Halloween horror at Universal Studios Hollywood
Fear, horror, and ear-wrenching screams. If that is what you are seeking this Halloween, then Halloween Horror Nights is the place to visit. Regardless of age and height, the Universal Studios' Horror Nights in Hollywood will suck you in with scare and dread until you find your way out to escape the horror of the park. If you want to experience the mix of horror, there are few tips to follow to enhance the experience. Horror Nights just opened their doors last Friday with the Eyegore Award ceremony, honoring filmmakers and musicians who have greatly influenced the horror genre with their work.
The award ceremony began with the red carpet arrivals, where such celebrities as Danny Trejo of "Machete," Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath, his wife Sharon Osbourne of Britain’s "X Factor," and Melissa McBride of "The Walking Dead" took photos and gave interviews. Among the celebrities, the creative director of the Halloween Horror nights, John Murdy, also walked on the red carpet.
The hit television series “The Walking Dead” was not only the inspiration for this year’s Horror Nights but also received an Eyegore Award which cast member McBride accepted on behalf of the show.
The legendary heavy metal band, Black Sabbath, received an Eyegore Award as well for its contribution in shaping the path for the heavy metal genre. The band was also honored with the creation of a 3-D maze inspired by the lyrics and darkness of the music.
Other recipients of the award for their careers in horror included Jason Blum, producer, and Leigh Whannell, actor and writer, of "Insidious" and "Insidious: Chapter 2." Bruce Campbell and Danny Trejo, both veterans in horror, also joined the list of the Eyegore recipients.
Murdy, whose imagination is the heart of Horror Nights, showed an interest in horror after seeing "Frankenstein" at age 4 with his mother. Murdy then began creating Halloween nights for the neighborhood kids in his parents' garage.
After starting his career at the Universal Studios in 1989, Murdy worked his way up from tour guide to creative director in 2005. Since then, he has been creating Halloween Horror Nights.
“I’m a huge horror movie fan, so when I was given the opportunity to try to bring Halloween Horror Nights back to Hollywood, I jumped on it,” said Murdy.
The main scare attractions in the park are the rides, the mazes, and the scare zones. The themes of the scare zones range from “The Purge” and “Curse of Chucky” to clowns and three-meter high monsters.
Mazes are designed after the mythical boogeyman El Cucuy, Universal monsters, and mainstream horror movies.
The Walking Dead tram offers the opportunity to walk on some of the back lot sets, such as a plane crash and the house from the Hitchcock movie "Psycho." The tram takes park visitors over a few hills down to the lot and drops them off at the Walking Dead maze to experience the zombies.
Standing at the entrance, guards with black security vests and chainsaws greeted the incoming crowd. But do not be fooled, as some of them might be disguised zombies. Throughout the walk, zombies can be seen eating human flesh as survivors run away to find shelter.
Another destination worth visiting is Black Sabbath 13 where visitors can hear the band's music playing in the background while walking around with the option to experience it with 3-D glasses.
The Revenge of the Mummy coaster and the Jurassic Park,Transformers and Simpsons rides offer relaxing but wet alternatives to the horrifying mazes and scare zones.
For those who are looking for some laughter, check out Bill & Ted’s comedy show whose topics touch on the year’s biggest pop culture and news events such as current celebrities, politicians and popular fictional characters.
Arrive at the park early to avoid long waiting lines at the entry and the rides. Most of the mazes and Halloween-themed rides have a wait time of up to two hours.
However, a front-of-the-line pass can shorten waiting time. In addition to this benefit, a VIP pass allows access to back lots of the studios, where visitors can explore sets.
General tickets can be purchased at a price of $69, front-of-the-line passes at $139 and VIP passes at $229.
Buying tickets online can save up to $25, depending on the day of the visit.
If carpooling is not an option, the Big Blue Bus to the underground metro line goes straight to Hollywood.