I can’t even begin to describe the ambiance of Universal Studios during Halloween Horror Nights. There is just something so exhilarating in the air around this time of the witching season. Richard Trejo and myself got the amazing privilege of attending this highly coveted event on opening night. Armed with my camera, cellphone and the complete admiration of the genre, I was simply blown away.
I entered the park a few hours early for the mere fact that I just wanted to walk around and check everything out. I wasn’t even in the actual event itself, and I was already reeling. In Borat’s voice, I was “so excite!” First off, there are the stores that showcase iconic horror souvenirs. I mean, Leatherface, Freddy K, Jason and Mike Myers all cozied up together is a horror lovers dream come true.
Halloween Horror Nights is not just another event encrusted with mazes and spooks, it’s a lifestyle. You see different ages from all walks of life roaming in Freddy, Jason, Twistee and Exorcist t-shirts. I mean, some of these kids weren’t even born when these characters were introduced into the world! We plan halloween parties, celebrations with our fellow horror lovers and send each other memes like, “Only 64 days until Halloween, better start decorating!” If you know it and love it, you will understand.
This year there were 7 mazes, a new Jabbawockeez show, return of the Terror Tram and Scare Zones.
Richard Trejo and I were on board to capture all the shots from the red carpet lineup to live viewing on Facebook all the mazes so our Terror Time friends could enjoy the night with us. Let me tell you something, both Richard and I were elated that all of you joined us! But, not just that, the fact that you all engaged with us while we waited in line truly was the highlight of our night!
Alright, let’s jump in with some tips we wanted to share with you.
- First off, wear comfortable gear! Shoes, jackets, sweat pants, whatever floats your boat!
- Eat/Drink beforehand. You are going to need the energy.
- If you can afford it, get the front of the line pass. The KRAMPUS line at one point was 140 minutes. There is no way that one can do ALL the mazes from the 7-2 time slot. Time wise, it is not possible.
- Please don’t use flash in the attractions. Soak it in and enjoy!
The fact that the scare zones were Purge encrusted was pretty awesome. The masked vigilantes from THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR, were everywhere and it was simply mind blowing.
All the mazes had something for everyone, I wanted to list out my favorite aspects of each one.
The Exorcist: I was looking forward to this one the most! Guests are ushered into the iconic home as we toured the various rooms. In one room, there is Regan spouting vomit and the whole entire room reeked of it. It was disgusting in a creative way. It didn’t hurt talking to Linda Blair there either.
Krampus: What I loved the most out of this attraction was the fact that it was blinged out to Christmas. Christmas tree, lights and a beautiful kitchen sprinkled with deranged looking gingerbread men was my favorite room.
Freddy vs. Jason: Wow! This explosive ride intertwined the two horror icons into a maze of your nightmares. I loved the showdown in the end, a must see!
The Walking Dead: Although, I love the ‘The Walking Dead,’ I wasn’t terribly impressed with this maze. It was our very first walk through, so perhaps I expected too much. But, I did love the “DON’T OPEN DEAD INSIDE” closet door that will forever be one of my favorite parts of ‘The Walking Dead.’
Halloween: Hell comes to Haddonfield: Beyond amazing. Stepping into this home and being surrounded by Michael Myers is honestly my dream come true. We also explored the mental institution M Myers was held at.
American Horror Story: Three chapters of the show returned to haunt your dreams. We explore the Harmon home from the first season, check into the Cortez Hotel, and visit all the freaks from Freak Show.
My favorite maze of all had to be The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Blood Brothers! This was far better than I expected. Guests are introduced to Leatherface’s demented brother, ChopTop. From grotesque BBQ’s to interrupting a cannibalistic family dinner, this maze didn’t fail me.
The Jabbawockeez Show. For the first time ever, the incredibly creative group introduced a female dancer to their elite group of b-boys. Guests experience this show on a whole new level with stunning light, symmetry and of course incredible pop lock dance moves. The group themselves are a fun bunch and interacted with Terror Time on the red carpet.
DRUM ROLL PLEASE! My FAVORITE part of Halloween Horror Nights 2016 was Eli Roth’s Terror Tram. If you don’t like clowns, I would highly, highly advise you to avoid this attraction. It appears that serial killer Hollywood Harry and his clown crew have invaded Universal’s back lot and their main goal is to terrify you to tears.
Eli Roth is not too bad on the eyes either.
Richard and I met a lot of iconic horror leaders that had a slight admiration for Mr. Tom Holland. Words can’t express how stellar this event was, stay tuned for our highlight reel from the red carpet and attraction experience coming soon!