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Halloween Horror Nights 2010 house-by-house review and guide for Universal Orlando

in Events, Reviews, Theme Parks, Universal Orlando, Universal Studios Florida

Halloween Horror Nights 2010 has emerged from the darkness at the Universal Orlando Resort in its twentieth year. With tributes to the event’s past combined with plenty of new ideas, Halloween Horror Nights XX is a must-see for any haunted house fan.

This year, I’m happy to report that the event is filled with many more hits than misses. Throughout its eight haunted houses, six scare zones, and two shows, I was thoroughly entertained, and even occasionally frightened. Now, being a big fan of Halloween and having been through many haunted houses over the years, it takes a lot to truly scare me. Anyone can be startled by a loud noise or screaming scareactor, but true scares are hard to come by. This year, I surprisingly found my heart racing once or twice from excitement and perhaps even a little fear while wandering the haunted halls of Halloween Horror Nights’ many mazes.

The Rules

In the past, I’ve ranked the houses at Halloween Horror Nights by scare factor and entertainment value on a scale from 1-10, but this year I’m changing things up. In my review below, you will find each haunted house, scare zone, and show summarized with my thoughts and ranked into one or more categories: Screamer (scare-filled), Gut Buster (comedy-packed), Eye Popper (visually-stunning), and/or Mind Blower (overall best in show). Of course, in the case of a complete dud, I’m calling it a Grave Digger (as in, it has dug its own grave). The goal is for these categories to help you better select which Halloween Horror Nights houses, scare zones, and shows you’re most interested in seeing, as long lines and limited hours can often prevent you from experiencing it all.

So with that said, I bring you my review of Halloween Horror Nights 2010:

Halloween Horror Nights 2010 Haunted Houses

Horror Nights: The Hallow’d Past

RANKING: Eye Popper

REVIEW: Located in the back of the park next to Catacombs, The Hallow’d Past is the perfect house to hit first. It sets the stage for the entire night in the same way a “Previously on…” does at the beginning of an episode of a long-running television series. If you’ve ever been to Halloween Horror Nights in the past, you will recognize familiar faces, props, and even entire scenes from some of your favorite haunted houses and scare zones. Nothing is off limits. From Universal-original creations to licensed properties, I dare say that all of your favorites can be found inside this house. It would take hundreds of repeat walk-throughs to see all of the remnants of Horror Nights’ past scattered throughout this house. While walking through, it was clear that the Horror Nights creative team knew exactly which scenes and characters to resurrect to not only pay tribute to but also please the fans. First-timers to Halloween Horror Nights will still enjoy the house, but not nearly as much as those familiar with the event’s past. This is not a house to rush through. The scares are frequent, but anyone who can look past them will see a wealth of Horror Nights history. Watch out for the shift change though. The scenes in this house are each important pieces of Horror Nights’ past and you won’t want to miss any of them on account of scareactors being swapped out.


  1. Nick Lepa

    I wasn’t kidding you Ricky when I said “All I have left is Jersey Shore and an occasional news story that many people could care less about it.” on Inside the Magic’s Facebook page yesterday. But I do give the writers of “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure” credit for making a show you can at least sit through.

  2. James

    I won’t be attending HHH this year, but can you spoil me as to what exactly happens when you press a red button? I’m curious! 😛

    1. ABBY

      can’t wait!!

    2. Ricky Brigante

      You give a good scare to the people in front of you!

  3. Buckly

    I went on opening night and agree with most of Ricky’s opinions. Catacombs was easily the best house (for me). Legendary Truth was really good too but I wish they would made the Spirit Seekers a bigger part of the house. The scare zones were mostly bleh and Bill & Ted was terrible this year.

  4. izzy

    Hey, all i have to say this year at Universal Studio Orlando sucked! Readlly bad! I went on the 9/25/2010. It seemed this year they went really cheap! Last year was wayy better. I wouldnt recommend it this year, thank Goodness i didnt pay full price! They did not have a good theme! Zombies running around, i was more scared before I went it the hunted houses. 10 THUMBS DOWN!

    1. Ricky Brigante

      Thanks for your reply. You’re certainly entitled to your opinions about the event, but please don’t repost the same message on multiple articles. I’ve deleted your other two identical replies and left this one.

  5. Tyler

    Great to see a professional review of this attraction. Thanks for posting the videos and pictures, I love getting a sneak peek. The overall atmosphere is themed very well at these events. I know Disney is a “family” company but I know if they made a haunted attraction the theming would be amazing and many innovative concepts would be introduced never before seen in the Haunted House Industry. If you actually look at the top haunted attractions in the country many of them have an ex imagineer on staff.

    Thanks for posting this up once again and I wish you continued success in your Theme Park Journalism Career.


    1. Ricky Brigante

      Thanks for the compliments. And I agree, DIsney should create a haunted event of their own, even if only for just one night a year. They do it overseas, why not in the United States too?

  6. I wonder if the red button actually does what they say or if it does something to you?

    1. Jake

      Going tomorrow! Can’t wait. Thanks for your review!!

  7. Lydia

    Bill and Ted as actors were great – the actors as a whole in the show were teriffic. I agree 2010 was just not all that interesting of a year.

    Everyone did the best with what they had to work with. All in all, my friends and I really enjoyed the show.

  8. Thanks for posting your review! While attending HHN tonight, I’ll use your comments to prioritize which houses I attend in the event I can’t experience them all. I’m looking forward to the Catacombs house and the Bill & Ted show.

  9. Charles Bartlett

    I have not been yet but the way everyone is talking it must really not be that good compared to last year. Hey at least spooky empires ultimate horror weekend was way better

  10. amari

    i love to go to the scarey house

  11. isy (:

    is it really worth qoinq ?

  12. Heidi

    Don’t waste your money or time going to this. I would never go again. The lines are up to 2 hours long-usually an hour minimum! You spend most of your time standing in lines and only get in to a few of the attractions because of this. The haunted house attractions aren’t very impressive either. They are short and not very scary at all. Halloween Horror nights is a total rip off.

    1. Ricky Brigante

      Unfortunately, that is what you can expect on a peak night. It’s highly recommended to attend Halloween Horror Nights on a non-peak night, during which some haunted houses can actually have no lines at all. The beginning and ends of the nights also feature shorter lines. I think there’s also a correlation between the amount of time you wait and how much you enjoy the haunted house. I bet you would have liked them more if you hadn’t waited in 60+ minute lines. 🙂


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