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.

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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!

HHN Rumor: What’s going on inside the old Terminator building?

Terminator 2: 3D performed its very last show in late 2017, and since then a lot of construction noise has been heard from inside the old building and lots of rumors of what the new possible attraction could be have littered the online forums, but no concrete evidence or news from Universal has come forward to say exactly what new addition to the park is coming within this massive piece of park realty.

The only official word we had from Universal Orlando was that it will feature “an all-new live action experience based on a high-energy Universal franchise” and that it should hope to open sometime in 2019. However, since its been nearly two years and no further word has come forward as to what it could be it got us wondering, what’s going on in there?

As you can see from the below, the theater is huge!

Our first port of call was the local building permits office to see what permits have been registered and how far progressed they are.  From these public accessible documents it would show the following select items of work have occurred:

  • A complete new layout within the theater (but likely not the pre-show and queue areas).  According to our pal Alicia Stella who did a walk around recently, it would appear the old theater’s stage has been made larger.  The revised layout also extends to the basement where the old gun toting terminators would spring from, they and the large flanking screens for the 3D portion of the show were all removed in early 2018.
  • The building has been completely stripped.  We know this as many of the props and signage from the old show have been popping up in Williams of Hollywood but also by the fact that the permits indicate a great deal of structural alterations and reapplications of masonry (all of which up until the very last few weeks were approved by the city inspectors).
  • A new catwalk system has been installed.  This addition, along with the larger stage would suggest some kind of stunt show or something that uses 3D (hence the need to regularly get up into the high ceilings on a regular basis).
  • The lengthy amount of time the project work has taken is possibly due to the sheer amount of renovation that is happening, from new CCTV to new roofing, from new insulation to a massively upgraded fire protections. Universal is swifting bringing this 1990s building right up to the current building codes.
  • The project is refered to internally as “Project 126”.

To see more of Alicia’s walking tour click here.

Orlando Business Journals also confirms the construction rehab work here.

A new rumor:

We’ve had a few people write into HHNU HQ saying that they believe the new show could be themed to Universal Monsters or at least, have something to do with the, and that it might possibly debut sometime within HHN’s run.  Now this could just be highly speculative!  But take a look at this tweet, again, from our pal Bio:

And this photo from Alicia:

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Photo courtsey of orlandoparkstop.com

It got us thinking here at HHNU HQ that there could be something here, as if the show exit doors from the old Terminator building remain the same (they are still there and are untouched as above) this would indicate that whatever the new show is it will offload the guests from the show straight into the new Universal Monsters themed store.

So the question is: Why would Universal drop a lot of cash highly re-theming the old Terminator store when the attraction inside the old Terminator show space is rumored to be Jason Bourne?

That doesn’t make any sense as the theming would be all wrong!!

Unless, the show that is being built in there is someting to do with the Universal Monsters.  This also satisfies the criteria that IT IS a Universal owned property and due to the level of building permits signed off it COULD open by the end of 2019, right when HHN kicks off.

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!

What would you like to see in this building?  Let us know in the comments!

 

 

 

Life-size Chance Resurfaces!

Cast your minds back to the awesomeness that was HHN26 where our icon was her majesty Chance the Clown.  She reigned over the event with her fun presence and would provide laughs and chills a plenty on her mini show and throughout the event.

Portrayed by the fabulous Erin Cline, the fReAkS behind HHN decided to dress the stores of Universal Orlando with two different Chance mannequins, one with her new outfit and one with her straight jacket.  As with most of these props they would eventually end up in the theme park’s repository for old props: Williams of Hollywood, where Universal would actively seek new owners for the past props.

Eventually, the Chance dolls made their way to Williams and after a few weeks they were sold.  And finally, Chance has resurfaced!  And is for sale on eBay.  The listing reads:

This is a very nice HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS original life size Chance figure that was used at the Universal Studios main store.  There were only 2 Chance figures created for the entire event (The other was on display at the Tribute Store and has been long gone.  There was also a Chance figure wearing a straight jacket.  It is shown in a photo above but she does NOT come with this version.  She also is long gone.)  She features original hand painted features and the face is definitely creepy! Chance was the main horror icon for their Halloween Horror Nights event in 2016.  Please note you are only buying the Chance version shown above in the skirt and boots.   Comes with a tag from Universal Studios.  This is a very rare opportunity to acquire an icon of horror from Universal Studios!!!

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The current asking price is $6000.00!  And the buyer must collect from the seller who is based in Lakeland, Florida.  The original asking price from Williams was rumored to have been $5000, so this is a nice profit if he can find anyone to adopt this Chance.

Would you take a chance on Chance?  If so, you can buy her now here.

Let us know in the comments if you would buy her and also, what would you do with a 6ft tall Chance mannequin?

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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.”

Which Onsite Resort Hotel is Best for HHN?

It’s a question we get asked a lot around this time of year. Many people are booking their Spooky Fall vacations and want to know which resort is best for stays during HHN. So here’s what we think:

Universal Orlando features six official on-site hotels totaling up to 6,200 rooms. All six hotels are located in close proximity to the Universal Orlando theme parks with guests offered free water taxi or shuttle bus service to the theme parks. The hotels are sorted into three categories which are all based on perks, luxury and price, they are: premier hotels, preferred hotels and prime value hotels.

Premier Hotels:

The Portofino is considered the most expensive and luxurious hotel onsite. It offers a spacious and relaxing styled resort that has all the amenities and perks you’d expect with any 5 star hotel. Sitting next to this hotel and slightly closer to the Studios Park is the Hard Rock Hotel. This is a popular resort as it is the closest hotel to the Studios. The resort is well appointed and provides a great number of features including their unique sandy beach pool and rock n’ roll ethos.

Portofino – Style 10, Price 5, Proximity 7, Features 10

Hard Rock – Style 10, Price 7, Proximity 10, Features 9

Preferred Hotels:

The Royal Pacific built during the formation of when the single studios park turned into a resort has a great South Seas theme and is packed with great features including some really great eating establishments. The other hotel in this category is the relatively new comer Sapphire Falls which opened in 2016.

Royal Pacific – Style 9, Price 7, Proximity 5, Features 8

Sapphire Falls – Style 10, Price 8, Proximity 5, Features 9

Prime Value:

The monstrous Cabana Bay might be the furthest from the horror but it is definitely a popular option with HHN fans who appreciate the great theming and all the great features of this 1950s styled resort. The newly opened Aventura also occupies this category and what it lacks in onsite amenities it makes up for in the view and that spectacular bar right at the top of its tower.

Cabana Bay – Style 9, Price 9, Proximity 2, Features 8

Aventura – Style 9, Price 8, Proximity 3, Features 6

Others

Two more hotels are coming online soon with Surfside Inn and Suites, which will open on June 27, 2019, and Dockside Inn and Suites, which will open in 2020. Both will be located on the old Wet n’ Wild grounds making them the furthest away from the parks but they will be the most cost effective in price. If location is no issue but price is, there are also a number of International Drive hotels which are “within walking distance” and that offer shuttles to the parks. Prior to Universal building their own hotels, many of these in this area would be approved by Universal and sold through their main site for HHN guests. However due to demand, they still undertake this process and you can book Universal Partner Hotels for select HHN packages.

Score recap

Hard Rock – 36/40 *Winner*

Portofino – 32/40

Sapphire Falls – 32/40

Royal Pacific – 30/40

Cabana Bay – 28/40

Aventura – 26/40

With its close proximity to HHN, great availability and reasonable price we highly recommend Hard Rock Hotel for any stays during HHN. And if last year is anything to go by, some nights sold out ahead of time! So be quick and plan ahead if you want to stay here on a HHN night.

Packages for Hard Rock, Royal Pacific and Portofino currently include:

  • Stay in the heart of the horror and enjoy complimentary transportation and walking paths to Universal’s theme parks and Universal CityWalk.
  • Be among the first to scream with special access to a dedicated Halloween Horror Nights entry gate each event night until 8:00pm.
  • FREE Universal Express Unlimited ride access to skip the regular lines at participating rides and attractions at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. That’s a value of $1295 per person, per day. Valid theme park admission required. Not valid at Universal’s Volcano Bay or for Halloween Horror Nights.
  • Priority seating at select restaurants throughout the resort.
  • Complimentary delivery of merchandise purchased throughout the resort to your hotel.
  • Resort-wide charging privileges with your room key card

For more information on booking a HHN vacation package speak to your Travel Agent or click here to go to the official HHN site.

So there you have it, we highly recommend Hard Rock but where’s your hotel of choice for HHN? Let us know in the comments!

Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and BD Wong Reprise Their Roles for Universal Hollywood’s New Jurassic World Ride

Stars of the Jurassic World films Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and BD Wong reprise their roles as Owen Grady, Claire Dearing and Dr. Henry Wu, bringing their characters from the silver screen to Universal Studios Hollywood’s much anticipated mega attraction, “Jurassic World—The Ride,” opening this summer.

This marks the first time the cast will appear as their iconic characters outside of the JURASSIC WORLD films for a theme park attraction.  As part of original content created exclusively for the new ride, Owen, Claire and Dr. Wu will shed light on their interactions with the dinosaurs along with facts and information about the imposing prehistoric creatures that first roamed the earth more than 65 million years ago.

This spectacular new ride will feature an original storyline that will take guests on a breathtaking excursion through the theme park as depicted in Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment’s film, JURASSIC WORLD.  It will soar to new heights with the addition of iconic dinosaurs from the movie, including the colossal Indominus rex and the magnificent aquatic Mosasaurus in her natural habitat. 

For the first time, JURASSIC WORLD fans will have the chance to see this impressive creature and become immersed within her massive Aquarium Observatory.  Appearing to span over 60 feet in length and tipping the scales at over 30K pounds through stunning state-of-the-art visual effects, the Mosasaurus is a sight to behold as she moves just inches away from guests throughout her glass enclosure filled with the equivalent of 3.5 million gallons of water.

Universal Creative collaborated with Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) to bring the Mosasaurus to life and to capture the realism of her underwater environment using a combination of spectacular visual effects and cutting-edge technologies, including the use of motion parallax, a technique that shifts the guest’s perspective of the Mosasaurus as she moves throughout the tank.

The team also employed a series of lighting enhancements allowing the aquarium to intuitively shift from day to night, as well as visual changes to the environment during inclement weather, thus creating a variety of visual scenarios guests can experience based on when they experience the ride.

“Jurassic World—The Ride” captures the essence of the blockbuster movie and comes to life in collaboration with the award-winning and inspired minds at Universal Creative, the Academy Award®-winning special-effects visionaries at Industrial Light & Magic, a division of Lucasfilm, Ltd., Universal Pictures and acclaimed filmmakers Steven Spielberg, Colin Trevorrow and Frank Marshall.

When “Jurassic World—The Ride” opens this summer, guests will be welcomed to a dramatically reimagined space reflective of the hit films.  A fresh entry statement, stonework landscaping, and a contemporary redesign of the iconic JURASSIC WORLD gates, illuminated with billowing flames, will create the framework for the all new aesthetics.

Once guests pass through the queue, they will board specially designed rafts that will navigate the lush environs of dense vegetation and traverse new areas besieged with towering dinosaurs meandering at just an arm’s length away.  Encounters with such docile creatures as the Stegosaurus and Parasaurolophus will quickly turn awry as predatory Velociraptors and Dilophosaurus begin to wreak havoc, turning guests from spectators to prey.  When the Tyrannosaurus rex begins to battle one of the attraction’s new ferocious dinosaurs, the rafts will spill down a treacherous 84-foot waterfall as the sole means of escape.

Located adjacent to the ride will be a new elaborately themed “Raptor Encounter” where Blue, the beloved Velociraptor from the JURASSIC WORLD franchise, will engage guests in daring face-to-face encounters.

In addition, a new interactive “Dino Play” area will incorporate educational components within an inspired space where children of all ages can explore and excavate giant dinosaur fossils.

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?

 

Original House: Depths of Fear

Universal Orlando Resort has revealed Depths of Fear as the second original content haunted house coming to Halloween Horror Nights 2019 – the world’s premier Halloween event.

In an all-new original story created by the twisted minds of Universal’s Entertainment team, guests will be transported to a deep-sea mining company that has been infested by the parasitic “Mouthbrooders,” who spew their acidic flesh-eating eggs upon unsuspecting humans, turning them into crazed hosts. As the infected are driven to madness, guests will try to escape, but as pressure begins to build, implosion awaits – will they make it out alive or fall deep into their watery graves?

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The workers of a deep-sea mining company have found themselves in a dire situation. They’ve delved too deep and encountered a parasitic race of creatures that turn out to be deadly. Panic ensues as you find yourself encountering infected miners and acidic creatures. The pressure builds as the self-destruct sequence counts down to the inevitable implosion of the facility.

“Mouthbrooders”

As you venture further into the depths, you’ll encounter the creatures known only as the “Mouthbrooders.” Picture being trapped in a claustrophobic mining installation underwater with a countless number of these slithering monsters. Your worst nightmares will come to life as these fiends spew flesh-eating acidic eggs at human hosts, and you witness miners being driven mad by the infection.

On select nights from September 6 to November 2, the most terrifying names in horror will take over Universal Studios Florida, as the sun sets on days filled with thrills and the night awakens with a frightening chill for Halloween Horror Nights. Guests will face 10 all-new elaborately themed haunted houses and five scare zones as well as enjoy Universal Studios’ most exhilarating rides and attractions. Now through June 5, guests can take advantage of a limited time ticket offer and vacation package where they can get a second night free when they buy one night. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Are you excited for this original house?  Let us know in the comments!

Funko Releases New Universal Monsters Figures

Funko have announced that coming this year will be two series of original Funko ‘Mystery Minis’ based on the classic Universal Monsters.

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Fans will be able to add Frankenstein, Frankenstein holding a flower, The Mummy, The Invisible Man wrapped up, The Invisible Man, Wolfman, Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula,
Dracula holding a candle, The Creature, The Mole People, Phantom, Dracula and a variation of The Invisible Man with a rarity rating of between 1/6 to 1/72!

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Walgreens are also getting in on the fun by releasing a special Black and White version exclusive to their stores!

Pre-order NOW here.

Will you be adding these to your haunting collection?  Let us know in the comments!