Commentary: Addressing the Ghostbusters Rumors

It was April 13 that Theme Park University broke the rumor of Ghostbusters potentially coming to HHN29. And whilst the article doesn’t give any sources for this rumor, we at HHNU thought we would do some digging and see what we can find out.

Jim Hill referenced the article in his show the Universal Joint whilst also expressing he had heard the same rumor. And other than these two sources spreading the rumor, there has been, as far as we can find, no other sources talking it up. So we did some further digging and this is what we could find:

1. Licensing

Universal does not own this franchise and the IP holder is Sony who they would need to get approval from to build a haunted house. Luckily for them, Sony is hitting the licensing market hard right now in preparation for the franchises’ 35th anniversary this year.

We found a number of sites promoting the IP for licensing, with one saying that this year alone they have possibly licensed to over 170 different vendors. Some of these most famous vendors being: Playmobil, Hasbro, Funko, Reebok, Halifax Bank, Virgin Media, Compare the Market, Dunkin Donuts and many more. So if Sony are in the market for licensing this property to the maximum they would probably welcome the publicity that HHN brings.

2. Legacy

It’s a fun fact that Universal has licensed this property since the 1980s for their parks. Ghostbusters Spooktacular was an opening day attraction at the Orlando park and it ran from 1990 to 1996. The property has also been used in the same park for shows at HHN, meet and greets and even parades over the years since the attraction closed. So in theory, as Universal have had such a long and successful partnership with Sony in presenting this franchise at the parks it would make sense that this relationship could continue and extend to HHN houses?

3. It’s been at HHN before…

In the very first year of HHN in 1991 it featured many many shows and one of which, and the one that received top billing was Beetlejuice Dead in Concert Featuring the Ghostbusters! A video of which is presented below.

And if you include the appearances of the characters and their famous ECTO1 at the Robosaurus Show, Festival of the Dead parades and unofficially spot appearances at Bill and Ted, it would conclude that the property has been successfully added to various HHNs throughout the years.

There’s also the cost-effective argument. We know that Universal have a huge offsite storage warehouse and if they have stored the hundreds of props, costumes and sets that they have produced for this franchise over the years then they could reuse them for a HHN and save building new ones! It’s just a thought…

4. Anniversary Year

This year, as previously mentioned, is the anniversary year for the franchise. Some 35 years since the team donned their famous proton packs and busted some ghosts. And you’d be wrong if you think Sony will be letting this anniversary pass without celebration. So here’s what we found on one licensing website:

Who Ya Gonna Call? Ghostbusters is one of the most successful film franchises of all time. It follows three unemployed parapsychology professors who set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.

Starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Erinie Hudson, Ghostbusters has a loyal fan base and is recognised as a cult property with many TV shows and films referencing it and expanding its appeal further.

For Ghostbusters 35th Anniversary in 2019, Sony Pictures Entertainment is producing a jam-packed year of activations, partnerships and incredible exclusives lined up in celebration of the 1984 classic film.

It hints at the shear volume of licenses that have been granted this year and the dozens of world wide events that are being held to mark this anniversary. And there was a tease on one site that “big announcements will be made in early June.”

We found that on June 11 a new special edition DVD is being released and June 8 is the official anniversary date. June 7 will have an international fan fest convention occurring in California. And let’s not forget another movie to the official canon is being made. So although the teaser could be to do with any of these upcoming events but it *could* be referencing something to do with HHN. And a joint announcement as we’ve seen before with HHN and their IPs would be some grade A synergy!

5. Florida

This is just a fun point but nonetheless truthful; many of the cast have strong connections to Florida. Which is important as many of them likely have some form say over the direction of the franchise.

Dan Aykroyd is regularly spotted in Florida due to his business connections, including Crystal Head Vodka and The House of Blues (yes the one located in Disney Springs). And as we know that HHN houses take years to come to fruition, it was a little strange to see Aykroyd roaming inside Universal Orlando in March of 2015. He allegedly stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel and was sighing bottles of his vodka in the evening but it begs the question: was he here for any other reasons?

Likewise, the mysterious legend that is Bill Murray also regularly visits Florida. Not only is he regularly spotted at the glorious and amazing golf courses that are found in Central Florida but his brothers all supposedly live nearby and with them he owns a restaurant in St Augustine. So if he ever gets the message via his infamous voicemail recorder (he supposedly doesn’t have an agent!), then you never know if he’ll just turn up unannounced (wishful thinking surely)!!

So there you have it, just our thoughts on this rumor. But we want to hear your thoughts! Let us know in the comments!!

And remember, this is just a rumor and nothing is confirmed until Universal confirms it!

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The Legend of the Swamp Yeti

HHN28 was a momentous year for many reasons, one of which was the house Slaughter Sinema which featured a number of original movie ideas and many became instant cult HHN fan favorites. One of which seemed to have piqued the HHN fans’ interest the most was the Attack of the Swamp Yeti.

The plot of this “movie” was just in one large scene and revolved around four friends who go camping in the woods at night. One of the guys tells the story of the Swamp Yeti living in the woods. The Swamp Yeti then proceeds to start killing the friends one by one. It was a legendary section of an awesome house!

So it got us thinking, what is the origin of this idea and are there any an actual Swamp Yetis out there!?

The story of the Yeti or Bigfoot is as old as time with humans reporting the sightings of larger humanoid type creatures as far back as early civilisation. From the Green Men in the U.K. to the Bigfoot of Washington State to the Abominable Snowman of the mountains of Tibet, these crytoids have been reported in every corner of the planet!  And let’s not forget Disney dedicate a whole E-Ticket ride to this beast at their Animal Kingdom park.

But we don’t need to concern ourselves with these other creatures, we need to look closer to home and look at the Yetis that supposedly haunt the swamps of the southern US!

The local swamp based yetis are known by different names in the respective different states, and include: the skunk ape, also known as the swamp cabbage man, the swamp ape, stink ape, Florida Bigfoot, Louisiana Bigfoot, myakka ape, swampsquatch, and myakka skunk ape and for some, the Swamp Yeti.

Reports of this swamp dwelling Yeti were particularly common in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1974, sightings of a large, foul-smelling, hairy, ape-like creature, which ran upright on two legs were reported in suburban neighborhoods of Dade County, Florida, though some say it was a diseased bear with mange. Other sightings have even led to whole towns creating further legend and speculation which have created enough notoriety to create mini tourist industries for these towns. Yet despite the sightings, footprint casts and hair recoveries, the United States National Park Service considers this beast to be just a giant hoax (or possible mistaken bear sightings).

Whatever the true reason behind the sightings, the legend is here to stay and has even spawned a number of films, TV shows, comics and books. The most famous of these being the the Swamp Thing franchise, which fun fact the accompanying TV Show was shot entirely at Universal Studios Orlando. Most of the outdoor sets were located where the HHN Sprung Tents now reside! And incidentally, the franchise is about to be rebooted by DC and Warner Bros with a new feature coming to theaters very soon.

The most famous sighting of this strange creature was in the autumn of 2000, when the police of Sarasota County, Florida (a neighboring County to Tampa!) received a letter from an anonymous woman.

With the letter were two attached photographs of what the woman described as an escaped orangutan who had been stealing fruit from her back porch for the last three nights.

These photos were later found to be taken near the Myakka River which is only 140 miles from Orlando. After the images were released to the public, cryptoid enthusiasts dubbed the creature in the photograph the “Myakka Skunk Ape.” And since then the legend has inspired countless investigations and research from serious bonafide investigators to YouTube sleuths. The below is a fav!

Whatever the truth is behind this strange legend, we are hopeful that the scary Swamp dwelling crytoid will one day make a triumphant return to HHN!

Christopher Ripley factoid add:

When I interviewed a former HHN Show-runner (who shall remain nameless) he informed me that his number one phobia was coming face-to-face with a Bigfoot/Yeti in the wild and as such never pitched the idea for a house as he would be too frightened to design it, let alone walk it when it was built!

So there you have it, a fun history of the Swamp Yeti. Would you like him to come back to HHN? Let us know in the comments!

Are Disney Creating Their First Ever Seasonal Haunted House?

Disney has been home to perhaps the most famous of all haunted houses ever with the Haunted Mansion. However, rumors were spiralling last week that Disney were in the final stages of planning a temporary haunted house for this year’s Halloween celebrations.

Rumors said that the house would borrow from the traditional and annual haunted houses of say HHN but would be milder and more child focused. If true this would be the first time that Disney has built such an experience.

The rumors appear to have been based on some form of fact as yesterday Disney announced that at their California Adventure park they would be debuting the Redwood Creek Challenge Trial in answer to this guest demand for something new this Halloween.

Disney describes the new attraction as:

Transformed into a wondrous and ethereal world of Disney villains unlike anything seen before, Redwood Creek will be tricked out in a dreamlike environment. This new experience unfolds in a series of scenes, each creating a hauntingly beautiful dream-space of color, sound, light and shadows, as stories emerge from the darkest night to create an enchanting world.

So being that it’s mostly outdoors but features “haunting scenes” it would indicate that this attraction is some form of hybrid between house and scarezone but with the usual Disney difference.

The new attraction is part of the separately ticketed event named as the Oogie Boogie Bash and is the new name for their nightly Halloween party.

Included with this party are: ‘Villainous’ a new show in the World of Colour space, candy trails, DescenDance party, a frightful parade, character encounters plus the usual Halloween time attractions of decorations, special fireworks and attraction overlays.

April 23 tickets go on sale to Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club members and Disney Visa card holders. April 30 tickets go on sale to the general public.

Oogie Boogie Bash 2019 dates: Sept. 17, Sept. 19, Sept. 22, Sept. 24, Sept. 26, Sept. 29, Oct. 1, Oct. 3, Oct. 6, Oct. 8, Oct. 10, Oct. 13, Oct. 15, Oct. 17, Oct. 20, Oct. 22, Oct. 24, Oct. 27, Oct. 29 and Oct. 31.

Buy your tickets here after April 23/30.

So are you excited that Disney are *finally* starting to play test in the temporary haunt field? Or as it’s Disney and it’s kid focused you’re not interest? Let us know in the comments!

Why Jack *could* return for HHN29…

One of many questions we get on a regular basis here at HHNU is ‘when is Jack coming back?’. The mischievous clown has been appearing on and off at HHN for over 20 years and he is the icon that everybody loves to see.

And every single year we get a little bit of hype that he might be appearing. For example, fans got very excited a few years ago when deep in the website code it had ‘Jack.jpeg’ which was later found to be Jack from The Shining.

But this year we *could* see him guest star for a limited period. That’s if Universal does a repeat of HHN19. That year was the year of The Usher and it was right before the big anniversary year of HHN20.

HHN20 was a big deal and it saw all the past icons (sans Bloody Mary) gather to reveal who their real puppet master was: Fear. But in order to hype up the anniversary event for HHN20 they added a scarezone right at the end of HHN19’s run to act as a preview for the big year to come.

The Scarezone was called Shadows of the Past and it was presented in the Sting Alley. The sets were lightly themed and gallons of dry ice were deployed to hide the shadows lurking in the fog.

These shadows included:

• The Caretaker (2002’s Halloween Horror Nights: Islands of Fear)

• The Director (2003’s Halloween Horror Nights 13)

• Eddie Schmidt (2001’s Halloween Horror Nights XI)

• Terra Queen (2005’s Halloween Horror Nights: Tales of Terror)

• The Gentlemen (2005’s Halloween Horror Nights: Tales of Terror)

• Nightmare (2002’s Halloween Horror Nights: Islands of Fear)

• Jack the Clown (2000’s Halloween Horror Nights X)

• The Usher

• Jason Voorhees (2007’s Halloween Horror Nights: Carnival of Carnage)

• Alice from Wonderland

Photos are below

It was a great end of season run teaser for the anniversary event coming for their 20th. But that’s not the only time Universal has done this…

HHN25 was also a big anniversary year and it saw the triumphant return of Jack and Chance back together again. That’s why at the very end of HHN24 Universal projected a video on walls in the lines to select houses that teased a Jack like figure lurking in the shadows. The same video was released the day after the end of HHN24 to tease the coming HHN25 via their official YouTube.

So there you have it, with HHN30 right around the corner, who knows if they’ll tease a bit of Jack for HHN29?

And remember this is just history and speculation, nothing is confirmed until Universal confirms it!

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!

 

The Nightingales Return!

They’re back baby!

Imagine yourself transported back to Ancient Rome where a ruthless emperor reigns and gladiatorial games are put on for bloody entertainment. Add in bloodthirsty creatures and you’ll find yourself in the middle of Nightingales: Blood Pit – an all-new haunted house at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando.

Here’s what you need to know about the next chapter in this fan-favorite original storyline of the nightingales…

Story

Ancient Rome is suffering its worst drought in centuries. The ruthless emperor has declared the gladiatorial games to continue nonstop until the rains return. The gruesome bloodshed of the games is horrifying enough, but then come the creatures.

The Nightingales

As the blood soaks into the earth, the nightingales feed on the dead and dying. The nightingales are a grisly race of creatures that have been here since the dawn of time. You may think you’re familiar with their past feeding frenzies, but you haven’t seen them like this. You’ll try to survive alongside the gladiators as the ravenous nightingales tear into their victims and notice that fresh blood has come into their midst…

How do you feel about the Nightingales from HHN21 returning? Let us know in the comments!

A New HHN Hangout Opens: The Horror Store

This week Universal Orlando has opened a great new ‘haunt’ for us HHN fReAkS to lurk in year round!

The Horror Store has just opened in the old Terminator gift store on Hollywood Blvd. And it is a must do for HHN fans as woven into the decorations of the building are not only excellent props and set pieces from Universal Monster movies but also cameos from past HHN houses, including HHN Bear! Here’s the pictures:

Let us know in the comments if you’ll be dropping some 💰 💰 here!

Rumor: Warner’s are back? + More Rumors!

It was with a glimmer of hope yesterday that HHN fans saw the demise of Warner Bros’ Horror Made Here event at Burbank.  Not because of some trivial or tribal loyalty to HHN but because the event was the likely reason behind the limiting of horror properties being licensed to HHN for potential houses back in 2018.

But with the announcement yesterday of no Horror Made Here for 2019 it gives fans hope that Warners will now instead begin releasing their properties to Universal for HHN use.  In fact, it goes deeper that one insider at WB has tipped us that Horror Made Here may never return to Burbank, and the possible reason?  Money.

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Warners, via their parent company AT&T, recently released their quarterly report for their businesses.  The report is VAST and reflects on the business performance of the past 3 months, which would include the Horror Made Here event.

The report discusses the effective increase of licensing across WB for all manner of things, from posters to popsicles, and it has remained largely flat within the business that handles licensing for their horror properties.  Why could this be?  Well it might due to them not licensing their properties to Universal for HHN and instead doing their own Horror Made Here event.  For which the business that handles the tours of the Burbank (the business unit that handled their Halloween event) was also reportedly flat in sales too; which might suggest why the event is not returning!

So if Warners can make more money licensing to Universal than running their own event, it would be silly for them to keep their IPs away from HHN!  In short, it would appear that Warners properties are very much back in contention for HHN29 and possibly for HHN30 and beyond!

So onto the house rumors

Our old pal the Ifrit has been up to his old tricks again!  The above was tweeted out today and reads in Italian ‘All roads lead to Rome‘.  So what is he referring to?  We surely don’t know yet, however we have been tipped by a few peeps in the know that this could be tied to an original house that is thought to be in construction based on the last days of Rome.  An ancient Rome house perhaps?  Think togas, stonework, curses and even lava zombies?  Well Jason did warn us last year…

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

So there you have it, two awesome rumors for your Thursday!  Let us know in the comments whether you heard anything too and what you think on the Ancient Rome rumor!

Warner Bros ARE licensing their properties somewhere…

So yesterday we had word that Warner Bros will not be holding their annual Halloween event Horror Made Here in 2019. They also suggested that it is likely to return in the future, possibly for 2020.

Fans immediately started speculating that this decision by Warner’s to not use their vast horror library this year *could* mean that Universal could use them for HHN. We’ll surely find out over the next few months as and when Universal announce their upcoming houses.

But for fans that can’t wait to dive into some horror goodness, it was announced last week that a special new form of horror attraction has opened up in LA.

I Like Scary Movies has opened this month and it exclusively contains a number of Warner Bros movies! Here’s what the site says:

I Like Scary Movies is the experience that all scary movie fans have been dreaming of! A groundbreaking immersive art installation that is a true celebration of some of the most beloved horror films. This is a unique opportunity for fans to interact and enjoy the films that they love in a completely new way with amazing photo opportunities to share with their friends.

Come play with us! We will take you back to THE SHINING™, where you can “sink” into the infamous carpet from the Overlook hotel. Then wander through Beetlejuice’s graveyard on your way to the Netherworld Waiting Room. Feel the fear as you enter Freddy’s boiler room from A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET™. Revisit THE LOST BOYS™ on your way to Pennywise’s lair. After all, we all float down here. When you visit I Like Scary Movies, you enter a multisensory experience where you can see, hear, feel and smell the environment. Don’t miss out on the first stop of our tour, opening April 2019 in Los Angeles!

Rather than recreate the movies like for like or staff them with scareactors, the attraction provides a series of reimaginings of famous scenes for guests to explore.

So this begs the question, if this attraction can use Warner Bros properties then why can’t Universal use them for HHN29?

It’s an interesting thought…

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Tickets are available here for I Like Scary Movies.

Rumor: Warner Bros Properties Back On?

Possibly great news has hit the HHNU offices this afternoon. After weeks of chasing their PR team at Warner Bro’s they have finally confirmed that they are NOT doing their own Halloween event this year as they are “taking a break”.

So why is this good news? Well if Warner aren’t using their properties could Universal step in and use them under license?

Possibly properties are well known, from Freddy and Jason to Pennywise the Clown or even the Joker!

So could these come to HHN29? Well Murdy posted a very cryptic clue last week:

An IP holder that no one thinks is on, say like Warner Bros….? Now there’s some interesting speculation!

Remember, these are just rumors until Universal confirms!

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!!