Knowing that Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights has the largest budget of any haunt in the country would theoretically give them an advantage over all the competition. However, year after year HHN falls behind in their designs- recycling idea after idea- prop after prop. It’s a predictable, organized mess. People are confused everywhere. The lines are hours long. The haunts themselves are constantly revealing distracting open ceilings where you can look up at the cheap tent covering. Around every single corner a loud sound happens and a light flashes as the themed character pops open the window or a trap door- this becomes mundane after a dozen or so times. These observations, when mixed with lines that are so long most people only do two mazes a night, make this one of the least recommended haunts every single season.
It’s not all bad though. HHN has the money to officially license a few cool franchises every year. While most of time this is reaaaly bad (an example would be 2015’s “This is the End” maze) they got it right this year with Kubrick’s classic film “The Shining”. This maze is really fun and a great example of another one of HHN’s redeeming qualities: costuming and makeup. HHN’s makeup and styling team is unmatched in its flawless quality of work.
Our advice would be to slightly lower the amount of ticket sales in exchange for a more enjoyable customer experience. Also, opening Harry Potter World to thin out the already overcrowded park would create a better evening for all. Lastly, John Murdy and his corny ego gets in the way of everyone being able to do a good job. The enormous set of titles he has given himself is proof of this (director, director of creative development, and exec show producer). His claim to have revitalized HHN is meaningless because anything with that large of a budget would sell out no matter what.
We left after a few hours and felt neither inspired nor disappointed. If you want the most normalized, popular haunt experience then this is it. Otherwise hold out for ANYTHING else that you can attend in the upcoming weeks.
Haunts of LA
September 28, 2017