One of the best-loved parts of Halloween Horror Nights is Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure. This irreverent celebration of pop culture has been a fixture of Universal’s annual Halloween event since 1992, skewing popular film, tv, celebrities and even other theme parks (particularly Walt Disney World) for 25 years. But earlier this week Universal shocked longtime Halloween Horror Nights fans by announcing that this show, which has been a part of this event since its second year, would be having its last year of performances in 2017, and would not be a part of Halloween Horror Nights in 2018.
This was obviously a huge blow to fans of this event, who have long considered Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure to be an integral part of the culture of Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. And while Universal hasn’t officially said why they are retiring this show, we have a feeling that a certain Boy Wizard is involved....
A legally problematic show
Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure has always walked a very fine line between edgy and controversial. In fact, in 2013, controversy hit the west coast version of this show, resulting in the cancellation of Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure at Universal Studios Hollywood. However, while the Orlando version of this show had thus far managed to avoid any serious controversy, that doesn't mean this show didn't have its issues.
If you have ever been to Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure, one thing you might notice right off the bat is that Universal REALLY enforces its no photos/no videos rule at this show. If you so much as even pull out your smartphone for a selfie, a Team Member will be right there to tap you on the shoulder to tell you to put your device away. And if you are caught recording video or taking pictures, you may be required to delete whatever you captured before you leave the theater.
This might seem a little excessive for a theme park, but Universal has a pretty good reason to keep the content of Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure under wraps: lawsuits. In theory, Universal's use of characters from the world of pop culture should be protected under laws that deal with satire and commentary, but Universal's legal department reportedly still received some serious threats of legal action in the early 2000s as Halloween Horror Nights was increasing in popularity, which led to the complete shutdown of photos and video in the park today.
Given all this, its easy to see how Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure is a pretty problematic show for Universal to run year after year. However, this isn't the only issue likely contributing to the demise of this show...