Is Universal Trying to Bring Doctor Who to HHN or the Wider Resort?

It’s a bold question but is Universal trying to bring Doctor Who to HHN?  We thought we would investigate to see if we can dig an answer up…

It’s all about licensing these days.  Whether you’re a Funko pop provider or a lunch box maker, licensing other peoples IPs for your product is a very lengthy and complex process, often taking years, even decades to complete.

Both The Exorcist and The Shining for their part in years’ past HHN both took many years of negotiation, sign-off, approval and design before the owners of these properties allowed their characters, sets and stories to be used for HHN.  Pepper into the mix the duration it took for Harry Potter to come to IOA or even how long Avatar took before it *finally* opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

But why Doctor Who?

The British TV series has been airing in the UK and around since 1963 with well over a dozen different actors taking on the eponymous character.  It has a following in the US and UK, though I would speculate that it is not in the same leagues as other big sci-fi fandoms such as Trek or Wars; however, it is a known brand and is well-liked, if not well followed.

We also know that many of the higher-ups at Universal love this property.  Former Head Honcho of HHN Mike Aiello expressed his love for the show on the ScareZone Podcast back in 2016, you can listen here.  When asked which show would be very, very hard to bring to HHN but one you would love to see, he answered: Doctor Who.

We do also know that the BBC, who own the rights to the time-travelling show, are not so easy to obtain permission from.  We recently reached out to the BBC and they told us:

The producer shall be in control of licensing the rights in their content which are primarily and directly designed to generate secondary commercial revenues, subject to:

a) a period of exclusivity in favour of the BBC which is sufficient for the BBC to deliver its audience promise;

AKA, the BBC would want to test the water first with the use of their characters and shows in their own uses first.  Which would suggest that they would want to see their own theme parks and experiences developed first before they ever reach out and license these to other companies.  To my knowledge, there aren’t any current running theme park productions out there but that doesn’t mean they’re not being worked on.  The rumored “Disneyland of Kent” is rumored to contain BBC properties but its construction has been long delayed.

b) certain provisions to protect the value of the BBC’s licence, reputation, and the investment it has made into the content and the content’s brand; and

Typical with all licensing agreements as they would want to protect their brand and ensure it is not exploited in an inappropriate manner.  This is settled by very long design meetings to ensure that every last detail is ironed out before it is released.

c) an appropriate share of revenue payable to the BBC.

Finances to be agreed etc.

d) the BBC recognises that other stakeholders (for example the producer itself and any commercial distributors) may have invested in the content.

Fairly standard wording for any contract, to ensure “open-book” and collaborative working is inspired.

When we reached out to the BBC they neither confirmed nor denied whether any attempts from Universal, NBC, or Comcast have been made to obtain the rights to the show.  However, in the UK, if you are not satisfied with the response, you can launch a “Freedom of Information Request” and should you provide the information needed to obtain such a request, you can obtain information from any organization that is publically run, such as the BBC.

We did this, waited a number of weeks and this was the response:

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As you can see, they said such matters are handled with the number of profit-making subsidiaries as listed above.  The one that would handle such negotiations (should they exist) would be BBC Studios Ltd, and as they are a private company they are not subject to this informational releasing law.  That being said, it gives us no confirmation as to whether any discussions have ever been held but it does show us that such programs are routinely being explored for future use at prestigious outlets such as Universal.  The company accounts for the period show that:

“various BBC owned properties are being discussed for licensing of experiential events and attractions.”

Could the good Doctor be one of them?

Only time will tell whether we will ever see the Timelord make an appearance at HHN or even Universal Orlando Resort.  What with Comcast’s dedication to using their own properties, it might be that such IPs are never realized in the future of Universal Orlando but should any discussions be found or even leaked we will be sure to let you know first!

We’re always on the case, though for this fan speculation we will mark it into the very, very, very unlikely category!

Would you like to see this BBC property or any other BBC property at Univeral Orlando?  Let us know in the comments!

Remember: all speculations (such as this) and rumor are just that and nothing is confirmed until Universal says officially.

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Universal accidentally announces first house for 2020

Universal Studios in Hollywood have accidentally-on-purpose announced their first maze/house for 2020.

In a press release for the upcoming closure of their full-time The Walking Dead attraction they announced that the TV show would return this fall as a maze for HHN Hollywood. Here’s the sentence buried in the text:

“We look forward to the return of ‘The Walking Dead’ as a focal point in our slate of Halloween Horror Nights mazes this fall.”

This has to be the first time this has happened? And as hilarious as it may sound, it does give fans of the show something to look forward to even though the full-time attraction is going away!

Going to HHN Hollywood this year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

The original story can be read here.

Rumor: Could the Fool be Coming on April Fools?

We love some statistical analysis when it comes to HHN rumors and none can be more interesting than our current rumor, awesomely sent in by our pal The Web Master; for whom has also started his own podcast which you can find here.

He writes:

I think I’ve discovered something in the numbers again!
First HHN 2019 announcement made was on March 27, which was 163 days before event.
First HHN 2018 announcement made was on April 3rd, which was 164 days before event.

Therefore, if Universal follow this pattern and we apply it to announced dates for HHN30, this would mean the big first announcement will be on April 1st, April Fools Day!

Which surely would be mean one thing…  either some twist is happening to the storyline (because that’s tradition on April Fools Day) or it could mean that Jack could be announced on that day.

Why a Fool?

The online dictionaries provide some EXCELLENT definitions of what a fool can be…

1: a son lacking in judgment or prudence ‘Only a fool would ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet.’
2 : a retainer formerly kept in great households to provide casual entertainment and commonly dressed in motley with cap, bells, and bauble
3 : one who is victimized or made to appear foolish
4 : a deranged person or one lacking in common powers of understanding
5 : one with a marked propensity or fondness for something ‘a dancing fool a fool for candy’
6 : a clown like person

A “deranged” person, someone who is dressed for people’s entertainment, a clown like person; does this remind you of anyone?

Great information The Web Master!  And thank you for sending it in!

So there you have it: Could this be the first big announcement day?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

And remember, nothing is fact until Universal confirms otherwise – this is just a speculative rumor!

U.K. HHN Tickets NOW on SALE with SPECIAL OFFER

It can be said that in recent times tickets for HHN have weirdly gone on sale in the U.K. first long before any other country – including the very country that hosts both Orlando and Hollywood HHNs! Here’s the details:

What’s on sale?

The tickets for British guests are now on sale here.

What are they selling?

Currently they have the BOGO offer on their site which has been popular with a number guests.

BOGO: £70 per person, buy one night and get a second free (excludes Saturdays)

Single Night Admission: £70 per person and it excludes Saturdays

Frequent Fear Plus: £84 per person and allows unlimited access to HHN on the following nights:

September 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 23, 24, 25, 27, 30

October 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 14, 15, 16, 18, 21, 22, 23, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

November 1.

Why does this happen?

Nobody knows for sure but typically British people vacation for longer and they often plan well in advance of their travel days, so offering these tickets early should drive sales.

Why is this significant?

Because it shows the BOGO and Frequent Fear passes are back but the main reason that this is interesting is (other than if you’re British you can buy your tickets now!) because it means the US tickets will go on sale soon!

So there you have it, if you’re British go get your tickets now!

Possible Announcement Date Released + New Universal Convention

Have you ever been to D23?  It’s the largest world gathering of Disney fans and it is Disney’s own version of Comic-Con where all the latest announcements for Disney movies, TV, parks, merch etc are released.  This is combined with special experiences, celebrity surprises, and shopping opportunities.

The Disney company has got so big that it needed a large outlet such as D23 to be created to allow it full media coverage of what it has coming soon.  But Disney isn’t the only media conglomerate that has been rapidly expanding…

Introducing Peacock Live, the very first NBC Universal fan experience that is going to give D23 a run for its money!  Using a similar format of exclusive experiences, celebrity appearances, and convention type panels, the folks at NBC Universal are bringing a whole host of different panels, with three that are set to “blow theme park fans minds”.

These three panels are:

Universal Parks & Resorts Global Preview – Peacock Live! guests will get an exclusive first-look at the exciting new experiences coming to the Universal Parks & Resorts theme parks around the world.

The Making of a Theme Park Attraction – How does a global blockbuster film franchise like “Jurassic World” become a mega-hit theme park thrill ride? Guests will have a chance to hear first-hand from the creative minds at Universal theme parks around the globe responsible for bringing favorite films from the silver screen to groundbreaking, next-generation thrill rides.

Halloween Horror Nights – Get insight from the global teams behind the world’s most successful Halloween event, and how they collaborate with filmmakers to bring iconic horror films to life as interactive, dimensional haunted houses and mazes.

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(c) copyright NBC Universal

Universal hasn’t said whether we will get an announcement for HHN30 at the panel but if D23 is anything to go by, where some park announcements from the 2019 event are plugging attractions that won’t be open for another 2 to 3 years, it is a sure-fire bet that something big and interesting will be announced at this new exclusive event!

Peacock Live! is a first-ever fan festival showcasing the best of NBCUniversal’s past, present and future. Taking place March 28-29 2020 on the legendary Universal Studios backlot, Peacock Live! will give fans insider access to the latest and greatest film, television, sports, lifestyle and theme park experiences only from NBCUniversal.

To get your tickets for this event go here now.

It will be cool if they use this new event to promote HHN and especially if it leads to more behind-the-scenes type info being displayed.  Are you excited for the event?  And will you be going?  Let us know in the comments!

 

Episode 8: JAWS Designer & JAWS 3D Director Joe Alves with Designing JAWS Author Dennis L Prince

Join us for more spooky fun as we chat to legendary production designer Joe Alves on his extensive Hollywood career of working for both Walt Disney and Alfred Hitchcock, and how these early engagements informed his work to design JAWS! We also bust the myth that the shark didn’t work! Plus author of Designing JAWS Dennis L Prince joins us to discuss how the book came together.

Get your copy here: https://amzn.to/2Uhm4tK

Starring Christopher Ripley, Boston White aka Amanda and The Spooky Voice Guy. Producer: The Amazing Aaron Adams.

This podcast is apart of the After Dark Podcast Network, HHNUnofficial.com and Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast https://anchor.fm/app

Available on all good podcast apps or right here on Apple iTunes

Is Mardi Gras becoming a version of HHN?

Disney runs seasonal events all year long at Epcot. The success of their International Food and Wine Festival over the last 20 years has seen their event not only be extended into neighboring months but also with all new festivals being added in the spring and Christmas periods which are almost like diet versions of their huge popular fall festival.

So it was only a matter of time that Universal would take it’s popular event and extend it into the neighboring months of September and October. With HHN30 running from Sept 10 through Saturday, October 31. What was a three night event in 1990 is now a 39 night by 2020!

Whereas Epcot has just repackaged their Food and Wine Festival and held it at different times throughout the year, it would be quite different to do that with HHN and near impossible.

That’s why it was not so surprising that Mardi Gras this year at Universal Orlando has gone a little bit HHNish…

Running from Feb 1 to Apr 2, the event is now in its 25th edition at the park.

And not only are there parades, live music, speciality foods and beverages, VIP experiences but also a Tribute Store which is, to be fair, a little bit spooky!

The Tribute Store became a regular fixture at HHN in 2015 and it will now debut at Mardi Gras selling a range of themed merch for party goers. See below!

All these experiences and add-ons are very similar to HHN but without a haunted house thrown in we can categorically say that this event is NOT like HHN and it should be experienced!

The event changes each week with different experiences, live acts and foods appearing each week.

Be sure to check Universal’s official site to get your tickets to this exclusive party. So throw me some beads and I’ll see you in the Mardi Gras fog!

Will you be going to Mardi Gras this year? Let us know in the comments!

Rumor: Why people are saying Billie Eilish is coming to HHN?

We’re not sure where it started, but HHN fans are speculating that Billie Eilish – who won BIG at the Grammy’s last night and for whom has just been given the prestigious gig to write and perform the next James Bond anthem – is possibly coming to HHN30 in some form.

It sounds really far fetched that this brand new global superstar will be coming to our Halloween event, that is, until you look at how this might be coming about.

1. She already works with Universal

Since 2018 she has been tied to Universal’s Music Group.  She was signed at the tender age of just 16 and within 3 years she is now a global superstar with a string of highly popular hits.  Therefore, depending on her contract terms, she could easily employ her music mastery for other companies within the Universal empire.

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2. Her Music is Popular and Would Fit HHN

Her song “Bury a Friend” imparticular has been cited as a possible use for HHN.  Murdy from HHN Hollywood also mentioned in a tweet in 2019 that he loved her work and that a “collaboration” would be “very interesting”.

3. Not Just Houses…

Her style of music and her performances could easily be worked into an epic Lagoon Show.  Last year’s debut of “Marathon of Mayhem” was incredibly popular and her music worked to fountains, fireworks, projections and lasers would be amazing if possible.

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(c) copyright of Daily Mail

4. She’s a HUGE HHN Fan!

We have it on good authority that she ADORES HHN and is a regular visitor to the Hollywood edition of the event.  Having a quick google search it can be said she has been to HHN in 2019 and 2018 on various RIP Tours, even once with HHN Super Fan – Demi Lovato!

5. HHN has Experience of Working with Musicians

Whether it’s Slash, Ozzy, Zombie or Alice Cooper, HHN has worked with some of the biggest names of Rock to provide music for houses, create their own houses and other attractions at the seasonal event.  Therefore, working with a musician that is already on your books (par say) should be relatively easy for them?

So there you have it, this is what the interwebs have been discussing all week on certain HHN corners.  Do we believe it?  Well, we’d say it’s FAR into the rumor category for now! 

Let’s just hope that an announcement is forthcoming soon so we have something more concrete to discuss!  But what do you think?  Let us know in the comments!

REMEMBER: THIS IS JUST RUMOR UNTIL UNIVERSAL SAYS OTHERWISE!

This article was provided by Brian at Skywalking Adventures!

Rumor: Bill & Ted Returning?

Speculation is reaching a fever pitch that the bodacious duo of dudes Bill & Ted might return for the 30th anniversary of HHN this September.  As you will recall, Bill & Ted gave their last Excellent Halloween Adventure Show in 2017 with a “farewell tour” bringing classic characters from their lengthly past back for one final show.

“Dudes, you’re history”! was the final cry on the final night, but speculation has been rife that a potential return of the dudes could be on the cards for HHN30, let us explain…

A Movie…

Bill & Ted have a glorious new movie being released in 2020, in fact, it is being released just days before HHN30 on August 21.  Bill & Ted Face the Music, starring the original duo of Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter will see the pair back for one further “triumphant” instalment of their classic time-travelling franchise.  And what better way is there for the movie to be cross-marketed but with a tie-in with the sure to be a huge year of HHN30.  After all, the pair is perhaps as well known for being at HHN as they are for their movies from 30 years ago, therefore their presence runs deep in the DNA of the HHN event.

Unofficial Fan Meetups…

In 2017 and again in 2018 a group of fans met up to have their own Bill & Ted fest in Orlando.  Missing the show at the event so much, they decided to hold their own gathering to celebrate the news that the old franchise was once again releasing a new movie for 2020.  If anything, this is where the rumors for HHN30 began!  Check out this interesting article by our pal Seth Kubersky on why HHN30 makes sense for a return of the popular show.

Surveys…

On both exit surveys from 2019 (where people with clipboards ask your opinion about the event as you exit the turnstiles) and from a number of select online surveys, Universal has apparently been asking the public about whether they felt Bill & Ted was missed at the event in HHN29.  So why would they potentially be asking this question?

Licensing…

The production company for the new movie have already licensed their image, story, logo etc to a whole swathe of upcoming products.  Announced and/or rumored products for 2020 with the duo include Bill & Ted’s Riff in Time board game, Wyld Stallyns apparel line, special edition Funko Pops, pins, and more!  Universal never formally announced the reason behind the dropping of the duo (though many conspiracy theories abound, though the B&T creators confirmed it was not their decision – see below), but if it was due to licensing it would suggest that with such an increase in openings for B&T licenses, might Universal be able to negotiate a licensed return for HHN30?

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Courtesy of Logan Sekulow

Movements…

Firmly in the rumor portion of this article is that apparently Operations staff have been told to plan around not using the Fear Factor Show Stage for any dancing performances for the Academy of Villains this year and that a rumored temporary stage is to be fitted in the park somewhere.  There’s no confirmation that AoV are even returning, it’s all just rumors that are popping up on a number of fan forums.  So if true, the stage would be free for B&T use or even for something else…

So there you have it.  It’s just speculation at this point.  Some people would love to have B&T back whereas others feel the event has moved on and doesn’t require them anymore. 

But what do you think?  Will they ever return?  Will you welcome that?  Let us know in the comments!

REMEMBER: EVERYTHING IS RUMOR UNTIL UNIVERSAL SAYS OTHERWISE

The Halloween Half Hour: Episode 7 – BBC/Netflix’s Dracula with Series Actor Tim Ingall

Join us for more spooky fun as we get all bloodthirsty and deep dive into the brand new adaptation of Dracula with actor Tim Ingall who plays Krasnaya Rubashka in episode 2!

We also have our spooky news roundup and discuss what horror-filled Christmas presents we received.

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

Producer: The Amazing Aaron Adams.

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

This episode is also sponsored by Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast today at https://anchor.fm/app

Apple podcast link HERE

Other podcast apps including Spotify HERE