Halloween update: Opening nights for Halloween Horror Nights and Howl-O-Scream

September 24, 2010, 12:53 PM · The day has finally arrived and tonight marks the kick off for Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights and Busch Gardens Tampa's Howl-O-Scream.

On Wednesday night I got to preview Halloween Horror Nights and was invited by Universal to record inside the haunted houses. (However, Universal's editing the video.) As soon as I get that video from Universal Orlando I will post it here on Theme Park Insider. *Posted. See below.

This year's event is bigger than it has ever been and it sure didn't let me down. Since Wednesday night was only a preview night and basically a dress and tech rehearsal, I don't want to prematurely rate my experience in each of the houses. I will say this, Universal has done an excellent job at incorporating the past 20 years into one event and still pulling off a very unique and new experience.

Meet 'Fear' himself inside the 'Fear Revealed' scarezone.

To kick things off tonight, Universal Orlando will do something they have never ever done before. They will be live-streaming from inside of Halloween Horror Nights. Online viewers will be able to see the event opening and a live feed from inside of the haunted houses.

The live stream will start from 6:00 - 6:30 PM EDT with the Halloween Horror Nights XX event opening ceremony. Later in the night, from 9:30 - 11:30 PM EDT, Universal will be live-streaming from inside the haunted houses.

Find the live stream by going to this link and clicking on the "Watch Live Feed" link on the upper-right of the page.

Look for a full detailed review of the opening night of Halloween Horror Nights tomorrow.


Universal Orlando isn't the only theme park destination kicking off its Halloween event tonight. Busch Gardens Tampa also is debuting its Howl-O-Scream event.

Thursday I got to meet Sylvie and preview part of the "My X: Revenge Rocks" haunted house. Inside the house let's just say I didn't feel welcome at all and was apparently late getting to the backstage area. It was quite dark inside of the house and I couldn't hardly see anything but I would just attribute that to having been in broad daylight and then put into a very dark house. The parts I could make out and see I definitely felt like I was in the backstage area of a concert venue. There was definitely a few times I jumped and got startled in that first half of the house. For only having seen one half of the house I don't want to rate it just yet.

Guests getting scared inside 'My X: Revenge Rocks' house.

I'll be headed to Tampa Saturday night to get a full review of the event including the all new unique "Alone" haunted experience, and the ScreamCam footage from the 'My X: Revenge Rocks' haunted house.

*Update: And here's the video:

Replies (8)

September 24, 2010 at 2:36 PM · Nice video of the opening day queue at Harry Potter there, Domenik. But where's the HHN video? :-)

(Easy joke. Sorry. But it's Friday afternoon....)

September 24, 2010 at 2:49 PM · Universal always does a fantastic job. I will be bringing my wife for her first time :)
Then we are heading over to HOS and see how BG does this year!
September 24, 2010 at 3:15 PM · BOoOOO, the live streaming has been delayed to 7pm. BOOOO! (that gives me a good 45 minutes to get my butt over to Universal Studios!!!)
September 24, 2010 at 9:50 PM · I just got back from opening night Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens-Williamsburg.

It's a lot like last year. Monster Stomp was the same songs, same performance, same gags, although I didn't like the new vampire guy as much as the old (first because he was a larger person with round facial features rather than sharp edges, and second because he liked to scream his songs instead of singing them. But others liked him).

Franken Rock was different from last year, and entertaining if not a bit loud.

The mazes were about the same as last year. I find the BG mazes less intense than the ones at Cedar Fair parks. I presume this is on purpose. I also notice that they have a lot (a LOT) of costumed monster types all through the park, and still they have multiple non-costumed ushers throughout each indoor maze.

One new feature that looked really cool is a "spider" scare zone between Ireland and France. Watch above you, if you dare.

I just realized I should re-post this as a discussion board entry.

September 24, 2010 at 10:53 PM · This is ridiculously early; five weeks before halloween, and they're already doing the horror stuff? What's the deal with that?
September 27, 2010 at 6:22 AM · We went to HOS on Saturday night for the Passholder Preview. I was surprised at how good it was this year. Many of the houses are the same theme but the scareactors were much better than in years past. The lines were longer than usual for this event, however we had Express Passes so we didn't wait in them. I would think most people waited at least 45 minutes for most of the houses. There was an abundance of alcohol vendors this year which falls more in line with HHN.

The only negative for me was the absence of the promotional items theme. The MyX band played in the background but you very rarely say Slyvie, even in her own house. There also wasn't a pre-show at the front of the park which usually features the "theme" for the year. Other than that it was a fun time.

September 27, 2010 at 12:33 PM · When you say alcohol vendors? Do you mean they had full bars through out the park? I've gone to HOS in previous years to find out they only sell beer. I'm interested in vodka, rum, etc. Please help with this information! Thanks!
September 27, 2010 at 1:30 PM · When I said alcohol vendors I was specifically thinking of the shot girls walking around. They also had liquor bars though with vodka and rum. They even had a special rum drink for the night called My X. I think you can only get it at the bar where Fright Feast is held next to Scorpion.

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