It seems like only yesterday I was at Halloween Horror Nights taking selfies as Michael Myers jumped out of the Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers maze. That was already a year ago and it’s time for another season of Halloween haunts. Universal Studios did Franchise Fred proud again with a few franchise mazes and some winning mazes based on standalone movies.
House of 1,000 Corpses takes over the Waterworld stunt show this year. That’s where Halloween 4 was last year. The late Sid Haig would be proud to see all the Captain Spaldings jumping out of the darkness and hidden corners. On the way out, you’ll get sprayed with water as a a brain saw digs into a victim.
Holidayz in Hell is a completely original maze that goes from a January New Year’s toast through Leprechauns and evil Thanksgiving turkeys.
Us is not a franchise… yet. The maze begins at the Shaman’s Vision Quest Funhouse and takes you through the entire movie. Tethers jump out of the darkness to scare you, and the film’s Hands Across America theme fits Halloween Horror Nights’ ‘80s motif this year.
Right next to Us, Curse of Pandora’s Box is an original maze, but the line takes too long even if you have an Express pass. I would save it for last so you don’t miss out on any of the other mazes, but there are some cool animatronic creatures based on ancient curses.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space wasn’t a franchise but it makes a great maze with clown colors and performers acting out the sheriff in a trance. Pro Tip: Do Klowns on the way back. It lets you out by the Mummy ride anyway so you’d end up doubling back if you do it before Ghostbusters and Creepshow.
Ghostbusters is of course a franchise that keeps going with a new movie next year. This maze is based on the original 1984 movie and recaptures all the moments from “Get her!” to Slimer. They came up with some cool effects to simulate the proton beams too, and human performers play Janine and Dana.
The Universal Monsters are the biggest franchise of all with 30+ films. Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman doesn’t even cover half of them but you get to see the classic Universal monsters in color.
Creepshow is also a franchise and this maze is based on the original film, though there is a new Shudder series. Creatures burst through the pages of the comic books to scare you. The bug episode has crawling bugs thanks to digital light. They didn’t do my favorite episode with Ted Danson and Leslie Nielsen. Maybe next year.