UniversalParksBlog News for August 6th, 2023
Universal Studios wasn’t messing around the past two weeks.
Theme park officials announced the full schedule for Halloween Horror Nights 2023 and also confirmed the official opening date for Minion Land.
Folks, this will be one of the best UniversalParksBlog News editions ever!
Let’s Talk Horror!
Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) coverage and, in truth, all Halloween coverage at theme parks has evolved over the past decade.
While HHN has always mattered since its inception at Universal Studios, the event has become one of the defining moments on the annual park calendar.
During the pandemic, Universal Studios couldn’t market HHN the way it would have preferred due to the prevailing uncertainty.
Since then, fans’ appetites have swelled for the full-fledged HHN party.
Historically, Universal Studios would have spent August dropping hints about what fans should expect.
This year, the marketing team dropped the act and went ahead and unleashed all the news on August 1st.
That’s right, fellow HHN lovers! We already know all the Houses that will comprise the 2023 version of your favorite horror exhibition!
Universal Studios even kept its diehard fans and insiders guessing until the very end.
Unlike the past few years, the speculation maps proved inaccurate, even the one that came the week of the event!
So, everyone expressed shock at some of the new Houses we’ll all experience in 2023!
As a reminder, we already knew about Houses for The Last of Us, Stranger Things Season 4, and Chucky, although we didn’t know the name of the last one.
Well, as of September 1sts, fans can experience Chucky Ultimate Kill Count! That sounds more like a John Wick House, but I’ll take it!
PS: Universal Studios, please build a John Wick House!
The Other New Houses for 2023
Virtually everything else we learned about the HHN Houses is new, and much of it is unexpected.
To wit, we’ll meet magicians this year, albeit ones in…dragon form?!
Yes, in Dueling Dragons: Choose Thy Fate, two wizards “invade Merlyn’s castle” and somehow turn into dragons, possibly unwillingly.
In this House, guests must answer the eternal question, would you rather hang out with a fire dragon or an ice dragon?
Yeah, HHN 2023 is gonna be like that.
In fact, we’ll even celebrate the blues this year as a blues musician heads to the crossroads and tries to make a deal with the devil.
You’ll find out what happens next in The Darkest Deal House.
Also, for no apparent reason, a Yeti living in the 1950s attacks a campground in Yeti Campground Kills.
I’m not gonna lie. I’d totally play that video game.
We’ve got a returning intellectual property for one House this year, although only HHN diehards likely recognize the name.
You know who you are, depending on whether your mind naturally fills in some blanks when you hear the House name of Dr. Oddfellow’s Twisted Origins.
Yes, the dude who orchestrated the death of Jack the Clown gets another House this year…and it’s an origin story.
Speaking of known characters, I’m sure you’re curious about Universal Monsters Unmasked.
That’s a House based on a group of classic Universal Monsters, but they probably aren’t the ones you’d guess.
This year’s group includes The Phantom of the Opera, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and The Invisible Man.
Finally, we’re getting another Exorcist House. This one is called The Exorcist: Believer. That’s just what we need is Exorcist cultists. Eep!
Minion Land Is Opening Soon!
In a perfect world, I would have given you a heads-up regarding passholder previews for Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast.
Those previews started…on Friday, August 4th. They’ll continue through tomorrow, August 7th. So, that information doesn’t help you much.
You won’t care, though. I say this because Universal Studios Florida has truncated the technical rehearsals for its latest attraction.
Apparently, all the tests went so well that park officials are ready to open the attraction to the public.
Even better, that change won’t happen on its own. Instead, the entirety of Minion Land will soon debut to the public as a permanent offering!
Here’s the relevant tweet about the grand opening:
Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast – Opening August 11, 2023.
Join Illumination’s Minions, Belle Bottom, Jean Clawed and the rest of the Vicious 6 at Villain-Con as you blast your way to supervillain stardom. It’s all-new fun coming to Universal Orlando. pic.twitter.com/eZhQrdQJbe
— Universal Orlando Resort (@UniversalORL) July 31, 2023
Yes, friends, technical rehearsals for Minion Land and its new attraction, Minion Blast, end on August 10th, which is Thursday.
They’re ending because Minion Land officially debuts on Friday, August 11th. Folks, that’s just five days from now!
All you need to do is grind through one more work week. Then, you can spend the weekend embracing the Minion lifestyle at Universal Studios Florida!
As a reminder, technical rehearsals began in mid-June. UniversalParksBlog’s crack team of reporters posted photographs of all the sights at the time.
Since then, we’ve also experienced the new Minion Blast attraction on July 16th.
At the time, we didn’t expect the technical rehearsals to last less than a month, but here we are!
Everything must have gone swimmingly for Universal! Also, by opening on August 11th, Universal keeps its promise to open the themed land this summer.
School starts in many parts of the country soon afterward. So, the timing here matters, even if the calendar suggests it ends on September 23rd.
Universal gives many of its customers one last hurrah before school starts. We’ll cover the story more next time!
Theme Park Miscellany
First, I’ll mention that you’ll have a second reason to visit Universal Orlando Resort right now.
Yes, Minion Land opens this week, but that’s not the only incentive.
Some of the props for HHN are already on display, including a couple of the Scare Zones and concert stages.
Those of you who will wait until early 2024 for your visit are also in luck.
Universal confirmed the dates for Rock the Universe. The Christian music festival will run on January 26th and 27th.
So, we’re entering a staggeringly great six-month at Universal Orlando Resort! See you at Minion Land!
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