Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights
Fall is right around the corner, and with it comes all the ghoulish gatherings the Halloween season has to offer. This being my absolute favorite time of year, I will be highlighting some haunted attractions in upcoming issues of the Gazette leading up to the big day on October 31. So, join me as I journey into the world of everything that goes bump in the night!
Kicking off the scares is Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, which opened up its ghoulish gates on September 12 for horror fans eager to get started on their spooky festivities. With 10 terrifying mazes, five shocking scare zones and a show by the Jabbawockeez created specifically for the event, this is one haunted happening you won’t want to miss.
The theme park boasts that Halloween Horror Nights “brings together the sickest minds in horror to immerse guests in a living, breathing, three-dimensional world of terror.” The majority of the attractions are based on popular film and TV properties from the past and present that are sure to please any horror buff.
This year the park once again has an impressive list of new haunts. Leading the pack are mazes based on Jordan Peele’s horror hit “Us,” Sony Pictures’ classic “Ghostbusters” and Netflix’s hit show “Stranger Things.” These three were all incredibly well-done, full of impressive special effects, masterful sets and props that transport you into their respective worlds, as well as plenty of scares waiting around each corner. Try and keep your wits about you, and definitely don’t close those eyes, because the attention to detail found in these mazes is excellent. The mastery and dedication of the creators found in these haunts is the ultimate treat in this bag of tricks.
There are also some ghoulish food offerings based on the latter two, including Slimer’s Dirty Water Hot Dog, Zuul’s Countertop Egg Sandwich, The Upside Down Burger and the Mindflayer’s Milkshake. Universal also converted an ice cream shop into Scoop’s Ahoy from ‘Stranger Things,” for those looking to step right into the world of “Eleven” and her trusty troop.
These three attractions may be the spooky stars of this season, but there are plenty of others that offer just as many flights and will be sure to please every type of horror fan. Two of my personal favorites were the “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” and “Creepshow” mazes, which touched on my ‘80s horror fandom.
Rob Zombie’s “House of 1000 Corpses” was perhaps the most disturbing haunt, which will delight fans of the director who is known for pushing the boundaries of horror into the most depraved crevices of the genre.
Halloween Horror Nights just wouldn’t be the same without a throwback to the classic Universal monsters. “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man,” loosely based on the 1943 film, offers all the chilling nostalgia fans of these icons are seeking. Adding a modern twist to this maze is an original score composed by Grammy award-winning musician Slash.
Rounding out the frightening fun are “Holidayz in Hell,” “The Curse of Pandora’s Box” and “The Walking Dead.” All of them are worth a walk-through, but if you’re worried about being short on time, you might want to save these for the end.
Missing from the frightening fun this year was the Terror Tram, which was sorely missed. That being said, there was so much to do and see at this eerie event that the Tram was quickly forgotten. However, I do hope that it returns from the dead and we get to see it back next year.
For those looking for a short escape from the spooks, Universal is also keeping a handful of their everyday attractions open to the public. Make sure you check out the all new “Jurassic World — The Ride,” which just opened up this summer.
Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights will be open select nights through November 3, 2019. There are various ticket options, including express passes for those who want to skip the lines (I highly recommend this), frequent fear passes for scare seekers who want to visit more than once, special private tours with a VIP guide and day/night combo packages.
I can’t think of a better way to step into the delightful darkness of this scary season than with a terrifyingly terrific trip to Halloween Horror Nights. You won’t find another event with satisfying scares that will literally leave you screaming for more.
“Halloween Horror Nights” runs through November 3 at Universal Studios Hollywood, located at 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City. For information or tickets, visit www.halloween horror nights.com.