After weeks of teasing, Universal Orlando tonight has revealed to us details of what victims - er, guests - will experience during Halloween Horror Nights 2011. In honor of the 21st year of the annual Halloween event, this year’s theme surrounds the notion of luck, chance, and fate, though Universal has made it clear that “the house always wins” and all who attend will come face-to-face with Luck herself - that is, Lady Luck. But the pretty face we’ve seen before is only the more gentle side of this Horror Nights icon. The other half - well, just look below.
Direct from Patrick Braillard, one of the creative minds behind Halloween Horror Nights, we can now bring you all the details surrounding this year’s event, including a list of the haunted houses, scare zones, and lives shows that will be featured.
Watch as he is compelled to share the details:
And here’s the full official TV commercial for Halloween Horror Nights 21, offering another good look at Lady Luck as well as another victim:
Braillard has confessed that there will be 8 all-new haunted mazes and 6 new scare zones as part of this year’s event. Details…
Halloween Horror Nights 2011 haunted houses at Universal Orlando
Nevermore: The Madness of Poe - The madness of Edgar Allan Poe’s greatest works has come to life. Step into the mind of the iconic writer where every turn of the page takes you closer to the brink of insanity.
The Forsaken - Four ships began Columbus’ fateful voyage, only three became legend. Condemned to a watery grave, the mutinous and cursed crew of that 4th ship has returned with a vengeance. For within the walls of a Spanish fort, a maelstrom has brought from the depths… death itself.
H.R. Bloodengutz presents Holidays of Horror - Join creature feature host H.R. Bloodengutz in his final televised broadcast as he presents a scareathon of holiday-based horror that is guaranteed to cleave you screaming for more.
The Thing - Experience the terror of the upcoming film before it hits theaters. Paranoia spreads like an epidemic among a group of researchers in an isolated anactic outpost as they are infected, one by one, by a horrifying creature from another planet. In a place where there is nothing, they found something.
Saws n Steam: Into the Machine - First time taking a scare zone into a house. Spinning blades and massive, crushing pistons await you around every corner as you are forced deeper into the bowels of a mechanical nightmare. Give yourself to “the machine.”
The In-between A 3-D haunted house. An ominous portal reveals a 3rd dimension where all is not what it seems: A realm where our world and another collide. Surrounded by fiendish creatures, your eyes will deceive you with every step through this phantasm of terror.
Winter’s Night: The Haunting of Hawthorne Cemetery - As snow falls on this normally serene gothic cemetery, the deceased souls that occupy its confines have their sights set upon you. Insuring that the chill you feel up your spine is more than just the cold of night.
Nightingale’s Blood Prey - Within every war, the nightingales have appeared able to transform themselves to fit any setting. These savage banshees feed on the weak and the helpless. Patrolling WWI era trenches, you discover that you are more than at war… you’re being hunted.
Halloween Horror Nights 2011 scare zones at Universal Orlando
There will be 6 all-new scare zones as part of the event this year:
(Note: Please pardon the excessive exclamation points. They are part of Universal Orlando’s official scare zone descriptions.)
Your Luck Has Run Out - Enter if you dare into the lair of the lucky! Your choices will determine if you make it out alive! Witness lucks deadly wrath. Will she choose you to be her next victim?! (Icon scare zone!)
Acid Assault - For decades now the city has been degrading from the effects of acid rain that still falls today. Those that have lived and survived the blistering decay are all alone in the city. Survivors have stripped the city of all life to sustain their own…dare to enter the Acid Assault!
Canyon of Dark Souls - Upon entering into the Canyon of Dark Souls, you will feel like a small spec of humanity as the overwhelming sense of death surrounds you. Creatures that dwell within the canyon are not welcoming so walk slowly as to not disturb them!
Grown Evil - Enter, if you dare, into our garden where evil grows. Nature has taken this once well manicured sanctuary back from humans who once kept it. Now the creatures that inhabit the garden are making any human that enters their prey!!!
7 - As daylight shines upon our temptresses, their appearance, though evil, allows you the spectacle of beauty. As night falls, these 7 temptresses will show their true colors and take on their true fatal evil forms!! Beware of your own temptations!
Halloween Horror Nights 2011 live shows at Universal Orlando
Two live shows will be featured at this year’s event, one returning and the other new:
Death Drums - A seductive, hard-hitting and raw extreme drumming experience is revealed at Halloween Horror Nights 21! Don’t just see 1 show as there are 3 different shows nightly. Make the choice and experience death drums.
Rides open during Halloween Horror Nights 2011
This year, in addition to 8 haunted houses, 6 scare zones, and 2 shows, 5 rides will be open during the Halloween event:
After two years of being closed during Halloween Horror Nights, fans will finally be able to enjoy nighttime trips around the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster.
And in the end, it is Lady Luck who is running this year’s show, and there’s much more to her than a pretty face:
Halloween Horror Nights 21 at Universal Studios Orlando begins on Sept. 23. A variety of ticket options are available for purchase now at HalloweenHorrorNights.com/Orlando.
My early thoughts on Halloween Horror Nights 21
(Warning: Editorial content! Opinions flow freely below. Beware.)
I always have strong opinions about Halloween events because they are my favorite of the year. When they’re good, they’re great, but when they’re bad, they’re awful. I try to keep an open mind going into any new haunted attraction, as the incredible talents behind their creation often surprise me. But it’s hard not to form some premature opinions about what’s to come based solely on the descriptions given. It’s all I have for now, until September 23 rolls around.
Reading through the list above, my attention is immediately drawn to the Nightmaze scare zone, which sounds like Universal’s attempt at something “new” this year. Last year, my favorite haunted house was Legendary Truth because of its many unique elements I’d never seen in a maze before. This year, it sounds like Nightmaze will offer that same feeling and I look forward to walking through it many times as it changes around me.
Of the haunted houses, H.R. Bloodengutz presents Holidays of Horror is exactly what I want out of Halloween Horror Nights. Each year, the “comedy” house is always one of the mazes I enjoy the most. And a few years ago, Psychoscareapy: Home for the Holidays became my all-time favorite Horror Nights house. Many fans agree there was something special about that one. So the notion of bringing back the combination of holidays and horror excites me. I only hope it can live up to my high level of anticipation.
Another intriguing note is the similarity between Halloween Horror Nights 2011 at Universal Orlando and Howl-O-Scream 2011 at competing theme park Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. These two events often have some minor similarities. A couple years ago, both featured haunted houses based on toys, for example. But this year, the comparisons are far too obvious to be a coincidence. Both events feature an Edgar Allan Poe-themed haunted house called “Nevermore”. Howl-O-Scream’s overall theme involves a creepy garden, as does one of the scare zones of Horror Nights. And Lady Luck’s wheel-o-doom at Horror Nights sure seems like it would fit in well with Howl-O-Scream’s Vampires-in-Las-Vegas haunted house. We know the creators of both events are friends, but at what point does sharing information about each others’ work go too far? Though I’ll admit I’m excited to compare and contrast two Poe-based houses this year.
I’m happy to see Lady Luck is more than just a sinister woman. Her backstory isn’t clear (yet), but her demonic side is a heck of a lot scarier than her regular look. The description of her scare zone suggests visitors making “choices” to get through, which sounds like another opportunity for a variety of experiences - something always welcome for repeat visitors like myself.
And after two years of disappointment, I do hope that Universal not only makes good on its word to have Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit up and running during the event but also loads it up with Halloween-themed music. I’d like nothing more than to Rockit above the event while blasting some White Zombie.
I look forward to experiencing Halloween Horror Nights year-round and will surely post a complete event review once I have witnessed all that is listed above on the evening of September 23, so come back for more thoughts!