Hollywood Horror Nights Bites the Dust as Universal Officially Cancels Annual Event

Image Credit: Universal Studios

Halloween Horror Nights 2020 has been officially canceled by Universal Studios. The cancellation of this frightfully fun event is, of course, due to the coronavirus. All Universal Studios theme parks have been closed indefinitely following the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of a global pandemic due to COVID-19. This announcement follows Disney’s cancellation of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party last month. Universal promises that the event will return in 2021. In the meantime, they will plan Halloween themes as part of their daytime schedule. Universal is also reviewing plans to re-open its Orlando park doors soon.

Halloween Horror History

Universal Studios began hosting Horror Nights in 1991. The event is one of the most beloved on the theme park’s calendar, drawing fans worldwide to both of its locations. Over the decades, since the start of Horror Nights, Universal has introduced many popular attractions to its sites. These include several thrilling rides such as Transformers: The Ride 3D, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and Jurassic World – The Ride.

The tradition has been for both the Hollywood and Orlando locations to be transformed into spooky, terrifying sites. Haunted houses, live entertainment, and other surprises can usually be found throughout the park during Horror Nights. One of the best aspects of Horror Nights is frightening unsuspecting guests. Actors are scattered throughout the park, dressed and poised to petrify patrons wandering around the park.

The Studio also had specific, scary themes for Horror Nights based on Universal’s many properties. In 2019, these included Us, Ghostbusters, and Stranger Things. These resulted in one of the most successful Horror Nights to date. Fans were excited to see what Universal was dreaming up for 2020. Now, everyone will just have to wait.

2020 Cancellation

Halloween Horror Nights is a signature event for Universal. Canceling it was the right decision for Universal to make. Cases of coronavirus continue to increase in the US. In an official statement, the Studio expressed remorse in needing to cancel the 2020 event. They plan to host the event again in 2021. Those who already purchased tickets for 2020 can use them in 2021 or request a refund.

Meanwhile, Universal has begun exploring how to open its Orlando park location while minding safe social distancing guidelines. Universal will focus on keeping that location open “for daytime guests, using the enhanced health and safety measures already in place.” They promise to make up for this decision by putting on a great event in 2021. They are planning to introduce Halloween themes and elements for its guests during the day as part of its re-opening plan.

Park Openings and Closures

Disney and Universal have competing theme park locations in California and Florida. All California-based theme parks remain closed due to state orders. There is still no word as to when this order will be lifted in that state. California still sees a steady increase in coronavirus cases. Florida is a different situation altogether. Disney World in Florida re-opened on July 11th, even though there has been a significant resurgence of coronavirus cases in Florida. Universal is working on its plans to re-open its Florida location in kind.

The company promises to include Halloween-themed festivities during the days leading up to Halloween. No themes have been revealed at this time. Those plans are being kept under wraps for now. Even with a modified day version of Horror Nights coming to the park, one can expect some significant changes. Surprise scares and other kinds of activities that may cause guests to break social distancing guidelines will not occur. Those who have experienced a Horror Night over the years past have faith that the Studio will deliver some fun, creative scares during these scary times. Everyone is also looking forward to even bigger Horror Nights in 2021.

Source(s): Screenrant.com