Universal Studios Florida Haunted Attractions: Halloween Horror Nights 2014: Haunted Houses and Scarezones – My Blog

Universal Studios Florida Haunted Attractions: Halloween Horror Nights 2014: Haunted Houses and Scarezones

Universal Studios Florida Halloween Horror Nights is one of my favorite events. They are doing something interesting this year in that they are licensing properties but also mixing them with some original ideas. I have never been a huge fan of the years when they did very heavy licensing for their haunted attractions but that is just a personal opinion. As an event runner and multichannel marketer myself I fully understand that not every person in society thinks about the art and creativity of haunted attractions in the same way that I do. Licensing makes regular people more interested.

That said, I have some positive and negative things to say about what I am seeing so far.

First let’s go over what is happening at the event and then I will close off with some initial impressions that you can happily compare to the review over in the Haunted Attraction Reviews area that I will be posting after I attend the event.

Universal Studios Florida Halloween Horror Nights 2014 Haunted Houses:

Dracula Untold: Reign in Blood:

Alien vs. Predator:

From Dusk Till Dawn:

The Walking Dead: Go To Terminus:

Original House: Dollhouse of the Damned:

“…When you walk into the house, you find yourself in this old-time morgue. But this little girl has set up shop and now it’s her playhouse. She’s torturing people in there. So you’re taking the sweetness of the dollhouse and childhood and combining it with something completely sinister. That theme remains throughout the maze. Another phrase we use is ‘forced integration.’ You’ll see characters with porcelain doll masks that have been smashed into their faces, and now they’re permanent. They’re victims of this twisted amalgamation. It’s really creepy.”

Original House: Roanoke – Cannibal Colony

“The year was 1587. It was one of the first settlements of the colonial era. The people living here were expecting supplies from Europe, but there was a war going on so they couldn’t make the voyage. Three years later, when the supply ship finally arrived, everyone was gone…except the deranged cannibals who’d managed to survive by eating their fellow settlers.

As a guest, you’re fighting you’re way through this chaotic gauntlet of flesh-hungry man-eaters. “

Original House: Giggles & Gore Inc.

“…we asked ourselves, where do evil clowns come from? And we discovered evil clowns are not born, they’re made. It’s an actual process. We all know that there are countless unsolved disappearances across the country. Where do these people end up? In the clown factory, being stretched, smashed and eviscerated.

Faces are peeled off and voice boxes are torn out. Victims are dropped into a wood chipper, and the gunk that comes out is shoved into other people to create these massive, nasty stuffed clowns.”

Universal Studios Florida Halloween Horror Nights 2014 Scarezones:

The Purge: Anarchy:

SyFy’s Face Off:

MASKerade: Unstitched

“The whole concept is that these people are trapped in an old time period—their skin is falling off, they have stitched their skin back to their faces, but much of it is still peeling off. What I love about the concept is that it is like you’re entering this really surreal dance, but it is very terrifying at the same time.

There is wax holding their skin on, some are sewing their skin back on but they are doing it very poorly, and there are some whose skin is still detached.

It is grand in scale—there are elements above your head while this off-putting yet harsh waltz music plays. Everyone is moving in a really surreal and creepy dance. There is beauty along with the disgust.”

Bayou of Blood

“Our high priestess is crazy-evil and in a trance, doing numerous spells and sacrifices to get the ultimate power in her. Because she has made these sacrifices, many other voodoo practitioners in the area have come and they are squatting outside of her shack. They feel if they make sacrifices to her, they will get some of that power when she makes the ultimate sacrifice.

You’re going to see her sacrifice someone right in front of you…you will see every gory detail of this ultimate sacrifice. But that’s not the end—once you get past the sacrifice and the high priestess’ shack, you enter into the area inhabited by the voodoo squatters…and they are all looking for something or someone to sacrifice.”


I freaking love the idea of being able to go through an Alien house. YES. YES. GIVE TO ME.

Still…while I also applaud the idea of creating original haunted attractions, the 3 original haunted houses remind me a bit too much of Circus of Superstition and Nightshade Toys which are haunted houses that Busch Gardens Tampa did in the past couple of years. I like the fact that Uni has twisted the concept in upon itself and suggesting that the customer could be assimilated, but that’s not terribly variant from Busch’s concepts.

I am struggling to figure out an explanation for why Universal Studios would have gone this thematically close to properties that were already designed for a theme park that is just an hour away from them. Sure, clowns aren’t anything special. Almost everyone has them. However placing that concept next to a doll factory makes the comparison to Busch Gardens Tampa pop out where it may not have if the combination were different. Add to all of this the fact that Busch’s big haunted house last year was a Bayou house and here we have a bayou scarezone in Uni the following year.

Overall I am excited to see what these haunted attractions are. The execution will be the defining factor in my final opinion. Right now I do kind of wish that “original” meant something that was further away from Busch’s concepts. I don’t believe comparing these events to each other helps either organization because they each have their unique strengths. Uni is the higher budgeted entity. They could quickly look like a monolithic bully if they aren’t careful. I never think this way but this particular sort of arrangement invites comparisons and actually makes me wonder if someone at Uni has a beef with Busch.

I mean, seriously, guys. My husband dropped everything and texted me at work today when this was announced to ask me why everyone has to copy each other.


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