Where’s the dates?!

One year ago today, the dates for HHN27 were announced. Here we are on the same day and we’re still unsure what date HHN28 will begin, though we have ideas….

Last Year’s Timeline

Before uncovering the most educated guess on the event dates for this year’s Horror Nights, let’s take a look at the timeline for last year’s announcements.

  • February 23: Dates officially announced. 34 nights of terror at Universal Studios Florida
  • March 29: First house announcement; American Horror Story
  • May 19: The Shining house announced
  • June 7: Tickets officially available for purchase
  • July 27: Ash vs. Evil Dead house announced
  • August 15: Bill and Ted announced to be the last year of the long running show
  • August 16: The Games of Jigsaw house announced
  • August 17: Scare zones and shows revealed
  • August 24: Commercial directed by Eli Roth released
  • August 29: Horrors of Blumhouse announced
  • August 31: All original concept houses announced

As you can see, they really held back last year until August, with a whopping 6 house reveals. This made a lot of die hard fans very anxious as well as generated lots of hype and speculation. Going by this timeline, that would mean that the dates could be announced quite soon.

Going back a ways though, we see a trend of the event dates being announced later and later. The 24th year of the event, we saw an unmatched, next day date announcement that came in the form of a thank you to guests and media for the immense success of HHN24. The end of the video was interrupted by jack the clown and ended with the dates of the 2015 event. It effectively teased Jack the Clown as well as announced the dates. Although the video was publically released on HHN’s official Facebook and other avenues on November 1st, the same night as the final night of the event, the video was sent to certain media companies (ex. Inside the Magic and Theme Park Review) on a flash drive EVEN EARLIER on Halloween 2014.

Ever since Horror Nights 25, event dates have been announced later and later. Will this trend continue and we won’t learn of this year’s dates for perhaps another month or so? This, unfortunately, is in UO’s hands.

HHN28’s Likeliest Dates

Going to a calendar, we can see that Friday, September 14th is the most likely opening date for Horror Nights 28. The going trend of the event is a mid September opening; 27 began on Sept. 15, 26 began on Sept. 16, 25 on Sept. 18, etc.

 Our predictions for the 2018 HHN event dates

 

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Our predictions call for 34 possible nights of the event, with the first Wednesday being October 3rd. There could be more than 34 nights during the run of HHN28, however, because there are some dates in question. We are unsure of the possibility of any of the following dates being event nights as well; October 29, 30, and November 1st and 4th.

Last year’s Halloween fell on a Tuesday, and the Monday before it saw Horror Nights open. This year, Halloween lands on a Wednesday, leaving Monday and Tuesday possible haunt nights for Universal Orlando. November 1st and 4th are question marks as well, being that the last weekend is always a bit off. For the past two years, the last weekend did not contain a Thursday or a Sunday, but we have seen events get extended in the past to meet demands or weather closures.

We are keeping our fingers crossed and our eyes open for the official unveiling of this year’s Halloween Horror Nights event dates, and we’ll get them to your own eyeballs the second they’re out!

Haunts around the US: Jacksonville, FL

During our travels we were able to swing by a local haunt in Jacksonville called “Warehouse 31 Unleashed” for their special Valentine’s Day themed haunt, and boy were we glad we did…

Welcome to Warehouse 31

Continuing on our “Haunts Around the US” series, we find ourselves on Beach Boulevard, in a seemingly innocent shopping plaza. Here lies Warehouse 31 Unleashed, “North Florida’s largest haunted house.” We happened to be in the area doing other things this particular Saturday night and read about this haunt so we just had to check it out. This turned out to be one of our greatest decisions thus far in 2018.

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The entire property spanned a large warehouse in a shopping plaza as well as an entire row of the parking lot, which had the ticketing booth, two food trucks, and three decorative vehicles, including a bloody ice cream truck.

Just driving into this place got us excited when we saw all the decorations, the huge amount of fog looming over the entire area, and great looking scareactors roaming about the parking lot.

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Aforementioned bloody ice cream truck

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4 Haunted Houses For The Price of One!

Before moving on, I must explain: This haunted attraction is actually 4 haunted houses that are connected together into what is effectively one long maze with 4 queue areas. Each house exits into the next house’s queue. Groups are sent into each house IMG_5204individually, which in our case it was just us two in there. Staff allow one group inside at a time, and allow the next group in many minutes later (luckily for us there was only one group ahead of us and one group behind us, so there was no waiting). Our entire walkthrough experience took 40 minutes, though we could have been in there longer if we walked slower than we already were, which was definitely slower than your typical HHN haunted house. Anyhow, after purchasing our tickets, we entered the harmless looking shopping plaza. We were greeted by a clown in a kissing booth and a somewhat large queue area. The entire area was quite dark and filled with fog, in fact it was a bit tough to see. This was the entrance to the first haunted house, which had a circus theme and was full of clowns.

 

Something that really made this haunt stand out is it’s incredibly numerous actors in it’s cast, and all very talented. In fact, I was told there were 65 actors inside on the night we went, and between 7 and 8 “roaming” actors in the queues, outdoor areas, and photo op section. Many of the actors will speak to you, tell you where to go, and even give you tasks to complete to continue. They can get quite face to face with you, and even block your path and not allow you to proceed. These interactions were all highlights of the overall experience. Let’s not forget, though, that on top of this huge cast, there are a number of animatronics, all very well placed and effective.

The second house of the walkthrough was called “Voodoo” and contained New Orleans swamp lands and black magic themes, the third house was a butchery and meat packing plant called “Mr. Tasty’s”, and the fourth was called “Fear Lab,” a sort of asylum where experiments are conducted on humans.

 

 

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Fear Lab

Besides the great acting and overall tone throughout the whole walkthrough, another thing to note on this haunt is the impressive make up. The masks all fit well, all prosthetics were quite convincing, and all the actors with just make up on looked great to boot.

Warehouse 31 Unleashed is receiving our stamp of approval, and along with that an incredibly strong recommendation for our readers to go and visit. Smiling from ear-to-ear throughout our entire experience, I can definitely say we haven’t had this much fun and scares at a local haunt since Mysterious Mansion in Tennessee (see our review here)We will definitely be returning for any future special events throughout the year as well as during the Halloween season.

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Mr. Tasty took a selfie for me

VISIT NOW IF YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS BLOODY VALENTINE BEFORE ITS GONE

There are still two more nights to check this out. Tonight, Sunday February 11, and Valentine’s Day itself, Wednesday Feb. 14. This is a really fun and scary attraction that, if possible, haunt fans should come check out. You can visit Warehouse 31’s website here.

 

Robbiween in photos

We recently checked out Robbiween and told you what it’s all about here, but now it’s time to show you all the photos we were able to take of the cool stuff up for auction!

The Silent Auction

The participants of the Robbiween panels from Busch Gardens, Sea World, and Universal Studios donated many of their own personal possessions for the silent auction to help the cause of raising money. There was a plethora of really awesome, even rare and autographed memorabilia from HHN past and the like. Noteable items included coffee with some of the theme park higher ups, and James Keaton autographed prints.

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Yes, that is a fortune teller in the background, and he was available for readings.

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From left to right; Paper model of The Haunted Mansion (Disney Attraction), limited edition Jack the Clown and The Caretaker LEGO minifigures, a female bust with crown of thorns, and a Howl-O-Scream icon model.

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The actual mask used by Glenn Strange!

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The item on the left is a prop used in Jaws

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Many of you may recognize these, also for sale at the Prop Shop on Universal property

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Paper model of the facade of the HHN house “Gothic”

The Panels

The three different discussion panels that took place were Halloween Horror Nights, rides and attractions at Sea World and Busch Gardens, and finally Howl-O-Scream. Each panel had a host that would break the ice and begin discussion, and then open the floor for questions. We learned a lot about the ins and outs of their respective positions, how they go about achieving certain goals, and heard some pretty humourous anecdotes. You can check out the first two minutes of the HHN panel on our Facebook page here.

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We would definitely recommend anyone who is a huge fan of haunted attractions or even just haunts in general to attend Robbiween to really get the insights they were always looking for, or purchase an exclusive collectors item.

Haunts Around the US: Kissimmee, FL

The dark months of HHNU’s particular subject matter are upon us, but that’s okay because there’s plenty of things we still have to talk about, take for example another year round haunt review, and this time much closer to home!

Mortem Manor in Old Town

Going back in time just a little bit to Septmeber first of this year before Horror Nights 27 finally began, the wife and I decided to kick off our haunt season with a visit to Mortem Manor. We’ve been considering going to this haunt for a while, just never really got around to it. But now that we’ve finally come around to checking it out, we can say without a doubt that it’s…………okay.

Now don’t get me wrong here, it wasn’t terrible or anything, but it wasn’t incredibly knock your socks off terrifying either. I would rate this level of haunt at about a “don’t hesitate to take your scaredy cat friends that don’t do a lot of this type of thing.” The wife and I didn’t get scared or startled, and found ourselves smiling once or twice.

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Standing outside waiting for the attraction to open. Nice spooky music playing at the exterior facade.

The Pros

  • Use of smells
  • Layout isn’t too straight or boring, we liked the inclusion of a staircase
  • Linear progression (from foyer, to living room, to church, to morgue, etc.)
  • Although weak, there is some kind of storyline here.
  • Very affordable price points. If this was Roller Coaster Tycoon,  my guest reaction would definitely be “Mortem Manor 1 is a really good value!”

The Cons

  • Lacking on human actors. I believe we only saw about 3 throughout our walkthrough, and they didn’t follow us or anything, just stuck to their respective scenes.
  • Heavy reliance on animatronics. Animatronics are fine and good when used well and sparsely, but when you use them to this extent, it makes the attraction feel like a cheap carnival/state fair ghost train ride.
  • Not scary. Okay, maybe we’re spoiled. Perhaps we’ve seen too many scarier attractions and our expectations are too high. Nonetheless, this haunt felt very tame and tolerable, suitable for a much less experienced audience.

So what’s the take away here?

Fun can be had at Mortem Manor. Our final review is a fair 3 out of 5 stars. It’s not scare your pants off frightening, but it’s fun. Experienced, die hard haunt fans take note: you won’t be shaking. Bring your friends that you can’t normally take to scary movies, Halloween Horror Nights, or other haunted attractions and events, and lower your scare factor expectations. Follow these steps and you’re in for a jolly good time at the least. Also, for the extra five dollars, we recommend the Buried Alive experience. They lock you in a coffin equipped with interior cameras so guests can watch as you become more and more claustrophobic inside the coffin. Inside, you can smell roses and soil, and hear the dirt hitting the coffin’s surface as your funeral proceedings take place and you’re buried into the Earth. They’ll let you out when you start kicking and screaming. $5 is a great price, even if you just want to watch your friend suffer.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you guys out there! -Scott

 

 

Celebrity Cameos at HHN: James Franco

Guests at Universal Studios Hollywood last week were treated with a special celebrity cameo in The Shining maze…..

Hollywood: Where anything is possible

You read that right: James Franco took the role of scareactor last week in Hollywood’s HHN event as Jack Torrance in their Shining haunted maze. We’re incredibly jealous of anyone who had the opportunity to witness him wielding the infamous axe, terrifying guests as they recluctantly navigated the attraction.

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If you have been following our Facebook page, you’d know that Orlando was supposedly to have a celebrity cameo by Bruce Campbell inside the Ash vs. Evil Dead haunted house, but unfortunately this didn’t turn out to be true. A bit of a let down, but that’s okay because the Orlando event is absolutely top notch regardless.

So take this little tidbit of information as a tip: keep your eyes peeled inside those haunted houses. If you cover your eyes, you might just miss one of your favorite celebrities right in your face!

House Reviews, pt. 3

Diving into our last three reviews, we can’t wait to continue visiting Halloween Horror Nights until the bitter end!

The Shining – ★★★★1/2

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Although not incredibly scary, this maze does an astounding job of bringing the Stanley Kubrick film to life. Every scene is there, including the man in the bear suit, and the “Great party isn’t it?” guy. You travel through the overlook hotel, every scene (except the large kitchen and walk in fridge/freezer)

Although you only see him once, look out for Scatman Crothers’ character Dick Halloran in the very beginning of the maze, and also his dead body in the lobby scene on the ground on the left side of the hallway.

The Hive – ★★★1/2☆

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A residential house has been completely taken over by vampires, and they turned the house into a breeding ground. The entire haunted attraction smells like dirt, and it’s everywhere, too. The vampires within this house are more in the vein of Nosferatu, with mishapen ears, crooked teeth, glowing eyes and bald heads. You walk through the entire house, from living room to basement and back to the attic, all the while encountering the beasts within. There’s a great stilt walker scene in here that can’t be missed. We didn’t score this house too high because it gets a bit redundant near the end. Dark scene, mound of dirt, vampire pop out, repeat. That didn’t stop us, though, from visiting multiple times and having lots of fun. Try looking at the actors’ eyes (if you keep yours open) because some of their eyes glow and it’s pretty cool.

Scarecrow: The Reaping ★★★★★

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Our coveted, hard to get 5 star rating this year goes to Scarecrow: The Reaping. In our opinion, this is definitely the scariest house at HHN27, so get ready for this one. This is the haunted house we crave to visit year after year.

It’s got everything: tight, closed quarters, scareactors absolutely everywhere, a pitch black corridor you have to feel your way through, a strobed mirror maze, and constant scares.  Fun fact, no scareactor in this house is less than 6 foot 2 inches tall! This house also introduces a fun new effect; bird poop! Yes, that’s correct. You will get pooped on by crows.

House Reviews, pt. 2

Continuing our house reviews, we have two IPs and one original..

Saw: the Games of Jigsaw – ★★★★1/2

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Being huge fans of the Saw movie franchise, we were ecstatic to find out it was coming back for this year’s event. With more movies that came out since the last haunted house featured at horror nights, there was plenty more material to work with. This house promised stuff from every movie in the franchise, and boy does it deliver! Including a trap from the newest movie that has yet to be released, this house have every memorable moment from the Saw legacy. It’s a literal hodge podge of different traps and death scenes throughout the series, and we love it! The highlight scene is what we will call, “many pigs, which are real?” that contains a whole group of the infamous pig-with-long-hair character, some of them are mannequins, and some of them are scareactors standing still. Throw in a strobe light and the terror ensues! This house is definitely worth a second visit!

Keep your eye out inside this house for what is known as “Guest activated triggers,” which are basically buttons that you can press to make different things happen.

American Horror Story – ★★★★☆

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First time we went through this one, I was getting scared at every corner. This one is a doozy for sure! From the amount of scenes you walk through (17!) to the amount of time it takes to get through (up to 8 minutes!) this house is a beast! They packed this thing to the brim with references to the show, from entire scenes to tiny details, everything is here! The guy who plays Evan Peters’ role in Roanoake is an uncanny look-a-like to boot. This house definitely deserves a second and even third visit, as well, as there’s so much to see. Prepare yourself for this one!

Dead Waters – ★★★★☆

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Another extremely aesthetically pleasing haunted house offered this year at Horror Nights. Dead Waters starts in a huge, moss ridden, French style river boat. The boat is sinking to one side, and so is the floor you’re walking on! Although not too high on scare factor, this house has tons of fantastic color and theming to really please the horror nights aficionato.

Be on the lookout in the haunted attraction for the Voodoo Queen herself, and well as some chickens!

 

House Reviews, pt. 1

Opening weekend of Halloween Horror Nights 27 was tons of fun. The crowds weren’t too huge, the lines were rather short, and the houses were fantastic. Let’s start our reviews with three of the haunted attractions…..

The Fallen – ★★★★☆

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With awe inspiring decor throughout, this house is definitely one of the more aesthetic offerings this year. Think the house “Gothic” from Horror Nights 22. Guests encounter winged creatures, seemingly straight from hell. Walking through this vast, and very tall cathedral, guests travel through dark hallways and come face to face with these eternally damned souls.

Although not very high on the scare factor, this house is definitely jaw dropping if anything. From the great effects, to the flying bungee cord stunts, this haunted house is definitely one not to miss. And yes, you read that correctly, there are indeed multiple actors fastened to bungee cords located within. They fly right towards you, and it’s a sight to behold.

Ash vs. Evil Dead – ★★★★☆

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A fan’s delight! If you have seen this show and enjoyed it as much as we did, you are in for a treat with this one. With tons of scenes taken directly from the TV show, this house is definitely the comedy house of the year. Between each scary scene, Ash comes to your rescue with a witty line everytime. All the actors are the closest look-a-likes Universal could find, which really help to bring the guest right into the show. Those of you who are afraid of chainsaws may still be frightened by Ash’s main weapon of choice (besides his boomstick,) but fear not, for he is the good guy who has come to rid the world of the evil deadites that now roam the Earth. Even though it’s his own fault.

Be on the lookout throughout this house for appearances of the infamous Necronomicon, the cabin that started it all, and “Ashy Slashy” the puppet version of Ash.

The Horrors of Blumhouse – ★★1/2☆☆

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We wanted to like this house. We really did. We watched all of the movies to prepare, but unfortunately it’s just lacking in actual scenes from each respective movie. The house begins with Sinister. The movie offers quite a few death scenes that could have been included in the house, but instead we simply walk through the attic, then two hallways, each with Mr. Boogey popping out in various corners. There’s no beach chairs getting pulled into a pool, there’s no tree with people hanging from it. Murder scenes are just painfully missing. After one scene and two hallways of Sinister, we move onto the Purge. Again, nothing here from the movies specifically. Think the Purge haunted house of HHN25; an indescript home invasion. Two scenes of the Purge, and you make your way into Insidious. Now this section is considerably longer than the first two movies presented, including actual scenes and deaths from the movies, mainly the newest installment, Chapter 4, which is still slated to release in 2018.

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After walking through the Insidious section, you’re then thrust into a long, storbe lighted hallway where all of the characters from all of the movies are mixed together to startle you all over again. Now don’t get me wrong here, this house wasn’t dreadfully terrible. It was just underwhelming. There were a few fake out scares that managed to frighten us, but overall it left a bit to be desired.

Keep following our page for more house reviews coming soon!

 

Media Event Q&A

We had the privilege of attending this year’s opening night media party, and we had a great time. For those hardcore HHN fans, we have transcribed the Q&A session here for your reading pleasure. Grab some popcorn and get ready to get some great information on this year’s event.

Q: Besides the Academy of Villains [show], was there anything else affected by the hurricane, anything else that needs fixing up?

A: You know, we have minor cosmetic damage across the property. I think what’s wonderful about it is that storms pass and we [still] get the opportunity to give the guests the great event that we have. I think that honestly we, you know, all of our thoughts and prayers are definitely with everybody, but it’s also an opportunity to provide an escape for them, even if it’s only for a couple of minutes in a soundstage. So they can have A/C. (all laugh) If you want to see something uplifting, it’s amazing to see how all of the team members here at Universal came to help each other out personally with whatever they were effected by the storm, and then come together and get this event up and running, so [it’s an] amazing family to be a part of.

Q: If guests could choose only half of the houses, which ones would you suggest for them to go to?

A: The closest ones to them. (all laugh)

Counter Q: It’s like picking your favorite child, do each of you have your favorite house?

A: Yes, they are my children and I love them all equally. That’s the political answer, too, but I usually do have a favorite house, but it doesn’t occur until the end of the event, you know. I have favorite scenes, favorite houses, favorite moments as we go through, but I don’t have one yet for this year, cause I haven’t really seen everything yet, you know. I have to go through night after night and then really meet my kids and get to know them better. What’s also good about the event is that your favorite house is gonna be different than your favorite house is gonna be different than your favorite house.

We have got such a great slate of properties and original storytelling this year that everybody is gonna get something out of the event.

Whether something truly terrifying or really entertaining, it’s gonna happen, and I think that that’s one of the great hallmarks. Up to a point at the end of the event, yeah, we’re gonna have favorites, but as of right now, level playing field. Everything is game.

Q: Earlier you said the event itself is the icon essentially this year. Fans love their icons. Can you elaborate on that statement?

A: I think that Halloween Horror Nights is the festival itself. It gives us an opportunity to place an umbrella over the IPs and over the original content, the scarezones, the shows. It shows that Halloween Horror Nights in and of itself is bigger than anything we would bring or put into the park. Halloween Horror Nights is an institution. We are on our 27th year and it’s only going to grow from here. And so I think that it is iconic of us to be able to take on that mantle. You know, years ago we had festival of the dead that ran as a parade through the park, and I think that calling upon that as kind of an homage is also part of what makes this year iconic in nature. It also gives the opportunity, here in the scarezones, is to create apex predators in each zone. Instead of having this one icon, we have got Sam hanging out in Trick R Treat, we got alien scientists out in Invasion, we have got our bone reaper that hangs out in festival of the deadliest so, it opens up the ability to get these main predators in each area.

Q: What kind of steps did it take for you to secure the rights to have The Shining be part of the Halloween Horror Nights family?

A: Most of it had to do with begging, pleading, crying, chanting, and some phone calls. It was a long process. Much like other mazes that we brought in the past, whether it be American Werewolf in London, Exorcist, Halloween; those are things that as fans, we have been seeking for years, and things just happened to work out this year that we were able to work with our partners and were able to secure that. It’s actually a very fortunate thing and we are all very excited for you guys to go and do that [house].

Q: The Shining is very psychological, so what was your biggest challenge in trying to convert that into a house that we could experience?

A: That is an awesome question, and that’s what we asked ourselves on day 1. Stanley Kubrick takes this huge Overlook Hotel, but he is doing it from a claustrophobic view when you watch it, and I think that’s what we decided to tackle first; the idea of expanse, but also feeling claustrophobic. So we checked the boxes, moments that you want to see, which I think are very important, but also our design team did an amazing job of giving you tight corridors while at the same time giving height. Sometimes height can imply more of a massive structure, so there’s alot of implication that really sells in the house. Kudos to our design team who did an amazing job with that. Thematically when you walk through the maze, you are observing as that individual who is going through the process of having The Shining and being attacked by the Overlook, which is something that Kubrick does such an amazing job of, that you go along Jack’s path.

Jack’s course that he has throughout the film, you are going through that entire process as you travel from the beginning to the end of the maze.

Q: So you got the Blumhouse, and you’re showing a sneak peek of the upcoming Insidious. You’ve got Jigsaw. Has it gotten easier working with other studios that have active upcoming properties as far as this is what we are going to do, this is how we are going to have your upcoming project without spoiling anything. Like working with Walking dead previously, you have been working with Horror Story throughout the seasons, has it been easier to work with these studios in bringing these things to life?

A: I think there is a level of trust that has been harbored. I can easily say that there is a hard earned trust. There is an established trust now that they know where to take care of their kids, you know what I mean?

We take alot of care in trying to represent the best we can their properties and I think there is a growing trust between us and those studios.

Plus it’s really fun, cause sometimes we see scripts before everybody else, and we see screenings before anybody else, and it’s really really fun.

Q: As a first timer from Atlanta, have you ever been told you went a little bit too far, and what do you have to say about that?

A: Everything is subjective, right? You’d be surprised. Sometimes something would go on like “oh I hope this isn’t going overboard” but everybody ends up loving it. You never know, life and art is subjective, so you never know what’s gonna come your way. There’s also the opportunity for us if there’s something we want to have work, it might be physically impossible because we might not know how to do it yet, but we will figure it out.

If we care enough we will go down that path and we will figure it out.

I think between us we put everything on the table. We absolutely have conversations and then we edit from there, but we always put everything on the table. So I think if we say “that’s too far” then that’s WAY too far (all laugh)

Q: With all of the work that goes into the detail and stuff on the scarezones and the houses, are there any easter eggs that you would want us, the fans, to keep an eye out for?

A: For the scarezones, Trick R Treat in Central Park, when you pass through and first look, it may appear that is sort of the party at the beginning of the film and the neighborhood where the trick or treating is happening, but if you really pay attention to all of the detail, the little easter eggs that are dropped in, you will see this fever dream of the story of Trick R Treat. It is all laid out for you, all of the pieces of the story is there. I’ll bring up Dead Waters because it’s based off the scarezone from that street, if you saw the shack in the street scarezone, you would have noticed alot of the decor, we have taken very specific care in selecting different pieces from that. So if you have photos from that year, you may be able to find some of those pieces existing in the house also. I have mentioned this morning, one of my favorite authors is an easter egg represented in the house as a zombie.

Q: How many people do you expect to come through this year? We like to give information to our followers and subscribers about how to make an experience better, so are there specific days or dates that we can share with them that might be a little less crowded? Any tidbits that you would have for people as they are walking the park as far as making the most of their experience or how they should spend their time?

A: Okay, number 1) Alot (all laugh) Number 2) We are doing more nights than ever before, so there’s alot of different choices. And number 3) Don’t pass up the opportunity to go to the bathroom. And wear comfortable shoes. Alot of times we walk through and there is somebody dressed gorgeous and they got their toes sticking out of their expensive shoes.

I’m like “Man, come and sweat in tennis shoes,” you know? Just be comfortable. Just come to hike around, have a good time, and party.

When I was asked tips on how to avoid the scares, you can’t. There’s nowhere that’s safe except bathrooms. We are not legally allowed……yet.

Q: Eli Roth directed one of the commercials for this year and I was wondering, can we expect him to have more involvement in the future in terms of IPs?

A: What I can say is that Halloween Horror Nights is an ever changing event. There is always going to be changes in attractions, whether people want them or not. Because of that, we are never gonna stop looking for people to work with, or groups of people to work with, or companies to work with, licensed piece of art or installments to be able to partner with in order to create to greatest event that we can possibly can for our guests, year in and year out. You dropped his name as far as the commercial is concerned. Wasn’t that a great commercial? And did you see the director’s cut, too? That was awesome. It was fantastic, and I think what that also does is it also points out the fact that Horror Nights 2017 is a party. It is a festival. You have no choice but to enjoy yourselves as somebody who, when people gets scared around you, everybody laughs. That is the first thing that happens when anybody gets scared, they scream and either they laugh or somebody else laughs. It’s a wonderful thing, it’s a positive thing. I also think that, with Eli Roth if you watch the director’s cut version, from all of us, my favorite thing to see, like we were talking earlier about Halloween Horror Nights itself being so iconic, is to have Eli Roth say, you know, here is a master of horror films who is a fan of Horror Nights himself. Whoooo, that was amazing. I was so happy when I saw that.

Q: How often do you guys monitor, randomly walk through and just kind of make sure that your vision is still being undertaken?

A: All night long. Every night. Every house, every street zone, we are constantly roaming. We also have performance coordinators with us assisting us so we are constantly walking through the entire event. And we practice what we preach, we all go by and wear our comfy shoes right when the event starts that we wear out by the end.

Q: Since this is the last year for Bill and Ted, what are you doing to send it off in style? I’m also curious to hear why is this the last year for Bill and Ted and for next year, will there be anything else replacing it?

A: Okay, I’m gonna work backwards here. C) Can’t talk about it. C) Are we doing anything special? Yes. You’re gonna have to go see the show. And then A) Why is it the last year for Bill and Ted? I think that to my answer earlier is that we are an ever changing event and it is subjective for sure.

People are gonna have a different opinion and it’s going to become a debate topic over whether or not Bill and Ted should stay with 28 and 29 and 30, but I think that if we are doing, I think we give our guests a huge disservice if we don’t constantly evolve and elevate this event and change it year in, year out.

I think that’s what you’re seeing; different parts come and go. I think it’s a great opportunity for guests to experience a different, new, and revitalized event.

HHNU’s First Media Event!

That’s right, we made it! After two years of dedication to Halloween Horror Nights coverage, we finally made it to the prestigious HHN media party, and that’s all thanks to you guys, our readers. Your support feeds our obsession and commitment to getting the information that we do, as quickly as possible. Thank you so much!

So What IS The Media Party?

Opening Night Media Party, as it’s called, is a closed, invitation only event that takes place in sound-stage 33. It boasts tons of free food and beverages, and offers the opportunity to mingle with HHN big wigs, fellow HHN loving media publishers, and scareactors before the main presentation begins, with a Q&A afterwards.

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The food was astounding. From a myriad of hot hors d’oeuvres like miniature beef wellington, jalapeno poppers, and buffalo chicken eggrolls, to name a few. There were also multiple meat carving stations offering beef, pork, and lamb. Additional dishes included nachos with all kinds of dips to choose from, delicious shells and cheese (with or without shrimp), fish tacos, and tons of different deserts.

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The nacho station. The cheese was nice and spicy!
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Coffee and desert station

Scareactors were roaming the venue during the “welcome reception” portion of the party. They were from all parts of the event (houses and scarezones,) and it was a really neat way of getting our first look into the various characters and themes of this year’s event. There were aliens, clowns, vampires, and everything in between. Check out our livestream here for a full look at the food and scareactors that were present.

The Main Presentation

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Upon the main stage area, the media presentation took place. It included cameos from Bill and Ted themselves, and characters from each house and scarezone to represent their respected property. Patrick Braillard hosted the main event, where he described each house and scarezone in detail, and we learned a ton of cool things about each of them. Each haunted house and scarezone had it’s own little stage with decorations, props, and actors that could be found within. Watch our livestream here on our Facebook page to see the entire presentation.

House Displays (click to enlarge)

Scarezone Displays

 

“You know, I think that every single year we put on Halloween Horror Nights, it’s not only a challenge, but it’s a labor of love. We start months in advanced, this year it was 14 months. We have already started [20]18. Yeah! We are already well underway with 18. It goes from a very small group of people, and it suddenly blooms into hundreds and then thousands of people that all work in unison to try to put on the event. And I can say that was all surety, there is no team member at Universal Orlando Resort that does not in some way become impacted by the work that goes into bringing this event on a yearly basis. Every single person, in some way shape or form, works to provide this for all of the guests, and that’s kind of an amazing undertaking.”

Q&A Session

The portion of the presentation with the most media inclusion, the Q&A session gave us all the opportunity to finally get our pressing questions answered, and make light of things we’re all curious about. This portion took about 17 minutes, and anyone who had a question could ask (so long as the question could be answered without giving out confidential information.) Please check out our Q&A transcription for all of the questions asked along with the answers given here. Plenty of fantastic information was given out.

R.I.P Tours

Last but not least, our entire party was split into multiple R.I.P tours, which is a guided tour through all of the haunted houses, rides, and shows with front of line access throughout the night. Along the way, tour guides give fun facts and interesting tidbits of information about the houses, scarezones, and other aspects that go into making the event what it is. R.I.P tour is a very exclusive experience available to all guests willing to pay the extra money for this incredibly special way of seeing this amazing event.