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Halloween update: The latest from Universal Orlando, plus Busch Gardens Tampa & Williamsburg

By Domenik Jost
Published: September 2, 2010 at 8:38 PM
Universal Orlando just released a little sneak peak of the Halloween Horror Nights 20 commercial directed by the Spierig Brothers who are best known for having directed the horror movies Daybreakers (2009) and Undead (2003).

If you don't want to wait until September 6, a version of the commercial has already aired at least once, and you can find it by scrolling down to the end of today's update and view it.

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Busch Gardens Tampa has already opened it's Shop of Horror with a large dedication to this year's MyX theme. The shop has quite the decorations ranging from electric guitars, posters, band mannequins, and even those cut off bloody fingers hanging inside of it. They have already begun selling T-Shirts with the myX theme, one of them reading "I gave my X the FINGER".

The team this week went to the studio to lay down some growls, screams and sinister laughs for this years event which opens in three weeks.

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Busch Gardens Williamsburg has released a little video teaser for their fans letting them know that Howl-O-Scream is coming.

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Central Florida Halloween event countdowns:

Walt Disney World's "Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween" begins in 12 days on the 14th of September, 2010.

Busch Gardens Tampa's "Howl-O-Scream" and Universal Orlando's "Halloween Horror Nights" are only 22 days away opening on September 24th, 2010.

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And as promised for those who can't wait to see the commercial on TV, here is the version of the Halloween Horror Nights commercial that has already aired.

And as a little extra, another version had already surfaced last week if you click here you can see a second version which had been released during the previews in local movie theaters.

For those who watched the TV commercial, thoughts? Has anyone actually seen it on TV already?

Readers' Opinions

From Phil B. on September 2, 2010 at 9:25 PM
The most terrifying part of that commercial was the snapshot of Ellen at the end doing her goofy dance routine. This will be the scariest HHN EVERRRRRR!!!!!!
From David Brown on September 3, 2010 at 2:22 AM
From a UK perspective can I just say that we really, really don't get this obsession with Halloween in the USA... That theme parks will invest thousands in temporary attractions and that people will pay extra money to come and in essence put themselves into a horror/slash movie just seems bizarre, (although maybe if I ran a theme park the financial benefit would be obvious).
I know I'm going to open up a whole can of worms here but despite the fact that I love a good horror film I and many other people over here find this celebration of the nasty just a bit... creepy? Tasteless? And what confuses me even more is the way that a country so overtly and defiantly Christian as the US revels in this celebration. Does any one else see the contradiction there?

I fully expect to be shot down in flames as I know this is mostly a US based forum but there are a lot of readers from Europe log on too and I suspect I'm not the only one who finds this time of year just kind of strange.

From Roxanne Price on September 3, 2010 at 4:35 AM
David - for the vast percentage of Americans, Halloween is not a celebration of slasher flicks. It's a far gentler combination of autumn traditions including the Day of the Dead, which is a family centered celebration of ancestors. For most, it's a costume party and an excuse to indulge in sweets. In all but specialized venues, dressing up like a fairy princess or a robot is perfectly acceptable and the celebrations focus on food, party games, and for children, trick or treating.

Of course there are exceptions. There's places like Universal, that have the more "horror show" aspect that appeals to that demographic. And some churches have their own horror show houses for teens to "scare them straight."

Think autumn carnival with a touch of cheesy haunted house, and you've got Halloween. Just good fun.

From 86.133.227.163 on September 3, 2010 at 6:51 AM
Thanks Roxanne - I can see the appeal of a festival such as you describe. But the video links Robert included in this report don't exactly convey that good wholesome sense of fun! I guess that's my beef with it - only Disney seems to be attuned to your vision of Halloween and I just wonder whether that's healthy or whether I'm just getting old and boring!
From Mark Hollamon on September 3, 2010 at 7:08 AM
David-

Halloween is a BIG tradition in the US. It is decades old and has grown a great deal over the years. The fact that it isn't a "religious" holiday per se makes some people scratch their heads and attracts others.

Think of HHN and other events as haunted houses, the concept of which is nothing new. It is just done on a much larger scale. It is embraced and supported by hundreds of thousands! I dare say it is an American tradition. We didn't start it of course, but we perfected it!

Don't worry about being shot down in flames by other American readers. It probably won't happen. We are a very tolerant people that embrace the opinions of others.

Heck, most of us don't understand the concept or need for a King or Queen, but hey, to each their own!

Here's to HHN 2010! I Can't wait for opening night!

From Robert Niles on September 3, 2010 at 8:30 AM
For the record, in response to the anonymous poster, it's Domenik Jost's post - not mine. He's the one doing the work to bring you all info on this year's Halloween events, so I'll throw another thank-you his way.
From Joshua Counsil on September 3, 2010 at 1:16 PM
Funny that you mention that, David. In every video segment containing guest interviews and reactions, there seems to be a lot of Brits. I know that only speaks for part of the UK, but I still find it amazing how many visitors from abroad come to revel in a little Halloween filth.

I don't want to dig too deep into the American Christianity point you made as I think I still have some friends on this site. There's no greater way to lose friends than by talking about politics and religion.

From Amanda Jenkins on September 3, 2010 at 3:34 PM
^^ "...and the Great Pumpkin." :)
From Charles Reichley on September 4, 2010 at 9:11 AM
I don't get it either, David, but I love it anyway. It's fun watching other people get scared, and I assume for other people it's fun to be scared.

On another matter, it's a bit annoying that BG-Williamsburg hasn't managed to get their Halloscream website up yet. It's already September, and they start in less than 3 weeks. Hard to make plans when we have no idea what they are doing yet.

Of course, I'm also annoyed that they are currently showing evening closings at 10pm for September. It's hard to drive over 2 hours to do Halloween if they are going to shut down an hour after it gets dark. What's the point? At least stay open until 11.

Still, I'll likely be there on opening night, although mostly because it would be our only free night to go if we get the KD Halloween jobs (since KD doesn't start until that saturday).

We did our auditions thursday, and it sounded like we did fine, but until we get our e-mails we won't know for sure.

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