Everything You Need to Know for Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights 25
On select nights Sept 18 thru Nov 1, get ready for some frightening encounters. Halloween Horror Nights will mark its milestone 25th year as the biggest, longest and most intense in event history.
We’ve gathered everything you need to know before heading out to the event; including haunted house and scare zone information, as well as shows, tickets, crowds, and everything in-between.
Halloween Horror Nights is set to begin it’s 25th year this year. Halloween season at Universal Orlando is one of the best and BUSIEST times of the year to visit.
This year, the event features 9 haunted houses for the fist time ever. In addition, the event features 5 scare zones, and 2 shows to entertain (and frighten) guests. Universal will also be keeping most of its popular attractions open during the event as well.
Here’s a layout of this year’s map. The legend is right below:
|Houses (Red)||Scare Zones (Yellow)|
|A. Jack Presents: 25 Years of Monsters & Mayhem||J. Scary Tales – Screampunk|
|B. An American Werewolf in London||K. Psychoscareapy – Unleashed|
|C. Freddy Vs Jason||L. All Nite Die-In – Double Feature|
|D. Body Collectors: Recollections||M. Evil’s Roots|
|E. Run: Blood, Sweat, and Fears||N. ICONS – HHN|
|G. The Purge|
|H. The Walking Dead: The Living and the Dead||Attractions (Purple)|
|I. Asylum in Wonderland 3D||1. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit|
|2. Transformers: The Ride 3D|
|3. Revenge of the Mummy|
|Shows (Blue)||4. Escape from Gringotts|
|O. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure||5. Men in Black: Alien Attack!|
|P. The Carnage Returns||6. The Simpsons Ride|
The Icon: Jack the Clown
After a 5-year break, Jack the Clown is coming back to Halloween Horror Nights to bring his dark, twisted, sadistic ways for the event’s 25th year. He was the event’s very first original icon. Also making a return is Jack’s sidekick and “love” interest Chance, a character loosely inspired by Harley Quinn from the Batman comics.
Icon is a term used by Universal Creative which essentially means the year’s designated “host”. The event is sometimes entirely marketed and designed with the idea that the Icon “brought” all the terror together. There are 10 characters who are considered “Icons”, and each have an intricate backstory and importance in the event. The icons will be featured this year in the designated “ICONS-HHN” scare zone. They are:
- Jack the Clown
- The Caretaker – Albert Caine
- Eddie Schmidt a.k.a. Jack’s crazy, chainsaw-wielding brother.
- The Director – Paulo Ravinski
- The Storyteller – Elsa Strict
- The Usher – Julian Browning
- Bloody Mary – Dr. Mary Agana
- Cindy Caine – The Caretaker’s Daughter
- Lady Luck
Jack paved the way for Horror Nights to grow into much more than just a pretty poster and random haunted houses. Looking for a way to evolve the event, Universal Creative surveyed guests about their fears. Unsurprisingly, clowns was a top answer. So then Creative went to the drawing board and developed this classic icon of Halloween Horror Nights. The introduction of Jack during Horror Nights 10 also marked the introduction of storytelling. Houses, zones, and in some cases shows, all tied in with the theme and icon of each year.
Jack returned as the face of the event during Horror Nights’ 17th year, the Carnival of Carnage. Here, Jack served as the Ringmaster as he took his evil carnival “on the road” to Horror Nights. This year was also particular as the first time that Universal really implemented the use of Intellectual Properties (I.P.’s) with Jason, Freddy Krueger, and Leatherface being featured in their own respective houses as well as in marketing material.
Now he returns darker and gritter than ever in what promises to be the event’s most biggest year yet!
For those who have visited the event in the past, you know what to expect. For those who haven’t, get ready for some of the greatest haunted houses you’ll experience. We’re talking full blown houses of terror with incredible detail – featuring facades so massive and well-designed, you start to question if it’s an actual location. This year’s event will feature 9 houses, the most Halloween Horror Nights has ever done. Here’s a quick bit of each house and how it ties to the past 25 years:
Body Collectors – Recollections: This is a mashup of 2 popular, original franchises that Horror Nights has used in the past. Body Collectors and Pyschoscareapy. This house sees the Gentlemen (The Collectors) take shelter inside Shadybrook Sanitarium during a blizzard. This will be Pyschoscareapy’s 5th appearance at the event and The Body Collectors 3rd appearance.
The Walking Dead: The Living and the Dead: Based on Season 5 of the popular Horror-Drama, this marks an unprecedented 4th straight appearance for the franchise. The Walking Dead has helped catapult the event into another stratosphere of popularity and notoriety.
The Purge: After a successful turn as a scare zone during Halloween Horror Nights 24, the film now will be featured as a house at this year’s event – cramming all the crazy purgers into tight corners.
RUN: Blood, Sweat, and Fears: Run is a more bloody twist on the 80’s film The Running Man. It has been featured in 2 events in different forms. This year, Run takes place inside Hellgate Prison – A popular house from Halloween Horror Nights 15. Another mash-up of Horror Nights original favorites.
Freddy vs. Jason: The 2 horror juggernauts were first used during Halloween Horror Nights 17 in their respective houses. Their usage during the 17th year was one of the first times Universal used outside properties, which were also colossal staples in Horror. This year, the event will have them collide just like the 2003 movie. You will experience walking thru Elm Street and Camp Crystal Lake.
Asylum In Wonderland 3D: A sort-of spin-off from Scary Tales – the house is inspired from the scare zone used in 2008’s event “Asylum in Wonderland”. In this house, guests will view the world of Wonderland through the eyes of Alice and wonder if she is indeed really experiencing a trip down the Rabbit Hole, or if it’s all in her mind.
Insidious: This house has never been used before in Horror Nights 25 year history, but was a popular house in Orlando’s sister event in Hollywood for 3 years (including this year). A lot of great concepts to use to scare guests should make this a welcomed addition to the Horror Nights line-up.
Jack Presents: 25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem: Jack has rounded up all of the most horrific monsters and creatures from the past 25 years. Consider this the “Best of” house. So far, not much is known, but we should expect appearances from the Classic Universal Monsters and some fan favorites from year’s past – such as Gothic and Nightingales.
An American Werewolf in London: First appearing just 2 years ago during Halloween Horror Nights 23, many consider this house to be one of the Top 3 haunts ever created by Universal, with some saying the best ever (It’s our Number 2). Universal Creative brought it back this year to give the fans one more run through of one of the most popular houses ever.
The houses are constructed in several different locations around the park, such as existing attraction queues, stand-alone tent structures and Universal’s Sound Stages.
Universal’s Sound Stages seem to always feature some of the craziest haunt sets and designs since they have a lot more open space. This year, Shrek’s theater will be used for the first time to house Asylum in Wonderland.
The Scare Zones
Scare Zones are designated themed areas in the park where “Scareactors” roam to terrorize you. Universal goes all out and morph Universal Studios’ existing streets into believable areas; featuring eerie lighting, loud musical scores and sound FX, fantastic sets and props, and of course dozens of scareactors! This year, the event features 5 set scare zones, as well as 3 roaming chainsaw hordes. The hordes have no set area, and can travel anywhere outside of the themed areas. This year, the zones are as follows:
- Psychoscareapy: Unleashed — The criminally insane inmates of Shadybrook Asylum have escaped and unleashed their horror onto a Halloween block party in the streets of New York. Come join the party goers as the inmates kill for the best Halloween costumes for their very own special costume contest where you will be the judge. Oh, and this will be one of the bloodiest scare zones ever!
- ICONS: HHN — And now for the scare zone I’m looking forward to the most! It’s time to take a look back in history and come face-to-face with the icons from our past. Iconic characters from the event’s 25 year history such as The Caretaker, The Storyteller, The Director and more will be found roaming the streets of Hollywood. I’ve even heard The Rat Lady will be making her grand return!
- Scary Tales: ScreamPunk — This year, we’re bringing to life our most horrifying Scary Tales characters with a new twist. This steampunk-inspired version of Scary Tales is sure to leave you screaming.
- Evil’s Roots — It’s time to be immersed in Halloween’s most evil traditions in the scare zone located in Central Park. Here you’ll find the event’s traditional jack-o-lanterns in the air as you encounter evil fairies, humanoid bats, scarecrows and more. Think “Grown Evil” from 2011 but on a whole ‘nother level!
- All Nite Die-In: Double Feature — Last but certainly not least is a double feature of horror at The Carey DrIvE IN movie theatre. Wander down the streets of San Francisco and you’ll come across this theatre that has been named “DIE IN”, due to the gruesome murders that occurred. Enter if you dare…
The event features 2 shows this year – Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure & The Carnage Returns. Bill & Ted is a staple for Halloween Horror Nights, and has been featured since 1992. It is a comedy show that satires the past year in “politics, show business and pop culture”. The show will once again be held at the Fear Factor Stage. Make sure to check your park map and arrive 20 to 30 minutes prior to the next show time. It can get full.
The Carnage Returns is a throwback to old-school Halloween Horror Nights, when the icon had a “introductory” show. The show should feature Jack being Jack and poke fun at everything while engaging in some “carnage” with some helpless victims. The stage is located across from Mel’s Drive-In Be warned – it can be a bit gory. Just like Bill & Ted, check park map for times and make sure to arrive a bit early for a better view of the stage.
Go to Page 2 for Information about Tickets, Crowds, FAQ and Tips.
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The founder of Orlando United, Brian has been involved in the theme park community since 2002. He has regularly visited all Orlando parks since he was a child, and his love for discussing all aspects of the Orlando theme parks led to his decision to open Orlando United and its forums on February 29, 2008. Outside of the theme park world, Brian loves all Miami sports, is a beer connoisseur and enjoys himself a good whiskey from time to time.
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