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Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights delivered large crowds as fright fans lined up to enter Friday’s opening night. The night premiered soon after celebrities walked on the blood red carpet and into the horror-driven haven. Previous problems of tight spaces on the lot and lengthy wait times seemed to be worked out, it showed by the open-spaces and shorter wait times of the night. Universal Studio’s have a tight grip on the concept of frights and terror as this year’s haunts, and scare zones, look to be promising to horror fanatics.

Universal’s new 2015 lineup include: “Crimson Peak,” “The Walking Dead,” “This is the End 3D,” “Insidious,” “Halloween,” “AVP: Alien vs. Predator,” “Terror Tram: Survive the Purge,” and an original performance by award-winning, Jabbawockeez.

Insidious: Return to the Further -­­ This maze did a great job at capturing the creepiness of the Insidious triology. The set design was that of the Lambert family’s unnerving Victorian home. The décor and details captured from the films set an eerie and mystic tone. With more unexpected hideout areas, it delivered more back-to-back scares than any other maze of the night.

Halloween Horror Nights

Photo by David Sprague

Crimson Peak: Maze of Madness – Inspired by filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro’s upcoming Universal film, this maze offered a three-dimensional replica of the film. The long spine-chilling hallways and beautiful details will leave you feeling like you have just walked into the movie set of the creepy, yet elegant, gothic mansion. The devil is in the details, which is why this had to be my favorite of the night. Also, I should add that there was a particular point in this maze that looked so real it caused me to stop in my tracks and let a few people go ahead (don’t judge, judgers).

The Walking Dead: Wolves Not Far- The walking dead maze returns with a new revamped look that takes you back to the bloody mess at Terminus. I think there was so many dismembered bodies to see that there were not as many zombies or scares as I had anticipated. If you’re a fan of the series, like me, I think you’ll appreciated how much of the storyline was included throughout the maze. It is definitely worth checking out, however, I would recommend making this the first maze of the night as it continues to be the one with the longest wait times.

Halloween Horror Nights

Halloween Horror Nights mazes 2015. Photo by David Sprague

This is the End 3D- A comedic twist on horror has arrived in the first-ever horror-comedy maze, based on the comedy starring James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill. This 3D adventure takes you through a colorful and bright world between the gates of heaven and the bounds of hell. The 3D glasses play into the visual tricks and effects this maze throws at you. The use of camouflage and demons in this maze was fun and entertaining. Overall, this did make me jump and giggle throughout so I would say that it is a success.

Jabbawockeez show – The announcement of their performance came with mixed reactions. Few had voiced their opinion that the Jabbawockeez having a show at Halloween Haunt did not seem to be fitting to the event. As a fan of theirs, I had high expectations for this show, and I believe they exceeded them. The choreography was humorous, fun, entertaining and current. I do wish they would have incorporated some horror elements but it was interactive and had me wanting to sing and dance along with them. This show is definitely worth checking out, you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll enjoy it.


Photo by Rocio Maciel/M.U.S.E.

Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights kicked off September 18th and will continue to run, on selected nights, through November 1st. To purchase your tickets and front of the line passes you can visit

Author’s note: Unfortunately, due to time constraints and my delicious Krusty burger, I was unable to go through the terror tram and the “Halloween: Michael Myers Comes Home” maze. However, I have been hearing rave reviews about both so make sure to add them to your list as well.

Halloween Horror Nights

Halloween Horror Nights mazes 2015. Photo by David Sprague