Universal Studios Hollywood’s Annual “Halloween Horror Nights” commenced this past weekend in beautiful Universal City, California and delivered an abundance of Terror & Screams to guests. The evening began with a red carpet event, celebrities including Priah Ferguson, Sadie Sink and Jake Busey from Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” Vanessa Hudgens (Dog Days, “So You Think You Can Dance”), musician Travis Barker, Lex Scott Davis (The First Purge), Gabriel Chavarria (“The Purge”), Jessica Garza (“The Purge”), Quinn Lord (Trick ‘r Treat), Danielle Harris and director Dwight Little from Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Oliver Robins (Poltergeist), and Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween) were among the many that strolled down the carpet.
The terrifying event will continue on screams and terror through September 20-22, 26-30, October 4-7, 11-14, 18-21, 25-28, 31, and November 1-3, 2018.
Halloween Horror Nights is an event that I hold dear to my heart, and this was my eleventh year in a row attending. For years I would invite friends and family and turn this terrifying fun event into something large and prominent. I’m admittedly dedicated to this event no matter how great or bad it will ever be, I’m vested for life, and I have possessed a unique hardcore loyalty to the park.
Over the years the screams have declined for myself, and I do not find myself getting scared or have that “tingling” in the pit of my stomach as I enter a maze. Is it just me? Everyone one around me screamed in actual terror as some were for the excitement, so that is why I can honestly say that Halloween Horror Nights is continuing to deliver scares and terror yearly.
The production value for the mazes has escalated immensely over the past few years, and this is to be expected coming from one of the world’s largest movie studios. One of the biggest nightmares tends to be the large crowds that continue to grow each season. I one hundred percent believe that an “express pass” formerly known as “front of the line” needs to be purchased to avoid the never-ending lines and don’t cheat yourself, this will allow you to experience all of the features of the park. A fun tip, if you find a short line, wait in it and then use your express pass later on in the evening, this will allow you to experience the ride twice as these passes enable one-time entry into each maze and ride.
Overall, the mazes were a lot of fun this year. In the future, I am hoping for more innovation as the scares seemed recycled from previous years. One guest that I spoke to visiting out of town told me he was “surprised how much better equipped Universal Orlando is compared to Hollywood; he expected that opposite as Orlando doesn’t have the “working studio” in its midst.”
Hands down the Poltergeist maze was my favorite. This attraction captured the essence that the 1982 film brought to audiences. The detail and continuity throughout the maze could not be ignored, and I felt as if I was a child right back in the movie. Poltergeist is a maze you will need to go through twice to enjoy the very detailed sets and my visit just to this maze would have been worth it!
Here is the answer to the million dollar question, “Is Universal Studios worth going to?” Folks, my answer is YES! I do highly recommend purchasing an “express pass” this will ensure that you make it through everything.
This year’s terrifying lineup of “Halloween Horror Nights” lineup mazes and attractions includes:
- “Stranger Things” – Netflix’s critically-acclaimed series comes to life for the first time in an all-new maze featuring the Upside Down and the predatory Demogorgo.
- “Poltergeist” – Inspired by MGM’s iconic supernatural horror film characterized as one of the scariest movies of all time.
- “Universal Monsters” – A contemporary twist on Universal’s original cinematic Monsters featuring an original score produced and composed by GRAMMY® Award-winning musician, SLASH.
- “Trick ‘R Treat” – Based on the Legendary Pictures’ cult Halloween classic movie directed by Michael Dougherty.
- “The First Purge” – Inspired by Universal Pictures’ blockbuster thriller franchise, where all crime is legal for 12 hours.
- “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers” – The iconic slasher is back in an all-new maze based on the classic Halloween franchise.
- “The Horrors of Blumhouse: Chapter Two” – A killer maze that unites two hit movies produced by Jason Blum –Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare and Unfriended.
- “The Walking Dead” – Universal Studios Hollywood’s permanent attraction inspired by AMC’s record-breaking television series
- “Terror Tram: Hollywood Harry’s Dreadtime Storiez” – The notorious serial killer clown that terrorized Universal’s famed backlot returns as the host of this year’s Terror Tram.
- Jabbawockeez -The award-winning hip-hop dance crew returns.
To experience the screams and terror click here to purchase tickets.