Why would you take a chance and go to Halloween Horror Nights?
The kids are back in school and the smell of pumpkin spice has begun to fill the air, so that can only mean one thing… it’s time for Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights!
For over a dozen years, I’ve had the horrific pleasure of attending and this year may just be the best yet. If you’re still wondering if it’s worth taking a Chance on Halloween Horror Nights 26, here are my top 10 reasons to experience this year’s event.
10. The Walking Dead – “The entire show in one terrifying haunted house”
From the start, AMC’s The Walking Dead has kept us glued to our TVs. And for the past four years, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights has brought the show to life in all-new haunted houses.
This year’s house is the best yet, featuring iconic scenes and locations from the entire run of the show that will scare the life out of you—and make you feel like you’re a part of the post apocalyptic family once again. The “well walker” will force you to relive the horror of season two. The Terminus map will transport you back to season four, when we thought that our survivors were going to become dinner for the “Termites”.
If you love The Walking Dead than this house will not disappoint—and it’s the perfect way to get you pumped up for season 7, returning Sunday, October 23.
9. The Repository – “The new dimension in horror”
Halloween Horror Nights has always been known for innovation, creativity, and “bar raising” technology. Now The Repository takes that and launches it into a new stratosphere of terror! Using virtual reality tech, coupled with live elements, this new attraction will leave you breathless (in the best way possible).
Much like the attractions at Universal Orlando Resort allow you to experience things that you never (safely) could in reality, “The Repository” adds that extra unique element to the Horror Nights experience, making it a pioneer in horror-themed entertainment.
8. Rides – “Please come in…We’re Open”
The Revenge of the Mummy, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D, and MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack are a few of my favorite attractions to visit during the day at Universal Orlando. It would be almost unbearable to walk by these pieces of theme park gold during Halloween Horror Nights without the option to ride, but fortunately enough…we don’t have to!
One of the biggest surprises to “Horror Nights Rookies”—whom I always enjoy bringing—is that select attractions are open and the wait times are usually very short on event nights. Not only that, but certain ones—like Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket—take on a whole new life after the sun has set.
7. Horror Favorites Return – “They’re Baaaack”
Having not seen Leatherface at Halloween Horror Nights since 2007 and Michael Myers for a couple of years, it’s easy to miss these horror favorites. Don’t worry because this year fills those empty, black voids in our hearts. They are both back with their own houses: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween – Hell Comes to Haddonfield.
If you’ve seen these classics and loved them as I have, then you will fanboy out as I did. The attention to detail in these houses is astounding! From individually placed chicken feathers to an all-encompassing inferno, these mazes will burn distinct memories into your brain.
6. American Horror Story – “Coulrophobics need not enter”
FX’s American Horror Story has proven its lasting power and appeal on TV. But would it work as a haunted house? The answer is an emphatic YES!
Visually stunning, highly unpredictable, and fun in a horribly satisfying way, this house is nothing short of a masterpiece! Combining multiple seasons of the show—Murder House, Freak Show, and Hotel—it feels like a “best of,” especially when it pertains toAmerican Horror Stories’ unforgettable characters.
Revisiting Dandy and “Rubberman” is fun, but the real attraction is everyone’s favorite misunderstood (and psychopathic) clown, Twisty! If you or anyone you know has coulrophobia—aka the fear of clowns—then this will be your best opportunity to overcome it at the hands of Twisty and his freaky friends.
5. Tomb of the Ancients – “Don’t raid these”
Some would argue that the real beauty of Halloween Horror Nights can be found in its original houses and street experiences. If anyone ever attempted to argue the opposite, they would be stopped dead in their tracks after experiencing one of the most gorgeous and terrifying attractions to ever grace the event.
The simple presence of a ceiling makes you feel as if you are trapped and descending deeper and deeper underground, raiding tombs that you know should never be disturbed. Hands-down, this is the most claustrophobic that Horror Nights has ever made its guests feel and that is a very good thing. The visuals are stunning and the god-like entities that lunge at you from the darkness are unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. There can absolutely be beauty in horror and this maze is proof of that without losing it’s ability to scare you within an inch of your life.
4. Vamp ’55 – “The kids aren’t alright”
Scare zones are the glue that holds your Halloween Horror Nights experience together and this one in particular is one of the best ever created! The setting is perfect, the scare actors look fantastic, and the music will make anyone who was forced to listen to oldies (like myself) feel right at home…before being attacked by blood-sucking 1950s teen vampires. The homecoming parade float, the ice cream man, and the poor, distressed homecoming queen all add to the ambiance of this street experience that must be experienced in person. Pay close attention to the humans who look very scared and stay with them once they get chased down and hunted by a creature of the night.
3. The Exorcist – “You spin me right round”
Having attended Halloween Horror Nights for over a decade, the one house that had been on the top of my “wish list” year after year was The Exorcist. Arguably the most terrifying horror movie of all time, it has finally come to life and does not disappoint in any way.
Taking both literal scenes and demonic imagery from the 1973 film, this maze will satisfy the most casual horror fan and the diehard enthusiast. All of the scenes you remember from the film, including a certain pea soup-like substance, are present in this maze and will leave you feeling like you were actually in the film and survived it all right alongside Regan.
2. Academy of Villains: House of Fear – “Dancing, and Skateboards, and Pyro…OH MY”
I don’t want to give too much away from this show, as I feel that it needs to be experienced up close, because that’s exactly what it is: an experience. In addition toBill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure, Halloween Horror Nights has introduced and reintroduced some supplemental shows over the years, but this is by far the best that has ever been offered. This West Coast-based performance troupe has captured and executed the perfect mix of dance, performance art, physical stunts, and timeless music in a way no one else has before. When you attend Horror Nights this year, DO NOT miss this experience.
1. CHANCE – “It’s her time to play”
Making her debut in 2007, Chance was an extension of the incomparable Jack the Clown. Always teetering between hilarious and vexing, Chance remained in our Halloween Horror Nights consciousness—whenever we saw Jack, we wanted Chance as well.
Being the first icon to get her own house, Lunatics Playground 3D: You Won’t Stand a Chance and scare zone A Chance in Hell, in the same year simultaneously, Chance has made an unprecedented debut as an icon and cemented her place as a face on the Mount Rushmore of Horror Nights. She is scary, playful, and terrifying. Yet, we are all drawn to her and almost want to join her legion of minions. I hope that I’m correct when I guess that we’ll see her again in future Horror Nights events. I personally can’t wait to see the reunion between her and her other half.
I felt the power of Chance when she commandeered my podcast and through her mercy, lived to tell the tale.
Would I ever take that Chance again? Only at Halloween Horror Nights 26!