A Celebration of Harry Potter will not return in 2019

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We do always try our best to bring you good news from within the world of Orlando theme parks however sometimes we cannot avoid bad news…

This time we aren’t basing off rumours.. Universal have confirmed that A Celebration of Harry Potter isn’t going to return to their parks in 2019. Here’s the official press release:

Universal Orlando Resort is working on exciting new experiences for guests to continue to celebrate the Wizarding World next year. These include the all-new thrill ride coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade and additional fan experiences that have yet to be announced. While our focus on these fan experiences means we will not be hosting A Celebration of Harry Potter in 2019, we and other Universal theme parks will always be looking for opportunities to host special Wizarding World experiences.

This poses the questions of ‘is it being replaced by something new?’ or ‘are they too busy with the new ride to host it?’ Gavin thinks that they could be replacing it with something Fantastic Beasts themed ‍♀️ Universal have also said that there are going to be ‘additional fan experiences’ like the Back to Hogwarts event hosted on the 1st September.

Now we don’t know if it is just 2019 that Universal have pulled the plug on or future years as well as that isn’t mentioned in the press release. It is quite unusual though, A Celebration of Harry Potter has been going 5 years and each year seems to become more and more popular so surely it cannot be a case of it not bringing in enough witches, wizards and muggles?

Lets take a look back at some of the cool shots we got from last years event.

It’s a sort of bitter-sweet feeling as we don’t like to say goodbye to a fantastic event but we can look forward to what Universal are going to surprise us with in the near future..

Smiles Included,

Abby

There’s More to Halloween Horror Nights than the Houses..

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So I’ve heard a few people mention that they’re ‘too scared’ to go to Halloween Horror Nights because of the houses but would still like to experience HHN28 or are visiting with friends who are a bit more… well, brave. 😉 so I thought i’d do a little post to let you know about all of the other things you can experience during HHN28.

Ride in the dark

The main thing that would attract you to visit Universal Studios during HHN is the fact you can ride loads of attractions in the dark and with minimal queues! The rides open during HHN28 are: Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Trandformers: The Ride 3d, Revenge of the Mummy, Fast & Furious: Supercharged, Men In Black: Alien Attack.

Visit The Wiazarding World of Harry Potter in the dark

Diagon Alley is open during HHN as is Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. What better time to visit the Wizarding World than in the dark with a lot less people around to spoil photo op’s! 😉 It’s also a great chance to ride Escape from Gringotts which is not to be missed!

Scare Zones

Every year Universal create AMAZING Scare Zones which are personally one of my favourite things about Halloween Horror Nights. Scare Zones are areas within Universal Studios full of actors and props themed to specific ‘horror’ ideas.  This year the Scare Zones are: Revenge of Chucky, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, The Harvest, Twisted Tradition and Vamp ’85 New Years Eve.

If you’re still worried about the Scare Zones, don’t panic because you can always just sprint through them – i can’t promise that you won’t be confronted by  a Killer Klown or a high school vampire but there’s a better chance! If you can make it through the Scare Zones though then you can build yourself up to venture into a house.. that’s what I done anyway!

Shows

Now we all know Bill & Teds is no more but don’t worry, Universal have something just as thrilling in store for you! Academy of Villains is back ‘with a wicked mix of dance, acrobatics and theatrics, Academy of Villains is back for an all-new performance of pounding synths and neon lights.’ Universal really know how to put on a show and this show will be full of entertaining surprises.

Now I think that’s enough reasons for you to get pumped for HHN28 which is running from Sept 14th – Nov 3rd.

Screams Included,

Abby

Universal Confirm Poltergeist For HHN28

Hey Thrill Seekers,

2 on the trot, YES!!

We’ve known about this one for a couple of weeks now but we were sworn to secrecy… and its been killing us not being able to just shout it out but finally Universal have confirmed that Poltergeist will be a house at this years Halloween Horror Nights.

It knows what scares you…….

Poltergeist was released in 1982 (characterised as one of the scariest films of all time) and continues the 80’s texture that’s running throughout this years event. The film tells the story of an average California family, the Freeling’s (Steve, Diane, teenaged Dana, eight-year-old Robbie and five-year-old Carol Ann) who’s troubles begin when ghosts commune with them through their television set. To start with the spirits are friendly and playful however they turn unexpectedly menacing and when Carol Ann goes missing Steve and Diane turn to a parapsychologist and eventually an exorcist for help.

The living representation of Poltergeist coming to this years HHN will take guests into some of the most iconic scenes whilst encountering memorable characters throughout. The house will ‘lure’ guests to the house on top of the cemetery where you will find your lives threatened by frightening ghosts.

Scenes we already know are includes include the iconic flickering TV, menacing Beast from beyond and the pool filled with corpses. As you head toward the ‘light’ you will find yourself surrounded by vanishing walls, floating furniture and a creepy clown….

Will you make it back to the world of the living or forever be trapped?

Poltergeist joins a very strong line up this year including;

Which one are you most excited for and what would you like to see announced next??

Screams Included

Abby

 

Are Pac-Man Bumper Cars coming to Super Nintendo World??

Hey Thrill Seekers,

There have been tonnes of rumours that Super Nintendo World may not be coming to Universal Studios but instead maybe to one of the new Universal parks yet to be built.. This would also mean loads more room for rides and attractions!

Now we’ve already spoken about the rumours surrounding Donkey Kong and Mario Kart attractions and maybe even a Yoshi attraction as well as kids areas however some more speculation has been happening regarding the possibility of a Kirby themed attraction or a Pokemon dark ride but best of all it looks as though there might be a Pac-Man attraction making an appearance!

The above image and below video are for Nintendo World set to open in Japan in 2020 with the Orlando one opening shortly after.

In 2014 Universal filed a patent which was granted approval this year which shows a Pac-Man style ride vehicle which looks as though it will be used in a bumper car style attraction. It looks as though the floor would be self-illuminated and riders would be able to ride over images that will cause them to score points which can be tracked through a display module in the car. Once a rider drives over an image it will either disappear or change colour..

It also looks as though the ride vehicles will navigate through specific pathways that can actually change during a ride sequence depending on what images you ride over. This could cause you to freeze or be slowed down for some time. It also seems like riders will be able to affect other riders experience too by blocking other cars to gain more points.

The patent states the following:

 “the game vehicles may bump into one another or block the path of another vehicle to prevent certain game actions. Information about the vehicles movement relative to the floor, as well as the bumping and blocking activities may be provided to a game controller to assign scores for individual vehicles or a team of vehicles. For example, bumping into another vehicle may earn points for the initiator of the bumping. In another embodiment, the bumping may be unscored, but the bumping may prevent the opponent’s vehicle from increasing its own score. Images attached to the patent shows both a Pac-Man-like ride vehicle and a ghost-looking one with notes indicating that the two separate designs could signal opposing teams within the game.”

Now this may be sounding like quite a rough ride but Universal have explained that the ride vehicles may be programmed to not actually contact other cars or slow them down before impact and its sounds like all cars will be equipped with a steering wheel, brake and gas, pedals, a joystick, a display screen, one or more buttons etc.

nintendo-characters

Call me a nerd but the floor sounds like one of the most interesting things about this attraction. Looking at the patent it could be either an LCD or LED display surface which is actually a very techy move by Universal. If you’re a nerd too you might remember that Disney had an idea about using this type of technology for Pandora to have interactive sidewalks that would react to footsteps – there must be a reason this wasn’t bought to life.. it could be that it was because it is set outside whereas it looks as though this Pac-Man style attraction for Universal will be inside.. hmmm..
For us brits, Bumper Cars are a key part of any fair and you can even find them inside most UK themeparks however this would be the first attraction of its kind in any major Orlando Theme park however as we always say.. most patents never actually come to life so we cannot guarantee this is going to be a thing however Nintendo World and Pac-Man fit together very well so it would be an awesome addition! What do you guys think?!

Check out some images from the patent here:

A rendering found within the patent that shows what the ride vehicles may look like. - IMAGE VIA UNITED STATES PATENT APPLICATION US20150360127

  • Image via United States Patent Application US20150360127

An image within the patent application that shows what an interactive floor may look like. Note the Pac-Man like cherry in the top maze. - IMAGE VIA UNITED STATES PATENT APPLICATION US20150360127

  • Image via United States Patent Application US20150360127

Smiles Included

Abby

TWO new Scare Zones announced for HHN28

 Hey Thrill Seekers,

Calling all HHN fans! Get ready for not 1.. but 2 absolutely terrifying themed scare zones. The worlds most deadliest doll AND hungry killer klowns (yep even the spelling is giving me the fear) from outer space will take over Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights.

Here’s what Universal had to say:

Chucky is back! After 30 years of mayhem, he’s creating chaos in the streets during a toy fair that’s turned lethal in the Revenge of Chucky scare zone. At this festival of toys, Chucky has twisted these playthings into new nightmares. Chucky himself rules this zone as he commands his minions to carve up some horror. This scare zone will be a tortuous delight to behold as he dishes out some revenge personally.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space at Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights 2018

The horror and fun keeps coming as we bring to you Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures’ cult classic, sci-fi horror film Killer Klowns from Outer Space. As you enter the domain of these Killer Klowns, the smell of cotton candy hides the fact that this is all trick and no treat. This sweet candy is spun from human victims grotesquely cocooned inside giant pods of cotton candy. Try and escape the Killer Klowns or you’ll face the wrath of their cotton candy rayguns that turn you into a tasty cotton candy snack.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space at Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights 2018

Earlier in the month, Universal announced three original scare zones, each with their very own haunting stories. These original Scare Zones were Vamp 85: New Year’s EveTwisted Traditions and The Harvest and now we have Revenge of Chucky and Killer Klowns from Outer Space to add to the mix. This years Halloween Horror Nights is shaping up to be a great one!

Screams included

Abby

 

4th HHN28 House Announced!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Forget the world cup, Universal Have announced the 4th HHN28 house!

It’s always a great day when Universal treat us to a HHN house announcement and today is no different, get ready for… Slaughter Sinema!

This house is basically combining 80’s B-movie monsters and creatures and putting them into one extremely frightening house! Here’s what Universal had to say;

It’s showtime at the local drive-in. As you approach, you’ll see movie trailers of what you’re about to witness, filling you with dread as you make your way inside. The smell of popcorn will be first to hit your senses as you find yourself in a movie theater snack bar. But from there, it’s all downhill for this double-feature.

In one film scene werewolf bikers will hunt you down and in another you’ll have to make your way through a bloody, gut strewn pumpkin patch. There will also be deadly barbers, alien cannibals, creatures with ‘tonnes of teeth’ and a ‘ravenous swamp yet’ – I can’t wait to see that one haha!

This years Halloween Horror Nights is definitely going to be one to remember as there is gong to be be more houses than ever – 10 to be exact plus 5 scare zones!!

Screams included,

Abby

Universal Confirm Trick ‘r Treat For HHN28

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Yep we’ve got another confirmed house for Halloween Horror Nights 28 along with Stranger Things and the Universal Original house Dead Exposure we can now look forward to Trick ‘r Treat !!!

Trick R Treat made an appearance last year as a scare zone but as HHN fans loved it so much in 2017 Universal have decided to upgrade it to a house. Here’s what Universal had to say about it;

We’re throwing you head first into the world of this cult Halloween film, and putting you in the middle of all the grisly scenes and demented characters. These guardians of Halloween will teach you the traditions of the holiday as you find out first hand the consequences of breaking those rules. With monsters around every turn, you need to pay attention…or suffer the ultimate fate.

The mysterious Sam who is the keeper of the rules and the ‘spirit of Halloween’ will be keeping an eye over all of the scares. I was at HHN last year and the scare zone was one of my favourites so I cannot wait to see what is in store for the house!

We’ve still got 6 more house reveals and all of the scare zones to come, are you happy about this house and what do you think is going to be the next reveal?

Screams included!

Abby

 

 

What do we already know about Dead Exposure?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So yesterday Dead Exposure: Patient Zero was announced as the first Original House for this years scarefest at HHN28. The word ‘original’ had got me thinking before the name was even announced and I had 2 ideas: could it be an original house from one of the first HHN’s or could it be a completely new ‘original’ IP? I’m going to take this one as a win as I was kind of right, right?

I’ve been doing a bit of digging to find out just how original Dead Exposure is and it turns out that it was last seen at Halloween Horror Nights in 2008 and this years house is a sequel/prequel (i’ll get to that later). So seeing as I was only 12 back in 2008 funnily enough I have never experienced first hand what Dead Exposure is really like, all I knew was that if you had been through the house and someone mentioned its name, even 5 years down the line, your toes would still curl at the memories…

What do we know?

Dead Exposure was 1 of 8 houses featured in Universals Halloween Horror Nights: Reflections of Fear back in 2008 which was the ‘year of Bloody Mary’. It took guests on a journey ‘through’ Charlie McPhersons photographs as he navigated his way through a city of flesh eating zombies where the only source of light was his camera flash. The creators of HHN used backlight strobes perfectly timed with the noise of camera clicks to pull off the feeling that you’re walking through photographs. They also used special paint on the costumes and set to highlight certain parts. The whole house (apart from the first and last rooms) was in complete darkness with only those camera flashes to light the way.

Found on Halloween Horror Nights Wiki was a description of the walk through itself:

Reaching the front of the house, guests were greeted with loud music which had famously been featured in zombie movies. Standing in front of the entrance was a large bulletin board with ghostly pictures and notes covering it noting where in town each of the photographs were taken. Walking into a hole in the board, guests entered into photographer, Charlie McPherson’s, apartment. The electricity was out and somethings were pounding on all of the windows with guests only able to see their shadows. Charlie himself was lurking in the apartment, warning guests as they walked by of what he saw and urging them to hurry out of there and to look into his portfolio.

Leaving the room, guests entered the pictures that he had taken that night. With three clicks and flashes at a time the room was illuminated to reveal a hardware store. A number of zombies surrounded both sides of the path, ready to attack. Continuing on Charlie’s path, guests entered the sewer. Drips and other sounds were heard from the darkened path, and a camera flash illuminated a zombie lurking in the sewer pipe on the wall. The path continued toward the surface again through a narrow hallway with zombies inside of the walls.

Reaching the surface, guests were inside a public bathroom. Stalls surrounded the path with some open and zombies inside of them. A zombie blocked the path out of the room and would only move between camera clicks. Once through Charlie’s pictures brought guests outside into a park. Abandoned seemingly quickly by the humans, zombies lurked in the park equipment and near the toys left by children. Leaving the park, guests entered a room full of zombies . Seemingly surrounded by dozens of zombies, there was no clear path through the middle of the area. While guests tried to navigate, zombies would attack between camera flashes.

Once the room was successfully navigated, guests entered a hallway. Camera flashes revealed zombies hanging above the path. Following the hallway around a corner, flashes revealed a lone zombie underneath the clear flooring trying to get out at guests. Done with Charlie’s pictures, guests walked back into his apartment. A number of zombies were surrounding a table to the right of the path. On the table was Charlie, screaming as he was torn apart to be eaten by his attackers. A final zombie, who looked suspiciously like Charlie, popped out of a closet at the other end of the room to scare guests out of the house.

I don’t think anyone was really prepared for how scary this house was going to be, i’ve been reading a few reviews and every single one of them mentions the impact of the pitch black and the fact you can’t even see your own hands in front of your face. Scottyrif from Halloween Horror Nights Unofficial said “The camera flashes were the only source of light throughout the entire house experience, and scareactors would scare the hell out of you in those brief moments of bright flash. Of course, once the light was out again, it was even harder to see because our eyes couldn’t adjust to the extreme change from light to dark.”

Here’s a review of Dead Exposure from HHN18 by attractions magazine:
Scare Factor: 9/10
Entertainment Factor: 7/10
You do not want to miss Dead Exposure. Period. The premise is that you’re in the world of a photographer who has stumbled upon an outbreak of zombies… and you’re stepping into his black and white photographs. It’s the most unique of all the houses as it is pitch black inside, with occasional strobes of blacklight illuminating your way, providing you only with a quick “picture” of what’s around you. A constant droning sound gets your heart racing and you never know where the next scare is coming from.

So earlier on I said that this years house Dead Exposure: Patient Zero is a sequel / prequel to the house featured in 2008. Let me explain, so basically the concept of each house is the same but there is a different storyline. This years house will actually take you back to 1982 and is set in Paris where the zombie epidemic is just beginning and the only people on your side are the military who are issuing vaccinations but with a BIG side effect… Blindness. Check out my blog from yesterday for more information on Dead Exposure: Patient Zero

Dead Exposure was also voted house of the year back in 2008 and looked absolutely terrifying – one of the scariest i’ve seen or read about and with how far technology has come in 10 years I would bet my left leg that this year it is going to be even more so…

I can’t wait!

Screams Included,

Abby

Second HHN28 House Revealed!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

YES! The second HHN28 House has been revealed…

Dead Exposure: Patient Zero is coming to Halloween Horror Nights this year. Get ready to be infected with fear in a BRAND NEW house that ‘lives within a world of a fan-favourite from our past.’ This house is a prequel to Dead Exposure which was featured at HHN in 2008 and according to Universal was ‘easily one of the most terrifying houses we’ve ever had’ where guests entered complete and utter darkness with only flashing bright lights to guide them through the hoards of zombies that surrounded them.

This year Universal are bringing back all of the same scares and terror of 2008 but are instead dropping guests in the middle of Paris 1982. Chaos has spread throughout the city as flesh eating, vicious zombies make their way through the streets looking for prey. The only people on your side are the military who are giving vaccinations to anyone not already infected however this is at your own risk as there are BIG side effects…

Blindness.

Universal are really bringing a whole new meaning to the word darkness. While you will be trying to escape the zombies clutches you just need to remember one thing.. they will find you.

This house is the first original house that has been announced so far and only the 2nd of the 9 to be released this year.

Remember Halloween Horror Nights 2018 is taking place from 14th September – 3rd November and you can get 2 nights for the price of 1 here.

Stay tuned for more announcements to add to the already mazing line up:

  • Stranger Things
  • Dead Exposure: Patient Zero

Scares Included

Abby

Fast & Furious Supercharged is now open!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

‘Life’s simple, you make choices and you don’t look back’ – Han Lue. I know something you will look back on though –  memories and Fast & Furious – Supercharged will give you and your family thrills and memories that will last forever.

Fast & Furious – Supercharged is now open at Universal Studios so what are you waiting for? Get yourselves over to Universal and step right into your very own Fast & Furious film. (I know for most of you that it will take a 9hr flight but still.. get yourselves over there.. on your next holiday 😉 )

On Monday lucky old Mr Blog Squad himself, Gavin is heading out to Orlando to attend the special evening event being held for the opening of Fast & Furious – Supercharged which is being held on the 2nd May and will feature some of the stars of the films.

Here’s what we know so far about the attraction..

You’ll get to ride alongside members of the Fast Family such as Dom, Letty, Hobbs, Roman, Tej and Mia who are all played by the stars themselves. You’ll find yourself immersed in a recreation of the crews warehouse headquarters where there will be actual props from the films, iconic scenes and of course, supercharged vehicles, 15 to be exact that you will be able to see throughout the queue, the ride and in the retail shop. Many of those 15 have been driven by the Fast Family themselves.

Whilst waiting to enter the action you can gear yourself up by using the special mobile experience to play games, receive messages from Mia and the rest of the family, do quizzes, check out character bios and even try and unlock some surprises – this can be found on the Universal app.

Last but not least Fast & Furious – Supercharged is the next attraction at Universal Studios to feature the new Virtual Line system.. Just like Jimmy Fallon, all you will have to do is select the time you wish to ride on the app or at a kiosk located near the attraction entrance. You can then do whatever you like while you wait for your ride time.

Stay tuned for lots of pics, videos and information from Gavin on our Facebook and Instagram pages next week!

Smiles included,

Abby