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Fear will be made real at Universal Orlando's 20th anniversary edition of Halloween Horror Nights

Fear will be made real at Universal Orlando's 20th anniversary edition of Halloween Horror Nights

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Four weeks from tonight, the Universal Orlando Resort will be premiering the 20th anniversary edition of Halloween Horror Nights. "And just what should we expect as HHN reaches this special headstone ... er ... milestone?," you ask. Well, to hear show director Mike Aiello talk, the 20th anniversary version of this hugely popular seasonal event will feature something old, something new, nothing borrowed and something ... BOOO!

As for the Something Old ... For the XX edition of HHN, the Universal Orlando Resort is bringing back some of the more popular & iconic characters from this event's past. How many of you recall Jack? Or the Caretaker? The Director, the Usher and the Storyteller?


Copyright Universal Studios. All rights reserved

As for Something New ... What Universal will revealing this time around is that - during all those years when Jack & Co. were terrifying HHN patrons - these fearsome fiends were actually doing someone else's bidding. A truly monstrous character who, up until now, has opted to stay in the background. Hide in the shadows.

"And who exactly is this character?," you query. Fear itself. The literal personification of Fear. Who will be wandering free in Universal Studios Florida for 24 nights beginning on September 24th and then running through October 31st.


What's been revealed (so far) of Fear, the central character in the 20th
anniversary celebration of Halloween Horror Nights at the Universal
Orlando Resort. Copyright Universal Studios. All rights reserved

As for Nothing Borrowed ... In years past, Halloween Horror Nights has built mazes & shows around popular movie characters Leatherface, Freddy Krueger & Jason Voorhees. Not to mention horror film franchises like "Saw." But this time around, in honor of this seasonal event's 20th anniversary, it was felt that Halloween Horror Nights (as an intellectual property, mind you) was strong enough to carry this event all by itself. Which is why this year's haunted houses and scarezones (except for a few quick nods to the classic Universal movie monsters like Dracula, the Wolf Man and Frankenstein's monster) will feature no one else's characters except those that the Universal Orlando Resort had specifically created for previous Halloween Horror Nights.

"That's what we took away from last year's "Shadows of the Past' scarezone," Aiello explained. "You know? The one that we set up for the last two nights of HHN 19? When we saw how excited our fans were, how they'd rush to get their pictures taken with Cindy, we knew that we were on to something special here. That an event built around our own in-house characters - rather than someone else's intellectual property - would actually work."


Halloween Horror Night fans swarm the "Shadows of the Past" scarezone
at last year's event. Copyright Universal Studios. All rights resereved

As for Something BOOOO! ... Aiello promises some "insanely intense" experiences this time around. Not to mention some pretty innovative ones as well (including Universal's first-ever use of open flame inside of one of its Haunted Houses). Mike also talked about how HHN will be making use of new technologies in order to help entertain those Guests who are out waiting in one of that theme park's Fear Lot before they can then gain entry to a particular HHN XX maze. In that they'll now be able to interact with some of the characters featured inside of that Haunted House while they wait via text messaging.

And speaking of characters ... Though the colorful cast of the Rocky Horror Picture Show will not be back to entertain Universal visitors in 2010, HHN's favorites Bill & Ted will. With the premise for this year's show (which, as always, will take well-deserved pot shots at 2010's most popular films and TV shows as well as pop culture figures) will be how Bill & Ted might react once these two learned that they could possibly be replaced as HHN icons.


Copyright Universal Studios. All rights reserved

As for any other news about HHN XX ... Aiello admitted that more details about the 20th anniversary edition of this super-popular seasonal event will be revealed in the coming weeks. But for now ... Given that this year's Halloween Horror Nights will be celebrating Fear (to be specific, the role that this yet-to-be-revealed character has played in HHNs of the past. Not to mention the part that Fear will play in Halloween Horror Nights XXI, XXII & XXIII) ... Well, it's only appropriate that UOR allow the suspense to build for a little while longer before they then reveal the next piece of the puzzle.

Which isn't to say that you should hold off on buying tickets to this year's Halloween Horror Nights until more is revealed about this Fear character. Given that weekend nights of the 20th anniversary edition of HHN are almost certain to sell out ... If you're looking to visit the Universal Orlando Resort on those dates, it might be wise to buy your tickets for Halloween Horror Nights 2010 NOW.


Copyright Universal Studios. All rights reserved

More to the point,  if you'd like to follow along as Aiello and his HHN XX team reveal more about Fear,  you should probably sign up for the Universal Orlando Resort's official Halloween Horror Nights Facebook page.

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  • Absolutely LOVE Halloween Horror Nights.  My wife and I have gone twice in the past (2006 & 2008), but we'll be missing out this year -- we have an 8 1/2 month old now, which makes big trips like this a little more difficult (maybe next year)!

    One thing that rarely gets mentioned in the articles surrounding HHN is this: bring your wallets, and be prepared to spend a boatload of money.  If you're going to go to the event and you're setting aside one night to see it all, then you MUST purchase the Express Pass; no if's, and's or but's about it.  We've always gone in late October (actually went on Halloween night in '06), and the lines are ridiculously long; posted wait times at some of the more popular haunted houses are 2+ hours, easy.  With the Express pass, you can bypass the lines and see most (if not all) of the houses in a single evening.  The issue, though, is that if you're buying an Express pass, you're essentially paying double the cost of the base ticket, which is already pretty pricey.

    If you're a Florida resident or can spend more than one night of your vacation at the park, then it may not be as necessary to have to plunk down the extra bucks.  But if you're only planning for 1 evening at HHN, seriously consider the Express pass.  The scarezones are great, and the mood inside the park is creepy wherever you go, but the haunted houses are the big attractions.  If you spend the $75 per for admission and only get to see 1 or 2 houses, then it's a disappointment.  If you spend the extra $60-70 bucks on the Express pass and see everything -- while definitely a hit to the old bank account -- then at least you get the full flavor of the place.

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