We had the opportunity to go to a VIP party for Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando, Florida. You start with a VIP party with “special guests” roaming the room while you get some drinks and appetizers. Just as a quick warning for anyone attending Halloween Horror Nights, Universal WILL have everyone go through a metal detector before entering the park!
This year, the most special guest was Lady Luck! She welcomed us to the event and asked us to spin the wheel of fortune before treading out into the great beyond to experience the Halloween Horror Night scare zones and scare houses.
We started in the “Acid Rain” scare zone that includes special, never-before-used 3D special effects that make the buildings look like they’re crumbling from the acid in the rain. Up close, it doesn’t really look that great, but from a distance, it’s amazing! Especially at night, it really looks like the buildings are crumbling.
Then, we went through the Lady Luck scare zone. It was off on a little side street and really cool! It was definitely one of my favorite scare zones. I will say that the whole “Lady Luck” icon, though seemed to have very little to do with the overall theme of this year’s Halloween Horror Nights. Our VIP guide explained at each scare house how Lady Luck fit in, but it felt very contrived. Almost shoe-horned into the rest of the night.
We then hit a couple scare houses, including the Forsaken and In-Between. Both were amazing and I thought that In Between was going to be the best one of the night. Little did I know what was coming.
Then, we went to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure. Usually a super funny mockery of the past year’s events in pop culture, this year COMPLETELY LAME!! DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME WAITING FOR THIS SHOW. Because we were on a VIP tour, we were back-doored into the show and were still able to see all the haunted houses and scare zones, but otherwise, I would not have wasted my time.
Next, off to more haunted houses and scare zones. Saws N Steam was up next. Not very memorable. Just kind of there. Then, Nevermore, The Madness of Poe. A great haunted house based on the writings of Edgar Allen Poe. A good house, but not the best — they were coming up.
We made our way through HR Bloodengutz Holidays of Horror. This is Universal’s one “funny” haunted house that got a few laughs. Again, not the best and I would probably skip this one and Sawz N Steam if I were on my own.
We walked through Nightmaze, a Scare Zone where the paths changed as you walked through using large chain-link gates to create a maze. It was a pretty cool scare zone! Next up, The Thing haunted house — an obvious precursor to a Universal movie release. 🙂 This one was in the large studio buildings, so there was more space for theming and it showed! Not the greatest of the scare houses, but still good. You came out feeling like you’d seen some real artistry. Finally were the last two and they were the best!
Winter’s Night was AWESOME! The whole “house” was cold, there was snow, even a full size stage coach!! Really cool haunted house and one I would want to see, again.
Finally, the best for last, Nightingales! You are supposed to be transported back to WWI and in the trenches and medical facilities of this war. It was truly spectacular theming! Great scares in all the right places and a full immersion in the moment. Great job on this one!!
One last scare zone for the night and it was also the best. You’re funneled into a narrow, dark “canyon” for Canyon of Dark Souls and you never knew where the next “demon” might visit you! Great end to the night.
From a haunted house theming stand-point, this was one of the best Halloween Horror Nights that I’ve attended. Great job, Universal! Next time, try to match the icon with the theming a little better though and figure out what’s wrong with Bill and Ted’s.