Sunday, October 10, 2021

Mulliga's Monstrous Halloween - Halloween Horror Nights 30

Not even the pandemic can stop spooky spirits and ghastly ghouls forever! Halloween is back, and I'm celebrating with a set of monstrous posts. Today, let's return to Florida's #1 haunted attraction, Universal Studios Orlando Halloween Horror Nights, now in its 30th year...

Universal didn't hold HHN last year, but the event brings in so much money that you knew it wouldn't be gone for long. This year's tagline, "Never Go Alone," acknowledges the isolation everyone's been feeling, but also hints at the villainous team-up promised in one of the big featured houses, "HHN Icons: Captured."

My friends and I liked that one okay, but my favorites this year were the Lovecraftian house "Case Files Unearthed" (you step "into the shoes of Boris Shuster, a hard-boiled private eye investigating the supernatural"), the plant-themed "The Wicked Growth: Realm of the Pumpkin," and "Puppet Theatre: Captive Audience" (it's got evil puppets).  That last one was particularly fun because we got to walk through when the park was closing, so there was no else with us - the optimal way to experience any HHN house.

In terms of crowds, there was a slight drop-off from the absurd peak levels of HHN past, but we still did our fair share of people-dodging and waiting in line. There are plastic dividers in the houses to prevent the scare-actors from getting too close, but if you're still skittish about being out in public, wear an N95 mask and get your are going to be in fairly close proximity with a bunch of strangers for 7 hours.  That being said, it felt almost like a "normal" year of HHN, and I'm glad I went.


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