Universal Halloween Horror Nights

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10.9.16

Palwasha and I finally did HHN at Universal Studios this year. After talking about it since we were in high school, we got the chance to see all our favorite horror movie characters this past Sunday. We had always heard great things about the Halloween Night that Universal puts on every year, and we sure weren’t disappointed. The mazes were terrifying! But more on those later.

Our weekend started on Saturday. I met up with Palwasha in Marina Del Rey after tutoring and we got dinner. Because we were both pretty exhausted from the day, we headed back to my place and headed to sleep early.

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Photo Credit: Palwasha Khatri

The next morning, we got an early lunch, then Ubered to CityWalk where we hung out for a bit until it was time to enter the park at 2 pm. We got the Day/Night combo ticket because we wanted to do Harry Potter World before HHN started that evening.

Here’s how the day portion went:

  • The frozen butterbeer was definitely better than the regular one
  • Lines were extremely long for the Harry Potter rides
  • We almost missed the last studio tour tram
  • We did The Walking Dead walkthrough
  • HHN started pretty early – some of the mazes opened at 5:15 pm
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Before the day’s effects took a toll on us

The mazes were very well done, and I was very impressed with them. The lines definitely filled up quickly and it was a good idea to do the 2 pm ticket to get a head start on the mazes. We quickly knocked out American Horror Story first. Here’s how our HHN went (in the order we did them):

  • American Horror Story: took us through Murder House, Freak Show, and Hotel. Wasn’t as scary as we thought it was going to be. Maybe it was less scary because it was still light outside? All the decorations and props were on point though.
  • Freddy vs. Jason: easily one of the best mazes. Even just waiting in line, we could hear all the traumatized screams coming from inside. It sounded like people were actually getting murdered in there. We got the ending where Freddy won the battle.
  • Jurassic Park in the Dark: super fun, different perspective, they amped up the fog machine.
  • Halloween: I heard last year’s was better. The pumpkin head scene near the end was pretty cool. Otherwise, just average.
  • Eli Roth’s Terror Tram: theme was clowns, good concept but when we got off the tram, it was just another scare zone. Clowns were waiting for us and would jump out from time to time. Let down for sure.
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre: THE LONGEST LINE. I think this line was my version of hell. Literally didn’t move for a good half hour at times. By this time, our feet were killing us and we joined the tens of other people who gave up and sat on the dirty ground. However, this was my favorite maze. It was so good and I wanted it to be over fast because it went on for so long! The scare factor was raised because all the actors playing Leatherface were huge.
  • The Exorcist: Wow, this was another good one. We had been hearing all night from other park guests that this one was terrifying, so we did go in with higher expectations. However, the expectations paid off. They did a great job with the effects in this maze; even the smells were authentic (but incredibly disgusting). By the time we finished this maze, it was 1:40 am and we were done.
  • The Purge Scare Zones: They were frightening but after a while, it was annoying to have actors block your way and pretend to stab you, especially at 2 am when we just wanted to get home. The Gauntlet of Fear walkthrough was pretty good though. We definitely got more scared in that than just the regular scare zones.

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The only maze we didn’t do was the Krampus one, but only because neither of us had watched the movie and we’d been hearing all night from other guests how dumb it was. We also did the Mummy ride and Transformers before the night was over. We left at 2 am, right when the park was closing, and got home around 2:20. We crashed right away. My feet are still recovering as well as my legs. It was an amazing experience and I’m sure I’ll be back again next year.

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