Universal Orlando is bringing the terror of Halloween Horror Nights 2012 to every dark corner of the park, ensuring each guest has more than ample encounters with what’s been dubbed the Legions of Horror. From warriors to vampires to zombie hoards to chainsaw-wielding female inmates, the streets of Universal Studios Florida will soon be overrun with the intention of scaring everyone who passes through.
I recently spoke with Laura Wallace, show director for the all-new street experience for Halloween Horror Nights 22, who walked me through each of the types of creatures that will fill the event when it opens next Friday, September 21. In the video below, learn all about how Universal Orlando has moved beyond scare zones of the past into the park wide thrills of this year.
Video: Show director Laura Wallace details Halloween Horror Nights 22 street experience
The emphasis of Halloween Horror Nights 22 is that nowhere is safe and many have wondered just how extensive that claim is. Just where, if anywhere, will guests be able to be able to escape the screams? Streets? Nope. Sidewalks? Not a chance. Restaurants? Not gonna happen. Bathrooms…? Wallace told me, “Let’s just say we’ll wait and see.” Creepy.
Beyond these Legions of Horror that will be roaming the park, never passing along the same path twice, Wallace also noted an important tie-in to The Walking Dead, which is prominently featured at this year’s event in a haunted house. In the San Francisco area of the park, guests should watch for scareactor shift changes, which take place every 45 minutes. It is during this moment that zombies, or “walkers,” that are already dragging their decrepit corpses around the streets will meet up with a fresh batch of festering freaks and for a few moments unleash sheer terror on guests as a massive zombie hoard. Don’t miss it.
And Wallace is particularly proud of the new female group of chainsaw ghouls this year. Normally reserved for muscular men, a band of escaped prisoners – all women – will be terrorizing the park with the instantly-recognizable sounds and smells of roaring machinery.
There are many reasons behind Universal’s desire to try something new in the streets this year. Their goal is to scare and they don’t want to be limited to the same formula of “scare zones” each year. There will still be set pieces and plenty of eerie ambiance throughout the park, but due to the introduction of Universal’s Superstar Parade, those sets needed to be portable, able to move out of the way during the day to make way for the show, then moved back in place for the nighttime event. This allowed the creative team to come up with a new direction for the street scares, which will still be plentiful.
Here are a few photos showing off some of the Legions of Horror characters that will haunt Halloween Horror Nights 22 at Universal Orlando:
(Photos by Michael Gavin)