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Halloween News: What's been announced so far

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Published: July 24, 2014 at 10:09 AM

We are less than two months away from the official start of Halloween season at theme parks across the globe. As we’re always sitting on the curve here at Theme Park Insider, for the next 10 weeks we’ll be bringing you a weekly roundup of news and information relating to Halloween events. For the inaugural edition, let’s start with a bit of a recap on what we know so far.

Let’s start with the big guns: Halloween Horror Nights. The Orlando/Hollywood events are separately designed and operated (follow Orlando creative guy Michael Aiello and his Hollywood counterpart John Murdy on Twitter for great insider perspective) but share many of the same independent properties (IPs from here on out). Here’s what the lineup in Hollywood looks like so far.

  • The Walking Dead maze returns which is shocking to no one. It was easily the most popular maze the past two years, even after its move to the backlot last year. Dead is a combination of a great IP with a concept people can’t get enough of: zombies. We love the heck out of the living dead.

  • From Dusk Till Dawn is a new maze based on a Robert Rodriguez produced TV show for the El Rey network. A vampire maze checks off another box on the horror theme hit list and the tone of the show seems to be a good fit at Horror Nights.

  • Face Off, a competitive horror/science fiction/fantasy makeup show on SyFy, will fill Universal’s House of Horrors. This means that Universal Monster’s Remix will be no more, which I’m sure will upset at least a dozen people on the Internet. The show is a lot of fun and the #synergy will be strong as an episode of the show will focus on designing a monster for the maze.

  • The Purge: Anarchy scare zone ought to be a lot like the scare zone from 2013; at least, I hope it is. The Purge was phenomenal last year as the figurehead scare zone, complete with the Actor With The Microphone that has become a staple of the central area of the upper lot.

    Orlando has announced the same IPs as Hollywood; but that doesn’t mean these will be carbon copies of one another. Think of it as two different directors making difference movies from the same source material. Also unlike Hollywood, tickets are already available for the Orlando event. The event does sell out frequently, but you’re probably okay waiting until at least August to purchase your tickets.

    Sticking in Florida, Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa has yet to announce any mazes or scare zones, but they do have this nifty highlight reel of last year’s event. You can also buy tickets, if you are so inclined. They’re offering a discount for a limited time if you buy now, so, you know, do what you feel. Their counterpart in Williamsburg has released no information other than their operation dates.

    Hopping back to the west coast, Knott’s Berry Farm is having their annual maze-unveiling on August 6 and you can bet we’ll be there to cover it. They have already announced the return of Elvira and their Skeleton Key promotion.

    In more general news, the ScareLA Halloween convention announced they’ll be hosting a “Making Monsters” panel which will have creative types from many southern California events on the same stage. The panel is on August 9 at 5:30 PM and will discuss the makeup aspects of these Halloween events. Tickets are on sale now.

    Get that countdown rolling -- just over 60 days until the gates to these events open for fans all over the world; we’ll keep you abreast of the latest information until you get to see -- and scream -- for yourself.

    Update from Robert: Here is a report from the media preview for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Singapore. It's got four houses and four scare zones ("four" is associated with the word "die" in Chinese tradition), and an original IP in General Jonah Goodwill.

  • Readers' Opinions

    From James Trexen on July 24, 2014 at 10:29 AM
    Am I the only one who would love to see someone tackle American Horror Story? Not that it would make a difference for me because I've never been to one of these and won't be for a good, long while.
    From Melanie Howe on July 24, 2014 at 11:04 AM
    James, my hubby follows a discussion board for FL HHN rumors and reviews and AHS has definitely been kicked around as a possibility this year. Still just a rumor so far, but one can always hope :-)
    From Jacob Sundstrom on July 24, 2014 at 11:08 AM
    American Horror Story is an interesting idea, absolutely. There are lots of interesting ideas and lots of negotiating that has to happen before those ideas are brought to these events; I'd love to see AHS at Horror Nights or somewhere like it, though.
    From parker reave on July 24, 2014 at 3:55 PM
    Has there been any word (yea or nay) about the Bill and Ted show in USH?
    From Anthony Murphy on July 24, 2014 at 6:39 PM
    Great America always has a makeup show/contest during Fright Fest. Its pretty well attended!
    From Jacob Sundstrom on July 25, 2014 at 8:06 AM
    @Parker: Nothing official yet, but the prevailing wisdom is that it will return. We'll see, though!

    @Anthony: Good to know! I'll keep that in mind as Six Flags gets itself into the announcement game.

    From 72.37.244.188 on July 26, 2014 at 6:43 AM
    I like HHN but the one thing I really wish they would do is limit the alcohol sales. Every time I have been in the last few years, there have been crowds of drunk, obnoxious people and it takes a lot of enjoyment out of the experience.
    From Jacob Sundstrom on July 28, 2014 at 12:22 PM
    They don't serve alcohol at the Hollywood event and I have to admit I'm a little surprised they do in Orlando.

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