The 25th anniversary of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida is quite an achievement, and it's wonderful to see the park celebrating the milestone.
Year year's mix of original attractions that contain throwbacks to popular scares of the past 25 years is especially nice, evenly mixed with popular intellectual properties that are on the big screen today.
In all, Halloween Horror Nights 25 will offer 9 mazes, 5 scare zones and 2 live shows.
Going over the original content first, one of the most anticipated mazes is Jack Presents 25 Years of Monsters & Mayhem. Hosted by former event host Jack, the house will feature both classic Universal monsters and famous characters from the last 25 years of Halloween Horror Nights and revived scenes from some of the best and most popular mazes.
RUN: Blood, Sweat and Fears is based on the premise of being on a twisted game show where participants have to run for their lives... with poor results to be expected. The maze is based on two previous RUN houses, featured many years ago.
Body Collectors - Recollections is another throwback to previous houses under the same name. The famous body collector are out once again, this time looking for parts in Shadybrook Asylum.
Finally we have Asylum in Wonderland 3D, a bright and trippy visit into the world of Alice, where things have taken an even darker turn than in the familiar tale.
Most of the major movie-tie in themes were announced previously, but to do a little recap here they are. We'll have a Freddy vs. Jason maze which should be quite a battle to head through, and of course a very large The Walking Dead: The Living and the Dead maze that follows this past season's storyline, and an Insidious house that covers all three films.
The Purge has been used before at the event, but this year will be the theme of its own house. Finally, the park announced that the American Werewolf In London maze, a huge hit in 2013, will be coming back for an encore at this year's event.
The park's five scarezones all sound quite interesting this year, and include Psychoscareapy - Unleashed where a van of crazies from Shadybrook Asylum have escaped, and Icons - HHN which will feature some of the biggest and best icons that have ever hosted the event. Another great looking scare zone is Evil's Roots, which appears to be using some 'traditional' Halloween characters, like simple scarecrows, in frightening ways.
Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure will be back taking aim at pop culture again this year, and Jack's "The Carnage Returns" show will prove he always gets the last laugh.
For more details on Halloween Horror Nights 25, check out the event's official website.
Knott's Scary Farm is back this year and is also bringing back popular mazes and scare zones along with several new attractions. In total there will be 11 mazes, 3 scare zones and 2 live shows.
One of the bigger surprises of this year's lineup is the return of the use of the Calico Mine Ride as a scare attraction, this year named My Bloody Clementine. Riders will travel through the mine where Clementine and her father were murdered, and their ghosts are out for revenge.
Another new maze will be Paranormal Inc. - Case #13 The Haunting of Hayden Hill. Visitors will enter a dilapidated hospital where patients were secretly tortured by staff for years. Both the spirits of the victims and the demented staff will be on hand to hunt visitors, and Knott's promises plenty of "high flying aerial stunts and scares" in the maze.
Announced earlier, The Dead of Winter is the final new maze this year. An evil Snow Queen has an army of Viking warriors and is out for blood, eliminating anyone who enters her frozen domain. The maze will be the brightest the park has ever done, contrasting white, black and of course blood red. Sounds like an interesting approach, for sure.
The park will also bring back a host of popular mazes, many with new additions, longer sections, and newly designed Skeleton Key rooms. The park's three popular scare zones, Carnevil, Fiesta De Los Muertos and the Ghost Town streets will also be back.
Live entertainment is also a big part of Scary Farm, and The Hanging will take on the biggest news of the year once again, especially taking some fun jabs at fellow Southern California attractions. Once again the real Elvira can only be seen at Knott's this fall, in her own show called "Elvira's Asylum," a mix of comedy, music and dance.
To read more about this year's Knott's Scary Farm, click here.