Halloween Horror Nights 32 - Orlando (Sept 23)

Not a race, just a vacation!  To be fair during our week in Orlando, we did walk about 100k including a 25k evening at HHN, so this is still an endurance-based event report.

We had five nights at Freddy's HHN this year, after a brilliant one night visit in 2022 encouraged us to 'do it properly' this time.  The element that caused us to pull the trigger was the addition of a Last of Us House.  This House, one of ten, would be based on the original game and specifically the Pittsburgh section (start the plane).  Since that announcement was in June, we were also able to book Aventura (onsite Universal hotel) and direct flights for a great price.  I bought the Rush of Fear pass for the event, five nights cost $180 (can be used for 18 nights, in our case 180/5 = $36 per night). 

There are loads of extras and upgrades for HHN, I booked both Unmasking the Horror tours, a lights on guided day tour of either six or three Houses.  I also bought Express for one night which we upgraded to Unlimited Express on the event day.  Crowds were predicted to be high this year after high profile IPs Chucky, Stranger Things and TLoU were included.  Spoiler - crowds were indeed batshit crazy.

Each House is like a little movie set with scare actors positioned throughout.  Here are the 2023 Houses in the order I enjoyed them most: 

Stranger Things 4  (5 walk throughs) - I felt like I was in the show, actors were amazing especially Dustin and Eddie near the end.  Demobats!  Vecna!  Eleven!

Exorcist Believer  (6) - A living trailer for the upcoming movie.  Terrifying.  You haven't lived until one of those possessed girls comes at you from halfway up a wall.  Spoiler, there are 2 of them.  I bought tickets to the movie based entirely on this.

The Last of Us  (4) - Contained sets with Joel's crashed truck and the house sniper, also a fantastic corridor of fungus and cordyceps spores drifting down.  Actors were magnificent, I loved the clickers, I adored the bloaters and Joel/Ellie were so so good.  The set was a little generic otherwise.  The queue was just awful, long route in even longer route back out.  I wish this had been better placed.

Yeti Campground Kills (6) - Nonstop campy awesome hairy scary fun.  Special appearance by a bear for extra shitting-yourselfness and a snake in the shitter.  On each run through at least one Yeti surprised me somewhere.  **awarded House of the Year.

Monsters Unmasked  (3) - Supposed to be in the Paris Catacombs but it wasn't.  Amazing actors, intense and frequent scares.  Phantom, Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Invisible Man and the Hunchback (never a monster in my opinion). Hellish queue again otherwise we'd have done it more.  

Dr Oddfellow's Twisted Origins  (3) - A perfect dark murdery circus, loved the theme and actors.  Dr Oddfellow is a treat and appears a few times, loved him.  Take my soul.

Bloodmoon Dark Offerings  (4) - Gorgeous stunning set of a colonial village complete with maypole (and intestinal accessories).  So much detail.  Not quite as scary as it could have been after actors added.

Darkest Deal  (3) - Gorgeous set again, very earthy.  Fantastic scares loved the blues/Mississippi theme. 

Chucky  (3) - Just loads of madness.  Never my favourite movie and I'm not watching the TV show.  Some great effects in here.  Do it for fun.

Dueling Dragons  (3) - Four endings, Merlin with a man bun, dragons.  Looked like a dinner show in Vegas.  People who were not me loved this as it's based off the queue for the former coaster. 

Orlando had five Intellectual Property Houses and five originals.  There were scare zones throughout the park, each with a tie in to Dr Oddfellow.  Nightmare Fuel was the live show, picture fire, acrobatics, dancing, EDM and BDSM.  There was an elusive horde of dancing M3GANS (very elusive), and Death Eaters were roaming Diagon Alley.  I missed David S Pumpkins sadly. 

Every year there are specialty food choices in themed booths, this year the Left Behind Ravioli (in a ration can) and Cordyceps Corndog were highlights for The Last of Us, Stranger Things had Yuri's Favourite peanut butter/choc dessert and Try Before you Deny pizza.  Chucky had....orange things.  I love this aspect of the event.  It's incredibly fun.  Did I mention the themed cocktails in blinky cups?  Below is the Rotten as Chuck, a lovely sour beverage with a gummy apple.

Total House walk throughs in 5 days = 40.  We also visited Studios and Islands of Adventure during the days which made me a very tired person at the end of the trip.  It was wonderful though and if you get the chance to visit HHN, do it. 

While we were in Orlando we watched a couple of videos from Hollywood HHN and it looked fantastic, especially The Last of Us so you can probably guess what happened next.  It is much closer to us after all.


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