Lots of amusement parks have scary Halloween attractions that feature cameos by popular horror franchises. But very few are actually created with the help and permission of the people who created those franchises. One that is: Halloween Horror Nights. And 2015’s version is absolutely terrifying.
Halloween Horror Nights is an annual event that takes place at Universal Studios Theme Parks in Hollywood, CA, Orlando, FL and Singapore. Each year the attractions feature different haunted mazes inspired by the biggest and best movies and TV in the horror genre. This year, in Hollywood, they include Halloween, The Walking Dead, Insidious, The Purge, Crimson Peak, This is the End and Alien vs. Predator, all of which are overseen by the directors, writers, and producers of those films and shows.
For some, the ability to walk through your favorite horror franchise is probably a bit too scary. But if it excites you, and you’re in the area, there’s no doubt Horror Nights is worth checking out. It’s a wholly entertaining and frightening experience, for both easily-spooked and experienced thrill seekers alike.
I attended opening night, which means there were probably still some kinks being ironed out. No matter. The instant you walk in the gates, men with chainsaws start running at you. Past them, smoke billows up and other random terrifying creatures walk around, occasionally trying to scare you (as seen above). They have axes, bats, walk on stilts, and are scattered throughout the entire space. Some of these people are scary, others are not, but it adds to the atmosphere of the whole event.
Here’s a quick tip: Horror Nights gets very busy very quickly. And though the tickets can range from a very expensive $50-$85 per person, if you’re going to go, I highly recommend getting a front-of-the-line pass. They’re even more expensive (about $100 more per person) but when the lines for the mazes start to get into the two-hour range, it’s worth it. They also sell out in advance, so book early.
Back to the event. Since we were given front-of-the line passes by Universal, we were able to move through the attraction at our own pace. We started with Terror Tram Survive The Purge, which takes the classic Universal Tram Tour and transforms into its own attraction. You get on the tram like you were taking the normal tour—but then you get to walk through the backlot sets, including Psycho, War of the Worlds and more.
This year, the theme to this attraction is The Purge, and unfortunately it’s the most disappointing thing in the park. Lots of attention is paid to details like videos, having bloody victims walking around and recreating many of the scenes from The Purge Anarchy. But overall, the experience—because it’s so sprawling and open—just isn’t that scary.
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