Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios (Review)

via The Jaded Viewer
Sometimes a change of scenery is nice to break the monotony of work. And sometimes the playgrounds are just cooler on the other side. I visited Los Angeles last week and had to choose between some various cool haunted houses. Haunted Play: Delusion, Blumhouse of Horrors, Knotts Scary Farm, Queen Mary Dark Harbor. Delusion was sold out and the others had something that would be cool. But I settled on going to Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights.

The main attraction was going to The Walking Dead mazes. With the Walking Dead premiere that weekend, I was in the mood to see zombies and T-Dog. So after convincing both my cousins ("J" and "A") to go with me, it was on like Donkey Kong.

Opening night at Horror Nights was a mad house. Unbelievable packed with long fuckin lines. With a flight back home the next day, I knew we'd have to strategically plan our way around Universal. This proves fruitless without a map and Universal at night is a hard place to find out where everything is. As you enter it's a madhouse of actors in their biker zombie makeup with chainsaws looking to give you a quick scare. Harley Quinn lookalikes dance seductively in cages and the glow of neon darkness echoes throughout the park. I've been to the park before, during the daytime and it's pretty scary at night.

via The Jaded Viewer
Walking Dead Terror Tram is TRAMATIZING

We hit the Walking Dead Terror Tram first. Because I want my Walking Dead fix early. We get into a tram and though clearly, you think tram rides will have some grabbing zombies coming at you but that was a red herring. As you're dropped off, zombies are all around dragging their worthless legs and body parts. I stand in front of one and heckle him. What can I say? The asshole fan in me likes mocking the zombie actors.

Soon the gaggle of horror fans are herded into corridors where zombie doctors are eating unwilling patients. Passing through a motel complex, decayed bodies and zombies are all lurk around. Universal has put out the stops when it comes to the props, sets and design of this outdoor attraction. It really is impressive seeing what a big studio can do to hype up one of the greatest cable TV shows ever. We now have to walk up some hills past a suicidal policeman and zombies locked up in cages who soon broke free from their prisons. The zombies are quick and attentive to the stragglers as well as the runners.

Past the Psycho house, the journey ends past a neighborhood in a post apocalyptic shambles. A downed airplane, a house cut in two, debris all over the place. It's really pretty spectacular to see. And within this mess are zombies all around ready to jump out of the decay.

via The Jaded Viewer
Will the real Leatherface please stand up?

We hit up the Texas Chainsaw Massacre haunted house next. Each of these HH's are self contained and are a maze of thrills and chills. Unfortunately because the lines are long, everybody is forced to walk at quick pace throughout the maze. It's a little odd seeing 30 Leatherfaces scaring you in each room but the house did have a few moments. More so from my cousin "J" scaring me shitless as I admired the sets. Nothing special here but lots of chainsaw wielding maniacs who after the umpteenth time gets kinda tired.

Break Time: More than Meets the Eye

We thought we had time to hit the other blockbuster attractions that we're open. Jurassic Park, Simpsons Ride and Mummy Rides were all open for the masses. We hit up Transformers 3D because we were kinda near it. Misled by a so called empty line, it was a bit of a wait for your standard Optimus vs Megatron 3D slugfest.

Silent Hill is all triangles and women with big cleavage

Next up was Silent Hill which was a game I played like once and had no idea what scares would be in store. Seems like it was full of triangle masks and masked women with great cleavage. Some rooms had that empty classroom feel others had large hammers ready to pounce.

I can't say the scares were awesome but more so video game thrills with some video game boobs.

La Llorona is Spanish for "Holy Shit!"

Actually that's not what it translates to.It actually means The Weeping Woman. La Llorona is an actual legend in Mexico and the US Southwest that I hadn't really heard about. I didn't know what to expect but with the line being more than hour long, my cousins and I started to realize this would be our last ride. But boy was it good to my surprise. La Llorona has some chilling sets and perfectly timed scares. From a room with an old church to some narrow corridors with some paintings that come to life. The tale itself is of a woman named Maria who drowns her children to be with a man. Rejected in the afterlife, she haunts the lake to save her dead children for eternity.
via The Jaded Viewer

The animatronics, well timed BOOs! and overall creepiness of the legend (just seeing dead children in a faux lake is fuckin creepy). The ending was mind blowing that will make you see talking with your mouthful in a whole new way.


I missed a few attractions, the most notable being Walking Dead Dead Alive which recreates a maze from the first 2 seasons. The line was over 2 hours and I had a flight to catch in the morning.  I also missed Alice Cooper 3D, which if its from Alice Cooper must have been wicked.

Overall my first Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights was pretty solid. For the admission price, you can experience 4-5 horror themed mazes that are mega awesome to average. Plus you get to go on all the big blockbuster rides Universal is known for.

Universal has been always known for their monsters and they do a great job putting the big spectacle. You've got sarcastic clowns and wandering actors looking to scare the unsuspected. The drawbacks are long lines you'll have to endure to get to these mazes and rides. The Front of the Line and VIP passes are tempting and if you're willing to pay, are probably worth it.

The prices seemed jacked up ($3.75 for a bottle of fuckin water?) and sugary snacks are tempting but overpriced. A board lets you know how long the lines are for each attraction but seriously...95 minute wait time? Damn. The park would need to close at 6am for you to go to all the rides.

All in all, I had a great time and its worth a visit if you're in LA or Orlando. The Walking Dead is given life in whole new way and once I watched the season premiere, all I wanted to do is be back there fucking with zombies and hanging out with T-Dog.

Unfortunately T-Dog didn't get any attraction time. Poor T-Dog.

The Vitals

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1 comment:

  1. Halloween Horror Nights 2013 looks amazing! I can't wait for the Insidious or Walking Dead.