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The 2012 theme park Halloween season kicks off tonight

Written by
Published: September 21, 2012 at 9:28 AM
It's late September, and on the, uh, rather flexible calendar that rules the theme park world, that means it's time for Halloween!

Several major Halloween events kick off tonight, including Universal's Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood, and Halloween Haunt at Knott's "Scary" Farm.

Skull
Universal Orlando sent me this lovely memento to promote this year's Halloween Horror Nights. You had to pull off the hairy scalp, open the skull, and dig your fingers into the squishy brain to retrieve a USB drive with the video press release. My 12-year-old son loved it.

We've got pages for you to upload photos and submit reviews for all of the Halloween events at top theme parks:

For more child-friendly Halloween events, Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party has started already at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland kicks off next weekend.

Remember that Halloween events typically get better as the month goes on, as scareactors get more experience with their roles, crowds get bigger and the holiday approaches. But if you'll be attending any of these events this weekend, I'm sure your fellow Theme Park Insider readers would love to hear your early take on how the parks did this year.

Readers' Opinions

From Tracy Bates on September 21, 2012 at 9:39 AM
I'm looking forward to the Universal Orlando ones next weekend. I've never been before and it looks like fun.
From robert morris on September 23, 2012 at 6:57 AM
Been to HHN 22 this weekend for both nights:

Friday Night: Lots of rain and horrible execution from having lines going directly thru drainage areas in the backlots and lack of theming for most lines.

But lots of survey takers

Saturday Night: Doubled staff for Annual Pass Check In and front gates, moved lines out of drainage areas, theme music for haunted house lines, larger scope for scareactors

Spoke with people at exit and for survey takers and the let us know that they had taken feedback and acted on it

KUDOS Universal

Houses:
Gothic: Verges on being a year round quality attraction and a grand scale

Dead End: Just a shade behind Gothic great set and execution

Note: Both are housed in the same unused soundstage so year arou nd attraction would be an option

Alice Cooper: Shortest line all night and great scare and one of the most cohesive houses

Walking Dead: Do the house twice once during the day and then at night, as the house is virtualy outside so aspects change

Penn & Teller's New(kd): Cute idea nice interaction piece, spotty 3D but overall a fail

Silent Hill: Great hype but generic house with not much going on but T-Shirt sales

House of Horrors: Universal created a bland dark house with minimal interaction from their stable of horror characters

Shows:
Bill & Ted': One of the best versions in years and scene stealing Katnis

20 Penny: Don't let it scare you off, much tamer than hyped and worth a visit

Lagoon Show: Not the Full Night Show, but quick 5 minute fountain and lights with clips from classic movies of Alice Cooper interactions so nice extra

Street Experience: As always some are great some are "there"

But the hype of no safe place doesn't hold true as old amity has none and all the scareactors would cluster together so it did create gaps

But overall much improved over HHN 21, some of the best times are just walking the streets fro the mood that is created by the change in lighting and addition of fog

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