Author: Russell (page 1 of 41)

Haunt Review: Halloween Horror Nights (Hollywood) 2018

HHN Hollywood sticks to its formula of cinematic themed mazes with a lineup featuring some of the most popular horror movies and TV series.

For 2018 there’s the unexplained and ghostly phenomenon in the “Stranger Things”, “Poltergeist” and “The Horrors of Blumhouse” mazes. Killers, slashers, and creeps in the “The First Purge”, “Halloween 4”, and “Trick r’ Treat” mazes. You’ll also come face to face with some of horror’s top movie icons in the incredibly fantastic “Universal Monsters” maze. Plus, the tried and true HHN attractions like “The Walking Dead” walk-through attraction, “Terror Tram”, and a few miscellaneous scare zones try their best to also thrill guests.

HHN  is still one of our top Theme Park haunts in SoCal and we continue to rank their mazes highest in overall design, theme, and scare factor. However, the redundancy and predictability are starting to become apparent to those of us who go every year. The pacing and design of all the mazes have become cookie cutter with very little variation in how they’re staged. While there are some great scares, the impact is minimized when the same tactics are used year after year, maze after maze.  This year there also was the increased over reliance on the black curtain transition rooms where a scareactor pops out of the darkness in nearly every maze.

The question we keep asking ourselves as the years go by is how can HHN be further enhanced to raise the bar and stay ahead of the haunt curve, which they’ve set themselves?  Should they remain locked into producing mazes solely tied to movie and TV franchises?

By all means, HHN is still a great time but as the years go on we fear that they may be painting themselves into a bloody corner with limited originality.   We know the team is creative enough to come up with a least a few new tricks every year to keep the HHN experience fresh. Having experienced HHN at Universal Orlando where they have a few unique mazes every year, we think if Hollywood included more original themes into their mix then they would have the perfect collection of mazes in one park. Plus with the successful launch of Warner Bros.’ own studio Haunt right down the street, which owns and now features big horror IPs such as The Conjuring, Pennywise (IT), Freddy, and Jason, Universal will need to do some more updating and diversifying to remain the top ‘final girl’ of Theme Park Haunts.

The overall park experience at HNN is as good as ever. They’ve improved on the operations and the staff was generally helpful. The layout of the park is still unwieldy with the mile-long walk, each way, from the front gate to the mazes at the bottom of the studio lot but we guess there’s no real way they can change that. It would be great if they would open up the Wizarding World of Harry Potter section to disperse more of the crowds on the upper lot.

The early entry option is a must for those who purchase general admission as it allows you time to get through all the mazes with significantly reduced wait times. We used it and were able to go through a couple of the mazes twice which was a great bonus.  We wished they had an option where you could buy a one-time one maze front of the line pass. It may not be practical but after getting through all the lower lot mazes and then having to wait over an hour for the upper lot mazes it was something we wished we had at the end of the night.

Now, on to our maze reviews featuring videos from our friends at ThemeParkHD!

Mazes & Attractions Reviews

Stranger Things

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HAUNT REVIEW: Warner Bros.’Horror Made Here: A Festival of Frights’

Are You Ready To Face Your Fears?

(PRNewsfoto/Warner Bros. Studio Tour)

For a few years in a row, Warner Bros. Studios has been hosting a smaller scale Halloween event on select nights in October using their archive of classic and modern horror movie properties. This year they’re ripping off the little kid’s arm and throwing their bloody clawed glove into the ring with a bigger multi-night Halloween event.  We love that they’re making the commitment to present a new haunt event in Southern California and from the preview night, it’s clear to us that Universal Studios (HHN) is no longer the only haunted movie studio in Hollywood.

“We’re not just a scare factory or a haunted house – as the creator of legendary horror films, what better way to celebrate Halloween than with a party on the Warner Bros. backlot? We’re thrilled to welcome guests who are ready to brave their deepest nightmares,” said Gary Soloff, Director of Marketing, WBSTH. “Due to the overwhelming demand from last year’s event, we’ve extended our nights and hours and made this year’s festival, night tour, and mazes bigger, better, and scarier, so our guests can expect more pulse-pounding terror than ever before.”

As with any new major haunt event, there definitely is room for improvement. Over this haunt season, they will have to climb the learning curve to smooth out some of the event’s operations, staff training, and scare actor presence. Given that the WB Studios doesn’t have the infrastructure of a major theme park they’ve done an incredible job at converting their studio backlot into an intimate small-town style Halloween festival. You really feel as though you’re walking through the streets of Derry Maine, Springwood Ohio, or Monroe Connecticut. Off to an impressive start, WB has successfully created an adult-focused Halloween event that we feel is best suited for more mature haunt fans who are either tired of the chaotic HHN experience, seek a nostalgic horror movie experience, or just want more haunts to go to.

Mazes & Experiences 

IT Knows What Scares You

Horror Made Here: IT

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HAUNT REVIEW: Knott’s Scary Farm 2018

Knott’s Scary Farm sincerely carries on traditions for it’s 2018  Halloween Haunt. With two new mazes, returning popular mazes, and shows Knott’s will get (keep) you in the Halloween spirit all night long.

We do our best not to spoil the mazes for those who’ve yet to experience them, so we won’t provide scare-by-scare reviews, but we will share highlights and our overall opinions from our own experiences in the mazes. Haunts are rated on a 1-5 “skull” system.

New Mazes and Attractions

THE DEPTHS

A heavy fog drapes over an abandoned port village where ancient creatures lurk inside the pitch-black underground caves hidden below the seaside shores. The Nightwatch Mining Crew has mysteriously disappeared and village rumors point to the eerie tunnels the town sits upon. Myths of the terrifying horrors that lurk within the cave have often been whispered but never confirmed.  Did the crew meet their demise at the hand of vicious creatures that live within the cave? Journey into the ominous caverns and follow the crew’s path into The Depths, discover if the superstition revolving around the cave is true or not. But be warned! All who have entered have never resurfaced.

The Depths is another visually invigorating maze added to this year’s lineup. Similarly to mazes like Shadowlands and Dark Ride, this maze has a very distinct theme that we’ve never seen anywhere else showcasing some stunning scenes, effects, and set pieces. There are also some distinct scares such as a scene with sea creatures jumping out from below the surface of the water as you’re descending underwater, which is effectively pulled off with low lying fog and laser light effects. There’s also massive Kraken monster that rocks the hull of the ship back and forth as you make your way through. One of the final scares features a giant zombified shark whose sharp teeth and jaws get terrifyingly close as you try to pass. The story is a little hard to follow as you somehow start off in a mineshaft going through the barracks of some ill-fated miners and then end up underwater. Nonetheless, we liked this maze and think it’s a solid new entry to the Scary Farm line-up.

Haunt Design: 
Theming:
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DARK ENTITIES

Teleport beyond earth and into a realm where the darkness is absolute. In the depths of space, a lone station faces terror beyond all imagination. An extraterrestrial mutation has invaded the station, and it’s on the prowl for new hosts. The unearthly inhabitants’ force increases as it feeds on its unwilling victims. Escape the dark entities before its deathly force eliminates all living form aboard the station. There’s nowhere to escape when time is running out!

This maze has so much potential that it never lives up to. Perhaps we went through at the wrong time but there were hardly any monsters or scares inside. The attempted scares it did have were all the predictable “monster around the corner” type. The settings and props were fun and interesting, reminding us of the old school maze Alien Attack (which was far scarier). This maze would be so much more with better lighting, scare timing, and the monster talent. Dark Entities disappointingly failed to make any significant impact and really needs some reworking to make it something worthwhile. They get a solid ‘B’ for effort but it falls far below average for the execution.

Haunt Design:
Theming:  
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Returning Mazes

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Hauntcation: Houston, TX

This weekend we’re venturing out to Houston Texas y’all for our 2018 Haunt-cation. Houston has a  pretty impressive number of haunts in and around the city and hopefully, we’ll get to see them all. For most, it’s opening weekend too so we’ll be able to share some all-new Haunt reviews for our Texas Haunt Stalkers. Follow us on IG, Twitter, and FB for live updates from our trip.

Here’s what’s on our Scare-tinerary:

3HaunTs Haunted House

Kingwood Asylum

Haunted Trails

There is no better time to come face to face with your nightmares than this Halloween season at the Haunted Trails… When night falls and the monsters of these woods begin to howl, you’ll enter a realm of terror you could not have imagined. Acres of mortifying scenes and unnatural creatures await eagerly to quench their undying thirst for your screams. What lurks among these trees? What sinister beings have you in their sights? Come, DARE to walk among these Haunted Trails of Houston for THE most THRILLING outdoor adventure – of your LIFE!

Nightmare on the Bayou

Nightmare on the Bayou is Houston’s only haunted house THAT IS REALLY HAUNTED!

Houston TerrorDome

Phobia

Creepy Hollow

RedRum Haunted House

Fearshire Farms

Unfortunately, they won’t be opening this weekend.

Scream World

Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor Embarks for Its Darkest Season Yet

NEW Interactive Maze Paths, NEW Reimagined Event Footprint, Extreme Aerial & Fire Shows, New Maze Designs, More Ultimate Scream Tours, More Secret Bars, More Private Lairs, More Twisted Spirits

 

Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor rises again from the depths this Friday, September 27, drenched in legend and oozing with a sordid past. Regarded as one of the most haunted places on Earth, the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor is a thrill-seekers’ delight, blurring the lines of history and hysteria, and for the 2018 season, the event will disorient fans with an entirely NEW park footprint along with NEW maze designsINTERACTIVE alternate paths, and THRILLING live entertainment.

“This coming season attendees are invited to descend into Dark Harbor’s newly, omni-immersive and hyper-enhanced mazes for its darkest season yet,” stated Charity Hill, Executive Producer of Dark Harbor. “With a myriad of voluntary experiences, alternate paths, secret bars, and hidden passages we are proud to deliver a choose-your-own-adventure mega haunt.”

Regarded as one of the most haunted places on Earth, the Queen Mary's Dark Harbor is a thrill-seekers' delight, blurring the lines of history and hysteria. (Photo: Business Wire)Put on a detective’s hat and retrace the steps of Samuel the Savage to solve the gruesome murders in B340. Re-live childhood nightmares playing hide-and-seek with Scary Mary and her sinister teddy bear in Lullaby. Escape the Ringmaster’s big top before becoming a specimen in the oddities museum of Circus. Head to boot camp with Half Hatch Henry for a reimagined storyline of the fan-favorite maze, Deadrise, to experience Captain’s rigorous training camp. Feeling Intrepid? Traverse the John Brown Shipyard and try to hide from the lurking creatures in the Scottish Highlands aboard Iron Master’s express train to hell. Clock in to a shift aboard the infamous Grey Ghost and avoid Chef’s chopping block while working up an appetite for flesh in the maze FEAST.

At Midsummer Scream, the producers of Dark Harbor announced a devilishly perfect addition to their creative team, the sinister & twisted mind of Jon Cooke. The NEW Dark Harbor Production Designer brings with him over a decade of experience designing some of SoCal’s most celebrated theme parks and haunted attractions.

As Dark Harbor’s darkest and most sinister season approaches, those daring enough to set foot on property will navigate a bone-chilling 9-degree Ice Bar, dodge hundreds of devious entities, seek out hidden havens, indulge in devilish treats, imbibe intense concoctions, survive Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch Sinister Swings, brave the Panic 4D Experience, and white-knuckle death-defying aerial and fire stunts for the haunt’s most frighteningly immersive season yet.

Let the countdown begin: 6 blood-curdling mazes, 5 weeks of terror, 3 new secret bars, 2 electrifying stages, 1 way out…

The annual haunt returns to the Queen Mary this weekend on September 27 and continues to scare those who dare on select nights through November 2. General Admission ticket prices start at just $20 online with optional limited upgrades to Fast Fright, Evil Express, VIP, Ultimate Scream, Creepy Cabanas, and Private Patios (available while supplies last). For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit www.queenmary.com/dark-harbor.

The 17th Door Haunted House Returns with Crybaby!

Four years ago the 17th Door Haunt Experience stormed the SoCal haunt scene and has become one of the most talked about attractions in Southern California. Brilliantly blending a traditional walk-through haunted house with theatrical and extreme elements, it’s a more intense, but still accessible level for haunt fans who had felt they’d “seen it all.”

This year the 17th Door Haunted House returns to its home in Fullerton for the second straight year, allowing the team to build their best haunt yet! One of the scariest, most intense, and most interactive haunted houses in the country has taken things to a whole new level for 2018. This year, guests will also be able to undergo the Vixi Ward Virtual Reality Experience, an enhanced 15-minute immersive venture for an additional $13.

New rooms and new scares… you will hate it and you will love it! Will you cry “Mercy?” or will you survive all 20 (22 with VR) rooms of psychological terror?

STORY

At Perpetuum Penitentiary, the madness continues. As Paula continues to serve her time, she continues her descent into darkness. An unseen side of Paula is now coming into focus. A thought or mention of her dead child torments her soul and brings forth a psychotic rage aimed at those around her. The prison psychiatrist has prescribed “Art Therapy,” inflaming her rage and suffering. As a last resort, he has given her an unorthodox tool… a therapy puppet named “Lincoln.” Meant to present her suffocated infant son, it will push her to a place of evil and perversion. The depravity spreads like a virus.

Will the puppet, Lincoln, lead her to accept her crime? Or will it push her to nightmarish depths previously unknown? Will Paula choose a path to redemption or will she be devoured by the darkness, becoming a permanent inmate of hell… otherwise known as Perpetuum, Death Row.

Paula, her dead son, and You are… Crybaby. 

THE VIXI WARD EXPERIENCE

In the heyday of Perpetuum Penitentiary, the prison partnered with the enigmatic Vixi Labs on a new experimental treatment method for its most troublesome inmates. Touting a revolutionary machine that was capable of interfacing with the human brain – the VRX-2000 headset – Vixi Labs helped Perpetuum to establish the new Vixi Ward within the prison.

After only a short operating streak, Vixi Ward was officially shut down for “excessive casualties” incurred during treatment. Yet in spite of this, screams still echo throughout the halls of Vixi Ward, and it’s rumored to continue operations on particularly unruly inmates.

Guests sentenced to Vixi Ward will face a 15 minute immersive experience. Guests may first endure a pre-op procedure to assess their fitness for treatment. They will then don the VRX-2000 headset themselves to begin their virtual reality experience. Once the guests’ treatment concludes, they will then be snuck back into inmate general population using a secret entrance. There, they will begin The 17th Door maze inside Perpetuum.

 “We’re always striving to outdo ourselves each year and 2018 is no exception!” said The 17th Door co-owner Heather Luther. “With a refocus on storyline, refinement in room details and sets and layered elements of new innovative and interactive scares, we are expecting this to be our best show yet!”Pre-sale tickets for this year’s season are now available online at www.the17thdoor.com. Act fast because they sell out quickly!

The 17th Door is designed for a mature audience, preferably 16 years of age and older, as guests will find themselves in intense situations. All guests must still sign a liability waiver and the actors are allowed to touch guests. At any point during the haunted house experience, guests may use the safe word “Mercy” to be escorted out. They will be given the option to rejoin their group in the next room or leave the haunt entirely.

The 17th Door 2017 Haunt Experience Dates:

September 21-22, 28-29

October 5-7, 11-14, 17-21, 24-31

 

Halloween 4: Behind the Scenes Preview of the New HHN Maze

9/13/18 Update:

Take a special behind the scenes tour of the Halloween 4 maze at Universal’s 2018 Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood with HHN creative director John Murdy, Trancas Films’ Malek Akkad and Halloween 4 director Dwight Little.

 

8/14/18 post:

4th Time is a Scream: Michael Myers Returns to HHN 2018

Last week a few leaks revealed that Halloween 4 will be coming to HHN in Orlando and Hollywood.

Today Universal confirmed the rumors and provided a detailed overview of what victims… guest can expect to happen inside their latest Halloween maze. Previously, both HHN events have had mazes based on the original Halloween and Halloween II. Hollywood also had a Life and Crimes of Michael Myers maze back in 2009 that featured some of his most iconic kills from the first few movies in the series including the bandaged wrapped Michael from Halloween 4.

As the title suggests, Halloween 4 features the return of Michael Myers to the film series revealing that Michael survived the fire in Halloween II but has been in a coma since that night. While being transferred back to Smith’s Grove, Michael comes out of his coma and overhears that Laurie Strode, who died in a car accident, has a daughter. Michael escapes the transport and heads to Haddonfield in search of his niece, Jamie. Fellow survivor Dr. Loomis also goes to Haddonfield after learning that Michael has escaped again and must reconvince everyone that the evil has returned. After slicing his way through more police, trick or treaters and horny teens the town residents rally to turn the tables and hunt down Michael. There are a few scenes from this movie that could provide some good scares such as the scene where a bunch of teens dress up as Michael and surround Dr. Loomis and the cops as a prank only for it to be revealed that Michael was really amongst the group of masked hoodlums.

 

Halloween 4 should make for a fun maze and is a fitting title as this is the 4th time HHN (Hollywood) is featuring a Michael Myers in a maze. We still think it’s a little strange that they’re not doing haunts based on the upcoming movie. Perhaps we’ll get twice the Michael Myers at HHN (Hollywood) with an appearance of the Halloween 2018 old man Myers in the rumored Blumhouse of Horrors: Chapter II maze.

Here are the details from Universal Press Release:

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., ORLANDO, Fla. (August 14, 2018) – Beginning on Friday, September 14, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, from Trancas International Films, takes a stab at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights, bringing the notorious slasher to Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort in all-new mazes inspired by the iconic horror film.

Based on the fourth installment in the classic slasher series created by John Carpenter, the mazes will transport guests to the suburban town of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween night where Myers has escaped Smith’s Grove Sanitarium and is hungry for revenge. This time, he relentlessly stalks his niece Jamie as his next victim, stopping at nothing to kill her.

Guests will follow Myers as he escapes the mental hospital, encounters his first victims at Penney’s Gas Station and Diner, and wreaks terror on Haddonfield, all set to Alan Howarth’s ominous score. The maze will include horrifying scares by Myers in his classic featureless white mask and navy jumpsuit, with guests dodging his bloody knife at every turn. Halloween fanatics can expect a cameo by Myer’s psychiatrist Dr. Loomis and other famous characters from the film as they try to escape the bloodbath.

Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights is the ultimate Halloween event. For more than 25 years, guests from around the world have visited Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood and Orlando to become victims inside their own horror film. Multiple movie-quality mazes based on iconic horror television shows, films, and original stories come to life season after season. And, the streets of each coast’s event are transformed into highly-themed scare zones where menacing scare-actors lunge from every darkened corner.

URBAN DEATH TOUR OF TERROR: Haunted Theatre Attraction! Returns for the 2018 Haunt Season.

Our favorite theatrical haunters Zombie Joe and company return for a 6th season of shock and delight with their fun n’ freaky twist on the haunted house.

2017 SZ Haunt Review

Coming off of a critically acclaimed, sell-out run at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe — the largest performing arts festival in the world — Urban Death returns to their North Hollywood home to once again unleash their monsters upon the world.

“This has been an amazing year for Urban Death,” says Zombie Joe. “We have spread our wings overseas and are now looking forward to returning home with a big sloppy ‘thank you’ kiss to our beloved fan base with our kick-ass haunted house. We can’t wait to show you what we’ve been brewing up for your screaming pleasure!”

Created by Zombie Joe and Jana Wimer, Urban Death first shocked audiences in 2005, revealing our deepest fears through a series of wordless, non-linear vignettes and intense physical performances.  URBAN DEATH TOUR OF TERROR: Haunted Theatre Attraction! is bold, terrifying, and entirely unique. You are advised to purchase tickets early as this event consistently sells out.

Don’t come alone.

WARNING: Graphic content, trigger warnings, and full nudity.

(Now you really want to go, don’t ya? )

Social Media:  @urbandeath_zju [Instagram] [Twitter] https://www.facebook.com/UrbanDeathZJU/

L.A. Haunted Hayride Celebrates 10th Anniversary

LOS ANGELES HAUNTED HAYRIDE ANNOUNCES THEIR MOST SPECTACULAR SEASON YET AS THE HALLOWEEN ICON CELEBRATES 10 YEARS BY BRINGING BACK ALL THE FAN FAVES OF THE PAST DECADE

 

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride (@LAHauntedHayride) returns with the most immersive ride yet as guests are completely transported back to hayrides past. This is sure to be another Halloween feast with the return of the legendary Haunted Hayride, the heart-pounding House Of Shadows Dark Maze, the disturbed neighborhood of Trick Or Treat and everyone’s favorite haunted village, Purgatory.

 

For fans that have been to every hayride, it will be an unforgettable ride through the nightmares the hayride has been inducing for years.  You will also be treated to new surprises and some larger than life additions that one would expect for a celebration as grand as a 10 Year Anniversary. For first-timers, the experience will be a hayride on steroids as every memorable demon and apparition returns to say hello once again. Do you remember the demon church of “The Congregation”? Or the legions of psychopathic clowns from “Through The Eyes Of A Child”? Maybe you’d love to take a ride back through “The Rift”? Then, this is your year and then some! If you haven’t been to the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, you will not want to miss out on this limited run special edition.

When you visit the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride your evening will include a stop in Purgatory. The charm and magic of our old world ‘haunted village’ invokes the nostalgia of Halloweens past; smell the freshly cut hay and see the deep, rich, orange glow of jack o’ lanterns as you pass through our gates. Become a part of the show at Theatre Macabre, ride the ‘Scary-Go-Round’, enjoy fair food & drink faves at the Grub Shack, have a clandestine encounter with a psychic, and don’t forget to grab your limited run anniversary swag in the Bootique.

Returning for this massive anniversary, the park will bring back cult favorites House Of Shadows and Trick Or Treat. The legendary House Of Shadows sends you into complete darkness as you grasp onto your group and stumble through Southern California’s only true dark maze! It is a disorienting, claustrophobic experience where you might find yourself totally alone in the shadows. At Trick Or Treat, it’s Halloween every night. Check out our ALL-NEW ghoulish residents as we have amped up the fright factor for this annual freakish block party.

The terror of the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride begins on September 29th, 2018 and will be open select nights until October 31st, 2018. Operating hours are Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 7pm-10:30 pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 7pm-12am, with the exception of September 29th when we close at 11pm. General Admission and VIP passes that surpass the line are available, as well as a Platinum pass that includes VIP parking! There are also a limited number of Hayride Only passes starting at $26, all expected to sell out during the pre-sale. Pre-sale for tickets will end September 1st. Visit www.losangeleshauntedhayride.com for exact nights of operation and other details.

Social Tags: #LAHH, #LAHH2018, #LAHH10Years

Haunt-cation: Orlando 2018

Orlando has started to claim the title of the Halloween Vacation Capital. Orlando and the Central Florida area does offer a lineup of some of the nation’s top Halloween events. Orlando is one of our go-to Hauntcation locations but unfortunately, it won’t be one of our destinations this year.  Nonetheless, we highly recommend it and while you’re there make the drive over to Tampa for Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream.

Starting as early as Aug. 17 and running through Nov. 3, there’s something for everyone, from mild and family-friendly to what we prefer, wild and terrifying. This year’s lineup includes a host of all-hallows events and attractions; themed hotel packages; and the return of the largest horror convention in the nation.

Universal Orlando Resort announced today that it’s adding a 10th haunted house to this year’s Halloween Horror Nights event – giving guests more haunted houses and scares than ever before.

Visit Orlando, Orlando’s official visitor resource has created a special web page to help travelers plan a ghoulish getaway at VisitOrlando.com/Halloween. Follow #OrlandoHalloween for real-time updates and find a few haunted highlights below.

THEME PARK FRIGHTS

  • Halloween Horror Nights 28, Select Nights Sept. 14 – Nov. 3‎This year visitors can expect horrors inspired by the ’80s at Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights, with a haunted house in the theme of Netflix’s mega-hit “Stranger Things,” as well as nine other haunted houses, for a total of 10 – the most ever in the event’s 28-year history. The event will also run for a total of 34 nights, tied for the longest run in its history.
  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Select Nights Aug. 17 – Oct. 31On select nights from Aug. 17 to Oct. 31Magic Kingdom Park comes alive with jack-o-lanterns, special characters and entertainment for the whole family. Encouraged to come dressed for the occasion, visitors can trick-or-treat throughout the park, masquerade with costumed characters at the Boo-to-You Halloween Parade, sing along at the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular and end the night with a “Boo-tacular” fireworks show.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a special ticket event and takes place on select nights each fall at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

  • SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular, Weekends Sept. 22 – Oct. 28It’s an ocean of Halloween fun for the whole family at SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular. During this daytime event, families are immersed in an underwater “fantasea” including trick-or-treating, not-so-spooky live shows, whimsical sea creatures, and the chance to mingle with everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends including Elmo, The Count, Cookie Monster and more.
  • Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND Florida Resort, Select Nights Oct. 6 – 31Families will enjoy all the fun without the frights at LEGOLAND’s Brick or Treat this year. The event features trick-or-treating, the world’s largest LEGO jack-o-lantern, LEGO Halloween characters and a bewitching Halloween-themed fireworks show at Pirates’ Cove.

WINTER HAVEN, FL — October 11, 2014 — LEGOLAND ® Florida Resort celebrates Brick or Treat this Halloween with costume contests, model builds, character meet and greets, and more. (PHOTO / LEGOLAND Florida, Merlin Entertainments Group, Chip Litherland)

“BOO!” BEYOND THE PARKS

  • Spooky Empire, the largest horror convention in the nation returns to Orlando Oct. 26–29 at the Caribe Royale Orlando. This year’s lineup of celebrity guests includes David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson of X-files fame, and Kathy Najimy of Disney’s Halloween classic Hocus Pocus, with more to be announced. Other thrills and chills at the convention include a tattoo festival, costume contest, zombie walk and film festival.

  • A Petrified Forest features two outdoor scare trails for small groups to venture through a haunted forest at night. On a few special Total Eclipse Nights – which require a signed waiver for anyone under 18 – monsters can eventouch the guests, and each small group is given only one glowstick to light their path, regardless if it is dropped or stolen by a creature. The event runs select nights, Oct. 5 – Nov. 3.
  • American Ghost Adventures offers a wide variety of year-round paranormal experiences, with tour options all over Orlando, from the haunted pub tour, “Spirits with Spirits” to the “Dining with the Departed” tour, complete with a meal in a haunted restaurant.
  • Zombie Outbreak challenges guests to see how long they could survive a zombie apocalypse. This Halloween season and all year long, the terrifically terrifying attraction puts guests in the middle of a military base overrun with the undead.
  • Mortem Manor Haunted Attraction at Old Town features year-round scares, with two spooky stories, state-of-the-art animatronics and live actors. Entry is just $15, making this a bargain sure to scare the living yell out of guests.
  • Maitland’s Historical Haunted Tours invite curious history buffs and ghost hunters to explore the haunted grounds of the Art & History Museum’s Maitland Art Center or the Waterhouse Residence Museum via two separate tours, available on select days in October. From ghost stories to creepy Victorian artifacts, guests will discover the chilling truth behind what is said to be one of the most paranormal places in Central Florida.
  • Screamin’ Green Hauntoween at The Crayola Experience invites guests to get “zombified” with all-new monster-ific crafts, dance parties, a themed scavenger and trick-or-treating every weekend, Sept. 22 – Oct. 31.
  • SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology brings the dead back to life, with over 40 exhibits featuring 500 REAL animal skeletons. Special adult-focused event nights get even spookier, like SKELETONS After Dark: Forensic Night, where guests examine human skeletons and learn how to read the cause of death.
  • The City of Orlando’s Moonlight Walking Tours take guests on a dark, historical stroll through Greenwood Cemetery. Trek four miles and visit nearly a hundred graves of notable individuals in Orlando’s history. The tour is free, but usually sponsored by rotating charities that will be accepting donations, so guests can feel philanthropic AND afraid.

HAUNTING HOTEL HAPPENINGS

 

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