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My Outside the Mouse Tale for October 3, 2010

Halloween Horror Nights XX Review

The past two weekends WDW Mouse Tales has been at the annual Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando and we have tons of photos, full HD video from the scare zones and reviews of all the houses, shows and scare zones at the event. There is always plenty to do at these events so lets dig into it starting with the houses.

I am going to post my reviews for the houses of Halloween Horror Nights XX from my least favorite up to in my opinion the best house of the event.


Legendary Truth

This was my least favorite house this year mainly because it is such a mixed bag. There were new effects that were attempted here but really only a couple work and if you happen to walk by at the wrong time you might not experience any of them. This is what happened the first time I went through the house and if this was my one and only visit I would not have been happy after over a hour in line. One more thing about the effects, take a look at the floor when you first enter for one cooler elements.

The other complaint I have about this house is the lack of scares. There must be about 6 or 7 scare actors in the entire house. So in the end if you will not make it into all the houses this is one I would skip.

Catacombs Black Death Rising

So the theme of this house is a plague outbreak in the Europe of the past. The house is your basic skulls and more skulls and throw in some candles variety. Not that the house looks bad, it is just not highly original. Also there is not a variety of costumes in the house. What you should expect are what I refer to as bird men doctors. For you gamers out there who have played Assassin’s Creed 2 then you know what I am referring to. They are dressed in black robes with a long crow faced metal mask.

The one thing this house is not lacking in is scares. Many a cough and scream caught me off guard here and the strobe room that is the finale of the house got me on both trips through.

A tip for this house is save it for later in the night because it is in a tent and you will see extreme light seepage if you visit early.

(The tent on the right is Catacombs. Wait until after night fall to enter)


According to the park map this house is themed to super soldiers that have gone crazy. Really if I had not read this on the map that theme would really be unclear. Really this house is about screaming bald men and women and getting sprayed with water. It is not a bad house and certainly is one of the more original but definitely falls in the middle of this years house rankings.

This like Catacombs is located in a tent so make sure to visit this one later in the evening as well.

Havoc Dogs of Ware

(The entrance to Havoc Dogs of War)


PsychoScareapy Echoes of Shadybrook

This house was themed to an asylum that was closed years ago and is now haunted by its former residents. This house has quite a few scares and features some strobe lit rooms and an inmate in an electric chair which never gets old...

This house featured two really cool effects the first being a hallway of hands that 99% of them were fake but the real ones are good for a great scare. Also there is a hologram effect that was first introduced in the new Disaster attraction that is pretty cool as well.

Hades The Gates of Ruin

This house is themed to the Hell of Greek Mythology. How I would describe it is the God of War video game come to life. It features characters such as Medusa and Minotaurs. I found this house highly entertaining but if I had one complaint is this is one where you spend a lot of time pushing through hanging sheets. Please Universal I would like to enjoy your environments on occasion without spending most of my time pushing through hanging smelly sheets. Overall though this does not ruin the fact that this house features great characters and scenes.

The Orphanage is based on the daughter of one of the most popular characters from previous years the Caretaker. Her character is a Fire starter so you guessed it the house features fire and heat. The house also features creepy children, toys and of course dolls.

I really enjoyed the effects in this house from the heat of the actual fires located in a couple of the rooms to the overall burnt up look of the house. This house is a little short but I guess if my only real complaint is I wanted more of it then that is not a bad thing.

The Orfanage Ashes to Ashes


To be honest this house is really a tie for first with Hallow’d Past for my favorite house of the year. The attention to detail is apparent in every aspect of this house. This house is supposed to take place in the not to distant future when there has been a zombie outbreak. You start the house with training on how to fight zombies. There are so many posters and jokes at the start it is impossible to see them in two visits.

The house definitely turns to a more frightening experience in the later portions but it is highly entertaining all the way through. By the way... beware of Zombie Babies!!!

Horror Nights: The Hallowed Past

Hallowed Past is almost a museum of some of the best moments and props from the last 20 years. When you enter the house you walk through a warehouse with wall to wall props and posters from every year of the event. You could spend a hour in here just looking around. The house itself features some of the best scenes from the Frightanic to the Alice in Wonderland scene. This house really reminds you of what makes Halloween Horror Nights special. Great effects and showmanship, not just scares.

Scare Zones

HHN: 20 Years of Fear

This is the first scare zone you come to if you enter the park to your right and is one of the best. This features many of the awesome characters that have been featured over the years at the park. There are a few scares at the entrance but once you exit the initial fog filled tunnel you come across what I will refer to as picture opportunities with the most famous characters. Take a look below for photos of many of the characters along with a HD video.

(The photos below are the sets from the zone without the actors)


Fear Revealed

The very next area if you want to call it a Scare Zone is a photo opportunity with this years main character fear. You can find photos and a HD video below.

The Pumpkin Patch

After Fear Revealed and headed towards ET you will find a pretty cool pumpkin patch. Take a look below for photos and a short HD video.

Esqueleto Muerte

This fear zone is located in front of Shrek and features a pretty cool black light effect on the characters at night. This is not a highly scary area but still fun.

Zombie Gras

Another event that Universal Studios hosts every year is the Mardi Gras weekends. The park has re purposed many of the costumes and scenery into a demented version of the event. This is a highly entertaining area.

The Coven

This area is themed around the Salem witch trials in Salem Massachusetts. This zone features witches of every variety from the beautiful to the hunchback and disfigured.

Saus N’ Steam

This area is themed to a future world when the oceans have evaporated and the world is powered by steam. The human body holds all the water needed to operate these machines so we are being harvested. Probably my second favorite scare zone of the event.


Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure

Let’s be honest this was not a really great year for movies. Especially those of the high budget, high profile variety, therefore the material for this years show was pretty thin. My wife and I found the laughs few and far between.The show is not necessarily bad, but if you have limited time and are wondering whether to hit a house or see this show I would prefer the latter.

Brian Brushwood: Menace and Malice

This magic show is really a mixed bag. In a 30 minute show you probably only witness about 3 magic tricks and the rest is just filler. There are two different shows presented but I don’t imagine unless you have a frequent fear pass and are coming multiple nights that you will want to waste your precious time in another mediocre show.

Wrap Up

I would sum up this years event by saying it is really somewhere in the middle of the rankings when compared to previous years. It features some pretty cool ideas but does not feature any house that really amazed me. Still a great event to visit and as always the production values at Universal cannot be topped.

My final photos and video below are of the roaming Chain Saw Gang... ENJOY!!!

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Keywords:Halloween Horror Nights, haunted house, Halloween Horror Nights XX, Fear, scare zone

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