Halloween Horror Nights 25 – The Full Line-up – NEOZAZ

Midnight Wednesday August 26th, Universal Studios Orlando released all the details of their annual Halloween Horror Nights event. This year the event celebrates its 25th anniversary and expectations were high. When the clock struck 12, our expectations weren’t only met, they were exceeded.

The night started off with reviewing what we already knew, the four mazes announced over the summer:

“Freddy vs Jason” – “From the cursed Camp Crystal Lake to the nightmarish 1428 Elm Street, awake or asleep, you’ll find yourself caught in the middle of this episode battle – where the winner’s reward is YOU.

This was the first announcement made for Halloween Horror Nights 25 and set a high bar for everything to follow. Our instant reaction to the news along with details reported on the maze is here in our “Freddy vs Jason Instant Reaction” episode.

What Matt says about this maze: “I grew up with Freddy and Jason and loved having them in the Carnival of Carnage. Having them fight it out in a maze is a dream come true, can’t wait!”

What Quint says about this maze: “While I am worried about the transition, the finale alone should be worth it!”

“Insidious” – “Enter “The Further” and travel through all three parts of the Insidious saga. Denizens of the afterlife try to find their way back into the world using the living to guide them. The house isn’t haunted–we are.”

What Quint says about this maze: “I always like a mind fuck, and this looks like a good one.”

What Matt says about this maze: “I’ve now watched “Insidious” and “Insidious 2” and there’s some great visuals in both films, curious to see what is pulled from these movies and brought to life”.

“The Walking Dead: The Living and The Dead” – “From the burnt ashes of Terminus, through the flooded community food pantry basement, and into the darkened churchyard, hordes of walkers surround you as you relive gut-wrenching moments of the most recent season.

This is another IP we’re both big fans of and recorded another “Instant Reaction” special following the news. You can find our “Walking Dead Instant Reaction” special here.

What Matt says about this maze: “I’m a big ‘The Walking Dead’ fan and season 5 had some great moments I’d love to see make it into maze. If this maze is what HHN24’s maze was to Season 4, this should be awesome!”

What Quint says about this maze: “I still have not gotten my fill of Post Apocalyptic stuff, and Walking Dead hits the dark zombie awesomely.”

“The Purge” – “This year’s Purge is more brutal than ever. From the moment you step inside the house, dozens of vicious vigilantes will descend upon you as they exercise their right to purge.”

This is another announcement that spurred an instant reaction episode, and another IP we’re looking forward to seeing in a new format. You can find “The Purge Instant Reaction” special here.

What Quit says about this maze: “Dear gods, between LA and this, I need to get a mask and dust off my axes…wait did I say that out loud?”

What Matt says about this maze: “’The Purge Anarchy’ scare zone last year was a great representation of the 2nd movie, I’m hoping to see a lot of elements from the original movie in this maze”

Now that’s what we knew going into the midnight release and we were already excited about Halloween Horror Nights 25 – but that was just the beginning.

Here is the rest of what we’ll experience at Halloween Horror Nights 25.

The Mazes:

“An American Werewolf in London” – “Step into John Landis’ landmark 1981 horror classic. From the attack on the English moors to the bone-crunching transformation, it’s one of the most popular houses in Halloween Horror Nights® history. “

Returning from its HHN debut in 2013 at Halloween Horror Nights 23, “An American Werewolf in London” brings the 1981 John Landis film to life once again! This year’s maze boasts a scene by scene retelling of the movie with 2 additional scenes added for HHN25!

What Matt says about this maze: “I missed or don’t remember many of the things HHN fans remember and love about this maze. I’m really happy to get a 2nd chance to experience and take it all in this year.”

What Quint says about this maze: “So very excited to see not only a classic property but a recreation of a classic maze!”

“Jack Presents: 25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem” – “Relive the most terrifying moments of the past 25 years as Jack releases our catalogue of creatures in one maze. You’ll be attacked by Universal classic monsters, meat-grinding maniacs and the fiends of Horror Nights past.”

A walk down memory lane as we get the once in a lifetime chance to relive the most memorable moments of the Halloween Horror Nights throughout its illustrious history presented by the events most popular and memorable icon!

What Quint says about this maze: “There is so very much to pull from here, and with the original ringmaster at the forefront I can’t imagine this will be anything but balls out insanity.”

What Matt says about this maze: “I’m sorry, what? I passed out after I heard ‘Universal classic monsters’. Can-not-wait. This is the one I’m most looking forward to!”

“Run: Blood, Sweat, and Fears” – “You’ve just been selected as a contestant on RUN, a brutal TV show where everyday people are stalked by skilled assassins. Just remember: the more horrifying your death, the higher the ratings.”

One of the most storied original properties in Halloween Horror Nights history returns! The third (so far) in the “Run” series. The questions remains – will “he” be there?

What Matt says about this maze: “This is awesome! I really hope we’re seeing ‘Run’ the way we were supposed to in 2001.”

What Quint says about this maze: “I am going to go home and fire up my chain saw while delusionally screaming “We Want Eddie! We Want Eddie!”, I hope the neighbors don’t call the cops…”

“Asylum In Wonderland 3D” – “Follow the white rabbit through the looking glass and into a murderous 3D Wonderland. Is this world all in Alice’s mind or are the images we see real enough to kill us?”

HNH25 takes the “Asylum in Wonderland” Scare zone from 2008’s Halloween Horror Nights: Reflections of Fear and puts it in a maze – and then throws it into another dimension by making it 3D!

What Quint says about this maze: “Love the return of the 3D maze! Oh, and my heart will be happy that it is not fucking 3D clowns!”

What Matt says about this maze: “I really felt the lack of 3D maze last year – so psyched to see it return, and return in a big way!”

“Body Collectors – Recollections” – “The Body Collectors have returned, descending upon Shadybrook Asylum to collect the human parts they require. Screams echo the hallways as a blizzard rages outside while sharpened blades swirl inside.”

This year HHN25 takes two of their longest running original properties and places them in the same house changing both stories forever.

What Matt says about the maze: “This is the ‘Freddy vs Jason’ of original IPs for long time Halloween Horror Nights fans. I think this going to be far more of a bloodbath than the description lets on!”

What Quint says about this maze: “I love asylum themes, and getting to see Jack’s asylum makes this ever so much more special!”

So those are the mazes, but we’re not done yet. We still have the equally important Scare Zones. And here we go…

“Pyschoscareapy – Unleashed” – “The criminally insane inmates of Shadybrook Asylum have escaped and stumbled upon a Halloween Block party in the streets of New York. They quickly decide they’d kill for some costumes of their own.”

The revered “Pyschoscareapy” HHN storyline breaks out of the maze and hits the streets! We thought the inmates were scary in the asylum? What until they’re lurking in the shadows of the scare zone!

What Quint says about this scare zone: “Putting a maze and a scare zone together should just double down on the awesome!”

What Matt says about this scare zone: “I expect this to be the prelude to ‘Body Collectors – Recollections’. Whether or not it is, this IP needed to be in HHN25.”

“Icons – HHN” – “The eeriest icons and most cadaverous characters of the last 25 years of Halloween Horror Nights® have returned. The Caretaker, The Storyteller, The Director, The Usher and more are back to relive every monstrous memory.”

The Icons have all returned for Halloween Horror Nights! The living embodiments of year’s pasts convene in this scare zone to usher in the silver anniversary of this amazing event!

What Matt says about this scare zone: “A well-deserved self-celebration of HHN. I’ll be spending a lot of time in this scare zone.”

What Quint says about this scare zone: “I am looking forward to being able to get a glimpse of all the things I missed in the past”

“Scary Tales – Screampunk” – “Classic fairytale characters get a sinister Scary Tale twist immersed in the wicked world of steam punk.”

The HHN original IP, Scary Tales, takes another twisted and historic turn and enters the world of Steampunk!

What Quint says about this scare zone: “HOLY SHIT YES!”

What Matt says about this scare zone: “My favorite HHN original IP. This will be the first thing I see when I go my first night!”

“Evil’s Roots” – “Your darkest fears will take root amidst the perilous paths of Central Park as you face evil fairies, humanoid bats, scarecrows and more horrors.”

New scare zone, new scare actors, an all-new “stroll” through Central Park!

What Matt says about this scare zone: “Always my favorite area for a scare zone, as everything else – looking forward to this too.”

What Quint says about this scare zone: “Central Park eh, well I guess hobos, used condoms, and heroin needles and strung out hookers are pretty scary? :-P”

“All Nite Die-In – Double Feature” – “The Carey Drive-In movie theatre has been closed for decades after grisly murders during a double feature. It’s lights, camera, carnage as the theater nicknamed “Die-In” by the locals lives up to its name.”

The gruesome history of the Carey Drive-in comes back to life during Halloween Horror Nights.

What Quint says about this scare zone: “Drive in movie, I am hoping for all the good stuff plus maybe a nice vintage car or two?”

What Matt says about this scare zone: “This could be the most immersive scare zone of HHN25. And if so, likely the one to make my jump the most.”

Also revealed via the Halloween Horror Nights twitter account (@HorrorNightsORL): “[There will also be a] chainsaw wielding roaming hordes in areas where the scare zones are not!”

What Matt says about the roaming Chainsaw Drill Team: “YES!!!!!”

What Quint says about the roaming Chainsaw Drill Team: “Holy ****balls!!”

Along with all these awesome mazes and scare zones, there are 2 chances to stop and catch your breath with these stage shows:

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure – “Party on as those two most excellent dudes return to skewer the biggest names in politics, show business and pop culture.”

The Carnage Returns – “Jack the Clown is taking Halloween Horror Nights® back in a blaze of murderous mayhem with his army of feared followers and his companion in carnage, Chance. Remember, Jack always has the last laugh.”

Needless to say we are beyond excited about Halloween Horror Night’s line up this year. We’ve been enjoying this event for years and loved watching it grow and become what it has in this reveal of HHN25 details. To hear our excitement “live” during this reveal, check out our special “Midnight Madness” here.

Be sure to check back for reviews and first-hand accounts of this year’s Halloween Horror Nights, and check out series “The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights” for recordings and coverage of both Orlando’s event and Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood.

Halloween Horror Nights – First Timer Tips – NEOZAZ

So you’ve decided to finally go to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando this year. You’ve made a great decision! Not only is Halloween Horror Nights Orlando the premier Halloween event anywhere in the world, it’s also their 25th anniversary this year! This year will undoubtedly be one of the most exciting, terrifying, and fun events ever put on by Universal Orlando.

With this being not only the most popular Halloween event anywhere, and it being a huge milestone year, this is an event worth taking some time to plan ahead.

Matt and Quint, hosts of “The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights” podcast have taken their 20 year combined Halloween Horror Nights experience to compile a list tips to prepare for and get the most from your first time Halloween Horror Nights experience.

Pre-planning.

First and foremost – you cannot plan too far ahead for this event.

This article is being written in July, and tickets for all aspects of the event are now one sale! If you’ve already planned your visit dates, but haven’t purchased your event tickets yet – stop reading this and got to http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/tickets.html and get your tickets before they’re gone!

Next, there’s more to Halloween Horror Nights than just the “Nights”.

There’s no doubt the “Night” portion of Halloween Horror Nights is biggest draw, but there is a separate day time tour during this time that’s gaining in popularity, but still not known to everyone – especially first time Halloween Horror Nights visitors. It’s called the “Unmasking the Horror Tour”. This is unique “lights-on” behind the scenes tour of Halloween Horror Nights. The tour is a 2 to 2 ½ guided tour of 3 of the house at Halloween Horror Nights! There is a tour in the morning (10:30 am) and a tour in the afternoon (2 pm). You can book a tour for either time or for booth on the same day. For more information, visit: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/rip-tours.html

Last tip and possibly most important for pre-planning; If you’re there for 1 night – Express pass is a must.

Halloween Horror Nights 25 is big – literally bigger this year than any other year. This year boosts a recording setting 9 houses! A way to get an advantage over the tens of thousands of other Halloween Horror Nights fans you’ll be enjoying the night with you and see all you can possibly see is with an Express Pass. It is an additional cost, that is true – but well worth it in our opinion and in the opinion of most any else that’s ever purchased one. To justify the cost, consider this simple question: “Would you rather see 3 houses in 1 hour with an express pass, OR stand in line for 1 house for 3 hours without one? Those numbers vary of course on the night and what houses, but you get the idea.

BIG NOTE ON EXPRESS PASS: Contrary to recent rumors, I’ve verified Express Passes are indeed limited for each night. So when you decide to pull the trigger, do it before it’s too late!

There also a second alternative to maximize your time – It’s called “The RIP Tour”. Depending on the night, it’s not too much more expensive than an Express pass, or it could be a whole lot more expensive. It’s worth calling and finding out – all the VIP service members are incredibly nice, I’ve called with a lot of questions (and a lot orders) and they’ve answered all of them and were incredibly nice each time.

VIP Services: 866-604-7566 or email: [email protected]

Planning:

Now the pre-planning is done and you know when you’re visiting and you have your tickets and any add-ons sitting on your desk taunting you with the slowest calendar count down of all time – how can now pass the time by coming up with a plan of attack once you get in the park. Here are some tips we learned over the years to help you maximize your time and avoid some headaches.

Getting in:

If you’re making an entire day event of your visit, you may already have an edge on many of the other visitors with the Day Pass Holding Area.

If you have a day pass (including an annual pass) to Universal Studios Orlando and your Halloween Horror Nights ticket, you can wait in a special area while they turn the park over. When the event start time hits, you are let out of the holding area and already in the park for Halloween Horror Nights. Check with guest services if you’re unsure your ticket combination let you into the holding area. The only drawback – you will be standing with a crowd for 90 minutes, but worth it when maximizing your time

If you are visiting the park but can’t get into the holding area and have to leave the park, don’t go far!

The park turns over in 90 minutes. You’ll likely see people already lining up when you leave. So get in line, or go get what you need to do between leaving and coming back quickly, and get in line.

Show up early, or fashionably late.

As stated earlier, the line starts early. If you want to be in as the gate opens, you have to get there early. Traditionally the park closes at 5 pm for the turn over. That’s a good time to start for the line. Conversely, if you can’t get there that early, fashionably late is good too. By fashionably late I mean about 30 minutes after the gates open. This probably sounds counter intuitive to maximizing your time, but if you’re not in the front of the line, you’ll be waiting to in the slowest moving line of the night. The worst is the first 30 minutes. So if you’re running late, you might want to consider waiting until the first 30 minutes of the night have passed.

The biggest tip we can share about entering the event no matter what time you arrive is this:

Leave the bags at home (or in the car). Bring only absolutely what you need – ID, tickets, phone and wallet. There is a no bag line that is immeasurably faster than the regular security line.

Early Hours:

Skip the first drink stand you see.

The first drink stand after the entrance has the biggest line and there’s a ton more EVERYWHERE in the park.

Once inside, head to the Kid’s Zone area.

The houses in the Kid’s Zone area are typically hit last and have an under 10 minute wait time during the first hour of the event. There’s usually 2 houses in that area one on the Right, one on Left (towards Barney). If the same flow of past years is followed, the house on the right will exit next to the line for house on the left. The house on the left will then let out further into the park. So heading right to the kid’s zone and entering the house on the right can help you get a jump on the evening. NOTE: This is assuming these houses aren’t any of the headliner houses. If they are, all bets are off.

Food and Drink:

Don’t fill up on the usual park food and drink.

Halloween Horror Nights offers a wide selection of Food and Drinks only available during event hours. If you’re hungry, skip the usual Springfield Fast Food Boulevard, Mel’s D-i-e in, Richter’s Burgers, etc. and seek out some Cheesesteaks and (most of all) Twisted Taters. If you drink alcoholic drinks, check out the signature drink of the event for the year and the Zombie Nurse I.V. Jell-O Shot Blood Bags.

Eat earlier rather than later.

The temporary event bars will always have lines. The food lines get longer as the night goes on.

If you’re drinking (and why not? It is a party) pace your drinking, and drink water as well.

While it’s autumn, it’s still Central Florida and it’s usually hot – particularly if you’re from out of state. Again, pace your drinking – getting hammered in the first 2 hours is not going to give you a memorable Halloween Horror Nights experience.

In the Houses:

They will get you, so relax.

If you’re like Quint and try to anticipate everything, relax! They WILL get you, the ALWAYS get you at least once. If you relax, you will have more fun and jump out of your skin more often!

Be open to interactions with strangers.

Personal space shrinks a lot at Halloween Horror Nights, and some of the more memorable experiences have been with random strangers we’ve had fun with.

Outside the Houses:

Don’t skip the scare zones!

As much work goes into planning these scare zones as anything else – more in some ways. These have to be frightening yet open and easily passed through while conveying a story or theme the whole time you’re in that area. If you miss one (or run through it) you’re missing a huge piece of Halloween Horror Nights!

And don’t skip Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure.

First time to Halloween Horror Nights and wondering why Bill and Ted have their own show? Go and found you – you won’t be disappointed. This is arguable the apex of the Halloween Party. This is where you an a couple thousand of your closest friends all get to yell, laugh and scream and join in on one of Halloween Horror Night’s annual traditions.

Plan to close the park.

The event runs 6 ½ or 7 ½ hours depending on the night – plan to stay for all of it. All times are on the Halloween Horror Nights Website now, so check ahead or time and plan your energy reserves – to take a nap, leave work early, go in late – whatever it takes to maximize your time.

Last but not least – if your group is driving to a from the event, select a designated driver and hold them to it!

I’m serious – and I can say that because for 5 years running I AM the designated driver. 12 years running before that, I stayed sober because I was alone and driving home those evenings. I enjoy a drink or two (or more) as well as anyone else – But I enjoy spending Halloween Horror Nights with my group of HHN friends every year far more! Being the designated driver plays a large and important part in making that happen. That might sound cheesy, but after all these years, I’m here once again planning our Halloween Horror Nights adventure because I’ve made sure we got home safely! But once home – well, that’s another story.

Prepping for all of the above (aka “The shameless plug tip”)

And of course one of the best ways to prepare for Halloween Horror Nights right now it listen to “The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights” podcast of a year-by-year account of the entire run of the event from the very beginning.

If this is your first time at Halloween Horror Nights, there is no doubt in my mind you are going to have a blast! No matter how much you prepare it’s bound to exceed your expectations. Above all – have fun!

Important links for planning your Halloween Horror Nights visit:

Halloween Horror Nights Orlando Website: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/
Universal Studios Orlando Website: https://www.universalorlando.com/Home.aspx
Halloween Horror Night Tickets: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/tickets.html
HHN Express Pass Tickets: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/express-pass.html
R.I.P. and Unmasking the Horrors Tour information: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/rip-tours.html
HHN Hotel and Ticket Packages: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/hotel-ticket-packages.htm

Special Episode of The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights Podcast “First Timer Tips”:

The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights Special “First Timer Tips”: http://www.neozaz.com/cohhn-first-timer-tips/

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