Visitors are in for a thrill this Halloween season in Orlando at Universal Studios Florida.
What started out as a single haunted house, decked out and opened to the public for just one weekend 21 years ago, has transformed into one of the busiest events of year for the theme park.
Now, the event runs for 25 nights over September and October, taking over the entire park. Guests can scare their way through eight haunted houses and mazes, along with two live shows and a number of other spooky attractions.
Each maze or haunted house is built on a studio soundstage and has its own theme and eerie story for maximum thrills, and each park attraction uses sophisticated makeup, gallons of fake blood, and film-quality sets and décor.
Among the highlights this year, is a haunted cemetery complete with ghosts and disturbed graves, as well as a ship lost at sea with the ghosts of Christopher Columbus and his crew.
“I think it all has to do with escape,” said Patrick Braillard, a production show director and one of the masterminds behind the event.
“People love to be transported, they love to be taken somewhere they’re not familiar with. So our job is to create eight immersive environments. When they walk in, they are completely somewhere else.
“You’ve got moments of breathing room, like the bathrooms and any food lines that you might go into, but pretty much you’re ours as soon as you hit the gate.”
Halloween Horror Night runs from 25 September to 31 October.