Halloween Horror Nights at Midsummer Scream

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One of the biggest attractions at Midsummer Scream is always Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. Every year fans gather in a room to hear any bit of news from HHN’s creative team, John Murdy and Chris Williams. This panel always draws an enthusiastic bunch of haunt fans, and this year was no exception.

Before jumping into the new stuff, they provided some background information regarding how they became involved in Horror Nights. Both men painted rosy pictures of their childhood love of monsters, and how it inspired them later in life.  None of this was news to me, but Murdy and Williams were as charismatic as usual, so it was still entertaining.

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As for this year’s Halloween Horror Nights, they walked the audience through pictures chronicling the process of building The Shining maze. They promised the Grady sisters, room 237, Danny on his tricycle, “Here’s Johnny”, and of course the famous carpet. Murdy stated that his goal with this maze is to capture the slow burning dread of the movie.

They delved into scare zones a bit, too. One of the scare zones will be Hell on Earth set in New York City. Guests can expect to see an assortment of demons roaming the streets. HHN always creates top notch monsters/effects, so haunt lovers will definitely be in for a devilish treat.

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Finally, for those super fans, Universal is bringing back their VIP tours known as the R.I.P. Experience. This walking tour includes front of the line passes to everything in the park, free valet parking, special entry, a buffet dinner, and reserved seats for shows.

Keep your peepers here for updates about Halloween Horror Nights. Also be sure to follow us on Twitter at @HallowsHaunts. We’ve got lots of spooky stuff in store this Halloween season, and you won’t want to miss it.

 

Halloween Horror Nights 2016- Part 2

In the first article we did, I told you I was going to go back to HHN to try and experience the mazes I missed the first time around. Well I did it, and I’m sure glad I did. Here’s the breakdown of my night.

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American Horror Story

This was the first maze I hit up. With early entry at 5 now, I was able to get right in and down to the lower lot in record speed. This maze was really enjoyable. If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll definitely want to check this one out. I have pretty mixed feelings about AHS, but I loved the first couple seasons and getting to see some of the iconic stuff like the “Gimp Suit Guy” and the Infantata is a feast for the eyes. All of the seasons up to the current one are incorporated and they manage to make them all flow together in a cohesive manner. I will say this maze seemed like it wasn’t as well lit as the others, but that may be because when I went in it was still daylight out and my eyes needed to adjust.

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Blood Brothers

I liked this maze, but I didn’t love it. It was great to see a maze based on TCM 2, but I felt like many of the rooms were too similar. I’m a fan of Leatherface, and especially Chop Top, but other than them, this maze could’ve been related to almost any gory property. There are an excess of bloody body props that were probably leftovers from Saw or Hostel. The best part of this maze is getting to see Chop Top and Leatherface’s rooms. Other than that nothing really stands out.

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The Exorcist

 The Exorcist is my 2nd favorite maze, right behind Halloween. I had heard a major amount of hate for this maze going in, so I was more than a little surprised by the quality. I think Universal made some changes to it, after receiving unfavorable reviews. What ever they did, it paid off. One of my favorite features from the maze is an animatronic  Regan that scales the stares in the infamous backbend pose from the film. Other highlights include projections on the walls of Pazuzu’s face and Regan spitting vomit at you as you walk by.

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The Jabbawockeez

I was giddy going into this show. I’ve long been a fan of dance, and I’ve been meaning to see the Jabbawockeez perform for years. Unfortunately, I didn’t care much for this particular show. There is no denying that the Jabbawockeez are talented to the extreme. The dancing was great, but the overall direction of the show felt lacking. There was just too much cheese and too much focus on positive philosophy cliches. Right when they started talking about the colors of the rainbow and living your dreams I tuned out. My companion loved it, and I’m sure there are plenty of others that will enjoy it, but it jut wasn’t for me. Also, don’t go in expecting anything to be horror or Halloween related, because it’s not.

I’m glad I made it back to Universal for round 2. The new 5PM early entry makes all the difference in the world. The longest line I waited in was about 50 minutes. The shorter wait times made the overall experience so much better, and I felt like I a could appreciate the mazes more without worrying about making it through every attraction. It was probably the best time I’ve had at HHN in years.