I participated in the “Facing Fears Together” press trip at Universal Studios & HHN24, courtesy Two Traveling Moms, but all opinions are my own.
I’m totally used to being the DD when I go out with friends, but I’m also used to being the DW (Designated Walker) at Halloween Horror Nights at Orlando’s Universal Studios. The first time I ever went, I literally wet myself, but after that I started going with people who were more afraid than me, and there’s something about having to be the hero that makes you a little less afraid of what’s going on around you. Someone has to be the voice of reason, right? This time was no exception. I had Lynsey hiding her face between my shoulderblades and yanking my right arm off by twisting it behind my back, and my dear friend, Babita squeezing my left arm out of my shoulder socket. Sounds awful, it’s a darn good time. I couldn’t stop laughing my brains out at their reactions and how Joy kept turning herself into a Poppel then exploding off the ground like she was in a Crossfit competition of some sort.
Dying, you guys. I was dying at Halloween Horror Nights 24.
And I did almost wet myself, but this time it was from laughter. It has been years since I graced HHN with my presence and things have certainly become more realistic, more gruesome, and certainly bigger and badder than ever. Halloween Horror Nights 24 is insanely bad ass.
It’s always super cool to go into a scare house of one of your favorite movies of all times. For me this year, it was the AVP house. I was completely in awe as I walked through the movie being chased by Predators (who I still think are super sexy for a non-human lifeform), and watching the Aliens’ breeding patterns. It really was like living the movie. I kept thinking about how much Styles would love it if I let him go.
My favorite Intellectual Property house was the Dracula Untold – Reign of Blood house. It was gorgeous and gory, and it was the one that made my heart beat out of my chest more than once. You follow Vlad the Impaler along on his journey towards becoming Dracula. The sets were amazing and as I got lost looking at everything happening around me, I was startled more than once. I felt kinda bad for the friends trusting me for safety, because I’m relatively certain I yanked their arms out of their sockets. What can I say? Payback’s a beeyotch.
Speaking of beeyotches, the Dollhouse of the Damned house was also really good. I’m not gonna lie, totally thought it would be cheesy, but it was the perfect blend of disgusting (the room that smelled like baby powder and poop) and beautiful (the music box ballerinas). The ballerinas scared the mess out of me so that house wins for my favorite Original house.
How could I possibly forget to mention the fact that you can also walk through John Carpenter’s classic, Halloween? It starts outside the house where you witness the famous first scene where Michael Meyers murders his sister, then follows his blood-hungry killing spree through the rest of the house. Look for a frightening surprise at the end – BOO! Are you a Walking Dead fan?
Make sure you make it to HHN24 THIS YEAR. The largest scare house in all of Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights history is this year’s Walking Dead, End of the Line house which takes place on the way to, and in Terminus. Most scare houses have, on average, 14 “Scareacters”, The Walking Dead has 50. I’ve never seen the show, so it didn’t mean as much to me as it did to my friends who are all avid fans. It seemed to be the resounding favorite in my group of besticles.
The talent and artistry that goes on at Halloween Horror Nights is absolutely phenomenal. The makeup on the Scaracters, the sets, the street scenes in the scare zones, it is all far above and beyond anything I could possibly dream up. We got to meet the Director of Creative Content for Universal Orlando, and the genius behind this year’s Halloween Horror Nights. It was like talking to Michelangelo himself. Except a Michelangelo who designs really creepy, gruesome, horrific things and then brings them to life. I don’t know how his wife sleeps next to him at night. *shudder* He was really great to talk to and his excitement was palpable. It was clear that he loves his job, and even more clear that he’s darn good at it.
The scare zones are even more frightening than the houses. The Scareactors in the scare zones go all out and really get into character. Make sure you hit all four up. Not only for the thrill, but also to see the amazing makeup and elaborate costumes. It really is breathtaking. Terrifying, but breathtaking.
While you’re at it, I strongly recommend you check out the RIP Tours at Halloween Horror Nights. Your guides will take you through the front of the line for each of the 8 houses, as well as tour you through the scare zones. The most important thing? No lines, no wait. You get right in to each house without having to wait sometimes up to two hours! It really allows you to maximize your time and see EVERYTHING, which might otherwise be impossible. It’s worth every dime.
I will definitely be going back to HHN next year and I can’t wait to see what they have in store. I think next time I’ll take Styles. He’ll be 14 and ready to handle the action. Maybe.
For more information on each of the scare houses, how you can book an RIP Tour, and how to avoid being killed in The Purge, visit Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights 24 online!
All images provided by Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights 24 Press Kit