Halloween Horror Nights Orlando Wants Your Soul!

The Halloween Horror Nights Orlando made a new and intriguing addition to their website today: an opportunity to surrender your soul!

Visit: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/soul-collector/index.php clicked the “I surrender graphic under the countdown timer and enter you information for get Soul Collector Benefits like a possible item to identify yourself as a member of the Elite Soul Collectors, an opportunity to be a part of the Soul Collector Social Media Up and “other rewards”.

For ticket information visit: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/tickets.php

For more information on Halloween Horror Nights 27, visit: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/

Stay up on all the latest on Halloween Horror Nights with The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights podcast form NEOZAZ.com.

Halloween Horror Nights 27 Tickets On Sale Now!

Tickets and vacation packages for the greatest Halloween event in the world, Halloween Horror Nights 27, are now on sale!

Universal Orlando Resort unveiled all ticket and vacation packages with this years Halloween Horror Nights event.

In a press release announcing the ticket unveiling, Universal Orlando also confirmed this year’s event will include 9 NEW Mazes, 5 ScareZones, and 2 live shows.

Ticket offering start with single night admission to the event and range all the way to “Ultimate Frequent Fear + Express”

For ticket information visit: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/tickets.php

For more information on Halloween Horror Nights 27, visit: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/

Stay up on all the latest on Halloween Horror Nights with The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights podcast form NEOZAZ.com.

Go For Launch Launch Alert Update – CRS-11 2nd Attempt

Thursday’s SpaceX CRS-11 Launch from Kennedy Space Center’s historic launch pad LC-39A has been scrubbed and re-scheduled for a second attempt on Saturday June 3rd, 5:07 PM Eastern.

Tickets are now available for an up-close viewing for this launch from Kennedy Space Center’s Apollo / Saturn V Center.

Launch Transportation Tickets are priced at $20 in addition to a daily admission ticket or annual pass admission.

This is a phenomenal view of LC-39A across the Banana river less than 4 miles from the launch site!

This is another milestone event for SpaceX and Kennedy Space center – this launch marks the 100th launch from the historic pad, the first launch and mission for a re-used SpaceX Dragon Space Craft, and the grand finale to the launch is a planned landing attempt for the Falcon 9 booster at LZ1.

NEOZAZ’ Go For Launch will be at the Apollo / Saturn V center reporting on this launch and attempting our first binaural recording on site to bring the most immersive audio recording on in-person launch yet to the series.

Don’t miss this chance to experience a launch up close at Kennedy Space Center. Tickets for the view area at the Apollo / Saturn 5 viewing area are on sale now at: https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/info/tickets

Fingers crossed all is go for launch this weekend and a new episode with a new immersive recording for Go For Launch following soon.

“The Shining” is coming to HHN27!

The 1980 classic Stanley Krubrick film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel “The Shining” is making its long awaited and much anticipated debut at Halloween Horror Nights 27!

In a dual announcement, Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood both announced a new Maze for both park’s annual Halloween Horror Nights event featuring the iconic film.

HHN Show Director Charles Gray described a main story element of this Maze in a blog post released on Universal Orlando’s blog earlier today:

We cast the Overlook Hotel as the aggressor and view it as if you have the “shining.” Our goal is to have you constantly doing a double take and give you that, “Did I just see that?” feeling.

Halloween Horror Nights 27 begins September 15th and runs select nights through November 4th.

For more details on the event visit: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/

Stay with NEOZAZ for complete coverage of HHN27 announcements, coverage for HHN27, and the new season of our HHN focused series “The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights.”

Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay Adds a Relaxing Option to Their New Park

With the opening of Universal Orlando’s much anticipated third Park, Volcano Bay, just over a month away, new exciting details are rolling in nearly every day!

Today’s news caught our eye immediately – details and pricing on the Private Cabanas and Premium seating.

Along with nearly 20 new and innovative water rides, Volcano bay also offers a way to relax and take a break from all the excitement with their Private Cabanas and Premium Seating.

Private Cabana Rentals – “Volcano Bay Cabanas allow guests to escape to their own private paradise with options including single units with seating for up to six guests and family units with seating for up to sixteen guests.”

Cabanas also include concierge service with exclusive menu items, a fruit and snack basket, bottled water, complimentary locker and towel service and more.

Pricing for Single Cabana Units starts at $159.99

Pricing for Family Quite Cabanas starts at $299.99

Premium Seating – “Volcano Bay Premium Seating allows guests to choose and reserve the location of their seats throughout the park.”

Premium seating included 2 padded loungers, and adjustable umbrella, and built-in locker storage.
Pricing for Premium Seating starts at $29.99

We’re incredibly excited about this new park and already anticipate a Cabana rental being included in our annual HHN NEOZAZ weekend.

Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay Opens May 25th, and NEOZAZ will be there to cover all the details of this exciting new addition!

To learn more about Volcano Bay, visit the park page on Universal Orlando’s website here.

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon is now open!

The latest addition to Universal Orlando Resorts world class line up of attractions is now open – “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon™”!

This new high paced thrill ride introduces an all-new queuing system with “Virtual Line™”.

The new system allows you to choose return time and then wait in the lineless queuing area up until it’s time to Ride.

Some of the NEOZAZ staff experienced the ride and waiting system during the ride’s soft open last month. This new concept in queuing is not only unique, but it is a literal game changer the way we’ll experience these new generations of attractions.

Race Through New York is Starring Jimmy Fallon™ is now open and full operational at Universal Orlando Resorts Universal Studios.

FX’s American Horror Story Returns to Halloween Horror Nights!

Today, Universal Orlando Resort made their first official announcement for Halloween Horror Nights 27, and it’s a big one: American Horror Story returns to Halloween Horror Nights!

Halloween Horror Night will once again spotlight this critically acclaimed and award winning series in an all new maze!

This year’s maze features 3 installments of the the hit show “Asylum”, “Coven” and “Roanoke”!

From the Universal Orlando Press release: “In Asylum, guests will travel through the decades of the notorious Briarcliff – evading Dr. Arden’s grotesque human ‘Rasper’ experiments and coming face to ‘face’ with the serial killer, Bloody Face. In Coven, New Orleans aesthetics will surround guests as they’re drawn into the bloody rivalry between the descendants of the Salem witches, the voodoo Queen of New Orleans Marie Laveau, and the sadistic Madame Delphine LaLaurie. And finally, guests will relive the horrific story of the Millers in Roanoke – where they’ll be at the mercy of Piggy Man, the grisly Polk family and the ghosts of the blood moon”

Sr. Director of Entertainment Creative for Universal Orlando Resort Michael Aiello adds “We are thrilled to bring the incredible storytelling and iconic characters of ‘American Horror Story’ back to Halloween Horror Nights for a second year. Last year, ‘American Horror Story’ was the highest guest-rated haunted house in Halloween Horror Nights history – and we can’t wait to immerse our guests in all-new horrors from the show.”

Halloween Horror Nights 27 begins September 15th and runs 34 select nights through November 4th.

For additional details on Halloween Horror Nights, visit: www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com/Orlando.

Stay tuned to NEOZAZ.com and The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights for more information and our instant reaction on this and all HHN news!

Universal’s Volcano Bay Story revealed!

Today Universal Orlando Resort released the story of their third theme park, Volcano Bay!

From the press release:

“Volcano Bay is a tropical paradise formed by myth and discovered by legend. It was discovered by the Waturi islanders with the help of a mystical fish who was destined to guide them to a new home.”

More details and stunning images from this new eagerly anticipated park are presented by Vice President and Executive Art Director for Universal Create Dale Mason in the following video:

Volcano Bay opens Mays 25th and promises to set new heights and experiences for theme park visitors.

Keep an eye on NEOZAZ for future details on Volcano Bay as their released and for our future special report covering the opening of this exciting new park!

Halloween Horror Nights 27 Dates Announced!

Alright, time to get excited – Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Olrando dates have been announced!

Starting September 15th HHN27 will feature a record breaking 34 nights until November 4th this season!

Vacation packages are on sale now for Halloween Horror Nights featuring daytime thrills in Universal Orlando’s 3 World Class Parks – Universal Studio Orlando, Universal’s Islands of Adventures, and Universal’s Volcano Bay.

Learn more about the vacation package options and current ticket availability at: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/

Dates for Halloween Horror Nights 27:

Sept 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30

Oct 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

Nov 3, 4

As each year we will be recording extended coverage instant reactions to all the news as it’s released on this year’s event.

Keep a look out on NEOZAZ for all the latest!

See you this fall!!!!

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon Opens April 6 2017

The newest attraction in the ever increasing streak of new attraction releases will open April 6th, 2017.

“Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon” gives visitors the ultimate “Tonight Show” experience bringing each guest up close and personal with the shows iconic segment before taking off on a wild and action-packed race through New York City against the “Tonight Show” host himself, Jimmy Fallon.

“Race Through New York” will also be the first attraction at Universal Studio Orlando to feature the all-new Virtual Line experience – a new park feature allowing guest to spend less time waiting in line and more time discovering even more incredible thrills and attractions through Universal Studios. The Virtual Line system is available through the Universal Orlando Resort App or kiosks outside the attraction entrance.

To celebrate the grand opening “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” will be taping the show from Universal Orlando Resort from April 3 through 6th.

Universal Studios Orlando have been a hot streak with new attractions and events over the past year in both parks and City Walk. We’re looking forward to seeing the first new attraction addition of 2017 along with what’s next from our favorite place in the world!

The 2017 Universal Studios Orlando Mardi Gras Concert Series

The 2017 Universal Studios Orlando Mardi Gras Concert series line-up has been released!

Each year Universal Orlando Resort host their annual “Mardi Gras” event, a New Orleans Style party with music, food, drink, a grand parade, and top music performers taking to the Universal Music Plaza stage.

The 12 performers scheduled for this this year’s Mardi Gras event are:

February 4 – Trace Adkins
February 11 – NE-YO
February 18 – Collective Soul
February 19 – X Ambassadors
February 25 – Fifth Harmony
March 4 – Kool & the Gang
March 5 – Olivia Newton-John
March 11 – UB40
March 12 – Toby Keith
March 18 – Jason Derulo
March 19 – Earth, Wind & Fire
March 25 – The All-American Rejects

Along with the exciting concert events Universal’s Mardi Gras also featured a high energy, New Orleans inspired parade. The 2017 parade features six all-new Mythical Creatures Themed floats including, The Dance of the Dragon, The Flight of the Pegasus, and The rise of Garuda.

Mardi Gras will run daily Starting February 4th and ends March 25th offering 50 nights to join the party.

All Mardi Gras events including the parade and select night concerts are included with park admission.

Mardi Gras is one of our favorite events at Universal Orlando, we’ll be there to cover this year’s event, check out some of the concerts, and of course collect our fair share of beads at the parade. See you there!

Universal Orlando reveals Volcano Bay’s Star Attraction!

About 5 months ago Universal Orlando Resort announced details on their “Third Gate” Water Park, “Universal’s Volcano Bay”. A lot of exciting details were announced, but they did keep one thing under wraps – the star attraction.

Today, the marquee attraction has been announced:

The Krakatau Aqua Coaster!

This state-of the-art water thrill ride will be the “must experience” attraction of Volcano Bay.

From the Universal Orlando press release:

“Guests will board specially-designed canoes and propel downwards – and upwards – through the volcano’s interior peaks and valleys.  They’ll twist, turn and plummet along dark passageways, be launched through sparkling waterfalls and so much more.”

I’ve wanted to experience an Aqua Coaster for a very long time. Having one, arguably the most advanced and innovative one to date, in my own backyard is incredibly exciting.

Along with revealing “Krakatau”, Universal Orlando also revealed their new state or the art game changing queuing system – “TapuTapu Wearable”.

This new concept allows guests to experience the entire park at their leisure while virtually waiting in line for these exciting new attractions.

Along with this being a game changing system, it will be provided to everyone that enters the gate as part of the park admission!

From the Universal Orlando press release:

Virtual Lines: Guests will be able to virtually wait in line while they play in other areas of the park. The wearable will alert guests when it’s time for them to ride so they can head to the attraction.

Tap to play: Guests will discover various “tap-to-play” experiences throughout the park – all designed exclusively for Volcano Bay by Universal’s award-winning creative team.  With just a tap of TapuTapu, guests can trigger special effects like controlling streams of water spurting from whales in Tot Tiki Reef, shooting water cannons at guests snaking down Kopiko Wai Winding River and illuminating images in the volcano’s hidden caves.”

It’s been very exciting following the news of this new park at Universal and a lot of fun watching come alive during my driving on I-4. Everyone here at NEOZAZ, including myself, are really looking forward to this new addition to the amazing Universal Studios Resort family!

Universal’s Volcano Bay will open early summer 2017.

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Halloween Horror Nights 26 Kills It Again!

It’s the best time of the year, Halloween Horror Nights has started! It’s the events 26th year and picks up for their 25th anniversary celebration left off. Chance, Jack’s cohort from the Carnage Returns, is left to suffer the consequences of last year’s mayhem. Being the twisted unique personality Chance is, it takes more than an asylum to contain her mind. Her real world experiences collide with the theater in her mind and Halloween Horror Nights 26 is born.

Again this year NEOZAZ was graciously invited to the opening night media event and experience all the Mazes, Scare zones, and the annual show “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure”.

So to kick off our annual coverage of the greatest Halloween Event on Earth here is our initial report of what Halloween Horror Nights brings to its legacy this year:

The Mazes:

The nation’s best Halloween event, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, is now open at Universal Orlando Resort, with more nights than ever before. Nightmares come to life in nine disturbingly-real haunted houses based on everything from haunting original tales to some of the most terrifying names in pop culture, including AMC’s "The Walking Dead.” The event also features five scarezones with dozens of menacing scareactors lurking around every corner, and two outrageous live shows. Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 26 takes place select nights now until Oct. 31, 2016.

The Walking Dead

As cautious as I was entering The Walking Dead after my disappointment with the HHN25 version I was still really hoping to see the return of a great “The Walking Dead” maze. I was not disappointed. Focusing on the entire run of the series was a fantastic idea for this year’s offering. Starting with one of the most iconic vehicles from the early seasons greeting you as you entered, to walking through the mucked filled underground sewer pipes as you exited, every room in this maze is pulled from the series and will be known to every fan of the show. On the other side of that spectrum, there are a lot more scares and fantastic scenic elements that should be a lot of fun for anyone that hasn’t watch the series as well.  All in all I think “The Walking Dead” is getting its due representation once again at this year’s event and as a huge fan of both TDW and HHN, that’s good thing for everyone.

Bottom-line: Huge improvement over last year. Not the best Walking Dead from HHN in my opinion but worth seeing. If you’re a fan of the series, it’s must see. If you don’t know the show you’ll still enjoy it but it’s definitely a fan focused maze.

The nation’s best Halloween event, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, is now open at Universal Orlando Resort, with more nights than ever before. This year, you won’t stand a Chance as the twisted right-hand woman of Halloween Horror Nights legend Jack the Clown steps into the spotlight as the star of this surreal world of horror. Nightmares come to life in nine disturbingly-real haunted houses based on everything from haunting original tales to some of the most terrifying names in pop culture, including FX’s "American Horror Story," AMC’s "The Walking Dead,” and critically-acclaimed films “The Exorcist,” “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” “Halloween II” and “Krampus.” The event also features five scarezones with dozens of menacing scareactors lurking around every corner, and two outrageous live shows. Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 26 takes place select nights now until Oct. 31, 2016.

Ghost Town: The Curse of Lightning Gulch

Wow! I’m not sure where to go after that opening statement. Maybe the best way to explain how I feel about his maze can be best summed up in these two sentences: “Last year’s ‘Body Collectors: Recollection’ became my all-time favorite maze. In just one year that title may have changed hands”. “Ghost Town: The Curse of Lightning Gulch” is the re-quel of the 2004 “Ghost Town” – not a “reboot”, not “sequel”, but a 2016 telling of the story. That story is of a gold prospecting town that was swept away by a massive lightning storm and the doomed souls haunt the abandoned borough.  “Ghost Town: The Curse of Lightning Gulch” not only had everything I wanted in that particular maze, it had everything I wanted from a maze ever! An immersive environment, scare-actor’s coming from ALL directions, touches of new technology seamlessly integrated, fantastic makeup, and a ton of Scares.

Bottom-line: Don’t miss this!! If for some strange reason you can only do 1 maze this year, this has to be it! That is all.

The nation’s best Halloween event, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, is now open at Universal Orlando Resort, with more nights than ever before. Nightmares come to life in nine disturbingly-real haunted houses based on everything from haunting original tales to some of the most terrifying names in pop culture, including critically-acclaimed film “Halloween II.” The event also features five scarezones with dozens of menacing scareactors lurking around every corner, and two outrageous live shows. Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 26 takes place select nights now until Oct. 31, 2016.

Halloween: Hell Comes to Haddonfield

The maze based on the sequel to the original “Halloween” is also a direct sequel to the 2014 HHN maze “Halloween”. This maze starts with the last 2 rooms visitors from 2014 experience in the original maze. From there the story of the movie plays out in fantastic detail! This was a huge surprise hit for me. I honestly forgot for some time this was added to the lineup months ago hadn’t formed any real expectation of what the maze would be. Now that I’ve experienced it, I’m eager to report it absolutely delivers! It is a true follow up to the 2014 maze and pays great tribute to both the movie it’s based on and the maze it followed.

Bottom-line: A huge surprise! A true sequel of the 2014 maze, just as good, just as fun, and just as Michael Myers filled. If you like Halloween, don’t miss this!

The nation’s best Halloween event, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, is now open at Universal Orlando Resort, with more nights than ever before. This year, you won’t stand a Chance as the twisted right-hand woman of Halloween Horror Nights legend Jack the Clown steps into the spotlight as the star of this surreal world of horror. Nightmares come to life in nine disturbingly-real haunted houses based on everything from haunting original tales to some of the most terrifying names in pop culture, including FX’s "American Horror Story," AMC’s "The Walking Dead,” and critically-acclaimed films “The Exorcist,” “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” “Halloween II” and “Krampus.” The event also features five scarezones with dozens of menacing scareactors lurking around every corner, and two outrageous live shows. Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 26 takes place select nights now until Oct. 31, 2016.

Tomb of the Ancients

Another new additions of the Original IP lineage of Halloween Horror Nights, “Tomb of the Ancients” combines many facet of Mayan, Aztec, Egyptian lore and a lot more and places them in a recreation of a tight corridor, low ceiling ancient tomb. This was yet another impressive offering to not only HHN26, but to its extensive catalog of original IPs. One of the selling points of the maze during the media presentation was the claustrophobic nature of the design of this maze. While I can say I ever felt claustrophobic while going through this maze (or in subsequent visits after opening night) there is a definite feeling of being in an enclosed area of a solid structure which a very unique element for this maze. Add in the wonderfully costumed and made up scar actors and puppet of the likes I’ve never seen before and you’re got yourself a hit!

Bottom-line: A great new addition of the HHN Original IP Lineage. Incredibly unique, good scares, and a gorgeous maze. Another must see.

The nation’s best Halloween event, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, is now open at Universal Orlando Resort, with more nights than ever before. Nightmares come to life in nine disturbingly-real haunted houses based on everything from haunting original tales to some of the most terrifying names in pop culture, including critically-acclaimed film “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.” The event also features five scarezones with dozens of menacing scareactors lurking around every corner, and two outrageous live shows. Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 26 takes place select nights now until Oct. 31, 2016.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

If there was on maze that I might have over hyped myself on it would have been this maze. I expected, or maybe better said hoped, for so much in this maze! Based on the original 1974 film “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” HHN26 promised an immersive experience featuring every scene, every kill and more chain saws and Leatherfaces than you could possibly be prepared for. And wow, did they every nail it! The creative department obviously love this movie as much as I do, every scene I could think of and that I wanted see was indeed in this maze!

Bottom-line: If you like chainsaws, scares, and blood curdling screams, you are in luck! If you like the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, you can’t under any circumstance miss this!

The nation’s best Halloween event, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, is now open at Universal Orlando Resort, with more nights than ever before. This year, you won’t stand a Chance as the twisted right-hand woman of Halloween Horror Nights legend Jack the Clown steps into the spotlight as the star of this surreal world of horror. Nightmares come to life in nine disturbingly-real haunted houses based on everything from haunting original tales to some of the most terrifying names in pop culture, including FX’s "American Horror Story," AMC’s "The Walking Dead,” and critically-acclaimed films “The Exorcist,” “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” “Halloween II” and “Krampus.” The event also features five scarezones with dozens of menacing scareactors lurking around every corner, and two outrageous live shows. Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 26 takes place select nights now until Oct. 31, 2016.

Lunatics Playground 3D – You Won’t Stand a Chance

The 3D maze of HHN26 and Icon Maze that sets the story for the event. In this maze you are stepping in and out of the real world of Chance’s committal in the Shadybrook Asylum and into the twisted theater of the mind Chance is playing in her head. You’ll see how Chance has taken over the asylum and how she exactly views these events in her own twisted imagination. And all through the use of chromadepth 3D to add the next level of chaos to the mix. I really enjoy 3D mazes. I think the work the creative team has to do to create the specific effects they want with the color spectrum is amazing. I said in my HHN26 instant reaction recording that I usually find the 3D used fun and whimsical and for the first time I found this to be at times scary. I don’t think that was right word for what I saw, I think a better word would be “freaky” in that they bordered on gruesome and disturbing but didn’t cross that and kept the 3D fun intact. That is still a new element in my experience. As I said I do enjoy 3D houses and I enjoyed getting the full story of HHN26 by experiencing this maze.

Bottom-line: 3D. If you’ve never seen a “3D” maze before, Lunatics Playground is a good start. Moreover it’s the icon’s maze and if you want to experience the story this year’s event if build upon, you should really take the time to the check out this maze.

The nation’s best Halloween event, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, is now open at Universal Orlando Resort, with more nights than ever before. Nightmares come to life in nine disturbingly-real haunted houses based on everything from haunting original tales to some of the most terrifying names in pop culture, including “Krampus.” The event also features five scarezones with dozens of menacing scareactors lurking around every corner, and two outrageous live shows. Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 26 takes place select nights now until Oct. 31, 2016.

Krampus

Another Licensed IP that I’m a big fan of add to this year’s lineup, the 2015 film “Krampus”. I really enjoyed this movie for the borderline horror butting heads with comedy throughout the whole film. This maze does the exact same thing.  Krampus is fun and has some scares while recreating a lot of the best scenes from the movie. It’s another maze that takes us inside and outside several times and it always amazes me how the creative team pull that off while being inside a building the entire time. Another great adaptation and one maze that is just a ton of fun to experience.

Bottom-line: There’s always at least 1 maze in HHN that’s a little more fun that scary. This is a rare licensed IP maze that’s not really necessary to have seen the movie. This is a dark Christmas tales, the anti-Santa and his minions. That’s about all you need to know to enjoy this maze.

The nation’s best Halloween event, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, is now open at Universal Orlando Resort, with more nights than ever before. Nightmares come to life in nine disturbingly-real haunted houses based on everything from haunting original tales to some of the most terrifying names in pop culture, including FX’s "American Horror Story." The event also features five scarezones with dozens of menacing scareactors lurking around every corner, and two outrageous live shows. Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 26 takes place select nights now until Oct. 31, 2016.

American Horror Story

As big a “Wow” as I gave “Ghost Town”, I have to give a nearly as big a “Wow” to “American Horror Story”! “American Horror Story” pulls 3 of the 5 completed seasons of the FX series and brings them to life in a most phenomenal way! “American Horror Story” pretty much a 3 in 1 maze, all three series are independently featured in their own sections until a brief overlap in the finale room. First “Murder House” pulls to the most memorable characters, moments, and sets right out the first season of the series. In this first third we see how much detail and work went into not only creating this maze, but casting as well. I cannot remember a licensed IP maze that had scare actors look so much like the actors from the IP more than “American Horror Story” – and not only in the “Murder House” third, that carries on when we enter “Freak Show”. Admittedly, “Freak Show” is my least favorite season of AHS. However, I have to admit this third of the house is actually better than that show for me because none of what I disliked in the series was represented – it was the things I actually like from “Freak Show!” And again, that scare actors where dead-on! And the amazing scare actor casting continues in the “Hotel” third when the first AHS Hotel scare actor you encounter might make you look twice! Sets, story, scare actors – this maze has it all and in my opinion is the best maze HHN has done on a licensed property to date!

Bottom-line: Without a doubt for me this is the best screen to maze interpretation of an attraction HHN has ever done. Maybe to a fault that if you don’t know the series represented in this maze you not understand how accurate it is. But if you’re a fan of “Murder House”, “Freak Show”, and/or “Hotel” – go and see this!!!

The nation’s best Halloween event, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, is now open at Universal Orlando Resort, with more nights than ever before. Nightmares come to life in nine disturbingly-real haunted houses based on everything from haunting original tales to some of the most terrifying names in pop culture, including critically-acclaimed film “The Exorcist.” The event also features five scarezones with dozens of menacing scareactors lurking around every corner, and two outrageous live shows. Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 26 takes place select nights now until Oct. 31, 2016.

The Exorcist

Up until now I’ve always been able to say “I love it” or “I didn’t like” it on any maze for Halloween Horror Nights. “The Exorcist” still has me wildly undecided. And I know exactly why. Having gone to HHN for years I usually know what to expect to an extent – now I’m usually never right I admit, but I’m usually in the ball park with my expectations. This time “The Exorcist” was so incredibly different from anything I expected that I’m not sure what my review is yet – I’ll need to see again if not a few more time to decide. Having prefaced with that, this maze is an interpretation of the 1973 classic “The Exorcist”. This is a movie with a lot of iconic scenes that involved many unnatural physical acts from the characters – a hard thing to do in real life. With that “The Exorcist” maze takes a lot of liberties with ideas and material from the film and presents them in ways you might not be expecting. This house is unique, and there are a lot of elements I think are fantastic – my trouble is I’m finding it difficult to tie these interpretive elements to “The Exorcist”. But I have only experienced once so far as of the writing with the initial shell-shock out of the way I’m curious how I’ll find it a second time around.

Bottom-line: I’m still not sure how I feel about this. I want to make it clear it’s not bad, it’s unique and many, many rooms are instantly recognizable. This is the maze I will thinking about the most as I return to more nights of HHN26. If you’re a fan of The Exorcist or curious at all, you owe it yourself to check it out and form your own opinion. I’m still working on mine.

The Scares Zones:

Survive or Die Apocalypse

This dystopian themed Scare Zone features 3 warring gangs fighting for control of the city machines that produce clear air. Each side needs to increase their numbers, and they’re looking right to you to do just that.
My first pass through this scare zone left me feeling a little underwhelmed. This walk through took place during the opening night tour so I didn’t get my usual casual “walk around and take it in” time.

Once the tour concluded, we went back and checked it out again. My opinion turned a complete 180. I took a better look at the scare actors, a good look at the scenic, and this time – saw the 3D mapped projections on the building facades I hadn’t seen on the first walk through.

This is huge scare zone, and there’s a lot going on once your take the time to look at it. When you get to the “Survive or Die Apocalypse”, take your time, walk down all the streets, and look up every once and while to take it all in.

Lair of the Banshee

I always look forward to this area of the park. Usually the scare actors are pretty varied with no real or obvious unifying theme – and that is the case again for HHN26. However, most of those scare actors look fantastic!

But what I really go to see in this area is the lighting. This is the only completely tree covered scare zone   and the creative team does some interesting work with the lighting and use of fog in this area. Last year was one of favorite designs in regards to the lighting and I was almost expecting a slight alteration to that design this year. I was wrong, this year’s work with lighting is far different that the previous and once again and very visually fun experience.

I also want to reiterate our tip for the past couple of years for this scare zone and that is to walk the central park path between central park and the lagoon to get a unique perspective own this scare zone.

Dead Man’s Wharf

It’s the anniversary of the disappearance of the fishing boat “Annabel Lee”. A thick fog has rolled in and the spirits of the lost crew have returned to push the town that left them to die.

I could easily spend the majority of the night in this scare zone. The set, the lights, the fog, the scare actors all present fantastic photo ops. This is a beautiful scare zone.

The nation’s best Halloween event, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, is now open at Universal Orlando Resort, with more nights than ever before. This year, you won’t stand a Chance as the twisted right-hand woman of Halloween Horror Nights legend Jack the Clown steps into the spotlight as the star of this surreal world of horror. Nightmares come to life in nine disturbingly-real haunted houses based on everything from haunting original tales to some of the most terrifying names in pop culture, including FX’s "American Horror Story," AMC’s "The Walking Dead,” and critically-acclaimed films “The Exorcist,” “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” “Halloween II” and “Krampus.” The event also features five scarezones with dozens of menacing scareactors lurking around every corner, and two outrageous live shows. Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 26 takes place select nights now until Oct. 31, 2016.

Vamp ‘55

It’s Hollywood High School’s 1995 Homecoming. A group of vampire greasers roll into town and attack the home coming crew.

I will fully admit when I heard about this scare zone I had zero desire to see it. But being a HHN fan and wanting to see it all I obviously had to check it out. I was pleasantly surprised on what I saw! The scenic was fun, the scare actors well created and the story of the attack plays out well with the greasers hunting you will the Homecoming victims turn to you protection. A lot more fun visiting than I expected!

The nation’s best Halloween event, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, is now open at Universal Orlando Resort, with more nights than ever before. This year, you won’t stand a Chance as the twisted right-hand woman of Halloween Horror Nights legend Jack the Clown steps into the spotlight as the star of this surreal world of horror. Nightmares come to life in nine disturbingly-real haunted houses based on everything from haunting original tales to some of the most terrifying names in pop culture, including FX’s "American Horror Story," AMC’s "The Walking Dead,” and critically-acclaimed films “The Exorcist,” “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” “Halloween II” and “Krampus.” The event also features five scarezones with dozens of menacing scareactors lurking around every corner, and two outrageous live shows. Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 26 takes place select nights now until Oct. 31, 2016.

A Chance in Hell

And finally “A Chance in Hell”. This I found a little disappointing but still not bad. The idea is that after you leave “Lunatics Playground 3D” you walk into the “A Chance in Hell” scare zone to experience the aftermath of the Chance taking over the asylum.

There are two things that made this scare zone a disappointment. First is that it is far too far away from the exit of “Lunatics Playground 3D” for the story to be effective for me. If the maze exited directly into the scare zone I think the overall story would play out better.

The other was the lack of stage scare actors. There are 4 stages in the scare zone – 3 are of Chance’s “creations”. The creations are props, not cast scare actors. The 4th stage is for Chance. I do think it’s absolutely great that there is a consistent and regular photo opportunity for the event Icon, no doubt there, I just would have liked to see some of her creations be more photo op scare actors to bring more “live” to this scare zone.

The Shows:

“Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure”.

The annual inappropriate humor and stab at pop culture show runs its 25th production in HHN26.
Like all Bill and Ted’s the pat years most hyped, talked about, and over saturated pop culture moments are roasted in the comedy/music/dance show.

Without getting into too much spoiler details I can say this year’s show has a heavy “Star Wars” theme – you get that just by sitting down when you look at the set.

With all Bill and Ted’s there’s hits and misses – and sometimes more misses for the individual if you’re not 100% caught up on pop culture.

But again will all Bill and Ted shows it’s a big party with great music, scantily clad dancers, and enough laughs for everyone no matter how much of little pop culture you know.

Academy of Villains: House of Fear.

As of this writing, I have not yet seen “Academy of Villains: House of Fear”. We didn’t visit if during the media tour and it got rained out my next visit. I will be seeing it this following weekend and share my thoughts with in an update to this article.

The Big over-all Bottom-line: Halloween Horror Nights 26 is an extremely strong event this year. In terms of mazes alone it might be the strongest year in recent memory for me.

The creative team behind this event did not let last year’s anniversary event being an isolated benchmark, they’ve taken that success and built on it for HHN26.

Halloween Horror Nights 26 continues a new era of Halloween Horror Nights that is so far getting better each year in many ways. It’s not without some minor flaws, but they are so insignificant compared to what excels this year that they can’t possibly distract from an all-around amazing event.

More this year than most of the recent years past I say once again; “You have to experience Halloween Horror Nights 26!”

General Admission tickets to Halloween Horror Nights are on sale now at: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/tickets.html

Learn more about the Frequent Fear passes and order your online at: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/frequent-fear.html

Express Pass for HHN26 are now on sale now: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/express-pass.html

RIP and Unmasking the Horror Tours can be booked now, for more information call: 1-866-604-7556

The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights podcast and all the work we do at NeoZAZ is made possible through the generosity of Patreon supporters. To learn how you can help support the show and have the opportunity access some our support exclusive content, please visit our Patreon Page at:https://www.patreon.com/neozaz

Get each new episode of The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights bysubscribing to The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights on iTunes.

Listen and subscribe to The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights on Stitcher.

New Virtual Reality Haunt coming to Halloween Horror Nights 26!

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort is breaking new ground once again by adding a new Virtual Reality experience for a limited time during Halloween Horror Nights 26.

“The Repository” will featured an entirely unique storyline putting guests in the midst of a heart-pounding adventure in this all new VR experience. Guest will explorer the thematic environment and interact with real-life character will working as a team to solve a dark mystery happening all around them.

The unique experience is an add-on attraction to the Halloween Horror Nights admission at $49.99. Tickets for “The Repository” go on sale for Universal Orlando Annual Passholders August 16th, and on sale to the general public August 23rd. You can book your tickets for “The Repository” by calling 407-224-7840.

Stay up to date with all the exciting news on Halloween Horror Nights 26 with our award nominated podcast series “The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights” featuring event history, instant reaction, live specials, and full HHN26 coverage.

General Admission tickets to Halloween Horror Nights are on sale now at: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/tickets.html

Learn more about the Frequent Fear passes and order your online at: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/frequent-fear.html

Express Pass for HHN26 are now on sale now: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/express-pass.html

RIP and Unmasking the Horror Tours can be booked now, for more information call: 1-866-604-7556

The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights podcast and all the work we do at NeoZAZ is made possible through the generosity of Patreon supporters. To learn how you can help support the show and have the opportunity access some our support exclusive content, please visit our Patreon Page at:https://www.patreon.com/neozaz

Get each new episode of The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights bysubscribing to The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights on iTunes.

Listen and subscribe to The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights on Stitcher.