The creative minds behind Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor has brought their haunt skills over to Orlando with the debut of Dark Horizon: Point of No Return.
Taking place select nights until Nov 2nd, Dark Horizons features 3 different houses; Vodou, Ghostship, and Murder Island, as well as 4 bars, 2 live stages, themed food and hundreds of scare actors ready to scare you.
Dark Horizons invited us out on the opening night of the event, and while we had fun overall, we thought it was fine, as there are definitely some issues that could impact how you feel about the event.
Out of the 3 houses, we found Vodou to be the highlight of the event. With some interesting scare tactics and pretty good design work, it is definitely a must-do of Dark Horizons. The other 2 houses – Murder Island and Ghostship – were fine. Murder Island is helped by the interactivity of the actors, and Ghostship has some fun moments, but they don’t reach the efforts put forward in Vodou.
The biggest difference, especially to those familiar with Horror Nights and Howl-O-Scream, is the crowds. The experience was a refreshing change of pace to the usual “madness” that occurs in the Orlando haunt scene, which allows for the scare actors to be creative and interactive. The scare actors are the definite lifeblood of any event and are by far the highlight of this event.
A big complaint we expect to see is concerning the parking situation. The event takes place at the Holiday Inn Suites Orlando Resort & Waterpark (a.k.a. The former Nickelodeon Hotel). At a cost of $20, guests park at an off-site location and are shuttled over to the Hotel’s parking lot, which is a bit of inconvenience for the price you pay.
Outside the event, the event does lean towards a party atmosphere, featuring 4 bars and a DJ Dance Party. It should be worth mentioning that the event does feature a hidden bar inside one of the haunts. We won’t say which one, but it’s up to the guests to interact with the actors and find the coin that allows entrance into the bar – which is pretty awesome experience. Prices for drinks are around $12, but don’t fret – the drinks are drinks, and are liberally poured.
As far as prices for the event, your mileage may vary. With the event still being in its infancy and growing its audience, express options may not be needed – so we feel it is not recommended. The general admission price ranges from $34-39 depending on the night of your visit. If you’re unsure if there is value in the price, the good news is that the event is running several specials, including Groupon offers.
For a “first-year” event, there is definitely a lot to love, but there is definitely room for improvement. Growing pains are to be expected but if they want to establish a base here in Orlando, they need to go harder to compete with the big boys.
Visit www.DarkHorizonOrlando.com for more information, to stay up to date on Dark Horizon announcements and to purchase your tickets today.