That's right..... Halloween Horror Nights. I've talked before about how I am easily scared/startled..... even in broad daylight. I've lived my entire life in Central Florida... Universal has held HHN for 19 years.... I've done everything possible to avoid it.
This year, our station has been promoting it. It's cool, but a lot of work... there's a lot that goes into it. However, there are certainly perks.... more than even I expected. A couple months ago I received an invite to a Media Party. Kind of cool, right? I've been to enough to know the whole food/drink/mingling deal. The invite also said there would be a tour after the reception. I thought, "Ok, that would be cool. Maybe we'll get to go through one of the houses and see some of the behind-the-scenes stuff." Literally, I was thinking that "the tour" would be an hour or so, tops.
Originally, when I got the invite, I was going to see if "The Guy" wanted to go. Then, he moved, lol. So, I asked Billie Jo if she was up for it. Again, we both thought we'd get a slight sneak peek and that would be it.
Friday, we both headed to Universal. The party was at The Groove.... if you've never been, it's a great club, very 'Old Hollywood.' Food was great, too, lol. To be perfectly honest, I'm not a great "mingler." I actually hate it, so I was really happy when we were all told to go outside and find our tour guides.
Billie Jo and I outside "The Groove" waiting for the tour to start.
We found a group and got our marching orders. So, it turns out that our "little tour" was actually a VIP trip through the entire experience. Our credentials (a media party nametag and super cool glow stick necklace, lol) and our tour guide (Josh) would get us to the front of every line in the park!! SCORE!
First, we were to go through all the houses. I'll be honest, I was scared to death, lol. I - Don't - Like - Being - Scared. Call it peer pressure or insanity, but I went through them. All of them! There were 8 and I only cried (silently) once, lol. We had some big guys in our group --- Billie Jo and I got really good at positioning ourselves in between them. There were some
obnoxiously drunk super classy girls in our group, as well. They screamed at EVERYTHING.... fake blood, fake dismembered bodies, fake dead animals. That stuff didn't bother me, it was always the people jumping out at me that got me.
After we got through all of the houses, we hit up 'The Simpsons Ride' and then went to see 'Bill and Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure' (front row!). SOOOOO FUNNY. Basically, they take pop culture from this year and spoof it. Twilight, Bruno, popular music, Wolverine, and more were all hit upon. Hysterical.
After the show, the rest of the group decided to call it a night. They left, so Billie Jo and I had good ole Josh all to ourselves. He took us to the rest of the rides. Since there were only two of us, he took us into the control room of the 'Men In Black' ride!!! They had like 32 cameras on 8 screens.... I loved seeing that.
We went through all of the "Scare Zones" which are just areas of the park that had some sort of theme and scary people to go with it. Those weren't so bad, except for a few people that look like regular park goers until they get right up on you and half their face is missing or something, lol.
At 1:30, we'd done everything there was to do. We still had 30 minutes before the park closed, so Josh convinced us to go through three of the houses, again.
Sadly, our time was up. I NEVER thought I'd go.... much less enjoy it. I still consider myself a scaredy cat and don't like being scared, but I was way proud of myself for doing it. As "The Guy" said on my Facebook after I said "what am I doing here?" - You get scared when the microwave dings. You're toast.
But, I wasn't. I survived, lol. Plus, the whole super VIP treatment? Totally worth going. I'm crossing my fingers that I get an invite next year!
The last three standing - me, Josh, and Billie Jo
In case you're able to go, here's my review of the houses, lol........
Wolfman - We decided that got us the best. The first time we went through it, the Wolfman flew over us and we both ducked for cover while running. The second time, we got all the way through and were almost to the exit. Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, we dropped our guard. Josh was even checking his IPhone, lol. Then, the Wolfman came running out of the woods and chased us. Poor Josh almost ended up against a wall as we pushed past him and ran out of the house, screaming, lol. He about peed his pants, laughing.
Dracula - This is the one that made me cry the first time I went through it. We actually got to see some of "the brides" walking through a backstage area as they were changing shifts, so I thought I wouldn't be bothered by them. Um, no. About 12 tears came down my face and my hands were shaking when I came out of the house, lol. There were WAY too many places for them to hide and jump out at you, lol.
Frankenstein - I was ok with this one. For whatever reason, I was more able to anticipate the jumping out. In fact, the second time I went through, I passed a guy about to jump out at me and said, "I see you!!! You can't scare me!"
Saw - Overall, I wasn't too startled by anyone in this one. However, it was the one that freaked me out the most. Just because it was stuff that could actually happen... there weren't any monsters or goblins, but people being tortured. So, that aspect was nerve-wracking.
Chucky - This one was cool, funny, and startling. It's like Toy Story gone bad, lol. I screamed several times. When what looks like a pile of stuffed animals starts running at you, it's scary, lol.
The Spawning - I don't remember a ton about this one, except that the aliens jumped out at me several times and I yelled, lol. One of them accidentally touched me (which they don't do intentionally) and I was like, "PLEASE DON'T TOUCH ME!!!!" He was like "my bad" and went back into hiding, lol.
Leave it to Cleaver - This one was more funny, lol. Nothing really got me, except the smell of raw meat.
Silver Screams - This was the premiere house.... the one that was based off the entire theme of the year. It was cool and creepy, at the same time. Personally, it was my favorite! I got scared several times, but I also enjoyed the old theater feel and walking through the old movie scenes.