We're just two weeks out now from the frights that can be
found at the 2011 edition of Universal Orlando's Halloween
Horror Nights. And while other sites may go on & on about all
the scares that await you inside of those eight great new haunted houses that
are being built as we speak for this year's event, I'd like to focus instead on
the six scare zones that will be featured at HHN 21.
To my way of thinking, those scare zones are the real reason
that Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights has been named "the country's
best Halloween event" for three years straight. Though HHN's highly detailed
& themed mazes are ... well, amazing, it's this theme park's scare zones that
really do fright right.
Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango from SyFy Channel's "Ghost Hunters" are surroundedby scare actors from Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights 21. CopyrightUniversal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved
"And why is that?," you ask.
Because Halloween Horror Nights' scare zones are free-form
entertainment. Meaning that - if you chose to - you can rush right through and
get those scares over with quickly. Or if you prefer, you can linger. Really
soak in the atmosphere there as you interact with HHN's often-cleverly-made-up
And that's decidedly different from what happens inside of
the mazes at Halloween Horror Nights. You see, because Universal Studios Florida
has to move a steady stream of people through all of eight of its haunted
houses on the 25 nights that this seasonal event is presented, people are
pulsed through these attractions. Meaning that - every 15 seconds or so -
another small group of Guests is allowed to enter each maze. And through clever
use of visual clues (not to mention Universal Orlando employees periodically
jumping out of dark corners and scaring the bejezus out of you), these people
are then compelled to move forward - scene-by-scene -- through each haunted house.
Until they eventually reach the exit, hoarse from screaming and exhilarated
from having survived such a horrifying experience.
Copyright Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved
Whereas the scare zones that will be featured at Halloween
Horror Nights 21, you're the one who decides how long you linger. Whether you
blitz through each of these fiendishly frightening environments in under 30
seconds or spend a full 30 minutes methodically exploring every zone,
interacting with each of the scare actors that you find there ... That's entirely
up to you.
And trust me, folks. You're really going to want to linger
in some of these scare zones. Especially when it comes to "Your Luck Has Run
Out." Which will be located in Universal Studios Florida's New York section down Sting Alley. This will be the part of that theme park which celebrates &
showcases the blood-thirsty seductress behind Halloween Horror Nights 21, Lady
Tyra Banks -- during a recent visit to the Universal Orlando Resort -- finds that it's not wise to linger in Lady Luck's lair. Photo by Kevin Kolczynski. Copyright Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved
In this scare zone, you'll actually enter the Lair of the
Lucky. Where the choices that you make will then determine if you make it out
That's the key difference with the scare zones that Universal Orlando
staffers have designed for this year's Halloween Horror Nights event. In that
many of these zones will feature interactive elements.
Take - for example - Nightmaze, which is supposed to be an
ever-changing maze of darkness that will be located right alongside USF's Monsters Cafe restaurant. What will make this particular scare zone
unique is that it will morph and change as you walk through it. Which means
that - if you were to circle back through this thing repeatedly during your
visit to Halloween Horror Nights - you'd never be scared the exact same way
You'll encounter the same sort of thing over in the Canyon
of Dark Souls, which is being staged right in front of this theme park's International Food and Film Festival facility. Where - if you move slowly through this scare zone - you'll
probably avoid attracting the attention of the over-sized creatures which dwell
in this part of Universal Studios Florida. But you opt to move quickly through
this part of the theme park, you may suddenly find yourself on the low end of
the food chain.
And speaking of the food chain ... Let Grown Evil be a warning
to all you would-be horticulturists out then. As this scare zone (which -- appropriately enough -- will be presented inside of Universal Studios Florida's pocket-sized recreation of New York City's Central Park) will
demonstrate, if you fail to regularly weed your garden, the things that are
left to grow there unchecked may someday decide to use you for fertilizer.
These are just four of the six scare zones that will be
found at this year's Halloween Horror Nights at the Universal Orlando Resort.
Which - of course - will be overseen by the capricious, ever-so-cruel Lady
And given how popular this seasonal event is with both area
visitors as well as Orlando locals ... Well, I wouldn't really want to push my
luck here. Especially when it comes to waiting to secure your admission media
to Halloween Horror Nights 21.
Lucky for you, I know a few folks who can help you out with tickets to this 25-night event, which officially gets
underway on September 23rd.
They've done some really nice work with the theming of the scare zones, and my wife (while terrified) has given me some time to wander along the areas to check them out when we've visited in the past. The only one that I CANNOT linger in at all is whichever one the chainsaw-wielding characters are in -- they always seem to find my wife, and she always jumps about 10 feet in the air after they successfully sneak up behind her!