April is knocking on our doorstep. For haunt fans April is just another notch in the belt, another step towards haunt season. That of course also means the rumors will start pouring out of the woodwork. Some will be accurate, but most will be so far off the mark you’ll need a telescope to find it. Still, it’s all part of the fun leading up to the fever pitch of September when the fog rolls in and the gates swing open.
Like most haunt fans we’ve been keeping our ears to the wind, hoping to hear the whispers of the ghosts coming to haunt our lives. While we have been listening, the happy haunts have not received our sympathetic vibrations. Sure rumors always fly but nothing so concrete that you can take it as gospel.
So instead let’s spitshine a bit and speculate on what we could see.
Keep in mind these are not solid rumors, and are in no way a shadow of things to come. In fact they are meant to be for entertainment purposes only. Unless Universal Orlando confirms it themselves (and they won’t) it’s not happening.
The houses in numbers-Halloween Horror Nights has a tradition of adding a new house to the mix every few years. Last year they shocked fans by going from eight houses to seven houses. The reason was construction. In 2012 the park lost a main location when JAWS was demolished. The thought was then to move a house to soundstage 44 and use one of the other soundstages for yet another. Those plans were scrapped when the park fastracked plans for Transformers:The Ride. Seven was the magic number. This year that number remains a mystery. Transformers is done…but is there any room within for another house? TNA wrestling has wrapped up, which if it stays emoty could free that soundstage up for a house or two. It’s likely the park could opt to keep the current locations and keep the count at seven.
Wherever I may roam-Last year was a first for HHN. Universal went the route of roaming scare zones. It wasn’t the first time the event did it, it was the first time it worked! No place was safe as restaurants, shops and queue areas were invaded by hoardes. No defined scare zones came about…again…because of the construction. Walls up around SS 44 and Amity made it really hard to set things up to stay. Add to that a daily parade and you have a nightmare. This year the parade isn’t going away, and Amity is still under construction. Its very possible that we will see roaming scare zones again. However Shrek alley has reopened, as did the other area around Transformers. That’s two. Kid zone and the Simpsons could make three…its very possible scare zones could become rooted once again.
Fear the Living-Let’s talk houses. Last year AMC’s The Walking Dead drew in huge crowds. The house Dead Inside followed the first two seasons as walkers moaned and grabbed at anything that moved. No main characters were used. This season the show is hotter than it’s ever been with several episodes breaking records this season. A second house could capitalize on that success and bring in more of the show’s loyal fans. Instead of following the walkers and locations, lets bring in characters to the mix. This season had focused on the very real threat of The Governor and Woodberry to the group at the prison. The potential is there and while reviews of the house weren’t all glowing, it did bring the fans of the show in by the hoards. A second house witj everyone’s favorite characters could be huge, and make for even more of a marketing bonanza. Enough has happened this season to fill another house.
Bad at home-While we’re talking houses and licensed properties…and zombies…let’s talk about video games. HHN broke the barrier with Welcome to Silent Hill. It was a look at the demented video game and film series that brings hell to earth. The house captured the feel of the games and movies like no other medium has before. Beloved characters were there and recognizable. Also last year, Japan’s HHN rolled out with an ambitious Resident Evil theme. It was hugely popular. Orlando could very well adopt that whole theme and do Resident Evil up in a big big way. Why stop there? Horror video games have a huge fanbase and there are so many of them…granted most of them are zombie shooters.
Iconic origins-Last year at HHN there was something missing that has been a staple at the event for over ten years. An icon. In lieu of a central themed event the park went for just a central theme of panic….there was no way you could escape. Fans are a difficult group…most of them bitched about the over use of icons…then when there was no icon they bitched that the park didn’t have one. It’s plausible that the park could go back to using original masters of the domain. Someone….or something….that regulates the reign of terror that all the minions and monsters rains down upon the helpless masses.
I want to play a game-Last year horror was unearthed in the form of a game that fans could play in park and online. They followed clues and were rewarded for their servitude. It was a huge success. With that being the case, it would be no surprise if the game were to return. No mention has been made…but it was something cheap to do, and it kept the hardest of hardcore fans happy. If it did come back, I would not be surprised to see Legendary Truth-the park’s resident paranormal research group, come back.
Again keep in mind this is not things that we’ve heard. These are also not things we think the park SHOULD do…these are merely some of the many directions that park could take the event. The future is shrouded in shadow…and difficult to see…
The rumors this go round are really spotty, batty and range from “plausible” to “no way in hell”. Get your salt buckets ready, because you’re going to need to take all of these with a huge grain.
- New Icon:Mad Maestro-With houses from Alice Cooper, and Rob Zombie, HHN is going in a different direction with houses based on all manners of musical icons. Those include a ZZ Top Vampire house, Dee Snyder’s House of Metal, A Slayer based house and even a house featuring blues legends and the Crossroads where Robert Johnson made a deal with the devil. Universal has had relationships with bands in the past…but this seems out there.
- Two parks-This one never goes away. The rumor says this year, because of the construction in Amity, both parks will be used. Houses will be located in Jurassic Park, Marvel and the Toon Lagoon theater. Scare zones will be between the two paths between the two parks, and in various locations throughout both parks. Keep in mind Islands of Adventure has not been used for Halloween Horror Nights since 2005. Again, not likely.
- T2 as a house-What happens when you have only seven houses, but the crowds demand eight or more? You put houses in very weird places. The design team will use the queue of Terminator as a house. The house could go as far as the main show room. Big problem with this. Terminator, while it is an old ride, is still a people eater. In order to construct this house, crews would have to shut down the ride in late July at the latest. That’s the middle of the busy summer season, and it leaves the attraction down for up to a month after. Seems like a lot of work to just have one house for a month and a half.
- New types of scare zones-Instead of having a scare zone as a random location scattered through the streets, or a roaming band of marauders, this new type of scare zone will be almost like a miniature haunted house. You will travel to the area, go through the scare zone and leave. The locations are said to be on the path between Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. Problems here are that this would create humongously long lines, and the paths are really out of the way in comparison to the rest of the park. Plus that means that you will have Rockit, A soundstage house, and a scare zone all entering in the same area…talk about a traffic nightmare
- No Bill and Ted-The rumor goes that the park will use the area for a larger scale show. This is stupid…Bill and Ted are Halloween…
- H.R. Bloodengutz returns-This is the one rumor that I hope is true. Sure, if you went through the first version, you know his fate…but what if we got a prequel…or we do what Hollywood does and completely ignores the films that come before it. This time The fanged host tackles B-movies…all the public domain stuff that is so bad no one wants to put their name on it! I like this rumor…but it will be interesting to see if it comes to fruition.
Again, just rumors and not really great ones at that. Until things are announced officially by Universal, they are only rumors and a lot of fun to talk about!
Until next time my minions!