The annual Halloween Horror Nights events have begun at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood, with the first reviews emerging online.
Both events feature a mixture of "haunted house" horror mazes, scare zones and live shows. Many of these are based upon Universal's library of classic horror movies, with a number of newer movies also qualifying for the Halloween Horror Nights treatment.
At Universal Orlando, Halloween Horror Nights 2011 kicked off on Friday, September 23 and is due to continue on selected dates through October 31. Among the new mazes this year are The Thing (based on the remake of the original 1982 film, which will be released on October 14) and Nevermore: The Madness of Poe (which offers guests the chance to step into the mind of Edgar Allan Poe). TPT recently featured a news story covering the full-line up for the events.
Inside the Magic features a detailed review of Halloween Horror Nights 2011 at Universal Studios Florida, as well as tips for those planning to visit. The site's owner, Ricky Brigante, describes this year's horror mazes as "some of the most detailed, elaborate, and completely immersive that I’ve ever seen."
Universal Studios Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights also began on September 23, and features a slightly smaller range of attractions. Included among these are a version of The Thing, plus a Halloween makeover for the park's famous Studio Tour dubbed "Terror Tram: Scream 4 Your Life".
The LA Times' Brady MacDonald was among the first to experience this year's Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood, and offers a mixed review. While praising the quality of the horror mazes as "detailed and disgusting", MacDonald laments the limited number of them (six). This reportedly caused long queues of over an hour for most of the temporary attractions.
Halloween events at other theme parks around the globe are also getting underway during the next few weeks. Theme Park Tourist will feature reviews of Halloween Haunt at Knott's Berry Farm, Scarefest at Alton Towers and Thorpe Park's Fright Nights.