#HHN Tweetup 2011

I had the opportunity of heading out to Universal Studios Orlando their first HHN Tweetup Thursday night. The night started with a presentation on the eight houses & six scare zones that make up the event, followed by a Q&A with the designers from Universal A&D who make HHN a possibility, and then, the most amazing surprise… but we’ll get to that later.

TJ Mannarino, Rick Spencer, and Kim Gromoll spoke about this year’s event, including a whole bunch of new info:

*Each House represents an encounter with Lady Luck.

*Winter’s Night will use real snow.

* Nightingales: Blood Prey is an original Idea from A&D. The Backstory of the “Nightingales” are that they are creatures who make their appearance during major events like hurricanes or wars. Situations when people are already weak.

*The Thing has recreations of scenes from the upcoming movie. A&D came back with “Packets and Packets” of concept art from the movie set.

*Saws N Steam: Into The Machine takes advantage of the heat and predefined spaces of the Jaws queue. Guests will has electricity shot at them. The backstory of the house involves a dystopian future where when you reach a certain age, you are promised to go to a place called The Horizon. A place where you’ll never have to worry about hunger or thirst… but it’s all a lie. instead, it’s a machine where the water is harvested from your body.

*Nevermore: The Madness of Poe  is an idea originally meant to be used for HHN 18, but was brought back from the dead for this years event.

*The In-Between Uses “The best 3D you’ve ever seen. You won’t believe what you just saw.”

*The Forsaken tells the story of a fight between zombie sailors from the 4th Columbus ship fighting fort soldiers… Did I mention it takes place during a hurricane? Real water and wind are used to make it feel like you’re in a hurricane.

*Everyone on stage agreed that the first house is just as scary as the last one.

There was also some new info on the Scarezones:

*Acid Assault is confirmed to use HD building projections to make them appear as though they are falling apart.

*7 will evolve as the night goes on, including costume changes.

*Grown Evil will use stilt walkers.

*They recommend walking through Nightmaze with your eyes closed.

Oh, and they confirmed Hoodies, baseball caps, and a playing card set are all on their way for this years event.

After the Q&A, 21 lucky guests (including myself) got a tour of the maze, The Forsaken. I don’t want to spoil ANYTHING about the house. It’s that good… BUT, everyone wants to know something about the houses, so I’ll give a semi-spoiler (Only a spoiler for those who want to know absolutely nothing about the house.) There is no facade to this house, You enter right into a hallway. I must say that, as usual, A&D has outdone themselves on this house, and if there’s even a little bit of truth to the claim that all houses are equal this year, then I’ll call it right now. This is going to be the best year of HHN yet.

(Photos and Video will be up shortly.)

Halloween Horror Nights runs September 23-24, September 29-30, October 1-2, 6-9, 13-16, 19-23 and 26-31.  Tickets and vacation packages are on sale now and can be purchased at http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/Orlando

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