Best 2012 Memories, #16: Early Haunted Houses
The worst thing about Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort is waiting for the event each year. It starts with teasers on the website, continues with dribs and drabs of information, and everything's finally revealed on opening night.
In 2012 I didn't have to wait until opening day to see two of the haunted houses. In a first for Universal Studios Florida, the park held a special media event nearly two weeks before Halloween Horror Nights opened to give a sneak preview.
The preview is a favorite memory for many reasons. I got to see the costumes and chat with Halloween Horror Nights creators about what to expect. I saw a make-up demonstration and even got some scary make-up of my own. But the best part was most definitely a tour of two of the haunted houses, Silent Hill and Dead End.
Silent Hill was a lights-on tour so we could see all the details that made it authentic to the video games and movies. Dead End was in (mostly) full operational mode, with scareactors popping out at us as we made our way through the house. Click the video at lower left for a tour.
The moment I approached the houses, I caught a whiff of that distinct smell that told me Halloween was just around the corner, even though it wasn't that long since Labor Day. I was instantly transported mentally to the haunt season.