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Universal Studios Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights is back for another year of creepy mazes, "scare zones," monsters and now, zombies too.
In addition to a Silent Hill-themed maze, the Penn and Teller “Vegas” maze, even an Alice Cooper maze, Universal Studios (on both coasts) features a new Walking Dead maze. [Be sure to check out our comprehensive guide to Halloween Horror Nights here].
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Once again, Universal Studios Orlando is doing its best to scare nightly visitors as the park is in the midst of the 22nd annual Halloween Horror Nights. You know the drilleach fall crowds converge on the park to experience the transformation; by day Universal Studios welcomes guests of all ages to experience the new Despicable Me ride, ET's bike, and pose for photos with Spongebob, while at night (22 nights, ending on Halloween night) the park turns itself into a giant live action horror movie.
A gaggle of writers work year-round to come up with the themes and schemes that inhabit Universal's annual Halloween Horror Nights. For this 22nd incarnation of fright, Universal went heavy on the partnership route, teaming up with AMC's Walking Dead, Penn & Teller, Alice Cooper, and Silent Hill for four of the seven houses. Furthermore, the park ditched the "scare zones," opting to let the legions of horror scareactors freely roam the streets to search for victims in bars, restaurants, lines, and inside every henhouse and outhouse inside park boundaries.
We toured each of the seven haunted houses and searched out all the scareactors roaming the streets and here's what we think, in order from scariest to not-so-scary:
Time is running out to head to the farm stand—or Whole Foods Market—to pick up your pumpkin. There’s definitely a little pressure to select a good one this year, as it looks like Southwest Airlines is eager to judge your work.
Southwest Airlines loves Halloween, and this year their seasonal theme is “Jack-o’-lanterns are burning bright; time to take a Southwest or AirTran Flight!” Unfortunately their holiday contest is now over, as they've invited some expert pumpkin carvers to celebrate the season in person at their annual Halloween party down in Dallas. It may be too late to win that chance, but it's not too late to use some pumpkin carving resources the airline has made available.
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Like it or not summer is gone and fall is here to stay, so we suggest fully investing your time into enjoying the season. Take in some leaves, enjoy the cooler temperatures, and of course order up a pumpkin latte at your favorite coffee shop. After that may we suggest a few pumpkin festivals, because here are three that are worth your time:
Circleville Pumpkin Show – Circleville, Ohio
Ohio might be a swing state in the upcoming election, but between October 17 and October 20 it’s clearly an orange state. The Circleville Pumpkin Show is expecting well over 400,000 pumpkin fans, as they hit the town in search of carnival rides, food booths, and arts and crafts vendors. As far for the star of the festival, there’s a pumpkin parade, a miss pumpkin show, and plenty of gourds, squash, and other pumpkin siblings. You’ll be able to indulge in all kinds of pumpkin delicacies as well, but we wouldn’t recommend taking a slice of last year’s pumpkin weigh-in winner—it tipped the scales at around 1,437 pounds. Best of all admission is totally free, so there’s really no reason to just swing on through for the afternoon.
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Yup. Opened a box to find some sort of skull head and it felt very much like a Brad Pitt in Seven moment. This head, however, was not that of Gwyneth Paltrow; this skull belonged to Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights 22. The annual event will take place on select nights between September 21 and October 31st.
This year visitors will try to survive hordes of AMC's The Walking Dead, an Alice Cooper created haunted house, and a Penn & Teller magic trick gone wrong, amongst other experiences.
The skull we received still had hair on it, and the accompanying note said "don't worry, hair continues to grow long after death." Um…yeah.
For the scoop on what Five US Amusement Parks are doing this Halloween, check out our previous story here.
Remember Halloween 2010? Boy, do we. You see, that was the year that the Steven Slater-JetBlue incident resulted in "Disgruntled Airline Employee" becoming the new "Postal Worker Gone Postal" hot Halloween costume.
Amusingly, the conviction behind Slater's decision still inspires some to dress up as him, since costume dealers continue to peddle the look. For example, the $39.99 ensemble re-interprets events with a faux pilot uniform (Slater was actually a flight attendant) and two frothy bier mugs (we'd like to see him go down the emergency slide with those).
Here's the full, hilarious description:
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If you haven’t started to feel the chill in the air you will sooner than later, and that means that theme parks around the country will start loading in their pumpkins, scarecrows, and other spooky seasonal decorations. Halloween is still over a month away, but that doesn’t mean that the scary stuff won’t begin a little bit sooner.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the country’s best parks and when they begin to do their Halloween thing:
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the country’s best parks and when they begin to do their Halloween thing:
Cedar Point – HalloWeekends
Over at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio the werewolves and vampires come out to play beginning on September 14—that’s this Friday. The frightening fun runs on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through October 28, but you might want to just double-check the official calendar before filling up the tank and starting your drive. Admission to this year’s events should set you back around $45, but that’s only if you order in advance online.
Busch Gardens – Howl-O-Scream
There’s a couple flavors of this year’s seasonal celebrations from which to choose, as Busch Gardens is getting the ghosts and goblins ready in both Tampa and Williamsburg, Virginia. Expect haunted houses, live entertainment, and plenty of pumpkins. In Virginia the run runs on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays beginning this week, ending October 30. Down in Florida things don’t begin until next week, and it’s going to be a Thursday, Friday, Saturday thing with the scary stuff running as late as 2am. Advance admission will set you back $55 for Florida and $70 if you’re looking to be scared silly in Virginia.
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July is just starting to wind down, and that means it’s already time to start planning for Halloween. We might be exaggerating just a bit, but getting things ready well in advance is a necessity if you’re running a theme park. Even though the summer is still in full swing, details about spooky and scary stuff is already starting to trickle in. Of course we’ll fill you in on where and when to go once the weather gets a little cooler, but for now we though it would be worth revealing a sneak peek.
Over at Universal Studios—in both Hollywood and Orlando—it sounds like the characters and critters from the movie and video game Silent Hill will be making an appearance. That means theme park visitors will be happily tormented by all kinds of creatures from an alternate dimension, including everyone’s favorite—deformed nurses and the executioner. Specific details haven’t really been released as of yet, but it does sound like the designers and engineers at the park are truly up to the challenge of bringing the horror from the video games and the movies to life.
This annual holiday is pretty much one of the most polarizing; you either love Halloween and get totally into it, or you don't care for it at all and end up cranky. Regardless, we can name one thing absolutely no one likes, and that's being stuck in travel hell. Some flyers experienced it this weekend during the various delays, cancellations and diversions, but sometimes nothing compares to retelling old spooky stories...
The Worst Moments of Travel Hell, 2011:
Kandy events is gearing up for their 5th annual Halloween Party at the Playboy Mansion, and it's not too late to be a part of it...if you're into that sort of thing. *wink
On October 28 & 29, the mansion grounds will be transformed into a haunted forest, haunted houses and graveyards. The Halloween party is notorious for being one of the biggest events held at the mansion all year and it never fails to bring out VIPs and celebrities in their sexiest costumes.
And, just in case a haunted mansion, celebs, playmates, and booze flowing all night long weren't enough to create the perfect LA party scene, LMFAO and DJ ATB will be providing the soundtrack.
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Universal Studios Orlando is in the midst of its annual spooky-fest, Halloween Horror Nights. Each fall crowds converge on the park to experience the transformation; during the day the park welcomes guests of all ages to experience Shrek 4D, ride ET's bike, and hug Curious George while at nightfor 15 nights every fallthe park turns itself into a big screen-like horror movie.
Eight writers work year round to come up with the themes and schemes that inhabit Universal's annual Halloween Horror Nights. While the details, both cinematic and thematic, are incredible, you have to wonder if maybe the eight writers got a little too intricate with some of these ideas (Spanish fort run by a mutinous undead crew of Columbus' missing fourth shipwe are looking at you). After all this isn't Lost. However, despite some of the themes being a bit convoluted, some are just downright scary (Saws n' Steam), some are incredibly visually compelling (Nevermore), and some just might be the future of fright (The In Between house).
We toured all eight haunted houses and here's what we think, in order from scariest to not so scary:
The leaves have been falling and the pumpkins are being added to fire escapes and front stoops across the country, and that means it’s time to hit the scary stuff at the theme parks. Halloween is the best time at many parks across the country, but if you’re looking for the scariest haunted house here’s three that are worth your time:
· Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios - The In-Between:
The scary stuff runs in both Hollywood and Orlando, but when it comes to the fright and fear the parks in Florida are probably your best bet. There are plenty of different atrocious attractions, but the one that sounds the scariest is the The In-Between. Apparently here your worst nightmares come to life, and it’s all done in 3D. Not only will you see your life flash before your eyes, but also you’ll be doing it all with a pair of 3D glasses. Tickets to this house—and plenty of other awful attractions—will set you back around $80; however, this is to both the scary stuff at night and the more tame attractions during the day.