My friends think I am a big scaredy cat, and I guess I am. I can barely watch scary movies without covering my eyes and the thought of going through one let alone several haunted mazes at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights almost gave me a small panic attack, but on Saturday, I faced a good chunk of my fears and me, Harold, Rona, Astrid, Lena, Liz, and some of Liz’s cousins went to the theme park to get scared. Spoiler alert: We got scared.
[[Terror Tram: Invaded by The Walking Dead]]
We started the night by heading over to the Terror Tram, which starts at the queue for the Universal Backlot Tour. After a short ride on the tram, you are dropped off to make your excursion through the various lots with random zombies popping out to drag you into the bushes and feast on your organs. The Terror Tram closes earlier than the other attractions, so it was good to get this one out of the way first and it was also a good first step into handling the rest of the night since it was outside and not too scary. I do admit that I may have hit the ground one or two times in fear, but it was fun. A lot of walking and a bit crowded at times, but fun.
[[Transformers: The Ride]]
Transformers is the newest ride that they added to Universal Studios and considering that I haven’t been to this theme park since I was in middle school, this was my first time experiencing it. The only thing I knew about it before going on the ride was that it was similar to Disneyland’s Star Tours but I think Transformers is muuuch better. You definitely get the whole 3D experience while you sit in your car move along with what is occurring on screen. When things are flying at you, it really looks like they are flying at you and you have to cover your face in hopes that your arms can protect your head from being knocked off by a huge hunk of metal. Plus, there’s so many buttons to press in line.
[[Welcome to Silent Hill]]
I’ve never played any of the Silent Hill games or watched the Silent Hill movie, but I have a very basic familiarity with some of the characters like the nurses and Pyramid Head. This was the first real maze of the night and I was scared, even though I think I was in the middle of the group. While I could see some of the monsters coming up, the loud noises and bright flashes that accompanied their quick movements made me forget that anticipation and left me incredibly frightened. Even when I got outside, the exit led to the SIlent Hill scare zone where the characters were still walking around trying to rouse up some scares.
[[Jurassic Park In The Dark]]
I feel like Jurassic Park is THE ride of Universal Studios (with the exception of the Backlot Tour, though it’s not really a “ride”, right?). As everything else changes, with the E.T. and Backdraft disappearing over the years, the Jurassic Park ride has stayed and the movie is still a part of common pop culture. Kids know what Jurassic Park is, but I doubt even some adults remember that Backdraft was a thing. I definitely didn’t. Anyway, for Halloween Horror Nights, they advertise the ride as Jurassic Park In the Dark because, well, that’s basically what it is. Whereas Disneyland has its Jungle Cruise continue until the park closes around midnight, Universal Studios tends to close pretty early so riding Jurassic Park under the night sky isn’t that common the rest of the year. I think they decreased the water level since it was the evening and I doubt most people would like to be involved in a big splash when it is so cold out, but they didn’t turn off the other water features (like the spitting dinosaurs and the random waterfalls that the boat would go under) so we all still got pretty wet.
[[The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Saw is the Law]]
One thing I forgot to mention when I talked about the Silent Hill maze was the smell. There was this bathroom room in the maze that was horrible and I was glad that it was just a quick walk into another room to escape that stench. Well, the they worked on the smells for the Texas Chainsaw Massacre too since the first room in the house with all the animals totally just smelled like meat. And not the kind you’d want to salivate over. It was gross. And this whole maze was gross and scary. I don’t think the monsters running around with chainsaws in the Scare Zones bother me too much for some reason, but I guess the environment within the maze helped to make them more menacing.
[[The Walking Dead: Dead Inside]]
After all the walking we did throughout the night, we were very exhausted, but we wanted to make sure we got to this maze. We started the night with The Walking Dead and we ended the night with The Walking Dead. By this time, it was only me, Harold, Rona, Liz, and Astrid left and while we were in line, Harold made a very philosophical observation in that even though we were planning to avoid the Walking Dead zombies in the maze, we had already become the walking dead ourselves by slowly and wearily trudging through this line. This was the scariest and my FAVORITE maze of the night. Liz and I took the front of our group and our screams fed each other. Zombies would pop out of windows and walls and the final room with multiple zombies reaching out for you made me just want to run out and keep running.
So yes, my first Halloween Horror Night at Universal Studios was a lot of fun and I can understand why people would pay to be scared now. Before we went, my friends unanimously decided that I would probably be the first person to cry, but I am glad to admit that did not happen at all! I’m already excited to see what kind of themes and mazes they will have next year.
It’s Halloween month and this was a great way to get me started into a more festive mood.