Universal Orlando is pulling out all the stops for Halloween Horror Nights 23, with new technologies, a park wide “Walking Dead” theme, and a vomit room. So get out your chainsaw, because this update is full of Walkers.
For the past 23 years, Universal Orlando’s Creative team have been putting on what has become one of the preeminent Halloween events in the country. With a the title of the “Best Halloween Event” in the world for the past 8 years, the Creative people at Universal Orlando have to challenge themselves, year after year. This year they have pulled out all the stops with their fantastic scare zones, scary mazes, and brand new effects that have never been used before anywhere.
Scare Zones – Guests will see people turn into Walkers
Last year, due to massive park wide construction with Transformers, Springfield USA and Diagon Alley (so much has happened in a year), the park did away with with scare zones and instead made the whole park a single zone with roaming hoards of monsters. However, that just didn’t do it for a lot of fans of Halloween Horror Nights. This year, Universal is trying something new. There will be scare zones, but a unified theme will be implemented park-wide for a more coherent story. For people familiar with the hit AMC TV Series, The Walking Dead, you will instantly recognize the themes and settings from Seasons 1 and 2. Guests will walk the streets of Atlanta, with a full sized tank in the streets, discover camps, and find Hershel’s farm, where you will walk through a burning barn. Guests not familiar with the show, will recognize, that the zombie apocalypse has happened at Universal Studios, and now they are a part of it, with no escape in sight.
Lora Wallace, the Show and Entertainment Director who was in charge of the scare zones concept this year, commented that she wanted guests to feel trapped and that there is no escape from the walkers. Adding to the concept is that guests will be able to see people turn into Walkers (or Zombies) before their very eyes!
Shows and Entertainment
This year, Universal will bring guests 2 major shows. The first one is Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, which will lampoon and parody pop culture from the past year with hilarious antics. The second show is a Rocky Horror Picture Show Tribute. For guests who are fans of the film, this 30 minute tribute will be fun way to escape the undead wandering beyond the safety of the theater. For the uninitiated, this is a great way to get introduced to the cult of Rocky Horror. Both shows this year must not be missed!
Universal Orlando is building mazes at a size and scale not seen before. With mazes (or “Houses,” as they are called in Orlando) based on original concepts, and ones based on popular movies, TV shows and video games, this year is sure to have something for everyone.
Spoiler Alert: While we are not going to reveal any spoilers about the mazes, we are going to show pictures of costumes, and explain the general stories behind each maze. So, if you want to remain unspoiled, we suggest you scroll to the bottom and leave a comment without reading the rest!
This maze will be based on the video game Resident Evil 2 from 1998. It takes place in Raccoon City, a Midwestern American mountain town where everyone has been transformed into zombies. The game is a fan favorite, so Universal’s creative team is pushing the envelope with construction of this maze. Guests will enter a fully realized police station and encounter a life sized helicopter. Guests will also get to experience life from inside the game as well, experiencing what it is like when a game is “Paused,” using new effects and tricks.
Based on the 2013 remake, of the same title, Evil Dead will take you to the cabin where true evil takes place. New tricks and effects have been created, as they have created a “vomit room” where guests will relive an iconic scene from the movie. This house is going to be intense, it is going to be gruesome, and it is going to be awesome.
This will be a Universal original house based on the Urban Legend of La Llorona. When the Creative team in Orlando went out West and saw this house, which showed for two years at Universal Studios Hollywood, they knew they had to bring this one back East! Guests who visited this house out at USH will recognize the first half of the house, which will be identical to the one at Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights, but the back half is all new, and from the sound of it, terrifying.
Cabin In The Woods
Based on the 2012 film written by Joss Whedon and directed by Drew Goddard that brilliantly parodies the horror genre (while at the same time being an incredible horror film) is being brought to life by Universal Orlando… with clowns, unicorns, ballerinas, and the elevator scene. So be prepared to scratch your head as you say “What the…”
Designed as a sequel to the popular Havoc house in 2008, Universal Orlando is bringing back the deranged super soldiers. But this year they are transporting them via train, until something goes wrong. Guests will climb through fully built rail cars as they try to avoid these super soldiers who can’t stop killing.
After Life Death’s Vengeance
This year’s 3D maze is taking a departure from previous 3D mazes. This house will not be light and funny, like last years “Penn & Teller’s Nuke Vegas” maze. This maze will be dark and terrifying, while using 3D paint to disorient guests. Be prepared to run for your life as you watch the final days of a Serial Killer whose victims are all now seeking revenge.
An American Werewolf in London
Based on the iconic 1981 film directed by John Landis, this house is going to terrify guests who will explore the streets of London, the London Underground, and come face to face with a fully articulated Werewolf that has terrified even the masters of Horror on the Halloween Horror Nights team. Be prepared to run screaming for your life.
The Walking Dead
While Seasons 1 and 2 of The Walking Dead might be the Scare Zones out in the streets, guests who enter The Walking Dead maze will see scenes and locations from Season 3 brought to life, like the Governor’s office (complete with fishtanks), Woodbury, and the Prison. Be prepared to scream, because with close calls, a crouching corridor, and lots of Zombies, this maze takes the real life experience of The Walking Dead to a whole new level. Listen to my experience as I walked through this maze… (warning: I might have screamed like a little girl a few times).
That wraps up our sneak peek of Halloween Horror Nights! To buy tickets visits Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Night’s website, the event starts September 20th and runs on select weekdays and weekends until November 2nd.
Come join MiceChat next month at Universal Studios Orlando on October 17th as we visit Harry Potter and stay for Halloween Horror Nights that evening. We plan on a full night of fun and scares complete with a dinner beforehand, and more.
If you plan to join us for Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights you will need to purchase a ticket for Thursday, October 17th for $38.99 that includes the Additional HHN Express Pass option for $49.99 for a total cost of $88.98. Follow the thread below for updated information and to get in on the dining arrangements made for the group if you would like to join us.
This looks like it is going to be an amazingly original year for Universal Orlando HHN. With houses like Cabin in the Woods, Walking Dead, Legendary Truth, Resident Evil, Evil Dead and shows like Bill and Ted’s EXCELLENT Halloween Adventure and The Rocky Horror Picture Show Tribute, we are really in for a treat!
Join The List:
Add your name to our Halloween events list and we’ll email you with all the gory details: MiceChat Nights of Horror Email List – Click HERE
Wait, There’s more!
Now listen to the Unofficial Universal Podcast as they interview Halloween Horror Nights legend John Murdy and talk about what it takes to put on these incredible events year after year.