September 19, 2014 – Halloween Horror Nights is now just mere hours away, and that means the park is decorated all over with hints of gruesome and gory decorations.
Most of these decorations correspond to the scare zones that will be infested in dark, so while it may not make a lot of sense in the daytime, at night the corresponding scareactors running around will match up. Let’s see what’s out there!
Not much is done on the outside gate.
But there are plenty of warnings to daytime guests about the decorations. It may not be the best time to bring impressionable children to the park.
Innocuous looking cages are also setup around opening walkway, as they’re for The Purge: Anarchy scarezone.
With Universal’s House of Horrors officially, closed, the final encore it receives will be as the Face/Off maze during Halloween Horror Nights.
All mention of the House of Horrors has been stripped away, fully branding it as Face/Off.
And at the tail end of The Purge: Anarchy scarezone, which butts up against Universal Plaza, we can see the giant shipping crate structure along with themed props, most of which were seen last year.
One different touch is the victim auction which might be the closest thing to a show that the Horror Nights will get.
Replacing the Chucky scarezone from last year, Dark Christmas moves in.
Baker Street traditionally has some light Christmas themes throughout the year on some storefronts, so this isn’t too much of a change. But the new props are a welcome addition.
Over in the Parisian Courtyard, Dracula Untold is left in waiting.
Not much can be seen, outside of the large cave walls and a few token skulls.
The audience voted and the winning French scarezone is Mask-A-Raid.
While the large text of “MASK-A-RAID” seems out of place, the props themselves are themed perfectly to the zombie-style Masquerade Ball motif.
And touching on the final upper-lot HHN feature, is the Terror Tram. Once again, featuring the Walking Dead.
Little, if anything, is changed in the tram itself, aside from a single banner. Most of the changes take place in the TVs in the queue, as they switch from generic clips to promos for the upcoming season of the Walking Dead.
Down in the lower lot is the bulk of the mazes.
This area gets hectic at night, so a copious amount of signs are needed, as you can easily get confused about which maze you intend to be walking towards.
And wrapping up this update is a heavy dose of merchandise.
While an annual shirt listing the mazes on the back is always expected, it’s nice to see a bit more variety in what’s for sale, including some limited edition Chucky pins.
Suffice to say, the park is in full-blown Halloween mode. If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, we strongly encourage you to do so, as soon as possible. Now that the employee previews are done, next up will be opening night, kicking off with the Eye-gore awards. Keep an eye on Inside Universal for everything relating to Halloween Horror Nights!
Chris Glass is an editor for Inside Universal..
Chris is a Los Angeles native who grew up around some of the best theme parks in the world. His day job as a game programmer keeps him busy enough, but he still tries to find time on the weekends to get out to Universal Studios. He lives with a lingering guilt for not riding Back to the Future: The Ride enough times before it closed down, but there will always be Universal Studios Japan on his bucket list.