Halloween Horror Nights 24 is underway, and fans of the event are thrilled to subject themselves to another year of terror. However, if you’ve never been to Halloween Horror Nights, you might be wondering what it’s like inside the haunted houses and if it’s the sort of thing you’d enjoy or if you’d end up fleeing through an emergency exit in terror.
Click the video accompanying this article if you’d like a rare peek inside the houses to help you make a decision. You’ll also enjoy the video if you’re already an event fan and just want a little teaser before you come. Normally you’re not allowed to take any photos or video inside the haunted houses, but Universal Orlando Resort gave members of the media a rare opportunity on opening night. I was able to tape some clips, as long as I didn’t use any lighting. Thus, the snippets in the video are dark, foggy, shaky and chaotic…and therefore, I think they give a good idea of what to expect.
Here’s a quick summary that should also help you make your choice. Remember, this is an intense event that’s geared to the older crowd. Yes, there are emergency exits where you can bail if you chicken out halfway through a house, so I recommend giving it a try if you’re on the cusp of wanting to go but just aren’t sure. On the flip side, if you hide your eyes every time the movie bad guy comes on the screen, you probably wouldn’t do to well being thrust into the middle of the houses, or even the scare zones, at Halloween Horror Nights:
1) Do you do well at separating reality from fiction? That sounds like a very basic question, but some people have a hard time remembering that a scary experience isn’t real when they’re in the middle of it, even though they know deep down that it’s all just make-up and scareactors and props. You’ll do fine if your logical mind is strong enough to tell you “It’s just a Halloween event” when you’re feeling a wave of panic as you’re surrounded by Walkers or the Alien goes into attack mode. If you tend to get caught up in the moment and lose your grip on reality, then it might overwhelm you.
2) Are you claustrophobic? The haunted houses at Halloween Horror House are all built to ADA standards, but the passageways still give the illusion of being narrow even though they can accommodate a wheelchair. Also, there are some legitimately tight spots, like the end of Alien Vs. Predator (wheelchairs take a different path in that part). Add darkness, strobes, and other disorienting effects and you probably won’t do so well in the houses if you’re claustrophobic. However, you might be able to handle the scare zones, since they’re outdoors.
3) Do you enjoy the horror genre? Halloween Horror Nights is loved by hard core fans not just as a haunted event but as an overall immersive experience. The scares are great, but you’ll enjoy the event even more if you can appreciate the detail and artistry that goes into designing each of the houses. Granted, it’s hard to appreciate the detail until you book one of the lights-on tours, but you still catch glimpses of it even when you’re stumbling through while being menaced in the darkness. If you’re a fan of any of the intellectual properties incorporated into the houses and scare zones this year, it enhances the experience even more because you’ll feel like you’re really inside of those fictional worlds.
Those are just some quick factors to consider while deciding if you can survive Halloween Horror Nights. It’s an amazing event if you can handle the intensity. If not, then you might want to stay home unless you’re prepared for a few weeks of nightmares.