Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Halloween Horror Nights 23 Maze Rankings & Reviews : Universal Studios Florida

It's that time of year again, Halloween Horror nights 23 is upon us, and we at All Around Orlando had the opportunity to hit all the houses this past weekend. Here's our rankings and reviews, starting with #8!

#8 Havoc Derailed

We only went thru Havoc, once, so this may skew my rankings on this house, but we really did not enjoy this house. This house takes place behind Disaster, where Walking Dead was last year. The story is your on train that's derailed. They simulate the train closely, but the whole story line is just kind of odd. Lots of big guys yelling & screaming at you, and not many scares. Some of the set pieces are interesting to look at, but overall, if your on a time crunch, we would say this is one you could miss.

#7 The Walking Dead

We went thru this house twice this weekend. First thing, we are not into the Walking Dead. We have never seen an episode. If you are, we believe you would rank this house much higher. The house boasts great scenery all the way thru, as well as many pop out type startles. You will even need to bend down at one point to move forward thru the house. The ending jail cell scene is fantastic, and the whole jail cell set is just beautiful. This years houses are so strong, that even though I really enjoy this house, it's ranked down here. The Walking Dead house opens at 5:00 PM for the early annual pass admission days.


#6 After Life Death's Vengeance

After Life is a sequel house to last year's Dead End. This is also a tent house, as well as this years 3D house. The 3D effects work well, and unlike last year's Penn & Teller house, this is not a comedy house. You follow Bobby "The Blade" as he is executed and goes into the After Life. This house disorients you with the 3D effects, as well as having many pop out scares. The scenery is not as big or interesting to look at as, The Walking Dead house, but it's just a little more fun in our opinion. We went thru twice this weekend. This house opens at 5:45 for early annual pass admission. 

#5 La Llorona

This is the house that has us completely confused. We went in during early annual pass admission on Friday around 5:30 PM. It was light outside, and this is a tent house. It was bright inside the house, and there were very few scares. We were not impressed at all, but gave it another shot late Saturday night. We were very glad we did. The house was much darker at night, what seemed to be a full cast inside the house, and just beautiful detail that shows up much better at night. If our first impression was not so bad, this house may have been higher on our list. It's a must do, chalk full of pop out scares, and great scenery. This opens at 5:00 during annual pass days, though I suggest doing Walking Dead & After Life, then this later once its dark.

#4 Resident Evil

This house is amazing. You are thrown right in the middle of a video game being played out right in front of you. If you aren't familiar with the game, don't worry. The house is still fantastic, fun, and full of surprises. This house has beautiful set pieces, elaborate to look at. The cast is great, as they are shooting at each other. There are not many scares in this one, but it is lots of fun and great to experience. It's a solid maze in our book. We only were able to hit this once, but will do more for sure.

#3 Evil Dead

Another beautiful house to look at, this is a huge house in one of the large sound stages in between Universal & Islands of Adventure. We went thru this house twice, and had a great time both time. Unfortunately, the first time thru, the iconic scene pictured above with the girl in the floor, was just an empty hole in the floor. The actors must have been having a change at that moment. We did go thru later that night and the girl was in the floor. There is a huge cabin replicated near the end of this maze, complete with simulated fire. You enter this and then hear a girl with a chainsaw, but then you just exit. Overall, a must see, and top 3 for us.

#2 An American Werewolf in London

Wow...all we can say is wow. This is a grand slam home run, as far as replication and story-telling goes. If you know the movie, you will be impressed. This maze does a tremendous job at replicating the movie, scene by scene. Beautiful sets, where each room is more elaborate than the next. The transformation scene is great, where you enter on the side and get to walk all the way around to see it all. We learned from Creative Director Mike Aiello, that the wolves are actually puppets that are being controlled from behind. In the 3 or 4 scenes that they have these, they have a strobe light on them, and they are loud, and scary. There are many other pop out scares along the way in this one. It's fun, beautiful, and scary. If there is one we say you can't miss, it's An American Werewolf in London.

#1 Cabin In The Woods

If you want to be scared, Cabin In The Woods will scare you. Huge, great looking detailed sets. A maze full of people that constantly pop out or around the corner at you. This maze is non-stop action that will give you nightmares. Blood, gore, clowns, ax-wielding maniacs charging at you...all of that and much more are here to scare you. We hit this house up three times, and it was consistent all three times. This is what Halloween Horror Nights is about. Beautiful sets, details and enough blood & gore to scare anyone. We recommend this as our favorite of the event so far. 

Please let us know what your rankings are.

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