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Blessed be our New Founding Fathers for bringing back Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood. Eager to return after missing out last season, our terrors of the night frightfully scream loud enough to wake the dead.
The 2021 season resurrects a few classics in new locations and new experiences. Michael Myers, Leatherface, The Exorcist, The Walking Dead, and Bride of Frankenstein come together with Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House for scary fun. Parents should be aware this special ticket event is not recommended for children as this will be a much bloodier experience than the daytime operation.
The Universal Plaza has been transformed into a Day of the Dead Celebration. The wide-open space is ready with specialty snacks, drinks, games, and colorful backdrops.
The scare maze located nearest the park entrance is Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. Despite having a Halloween-themed maze in previous years, 2021 offers a new take on an old favorite.
Taking over the previous location of Universal Monsters comes a semi-follow-up found in Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein LIVES. Enter inside an oversized illustrated storybook that outlines the plot of the scenes guests will partake in. It appears not only does the Bride want to resurrect a lover, but must do battle with vampires to volunteer in her experiments.
The one other scare zone in the park beside the entrance is at the exit of this Universal Monsters maze.
A new path has revealed itself past the gates of The Wizarding World leading to a new and welcomed backstage location for two mazes. The Curse of Pandora’s Box returns from 2019. This original maze transport guests from a dusty curios shop to a backlit supernatural realm.
The neighboring attraction is Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House. Not being familiar with the series myself, this was still a dark and moody walk through the creepy hallways. Many of the walls reveal ghostly encounters. This is a very accessible maze to be scared in for those concerned about not understanding any references to the series it’s based on.
Jabbawockeez returns with their hip-hop dance performances. Nothing anything special if you want anything Halloween. But for those that need a 20-minute break from horror, this is a sufficient high-energy show that focuses on music and dance.
With two mazes in their new location behind the Wizarding World, this allows the Terror Tram to return for The Ultimate Purge. Trams drive guests to a Purge Party that supposedly provides and fun and safe place until the annual Purge concludes. But that is not the case as it would seem. After its debut in 2015, the Purge is back for more. Not as many chain link fences and utilizing wide open show scenes. And good news, Norman Bates is waiting for a picture with you at the Psycho house. Bringing back the Terror Tram makes a lot of sense as it is essentially a long outdoor scare zone.
The Lower Lot sizzles up returning mazes, new refreshments, and extra seating. A Leatherface-themed BBQ smokes up the smells of a tasty dinner. Isla Nu-bar mixes up specialty drinks which can also be found at an outdoor lounge following a green-lit stairway upstairs. No scare zones here perhaps as to not clog up the congested walkway.
Approaching either side of the Transformer Ride entrance are the maze entrances for The Exorcist and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Although reworking most of what was seen from its 2016 debut, the black hallways had scares laid out that didn’t feel lackluster. It was here that we noticed most of the scare mazes didn’t use a lot of curtains and hanging corpses that guests would normally bypass. It was actually less annoying and let us enjoy the mazes more.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has made a number of appearances to Halloween Horror Nights, the maze design still serves up a fresh plate. Just being able to have the Halloween season back just puts everyone in a good mood.
While the Jurassic Park: The Ride queue was used for scare mazes before, the popularity of Jurassic World: The Ride naturally prevents a maze from being built here for the time being.
The Walking Dead scare maze attraction arises with no noticeable changes inside. The entrance outside was redesigned with The Secret Life of Pets nearing completion.
Horror Nights seasonal merchandise is available to remember the scariest moments from your terror-filled evening.
Universal Studios Hollywood brings to life one of Southern California’s most immersive Halloween events. Halloween Horror Nights 2021 is open on select nights now until Oct 31. Tickets are available for purchase by clicking here.