Every year I put on my thinking cap, enter a darkened room, pop on some soothing music and make predictions on what I think Universal will do for Halloween Horror Nights. 2 years ago i got 3/6 correct and last year i got 2/6 correct so let’s hope this year is a bit better!
Universal have confirmed that HHN29 will have 10 all-new elaborately themed haunted houses and five scare zones. So here are my guesses at what might be awaiting around a Universal corner waiting to scare the bejesus out of us.
Last year half of the houses were original IP and the other half were based on films/series. I’m 99.9% sure that it’s going to be the same again this year and obviously it will be mega hard to try and guess original IP but here we go..
Stranger Things 2
A massive hit last year, I think that people are pretty much assuming we’ll see a house based around Season 2. Season 2 of Stranger Things was applauded for being more horror based than the first series but I have a few reasons why I think we may not see a Stranger Things series 2 house.. It doesn’t hold the title of the worlds scariest concept and HHN is renowned for being TERRIFYING, although Universal do throw out a couple of surprises now and again and Stranger Things was pretty much an anomaly house. As the series has such a huge fan base of course it was going to be a big hit but in my opinion it’s the sort of concept for a house that once you’ve done it once you don’t need to do it again?
With that being said, anyone who didn’t get the opportunity to do it last year would likely jump at the chance to be able to get another opportunity to enter the upside down (me included!) but how much different could they really make it.. it’s the same characters, same demogorgans etc but all in all I do think it is a strong contender. Especially due to the fact they extended the house to run past last years HHN!
This one is a bit of a long shot, it was a house in 2007 in Orlando and 2011 in Hollywood and the fact I had to google that must mean that they weren’t very memorable houses, right? I do however actually think it would work really well as a house with all the technology Universal now have compared to 8 and 12 years ago! A loud, dark, blizzard like climate with The Thing chasing you around becoming its latest victim through each scene is pretty cool I think? There isn’t any plans for another re-make as far as I know so in my opinion Universal would need to be a bit desperate to go with this house seeing as there are strong rumours of it being 50% their own IP this year.
The Haunting of Hill House
This series is destined to be a HHN house! For one, it’s set in a house anyway so accurate surroundings will be easier than say, Stranger Things where the creative team had to make visitors feel like they were walking through different locations from the series. The interior of the house is perfect too.. with a beautiful two-story entrance hall, a basement, and a labyrinth of rooms. When this series came out on Netflix it was all anyone really talked about and if you haven’t watched it already then what are you doing reading this?! Get watching! We know how well Universal working with Netflix went last year so this is a massive possibility (and I really hope it happens!)
There is a remake of Pet Sematary coming out this April (based on the novel by Stephen King) and the trailer is absolutely terrifying and what does that mean? It would make a fabulous HHN house! If you’re not familiar, the Creed family discover a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home. A perilous chain reaction of events unleashes an unspeakable evil with horrific consequences. In my opinion this would be a super scary house and Universal have worked with Paramount in the past so is a possibility!
Blumhouse or Halloween
Okay I understand this is kind of a cheat one but i’m so stuck so i’ve bundled them together. Blumhouse is a fan favourite (apart from last year where it sort of got swamped by all of the other massive IP’s) In HHN28 we got Happy Death Day & Purge and i’m thinking this year we might get a Blumhouse house featuring Halloween or just a Halloween house on it’s own. I’ve previously spoken about why I think we’ll see another Halloween house. Basically, the new Halloween movie wasn’t featured in last years house and that is likely to be because they didn’t want to show spoilers. HHN28 began on the 14th September and the movie was released on the 19th October meaning Universal would have either spoiled main parts of the movie or not have been able to include them.. neither are in Universals nature. Also, right at the end and I mean RIGHT at the end of the movie you can hear Michael breathing and then the ‘Universal parks and resorts’ logo appears which could possibly mean the film will feature.
Killer Klowns From Outer Space
This has been really strongly rumoured for a house this year and I think that’s down to the popularity of the Scare Zone last year (and how director Mike Aiello is a HUGE fan of KKFOS) this isn’t really a thing that tickles my fancy but I did see the huge impact it had on HHN28 and the nostalgia it bought fans so I think it would be a real smart move.
These have been really hard predictions, and I just have to throw these cheeky suggestions in.. Halloween Horror Nights starts on a Friday the 13th and of course Friday the 13th, could mean that Jason may be an icon at this years event seeing as we have the perfect date for him or maybe even a a special event on that day dedicated to the man himself? The last time there was a house featuring Jason was in 2015 when we had Freddy vs Jason so I think it’s about time he re-visited! Also last year, even with a probability of 0/10 I mentioned death eaters attacking in the WWOHP and i’m going to keep saying it until the day I die or the day it happens, whichever comes first. But with this years announcement of the dark arts light projection show I’m wanting it more and more!
As Warner Bros are now hosting their own Halloween event and due to the fact Disney have bought 21st Century Fox this years was a LOT harder. There is a lot of IP that is now a no-go such as: American Horror Story – I had the privilege of doing an AHS house in 2017 but we will not be seeing another one any time soon. Exorcist – this one has been done in the past too and not likely to be coming back. Jeepers Creepers – this film terrifies me! It would have made for a great house too! 🙁 Paranormal Activity – I’m sure Universal creative team can and have made concepts similar to this without needing the rights! Poltergeist – PHEW at least we got this house last year! Wrong Turn – weirdly one of my favourite film series so i would have loved to have been able to walk through a house based on this! Rocky Horror Picture Show – It’s sad to think that we won’t see anymore of this at Universal for the foreseeable future.
Another one we wont be seeing is Hellraiser which is another house that the hardcore fans of HHN have wanted for years! Horror Nights which is a twitter account for Hollywood HHN has basically confirmed that they cannot do a Hellraiser house. Booo. 🙁
So there’s my 6 IP predictions.. I recently created some polls and asked some questions on our social media to get a feel for what the people really want. 😉 The first pic is a twitter poll that shows Halloween is a popular choice among the people but it was a really tight conclusion between the 4! I also asked the people of Instagram to send us their HHN house suggestions and here are some of the popular results: -Halloween -Insidious -IT -Haunting of Hill House -AHS Cult -‘More Stephen King’ -Us
Original House Ideas
Now thinking about what the original houses could be has nearly sent my brain into overload so I’ve had a brainstorm and here’s what I’ve come up with.. – A clown themed house, maybe even bring the chainsaw wielding clowns into their own house? – Scary Circus – a house featuring an asylum where all the deadbeat circus acts have gone to live out the rest of their lives.. Creepy huh?! – A Coven house.. a house full to the brim of witches who are out to seek justice from a wrong doing to one of their own. – A ‘Hollywood’ Themed house where you walk through some iconic scenes that have been twisted. Surely Universal could just slightly change the name and concept of each film scene and get away with this?? – A torture house, where every room forces the guest to walk through a different type of torture chamber and be a witness to some awful methods.
If those don’t make me seem messed up then I don’t know what will..
So there are this years predictions, what do you think we’re going to see at this years event?? The first house announcement was at the end of March last year and then we had announcements and info every month until Aug so hopefully we’ll be getting an announcement soon!
So I started this blog in December 2017 but never got around to publishing it however with Disney sealing the deal and finally purchasing 20th Century Fox I think its time to share, don’t you..
It has been announced that the Walt Disney Company have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire and Twenty-First Century Fox which will also include Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television studios, cable and international TV businesses for a HUGE.. get this… $52.4 BILLION in stock.
This deal is the latest in a list of big assets in which Disney have gained in the last 12 years since Bob Iger has been CEO and Chariman. First came Pixar in 2006, Marvel in 2009 and Lucasfilm in 2012. These have led to ownership of IP such as Toy Story, Avengers and Star Wars. As part of this deal Bob Iger will stay in his role as chairman and CEO until the end of 2021.
Disney have relied on their recent IP gains as they prepare for the 50th Anniversary in 2021 with the likes of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land and a rumoured Indiana Jones Land. And they now own a large chunk of Fox’s film and TV properties such as X-Men, Alien, Deadpool, Fantastic Four, Planet of the Apes, The X – Files, 24 and channels such as FX and National Geographic. The vast amount of material this will give Disney for future park ideas could include the likes of Planet of the Apes, Night at the Museum, Ice Age, Home Alone or any National Geographic ideas. Imagine the Home Alone house sitting in a park or a ‘come to life’ Museum walk through. The possibility for Disney in their parks is now endless. Fox also own Avatar so this could mean a possible expansion if any of the 4 Avatar sequels prove just as popular as the first.
Now we know that a few of Fox’s properties are already featured in various other theme parks, especially Universal Orlando Resort. Universal have Springfield USA / The Simpsons and are still the sole home of Spiderman, Captain America and the likes despite the Mouse buying Marvel Entertainment. The Walt Disney Company have said it will give them ‘the opportunity to reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof‘ (although i’m not sure how family friendly Deadpool is 😉 )however there are so many restrictions for Disney due to many already being present at Universal which leads me on to some detective work I’ve been carrying out.. Fox (FX in particular) is the home of American Horror Story so would this mean any changes to Universals Halloween Horror Nights once the deal is sealed.. which could take up to 12-18 months.
“This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us—one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “Combining Disney’s and 21st Century Fox’s wealth of creative content and proven talent creates the preeminent global entertainment company, well positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era.”
It is said that the merger doesn’t change anything concerning the right for The Simpsons currently at UOR however we now know that AHS will not be featured at any HHN’s in the foreseeable future due to this merger.
There is also no word just yet on how Marvel properties will be integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When asked about the effects of this merger on MCU studio head Kevin Feige told Vulture “We’re not thinking about it. We’re focusing on everything we’ve already announced […] [Adding Fox’s Marvel characters] would be years away.”
Ryan Reynolds has posted a tweet showing his feels on this merger though.. 😉
Deadpool at Disney could really be a sight to see! 😉
This could be the start of some big big things for Disney and us as guests to the parks. We’ll be sure to keep you updated!
What Fox IP would you like to see at Disney after this merger?
Over the weekend our friends over at Fun Spot announced a new interactive water experience that will open this summer in their Orlando park.
The feature will have over 30 interactive features and is being designed by Aquatic Design & Engineering.
“We are excited to begin this next phase of our development plan and adding this amazing interactive water feature is the first step we have been working towards for some time now. We have had some very productive planning meetings working towards this new attraction and our fans have been very engaged with us along this journey. Orlando and central Florida is an amazing and beautiful area and we are very thankful to be a part of such a great community.”
John Arie Jr, CEO/Owner at Fun Spot America
“When we approached the design for the interactive water feature, we took Fun Spot’s motto of ‘Safe-Clean-Fun’ to heart,” said Josh Martin, President and Creative Director of Aquatic Design & Engineering. “Not only is this water feature a fun way to beat the heat for any member of the family, but it also exceeds the highest levels of safety and sanitation. The nearly 4,000-square-foot interactive water feature includes state-of-the-art slip-resistant soft flooring, and it uses environmentally-friendly, advanced UV Ray technology to disinfect the water without harsh chemicals.”
Fun Spot go on to say that ‘the new interactive water feature also conserves water using detection sensors that only run the features when guests are present.’ and ‘all of the water toys and spraying elements have been proven to encourage child development and stimulate the brain through toys that move, twist, or spin.’
With all that Florida heat you’ll definitely find me here cooling off this summer!
First of all, check this out (i’m sure you’d rather listen to Draco Malfoy and the Art Director of the Harry Potter films talk about this than me writing about it.. 😉 )
Opening on the 13th June this year I think it’s fair to say that it is going to be one hell of a coaster experience!!!
Here’s what Universal also had to say..
It begins when you join Hagrid’s Care of Magical Creatures class and board magical motorbikes specially designed to make you feel the freedom of flight. For your journey you can either ride the motorcycle or board the adjacent sidecar, providing two unique experiences. For the first time, you will soar through the Forbidden Forest and come face-to-face with some of the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures… but as often the case with Hagrid, things don’t go as planned.
This new experience combines a new level of storytelling and innovative coaster technology with rich environments and sets – including an actual forest with 1,200 live trees!
Experience a freewheeling coaster flight where you’ll twist, turn and rush forward – and backward – at speeds of up to 50 mph into the dark forest
Encounter some of the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures, such as a majestic Centaur; a swarm of mischievous Cornish Pixies; Fluffy the three-headed dog; and even one that’s never been seen in the films
Hurl past challenging obstacles, drop into an endless pit of Devil’s Snare and so much more …while encountering a few surprises along the way
Some things Universal have still not revealed are the queue and the pre-show experience. Is this going to be a surprise or are we going to find out more soon?? I also wanna know what else we may encounter in the forbidden forest, what are the other ‘challenging obstacles and surprises’? I suppose an element of surprise can make it a lot more thrilling but i’m super intrigued!
Who’s excitement is building the more we get to know this coaster? Mine is!!
We now have opening dates for the most anticipated land in a Disney park everrrr!
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is opening on the 29th August 2019 at Hollywood Studios Orlando (and 31st May at the California park) A lot sooner than we expected to be honest!
Disney have said that the lands are debuting early due to ‘high guest interest’ however there are a few differences with this opening than past debuts (such as Toy Story Land and Pandora).. Disney are opening Galaxy’s Edge in what they’re calling ‘phases’. On opening day of ‘phase 1’ guests will be able to experience Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run, try out all the food and drink and shop til they drop in the merchant stalls. It won’t be until phase 2 though that guests will be able to experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance which is opening ‘later this year’ do you think this is a good idea by Disney or is ‘the most ambitious, immersive and advanced attraction ever imagined that will put guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance and will blur the lines between fantasy and reality.’ just not going to be ready for the opening dates?
If you’re planning on visiting the Disneyland park for the opening in May, on top of your valid theme park admission you will be required to make a no-cost reservation, subject to availability to access the land. Information on how to make a reservation will be available at a later date. Guests staying at one of the three Disneyland Resort hotels during these dates will receive a designated reservation to access Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge during their stay (one reservation per registered guest); valid theme park admission is required.
But more importantly, a reservation will not be offered or required to experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at the Walt Disney World Resort at this time. At the moment all you’ll need is your admission and you’ll have to bear in mind that capacity is limited. I can already picture peeps camping outside days before the opening! Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios WILL be available during extra magic hours though. During Extra Magic Hours guests staying at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels can spend extra time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios enjoying select attractions. Details will also be available at a later date.
Here are some tips that Disney have shared to help with planning..
Park Admission: Regular theme park admission is required to enter Disneyland Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There will not be a separate ticket for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. To visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland park between May 31 and June 23, 2019, guests will need valid theme park admission and will be required to make a no-cost reservation, subject to availability, to access the land. We’ll share information on how to make a reservation at a later date.
Land Entry: Because we anticipate galactic excitement during the opening months this year, we are planning ahead to deliver the best possible experiences for our guests. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be open during normal park operating hours. It will not be included in Extra Magic Hour or Magic Morning at Disneyland Park. It will be available during Extra Magic Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Attractions: For your vacation planning purposes, please be aware that Disney FASTPASS service, including access via Disney MaxPass, (at Disneyland park) and Disney FastPass+ service (at Disney’s Hollywood Studios) will not initially be offered at Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. We will continually evaluate our operations and services in order to help provide a great guest experience.
Planning: You should also note that vacation packages, park tickets and Disney Resort hotel stays do not guarantee access to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The land —including participation in its experiences—will be subject to capacity restraints and other restrictions.
In a post by Attractions Magazine it looks as though the height requirements have been released too – ‘Height requirements for both rides were also released. At Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, guests must be 38 inches or taller to ride. Once it opens, guests must be 40 inches or taller to experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.’
Check out this new video for more details:
Now we have an opening date you better get planning!! 😉
This new interactive neighbourhood will have 30+ places to play, food trucks to fill up at, a water splash zone and AWARD WINNING parade plus loads more! Guests will of course also be able to meet their favourite Sesame Street characters like Elmo, Cookie Monster and Abby Cadabby.
Take a stroll down Sesame Street and stop by the famous stoop at 123. Explore the inside of Hooper’s Store, then head for big fun at Big Bird’s Nest. Sesame Street is exactly as you imagined, and with an award-winning parade and attractions, it’s more fun than you could ever dream. Come and play with Elmo, Cookie Monster, Abby and all the gang. Walk down Sesame Street for the very first time at SeaWorld Orlando.
You can even visit Elmo’s Window as just one of the many interactive Plays around Sesame Street. Here are some more: Bike Shop Tricycle Challenge – Make your way to the Bike Shop to get acquainted with all of the fun to be had at Sesame Street at SeaWorld in this motion-sensing digital game. Use your body to control a virtual tricycle as you collect numbers before time runs out. Two-Headed Monster Pipe Telephone – The Two-Headed Monster eagerly awaits to hear from you at the Ivy Building door! Speak into one end of the pipe telephone, then hear your voice transform into a friendly monster voice. Elmo’s Window – Elmo’s bedroom window comes to life with special moments that allow you to play, dance, and sing with Elmo and friends! Bert and Ernie’s Doorbell – Ring the doorbell at Bert and Ernie’s apartment to hear fun responses from them! Yip Yip’s Mail slot – Lift the handle of the mail slot to see the Yip Yip Martians on the beach, at a disco, and more. Sesame Street Apartment Intercom – Press the apartment number buttons in the correct order to hear a response from Grover, Rosita, Abby Cadabby, and more. Cookie Monster’s Foodie Truck Challenge – Whip up some delicious meals with Cookie Monster and Gonger by following along with video instructions and pressing the correct buttons containing the recipe ingredients. Laundromat – Use touchscreens on the washing machines to pop digital bubbles and figure out what kind of items are washing inside. Oscar’s Trash Can – Don’t knock on Oscar’s Trash Can… but if you do, you might receive a grouchy response! Backstage Queue Warm-up – While you are waiting in line to meet and greet your favorite Sesame Street friends, keep busy by interacting with six non-digital activities inspired by theatrical performer warm-ups. Create – A – Monster – Create your own digital monster by choosing eyes, noses, mouths, hair, clothes, and more! When you’re finished, you can find your special monster on the Community Center windows.
We’ve got new attractions and updates coming out of our ears at the moment! But we’re not complaining!!
***UPDATE*** KareKare Curl is opening on the 12th April 2019!
It looks as though Aquatica’s newest raft ride is going to be open soon enough! Aquatica have posted some pics showing that KareKare Curl slide pieces have arrived and the new slide is starting to really come together. 😀
“KareKare” means “waves”, here at Aquatica and when combined with “Curl” meaning in a curved shape – this new ride could be described as a “curve shaped wave” which riders will experience when climbing the vertical wave wall. “
KareKare Curl is a 2 person raft ride which will have a weightless feel about it.
Let’s take a look at how its all starting to take shape..
Aquatica was recently voted the top water park in the U.S. via a national poll and with last years introduction of Ray Rush and now the plans for KareKare you can see why!
Lets get to know the lovely Margaret from Kids Eat Free Card Orlando! I had the pleasure of spending a week in Orlando with Margaret in November as she ran the FAM trip. We had a blast and I can definitely say she is extremely knowledgeable on not just the Kids Eat Free card but also attractions like Gatorland, Boggy Creek, ICON, Fun Spot and WonderWorks!!
Company:Kids Eat Free Card Orlando
Position: PR Director
Getting to know you..
How would you describe your job to a child?
Hmm that’s a good question! That I explain to journalists all about the attractions and the Kids Eat FREE Card in Orlando that we represent in the UK. I would also tell them that I “have to” go to Orlando “for work” sometimes and have FUN – it is hard work honest! H
What was the last thing you watched on TV and why did you watch it?
The Marvellous Mrs.
Maisel – set in 1958, it is an American comedy-drama – I was hooked from the
start, very funny and would definitely
If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you and why?
My mother and sister
think my brand of humour and general silliness reminds them of Dawn French in
Absolutely Fabulous! “I” don’t think I’m that hilarious, but I would ask Dawn
to play me.
If you could choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I like to sing and dance
so it would have to be ABBA’s ‘Thank You For The Music’
Describe your theme park / attraction using only 3 words.
Dining SAVINGS Card
Favourite theme park / attraction of 2019?
Can I name two? Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year and Gatorland celebrating its 70th Anniversary this year. Both great ways to see the other side of Orlando and both are on the Kids Eat Free Card. Gatorland offers Free Kids Assorted Ice Cream with adult purchase at Pearl’s Smokehouse and the Snack Bar. Over at Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures, Kids eat free off the children’s menu at Boggy Bottom BBQ.
What is going to be BIG for your company in 2019?
We will continue to add new
restaurants to this great savings card. Subway and The Golden Coral have
recently joined the programme. Check out www.kidseatfreecard.com for a full list of all the venues.
Tell us a fact about your theme park / attraction that most people don’t know.
just £10.00 per card, the Kids Eat Free Card is one of the most talked about
deals in Orlando. Children up to age 11 can now not only eat for FREE at nearly
150 different restaurants saving up to $200 per child per week on spending
money, but they also now enjoy many added extras at some of Orlando’s favourite
Attraction Tickets are currently giving away a FREE Kids Eat Card with every
booking over £500.00.
What is a must do for first time visitors to Orlando?
ICON Orlando – The Wheel on International Drive. At 400 feet tall it’s the largest observation wheel on the East Coast of the United States. Towering on the horizon and visible from miles away, it’s a great way to see all the entertainment Orlando has to offer literally at your feet. ICON Orlando 360 is home to attractions, shopping and dining and with the Kids Eat Free Card each family gets a FREE photo to remember this ICONic experience.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions Margaret.. there is some great information in those answers!!
So Busch Gardens have announced what we can expect from the re-vamp on what used to be the beloved Gwazi.
It’s going to be a Hybrid coaster which means it will be made from a mix of both wood and steel.
This new coaster opening in 2020 is going to be North America’s tallest hybrid, and the fastest, steepest hybrid coaster in the world!
Stewart Clark who is president of Budch Gardens Tampa Bay said “We’re moving quickly to open our ninth rollercoaster, Tigris, with a tenth coaster already underway for next year,This cadence of back-to-back new attractions is unprecedented for our park, and continues our legacy as Florida’s thrill ride leader.”
It is going to be manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction and will be a wood and steel hybrid coaster design, featuring a maximum height of more than 200 feet tall. The ride will feature all-new thrill elements, as well as restored elements of Gwazi. Coaster enthusiasts can follow the progress of Tigris and the new 2020 attraction through the park’s social media channels.
The above image isn’t from Busch Gardens, it is an image of what is thought the new coaster will look like. However taking into consideration that Busch Gardens have said there will be restored elements of Gwazi and a 200ft max height it could be accurate (depending on how many elements of Gwazi they’re keeping!)
Either way this coaster looks like a thrill seekers DREAM! I for one cannot wait to ride it next year!!
The coaster is yet to be named and of course it’s still a little early to know an opening date but as soon as we find out anymore information we’ll update you!