We’ve all seen the case count in Florida surge over the past week. It has set records day after day. We know that Halloween events around Orlando have already been canceled like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Dark Horizon. Does that mean Halloween Horror Nights will call it quits as well? Will it be a smaller event? What’s going on with the Universal Orlando app controlling crowds dor Halloween Horror Nights?
We have answers for all those questions. However, it is important to note: nothing is for certain in life aside from death and taxes. This holds especially true in 2020. Thus, to the best of our knowledge this information is correct (yet still not confirmed until Universal says so). However, in this case, the future is as uncertain as it’s ever been. We have no crystal ball that is any more clear than Universal does.
By all accounts, Halloween Horror Nights is absolutely happening. Because this is the largest Halloween event in the country, it starts getting built in preliminary stages in February. Now we are in July and those teams are in the home stretch. This means all those houses and sets could go into storage for next year, but it’s very complicated to do so. Many of the intellectual property is tied to a contract that is for 2020. Some could pull out, some would be fine with punting to 2021. Others may have their rights tied up with another venue next year where that’s not even possible.
Plus, Halloween Horror Nights Orlando has not only had auditions, many (if not all) of their roles have been cast for the season. In addition, Universal Orlando recently announced hotel packages that include admission to Halloween Horror Nights, which guests can also book as of now. All of that said, if a mandate from the state comes out saying the event is not possible, it can be undone (as we have already seen when the shutdown began in other theme park ventures) if necessary.
Speaking of undone, what’s going on with that plan to use the Universal Orlando app to help space out the crowds that we reported on last month? Sadly, that initiative has been scrapped. From what we have heard, the turn around time to get it up and running (and tested) wasn’t enough before the event began. In order to do so, it just didn’t make financial sense to throw a lot more money into an event that just can’t make that much money this year for a myriad of reasons.
Now you’ve got to be wondering: if Halloween Horror Nights is still happening in Orlando, why haven’t they made any official announcements yet? You’re right. No official word on houses, scare zones or shows have been made official yet. However, the virus isn’t the direct reason.
You can actually thank The Bourne Stuntacular as to why specifics of Halloween Horror Nights Orlando hasn’t happened yet. Universal has an internal policy (that they continue to stick to) that says they only announce one thing at a time. Each announcement gets it’s own time in the spotlight. Thus, since Bourne was pretty much ready prior to the closure of Universal Orlando, it was their turn to get the official announcement of their opening this past week.
Now with that out of the way, we expect announcements of Halloween Horror Nights to come within the next week. Usually we see houses announced about once every two to three weeks starting in late spring. This year, we think we will see houses being announced about once per week (possibly more frequent) right up until opening night.
What will be announced? Well, if you’d like to see our article on what is coming this year, click this link. From that list (if you would like descriptions), we are going to make a change. First, a Blumhouse (Invisible Man) haunt is out at Universal Orlando. Instead, a “30 years of fear” house is going in it’s place. This will be scenes from the “best of” houses over Halloween Horror Night’s history. This is not to be confused with the haunt that focuses on HHN icons like Jack and Caretaker. Both of these will be separate houses at this year’s event.
Here is a list of what house is going into which location at Universal Studios Florida. Again, feel free to cross-reference it with our earlier article from April for a more detailed explanation.
Soundstage 24 (A) – Tooth Fairy
Soundstage 24 (B) – Halloween Horror Nights Icons
Soundstage 23 (A) – Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Soundstage 23 (B) – Universal Monsters (Bride of Dracula vs Bride of Frankenstein)
Shrek – Billie Eilish
Stage 79 (Parade Building) – Beetlejuice
Building 108 (“New” Parade Building – Haunting of Hill House
Tent 1 – Earthquake
Tent 2 – Pumpkin Lord
Tent 3 – 30 Years of Fear
What are your thoughts on Halloween Horror Nights still happening in Orlando? Do you think they should have cancelled? By all accounts, it seems the event in Orlando is still a “GO”. However, Horror Nights in Hollywood? That is a different story entirely.
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