Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) 2012 at Universal Studios Halloween is bigger and better than ever, with impressive new mazes, as revealed in our photos and review of opening night, along with scare zones, shows, and rides.
Halloween Horror Night 2012 Review
This year’s HHN builds on last year’s success, though notably featuring six (yes, six) mazes, one more than last year! In 2011, there was just one maze in the lower level, but now there are two! The lines were a bit shorter, and we think the new maze may be the reason. We’re confident that without front of the line passes, there’s no way to hit every maze. Kudos to HHN for this expansion!!!
Texas Chainsaw Massacre Maze
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre had one of the longest lines, though for good reason. Just walking in to this creepy house makes you wonder where the dead bodies are. The stench of rotting corpses fills the air, giving your gag reflex a bit of a workout, with just a hint of musky, leather-esk smell to give you goosebumps. This down the hill maze will creep you out as you’re invited to dinner with one of the strangest fellows with a stare that you can’t look away from. This could have been a bit longer and the music was a bit too loud, so we give this an A-.
Alice Cooper Goes To Hell 3D
Last year’s Rob Zombie’s House of 1,000 Corpses: In 3D ZombieVision has been converted to Alice Cooper Goes to Hell in 3D. This was one of our favorites as the vibrant colors come to life in your 3D glasses, which add a pleasant dizziness to the experience. The glasses also block your vision, which gives the monsters even more opportunity to freak you out. Have you ever seen a go-go dancer fly over their cage in 3D? Now you can! This maze is plenty long, and with cool colors flying off the wall. Don’t give the mad scientist too much attention, or he may just show you the brain parts he’s picking off living bodies in his disgusting science experiment. We give this one an A!
Universal Monsters Remix
With famous dubstep artist Skrillex providing the music, we have no idea why the line for this one wasn’t longer than 10 minutes as the length and quality of the maze was superb. This maze snakes through long passage ways, above enormous rooms and through dark areas as the Universal characters come alive. One of the crowd favorites was Chucky, though perhaps the scariest will catch you near the end as giant (and we do mean giant) monster lurks in the forest. We give this one an A-.
The only A+ of the night goes to the Terror Tram, which begins much like the back lot tour with a short ride on one of the large trams. That’s where the similarities end. Unlike that other theme park famous for Halloween in Southern California, this theme park has massive swaths of space to use for their Halloween attraction, and they use it!
Once you step off the tram, you quickly find out that the back lot security guards are not as nice as you might imagine, armed with chain saws and covered in masks. If you make it past them, you’ll find yourself in a quiet, spooky walk through a trail that goes on for about a quarter mile, through hills, near a ship wreck, and adjacent to a haunted house (extra line, if you choose). The best two characters that set the mood of this backwoods area more common in the Inland Empire, but not so much in LA, was the camper with just enough light on the dead body out front to let know you shouldn’t get any closer. This tied with the axe murderer, whose victim was crying for help (but we wouldn’t recommend offering any help with this murderer around).
The line was about 15 minutes the night we dropped by, though it will likely grow throughout the season. Don’t miss this one, and be sure to check this out before it closes (which is earlier than other mazes).
Three More Mazes
We also visited La Llorna. Although it has changed since we visited last year, check our review of last year’s HHN. We didn’t make it into the Walking Dead and Welcome to Silent Hill, but the lines and reviews from others in the park suggest these are top notch. It just isn’t possible to cover this park in one night with six mazes and the terror tram, plus shows and rides. This is certainly an Halloween attraction to visit very year, or even twice in one season.
Unlike some other Halloween events in SoCal, Universal is a full time theme park, with some great rides. We checked out the Simpsons and Revenge of the Mummy (try the single rider line- straight to the front), both great attractions. The new Transformers ride had a 45 minute (single rider) to 3 hour (normal rider) wait, so we skipped this. The Universal staff said this line was highly unusual, and they had no idea why so many people flooded the ride.
Halloween Horror Nights 2012 Map
Halloween Horror Nights 2012 Tickets
Tickets range from the mid-$40 range to over $100 for VIP and Front of the Line tickets. Buy your tickets in advance, online and save around $20! HHN runs from September 21, 2012 to Halloween evening on October 31, 2012.
We give this year’s experience an A+, with Universal sparing no expense to make sure they provide a top-notch venue. We confirmed why Universal and Knott’s are tied in our mind as the best Halloween attractions in Southern California. HHN is certainly the more Hollywood production with special effects you would see in million dollar productions.
For more information, check out halloweenhorrornights.com.
Halloween Horror Night 2012 Photos