ORLANDO, Fla. - The blood-curdling screams are back at Universal Orlando: Halloween Horror Nights kicked off on Friday.
After skipping the event in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Universal promises this year’s horror fest, now in its 30th year, will more than make up for lost time.
If you’ve ever been to Halloween Horror Nights in the past, you know that NOWHERE is safe while making your way from one haunted house to the next. This year, you’ve got 10 houses to try and get to – with frights lurking around every corner.
- Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House: Based on the Netflix series, 'The Haunting of Hill House,' this maze takes guests on the dark journey that the Crain family experienced in the show. Iconic scenes will be brought to life, including the Red Room and the Hall of Statues. Guests must escape the home before falling victim to it.
- Beetlejuice: Beetlejuice was actually the first "ghost host" of Halloween Horror Nights in 1991, when it was called ‘Fright Nights.’ Since this is a milestone year (or maybe someone said Beetlejuice 3 times), it’s only fitting that ‘The Ghost with the Most’ is back in a maze inspired by the 1988 film. Guests will move through iconic scenes, facing the film's characters and the Maitland home’s haunted attic, model graveyard, and Dante’s Inferno Room.
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Inspired by the 1974 slasher film ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,’ guests will attempt to outrun Leatherface and his chainsaw while moving through scenes from the film.
- Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives: This maze picks up where the 1935 classic film left off – with the bride becoming a scientist and starting her mission to revive Frankenstein's Monster. Guests will be entwined in her battle to find eternal life.
- Halloween Horror Nights Icons: Captured: Halloween Horror Night has been hosted by numerous icons throughout the last 30 years -- and they will join together for this haunted house, displaying horrifying moments from event legends like ‘The Caretaker,’ ‘The Director,’ ‘The Usher,’ ‘The Storyteller,' 'Jack the Clown,' 'Chance,’ and more.
- Welcome to SCarey: Horror in the Heartland: Carey, a town featured in previous Halloween Horror Nights events, will come back in this maze. There will be a combination of stories that pay homage to the town’s history. For example, vampires from ‘The Hive,’ the decrepit from ‘Dead End,’ and characters from ‘Leave it to Cleaver’ will return.
- Case Files Unearthed: Legendary Truth: Legendary Truth is another story from Halloween Horror Night’s past. This year, guests will step into the shoes of private eye Boris Shuster as he searches for clues to a series of strange occurrences in New York City. Along the way, there will be ghouls, poltergeists, and other terrors.
- The Wicked Growth: Realm of the Pumpkin: The Pumpkin Lord will welcome guests into a maze of traditional Halloween domains, including a haunted house, a graveyard, and a witch’s cottage — all overrun by ghastly pumpkin growth.
- Puppet Theatre: Captive Audience: Guests will find themselves in a theatre located in early 1900’s San Francisco. Pasek’s Puppet Troupe will be practicing for their next performance when they spot guests "trespassing" into the theater. They must escape or face being turned into life-sized marionettes.
- Revenge of the Tooth Fairy: Guests will uncover the darker ritual behind the childhood tradition. Evil creatures will greet them and attempt to extract their teeth by force.
Revenge of the Tooth Fairy at Universal's Halloween Horror Nights (Photo from Universal Orlando Resort)
The Haunting on Hill House
- Crypt TV: Based on the show ‘Crypt TV,’ this scare zone will have guests come face-to-face with monsters that have overtaken San Francisco. They include, ‘Look-See,’ the ‘Sunny Family Cult,’ ‘Harclaw,’ and ‘Miss Annity.’
- 30 Years, 30 Fears: Legendary characters from past Halloween Horror Night events will take over the Avenue of the Stars for a reunion of creatures, monsters, and chainsaw-wielding fields.
- Seek and Destroy: In this scare zone, guests will find themselves in a New York dystopia where an alien cyber regime, led by ‘The Controller,’ has taken over and is scanning the city for humans and turning them into fuel.
- Gorewood Forest: The Terra Queen returns as she takes root in Central Park, transforming it into the ‘Gorewood Forest.’ Guests will have nowhere to hide from her minions, who look to harvest fresh blood for the Queen to feed on.
- Lights, Camera, Hacktion: Eddie's Revenge: Jack the Clown’s brother, Eddie Schmidt, will return to Halloween Horror Nights to film a gory Hollywood sequel featuring real monsters, vampires, evil clowns, creatures, and other horrific beings from the event’s past.
Photo from Universal Parks News Today
Take a break from awkwardly holding on to the stranger in front of you in the haunted houses and enjoy 2 all-new live shows:
- Marathon of Mayhem: Carnage Factory: This is an all-new show on Universal Studios' lagoon that features ‘Jack the Clown,’ icons from Halloween Horror Night’s past, and frightening scenes from films and series like ‘The Haunting of Hill House, ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,’ Universal Monster classics, and more.
- Halloween Nightmare Fuel: Nocturnal creatures, aerialists, and fire performers reportedly join together for a performance set to the beat of rock, metal, and electronic music.
You will need a ticket separate from daytime admission to attend Halloween Horror Nights. Single-night tickets are on sale and begin at $70.99. Prices fluctuate based on the date you attend.
HAPPY HAUNTING TIPS
You’re ready to go, but here are a few tips that could help you have a better experience:
- Get there early: The event starts at 6:30 p.m. It’s probably best to be there at least an hour ahead of time. In the past, Universal has been known to open the gates early so you could get to a few houses before the rush starts.
- Stay hydrated: It’s going to HOT so be sure to have water on you at all times.
- Have a plan: Universal has released its Halloween Horror Nights 30 map laying out where each house, scare zone, and attraction is. You can download it HERE and plan your night ahead of time.
- Press the red buttons: According to Theme Park Hipster, you may see a red button – or any interactive button -- in some of the haunted houses. Press it for a special surprise.
- Buy tickets in advance: You’ll be waiting in line enough at the houses – why wait in another line to buy your ticket?
- How to get discounts: Typically during the last hour of the last night of HHN, the merchandise gets put on sale so you can score some spooky goodies for less!
- ‘Secret’ bathroom: This one is especially for the ladies because the lines are always so long! If you go inside Monsters Cafe, there is a restroom that is typically not nearly as busy as the others.
Halloween Horror Nights runs through Oct. 31.
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