halloween horror nights canceled

Bad, but predictable, news: Hollywood Horror Nights has been canceled in both Orlando and Hollywood this year. The major haunted house event usually kicks-off in September every year, but things are different this year due to the coronavirus. In two statements, Orlando said they would be “focusing exclusively on operating its theme parks for daytime guests, using the enhanced health and safety procedures already in place,” while Hollywood added that they continue to face “ongoing business restrictions” that leaves opening in doubt.

For the first time in 30 years, Halloween Horror Nights have been canceled. The official statement reads:

Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort have made the difficult decision to not hold Halloween Horror Nights events this year. Universal Studios Hollywood continues to face ongoing business restrictions and uncertainty around its opening timeframe. Universal Orlando Resort will be focusing exclusively on operating its theme parks for daytime guests, using the enhanced health and safety procedures already in place.

The Halloween Horror Nights Orlando and Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood Twitter accounts both posted modified versions of this. While Universal Orlando is currently open (despite massive coronavirus spikes in Florida), the park has decided to stick primarily to daytime attendance. California, meanwhile, has yet to open back up and it’s unclear when that might change. With all this in mind, the tough but understandable decision was made to pull the plug for this year.

Launched in Florida in 1991, Halloween Horror Nights (which were originally called Fright Nights) offer movie-themed haunted houses, scare zones, and live entertainment, and the event has become wildly popular and a Halloween season tradition for many. Attraction themes in recent years have included UsStranger ThingsGhostbustersThe Walking DeadHouse of 1000 Corpses, and of course, the classic Universal Monsters, just to name a few.

I’m sure this news will come as a huge disappointment to many, and I sympathize. While I’ve never attended a Halloween Horror Night, I’ve always wanted to, as I’m a bit of a Halloween season nut, and would like to experience one of these things at some point. The cancelation will no doubt be doubly disappointing for many this since it was supposed to be the big 30th anniversary celebration year. All I can say at this point is: please, wear a damn mask when you go outside. And encourage others to do the same. Then maybe one day this world of constant event and movie cancellations will be a thing of the past.

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