This past weekend a good sized group of friends and I headed up the hill and landed at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights.
This year's Horror Nights pulled out all the stops new and old and did not disappoint! This year the park had 6 mazes to offer as well as a show. We didn't make it to the show, which I've heard nothing but good things about. So I won't be commenting on it.
We entered the part at 7pm. I don't recall there being an opening ceremony, but I maybe off by a few min and we may have missed it. I kept hearing that we should get there early to avoid lines and see the ceremony. Seeing as we missed the ceremony, we made our way to the Terror Tram on one of the lower levels. A tram takes you down to the maze location, while they play some footage that relates to the overall theme of the area. This year it's Chucky's Revenge. (sidenote: I'm not a Chucky fan, but I did spot a friend of mine playing security on the tram video! We cheered and giggled. So that was cool) Here we got to walk part of the backlot, through WHOVILLE, The Bates Motel, The Psycho House, and the War of the Worlds display. You're also lead up this awesome wooded area that was La Llorona themed, but I feel that it's better suited for the previously used Friday the 13th franchise. I have to admit that one of my main reasons for loving the Terror Tram so much is that we are able to walk the backlot. The space is open and fresh, yet somehow HOT AS BALLS but I gather that it's from the fire balls, so there isn't much terror or claustrophobia to be had.
After this we headed up and over to the second lower lot. Here we dodged some SAW pigs for a trip into the SAW:Game On maze. All I can say is SMELLS. The smells of this maze could wake the dead. It's horrible and assaulting along with water being sprayed on you. Then intense temperature changes and strobe and LOUD NOISES and did I mention the SMELLS?!?! Here is where my voice started to go and we lost a member of our group. She didn't fare well with the smells and sounds and water sprays. She left the maze in tears and needing water. I left a bit nausous and hurty headed. We decided to take a break from running and dodging chainsaws and visit Mr. King Kong.
After our trip to Skull Island, where we were also sprayed in the face by a giant gorilla, we headed up to Nightmare on Elm Street: Never Sleep Again. By this time the wait time around the entire park had more than tripled and we played the waiting game. once inside this maze had some fantastic effects. I won't spoil anything, but I have to say watch out in the hallway.
From here we headed over to House of 1000 Corpses: in 3-D Zombievision! Hands down my favorite maze! Mainly because I'm a giant whore for Rob Zombie but also because we got to enter the Firefly house. Great use of space and in some places the 3D gag was great. In others it was just a gag... There were chicken smells and the least amount of water sprays, if any, that I can recall.
Next we headed over to Vampyre: Castle of the Undead. The wait here was super short and the maze was super long. It's housed in the resedent horror maze of the park. Not too much going on here but glad we paid it a visit.
Then it was time for the last maze of the night... Friday the 13th: Kill, Jason, Kill. This maze like the Freddy maze is based off the remake which I enjoyed! There are some gruesome gags and I got one of the best scares of the evening. I will add that it was the first scare that you are looking at right off the bat... IT WAS IN PLAIN SITE but I lost it and then broke down laughing.
We decided to call it a night as the park was closing in 15 min. We'd been there since 7 and managed to walk all the mazes and run through the scare zones.
Oh! I suggest adding @HorrorNights on twitter! The account is run by John Murdy, the creative director of HHN. He responds to tweets, dishes out trivia, teasers and listens to reasonable fan input.
Seasons Screamings everyone!