Ride Vine @ridevine September 15, 2016

Some people spend all year waiting for Halloween Horror Nights and there’s a reason for that. In 26 years Halloween Horror Nights has grown to become what other events can only dream of.

Those in the theme park community know that Halloween is no joke when it comes to special events. Almost every theme park goes out of their way to put on the best show possible. Universal isn’t afraid to raise the bar and flex their creative muscles for horror fans.

The Preview Disclaimer

We had the chance to attend Halloween Horror Night’s preview and get a taste before it opens on Friday. The event did see some hiccups during a couple of the shows, but that’s expected during a preview event. Let’s look past the technicalities and into what makes Horror Nights worthwhile.

This article should give you a taste of what to expect this year. We’ve excluded the mazes and a few of the scarezones for now. Look for a full article to come this weekend.

The Scarezones

Each year there are a few changes when it comes to the layout and how the areas flow. The Hollywood scarezone has extended more towards the front of the park. Vamp 1955 starts with a school bus just after the Hello Kitty Store.

Vamp 1955


There are various parade floats down the middle of the street teeming with vampires. It’s a fun scarezone and worth checking out. It’s always a hit or a miss in this area since it’s out of the way. Unless you’re exiting the park or decide not to head straight after the turnstyles it can be easy to miss.

Survive or Die: Apocalypse

This year we also have the introduction of projection mapping in the New York area. It’s really neat if you see it from a distance, but some people didn’t seem to be paying attention to it.

The effect adds a lot to this area. Survive or Die is one of the bigger scarezones. There’s lots of pyro, scareactors, and loud noises to distract you. The projections are really just the icing on the cake.

A Chance in Hell

The event’s icon has her own scarezone right at the entrance of the event. Surrounding the street is four stages each with a twisted scene from Chance’s mind.


Fellow inmates from where Chance escaped from roam the streets and are sure to make you laugh. This area isn’t as scary as the rest of the zones, but the scareactors seemed to put on a better show.

The Shows

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure


Love it or hate it, this show sticks around. This show includes pop culture, politics, and parodies. This year’s version seemed more disjointed that the past few years. There were entertaining bits, but this year’s show just consists of randomness.

Some of the jokes fell flat and the show is very disjointed. Bill and Ted is still worth checking out. There’s plenty of eye candy in the form of pyro and dancers to keep most people entertained. That’s what it’s all about right?

Academy of Villains: House of Fear


This show takes place in the Hollywood area of the park and consists of all music and dance. The choreography is the most entertaining aspect of this show and you can tell they worked hard on it.

If you’re a fan of America’s Got Talent you might already be familiar with their work. This show delivers the goods when it comes to a powerful performance. The crowd was into it and it’s connected to the Shadybrook storyline just enough to be relevant to HHN fans.

Some of the song selection was interesting to say the least. One second you’re getting down with the sickness and the next you’re blasted with Evanescence. It’s not terrible, it just doesn’t blend well and caused some awkward glances in the crowd.

The show is strong and for sure worth checking out. This is one of the best outside acts that Horror Nights Orlando has had. The synergy with NBC Universal / America’s Got Talent has paid off this time around.

Full Show in video below.

The Whole Event

This year is interesting because of the wide variety of mazes and scarezones. It doesn’t feel as cohesive as last year’s event, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad by any means. We’re excited to share the rest of the event after it opens this Friday, September 16th.