The final chilly climate of the season could have simply handed, however Halloween plans are already nicely underway in Orlando.
The grandee of Orlando’s Halloween occasions is Halloween Horror Nights at Common Orlando. This yr’s dates have been confirmed, and followers have been busy posting the annual hypothesis maps with robust rumors about this yr’s lineup.
Opening on September 2, this yr’s HHN Orlando will happen throughout 43 nights, probably the most ever for the occasion. After canceling 2020’s occasion and having 2021’s pearl anniversary occurring amongst makeshift security options and quite a few uncertainties, this yr’s occasion will seemingly have an air of normalcy that hasn’t been seen in recent times.
Jake Wheeler, co-founder of the theme park information website Theme Park Shark, is among the many followers already buzzing about this yr’s occasion. The Orlando native attends HHN a number of occasions throughout its season and is energetic in a fan group that focuses on the occasion all year long.
Whereas cognizant that we’re nonetheless months away from the occasion, Wheeler is happy concerning the strongest rumors concerning this yr’s occasion.
“It’s nonetheless very early to have completely correct rumors,” he mentioned. “Some speculated objects embrace the Mummy vs. Dracula, Gremlins, Halloween, and importing the Curse of Pandora’s Field from Common Studios Hollywood.”
Since 2007, a mysterious on-line persona, merely referred to as Horror Night Nightmares, has grow to be one of the crucial dependable sources for leaks concerning the annual scare occasion. Their annual hypothesis map, which incorporates their greatest guesses on the place numerous homes and scarezones will likely be, is considered amongst HHN followers because the unofficial launch of the countdown to HHN.
As is typical, Horror Evening Nightmares’ first speculation map is targeted solely on the themes for the homes with particulars on scarezones and exhibits to be shared afterward.
Among the many highlights of this yr’s hypothesis maps is a novel lineup of unique ideas and present franchises. After successful partnerships to deliver to life Stranger Issues and The Haunting of Hill Home, Netflix seems to be returning, this time with a home based mostly on their R.L. Stine-inspired Worry Road miniseries. Online game collection and soon-to-be HBO collection The Final of Us can be rumored for Orlando’s occasion. Halloween and The Evil Useless spherical out the tv and film-inspired homes for Orlando whereas in Hollywood, Jordan Peele’s sci-fi horror movie Nope and Killer Klowns from Outer Area are each anticipated amongst this yr’s lineup.
Most of the mental properties rumored for this yr have an apparent connection to Halloween however some could come as a shock. Among the many stunning themes, this yr is a strongly rumored home or expertise linked to musical celebrity The Weeknd.
“HHN has a historical past of utilizing some irregular themes of their homes that one wouldn’t usually affiliate with Halloween. A major instance of that is the WWE’s Undertaker home from again within the day. They’ve additionally gone on some limbs and had Penn & Teller points of interest and Rob Zombie haunts. We have been anticipating to see a Billie Eilish home two years in the past, but it surely was canceled as a consequence of COVID,” notes Wheeler.
“This yr, we predict to see one thing on the occasion that has to do with The Weeknd,” he mentioned. “This is not going to be your typical Halloween attraction; because of the nature of The Weeknd, they should suppose exterior of the field.”
Horror Evening Nightmares posted a tweet mocking those that query why the artist can be featured at a horror-focused occasion. The Weeknd quoted that tweet with emojis of a knife, a drop of blood, and a set of eyes. He adopted up by responding to another fan who questioned why anybody would problem the star’s connection to Halloween and at last shared a hyperlink to an essay centered on the horror parts seen in his music movies.
A home based mostly on The Weeknd is stunning sufficient, however the rumored location in Orlando has shocked many theme park followers. With the previous Shrek attraction now an energetic building website, that attraction’s second theater, which generally hosts a home, will seemingly not be used this yr. As a substitute, the park could also be half or all the Quick and the Livid attraction queue. Some have even speculated that the experience path itself, a naked concrete ground because of the trackless experience automobiles, could also be used. This might imply the unpopular screen-based experience will likely be closed throughout HHN.
If the experience warehouse itself is used, it might pressure the attraction to stay closed for day friends all through the hang-out season. A closure can also be timed with rumored enhancements to the poorly reviewed attraction, together with presumably including 3D to it and bettering the principle scene’s present online game stage graphics.
Wheeler finds it exhausting to consider they’d shut the attraction throughout the day, however he’s satisfied the expansive attraction queue and different buildings will likely be appropriated to be used by a home. He additionally notes that the previous Shrek constructing, the place a smaller transferring sidewalk-style darkish experience is expected to go, will likely be transformed to incorporate a flex area that may enable simpler set up of homes or different pop-up points of interest. Because of this area will accessible by subsequent yr’s occasion.
The previous thirty-two years have seen dramatic adjustments to the occasion, which now ranks among the many most visited Halloween occasions on the planet. Whereas many predict a home based mostly on The Weeknd, Wheeler thinks the artist could as an alternative be engaged on some sort of recent present or different attraction. “It could be a haunted home, but it surely may very well be part of the park’s central lagoon present, or they may very well be featured in a scare zone just like Rob Zombie’s Hell Billy Deluxe from two occasions in the past.”
In recent times, HHN has struggled with its leisure choices. After a twenty-five-year run, the long-lasting Invoice and Ted’s Glorious Halloween Journey stage show closed on the finish of the 2017 season. The range present featured Wyld Stallyns duo happening an journey crammed with popular culture references from the final yr, together with a heavy dose of references particular to the Orlando market.
Comparable comedic exhibits can nonetheless be discovered at different hang-out occasions, together with Busch Gardens Tampa‘s Howl-O-Scream.
“The Invoice & Ted present was a staple of Halloween Horror Nights for a lot of, many, years. The primary substitute we noticed for them was the Academy of Villains dance crew. They have been popular with the followers, however finally, a scandal got here out. Common moved on to interchange them with a darkish & attractive Cirque-style present referred to as Halloween Nightmare Gasoline. This present featured a plethora of various circus acts, all tied in with loads of pyrotechnics and a horror theme. All of those exhibits have been dance-based,” explains Wheeler.
To date, the leisure lineup for this yr’s occasion stays unsure. In her latest video covering HHN, Alicia Stella factors to the fluid nature of the Diagon Alley growth as a doable cause why. Believed to be a VR broomstick expertise, that growth was to replace the now-closed Worry Issue Stay theater. In current months, public paperwork level to the growth being canceled, doubtlessly as a consequence of the same attraction now open in New York Metropolis. However with planning for this yr’s HHN seemingly already underway, the park could have already deemed the theater out of play for this season. The park does produce other theaters and areas the place a present may happen, although the place or what will likely be coming are nonetheless unclear.
Additionally nonetheless unsure are the themes for this yr’s scarezones. Regardless of no official confirmations on this yr’s scarezones, Wheeler expects no less than one based mostly on a identified mental property and doubtlessly one themed to pumpkins.
“It’s doable that among the rumored homes find yourself being zones. I’d not be stunned to see Gremlins and The Weeknd find yourself within the streets,” he mentioned. “Based mostly on Common’s current advertising and marketing supplies for the occasion, we will additionally anticipate to see some Pumpkin-themed character, presumably in a scare zone.”
A pumpkin theme comes after final yr’s pumpkin-themed home grew to become a fan favourite. A small pumpkin that followers affectionally named Lil’ Boo grew to become an unofficial icon of the occasion, with no less than one fan even getting a tattoo of the pumpkin. It could additionally lead credence to another rumor of Common on the lookout for some technique to introduce viral sensation David S. Pumpkins to the occasion.
Common has confirmed this yr’s Orlando occasion will embrace ten haunted homes, 5 scare zones, and two dwell exhibits. Single evening tickets, upgrades, and lodge packages are actually out there on Universal’s website, however Wheeler is ready in hopes that they bring about again the Frequent Worry season move this yr. Common has but to share particulars on when and if these will likely be out there. Halloween Horror Nights 31 will run on choose nights from September 2 by October 31.
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