Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights 25
This year Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights 25 really brought entertainment to the table. Scare zones are everywhere, trust me when I tell you there are no safe places. And they’re covered in insane talent. I wanted to revisit them over and over. The houses are hard to choose between. Both the original houses and the movie/tv houses were terrifying and the startle moments were out of control. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure left me dancing in the aisle as it does every year. Chris Pratt jokes will do that.
The Halloween Horror Nights Haunted Houses this year were as scary and stellar as they are every year. My favorite house this year was the theme house and not only were the movie/tv houses fun and frightening but another of the original houses made my skin crawl so much it made my top 3 favorites! I’ve rated them all from my favorite to the ones I think you could skip if you can’t swing the Halloween Horror Nights Express pass, which you should really try to do.
Jack Presents: 25 Years of Monsters, Movies and Mayhem
Everything about this house was my favorite. I’m not sure I’ve ever loved a house so much. At every turn a new haunt of Universal past was awaiting our arrival. You’ll see Dracula, Phantom of the Opera, The Usher, The Director and of course Jack. But there were so many more. It was just such a scenic house with the greatest characters. I think I could have gone through 3 times and not seen it all.
This house is beautiful from the outside looking exactly like the house from the movie. But inside things get dark and despair sets in. It’s mapped out perfectly to walk you through all three Insidious movies. The scenes are set to give you chills such as the twin sisters with shot guns and their eerie smiles, the bodies covered in sheets in the church pews, the old lady in the black wedding gown flying towards you and then away and so many more. Don’t miss this house.
Body Collectors: Recollections
This is another original house aka not a movie/tv house. The design team did a great job. Seriously we wanted to go through twice. So these creepy humanish looking white “people things” break into an asylum during a blizzard and begin cutting people up because they collect body parts. Each room was really well put together and interesting to look at and I enjoy a good scene. The stark white of these beings stand out in a dark haunted house. There were a lot of startle moments I wasn’t expecting as well. The body collectors aren’t new to HHN so you may recognize them when you visit.
Walk inside and just try to escape the masks of those exercising their right to purge. They are everywhere. Along the sides of the house, above you, on top of risers and they will spring out of every nook and cranny. So be forewarned that there is no safe place so move fast and try to make it out alive. I liked this house enough to shout it out on social media!
Freddy Vs. Jason
This house got me and I rarely get got. In the majority of haunted houses you walk inside and there is what one might call a lobby. It’s a scene set up for you to get the feel for the house before you walk inside the actual scare zone. The lobby is usually scare free. Well, not this time. I’ll leave it at that. The rest of the house was a bit confusing but still scary. I don’t think they had a good map for what they were trying to accomplish with two major horror movie icons. But in any case it was still really fun because Jason and Freddy, I mean come on, those two characters span so many age groups that it was impossible not to be slightly scared and entertained.
An American Werewolf In London
This was my favorite house last year and it was still pretty awesome this year. What makes it awesome is the use of puppetry rather than just people. The werewolf is a huge puppet that comes out from the walls, growling, dripping saliva, eyes red with light and a soundtrack to stop you in your tracks. It seriously terrifies you and you are left wondering how it didn’t hit you in the head. Like, really, it’s directly next to your head and it flies out of the wall many feet, I’m assuming someone manning it watches to be sure you are safe? Anyway, this house is still awesome, I recommend not missing it unless you are running short on time and you already saw it last year. Nothing changed.
The Walking Dead: The Living and The Dead
I said this last year and I’m saying it again this year. I do not understand the hype of this house at all. The reason being, it’s so dark I can’t see anything. I hoped that it was some weird glitch last year but this year it was the same. I walked through 3/4 of this house saying “I can’t see anything, what am I looking at?” Honestly up until about the end I was at a total loss. I knew a few zombies had jumped out at me so I was slightly adrenaline rushed but otherwise nothing. Finally at the end it lightened up just in time for me to see THE REVOLVING DOOR SCENE. Oh Noah, oh Noah. Then there was the Container Truck scene. So the few things that came after that were enjoyable but the house itself is, as in previous years, was one of my least favorites.
Run: Blood, Sweat, Fears
This was supposed to be a Running Man/Hunger Games type house. While you wait in line you watch a show with an announcer and he tells you about all the contestants you’ll find inside the house, how many kills they have, why they kill and so on and so forth. Upon entering the house the staff tells you “2 by 2 side by side”. That’s a little unsettling because 70% of haunted house goers take comfort in knowing someone is behind them and in front of them, like a cozy nest. In this situation you are left slightly more unprotected. Luckily once you really enter it falls pretty much back into line. The house itself was okay, you go from room to room with these different villains shouting at you and jumping out at you. Some of the rooms are pretty creepy cool. But if you need to skip a house this one can be missed.
Asylum in Wonderland 3D
I don’t like 3D houses. However I will say this, I appreciated that this house had very few spooky moments and more scenes than anything else. They respected that you are already on sensory overload so to have someone constantly trying to startle you would be a bad idea. There are a few thrills but the majority is just checking out the funky 3D scenery and seeing the scareactors do some crazy dancing. This is also where you will see Jack, a few Jacks actually. This is a startling moment so be prepared. Oh and Tim wants me to mention they have one of those barrel roll things where you walk on a bridge and the room rolls around you. He says they make him throw up so others should know about it. LOL.
Scare Zones are out of control this year. The Universal designers ramped them up and it seems there is no safe place. My two favorite zones were right down the main street you’ll see Scary Tales Steam Punk. All your favorite story book characters have been steam punk’d and now carry a scary twist. Pinnochio, Beast, Belle and many others run around in a not so merry manor trying to wish you a not so happy day.
But the absolute best part of the Scare Zones and honestly one of my favorite parts of the night was Icons-HHN. As you walk into the park veer off to the right and you’ll see numerous stages. On each stage is a scareactor. You’ll see The Usher, The Director, The Caretaker and The Storyteller. Throughout the night they won’t just be there to take pictures and terrify you, but they’ll be there to put on a sinister show. All of these Icons are HHN hosts from previous years. For example The Usher was host to the 2009 Ripped From the Silver Screen HHN. The Story Teller was host to the 2005 Tales of Terror HHN. They’ve come and gone a few times throughout the years so you may recognize them. But lend them an ear while you are visiting this year, it’s the polite thing to do.
Don’t forget to check out Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure. Every year Bill and Ted take on the years best pop culture. You’ll hear songs, jokes, celebrity look-a-likes and see some crazy sexy dancing. You will laugh so hard it will hurt so be sure to do some good stretches and drink some water or else you might get a cramp during one of the Justin Bieber or Kanye West skits.
That’s the full agenda for me at Halloween Horror Nights 25 at Universal Studios Theme Park. It’s a can’t miss event so get your tickets now because they do sell out. Be sure to budget wisely for those express passes I told you about, it’ll make the night so much easier. Let me know what you think once you check it out, I love hearing your stories!
*I received media passes in return for full review. However all this macabre is my own.