Greetings internet dwellers!
Halloween Horror Nights announced today, the final performance of Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure will take place this year. I say this: GOOD RIDDANCE. HHN 27 will mark the 26th year of the show. That is a long time to milk something like this.
My first time visiting HHN back in 2000, I fell in love with this show. I have a very dry, and goofy sense of humor. I love parodies. I love Bill & Ted. However, over the course of my HHN tenure, a lot of things became apparent. Around 2008, the show began to dip in quality. The show was never as good as it was in the past.
Since 2008, the show just continuously went down hill. Recycled jokes, horrible scripts, bad music, and a lost sense of what made the show great in the first place: pop culture. The hard, honest truth, is Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure just hasn't been good in years.
I am in no way harping on the actors either; so before I get accused of that, shut your piehole. These guys and gals, work hard to put on the best shows possible. However, sometimes, even the best actors can't transcend the bad material they are given.
As Bart Simpson once said, "George Burns was right. Show business is a hideous bitch goddess."
The curtain must fall at some point. And while the reasoning behind this decision is a little bigger than what's on the surface, it is time. Bill & Ted, had their run. It's time to move on. HHN die-hards don't like change, and this is probably not going to sit well in the community.
I would be amiss, if I didn't mention another aspect to all of this. While for me the show hasn't been funny in quite some time, this show has been systematically ruined over time. Ruined by a creepy, cult-like, die-hard fanbase. I dreaded going to these shows sometimes because of them. Shouting back lines, bringing food to performers, going to EVERY SINGLE PERFORMANCE just to say they did, a stalking behavior with performers that is just plain CREEPY, and many other odd behaviors that make one question.
This behavior, found its way to other aspects of the park as well. Bettlejuice, random scare zone, and house performers, other normal show performers; it's weird, and is skeezy at best. It's a bizarre culture that I will never understand. I get being appreciative for doing a good job, but one should never cross a line, no matter what the intentions are.
It's. Just. Plain. Weird.
So with that, I say good riddance to Bill & Ted. Thanks for the memories, but ride that phone booth into history.
That last show, is going to be interesting...
Greetings internet dwellers!
On Friday, the HHN Twitter account gave us some inside looks, at of their upcoming houses. On Monday, the gave us a reveal: Saw: The Games of Jigsaw, is coming to Halloween Horror Nights 27!
According the the Universal blog, it seems like they are using a bit Dracula Untold terminology to describe some of the house. Show Director Patrick Braillard, says the house will not be a rehash of the first house, showcased at Halloween Horror Nights 19. Although, Braillaird says there will be nods to the house from HHN 19. It appears, they will be featuring some of the best known traps, set by Jigsaw over the years.
The setting of the house will be different, from the first house. It will also feature a "living preview" (there's that Dracula Untold terminology), of the new film Jigsaw coming out in October. A trap, appearing in the new film, will be featured in the house.
That's it for now. Keep your eyes peeled. You never know when more announcements will pop up.
Greetings internet dwellers!
So, the Soul Collector countdown timer finally hit zero this morning. It's time for me to get on my soapbox. While I think it was a poor choice to use the countdown timer to reveal a sweepstakes, Universal and Halloween Horror Nights promised nothing else.
This is an example of the dangers of those, who hype something out of nothing. When the countdown was first revealed, nothing was said about what it would lead to. A rational person, probably could have deduced that whatever it was, was not related to any kind of content announcement. The counter, was situated on the Soul Collectors page. Not the main page.
If HHN were going to make a house, Scare Zone, or show announcement when the counter hit zero, it would have gone on the main page. A rational person, probably could have deduced, that another one of those locked boxes would have been opened. Which more than likely would have been another form of wallpaper, or BTS content.
Instead, what we had leading up to this, is nothing more than speculation hype. This creates false promises. This is also why I stay away from such practices for the most part. When you have influence, people will listen. In the case of Theme Park and HHN Twitter, people tend to follow blindly.
A wise man once said, "With great power, comes great responsibility." In Theme Park Twitter world, that power is used for mere website hits. Views, are more important that facts. Sure, not all do this, but a vast majority do.
Universal does not get off the hook here either. If there was never a countdown timer on any page, and they just announced the sweepstakes, things would have been different. Sure, you would have the same moaning about the lack of announcements. However, the backlash would have been far less.
The HHN fandom is easily triggered, and they have a sense of entitlement. When something like this happens, it can be catastrophic. I don't blame Universal alone. I blame those who also create a false narrative. Utilizing their influence to post nonsense, creates an anticipation. Couple that with the countdown timer, and you have what we have today.
Every year, people moan about the lack of announcements. If you search this page alone, I have addressed the moaning in the past. This, is nothing new, although some would like to have you believe it is.
Yes, this was a mistake today. No, I don't have sympathy for those who were falsely mislead by other websites. And those websites, will now feed off the anger of HHN fans. Those who were lead astray, will now follow those same places in their anger. They will forget that it was those places, who made the false promises, not Universal.
Anyway, that being said. Keep your chins up True Believers! Things will come.
After what has been an extended period of radio silence for Halloween Horror Nights, we finally have a new announcement to discuss. The hit Starz show, Ash vs Evil Dead, will come to this year's event.
This has been an interesting property this year, believe me. With that said, the house will feature scenes and environments from the first 2 seasons of the show. The house will also feature the iconic cabin, from both the show and the films. Not much else was said, other than there will be lots of blood, and Deadites.
What excites me most about this, is finally having the Ash Williams character represented. At least, I hope. I hated the Evil Dead remake, and I really, really, disliked the house featured at the event a few years ago. While I would have wanted a pure version based on the films, the show is actually really good. If you have not seen the show, you should check it out. Especially if you like the films.
You can see the announcement video below.
Well. Halloween Horror Nights has released an eerie video, teasing this year's event. This should also be a cautionary tale, to those who put too much stock in internet bloggers, who spew false hopes and dreams.
Anyway, it appears that this year's approach, may in fact tie into the Legions somehow. On the HHN website, you can sign up to "surrender your soul", and you will receive "rewards". HHN Orlando Twitter, has been repeating the phrase "We want what you can't live without". This, as it turns out, are souls. If you sign up to help collect souls, you will be a member of the "Elite Legion".
For those who don't know, the Legions of Horror first appeared at HHN XXII. The roaming hordes that year, tied into the Horror Unearthed game. Players, picked a Legion to represent and competed against other Legions. This included stuff in the park, plus games online. Also tying into all of this, were the Iniquitus, whom summoned the Legions of Horror in the first place.
The approach here, also sounds like The Compound, which was played during HHN XXIV. Perhaps we will get a mixture of both. However, the Iniquitus, seem to be at play here, or some other version of them. I think this is what we get, as any kind of Icon.
I might also add, I love the video they released as well. It's eerie, gorgeous to look at, and well crafted. You can see the video below.
Scare you later, freaks.
Greetings internet dwellers!
For a while now, all ticket options for HHN generally go on sale near this time. The HHN website has been updated, and you can now purchase the likes of Frequent Fear Passes. The Ultimate Frequent Fear Pass, has also returned this year.
In addition to ticket options, the look of the website has slightly changed, to give us a possible tease of theme for the year. An animated image of some roses, and a skull, are front and center. Also added, the words "All our times, will come", now appear on the front page. For some extra punch, they have also added the dreaded "Soon".
That's it for now. Scare you later.
Greetings internet dwellers!
Well, it's been a weird one. We've seen what happens in recent years, when communication breaks down behind the scenes. The announcement of The Shining, a property which I know is a special one, was not meant to be done like this. Another victim of wires crossed behind the scenes, let leak early that the property was coming.
Anyway, so, The Shining, the Stanley Kubrick classic, is headed to the event. On a personal note, this one, doesn't excite me like it does some. As a Stephen King fan, I love the book. However, Kubrick's movie, isn't something that I am overly fond of. Sure, Nicholson's performance is fantastic, and it is a well done film, but it's not a film that I hold a fondness for. This is also one of those films, despite having seen it multiple times as a young lad, I was inundated with at film school. So perhaps, there is a subconscious personal grudge I hold against it these days. In fact, I just went back to watch it, in preparation for the house. It was the first time I had seen it, in close to 15 years.
Nevertheless, the powers that be, gave some details on what to expect with the house. Charles Gray, said on the blog: "You’ll come face-to-face with the murderous, ghostly entities around every corner. And of course, the best part will be trying to escape the sharpened edge of an axe." He also said, this about the Overlook Hotel itself: "We cast the Overlook Hotel as the aggressor and view it as if you have the “shining.” Our goal is to have you constantly doing a double take and give you that, “Did I just see that?” feeling."
You can see the announcement video below.
Greetings internet dwellers!
Let's talk serious for a moment. In the past, I have discussed how I feel about HHN Icons. To refresh some people's memory, I personally don't like nor hate them. Way back when Jack the Clown was created, Halloween Horror Nights wasn't what we know it today. A big event, yes. But nowhere near the reputation it has today.
Jack, was created to give the event an extra push. He was something of the team's own making, to give Halloween Horror Nights its own personality. It was an identity; much like The Crypt Keeper, which would help sell the event. The team could even work him into their own mythology, and folklore.
Jack, was such a hit, we all know what happened after. The 2000's saw an explosion of Halloween Horror Nights Icons. I won't name them all, as you more than likely know who they are. Jack, was created to help sell the event which at the time, HHN needed. The Icon Era, some would say, hit its peak in 2008 with Bloody Mary. Sure, we had The Usher, Fear, and Lady Luck (and if you want to count Chance), after. However, most die-hards poo-poo those guys, citing the greedy hand of the marketing department for their poor execution (which on it's own is half B.S.).
In 2008, Halloween Horror Nights created an event loosely based around the Bloody Mary folklore. Mary Agana's story, would tie into all the happenings at the event. Houses and Scare Zones, were all interconnected to her, and her alter ego (or the ghost of her grandmother Mary Worthington, depending on who you ask), Bloody Mary.
We all know the story. Say Bloody Mary's name in a mirror 3 times, and she comes to kill you. The marketing material, did not shy away from this. The commercial and promotional material all centered around the character being summoned, and breaking out of a mirror.
There was one problem though. A special effects make-up artist by the name of Bobbie Weiner, actually had the name Bloody Mary trademarked. At the time, nobody actually knew of the complicated history of this character being at HHN. It wasn't until after, that a lot of this would become unraveled. A lot of fans are quick to point a finger at Bobbie Weiner, for the reason why Bloody Mary can't return to the event. But that is not only unfair, it's a little one-sided.
Way back in 1999, Bobbie Weiner, developed a line of special effects make-up, using the Bloody Mary name. Flash forward a few years and in 2005, Weiner created The Tales of Bloody Mary comic book. In the year 2005, Weiner's Bloody Mary license, expanded outward. The name would soon be on everything from drink mixes, to cosmetics, to hot sauce.
In 2008, as Halloween Horror Nights was creating their Bloody Mary Icon, a few things needed to be addressed. They could not use the Bloody Mary name, as Weiner owned the trademark. There was also another wrinkle here- The Bloody Mary comic book. A lot of people think this means, Weiner owns the legend of Bloody Mary as well. However, that is not entirely accurate. She only owns what her character does in the comics.
So, in 2008, the character was licensed from Bobby Weiner, to use at Halloween Horror Nights 18: Reflections of Fear. So what happened after? Well, a few things. First and foremost, Weiner, would later license the character out to Six Flags Over Texas to use at their annual haunt, Fright Fest. Bloody Mary's Circus of Fear, would be featured there for multiple years in a row. In 2014, Spooky Ranch, located in Cleveland, Ohio, licensed the character for one of their haunts, Bloody Mary's Revenge.
In 2015, haunts everywhere, were given the green-light to have the opportunity to license the name of Bloody Mary, and attach it to whatever haunted houses they choose. This gives haunts the option to just use the name of Bloody Mary, but not have to use the character, owned by Weiner.
Which brings us to a point the finger moment from die-hard fans. Weiner, is a greedy individual who somehow was able to trademark and copyright a name and a legend. This is not really the case at all. Sure, she owns the name. On Universal's side, they own Mary Agana. Given that the actual identity of Bloody Mary is kind of kept up for debate, HHN could bring back Mary Agana, whenever they want. They just can't call her Bloody Mary.
It should also be noted, Bobbie Weiner's does a lot for charity. She donates to a lot to charities that specifically involve children; such as Give Kids the World, and the Boy Scouts of America. When Bloody Mary's Circus of Fear was featured at Fright Fest, there was an extra $3 fee to enter the house. All money earned, went to the Boy Scouts of America. She also occasionally donates her make-up kits, and travels to Army bases painting the faces of the children of soldiers. Among other things.
There are a few things here. Universal probably would not want to have their own Bloody Mary haunt, while other places have theirs. And they would have to work out something so both places, were able to use the rights at the same time. Then comes the issue of charity. After HHN 18, when Bloody Mary was at Fright Fest, they added the extra charge for charity. I can see Universal not wanting to go down that road in any capacity. If a situation emerged, where they wanted to bring the character back, I could see that being a stipulation on her part.
That's not a knock at Universal, that's a logistical question. How would you do that? In theory, Universal could just donate a lump sum of money, as opposed to charging extra for a house. In that case, no harm no foul. However, that's still money Universal has to pay to use the character.
With Universal in control of Mary Agana, they could easily redesign the character of Bloody Mary, and just pay to use the name. I mean, they pay all the time to use IP's. Why is this any different? Or, just use their own character in Mary Agana.
If they want to bring the character back, it would have to be worth their money. Such as, another entire event surrounding the character and not just a one-off appearance. In a way, Universal kind of shot themselves in the foot by even using the character in the first place. 2008, is among the most loved years of the event, so that just makes things worse.
I feel it's wrong to get mad, or make fun of Weiner, because she owns the rights. It's easier to portray her as a villain here, because she is a person. She isn't a faceless, huge. conglomerate company that owns the trademark to the name Bloody Mary.
The issue of why Universal hasn't used the character again has less to do with Weiner, and more to do with Universal. It's their choice. They paid to use it once before, and given the current state of the event, they should have no trouble doing it again. It becomes a mere problem of logistics and timing. Exclusivity of rights, how much, and what to do, becomes the bigger question. Everything Weiner has said about working with Universal in 2008, has been nothing but positive. So there is no issues with partnership.
The ball is in Universal's court when it comes to using the character again. I personally say move on. Re-work the Mary Agana character and move on. Fans often forget, the elaborate set-up for 2008 had less to do with Bloody Mary, and more to do with Agana. Bloody Mary, was just the face of the event.
That being said, who knows what will happen in the future. Stranger things have happened before.
Greetings internet dwellers!
Well, it's that time of year. Universal Orlando, has begun filing their construction permits with the city of Orlando, for Halloween Horror Nights. For some people, these permits are an obsession. They will sit at their computers and refresh the public records page, until something new shows up. Like I say every year, I, am not like that. If a new one pops up in the future, I will probably just post them to Twitter.
While I personally don't meet these permits with the same glee as most, they do offer valuable information in regards to the event. Yesterday, saw four permits materialize. In those, we can now confirm three house locations for the event.
Here are the permits:
So, there you have it. The first batch of permits. What do they tell us? For starters, probably much to the disappointment of other Superbloggers, the tent in the MIB queue, is now confirmed to be for HHN. A few places around the internet, were trying to convince people that the tent was for Grad Bash, when they knew it was definitely for HHN. The problem there, was ego's got in the way because someone else, had caught the construction before they did. Someone got the drop on them, and they couldn't stomach that. Anyway, so that's one.
I also want people to look at the wording of the tent in the MIB queue. I recently posted an article discussing the differences between the Sprung Tents, and the tent in the MIB queue. Two of these 4 permits, relate to the Clearspan tent in the MIB queue.
Speaking of which, the other two permits, also confirm Sprung Tent 1, and Sprung Tent 2, will also be used. Of course we all knew that, but now it is just official.
So, there you have it. The game begins, and now we wait for more. If you so choose to be invested in the permits, go forth and do so. However, the permits ultimate power, lies in the reveal of the locations for the houses.
Hasta La Bye-bye for now.
Greetings internet dwellerrs!
So, the last week, has been quite interesting. I was down at the park with my friend @jtamagni1976, and my sister. We ventured over towards MIB, as there was some work going on in the extended queue, not too long before that. More specifically, a cherry picker was seen lingering around back there. After we left, @jtamagni1976, had sent me a photo, which showed the framework of a structure going up in the extended queue.
The funny thing about the framework, is that they put it up literally 2 hours after my sister and I, had left the park. This sent off a flurry of conversation on the interwebs. As we all know, last year saw the addition of a new house location, in the extended queue of MIB. The structure used, was a tent. It was a nondescript, white tent, which was rented.
After the photo was passed around, some of us were already convinced that the structure was indeed, the return of a tent in the same spot as last year. Others were quick to point out that Grad Bash was about to get underway, and the spot could be used as a holding area for chaperones. However, I didn't recall a time, when that area was ever used for that purpose. Generally, the chaperone holding area's, are in Cafe' La Bamba, or the Monster Make-Up Show at the Pantages Theater. I also believe Mel's is being used this year, but I can't confirm that. Anyway, flash forward a week later, and we indeed have a white tent; very similar to last year, fully constructed in the spot.
Once images of the the fully constructed tent had made their rounds, I quickly realized a problem. A lot of people, were quick to say that the tent was just that- a tent. I read a myriad of comments about how the tent looks nothing like a Sprung Tent, therefore it can't be used for HHN. My first thought was, do people even remember the tent last year? While this year's "mysterious" tent, has a few minor differences (probably cheaper to rent), it is virtually the same as last year's.
While I can't confirm, nor deny, that the tent will indeed be used for HHN, I wanted to clarify some things. It seems that people are confused by exactly what a Sprung Tent is, and a rental tent. Neither one, are the same, but both have been used at HHN.
WHAT IS A SPRUNG TENT?
First and foremost, a Sprung Tent isn't actually a tent. The "Sprung" in Sprung Tent, is the name of the company that makes them. The Sprung company, doesn't refer to them as tents either. The structures, are designed to be "permanent". The buildings offer fast, lower cost construction, for a multitude of things. The photo on the top left is for a church, while the photo on the right, is from the San Diego Zoo.
It may also be pertinent to note, that they are designed to be movable. In addition, you can also reconfigure them after you move them if you wish. Sprung Tents are also modular, so you can add more on, if you so choose. They are made of aluminum in its substructure, which makes the buildings lightweight, yet durable. The Sprung company offers many different types of outer layers as well, depending on the needs of the client.
Each outer layer, serves a specific purpose, based on the environment the Sprung is in. For instance, in a very cold environment (such as the Arctic), you can choose a specific membrane to protect from the extreme elements. In Orlando, the outer membrane protects against the Florida weather, which can be unpredictable and harsh. We of course, are known for severe storms, hurricanes, and heat. While the Sprung's have been described as "hurricane proof", anyone that has been through one, knows nothing is really hurricane proof. On occasion even, the Sprung tents have been known to flood from time-to-time. The structures are also climate controlled.
When Universal first introduced the Sprung Tents in 2006, they were designed to be used only for Halloween Horror Nights. They were permanent structures, which could be used year after year. That, more than anything, is the biggest difference between a Sprung, and a tent. It's important to keep in mind, that these are buildings, not tents.
THE PARTY TENT
Last year's tent which housed Lunatic's Playground 3D, is similar in nature to the one's above. A few year's ago, I wrote an article speculating where a new house location could be located. The MIB overflow queue, was one of those locations. As Universal needed to find a spot at that time to place a 9th house, we are reaching a bit of a different crossroads today.
As the very real possibility of losing HHN house locations becomes a reality, something like this could be more of a habit in the future. Last year's tent, was a rental. Unlike the Sprung Tents, these are obviously not permanent. They are also easier in a way, to fit in odd locations such as the MIB overflow queue line.
HHN Hollywood, has been using wedding tents like these for years. Unlike Universal Orlando, they have less space to work with, and they do their job well. Unlike California though, a tent of this nature has a few drawbacks in Orlando. For one, unlike the Sprung Tents, these are very flimsy. The summer Florida weather, can realistically be a problem. A severe storm, or hurricane, can eat a tent like this for breakfast. The tent last year, stood strong against the glancing blow of Matthew, but that was just a glancing blow. In a more direct hit, I doubt a tent like this would survive.
Cost here, could also be another drawback. Last year's tent, was a rental. And based on the permit of last year's tent, Universal may have gone over their allotted rental time (post HHN breakdown). While I am sure deals were made with whoever they rented the tent from, the price could still add up. Still, despite what one thinks of the house overall, the tent last year did its job. It in fact did its job well enough, that nobody seems to realize the house was built in a wedding tent.
With the comments about the current tent, just being a tent and therefore can't be used for HHN, one has to laugh a bit. It's exactly what they used last year. Although, I do have to say, I don't remember them reinforcing the tent with a skeletal structure.
These are not Sprung structures. These are tents, in the very simplest of ways. They go up, and they come down after their use. They are a quick, easy solution to place a house.
Just some food for thought, as we go forth and something to keep in mind. The tent in MIB, is in all likelihood, for this year's HHN. One shouldn't dismiss it because it is simply a tent.
HHN LEGACY OWNER