The greatest Halloween event in the world kicked off its 25th year this weekend. Halloween Horror Nights 25 at Universal Studios Orlando celebrates a quarter century of madness, mayhem, and monsters with their biggest showcase of events to date. To say expectations are high is a clear understatement. It’s quite evident Universal Studios is aware of guests expectations. When it comes to delivering a milestone event for HHN25, they nail it!
In no particular order here are 25 ways Halloween Horror Nights 25 nails this year’s event big:
25 – Jack’s back. HHN 25 brings back the most recognizable original icon to the event – Jack the Clown.
24 – Total Park Transformation. I’ve been enjoying visiting Universal Studios since I moved to central Florida nearly 20 year ago – the park is so transformed for HHN25 that I had a couple of moments of difficulty recognizing what part of the park I was in. HHN25 is its own park this year.
23 – The energy level is through the roof! The level of anticipation and excited energy for HHN25 radiating from fans, first time visitors, scareactors and staff is palpable!
22 – 9 Mazes. With a record number of mazes this year, HHN25 offers more to experience than ever.
21 – 9 Top Notch, can’t miss, you won’t go wrong mazes. Along with the record number of mazes, each maze is a hit! I’ve tried listing from best to uberbest but cannot decide which ones hit the top yet.
20 – 5 Scare Zones. When not inside a maze the streets offer as much excitement for HH25.
19 – The 2 version Scare Zone “All Nite Die-In – Double Feature”. This haunted drive in theater themed Scare Zone features 2 version during the night: The Black and White classic horror and monster movie version, and the color modern era horror version. Every Scare Zone is worth a repeat visit, this one more so.
18 – More “scareactors” then ever. HHN25 has brought in the most scareactors ever in their quarter century history to push the event over the top.
17 – Chainsaws everywhere! The chainsaw drill team isn’t confined to a single scarezone this year – they are everywhere! No need to look for them, they’ll find you.
16 – The HHN25 Trivia Challenge. Universal gave us a great way to pass the time in line this year with The HHN25 trivia challenge at HHNTrivia.com. Get out your smart phone, launch the site and play along. Along the way, you may even learn a few interesting facts about the history of Halloween Horror Nights.
Learn more about the HHN Trivia Challenge here at the Universal Orlando Resort Blog.
15 – HHN25 is full of history! Jack the Clown, Body Collectors, Shady Brook Asylum, Scary Tales, Ultra Violent Comics, Hellgate Prison – nearly everywhere you look there’s a piece of Halloween Horror Nights history showcased in this year’s event!
14 – It’s a perfect initiation for first time visitors. Continuing on that last point, you don’t need to know every bit of history to enjoy HHN25 because it’s also a fantastic introduction to Halloween Horror Nights if it’s your first visit. Missed out on the past 24 years? No problem, you are about to be initiated into the HHN world in the best possible way.
13 – Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure delivers again! Since Halloween Horror Nights 1992 (the first year to take the name “Halloween Horror Nights”) Bill and Ted have been hosting the apex of this Halloween Party. Another can’t miss show for the silver anniversary.
12 – Food and Drink. Another duo that doesn’t get the attention it deserves – “Food and Drink”. The grab and go food is everywhere this year. Going all night you’ll need to eat, and you can grab something almost anywhere. And the food is good! The hand held meals maximize time better than a sit down meal and with so much to do at HHN25 that becomes really important. Then there’s the signature event drink the “Jack’d Up Carnage”. That’s just damn good!
11 – Psychoscarepy – Unleashed; You can’t look away! The lineage of the Psychoscarepy property dates back to 2003 and has become more gruesome and disturbing with each addition. Taking this property out of the maze and putting it on the streets adds a whole new dimension to this fantastic property!
10 – Rebuilding the 3D maze idea from the ground up with “Asylum in Wonderland 3D”. I’ve had the pleasure to experience four 3D mazes at Halloween Horror Nights. “Asylum in Wonderland 3D” at HHN25 is the start a new and exciting generation of these mazes!
9 – The Icons “Kill” Shows. Not only do HHN25 visitors get the chance to see and interact with the Icons of the Past, four of the more notorious icons – The Caretaker, The Usher, The Director, and The Storyteller – each present a short “Kill” show recreating some of their most famous “kills” from years past.
8 – More than the icons in the icons scarezone. Though touted as an “Icons” themes scarezone “Icons – HHN” features many of the more memorable and elaborate scareactors from the past, including some of my favorite stiltwalker creatures.
7 – “Jack Presents 25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem”. Nothing honors the 25 year legacy of Halloween Horror Nights more than this maze. From Universals foothold on horror with their classic monsters to memorable moments of HHNs past, this maze is a wonderful tribute to all of Halloween Horror Nights.
6 – The Carnage Returns. Jack brought the Carnival of Carnage with him! This fantastic show is funny, gruesome, and non-stop from the moment Jack hit’s the stage. Do not miss this show!
5 – Proof horror can be gorgeous. “Body Collectors: Recollections” is one of the most visually stunning and gorgeous mazes I’ve ever seen at Halloween Horror Nights. From the blizzard hardened façade to every room in the maze, this attraction is stunning!
4 – New Tricks and Technology. Once again Halloween Horror Nights pushes the haunt envelope and adds new techniques and technologies to their maze I’ve never seen before. Without giving any spoilers of what they are, I’ll just say that both “Insidious” and “Freddy vs Jason” both set a couple of new bars in HHN25.
3 – So many nights! There are 30 nights in total for HHN25 spanning September, October and November. With so many nights it’s easy to not only fit in a visit – but fit in multiple visits!
2 – Freddy vs. Jason – finally!!! Since the debut of these two horror icons in 2007’s “Carnival of Carnage” many fans of both the two franchises and Halloween Horror Nights have wondered what it would have been like to put Freddy and Jason in the same maze. In HHN25, we finally find out! Who wins? Depends when you go – the outcome changes each walk through, so plan one hitting this one more than once!
1 – HHN25 Put the Fans first! It’s never been more evident at any Halloween Horror Nights I’ve attended that HHN25 has put the fans first. In doing so, everything else falls into place. If it’s your first time, or your 25th time, this event if for you and that’s what makes Halloween Horror Nights the best at what it does year after year.
If you’re a longtime fan, a casual HHN visitor, or a first timer curious about this 25th year event, you will not be disappointed in Halloween Horror Nights 25. With more to do than ever and more pushing of limits in haunts, Halloween Horror Nights 25 is by far the best edition of this amazing event. Go early, and go often – you’ll be glad you did!
For more details on Halloween Horror Nights 25, check out our “Opening Night” episode of The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights podcast featuring recorded clips of scare zone and mazes, and a special Q and A opening night media event with Director John Landis, Walking Dead special effect make up designer, executive producers, and director Greg Nicotero, and Walking Dead’s very own “Carl”, Chandler Riggs.
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