Photo TR: Theme parks in Florida

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From here on it gets really scary

Postby multimueller » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:03 am

When I grew up in Germany there was no such thing as Halloween. The only occasion on which we dressed up was Carnival. Because of Gulf War I that custom was cancelled in 1991 leaving the german costume makers with a massive overstock. In order to solve this problem, the industry started a marketing campaign to introduce Halloween in Germany. 1991 was also the premiere year of Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, although the event was called “Fright Nights” then, took place on just three nights in October and featured only one haunted house.

For a German visitor, it’s astonishing how “easy” Americans are when it comes to “blood and gore” (as astonishing as it might be for an American visitor how easy we are concerning nudity). Movies like “The Evil Dead” have been forbidden in Germany until 2016. “Forbidden” means: you may not advertise them, sell them, show them (to anyone) and they will be confiscated if you own them. Everybody has seen the movie on VHS though. The same applies to video games: ”Doom” was banned until 2011, Gears of War until 2016. Strange fact: those games were not banned in other European countries so you could easily (and legally) buy them via mail order. Thank you European Union!

That said, I must say that the Universal Halloween Horror Nights are massive. It’s amazing that the HHN Team builds nine haunted houses from scratch every year. The amount of detail they put into those temporary attractions is just mind-blowing, especially when you consider that you basically rush through them while hundreds of foul creatures are trying to scare the living daylights out of you. Oh yes, those scare actors: amazing costumes, great make-up, and a mean attitude.

And then, there are the “scare zones”: I sort of like those open air places better than the houses because they give you more opportunities to watch and interact (which means: a zombie creeping up from behind while you are distracted).

And they have great shows! Some of them – like Bill & Ted – might be a little bit more enjoyable for Americans, because as a German I get about 50% of the jokes at best.

Universal is doing a really great job on Halloween Horror Nights and the event is growing bigger and bigger and bigger each year. And: more crowded. Even on a slow day lines for popular houses reach up to 3 hours pretty early. So an express pass is a clever investment. But even if you can eliminate the waiting, there is still a lot of walking involved as most of the houses are outside the park, inside the sound stages or in tents in the back of Men in Black. If you’ve been in the parks for the day, this will result in aching feet. I speak from experience.

From a personal point of view, I have to admit: I’m a pussy. When I’m home alone at night, I turn on the lights in the house. It’s super-easy to scare me. So while I really enjoy visiting the event with my friends, I feel they enjoy visiting it with me even more.

But it’s better to fear the zombie around the corner than the tax assessment in the mail, right?

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Nightmare made by H.R. Giger

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French maid ... rotten

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Disney sure puts pumpkins to other use while Halloween

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Haystack monster

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Sometimes they use literature themes for their houses - like this Edgar Allan Poe nightmare

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Now that is a blunt abdominal trauma

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Freezing cold - thanks to air condition

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Closing your eyes won't help either

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She's going to get you

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Now that's a show a fully understand!

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It's Resident Evil - not the Milla Jovovich movie but the video game

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An american Werewolf in London in Florida in a haunted house

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Zombies. Works all the time.

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Lunatic ladies

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One very beautifully designed scare zone

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Armageddon - chicks - gas masks, feels like home

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Zombie cheerleaders with chainsaws. It doesn't get any better than that!

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Wait. It does! Ninja geishas with chainsaws.

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Take you chance!

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And one of her sidekicks

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Guten Appetit, die Dame

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Light and darkness ...

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The director will see you now

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Hollywood, 1939. Amid the glitz and the glitter of a bustling, young movie town at the height of its golden age, The Hollywood Tower Hotel ... wait ... wrong park

Orlando Herbst 2008 - 0058 - Halloween Horror Nights.jpg
Headache?

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Light and darkness and pumpkin monsters

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Bad Alice

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Bad bunny

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Goodbye for now

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Re: Photo TR: Theme parks in Florida

Postby cfc » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:58 am

Thanks for your perspective on Halloween Horror Nights. I haven't attended the event for a few years because I believe it's become too "mechanical" and dependent on IPs such as the Walking Dead or the Halloween movies. It could be that I've simply gone there a few too many times.

That being said, like you, I'm always impressed with the level of detail in Universal's mazes. The art direction is impressive.
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Re: Photo TR: Theme parks in Florida

Postby multimueller » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:04 am

cfc wrote:[...] I believe it's become too [...] dependent on IPs such as the Walking Dead [...]


True, they have a clear "too much Walking Dead" tendency! I personally prefer "odd" themes, like in the Edgar Allan Poe house or the "fairytales gone bad" idea. I'm looking forward to see the "Shining" house this year.

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Re: Photo TR: Theme parks in Florida

Postby cfc » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:02 pm

multimueller wrote:
cfc wrote:[...] I believe it's become too [...] dependent on IPs such as the Walking Dead [...]


True, they have a clear "too much Walking Dead" tendency! I personally prefer "odd" themes, like in the Edgar Allan Poe house or the "fairytales gone bad" idea. I'm looking forward to see the "Shining" house this year.


Same here. They've done some very good "comedy" houses in the past, such as "Leave It to Cleaver." I tend to prefer the non-IP houses, too, although I can appreciated the work that goes into all of them.
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Re: Photo TR: Theme parks in Florida

Postby ObeyTheShihTzu! » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:46 pm

multimueller wrote:
cfc wrote:[...] I believe it's become too [...] dependent on IPs such as the Walking Dead [...]


True, they have a clear "too much Walking Dead" tendency! I personally prefer "odd" themes, like in the Edgar Allan Poe house or the "fairytales gone bad" idea. I'm looking forward to see the "Shining" house this year.



Multimueller, you zeroed in on some excellent "frights." The French Maid's face certainly caused me a shudder or two. Though my favorite HAS to be Bad Bunny. I'm a big fan of psychological horror, and there's something about benign critters 'going bad' that 'speaks' to me. Out-of-context horror! My twin sister and I have this thing going where we email back and forth to each other "Bad Teddy" illustrations - we try to outdo each other with the 'sickest' teddy bear cartoon images. There are many chilling laughs to be had - especially if we send them at bedtime. :shockr:

Thanks for your very interesting info about Germany and its past/present view on horror. I had no idea of the restrictions that have been in place....and the effort, now, to market Halloween. Very informative!

Alice

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