After two long years of waiting, Halloween Horror Nights has officially returned to Universal Orlando! The gates finally opened on September 3rd, welcoming in thousands of horror and theme park fans alike. As huge HHN fans ourselves, we were there to take in all of the terrifying details and experience everything opening night had to offer. Although the day started off on a very rainy note – which seems to be an opening night tradition for HHN each year – we ended up having an awesomely scary time. Join us as we describe each of the houses and scare zones!
In just one night, we were able to go through nine out of the ten haunted houses, and we thought each of them had a lot to offer. Before we entered the our first house of the evening, we tried the No “Chance” in Hell PB&J, a signature HHN snack that consists of a deep fried Uncrustable drizzled with honey and chili flakes – we thought it was delicious! Then, we embarked on our haunted house journey, starting with Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives! Read on to discover our thoughts on every house we encountered.
Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives
This was one of the houses we already experienced last year, and we thought it was just as good this year – if not better! We loved the stunning opening facade and strong storyline throughout. Some cool illusions and unique scares brought this house to life, along with an electric finale.
HHN Icons: Captured
This was a really great house, designed as somewhat of a love letter to HHN fans. The entrance into Fear’s latern impressed us, and we were thrilled to see all of our favorite Icons from years past make a bloody reappearance. The final scene of this house is especially interesting, as it changes every time.
Case Files Unearthed: Legendary Truth
We thought this noir-themed house was awesome! We enjoyed the walkthrough storyline of a detective’s chilling tales, as well as a number of cool monsters like she-devils and Moss Man. This house brings together all of the lore of Legendary Truth built up over the years, and any HHN fan will love it.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
As expected, Leatherface is everywhere in this house! We thought the set design here was very true to the movie, and some of the scares definitely got us. The pig farm scene of this house was particularly spooky, and we thought the props and characters were really neat.
Welcome to Scarey: Horror in the Heartland
This house had a huge variety of scenes and characters whose storylines orgininate in the cursed town of Carey, Ohio – a hotspot for HHN lore. We even spotted the daugther of one of the Icons here! While we enjoyed this house, we thought it was a little on the quick side.
The Wicked Growth: Realm of the Pumpkin
We loved this house! Between an awesome opening facade, fantastic set and costume design, and a really creative storyline, we decided it was our favorite house of the night. This house also had some of the best scares and special effects throughout, making it a very fun and intense experience overall.
Puppet Theatre: Captive Audience
Another great house! We thought this one was a ton of fun, jam-packed with scareactors and props in every corner. The costumes of this house really caught our eye, and some of the set peices were cleverly designed and exciting to walk through. We deemed this our third favorite house!
One of the things we loved about this house was how closely it followed the movie. Some of our favorite scenes included Dante’s Inferno, the wedding scene, and Lydia’s iconic quote. We found the finale to be amazing, and the house itself to be a blast!
The Haunting of Hill House
We were blown away by the set design of this house, and we found it to be scarier than any of the others so far. Some of the illusions used here were really unique and unexpected, and the story perfectly captured the tone and the details of the show. Our second favorite house of the event!
Revenge of the Tooth Fairy
While we didn’t make it around to this house on opening night, we experienced it last year and thought it was another dark and twisted addition to HHN. We can’t wait to experience it this year!
THE SCARE ZONES
Lights, Camera, Hacktion: Eddie’s Revenge
This scare zone had it all: nightmarish characters, roaring chainsaws, and enough fog to fulfill our hearts’ desire. The many throwbacks to HHN themes of the past were great to see. We found this scare zone to be the strongest of the five, and we reveled in the chaos and excitement it brought.
Some really complex set pieces and entertaining acts could be found here, and we think fans of CryptTV will find themselves at home here. While we enjoyed the detail, we discovered that this zone can become congested very easily during peak times of the night.
Aglow with pulsing red trees and terrifying creatures hidden in the brush, we thought this scare zone was excellent and pretty scary. We apprecaited the use of sound and lighting here, as well as getting to see the Terra Queen in all of her gory glory.
Seek & Destroy
We weren’t sure what to think of this one initially, but it ended up surpassing our expectations. This scare zone takes on a chaotic, dystopian future where cyborg aliens take over. We had a lot of fun here piecing the story together, and we found the performances to be entertaining.
30 Years 30 Fears
This zone served as the entrance area to HHN, and while we liked the fire effects and large props, we thought it was slightly underwhelming due to its small size. Even so, we thought it was a cool way to welcome guests into the horror and mayhem ahead.
To wrap things up, we had a hauntingly great first night at Halloween Horror Nights 30, and we already can’t wait to experience the thrills over and over again this season!