Posts Tagged ‘Universal Studios’

It’s getting to that time of year again guys when the Haunt season rolls in and everybody is starting to prepare for Halloween Horror Nights! The following are some random tips for anyone travelling to the event this year! Feel free to leave any other tips etc that you may think of in the comments below!

Thanks guys!

When should I go?

Any night in September is good. The later you go in Fall, the busier it will be. Saturdays are the busiest days of the week, followed by Friday. You should avoid the week before Halloween at all costs. November 1st is the last night of the event, and the crowds return to September levels, if that.

Is an Express Pass worth it?

It fluctuates in price each night. Some nights you would be paying as much as a regular admission. I’d consider buying one if 5/8 of the houses exceed a 90 minute wait time. So, in summary, get one on Fridays and Saturdays between Oct. 15-31.

Other Tips and Tricks

*The first and last Bill and Ted show each night are the least crowded

*Start your house from the back of the park and make your way to the front of the park as the night progresses.

*HHN is at its peak capacity around 10:30. Guests start to leave after then. Get into the park as close to the opening as you can.

*Talk to strangers. It helps distract you from the lines you’re waiting in.

I usually bring a backpack filled with the following items:

  • Poncho – Probably the most important item in my backpack. I recall one night where it rained literally all night. My girlfriend and I were soaked from head to toe. Then we bought ponchos. It at least keeps the rain off of your clothes. The downside to a poncho is that it gets pretty humid inside of it due to your body heat and the rain.
  • Small Umbrella – If you have the poncho, you’re probably ok. I bring a small umbrella just in case I don’t feel like wearing a poncho and the rain isn’t that bad.
  • Extra Socks/Shoes – This is only if you anticipate the rain is going to be bad. Usually when it rains, the lines for the houses get filled with huge puddles of water. Then you’re going to step in those big puddles and have wet shoes and socks. Then you’re going to hate your life.
  • Handheld game – Lines are long, and waiting in line staring at the drunk guy who took his shirt off and is singing Lady Gaga is only funny for the first 10 minutes, then it’s just sad and kinda creepy. Therefore, I usually bring my Nintendo DS and I’m distracted long enough to not notice the 2 hour wait times on each of the houses.

The backpack in itself is a great thing to bring because it can hold anything you buy during the event. You will have to open your backpack at the checkpoint to City Walk as well as the entrance to Universal. To make this as smooth and as easy as possible, I put together the following tips.

Things to not bring:

  • Weapons/anything that could be considered a weapon – You are going to have to pass through a metal detector when you come in the park. Don’t bring pocket knives, bottle openers, kendo sticks, or anything else that could be considered a weapon. Otherwise you’ll get it taken away and may not be let in.
  • Pens/Markers – I experienced this last year. I had just come from school so I had some Micron Pens in my backpack. The security pulled me to the side and told me that pens/markers weren’t allowed in the park. They took them, gave me a slip of paper and told me I could pick them up when I left the park. I don’t know what damage I could do with a Micron Pen, but it happened.
  • Alcohol – Alcohol in the park is expensive. I know your friends have done it and gotten away with it, so you’re going to try it. Don’t try and sneak alcohol in. They’ll just make you throw it away. And they won’t let you finish it off either.
  • Masks/Costumes – Just don’t bring these. The scareactors are here to scare people, not you. Which leads me to my next point…

Tips for not being an a-hole at Halloween Horror Nights:

  • Don’t attempt to scare/mess with the scareactors. This is probably the thing I see most from middle schoolers that got dropped off at the park by their moms. They want to look cool and mess with the scareactors. They try to sneak up on them in the streets and scare them from behind. Well it’s not cool, it’s rude and ruins things for the rest of us. This also goes for the houses. Don’t attempt to go into the actor’s boo-holes. Just walk through the house and experience it.
  • Don’t hound the scareactors for pictures. Sure, some will take pictures with you, but they’re here to scare people, not to take a selfie with you on Instagram.
  • Don’t blame the workers for long lines. Treat them with respect. They are just trying to work and put on this great yearly event for us.
  • Don’t touch anything in the houses. The creative team spent tons of time on these houses in making them extremely detailed. There are always drunk people that wander in the houses and rip stuff off of a table in a room. Just look around and experience it. No touchy.
  • Don’t smoke in line. This is probably the most annoying thing ever. Standing behind a guy for 2 hours who is chain smoking. Not only is it inconsiderate, but it can also get you kicked out of line. Universal has designated smoking areas for that.


On select nights September 19 – November 1, your worst nightmares will take shape as Universal Studios Florida® theme park is transformed into the award-winning Halloween Horror Nights®. See if you can survive all-new haunted houses, spine-chilling street experiences, outrageous live shows, and more. There’s no better way to “end” your day at Universal Orlando® than with the winner of Amusement Today’s “Best Halloween Event” Golden Ticket award.

Halloween Horror Nights annually draws hundreds of thousands of horror fans from around the globe. Tony Timpone, Editor of Fangoria Magazine, said, “After visiting scream parks all across the U.S. for the last 20 years, I can easily say that Universal’s is the best in the business… Halloween Horror Nights is the ultimate Halloween experience.”

After rave reviews from fans, Universal Orlando Resort is bringing back AMC’s “The Walking Dead” to Halloween Horror Nights for an unprecedented third consecutive year. Horror-hungry fans will experience an all-new terrifying maze inspired by Season 4 of the critically-acclaimed, Emmy Award®-winning television series.

This year’s bone-chilling maze will place guests at the heart of a harrowing journey to seek sanctuary at Terminus, an elusive destination that promises community for all. Mirroring the terror that befell the residents of the West Georgia Correctional Facility, now overrun by savage walkers, the experience will send guests fleeing from the fallen prison into unknown territory as they once again stage a desperate battle for survival against flesh-eating walkers and ruthless humans.

“The Walking Dead” is based on the graphic novel written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics. The series tells the story of the months and years after a zombie apocalypse.  It follows a group of survivors, led by sheriff Rick Grimes, who travel in search of a safe and secure home. “The Walking Dead” is the number-one show on television for adults 18-49.  AMC’s “The Walking Dead” returns for Season 5 this October.

“This has been an incredible collaboration and I am thrilled to be working once again with the creative teams at Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood to bring the world of ‘The Walking Dead’ to our dedicated fans,” said Greg Nicotero, Executive Producer and Special Effect Makeup Supervisor for the series.  “I can’t wait for visitors to experience first-hand some of the iconic moments from Season 4 in what will be the biggest, most exciting and frightening ‘Walking Dead’ maze to date.”

Check out what our good friend UKHHN, who is the world’s number 1 HHN updater had to say about the news of The Walking Dead’s return this Halloween…

Universal Orlando’s maze will be the largest maze ever created at Halloween Horror Nights. It is literally double the experience and will feature more scareactors in one single haunted house than ever before. Guests will encounter iconic scenes from Season 4 of the hit show – beginning at the prison, fans will enter the cell block where the infection began, escape into the massive Big Spot location with a crashed helicopter ripping through its ceiling and journey to the dilapidated country club overrun with walkers. These and other incredibly immersive environments culminate to the maze’s finale taking you to the End of the Line – Terminus. This year’s maze will be an entirely new experience, featuring never-before-seen walkers and brand new scares.

“Bringing a horror property back for a third year in a row is always a decision that is carefully considered. Fortunately, The Walking Dead is unlike any horror brand around. Its appeal spreads across so many types of viewers. Hardcore and casual horror fans alike are watching week after week, and season 4 offered many new and unique environments and walkers,” said Michael Aiello, Creative Development Director  for Universal Orlando’s Entertainment team. “This year, we are taking this partnership to the next level, with a monstrous soundstage maze and a scope that is bigger and badder than anything we’ve ever done in the history of our event.”

Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” events have a more than 20-year history of creating incredibly entertaining, horrifying Halloween experiences that are consistently rated the nation’s best. The event features highly-themed, disturbingly real, haunted mazes based on everything from films to nightmares – and streets filled with hundreds of specially trained “scareactors.”

With the most recent “Paranormal Activity” film having the softest opening weekend of the series, it might seem as if the franchise is on it’s last legs.  However, if the series should finally bring it’s long reign to an end, would the creators have an endgame in mind?

In an interview with Slash Film, director and writer Christopher Landon revealed that the series does indeed have a destination.

We’ve always been looking ahead. I’ll say this much. There is a very specific end goal and I’m hoping we have enough time in the franchise to get there. We have a really big idea that’s at the finish line but we need time to get there. So we’re hoping the fans keep coming back and allow us to get them there

Based on that wording, it doesn’t sound like the end will come this October when Paramount releases “Paranormal Activity 5″.  However, depending on how that film performs, they might be encouraged to wrap the story up sooner rather than later.

In the most  recent “Paranormal Activity” film, we got a taste of the extended universe and saw a bit more of what this franchise has to offer.  Did we, perhaps, get an idea of how the series will end? According to Landon, the seeds for the ending could have been planted as early as the first movie.

The beginning of that started in [the first film]. I don’t think Oren realized it then, because when he made the first movie it felt like a standalone movie, but then when we started making 2 and we started to see the potential and possibility there for a franchise, that’s when the real think tank element came in to play and we really started to throw out crazy ideas. Then, over the course of the last couple movies, we came to a really good, interesting place.

It’s anyones guess as to when this franchise will come to an end, but for fans of the series it’s a comforting thought to know that there’s some grand plan in work.  Whether or not it’ll be a satisfying conclusion remains to be seen, but if the most recent film is any indication, they’re willing to take some big risks with the franchise. And if anything, that’ll at least keep things fresh for now.

There is an Ending to the Paranormal Activity Series

Release Date Announced for The Purge 2

It was just a couple of weeks back that we received the official word that The Purge 2 was going ahead for Universal Pictures. Basically it was a no-brainer considering the box-office results, but then again, from what I’ve heard from many of you, the film just didn’t live up to the box-office hype.

So, the sequel. If you enjoyed the first are you stoked for a second round? I suggest you get that pen and paper ready as we can reveal that the film will hit this June 20, 2014.

Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Pictures will be producing alongside Platinum Dunes and Sebastian Lemercier.

James DeMonaco is said to be returning to write and direct The Purge 2.

AMC’s The Walking Dead returns to Halloween Horror Nights. Fans will have a chance to walk in the footsteps of human survivors as Universal debuts an all-new terrifying maze inspired by Season 3 of the critically-acclaimed, award-winning television series.

The eerily authentic and disturbingly real maze will place you at the heart of the show’s once impenetrable prison, the West Georgia Correctional Facility, now overrun by hordes of flesh-eating walkers. Then, cower through the walker-infested wilderness that surrounds the prison and into town of Woodbury, where gruesome secrets are concealed.

The Walking Dead are back not only in the streets this year, but also in another house. A fairly elaborate outdoor facade that features the arena, complete with the bleachers to watch the action and walkers on chains who are ready to fight (and bite), welcomes you to Woodbury.

This year’s house allows you to revisit some of the more memorable scenes (The Governor’s wall of walker heads in fish tanks, the prison cell block) from this season. (There’s also a guest activated scare. If you hear the phone ringing, pick it up… you never know who might be calling.) I think this house will be a hit with fans of the show, and I think in contrast to the streets, there is enough going on here to appease those who aren’t.

I really enjoyed this house so much as I am a huge Walking Dead fan but I hope that when I return to Halloween Horror Nights next year we aren’t treated to another version of the Walking Dead for at least another 2 seasons of the show. Overall awesome house!

Check the video out below for some sneaky pictures inside the maze…and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel for more HHN 23 videos and much more!


Scientists say different versions of a single gene linked to feelings of anxiety can explain the way in which some people simply cannot watch horror movies, while others enjoy the suspense and the gore.

The findings may explain why it is that over the past 35 years people have had wildly different reactions to the classic horror film, The Exorcist.

While many screamed and some even fainted in cinemas at scenes of spinning heads and shaking beds, others simply laughed.

A particular variant of the ‘COMT’ gene affects a chemical in the brain that is linked to anxiety, it has been found.

People who have two copies of one version of the gene are more easily disturbed when viewing unpleasant pictures, the scientists discovered.

That version of the gene weakens the effect of a signalling chemical in the brain that helps control certain emotions.

The scientists found that those carrying two copies of it were significantly more startled by frightening images than others.

By contrast, those who had one copy of the gene and one copy of another version were able to keep their emotions in check far more readily.

The study, published today in the scientific journal Behavioural Neuroscience, also found that those with two copies of the latter gene were also able to keep a lid on their anxiety more easily.

Researchers from the University of Bonn in Germany made the discovery after testing 96 women.

Then they showing them three different types of pictures – emotionally “pleasant” ones of smiling babies and cute animals, “neutral” ones of items like electric plugs or hairdryers, and “aversive” ones of weapons or injured victims.

The Exorcist was banned by some councils in Britain upon its release here in 1974, but broke box office records in the US to become the biggest selling horror movie of its day.

So what do you guys think? What does watching a scary movie do to you? Does it make you scared or make you laugh?

Do you enjoy the movie for the thrill or for the laughs? I know I have a little bit of both.. I love the suspense and then the laughter after you’ve been scared and I love being terrified! The creepier the better for me!

I am travelling to Orlando in two weeks for Universal Halloween Horror Nights 23 which will be my first trip to this event! I can’t wait to be in the middle of all the carnage but at the same time I feel a lot more on edge when I feel that I am in the middle of the movies!!

There is a huge difference in my eyes between watching a horror movie and then pretty much living several movies out in one night, but that the risk I am willing to take…while I will be scared during the walkthroughs(most likely screaming like a girl) when I emerge from the other end unharmed I will laugh for hours!

It’s the horror fan’s ultimate dream! Give me your thoughts on how horror movies effect you guys in the comments below!!



Though the major Halloween events in California seem to center around the big theme parks like Universal Studios and Knott’s Berry Farm, there’s one Halloween event that takes in the most unlikeliest of places.

The Dark Harbor is an intense Halloween attraction located in the historic and beautiful Queen Mary. Throughout the year it sets docked in the Long Beach harbor acting as popular tourist attraction and location for elegant events.  But during the month of October, that all gets tossed out the window and  the Queen is transformed into a horrifying ghost ship.

While I enjoy Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights for it’s spectacle and big name attractions, I have to say that  Dark Harbor is one of the scariest attractions in all of California.  This year they’ve already announced the mazes that will be featured at Dark Harbor, which you can read below, and they’re introducing a new character into the foray in the form of the “Ringmaster.”  Along with the new character comes a new sort of maze which centers around a dark and twisted circus.  Nightmarish clowns?  Sign me up!

  • CIRCUS– Come experience the horror under The Queen Mary’s very own big top tent inside the deadly dome, the heart of The Captain’s Carnival. Face your greatest fears as you find your way through disorienting illusions, fatally horrific magic and circus wonders never before imagined. Just watch your step – the Ringmaster is on the loose and could trap you eternally inside the circus of the dead.
  • DEADRISE-The wreckage of Deadrise has once again been called into service by The Captain to escort him and his army of super ghosts and monsters into a battle against the living to reclaim Dark Harbor. As you walk through the carnage of the maze, beware – the undead are ready to fight for your soul.
  • HELLFIRE– Enter if you dare, but consider yourself warned because once you enter this haunted inferno you’ll be dying to get out. And be sure to keep an eye out for Henry, who took the dare of a lifetime aboard the Queen Mary and never disembarked. His soul is trapped here at Dark Harbor, so he passes his time by playing tricks on the living, just when you think you know what to expect Henry will show up to turn things upside down.
  • SUBMERGED– Submerged will take your fears to a whole new level, as you try to escape from the sinking ship, you will find out that there’s more to be afraid of than just going to your watery grave. Graceful Gale has claimed the depths of submerged. Her beauty in life and in death keep the men lined up for a dance. But be warned, she not only captivates she also captures souls.  And be on the look out for Mary, who has haunted the Queen Mary ever since her horrible drowning in the poolroom over 50 years ago. Now she is passing her time in her playroom in our maze Submerged, just waiting for an eternal playmate…
  • CONTAINMENT– On a 1948 Atlantic voyage, Samuel was locked away in room B340 after a violent outburst. When the crew went to check on him, they found the room in disrepair and Samuel himself violently ripped apart and dead. Now his soul is held in Containment and he is fighting to escape. Sometimes it’s what you can’t see that you should be most afraid of. In Containment, your fear of the unknown will take you to the edge or terror and back.
  • THE VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED– Just because you’re not on the ship doesn’t mean that you’re not in harm’s way. One walk through Village of the Damned will have you running for your life. And be on the look out for the Captain, though he calls Deadrise home, he tends to wonder about haunting all of Dark Harbor and The Queen Mary.

For more information on Dark Harbor and how you can attend, be sure to visit their site.  And be sure to check out the teaser video below.

John Landis’ classic 1981 An American Werewolf in London is coming to life this year at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 23…

Beginning September 20, guests will step inside the film and experience a retelling of the horror classic – from the attack on the English moors to the hospital nightmares to witnessing the bone-crunching transformation of David from human to bloodthirsty werewolf. Guests will encounter David’s vicious werewolf form as he wreaks bloody chaos through London’s subway tunnel, Piccadilly Circus and more.

It’s terrific that guests will be able to actually experience some of the scarier scenes from the film. I had fun working with the Universal team to bring one of my more insane movies to life,” said Landis

“An American Werewolf in London is a must-see for any true horror fan,” adds Mike Aiello, Creative Director for Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. “The haunted maze mirrors John Landis’ horrifying story and having him work with us in the creative process was really the only way this could authentically come to life.

The iconic film follows two American college students, Jack and David, as they backpack across the moors of England. On a misty, full-moon night, the men are attacked by a supernatural creature that kills Jack and taints David with its horrific curse. When the full moon rises again, the killing spree continues, and this time, the blood is on David’s hands.


Government experiments go wrong all the time right? But what happens when the job is done so well that when it’s over there is no off switch?! That was the idea behind the story for Havoc:Dog of War at Halloween Horror Nights 20. Super soldiers that went insane and turned on their creators. It was one of the favorites of that year. So, what happen’s when you get dogs of war under control? You send them on the longest train ride away from civilization. Right?

havoc2 hhn23

The government is trying to contain these lunatic’s and as always things don’t go as planned. The train derails and these goons are on the loose… what stops them from hurting people again? What stops them from hurting you??

Havoc: Derailed is an original house idea and is a sequel to Dogs of War. The story picks up after the train derails in the naturally threatening surrounding areas.

Here’s some info from the HHN Orlando twitter and Mike Aiello :

Havoc: Derailed takes place six weeks after the events of Dogs of War. At great loss, the government has gotten control of Shadow Creek Lab from the Dogs of War. The remaining DOW are being transported aboard a military convoy train to another facility. While on the train, Shadow Creek scientists were to continue experiments on the DOW subjects to see if they could be pacified. Six minutes into transport, all contact was lost.

The battle will begin in the claustrophobic confines of train cars…then derailment into an all out war amongst the twisted wreckage… – Mike Aiello, Universal Creative Director

I can’t wait for this house personally!! This is shaping up to be one of the best years of Halloween Horror Nights in a long time!!

Bring on September 30th when I make my long awaited journey to Orlando!

Stay tuned!!

What you do in the course of your life determines what happens to you in the afterlife. Well at least that’s the story that Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando is going with for their new house, Afterlife: Death’s Vengeance. The ghosts of a murderers past have come back to haunt him, even after he is already dead. This is Halloween Horror Nights darker take on a 3D house for HHN 23.

afterlife deaths vengeance

Afterlife:Deaths Vengeance tells the story of Bobby ‘The Blade’ Galleta, an insane serial killer who was sentenced to death. Unfortunately for him, death isn’t the escape he was expecting. He ends up in the middle of his own personal hell in the afterlife which is a direct consequence of his actions in real life. The maze takes place in the town of Carey,Ohio which is the setting of many of Halloween Horror Nights houses. Guests will start at the end of Bobby’s life with being hit with 2,000 volts of electricity on ‘Ole Sparky’.

Halloween Horror Nights has had a pretty good run with 3D houses in the past and this one will be the third time in a row for Universal. Previous houses include, The Inbetween in 2011 and last years amazing Penn and Teller Nuk’d Las Vegas. Apparently this years house however will take a dramatic turn from the usual genre with 3D mazes and takes a darker route. Instead of the guests looking at the tortured souls of a prison or investigating what happened, they are put into the shoes of the killer… and get to find out what happens when you are a sick killer who wreaks HAVOC!!!!!!

I quite like the sound of that actually, we’re starting with the death of Bobby “The Blade” and then going for a hellish ride to where either he’s getting vengeance or his victims are on him. Yep, I’m definitely intrigued by this . Where did the name of the town come from? Well, we’ve got an answer for that one as well!

“Carey is the hometown of someone on our team. It has picked years ago as just a throwaway location and has become our favorite setting!”

Now, some may wonder if this has any ties to the previous InBetween maze experience and we have answers on that as well. (Seriously, Mike is being awesome with all the questions he’s been getting).

“This will be in the vein of InBetween but more violent aesthetics [and] there are most definitely some InBetween homages… UV,Lasers, demonic souls… All wrapped in a brand new pulp type story… Very excited!”

Further elaborating on this, Mike and his crew apparently got a lot of the inspiration from Johnny Cash of all things (I can see that actually), “Listened to nothing but Cash while creating this maze with the team… This was so much fun. Honestly… Johnny Cash’s “there ain’t no grave” just set the tone. And pulp comics… Just provided the right mindset to write.”

This is the second house revealed from the Halloween Horror Nights reveal week with houses being announced at midnight every night this week! Can’t wait to see what tonight will bring… I have a feeling I know already! It’s a sequel apparently… and I think it may be a five letter word and the first letter is H… maybe I’m right maybe I’m wrong… let’s see at midnight tonight I guess… Stay tuned for more.

Check out the previous 3D houses from past events below :

Penn and Teller Nuk’d Las Vegas – Orlando – 2012

Alice Cooper Goes To Hell – Hollywood – 2012