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Halloween Horror Nights 30 Speculation Thread (2020)

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Brian G.

Editor-in-Chief
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 21, 2008
20,741
Orlando, FL
This thread is to discuss what we could expect at Halloween Horror Nights 30. After last year's issues, we are going to handle this thread very strictly. We ask that all speculation comes from realistic expectations and adds to the discussion.

DISCLAIMER: This thread contains discussion centered around rumors and sometimes could include baseless speculation, and should be treated as such. Posts are not confirmations. Any official announcements for HHN 30 will be shared on our main site, InsideUniversal.net

Will HHN 30 be canceled by COVID? It's too early to tell, but probably not. Information is changing daily, and we're seemingly on a downward trend than what was expected. I know there is a contingency plan in place in case we get to that point, as any smart business should have set for the rest of the year - but it is not expected. We're a little over 5 months out and a lot can change. Hell, things have changed from last week so...

Bottom line: I would anticipate HHN happening. Will there be impacts? Probably, yes. You'll probably see pulsing done. Less SIF (stuff in face). It's also possible you could see fewer actors in the streets.

This is an unprecedented time for all, especially the parks. They are taking it one day at a time, just like us. While it's scary to have so much up in the air, we shouldn't let the default response become the most severe.
 
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Brian G.

Editor-in-Chief
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 21, 2008
20,741
Orlando, FL
To piggyback - since it's Day 1 of Speculation, we understand there's going to be a bit of "carte blanche" for the initial discussion. Just please understand, there will be periods where there is no speculation or news, and that's OK. When there's something to discuss, there will be something to discuss. We're trying to avoid the whole "Throw all IPs at the Wall" discussion.
 

horrornights789

Veteran Member
Jul 8, 2017
3,125
Based off the formula of every year since 24 the IPs all follow a pattern:

- Crowd Attracter(TWD, AHS, ST)
- Classic(Poltergeist, Shining, Ghostbusters)
- Modern IP(Blumhouse, Saw, Us)
- Cult Classic(AvED, KKFOS, TrT)
- 1-2 Miscellaneous(H4, HO1C, UCM)

I think for 30 the likeliest of the IPs are gonna be Jordan Peele’s Candyman and mayybe The Haunting and Beetlejuice based off of Hollywood. Betting we’ll see an IP house return from the 2010s decade as the 11th house if the count increases a la AWiL in 25.

As for originals, I feel like anything is fair game. I would not be shocked to see Castle Vampyr, Scarecrow, Icons, or Slaughter Sinema get sequels though. An anniversary house will likely happen too
 

Lucky Planet

Veteran Member
Sep 23, 2013
2,688
Based off the formula of every year since 24 the IPs all follow a pattern:

- Crowd Attracter(TWD, AHS, ST)
- Classic(Poltergeist, Shining, Ghostbusters)
- Modern IP(Blumhouse, Saw, Us)
- Cult Classic(AvED, KKFOS, TrT)
- 1-2 Miscellaneous(H4, HO1C, UCM)

I think for 30 the likeliest of the IPs are gonna be Jordan Peele’s Candyman and mayybe The Haunting and Beetlejuice based off of Hollywood. Betting we’ll see an IP house return from the 2010s decade as the 11th house if the count increases a la AWiL in 25.

As for originals, I feel like anything is fair game. I would not be shocked to see Castle Vampyr, Scarecrow, Icons, or Slaughter Sinema get sequels though. An anniversary house will likely happen too

why Beetlejuice ( based off of Hollywood)?
 

Brian G.

Editor-in-Chief
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 21, 2008
20,741
Orlando, FL
Based off what I've heard from 29:
  • AoV continues to satisfy guests.
  • The big IPs did not deliver as anticipated.
  • Guests want scary. Fun houses have their place, but not when a majority of the event line-up leans heavy on it (no matter how much gore you add elsewhere)
  • Zones need work.
Based off my expectations:
  • The 80's were fun, but it's time to move on.
  • A big IP, a few smaller IPs (Either a Universal pic, A&D favorite, etc) but mostly originals.
  • An 11th house, probably a repeat.
  • Hire those who want to work, not be seen.
  • Don't go all-in on the anniversary year. Acknowledge the past, but also kick off the next decade (especially since "new" leadership)
 

GA-MBIT

Rookie
Jun 16, 2017
441
Haines City, FL
I said before I'm most likely not going to participate in spec this year but I might as well put my two cents in about 30 just to see what ends up sticking.

PREDICTIONS:

-New Halloween house based off Blumhouse 2018 remake + later scenes in the house based off Halloween Kills.
-Zombieland gets Trick R' Treatment into full comedy house.
-We finally see the return of either Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th. Not both.
-Anniversary house features Scarecrows, Yetis, and some inventive Icon scenes. Will include some kind of reference to Slaughter Sinema (besides the yeti's obviously.)
-Might also feature Grinners from Graveyard Games and Franks from Monsters but I'm not nearly as confident about those.
-Jordan Peele's Candyman
-Only 10 houses again.
-Better management with reserves than last year due to a close eye being kept on making sure incidents like the lost Bedtime Stories cast don't happen again.
-Central Park will not have a scarezone, but the Pumpkins will be back.
-Watershow returns but has mixed to positive reception compared to last year's true positive reception. This is because the choice in IPs in 29 lend themselves much better to a watershow than what they chose for 30.
-Jack will return without much changing about him from 25. Superfans will get upset but the event will go on. I am going to predict a Jack show will be coming back but I don't know where exactly. For the sake of discussion, I'm just going to say it will go in either the T2 theatre or just a custom built stage for HHN. It will not be in FFL.
-AoV is absolutely coming back and absolutely taking the FFL stage with them. Due to the overwhelming praise compared to previous years, they will lean on the classic Horror feel again rather than experimenting with distopic sci-fi or other horror-adjacent genres.
-Stranger Things will not return. Hill House will not come.
-Hellraiser will finally make it's official debut at the event.
-An 80s theme will not be outright stated to be returning, but some remnants of that marketing angle from previous years should be noticeable, if that makes sense.
-Rob Zombie will return in some way.

My predictive house roster should look something like this.

1. Hellraiser
2. Friday the 13th/Nightmare on Elm Street
3. Halloween (Blumhouse)
4. Candyman (Jordan Peele)
5. Zombieland
6. Original House (Jungle theme)
7. Original House (Classic Halloween theme)
8. Original House (Grimy and realistic human theme)
9. Original House (Folklore theme)
10. Anniversary House

Hear me out with all of this, this is just me using my best judgement off of previous years and I am in no way convinced that most of this stuff is coming to the event. This is just kinda my way of judging how good I am at predicting management and their choices. The answer to that is probably not very good at all, so I'm pretty excited to compare this to how it actually turns out and see how different they are.

Happy spec season!
 
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Lucky Planet

Veteran Member
Sep 23, 2013
2,688
Their Throwback Thursday event had Beetlejuice present and advertised which shows Warner Bros was fine with letting them use the character. Ghostbusters might’ve killed off the property from getting a house though depending on how negatively it was received
whats this? what shows?
 

dxwwf3

Rookie
Feb 2, 2008
320
I’ve got a feeling that Beetlejuice is going to be next year’s”Ghostbusters”. Nostalgic for park fans, but still seems really popular due to amount of merch I saw in the park this year at the event. I think it makes sense due to survey work in the past too.
 

itsabee

Rookie
Sep 11, 2019
217
I can’t predict IPs or themes at all, but I’ll be damned if they don’t cast far less reserves after the disaster that was this year. Also, even if ST doesn’t return, I think they’re going to be far stricter on managing the IP casts on breaks (i.e. not letting them leave the house in character and go to other houses...yikes).
 

OhHaiInternet95

Veteran Member
Aug 18, 2017
3,147
Based off what I've heard from 29:
  • AoV continues to satisfy guests.
  • The big IPs did not deliver as anticipated.
  • Guests want scary. Fun houses have their place, but not when a majority of the event line-up leans heavy on it (no matter how much gore you add elsewhere)
  • Zones need work.
Based off my expectations:
  • The 80's were fun, but it's time to move on.
  • A big IP, a few smaller IPs (Either a Universal pic, A&D favorite, etc) but mostly originals.
  • An 11th house, probably a repeat.
  • Hire those who want to work, not be seen.
  • Don't go all-in on the anniversary year. Acknowledge the past, but also kick off the next decade (especially since "new" leadership)
Did you see the lines Stranger Things got? I desperately hope you’re right, but based off the number of kids this year I doubt it. :(
 
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Legacy

Veteran Member
Jul 27, 2015
6,842
So, here’s a #BaselessSpec post that is mix of personal wishlist, overreaching assumption, a tiny little bit of stuff I’ve heard through 29 and (already) about 30. More than anything I just want to post my wish list because I think it would be a killer event.


Houses:
IP
IP
IP
Terra Cruentes: For the Queen - This is the only house that matters to me. It’s been 15 years. It’s time to forge a new Gorewood blade and make the sacrifice.
7
Vamp: Time Twist - Let’s take Vamp, but visit a bunch of eras. The 20s! The 70s! The Wild West! Medieval! Roman! The Future! Why am I not working for Universal?!
Midway of the Bizarre - The original scarezone.
Invasion! - The aliens have returned, with help.
Field of Screams (or Harvest of Souls)
Night Maze - The zone was an attempt to do a blackout maze as a street that failed horribly. But, blackout houses work.
New Original

Zones:
Havoc (New York)
Nightingales (San Fran)
Scary Carey (Carey, OH Halloween festival) (Hollywood) - This is our “anniversary” zone, and pulls from all the Carey OH originals: Cleaver, Shadybrook, Hellgate, the Drive In, Legendary Truth, etc. This is what fans want.
Gothic (Production) - Bring back the flyers!!!
Seeds of Extinction (Central Park)
 
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DannyPowers

Veteran Member
Apr 29, 2016
1,290
I think Candyman and Halloween 2018 have a very good chance of showing up.

Nightmare on Elm St and Friday the 13th are probably out due to some extremely messy rights issues right now.

AoV and Marathon of Mayhem returns are no-brainers.

I really expect them to lean more heavily on their roster of original content both because of the anniversary year, and the fact that new IPs are starting to dry up. Possibly to the effect of there being more originals than IPs.

As for my hopes...

I know it's a VERY long-shot, but there have been some cracks in the rights for the Scream franchise.

Maybe an 11th house?

I hope they take a lesson from Zombieland this year, and make NYC the fantastic scarezone that it was in HHN25. Maybe that could be the area for Legacy's suggested "Carey" zone.

Kind of wishful thinking but, if Netflix tries to really push Locke & Key, I could see that being represented.

Let the anniversary spec begin!!!
 

SeventyOne

V.I.P.
Jul 1, 2010
2,779
Orlando
Not exactly spec--Brian/Joe/Nick, feel free to move this--but realistic, affordable ways to improve HHN30:

· RFID tickets: having to scan a ticket, or a phone, or a piece of paper a guest printed out and crumpled up in their pocket just slows down admission lines, slows down Express. Time to follow the Magic Band model. Universal can afford RFID chips in their paper cups, they can afford some sort of ticket media.
· More photo ops outside houses: worked great for KKfOS, would’ve worked even better with ECTO-1 outside Ghostbusters, probably would’ve worked with HoTC. If we get another Jack house next year, please add this, then let scare-zones be scary again.
· Move Zones: time to abandon SF and Central Park, both are just too tight with crowds. Maybe keep the latter atmospheric with pumpkins and a couple photo ops, just abandon any attempt to scare there. The walkway by and into KidZone stretching into Kid Zone might work better, or Springfield to MiB. Or re-work Shrek house queue to use Shrek Alley. Or cut a zone and put those actors in houses.
· Re-work parade buildings layout: it’s too much walking. At least allow Express holders a “cross-over” from one house to another down by the exit (e.g. old parade to new parade).
· No more 80s: HHN 29 had a coherent feel throughout. But to be blunt, Tangerine Dream and neon aren’t scary. Much like zombies, the 80s revival thing feels played out (and I grew up in that decade). Would prefer to see the theme be something fresher and spookier.

As for IPs, what I expect (not necessarily hope) to see:
· Jack (possibly with Eddie, probably not Chance, to avoid rubbing WB the wrong way re: Birds of Prey)
· Candyman (strong relationship with director, looks to be hit horror film of 2020)
· AoV (GSATs don't lie)
· New Halloween (existing Blumhouse relationship, new but nostalgic)
 

hhnlover

Veteran Member
Jun 28, 2017
1,745
Guess i can speculate
Wouldn't Be Surprised
  • Zombieland (This can be A&D´s way of saying sorry. Besides, i think it lends itself better as a house then a zone)
  • Candyman
  • The Thing
  • Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man (UM Last year was a huge success, so i won´t be surprised if they did what Hollywood did and do FMWM)
  • Beetlejuice

Maybe
  • Creepshow (People like Hollywood's maze last year, maybe it can come here)
  • It
  • Original based off another SS movie, or SS 2
 
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dxwwf3

Rookie
Feb 2, 2008
320
Excellent ideas SeventyOne! I really wish there was a better way to handle the parade buildings. And anything to make Express go smoother would be very nice. It took so long to scan for many people.
 

ChaseTuff

Veteran Member
Aug 15, 2015
1,296
The vibe that I'm kind of getting based on what's been said about the IP reception this year and what's coming up next year is that we probably are going to see the IP / Original ratio switched up again, once again in favor of originals. I'm feeling that the "Universal only needs 2-3 IP's" comments may finally get put to the test...and probably will work out (especially with the 30th year aspect helping to pull in).

I'm in the middle on the whole "Should this be an "anniversary: year or just a "big" year?" debate, but I feel that the higher-ups (Marketing, probably) would probably want the "anniversary" acknowledge and theme because they're gonna want to flood the park, and it's easier to advertise to an extent. I wonder if the early "empty" weeks this year bothered them at all. I have to think it did to some extent.

If they do bite on doing the anniversary again, then Icons, mainly Jack, are probably a given from that point. Terra Cruentes will be acknowledged and I imagine at least gets a house, but definitely won't drive the event, advertising wise (considering it didn't even do that during 15 really, since Storyteller...). I think another Legendary Truth house of sorts could also be in the books, and this time may be more focused on the actual LT instead of the Spirit Seekers.

IP wise...I would have pegged Beetlejuice as an easy grab, but Ghostbusters' (apparently shaky) reception and Stranger Things' colder reception this year has me turning away from that. Candyman wouldn't shock me since it seems Peele liked both of the Us houses on both coasts. Netflix pushing one of their other series in the vein of ST4 probably not being a thing until HHN next year may be over already wouldn't surprise me.
 
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DannyPowers

Veteran Member
Apr 29, 2016
1,290
Re-work parade buildings layout: it’s too much walking. At least allow Express holders a “cross-over” from one house to another down by the exit (e.g. old parade to new parade).
I keep thinking about if a "behind the park" area is possible at all. Something where they have the entrances to both parade houses, a smaller zone, and maybe a few food/drink stands back there.

That way, once you make your way all the way back, you're there for a little bit, and not for just one house.
 
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