As a huge Halloween event fan, I go to Halloween Horror Nights and HowlOScream as much as possible because the season is so short. I have to cram a lot of haunted housing into a few short weeks. Obviously, I soon learn the houses so well that I could go through them blindfolded. What keeps me from getting bored? Here are a few strategies I uss:
1) Watch the people in front of you get scared. This is particularly amusing when you’re behind a cringing, terrified person or group, as people like that tend to be scareactor magnets. If you know the houses very well, you’ll have a good idea of where and when the scares will come and when you’ll see a good reaction.
2) Look for details you’ve never noticed before. Both Universal and Busch Gardens put a ton of detail into their haunted houses. The Halloween Horror Nights houses in particular are often nearly as detailed as movie sets. You won’t notice much your first few times through a house, but once you’re familiar with the path, scareactor locations, etc., you can pay more attention to the little things you didn’t notice earlier in the season.
3) Look for reused props and little changes. Universal reuses many of its Halloween Horror Nights props each year, and Busch has some repeat houses for HowlOScream, but usually with subtle changes. How many reused props can you spot at Universal? Can you catch all the Busch Gardens changes? Better yet, what leftovers from the previous houses can you find in the new ones? For example, HowlOScream’s Poe house is in the old DED Pledge House, and true fans will notice several touches incorporated from the past into this new incarnation.
4) Make it a point to see both scareactor teams. The scareactors at HowlOScream and Halloween Horror Nights work in shifts, with time on and time off, meaning that each house has two different teams. Can you tell the different? Go through the same house multiple times and see if you can tell. This one is tricky when the events are crowded, but if you visit multiple nights, go early when lines are short, then do a repeat with an express pass, it’s doable. We know the shift times of the Universal houses, but I can tell which team is on in most of them without looking at the clock, simply by their looks and scare styles.
You’ll also make your visits better if you learn to identify and ignore certain types of guests. Click here for some tips on how to do that. Click here to read more of my articles, and click here to follow me on Twitter. Click here to sign up for my pets newsletter if you love animals, and click here for my Pet Supplies & Product Reviews site on About.com. I’ve taken over 80 Disney cruises and can book yours and give you a special stateroom credit. Visit www.dclexpert.com.