Halloween Horror Nights 2017 at Universal Studios Orlando Florida kicked off their 27th annual Halloween event this past Friday, September 15th. Attending as “media” they pulled out all of the stops and treated us like royalty as we gathered on the decorated soundstage to eat, drink, and take in all of the scary sights.
Meat carving stations, Venetian tables, servers carrying trays of hors d’oeuvres, and an open bar welcomed us as we entered the prepared sound stage. However, the real highlight was to hear from the creative minds behind Halloween Horror Nights 27 as they told us what they have in store before we set out on our guided tours around the Universal Studios Florida.
To whet our appetite for the gore and scares that awaited us, props from each of the nine houses and five scare zones lined the walls. Even the food stations, dessert tables, and bar were decorated according to the macabre theme for the evening.
Actors danced and stalked around the guests in beautiful costumes, each wearing seamless prosthetics and make up that was worth of SyFy’s show Face Off. A couple of them even startled yours truly as I was taking pictures around the lavishly decorated room. It was like walking into another world, a more glamorous Dante’s Inferno. It was beautiful and truly set the tone for our adventures yet to come!
After we wined and dined on some of the finest food I have ever tasted our attention was brought to the center stage where the master minds behind this year’s Halloween Horror Nights explained what we were in for. Halloween Horror Nighr’s show directors Patrick Braillard, Blake Braswell, and Charles Gray took center stage, and their own level of excitement for the evening’s events matched our own.
Patrick Braillard kicked off the night as he gave us all a taste of what each house and scare zone held for its visitors. As he spoke of each attraction, an actor, or scare-achter as they are affectionately referred to, took the spotlight on their pedestal decorated with props from their house.
First Braillard listed the houses, and what makes each one unique and special. He first went over the IP houses (intellectual property.) These are the houses based off of movies and television shows we all know and love, and for this year there are five of them; American Horror Story, The Shining, Saw, Ash vs Evil Dead, and Horrors of Blumhouse.
The American Horror Story house will be covering seasons Asylum, Coven, and Roanoke. The Saw house will be covering all of the movies including a sneak peek at the new movie Jigsaw! If that isn’t awesome enough, the Horrors of Blumhouse covers Sinister 1 and 2, The Purge, Insidious as well as a live acted out preview of scenes from Insidious 4!
Now, onto the original content houses, or as Braillard called them, “mazes.” These are the houses thought up by the creative men and women behind the scenes who took a single idea and made it into an entire world you can see, feel, hear, and even in some cases even smell. Fun fact, Halloween Horror Nights began as all original haunted maze ideas, not houses based off of movies.
This year there are four original content mazes; The Hive, Scarecrow the Reaping, Dead Waters, and The Fallen. I will get into each of the houses into further detail in my following pieces. To round out Halloween Horror Nights 2017 are the scare zones. This year there are five; The Purge, Invasion!, Festival of the Deadliest, Altars of Horror, and my favorite Trick ‘R Treat.
The last thing Braillard announced were the two live shows Halloween Horror Nights 2017 has to offer you. After 26 long years Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure is coming to an end, but they are going out in a blaze of glory! After viewing this show and watching many of the previous shows from prior years online, I can truly say it is a sendoff worthy of your time. It was hilarious, well-choreographed, and a lot of fun!
After spending the night seeing all of the sights I have a new appreciation for the time, labor, and creativity that goes into this annual event. If you are a horror buff who enjoys more than just the jump scares and special effects in each of the mazes I highly suggest attending the tour offered during the day where you can explore each of the houses with the lights on to see all of the work that goes into these houses. I myself have not yet taken this tour, but I hear it is amazing! I can see myself literally spending hours appreciating all of the workmanship and creativity these men and women work so hard achieving in each attraction.
While yes, the price for even the regular night is a bit pricey, it is worth every penny and I strongly urge every horror fan in Florida to attend! As a new resident of the sunshine state it has now become a staple in my October line up of events! To purchase tickets or find out more about this year’s Halloween Horror Nights 2017 at Universal Orlando Florida visit their website here!