Halloween Comes to Universal Orlando – Including the Debut of Two All-New Horrifying Haunted Houses

Universal Orlando Resort has launched a series of exciting experiences so that guests can celebrate the Halloween season at the award-winning theme park destination beginning September 26. Headlining Universal’s fall lineup is the official debut of two extreme haunted houses that will bring guests’ most sinister fears to light. Plus, guests may don Halloween costumes while visiting the theme parks, take part in trick-or-treating, embark on a fun scavenger hunt and more.

BRAVE TWO HAUNTED HOUSES IN UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA

Developed by the twisted minds of Universal Orlando, guests can scream their way through two all-new haunted houses where terrifying creatures await to haunt their every move. In “Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives,” one of Universal Pictures’ most notorious monsters will step out of the shadows as she stops at nothing to revive Frankenstein’s Monster at any cost. In “Revenge of the Tooth Fairy,” guests will be immersed in an original story that uncovers a dark ritual behind the innocent childhood tradition.

Access to the two haunted houses is included with theme park admission. There may be times when the Virtual Line experience is available for the haunted houses. Guests can use the Official Universal Orlando Resort App to select a Virtual Line time to visit. Haunted houses may be too intense for young children and are not recommended for guests under 13.

DRESS UP IN COSTUMES WHILE VISTING THE THEME PARKS

Guests can share their Halloween spirit and don family-friendly costumes while visiting Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Click here for complete costume guidelines.

TRICK-OR-TREAT IN ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE

While venturing through Islands of Adventure, guests 12 and under can trick-or-treat to collect Halloween candy at retail locations marked by pumpkin signage.

SCARECROW STALK IN UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA

Visitors can participate in the Universal Orlando Scarecrow Stalk, a new scavenger hunt that sends guests to find unique scarecrows and collect stamps at 13 retail locations throughout the park. A Halloween treat awaits those who successfully complete the stalk.

For additional Halloween treats this fall, guests can also:

Stop by the popular Halloween Horror Nights Tribute store, an immersive retail location dedicated to the legacy of the world’s premier Halloween event, to purchase limited-time “throwback” merchandise and to get a taste of the horror with an assortment of nearly 20 sweet and savory items.
Enjoy additional limited-time, crave-worthy food & beverage options to celebrate the season. In Universal Studios, this includes a variety of Halloween-themed drinks like the Frozen Candy Corn beverage at the all-new Skeleton Bar at Café La Bamba, the iconic staple, Pizza Fries, at Louie’s Italian Restaurant, and all-new food trucks near the haunted houses that feature uniquely themed items such as “Franken Fried Chicken & Funnel Brains.” In Universal CityWalk, guests can pick up the “Jack the Clown” and “Pumpkin Spice” specialty doughnuts at Voodoo Doughnut. Plus, guests can sip on specialty drinks themed after icons from Halloween Horror Nights history at Universal Orlando’s hotels, including “The Director” and “The Chance.”
Catch a classic horror flick at Universal Cinemark in CityWalk now through October 31.
Universal Orlando continues to implement its enhanced health and safety procedures and guidelines focused on “screening, spacing and sanitization,” and those practices will be applied to all experiences taking place this fall. Key measures include screening guests and team members, enforcing social distancing, requiring face coverings, limiting capacity at the parks, attractions and hotels, and increasing cleaning and disinfection procedures and more. Specific health and safety protocols for the haunted houses include:

Face coverings worn by team members – including scareactors – and guests.
Everyone following social distancing guidelines in the queue and inside the haunted houses. Plexi-glass will be installed in various areas to help keep separation between scareactors and guests.
The required use of hand sanitizer before entering each haunted house. It will also be available for guests to use immediately after they exit.
Managing the guest flow inside the haunted houses by pulsing travel parties and limiting capacity.
For more information about Universal Orlando’s Halloween seasonal experiences, incredible offers for guests to take advantage of this season – including the limited-time “Buy 2 Days, Get 2 Days Free” offer that is available for purchase through Sept. 30 – and Universal Orlando’s enhanced health and safety procedures, visit http://www.UniversalOrlando.com.

Having a Bloody Good Time at the 13th Floor Jacksonville

Once Universal Studios officially canceled Halloween Horror Nights in July, I began to look for other haunts that would possibly happen this year. Fortunately, the 13th Floor in Jacksonville was able to keep their doors open this haunt season. So, I did my research by using the 13th floor’s website https://www.13thfloorjacksonville.com/ and after seeing all the positive reviews, I decided to give this haunt a try.

Safety Procedures

Needless to say, the most important thing these days are the safety procedures that businesses use for their day-to-day operations. In this regard, the 13th Floor Jacksonville is top notch and sets the bar for any business trying to operate during these trying times.

The first and the most important measure is that everyone must wear a mask. This measure is even required for the scare actors inside and outside of the haunted house.

Second, the only way to get tickets for the event is by buying them online at https://www.13thfloorjacksonville.com/hours_pre.html . This allows the 13th Floor staff to run the event at an limited capacity, by having the group members to buy a ticket that is set up to view the house at a certain time slot. In fact, you are not even allowed to get in line until thirty minutes for your allotted time.

The final measure is that the staff uses the allotted time slots to pulse the house. This means your group will get to walk the haunted houses by yourselves and guarantee that social distancing is upheld.

Theme

The theme of this year’s event is called, “Deadly Reflections,” and revolves around the story of Blood Mary. As the story on 13th floor’s website goes, Mary was a early 20th century nomad with a vain and greedy heart. Her whole point in life was searching far and wide for the legendary Mirror of Viitor. This mirror was said to grant the power of knowledge, wealth and riches to those who peer into it. Once Mary finally finds the mirror, she takes one gaze. There she finds out that the mirror only rewards those with kind spirits and instead gets trapped inside. Now trapped inside, Bloody Mary’s rage was too intense to contain and to this day, her unrested spirit manifests itself throughout the mirrors with a deadly reflection ready to consume your soul.

Review

Overall, I thought the 13th Floor Jacksonville was a great time. I really loved the pulsing of the house and the fact that me group had the whole venue to ourselves. This was an incredibly huge house that took over twelve minutes to walk through. So, you definitely get your moneys worth. I also like that the house had a few creaky floors, slanted rooms and multiple mirrors that make the house can to navigate and make you feel uneasy. Another nice touch is that the actors here actually interact with you and help tell the story. For example, early on you meet a doctor outside the main house and he helps you enter Bloody Mary’s realm.

The only bad thing about the house was due to social distancing there was only about three scare actors in the house, so most of the scares come from puppets and air triggers. Also, the overall theming of the house was pretty generic and I do not really think this the house changes much year to year. So, the props are more likely reused each year. For example, there was a scene with Pennywise the clown and what does that have to do with Blood Mary? In fact, this haunted house about Bloody Marry only had a total of five mirrors, so overall the house does not present a cohesive theme.

If I had to give the event a grade I would give it a B+. Overall, the event is enjoyable and I am trying to not deduct points, because the event had to more then likely slim down the numbers for scare actors to maintain social distancing guidelines. I will definitely checkout the event in the future, because I really want to know what the experience is like with a full staff of scare actors.

Add-Ons

  • Ten dollar ticket upcharge to be ahead of the line. This option is called FAST Pass
  • Twenty dollar ticket upcharge to skip the line completely. This option is called Skip the Line
  • When you enter the haunted house the staff will take your parties picture besides a prop. The price to purchase the picture is fifteen dollars.
  • Axe Throwing Class for five dollars you get five axes to throw at targets
  • Bar 13 Bar is an outdoor bar where our 21+ patrons can enjoy spooky libations before or after experiencing the haunted house. All concessions are provided by Foremost Liquors and Wines
  • Mini Escape Games are a fully interactive and immersive experience unlike anything you have ever done before! Race the clock: Your group enters a room and has only five minutes to use clues and riddles hidden throughout the room that provide the tools necessary to meet the objective. As the clock ticks down and the pressure mounts…can you stay calm, can you escape? Price is five dollars per game and must be purchased online.

If you would like to hear audio from my visit to the 13th Floor Jacksonville, then please listen to my podcast at https://pod.fo/e/9cb2d

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!

The Time The Simpsons Visited Halloween Horror Night

The Simpsons have justed about lampooned and parodied everyone and everything by this point, from a country like Australia to the latest Bond movie, everyone has been fair game for the longest-running animated sit-com.

But did you know back in 2015, The Simpsons visited Halloween Horror Night, that’s Night, and not plural!  Yes, the dear old Simpsons parodied our very favorite Halloween event with hilarious consequences.  So unless you wanna boot up Disney+ (does everyone else think it’s weird The Simpsons is now a Disney property?), we are gonna deep-dive into what is our favorite episode…

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(c) Disney / 20th Century Studios

Set in Krustyland, the episode took aim at theme parks who present Halloween events, albeit with great humor.

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Zombie scareactors (c) Disney / 20th Century Studios

The episode follows the Simpson family, who decorates their house as “Everscream Terrors”. Homer goes to a Halloween store (akin to a Spirit store) and talks to Apu, the store’s owner, about three workers, who are promptly fired and plan vengeance against him. After an unsettling experience at the Krustyland Halloween Horror Night, Lisa develops a fear of Halloween. Marge convinces Homer to take down Everscream Terrors, but he refuses. Marge then takes Bart and Maggie trick or treating, but everybody is asleep, making Bart upset.  Meanwhile, the three fired shopworkers take their revenge against Homer.  It is also the only Halloween-themed episode of The Simpsons that is not part of the show’s Treehouse of Horror series.

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“Leatherface” makes an appearance (c) Disney / 20th Century Studios

HHN conventions seen:

  • Set decorations
  • Gory setpieces
  • Speciality foods
  • Chainsaw Drill Team
  • Dance groups
  • Attractions
  • Special Halloween drinks

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Speciality food items were offered (c) Disney / 20th Century Studios

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Alien? (c) Disney / 20th Century Studios

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(c) Disney / 20th Century Studios

Even the oldest attraction in the theme park was fair game for the comedy…

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(c) Disney / 20th Century Studios

The dance shows were also parodied where a version of Rocky Horror’s Time Warp was presented (The Rocky Horror Picture Show has been at HHN about 7 times now!).

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(c) Disney / 20th Century Studios

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(c) Disney / 20th Century Studios

 

The episode is really fun and light-hearted, HHN fans you should definitely search it out, especially if you are really missing your dose of HHN this year!

Let us know in the comments if you like this episode!  And whether you think The Simpsons should come to HHN!

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(c) Disney / 20th Century Studios

#17 – Michael Berryman & The Hills Have Eyes Part Two

Join us for more spooky fun as we welcome  Michael Berryman back to the podcast! Michael is a veteran of the horror and sci-fi genres with over 100 performances to his name from his breakthrough The Hills Have Eyes to The Devil’s Rejects, Tales from the  Crypt and even Star Trek.  We chat about his many achievements and even bust another Hollywood myth, this time about the dog in The Hills Have Eyes.  Amanda and Chris discuss a great topic on whether classic horror films if made today – would they be classic?  We also have our usual news and rumors!

Download the whole show from www.patreon.com/thehalloweenhalfhour

Starring Christopher Ripley, Boston White aka Amanda and The Spooky Voice Guy

Producer: The Amazing Aaron Adams

This podcast is a part of the After Dark Podcast Network and HHNUnofficial.com

Visit us at thehalloweenhalfhour.com or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or email us at podcast@thehalloweenhalfhour.com

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

The Halloween Half Hour – Episode 16 Michael Berryman and The Hills Have Eyes

Join us for more spooky fun as we welcome Michael Berryman to the podcast! Michael is a veteran of the horror and sci-fi genres with over 100 performances to his name from his breakthrough The Hills Have Eyes to The Devil’s Rejects, Tales from the Crypt and even Star Trek. We chat about his career to date and as it’s such a bumper interview part two will be available next time. We have your regular news and reviews, we chat Halloween Horror Nights cancellation, new spooky additions to your home and Amanda takes us on a haunted tour of some of the most strikingly haunted castles in the North of England! All this and more on your favourite spooky podcast!

Listen here NOW.

We also announce our move to Patreon, so please join us at www.patreon.com/thehalloweenhalfhour

Starring Christopher Ripley, Boston White aka Amanda and The Spooky Voice Guy

Producer: The Amazing Aaron Adams

This podcast is a part of the After Dark Podcast Network and HHNUnofficial.com

Visit us at thehalloweenhalfhour.com or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This episode is brought to you by Halloweencostumes.com. If you are looking for the best Halloween costume ideas for this year’s festivities, or decorate your house, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you are searching for a costume idea or finding that must have decoration, Halloweencostumes.com has it all! Signup to their email and get 20% off your first order! Special link HERE.

HHN Tribute Store OPENS!

The HHN Tribute Store opened this week.  The highly themed rooms contain collections of retro HHN and Universal Monster merch.

Universal have said:

The Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store is now open during regular park hours. Head into the park and check out the store’s two themed rooms and merchandise available for purchase, including select Halloween Horror Nights Retro items and more. The store will be open through the fall.

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If you can’t visit Universal Orlando in person, the merch is available on this link.

The store is an experience in itself!  So make sure you head there when you visit during the day.

Photos courtesy of Universal Orlando.

HHN in Orlando and Hollywood are Canceled

Universal made the difficult decision today to cancel the HHN events at both Orlando and Hollywood; rumors were already circulating that Hollywood had been striking sets following drone footage of the alleged activities.  However, it was formally announced yesterday, they said in a statement:

Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood have made the difficult decision to not hold Halloween Horror Nights events this year. Universal Orlando Resort will be focusing exclusively on operating its theme parks for daytime guests, using the enhanced health and safety procedures already in place. Universal Studios Hollywood continues to face ongoing business restrictions and uncertainty around its opening timeframe.

We know this decision will disappoint our fans and guests. We are disappointed, too. But we look forward to creating an amazing event in 2021.

The levels in Covid in Florida have been steadily increasing over the last few weeks.  This comes as Disney World recently opened and instantly garnered international criticism via the press for the decision.  Hollywood on the other hand is still closed due to State mandates.

It is very sad that this event should be canceled, especially to the Team Members, Scareactors, seasonal workers, vendors, and fans who dedicate their time every fall (and for many, it is a year-round dedication!) to the event.  Whilst it is a decision that Universal wish they never had to take, we know ultimately that is was the right one.

We look forward to 2021 and to see what it brings us.

Keep your eyes on HHNU for any further developments or news and rumors for 2021.