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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!