Resident Evil – TouringPlans.com Blog http://blog.touringplans.com Disney World and Disneyland News, Tips, Crowds and Attraction information from The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Fri, 15 Dec 2017 21:00:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 http://blog.touringplans.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/cropped-t_circle_red_512_margin_transparent-32x32.png Resident Evil – TouringPlans.com Blog http://blog.touringplans.com 32 32 TouringPlans.com is well known for theme park vacation planning and information. This podcast features staff from the website discussing crowds, finances, attractions, hotels, and lots more about Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Universal Orlando, and Disney Cruise Line. Resident Evil – TouringPlans.com Blog clean episodic Resident Evil – TouringPlans.com Blog brian@touringplans.com brian@touringplans.com (Resident Evil – TouringPlans.com Blog) From the "minds" behind TouringPlans.com Resident Evil – TouringPlans.com Blog https://media.touringplans.com/podcasts/touringplans/t_circle_red_1400_margin_transparent.png http://blog.touringplans.com Afternoon Abominations: Halloween Horror Nights 23 Unmasking the Horror (Resident Evil, An American Werewolf in London, and Evil Dead) http://blog.touringplans.com/2013/10/29/afternoon-abominations-halloween-horror-nights-23-unmasking-horror/ Tue, 29 Oct 2013 16:00:08 +0000 http://blog.touringplans.com/?p=48493 By Derek Burgan

We’re continuing our review of the Unmasking the Horror tour, a lights on tour of Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) houses. Our Morning Menace tour included La Llorona, The Walking Dead: No Safe Haven, and The Cabin in the Woods. After a brief lunch, our tour picked up at 2:30PM for Afternoon Abominations and our first stop would be at Resident […]

Afternoon Abominations: Halloween Horror Nights 23 Unmasking the Horror (Resident Evil, An American Werewolf in London, and Evil Dead) is a post from the TouringPlans.com Blog. Signup for a premium subscription today! Or get news via Email, Twitter, & Facebook.

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By Derek Burgan

We’re continuing our review of the Unmasking the Horror tour, a lights on tour of Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) houses. Our Morning Menace tour included La Llorona, The Walking Dead: No Safe Haven, and The Cabin in the Woods. After a brief lunch, our tour picked up at 2:30PM for Afternoon Abominations and our first stop would be at Resident Evil: Escape From Raccoon City.

Throughout the tour we were shown little details that we never saw the night before when we toured all the houses as part of HHN. It is either too dark or we just didn’t have enough time to see everything with all the action going on around us. For example, in the opening room to Resident Evil, we never noticed this tribute to the Nightmare of Elm St. franchise that is off to the side.

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This particular street leads the nation in nightmares. A close second is SR 535 in Orlando.

Remember, you can click on any photo to see the full size original.

As wrestling fans, we were surprised to see an emergency exit plan for TNA Impact still on the soundstage’s walls. TNA stopped taping its television show on this soundstage back in March (although it is returning to tape some shows in November), but what stood out the most was this exit plan used TNA’s six sided ring as the centerpiece, a ring they haven’t used since 2010. However, that actually makes total sense knowing how TNA runs its business.

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Emergency evacuation plan for TNA wrestling. Trust me, if you’ve ever sat through one of their tapings you’ll want to know where the exits are about halfway through.

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Capcom makes the game Resident Evil, and this Aruka’s signage was a shout out to another character from their game library as it is Saruka spelled backwards. Saruka is from the popular Street Fighter series of games.

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Resident Evil: Escape From Raccoon City

We’ve mentioned before that Universal Creative likes to repurpose elements from previous HHN events. This room had a picture of “Samuel Meetz,” a character from the Leave it to Cleaver haunted house in 2009. The person playing Meetz for this photo is actually Mike Aiello, Creative Director at Universal and the man behind many projects we have seen over the years including the Frog Choir at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the Cinematic Spectacular nighttime show.

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Fun cameo by Universal Creative Director Mike Aiello

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Resident Evil: Escape From Raccoon City

One of the coolest rooms in any of the houses at HHN 23 was the “paused” room within Resident Evil. This room took the concept of pausing a video game and brought it to life in spectacular fashion. It was a “wow” moment at night, but during the tour we got to see the nuts and bolts behind how they created this impressive effect.

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A closer look reveals how Universal created the “Game Paused” room, a big hit among gaming and HHN fans.

There was a good amount of street graffiti that Universal created for this experience, this piece was one of my favorites.

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In a little known fact, street artist Banksy stopped by HHN before traveling to New York.

As we exited the house we were shown another show prop that we had no idea existed until the tour, that being a reference to the Spirit Seekers from the Legendary Truth. For those that don’t know, the Legendary Truth is an insanely immersive online and in-park interactive experience that Universal has set up for hardcore HHN fans. As part of HHN 20, the Spirit Seekers were part of a storyline for the Legendary Truth: The Wyandot Estate haunted house with the end result being they were never heard from again.

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Legendary Truth fans be on the lookout for this tribute to the Spirit Seekers.

Our next house would be the one pretty much everyone in our group was looking forward to the most, An American Werewolf in London. Our tour guide Meg did a fantastic job filling us in on many of the details that we didn’t pick up on during our HHN walk through the night before, including pointing out it’s the only house in which you don’t encounter a scareactor through the first two rooms. This lack of interaction actually built up the suspense, much like the shark not working ended up making Jaws a much better film. The anticipation of finally seeing the wolves paid off big time. However, our first stop though would be inside The Slaughtered Lamb pub.

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It begins. An American Werewolf in London

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Fans of the movie may remember why one of these darts is in the wall.

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The attention to detail is so amazing that when John Landis, the director of An American Werewolf in London, toured the house he saw a hat in the bar area and remarked, “why is that hat black? It should be brown.” Universal quickly brought in a brown hat.

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In a graveyard scene, our tour guide Meg pointed out tributes to King Kong and Jaws. This had been used last year at HHN in a streetmosphere scene, but they worked perfect here. One of my favorite parts of the tour.

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Kongrontation: RIP

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Jaws: RIP

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Jaw dropping moment.

Seeing the werewolf puppets up close was something else.

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Did you know that Woody Woodpecker is the official icon character of Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure? Strange but true.

We were led through several recreations of scenes from the Werewolf movie, including seeing a great “trick” in which the hinges of a door were on the same side as the door knob, allowing a scareactor to freak a guest out. One of the most stunning rooms to take in was the “transformation” scene. This is the only room in any of the HHN houses in which Universal shuts down both the entrance and exit while the actors inside are changing roles (I believe it’s 45 minutes on/45 minutes off). You’ll notice a lot of 70s references throughout the room.

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The transformation room.

Our next section went through a wonderful recreation of the London underground. But the highlight was this guy..

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An American Werewolf in London

Our next scene was an adult movie theater playing “See You Next Wednesday.” That’s right, a recreation of a adult movie theater within a theme park. Hide your snowflake’s eyes!

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In the movie theater there were some repurposed characters from The Thing house in 2011.

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Not sure if this was a shot from the tour or actual footage of movie goers who just realized Disney’s Planes 2 has been green lit.

Right outside the movie theater was a wonderful tribute to The Usher character. The Usher the HHN 19 icon character

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Note the arm of The Usher holding his flashlight…

Nearing the end of the house we ended up in Piccadilly Circus.

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Some of the characters in this bus were used in Alice Cooper’s Welcome to my Nightmare house at HHN 22

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Get out your sonic screwdriver.

While we were told in no uncertain terms throughout the tour that there would be no touching of the werewolf puppets, we were allowed to take pictures with the last one on our way out of the house.

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Who needs a silver bullet when you have The Guide?

Overall I would say the tour of the Werewolf house alone was worth the money of the tour. But we still had one more house left. Evil Dead. Not the good Evil Dead, the remake from earlier this year. This was the house that had me the most confused during our walkthrough during HHN, but the tour cleared up all the questions I had and actually made me want to revisit the house again to see the story unfold.

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Gigantic pages from the book of the dead kick off your entry into the house

In the Evil Dead house, you keep circling back to the same room, much like they do in the movie. We did get to pass through the bathroom, kitchen, and other rooms of the cabin as well.

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If you look close you’ll see the tape keeping the lid shut.

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This is what my kitchen would look like if my girlfriend was gone for a week or more.

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The basement was filled with dead stuffed animals. Actually one of the creepiest things in any of the houses.

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“Klaatu barada nikto!”

While I enjoyed the tour of Evil Dead because it clued me to into some of the story that I didn’t quite get during my original walk though, I still think it was the weakest of the tour. If I had one suggestions to make to Universal it would be capping off this section of the tour with An American Werewolf in London because walking out of that house you are completely blown away.

Overall the Unmasking the Horror tour was the best tour I have taken at any theme park and I’m pencilling myself in for repeating this experience every year going forward and am kicking myself for not doing one until now. I’m sure it helps having a good tour guide, and I can’t say enough good words about our guide Meg. She was there with a ton of information and answered every question we had. Seeing the props with the lights on is one thing, but getting the behind the scenes info and seeing how the entire HHN operation works takes this tour to another level. Highest recommendation possible for horror fans and theme park junkies like myself.

For more info on Unmasking the Horror tours or other RIP tours, visit HalloweenHorrorNights.com.

Special thanks to Universal NOW!’s Brandon Glover for his assistance with this article.

Afternoon Abominations: Halloween Horror Nights 23 Unmasking the Horror (Resident Evil, An American Werewolf in London, and Evil Dead) is a post from the TouringPlans.com Blog. Signup for a premium subscription today! Or get news via Email, Twitter, & Facebook.

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Morning Menace: Halloween Horror Nights 23 Unmasking the Horror Review (La Llorona, The Walking Dead, and The Cabin in the Woods) http://blog.touringplans.com/2013/10/25/morning-menace-halloween-horror-nights-23-unmasking-horror-review-la-llorona-walking-dead/ http://blog.touringplans.com/2013/10/25/morning-menace-halloween-horror-nights-23-unmasking-horror-review-la-llorona-walking-dead/#comments Fri, 25 Oct 2013 16:00:55 +0000 http://blog.touringplans.com/?p=48491 By Derek Burgan

As a big fan of Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights event, I knew after going in 2012 that I wanted to take a lights on tour of the houses as part of the Unmasking the Horror VIP tours. This year Universal broke up their tours into two sessions. The Morning Menace tour started at 10:30AM while […]

Morning Menace: Halloween Horror Nights 23 Unmasking the Horror Review (La Llorona, The Walking Dead, and The Cabin in the Woods) is a post from the TouringPlans.com Blog. Signup for a premium subscription today! Or get news via Email, Twitter, & Facebook.

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By Derek Burgan

As a big fan of Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights event, I knew after going in 2012 that I wanted to take a lights on tour of the houses as part of the Unmasking the Horror VIP tours. This year Universal broke up their tours into two sessions. The Morning Menace tour started at 10:30AM while the Afternoon Abominations tour started at 2:00PM. Each tour cost $59.99 per person-per tour, or $99.99 if you did both tours. Myself, Brandon Glover from the Universal NOW! podcast, and friend of the show Zeus Navarro signed up for both sessions.

To start the day we were directed to check in “promptly” at 10:00AM at the VIP check in lobby located next to the guest services windows at the front of Universal Studios Florida (USF). We were checking out the Royal Pacific Resort that morning and ended up running a little late, arriving at about 10:20. There was an interesting directory outside the main door with some great tributes to the history of Universal including Lew Wasserman (who has a statue in the New York section of the park and was a key figure in getting USF built) and “Leonidas Chaney,” who we know better as Lon Chaney and one of the most iconic horror movie actors of all time.

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Sign outside VIP check in at Universal Studios Florida

(Remember you can click on any picture to see the full size version of it.)

At the check in desk we received a Halloween Horror Nights 23 lanyard and our ticket. I held out on getting a lanyard for years, wondering what the point of them was but I now consider them to be an invaluable asset to touring theme parks. It is sooooooo much easier to let Universal scan the tickets (whether park admission, Express Passes, photo connect card, etc) by just holding up the lanyard than keep getting them out of your pocket.

We then went upstairs, where we walked past a couple of themed rooms. Nice little touch. I believe we were actually the last guests to enter the room where everyone was waiting.

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Themed rooms at VIP check in area

In the room we were then separated into groups of about 10-12 people, each assigned to a VIP tour guide. Meg would be our guide for the day and she was amazing. Throughout the entire day she talked about the individual houses, the USF park itself, Halloween Horror Nights history, and even the individual intellectual properties themselves (like Walking Dead,  The Cabin in the Woods.) If you take a VIP tour at Universal, Unmasking the Horror or otherwise, ask for Meg.

We walked through USF over to our first house of the tour, La Llorona, but along the way we stopped at some of the scare zones including what every Walking Dead fan knows as “Dale’s camper” in the campground section outside of Animal Actors on Location. On top of the camper, Meg pointed out the crows and told us to keep an eye out for them throughout the entire HHN experience as they can be considered an Easter Egg that Universal Creative hid throughout the houses and park.

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Meg talked to us about the various type of agreements Universal has with each of its licenses. For example, in last year’s Walking Dead there absolutely ZERO references to any actual characters on the show. This was very noticeable and one of the (several) reasons I felt the experience in HHN 22 was lacking. This year, thanks in part to Walking Dead executive producer Greg Niotero, Universal could use characters who have been “turned” but not any characters who were still alive. This is why we got to see Michonne’s walkers, the Bicycle Girl, Merle, and the Governor’s daughter Penny (among others) in HHN 23. The addition of actual recognizable characters to the event increased my enjoyment by at least a factor of 10. They could also have a little fun by making allusions to other characters, such as this marking on the iconic camper.

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For plausible deniability, this could be “Dave” and not “Dale”…

We walked backstage (no photos allowed in this area of the tour) and approached the La Llorona house. Unlike last year, where this location had the Alice Cooper: Welcome to My Nightmare house, there was a full facade set up that really added to the experience. I loved it.

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The biggest difference between this representation of a Mexican church and a real one? No wrestling masks for sale outside.

The first “scene” you walk into for La Llorona is a funeral service for dead children. One of the creepiest things I have ever seen at a theme park. The bodies were actually a bit bloated to show the effects of drowning. Great detail.

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Not even Master Pai Mei would be able to help the kid get out of this coffin

In all the houses, Meg would explain to us where the scare actors would be in scenes and how they would interact with guests. For this particular scene, “grieving” women would rise to shock the people walking through.

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Patiently waiting for the long rumored reunion of Menudo…

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Child skeleton

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At night this area is filled with water and is incredibly creepy

Meg explained that the first half of La Llorona was inspired by the Universal Hollywood version of La Llorona, as they have used the Mexican legend as a haunted house for several of their Halloween Horror Nights. The second half of the house was completely original by Universal Creative in Orlando.

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During the day this room seems innocuous. At night it is one of the best walk through parts of any of the HHN houses. Chilling and eery.

Meg talked about the areas that Scareactors hid in and how they could move around to scare guests multiple times, including using the fabled Pepper’s Ghost effect. She also showed how Universal subtly guides guests throughout the experience, keeping them out of areas they shouldn’t be in and away from scare actors. Fascinating stuff.

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Zeus shows us one of the tricks Universal uses to throw people off. The person in front of you is actually about 20 feet to your left.

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After leaving La Llorona, we continued our walk backstage into the parade building that housed Walking Dead: No Safe Haven. This was a fun walk as we got to have a peek along the way at the infrastructure Universal has behind the scenes to the keep the entire park (and HHN) running. I liked seeing the Mardi Gras floats lying in wait for Feb 8th, 2014 to roll around.

Meg talked to us about the entrance to Walking Dead being the only HHN house that had scare actors at the front before you even enter. She also explained some of the tricks Universal uses to scare the guests, such as the cage on the right hand side seemingly being complete and guests feeling confident that they can taunt the “walker” inside, only to find out one of the walls is missing. The facade itself was representing The Arena from the town of Woodbury.

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Entrance to The Walking Dead: No Safe Haven

The first room we got to see was the interrogation area, which was followed by a room that had a great homage to the scene from Season 3 in which Glenn was trapped in a room with a walker and killed it with a piece of  wood from a chair.

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Have a seat Andrea. We just have a few questions to ask…

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I can’t remember if this was a shot from the tour or my accommodations at Disney’s All Star Sports Resort

Walking through HHN at night we got to see the AWESOME effect of the Governor’s collections of heads in the fish tanks. Meg explained how Universal got to have the heads floating in water, but also so that the faces actually looked out at the guests instead of moving all around. They used little suction cups.

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Head from one of the Governor’s collection. If you look at bottom left you’ll see the suction cup that keeps it floating in the correct position.

The prison area of the Walking Dead house was a lot of fun. Throughout the tour Meg explained to us the social dynamics of HHN and how guests just love to touch stuff. Most items need to be nailed down, but one prop is actually used to trigger an effect. While in almost all cases the scare actor themselves have hidden cues they use to set up effects, one room has the rotary phone that Rick used in the Walking Dead. When a guest picks up the receiver of the phone, it sets off an audio cue of Lori talking to you.

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LOST fans should recognize the Dharma Initiative logo.

While finishing up the house in the cell block of the prison, Meg explained that the Walking Dead house needed to be able to get 2000 people per hour through the experience and what the Universal team members do – again, in subtle ways – to keep guests moving throughout the experience. We got a lot of great intel on the work it takes to keep guests constantly moving but not making them feel like they are being rushed through.

After Walking Dead, we walked back to the front of the park to visit our last house of the morning tour, The Cabin in the Woods. This was the house I was looking forward to seeing the most because it was my favorite movie of the ones used for the event (secret shame: I have yet to watch An American Werewolf in London) and it was my favorite house walking through the actual HHN experience at night. For wrestling fans, this was one of the houses used in Soundstage 21, the former (and future?) home to TNA’s Impact Zone.

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A crow welcomes us to The Cabin in the Woods house

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Even before you enter the house the body count starts. And we all know who had to go first…

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The first room of the house is a recreation of the main room and kitchen of the cabin in which the kids spent time in. Meg talked to us about Universal taping up screen shots from the films licensed for HHN and tape them up all over the house to try to get as close to movie-acurate as they can.

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One of my absolute FAVORITE things that I only knew about because of the tour was Universal Creative making 20 Penny Circus beer bottles as set decoration. 20 Penny Circus was an act that played at HHN 22 in 2012, and one that I really enjoyed.

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Some people loved the werewolf puppets, but this was my favorite prop in HHN 23

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This is why we can’t have nice stuff. We ruin things for no reason. Right, painting of Tony Baxter?

We were led through several rooms of the cabin, but down in the basement is where business really picked up. This was the room which had all the items in the which the characters in the movie would use to trigger a particular horror archetype to come kill them.

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An interactive queue as designed by Rob Zombie

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While not said in the movie, a film strip from these reels would have triggered Kevin, the normal looking Best Buy employee who dismembers people

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The Conch which would have called The Merman

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Patience Buckner’s diary, whose Latin passage unleashes the Zombie Redneck Torture Family. Also pictured, the totem which would have triggered Len Testa and the rest of the Vampiric Analytical Team

We eventually made our way to the elevator scene, which was pound for pound my favorite scene of any house in HHN 23 when I toured the event at night. An awesome experience. The elevator room is pretty damn creepy during the day as well.

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Most houses at HHN use about 7 gallons of blood. The Cabin in the Woods used 15!

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The Big Board. So many shout outs to classic horror movies.

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Merman in action. “Oh come on!”

The carnage continues for several more rooms with some great looks at characters including Jack Schmidt, one of the iconic Halloween Horror Nights characters created by Universal.

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During HHN nights a scare actor is among this gang

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Repurposed character from The Thing house that was a part of HHN 21 in 2011

That was it for the first half of our tour. It lasted about  2 hours and 15 min. We were allowed to take as many pictures as we wanted but no video was allowed. An absolutely insanely awesome experience and I already knew I’d be doing Unmasking the Horror tours every year from this point on. The group split up for lunch and would meet back by the Barnyard Hot Dog food station by the Twister attraction at 2:00PM to continue with Afternoon Abominations where we would tour Resident Evil: Escape From Raccoon City, Evil Dead, and most people’s favorite HHN house of all time, An American Werewolf in London. To Be Continued….

Morning Menace: Halloween Horror Nights 23 Unmasking the Horror Review (La Llorona, The Walking Dead, and The Cabin in the Woods) is a post from the TouringPlans.com Blog. Signup for a premium subscription today! Or get news via Email, Twitter, & Facebook.

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