stand-alone version dedicated to just HHN.  Supposedly, they would like an app that can be used to market the event, talk to fans and to better interact with the community for much longer than just the length of each HHN.

And whilst this is a cool and a great idea, we were also forwarded this snippit from the US Trademark office that shows that Universal have applied for a stand-alone trademark for this app’s feature.  The application was made only last month and holds some water as to the possible expansion of this app.

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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!

Did you use the app and did you like it?  What more could they do to improve it?  Let us know in the comments!

HHNU Book Gets Five 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Christopher Ripley‘s book receives a warm literary welcome.

Readers’ Favorite announces the review of the Non-Fiction book “Halloween Horror Nights Unofficial: Around the Globe”, currently available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0995536260.

Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

“Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite:

Halloween Horror Nights Unofficial: Around the Globe: Hollywood and Beyond! is a nonfiction art/photography book written by Christopher Ripley. Ripley is an author and blogger who’s made a study of Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights for the last twenty-odd years. In this book, he escorts the reader on a journey back into the 1920s when Lon Chaney, Sr. recreated the Hunchback of Notre Dame and was the thrilling presence in The Phantom of the Opera. Traveling a bit closer to the present day, he studies the effects of Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney, Jr. as they recreate zombies, vampires and werewolves to the vast delight of terrified audiences who made it clear that they enjoyed being frightened and wanted more. In 1986, the first of the Hollywood Horror Nights made its debut. It was not the first such horror event/party thrown by Universal Studios but, in many ways, it was the most ambitious and it certainly has been the most enduring. Hollywood Horror Nights are carefully scripted and prepared with the attention to detail of the most demanding theatrical production. Ripley describes each year’s players, themes and opportunities to be scared out of one’s wits in “you-are-there” detail.

Halloween Horror Nights Unofficial: Around the Globe invites the reader to experience vicariously countless chills, thrills and outright gross buckets of blood as he lovingly shares the details of each the last three decades’ incarnations of Halloween Horror Nights. While I’ve never been to one, I will readily confess that Halloween is my favorite holiday, and the idea of spending it as an unsuspecting tourist in a nightmare spun by the likes of Barker or del Toro is intriguing indeed. I loved learning how these spectacles are put together, every detail polished and perfected before the first brave soul enters, and I was most impressed by the author’s erudition on all things horror. This well-written and enthralling romp through Hollywood Horror will have readers considering how they can make the trip west to get in on the fun next Halloween. I know it has me doing just that. Halloween Horror Nights Unofficial is highly recommended.”

A Stranger Things Experience is Coming to London this year!

Ever wanted to go to a Stranger Things themed event where the whole of Hawkins, Indiana is being meticulously reproduced?  Well we have the event for you!  By the creative minds that brought you Casino Royale, Dirty Dancing, Star Wars (and many others!), Secret Cinema is set to debut their latest offering later this year.

This will be the first time that Secret Cinema have produced an experience for a television series.

The production, which will transform a secret London location into the suburban town of Hawkins, Indiana and its supernatural shadow, The Upside Down, opens on 13 November 2019, running until the end of the year.

Supernatural drama Stranger Things is based around the pupils of Hawkins High School, who are drawn into a world of supernatural activity after a portal to an alternate dimension is accidentally opened by the nearby Hawkins National Laboratory.

Critically acclaimed, two series of the show are currently streaming on Netflix, with a third due to drop on 4 July 2019.

Set in the 1980s, Stranger Things is filled with nostalgia and references from blockbuster films from the era and this production promises to transport audiences back to the iconic period of pop culture.

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A collaboration with Netflix, the experience will introduce brand new storylines, characters and locations, as well as revisiting much-loved narratives and popular fan moments from the series. Drawing on over 20 hours of drama from seasons one to three, the immersive experience will take audiences on a journey, blurring live storylines into the world of Stranger Things.

Talking about the production, creator of Secret Cinema, Fabien Riggal, comments “Stranger Things is a magical and wonderful creation that takes the audience on a ride into a dreamlike ’80s wonderland. We are really excited to bring the format of Secret Cinema into the Duffer Brothers richly-created world. We believe passionately in bringing people together in a physical environment away from their screens and this is the perfect world in which to launch our TV strand. Be prepared to be relocated to Hawkins.”

Secret Cinema Presents Stranger Things will also be open to young adults, with matinee performances suitable for ages 15 and up taking place each Saturday from 13:30.

Tickets for Secret Cinema Presents Stranger Things will start at £49, plus fees, with matinee tickets available every Saturday from £35 plus fees. The experience will run from Wednesday until Sunday each week.

More info and get your tickets here.

This sounds so cool!  Do you live in the UK and will you be going?

 

Christopher Ripley & Shelby Denham Release New Haunting Collection of Tales

PRESS RELEASE: Released this week, award winning author Christopher Ripley and HHN fan artist and illustrator Shelby Denham have released a new book, Halloween Horror Stories.  A collection of ghoulish and terrifying tales that have been expertly curated to show the genesis of many horror ideas and how these have feed into the world’s greatest Halloween event.

Ripley has assembled some of the best pieces of old and new horror literature, with two stories being completely new and specifically written for this book.  Denham has taken the stories and completely nailed some classic horror illustrations with her unique and beautifully modern style.

The book is described as:

A selection of some of the scariest, weirdest and downright crazy horror writers have been collected together by award winning author Christopher Ripley to form an assortment of twisted tales that have inspired the greatest Halloween event on earth. An anthology put together with the sole purpose of exploring how the genesis of these stories began and where perhaps they are heading. A mixture of classic and new tales that will fill your cold nights with terror. The works have also been terrifyingly illustrated and captured by renowned horror artist Shelby Denham. So lock the door, start the fire and sit back as we share our horror filled tales with you…

Christopher Ripley said, “We had a lot of fun putting this book together, digging into the origins of some of the world’s greatest horror stories.  I even learned that Dickens could be petrifying and that some of these tales are nearly as old as the Bible!  It’s been a great adventure and we just absolutely adore Shelby’s work, as ever, she totally knocked it out the park with illustrating this book.”

The book also marks a first for author Ripley who debuts his first piece of fictional work, writing his own Sherlock Holmes story, he said, “Well Conan-Doyle is big shoes to fill and although my story is no where as a great as his classic works (not even in the same league!), I had a lot of fun in producing a brand new Sherlock Holmes story for the 21st Century!”

The book is released today (May 9th 2019) and is available via Amazon for US and UK readers only.

US Readers:

UK Readers:

Confirmed: HHN Hollywood to Announce Maze Tomorrow

John Murdy confirmed today via his personal twitter page that tomorrow Sunday April 14 at the HHN Panel at Monsterpalooza they will announce a maze.  The event is being held this weekend at the Pasadena Convention Center and the panel is at 2pm.

Tickets and info are here.

Exciting times are ahead!  Be sure to check back when we have more official info!

 

Rumor: Is Universal Orlando Finally Opening a Year-round Haunt?

Full credit to this rumor goes to our pal Alicia Stella the ace crack theme park reporter who has been the first in the know on Potter and Jurassic Park extensions.  A link to her website and podcast are here.

As we have reported previously it would appear that the Classic Universal Monsters are making something of a return from the doldrums of their aborted Dark Universe concept and are being proposed as a new ‘world’ within the new theme park that Universal Orlando are apparently building.

Yesterday Dan at HHNU reported on rumors he had received where Universal are keen to maximise the use of their own properties without wanting to buy-in too many other IPs from the outside companies; so, the classic monsters, wholly owned by Universal, would fit this model perfectly.

Alicia points within her latest article that at a recent shareholder/stakeholder meeting it might have shown text that read, “Dracula’s Castle and the Worlds of Universal Classic Monsters, concept art for one of the many attractions in the Universal Classic Monsters.”

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She also points out that rumors are spreading around the internet of “everything from a show of some type or walk-through maze attraction, to a high-tech dark ride and even a boat ride based on the Creature from the Black Lagoon.”

As you can appreciate that is just rumor but the leak of the concept art for the Castle does apparently show that they are considering building some kind of haunted looking attraction, with the best guess being that it could be a maze of some kind just like the Castle Dracula, later renamed The House of Horrors walkthrough maze that graced the Upper Lot of Universal Studios Hollywood for many years.

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What with Blumhouse confirmed to be revitalizing the classic monsters and a new mural appearing on the backlot at Hollywood, there definitely seems to be increased interest in this use and what better way to celebrate the films that literally saved Universal from financial ruin in the 1930s than by giving these creepy creatures their own ‘world within a world’ at their new park.

So could Orlando be finally recieving a year-round haunt?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

And remember, nothing is confirmed or fact until Universal confirms it, just RUMORS!

Why JAWS Could Be An Excellent House For HHN29…

Everybody loves JAWS, period.  It has to be one of those absolutely perfect movies that doesn’t matter how old you are or where you come from, you all universally love it (pun intended!).  From people tweeting Universal daily for a new JAWS ride (yes that happens and there’s even a dedicated Twitter account for it too), to people reminiscing on the old ride and how with all the new land Universal is currently developing they could build a new one.

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Indeed we can thank the original JAWS ride for bringing HHN to Orlando, as if it wasn’t for this amazing attraction breaking-down and subsequently having to be rebuilt we might not have ever gotten HHN!  Read more about that story here.

And everyone’s favorite popular culture merchandiser Funko have even announced today that they are developing a range of JAWS figures; so there’s a ready made merchandise line ready to go!

So that’s why we NEED a JAWS house at HHN.  It would be killer to step into the scenes from the movie using a combination of practical effects and even screens, yes screens can be scary too, as demonstrated by the video below.

And life can even imitate art when a YouTube Urban Explorer recently found more than he bargained for when exploring an old abandoned theme park he came face-to-face with a real giant Great White Shark in a tank!  It was dead and half decomposed but zombie sharks are just as scary!  The original story was reported a few days ago by a number of major outlets and can be read here.  Another view of the tank is below, but note due to vandals, Zombie JAWS has now been destroyed.

 


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Cracking open a cold Mountain Dew with the boys

A post shared by Dom (@krapski) on

 

So there you have it.  Universal needs to dust-off all the props from their old ride and redeploy them into making a new kick-ass JAWS house.  If they can make an elevator bleed waves of blood for The Shining or have a possessed doll walk like a backwards crab down a flight of stairs for The Exorcist then they can definitely find a way to make this house happen!

Do you agree with this?  Would you love to see a JAWS house?  Let us know in the comments!