Theme parks are not having a great year, they have had to shut down indefinitely, but does that mean the highly popular Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights will also be a victim of self-isolation in 2020?
There isn’t a real answer yet, but there are some clues. iHorror has reached out to Universal for answers but they have yet to respond. We have compiled what we know so far.
What we can say is that Orlando Weekly reported on April 21 the event will still happen, but with many changes. Those changes will probably be extensions of the social distancing rules in place right now. If that’s the case, will cast members and costumed performers actually be able to get in your face, or will compressed air be the only mode of jump scares?
Although “house” (the term used for the haunts) construction doesn’t usually begin until May or June, time is ticking.
A recent video made by Universal Hollywood enthusiast Five Fires (video below) on YouTube broke down a flyover of the park recorded by helicopter pilot Micah Muzio. The footage is void of any signs of Horror Night house construction which concerned fans.
One person commented that audition announcements usually go up at the park around June or July so there might still be some time.
As early as April 6, Universal Orlando tweeted that the event is still on track:
“Hello! At this time there are no changes to the announced schedule for this year’s event,” Universal Orlando wrote.
That’s hopeful, however, if this coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything it’s that things can change rather quickly. As an example, Universal Hollywood sent out this tweet on April 9 saying the parks will be closed “at least” until May 31. Does “suspend operations” mean construction too?
There are also other changes this year when it comes to licensed franchises. Disney now owns Fox, and we all know how they hate sharing their titles. Warner Bros. is planning to do their own Halloween haunt.
If Halloween Horror Nights does happen, Universal will have to get inspiration from their own catalog or develop original concepts. They do own the rights to this year’s horror hits Invisible Man and The Hunt, both would make great attractions.
Netflix has offered plenty of ideas for houses too, such as the popular Stranger Things houses, or even one based on its House on Haunted Hill.
Rumors have been circulating that a Beetlejuice house is on the slate as one of this year’s entries.
So in a nutshell iHorror readers, Halloween Horror Nights has not been officially canceled, even though the studio is being tight-lipped about details. If it does happen there will be social distancing changes for sure.
We will keep you posted as we get more information so keep checking back for more updates.