Review written by Nathan Wertheimer
Orlando, FL – Be prepared to be scared at another Halloween Horror Night 26 (HHN26). This event runs on select nights now thru October 31, 2016. Check the HHN26 for dates at http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/?ref . It is suggested to arrive early to wait in lines before the gates open and the horror music to begins to be played in the background. When the gates open the crowds are extremely eager to see all of the haunted houses. Also, the local media was invited on the first night to check out the entire HHN26 event by touring the many haunted houses, scare zones, and viewing Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure Show.
The scare zones were popular with many Horror Night Fans because they are so interactive with all the guests. The streets of Universal Studios Florida™ theme park come alive with hordes of horrifying mutants, monsters and maniacs. Make your way through 5 nightmarish scare zones where gory and grotesque creatures lurk around every turn. Don’t let your guard down or it just might be the last thing you ever do. The list of scare zones are Survive or Die Apocalypse, Lair of the Banshee, Dead Man’s Wharf, Vamp ’55, and A Chance In Hell.
I did not have a chance to review all of the scare zones on my visit. I visited the Dead Man’s Wharf. This scare zone is located in the San Francisco area. One will notice the fishing vessel Annabel sitting up along the street. The lost crew walks around in this area. This is a great photo moment to catch. The next scare zone is Vamp ‘55, which is located in the Hollywood area out in the street by the storefronts. This scare zone theme is around the homecoming parade. Watch these High School Students put on a real live show for you. Watch out for the ice cream man. You never know what is going to be in his cart freezer. Next, there is the Lair of the Banshee scare zone, which is located in a woodsy area nearby Woody Woodpecker’s Kidzone. There is a lot of fog in this area, which make it extremely scary. The dark spirits may get you if you dare. Then head over to the Survive or Die Apocalypse scare zone located in the New York area. This area has a brunch of gangs out in the street. They are very photogenic. Next on the list is A Chance In Hell, which is located in the Production Central area. This scene has a bunch of jail inmates walking around the street. Watch out so they don’t recruit you!
If you buy a regular ticket into this event you will be expected to wait in lines unless you get the fast pass, which is highly recommended. Waiting time will vary depending on the haunted house popularity for the night. The lines do move at a moderate speed.
I was able to tour four haunted houses. I saw the American Horror Story, The Exorcist, and Lunartics Playground 3D. Each house is different. Some horror features stay the same. Most of these haunted houses go through a maze-like path. There are exit signs to lead you through each haunted house. Plus, there are employees standing by to give directions if you get lost. When walking through the house there are no photos and videos allowed through all the haunted houses. Employees will be directing you to keep the line moving at all times. No stopping while in line going through the house. Also, one is not allowed to touch any employees in costumes at any time. This goes for the employees too. When walking with a group of people in these houses some ladies may scream and push you slightly in the back because they are scared. This is just part of the fun. Gentlemen please protect your lady. They need comfort and will appreciate this very much.
Beside the haunted houses at this theme park, there are six themed rides open. Check out Transformers The Ride 3-D, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, The Revenge of the Mummy, Men in Black Alien Attack, The Simpsons Ride, and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. Wait times for these rides may vary.
Throughout the park, there is a lot of HHN26 branded merchandise on the streets. These souvenirs cannot be bought at any store outside of the theme park. So some souvenirs are limited edition items. Pickup them up while supplies last. Some souvenir stands may only take cash, but others take both cash and credit cards.
Before going to HHN26 event these are some items recommended you should bring mosquito spray for Zika Virus. Spray your friends and family and then leave it in your vehicle. Bring a small backpack with you filled with ponchos, hand towels, photo/video camera, and other things you may need. Don’t over pack and walk around with a heavy backpack all night long. Just some good advice before going into the theme park. Have a wonderful time at this year’s HHN26!
For more information on Halloween Horror Night 26 (HHN26) go to www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando
Universal Studios Orlando is located at 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819.
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Photo courtesy of Universal Studios Orlando HHN26