Thursday, October 29, 2009

new scare zone horror nights 19

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Baby Halloween Costume

Looking for some great baby Halloween costumes for your baby on Halloween days. There are many type of baby Halloween costume that can choose such us snail Halloween costumes, rabbit Halloween costume, pumpkin Halloween costume, lobster Halloween costume, bug Halloween costume, and more. These are just a few important things that you should be thinking about when you are choosing baby Halloween costumes this year. With these simple tips in mind, you'll be sure to get a cute and safe costume that will look incredible on your baby. Make sure you take pictures too. You'll want to remember these cute memories forever.

Baby Halloween Costume, Halloween costumeBaby Halloween Costume, Halloween costume

Baby Halloween Costume, Halloween costumeBaby Halloween Costume, Halloween costume

Baby Halloween Costume, Halloween costumeBaby Halloween Costume, Halloween costume

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Halloween Horror Nights 19 Reviews

I liked BriMan's grading system, so I just thought I'd throw in my (spoiler free) 2 cents worth as well, based on his system. In my tired stupor last night, I threw them down by favorite (so far)...... but just to elaborate a little more (for anyone who cares ), and to talk a little about the scarezones as well.....


The Wolfman - This house has the best production value (IMO) of any house I've ever been to at HHN (out of 4 years overall). Based on the trailer for the movie, it transcends even the feeling of being on set -- you are in the forest being stalked by the Wolfman! As BriMan mentioned, the lighting and sound effects are spectacular. As I said, I'll keep this spoiler free so as not to ruin any surprises - but there's one scene that presents the most unique position of a scareactor ever. And the final scene in the woods is laid out like a hyper-3D cinematic masterpiece. Walk slowly, you'll want to take it all in and make sure not to miss any timed-out scenes. A+

Frankenstein: Creation of the Damned - Last night I rated this 4th. But after sleeping on it, I have to move it up to #2. The design of this one is both true to Franky and completely new and fresh. If Universal would produce an updated Frankenstein's Monster film based on this design, it would be fantastic. Also to piggy-back on what BriMan said, the actors in this house were top-notch. There are a couple scenes that play out very cinematically and make you want to stop in your tracks to take it in (sorry flashlight nazis!). The entrance of the house, which is outside of the castle, is absolutely beautifully designed. And major kudos to the new Monster design. A

Silver Screams - This house also has some of the best design layout I've seen from the HHN crew. Each scene is introduced perfectly through the theater design, making you feel like you are walking into the Universal Palace Theater entrance and into the film itself. Transitioning between the movies brings you back to the creepy Palace Theater time and again, taking you on both a tour of the movies as well as a tour of the history of the theater. One scene literally takes you "behind the scenes", showing the fate of those who disrespect the theater at the hands of the Usher, just out of view of the unwitting public eye. My only complaint - I was really hoping to see a Psycho scene, and could have used a little more representation of old-school horror to match the history of the theater itself. A-

Leave it to Cleaver - Cleaver revels in wonderful dark humor, much like Creatures last year. Not much of a scary house, but lots of fun as a divergence of theme from the rest of the event. B

Saw - Very true to the Saw film franchise, the scenes of this house feel like living, screaming movie posters for the film series. My only beef with it is it seems the "hot" scenes don't happen quite often enough for you to catch them while being shepherded through the house. You will have to do this one several times to take it all in, which will be difficult considering it consistently had the longest line in the park. But that being said - great design and performances by the "victims". B-

Chucky - Much like the Chucky films, this house is a lot of fun if you don't try to take it too seriously. It's a nightmare of toys-come-to-life, and surprisingly enough the most uncomfortable scene involves simple inflatable clowns . The entrance (spinning tunnel) can be sickening if the line is moving to slow - beware if you've had a few drinks. C+

The Spawning and Dracula - we didn't get a chance to hit these houses on this trip. I'll weigh in on these next time.

Scarezones :

Lights, Camera, Hacktion - Chainsaws always equal a good time. The "crew" was great, running in terror. B-

Horrorwood Drive In - Spectacular design, and the clips playing on screen were a blast. I just wish, as Snoman said, there was more going on with the scareactors. His idea with the car horns and lights as scare tactics would have been a great addition. B+

Cirque Du Freak - Great design on both the set and scareactors. One of the better zones for startle factor, even though it's small and brightly lit. Better than expected. B+

Containment - I hate to say it, but...... pretty lame. It needs much more fog to be effective. (In all fairness though, it was a pretty breazy night). A couple scareactors were really cool, but most were just normally dressed people with leper lesions. Lighting was cool, but needs more fog. D+

War of the Living Dead - All I can say is: awesome. The scareactors are the best in the park (IMO), and the lighting in this area is fantastic. Also, the war sound effects are really good. I would only like to see more scareactors and action. A

Apocalypse - This one had great potential...... but completely flopped. A couple cool effects with the busted hydrant, the helicoptor spotlight, and burning bus. But there were maybe 4 scareactors roaming around, and just not enough action at all. D-
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Amazing event. Here's my final review.
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Houses:
1. Frankenstein: Creation of the Damned [10/10]
- AWESOME house. I got all of the scares. Extremely detailed. Couple really outstanding scenes.

2. Silver Screams [10/10]
- Amazing. I loved the concept, being similar to DIE In. Only this had a greater variety of movies. There were 2 great scenes in this house that were definitely memorable from some of my favorite horror movies of all time.

3. Dracula: Legacy In Blood [9/10]
- Another great house. I got a lot of the scares, and it was spectacularly detailed.

4. The Spawning (Fangoria) [8/10]
- Amazing. Half of the time I had no clue where I was going or where the scares were coming from. Not nearly as detailed as the previous houses, but definitely had its fair share of good scares.

5. The Wolfman [7/10]
- Another great house. Very detailed and stunningly themed, but I didn't get as many scares as in the previous houses.

6. Chucky: Friends Til The End [5/10]
- Fun house. Very enjoyable, but not too scary. I got a few jumps, but it was mostly just fun.

7. Saw [2/10]
- Not as gory as expected, and a huge letdown. I expected much more out of this house.

8. Leave It To Cleaver (Fangoria) [.5/10]
- Sucked out loud. No ifs, ands or butts. The queue video got me super pumped, but the house just sucked. NO scares, NO memorable scenes. Just horrible.

Scarezones:
1. War of the Living Dead [5/5]
- NAZI ZOMBIES. Nuff' said.

2. Lights, Camera, Haction [4/5]
- Fun zone, loved the chainsaws.

3. Containment [3/5]
- Loved the blow ups, and got a few good scares.

4. Cirque Du Freak [3/5]
- Very enjoyable. Not too many scares though.

5. Horrorwood D-I-E In [2/5]
- Loved the movie screen, but no big scares.

6. Apocalypse: City of Cannibals [1/5]
- What's with this location? No scares are ever present in NY without the utilization of Sting Alley. This is just getting ridiculous. No scares, no theming.

Shows:
Bill and Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure: [3/5]
Didn't live up to it's hype. Couple of good laughs, but overall it was a letdown.

Rocky Horror Picture Show: A Tribute [?/?]
- Didn't get to see it this year but I've seen it in the past.


Overall it was a very good event. I don't think it was as good as last year, but it was still very good.
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Here is my review.
First off this was not as good as Reflections was last year. Still fun, but not last year.
Houses (these are in the order that I did them.)
Chucky: I think that they went more for making nice scenes more than good scares in this one. It was fun to see everything but I wouldn't go through it expecting to get scared to bad.
Silver Screams: My favorite house of the night. The scenes were great, and it was the house that I probably got some of the most scares in.
Saw: I think that I walked into every room after the traps were all set so the house really didn't do much for me.
Spawning: Really good house. If you aren't paying attention the creatures can get you good.
Wolfman: This was the best looking house of them all. The scares really depended on where you were and most of the time you aren't going to be in the right place at the right time.
Frankenstein: This house had a few scares. Not as scary as I expected but they did have a few good team scares.
Dracula: This house was scary. Brides were jumping at me all over this house. I really only saw Dracula once so that was a little disappointing.
Cleaver: It may have been because I was wet and not able to enjoy the house but it was really bad. I'd take Doomsday any day of the week.
Zones. I didn't really spend a lot of time in each of the zones but I was most impressed with Cirque.
Extra:
Houses seemed brighten than last year. Seemed like there were less actors. If you want to get a shirt check places other than the studios store. Sprung tents do not differ much with light from opening to close. The ending of Silver Screams is better in the light than in the dark.

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The Wolfman 2/5: Wow. This House's set was off Da Hizy(Bill and Ted Reference ). No scares in this one really, but really enjoyed looking at the set!

Dracula 4/5: Amazing House I was like Oh shizzy bro when the strobes came on. The lady on the bungee cord was amazing as well. The hot dogish smell at the end was a big WTF though. Amazing house overall.

Frankenstien 5/5: Dang you C_D and Giant you scared the Shanaynay out of me. The way the Franks were hidden was amazing. Also the bride got me good awesome house, maybe the best ever thanks to C_D! C_D you win scareactor of the year from me.

The Spawning 5/5: Maybe got the most scares in history out of this house. The sculders really made me crap myself. The strobes in this house were awesome, and so was the beginning entrance office. WOOT for Cast B doing such a great Job!

Silver Screams 3/5: Ehh this house was ok. Jullian dying though really shocked me. Ash Cast A was maybe the best scareactor in the house he got me gooood! I was shocked though how someone had stolen a poster out of the house though

I saved the 3 worst houses for last
Leave it to Cleaver 1/5: So bad. I don't know what it is about this house, but it was God awful. None of the scare tactics worked for me, and the scareactors didn't seem like they wanted to be there. Samuel Meetz, and the pet shop were what got the 1/5 for me.

Chucky Friends 'Til the End 1/5: Really. This house was a joke. A chucky on a chain gun? For real? I see what they we're going for in this house but it was more of a fun house then a scary house. I enjoyed going through it just got no scares.

Saw 0/5.(really): I never pondered the thought of there being a house as bad as Maximum Carnage. But I found it! Sorry for being so hard on this house, but this is just one of those that has a real Cast to Cast difference. I missed Jake's cast, and wow was the other one bad. They all put .5% into scaring anybody. The only part that remotely got me was the billy doll, and that was because I was paying attention to someone behind me. Hopefully, the other cast get's their act together soon.
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I'm not rating anything yet because last night was not the best and I don't think I got to experience this year's HHN fully.

So, my friends and I got to the entrance around 5:10pm yesterday (9/26) and we had to wait a bit because they were still were getting the daytime people out of the park. So we got our wrist bands and headed in.

We went straight to Chucky and did that first. I don't think my eyes had time to adjust to the dark of the house from being in the sun and everything seemed so dark that I couldn't appreciate much of the detail and even one of the plastic plant things hanging from the ceiling scratched my face pretty bad. I enjoyed the "fun" aspect of this house and got moderate scares, but it's not one of my favorites.

Next we headed into Silver Screams which was very cool. Except for the overwhelming butter-popcorn smell at the beginning, I loved all of the scenes and got a lot of the scares except in the Strangers where the scareactors were just standing around staring at you . We had literally no wait for these two houses, so that was awesome.

Then we had to wait a bit because the other houses were not open, so we headed into a restaurant and had to wait there too because they weren't open, but it wasn't too long... we had something to eat and then hit Leave it to Cleaver since it was right by the restaurant. Here we had to wait a bit in line. This house was fun, but we didn't get many scares.

We took a break after Cleaver to wait for it to get darker and so we rode the Mummy. I love that the rides have practically no wait during HHN Next we went on Frankenstein which was awesome! Loved the atmosphere and we got all the scares. One of the brides got me so good! I thought she was a dummy and did a double take, but when I decided it was definitely a dummy she jumped up and scared the crap out of me haha!

Then we decided to go to Saw so we headed that way and went through the Apocalypse: City of Cannibals scarezone, which sucked big time; I think there were like 5 actors and no real scares going on. So we got to Saw, but since it had a 50 minute wait, we chose to ride MiB to waste a couple of minutes and then we got in line for Bill & Ted's 8:45 show. This was my first time seeing Bill & Ted and I really liked it! It was pretty funny and the SFX were cool, but I wouldn't see it more than once a year. So, when we came out of B&T we learned that some of what we thought were sound effects weren't part of the show, but actual thunder! because it was POURING! With the mobs outside of the theater it took us a while to get to a place with a roof and even then we were soaked.

We stayed outside the restrooms by MiB for a bit, waiting for the rain to stop, but when we figured it wasn't going to stop we just headed to The Spawning. We had a pretty long wait here and we got completely drenched, but we laughed it off and the house was pretty cool. We got some good scares and we loved the creatures with the glow in the dark eyes. I liked how in this house there were scares coming from above as well, which was unexpected.

So next we headed to Saw for the second time, and this time we didn't get in either but because it was closed... and so was Dracula... I understand that it was for safety reasons, but it sucked nonetheless. Also, the rain was coming down hard and there were no scareactors in any of the zones, so I only got to see Apocalypse this night. We waited for a while outside of Dracula and it didn't open, so I asked one of the staff members if all the houses were all closed, and she said she didn't know and she also didn't know how long it would take for the houses to open again. I insisted that she ask through her walkie-talkie if Wolfman was open, so she gave in and confirmed that it was actually open.

We had a pretty long wait outside of Wolfman even though the sign said 5 minutes... liars... lol! I LOVED this house's atmosphere! It looked AMAZING! but... I got no scares zero, nil, nada. It seemed as if the scareactors were not there! I saw a lady at the very start but she was just walking around and then I only saw 2 wolves, one which just howled at the moon and didn't even look at us. It was pretty amusing though, how the guys in front of us went "Ahh! a vine!" "Ahh! A staircase!" "OMG! A chair!"

So, after Wolfman it was around 11pm and most of my friends wanted to leave. Overall, I had a lot of fun, but I didn't really get to experience this year’s event... with only seeing 6 out of 8 houses, 1 show and only 1 scarezone... I'm definitely anxious to go again. I'm really glad I got the FFP Once I go again and get to see ALL of it I'll give ratings

PS: I forgot my camera at home, so I didn't get any pictures, but I'm glad I didn't have my camera or it would've gotten soaked, just like my cell phone, wallet and ticket did even though they were inside my pant's pocket.
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Frankenstein:

* Through out the house, you can see the designs took some influence from early German horror films. You can also see that the designers try to give the house some character as you can find some areas mimic the Monsters's famous scar and stitches.
* The story is set a few months after "Bride of Frankenstein". Dr. Frankenstein is back to continue his work, and the Monster wants revenge for his bride. The smell being pumped is to give the effect of embers still lit throughout the rubble.
* Since projections have to have a certain amount of distance for the effect to have the proper dimensions, the silhouette of Frankenstein's Monster is actually reflected off a mirror, instead of placing as far back behind the screen as possible. The actor playing the monster in that scene is none other then J. Michael Roddy.
* Frankenstein's Monster is known as "Alpha" in this house. His bride is "Beta". The other creations go down the "phonetic alphabet". (ie Gamma, Delta)
* In the past, the infamous "cutting the leg" scene used rebar to give the effect of the blade cutting through the bone. The problem though, is that after every few days, they would have to replace it since the blade would actually cut through the rebar. This year, the fixed it by using reinforced steel so they won't be having that issue anymore.
* The pipes at the end of the house is actually the same pipes that were used in the "Hansel & Gretel" scene from last year's Scary Tales III.


Dracula:

* Cindy Caine's coffin is in the "Coffin Room". It's the small, white coffin. Interesting to note that is actually against the law to have living, or dead people inside a coffin. That's why you'll never find an actor in there. Another FYI, all of those coffins are used.
* The entrance of the house is obviously a reference to "Vlad the Impaler". The scene is supposed to play out that "Dracula" is feasting at the table amongst his dead enemies when he hears you (the guest) approaching and he leaves into the castle to prepare for the encounter. You'll notice the bloody napkin on the table.
* For those unfamiliar to the story, the "pretty" brides are the women who accepted Dracula's invite of "The Calling". The ugly ones, better known as "Feral Brides", are those who reject his offer. The entrance littered with all the heads on spears are the men who decided to try and rescue their women from their ultimate fate.
* Renfield makes an appearance during the middle of the house. You can find him playing with his dead animals, keeping true to the story. You can also find a pig in this scene without a head. The head is located in a scene in Frankenstein.
* Yes, the statue in the beginning is from Screamhouse.

Wolfman:

* The gypsy recites a poem in the beginning of the house. See if it sounds familiar:

Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night / May become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms, and the autumn moon is bright.

* That poem will show up again later in the "Tomb Scene". Only this time, it's in latin.
* In the same scene, you can find a reference to "An American Werewolf in London".

Stay on the road. Keep clear of the moors.

* A lot of the stuffed animal heads you see actually come from some of the HHN Creative team who also happen to be hunters.
* The trees are real. It's not recommended that you touch them since they do have sap, and that can be a bit sticky.
* The end scene was supposed play out a lot differently then what you see now:

Toddler Halloween Costume

Toddler Halloween costumes are available in a wide variety of styles and traditional styles as well. Your toddler Halloween costumes can dress up as his or her favorite cartoon character or favorite movie star.

Toddler Halloween Costume, halloween costumeToddler Halloween Costume, halloween costume

Toddler Halloween Costume, halloween costumeToddler Halloween Costume, halloween costume


Toddler Halloween Costume, halloween costumeToddler Halloween Costume, halloween costume

Sunday, October 4, 2009

"Ghost Hunters" stars at hhn 19 orlando


"Ghost Hunters" stars Steve Gonsalves (left) and Dave Tango will be holding autograph sessions during Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios on Thursday, Oct. 8.

The two star in the SyFy reality show that follows paranormal researchers investigating hauntings across the U.S.

Gonsalves and Tango will be stationed in the Battery Park section of the New York area within the theme park from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and 10 to 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 8.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Infant Halloween Costumes

Infant Halloween costumes often are based on animals, occasionally are based on story book characters, and rarely are scary. You can let your imagination go wild when it comes to infant Halloween costumes.

Infant Halloween CostumesInfant Halloween Costumes

Infant Halloween CostumesInfant Halloween Costumes

Infant Halloween CostumesInfant Halloween Costumes

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Disney Halloween Costumes

Disney halloween costumes come in all sizes, from infant to adults and all can be purchased online, sometimes at a discount. There are many design of disney halloween costume such as Mickey Mouse, Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Captain Hook Pirate and much other.

Disney Halloween CostumesDisney Halloween Costumes

Disney Halloween CostumesDisney Halloween Costumes

Disney Halloween CostumesDisney Halloween Costumes

Monday, September 28, 2009

Children Halloween Costumes

There are many ideas for children halloween costumes, such as fairy costumes, bitch costumes, princess costumes, dragon costumes, harry potter costumes, disney caracter costumes, and other. So it's not difficult to choice children halloween costumes for your children.

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Children Halloween CostumesChildren Halloween Costumes

Children Halloween CostumesChildren Halloween Costumes

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Harry Potter Halloween Costumes

The most popular Harry Potter Halloween costume choices for 2009 are great ideas for Halloween and costume parties. Like the new movie of Harry Potter, Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince. You can chooce Harry potter halloween costumes, Hermione Halloween Costumes, Ron Weasley halloween Costumes, Hagrid Halloween costumes and much other.

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Harry Potter Halloween CostumesHarry Potter Halloween Costumes

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Halloween Lights

Decorate and light up your Halloween party with Halloween lights. By use halloween light u can make the situation like a scream and it can be make anyone afraid. so what color you want to use on your Halloween lights?

Halloween LightsHalloween Lights

Halloween LightsHalloween Lights

Halloween LightsHalloween Lights

Friday, September 25, 2009

Dog Halloween Costumes

Dog Halloween costumes are now available in almost all sizes, shapes and colors which are not really vibrant and lively like normal daily wear and are in keeping with the theme of the event which is mostly 'unnatural'. There are several new dog halloween costumes designs this year, including a penguin, shark, bunny, ladybug, bumblebee, chili pepper, fuzzy duck, pink flower, witch, pirate, clown, panda bear, raccoon and mush other.

Dog Halloween CostumesDog Halloween Costumes


Dog Halloween Costumes


Dog Halloween CostumesDog Halloween Costumes

Thursday, September 24, 2009

halloweenhorrornights info

amiliar, frightful faces fill this year's edition of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios — but a few longtime fiends come with twists.

The silver-screen theme that runs throughout the event, from haunted houses to scare zones to shows, provides opportunity to interact with bigger-than-life scary characters dating from the 1930s to today, plus it teases to upcoming Universal productions.

"I think Saw is the most popular of our brands this year," says Michael Roddy, show producer at Universal Orlando. "I think it will be one of the major draws. It's prevalent, it's contemporary, people know what that is."

Saw, a series of torture-driven mind-game movies, debuts its sixth installment Oct. 23. Horror fans know the stories and expect realistic simulations. Roddy says the Saw haunted house will be "greatest hits" package of the Saw films.

"You're actually going to walk into Jigsaw's lair," he says. "As you walk in, it's an industrial building, almost nondescript. And as you enter, you're immediately in his workshop. You'll see all of the TVs and the cameras, and you'll come face-to-monitor with [puppet] Billy, who'll give you your task, which is to make it through this maze."

Tobin Bell, who plays the diabolical scientist Jigsaw, recorded new lines for the house.

"For us, it's a big, big challenge that we replicate this 100 percent," says T.J. Mannarino, director of art and design for Universal Orlando. "Saw will have to match that intensity, that excitement."

For old-school, classic characters Dracula and Frankenstein's monster, Universal will present a modern take on the original movies. Don't look for Herman Munster or Count Chocula.

"In 1931, people fled the theater [during Frankenstein]. In Dracula, people fainted," Roddy notes. "Now, so many years later, you go back to 'Well, what is Frankenstein's monster?' It's a reanimated corpse that has been burned, and it was stitched together."

The pieced-together theme runs throughout the Frankenstein: Creation of the Damned house, which is set in time after the Bride of Frankenstein movie. The castle — and other creatures — are being reassembled haphazardly with available materials.

The monster looks like a work in progress — thin, skull showing through in spots, and gray, not green. The costuming has a steampunk look: sort of a science-fiction feel using Victorian era materials such as polished wood, brass and iron.

"It's taking the beginning of electric and the beginning of that kind of life and bringing it into a period costume," says Susan Moore, design manager of art and design.

For the Dracula: Legacy of Blood house (very gothic with tapestry and statuary), designers shunned the widow's-peak look for a Vlad the Impaler style: belted tunic, high boots, cape and a key bit of protection.

"He's going to get one piece of armor that protects his heart," Moore says.

There will be a few different incarnations of the Count.

"We have the bat-faced look for him, and we have more of where he's changing from one to another, but always coming back to our classic look for him," Moore says.

The house will be populated with Dracula's wives. Some are pale and beautiful, but some aren't taking to this marriage. Universal calls them the "feral brides."

They're "really decrepit, disgusting, almost beastlike," Mannarino says.

The Wolfman house essentially serves as a preview of the Universal Pictures' upcoming The Wolfman starring Benicio Del Toro.

"We were basically given access to all their designs, and this is a big-budget version. A lot of amazing production value has gone into it." Roddy says. Although the house is built inside a soundstage, it has an outdoors feel with a gypsy camp, a forest and the sensation of being chased by a lycanthrope.


After Tuesday night's employee preview, I've officially been inside every haunted house at this year's Halloween Horror Night event at Universal Studios. (We didn't make it into Frankenstein: Creation of the Damned, but I was in there as construction finished -- and with the lights on and without scare actors -- last week.

I am firmly anti-spoiler. But here's a brief rundown of what to expect in each of the eight houses. Horror Nights begins Friday and runs 23 select nights through Oct. 31.

+ SAW -- Like the movie series, many torture scenes. Effective disembodied voice. The exit, clearly visible to passers-by, is filled with squeals.

+ The Wolfman -- Very woodsy, very English. Tight quarters. Near the end, look up.

+ Chucky: Friends to the End -- Colorful, dark in tone but not in lighting. Fun costuming, some of which made me laugh -- and not that nervous giggle laugh. Freaky opening tunnel messes with your equilibrium.

+ Dracula: Legacy of Blood -- Full of great architectural touches and hissing brides.

+ Frankenstein: Creation of the Damned -- There's a running stitched-together theme here, from the rebuilt castle to the rebuilt monsters. I'm eager to see the steampunk-style costuming.

+ The Spawning -- Plenty of lurking creatures and sewer features. Seems like there were more dangling things to interfere with your vision and comfort levels.

+ Leave It to Cleaver -- Nasty, gross and creative. It's a 1950s butcher setting, thoroughly themed in a borderline cartoon way. End room is simultaneously disturbing and delightful. (Oh second thought, EWWWW).

+ Silver Screams -- I liked the format of the house, which spotlights films selected by the Usher character. It's well organized, not as mishmash as I imagined, but it's loud. From cranked-up old-timey theater organ music to the cacophany of the Shaun of the Dead room, I started turning into an old man. Turn down that radio, whippersnappers! Now that's scary.

After our tour of houses, we watched a performance of Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure. It was a strong outing -- still in rehearsals, remember -- but I felt old again. Some of the characters were strangers to me, I think, because I've been slack in my moviegoing lately. But any show that manages to skewer Shia LaBouef, Tyra Banks and the economy before it even begins is OK in my book.





Had a conference call this afternoon with Michael Roddy, show director at Universal Orlando. There was lots of Halloween Horror Night tidbits, which we'll get to, but for now, here's the locations of the scare zones and haunted houses for the event, which kicks off Sept. 25. It's a clip-and-save. Use something sharp and scary.

SCARE ZONES

After passing through the turnstiles, you should be able to see "Containment," the zone about bio-nerve gas, in the valley between Jimmy Neutron and Shrek. Cue the green mist. Your alternative is to bear right down Hollywood Boulevard, home of "Lights, Camera, Hacktion!!!" That's the imagined filming of The Chainsaw Drill Team Massacre in 3-D. "It's going to be chainsaw alley," Roddy says.

"As you enter the park you can look down toward Shrek/Jimmy Neutron and there will be this wall of green, glowing fog," he says. "You can look down Hollywood Boulevard and there’s a film crew being hacked to pieces by a chainsaw maniac. So it’s like 'Which way do you go?' ... Well, have fun with that."

Others: "War of the Living Dead" will be in the Shrek/Monsters Cafe alley, "Apocalypse: City of Cannibals" on New York street, "Cirque Du Freak" at the entrance to KidZone and "Horrorwood Die-in" at Mel's Drive-In.

After the jump: haunted house/maze locations.

HAUNTED HOUSES

Three houses will be built in the Universal soundstages: "The Wolfman," "Dracula: Legacy of Blood" and "Frankenstein: Creation of the Damned."

"Saw" -- the Jaws extended queue.

"Leave It to Cleaver" -- the Disaster! extended queue.

"Chucky: Friends to the End" and "The Spawning" -- The tents behind the Simpsons Ride.

"Silver Screams" behind the Barnie attraction.

Monday, September 14, 2009

"Dracula: Legacy of Blood."

This just in from the Halloween Horror Nights camp: An "exterior" of the Dracula house, more properly known as "Dracula: Legacy of Blood." It has been constructed inside a Universal soundstage. Halloween Horror Nights kicks off Sept. 25.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Step inside Halloween Horror Nights houses

Michael Roddy, Universal Orlando show producer, gave us a sneak peak of some Halloween Horror Nights elements. (The event starts Sept. 25.)

First, a rundown on the three houses built within Universal Studios' soundstages -- The Wolfman, Dracula: legacy of Blood and Frankenstein: Creation of the Damned..

"Without a doubt, from a design standpoint, these are three of the most immersive mazes we've ever designed," Roddy says.

+ "Our Frankenstein story takes place after "Bride of Frankenstein," so the laboratory and the castle have been destroyed, and Victor Frankenstein has been rebuilding it. So as you walk into this, it’s a crumbling facade of a castle, but you also see the he’s been putting the building back together using the same type of haphazard materials that is suggestive of the creature itself.”

+ “When you go over to Dracula, it’s actually Castle Dracula. It’s this big, gothic, beautiful, castle turret. As you walk through you’re actually in rooms filled with these beautiful, ornate tapestries and gothic arches and statuary. And of course you have all of Dracula’s brides, who are these feral creatures that are bloodthirsty.”

+ “In Wolfman, we were able to visit the [Universal] Pictures Group. We saw the movie. We were basically given access to all their designs, and this is a big-budget version. They have spent a lot of money, a lot of amazing production value has gone into it. It’s been taken completely serious. So then you ‘re going to walk through the actual forest with wolfman, past gypsy camp, into all these environments while being chased by this lycanthrope.”

The SAW house will include a bathroom scene, Roddy says, along with the reverse-bear trap, the hair pull and a hand in a jar of acid. (This might be a good time to note that Universal considers Horror Nights to be a PG-13 event.)

"You're actually going to walk into Jigsaw's lair," Roddy explains. "As you walk in, it's an industrial building, almost nondescripte. As you enter, you're immediately in his workshop. You'll see all of the TVs and the cameras, and you'll come 'face-to-monitor' with Billy, who'll give you your task, which is to make it through this maze."

Here's another warning, this one from Roddy: "If you are terrified by those [Saw] films, then the maze will shut you down."

"We'll never touch you, we' never hurt you, but when you leae, you're going to feel like you've been put through the wringer, mentally," he says. Feel better?

Meanwhile, over at the Silver Screams house, Roddy explains that the its mishmash theme reflects the backstory of the Usher character.

"You'll see how he became this vengeful ghostly spirit. You'll see his favorite movies like Phantom of the Opera, you'll walk through envinorment of Shaun of the Dead, you'll walk through My Bloody Valentine, and a host of others that are, again, Universal brands but we didn't think justify an entire maze," Roddy says.

We'll be seeing more of the Usher. Although advertising for the event banks of the Ripped from the Silver Screen campaign, the Usher will be on the Facebook page and Horror Nights Web site.

"You'll definitely feel his presence throughout the entire event," Roddy says. He is your gateway to the event when you get here. ... We're considering him an icon that will stand toe-to-toe with all of the others that you have known."

The scare zone called Horrorwood Die-In will also have a variety of film characters. The usual Mel's Drive-In area will be transformed into a drive-in, complete with cars and big screen showing movies and those "Let's all go to the lobby" sort of shorts.

"Then all of a sudden, you'll come face-to-face with these characters that have literally come off the screen," Roddy says.

Expect Norman Bates, the character from The Thing and assorted zombies. "It's going to be a blast," he says.

Tradition HHN favorites are back, including the Chainsaw Drill Team, the Bill & Ted show and others. "Rat Lady is our good-luck charm."

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Halloween Horror Nights will be completely devoted to scary movies

For the first time in its 19-year history, Halloween Horror Nights will be completely devoted to scary movies, Universal Studios theme park announced today.

All eight haunted houses and each of its six scare zones — home to terrifying street performers — are inspired by big-screen thrillers.

"We're turning the front gate into the facade of the Universal Palace Theater. There will be a box office, there will be a movie screen showing trailers," said Michael Roddy, show director for Universal Orlando Entertainment. "And then once you walk in, all these environments, all these movies are ripped from the silver screen and come to life."

As announced in June, three contemporary movie characters will be featured. Jigsaw (from the Saw series), Chucky (Child's Play) and the Wolfman (from a film set to open in February) will be set up in their own houses.

Saw producer Oren Koules, who lives in Tampa, said he looks forward to the after-hours event, which runs for 23 select nights beginning Sept. 25.

Koules said that having people experience the Saw films live — "not just on the screen, but to have people walk through it, taste it, touch it and feel it — is amazing for us."

SawVI debuts Oct. 23. The movies, which each have been released near Halloween, are graphic, violent, mind-game-driven films filled with traps. The Saw house at Horror Nights is designed to be intense, Roddy said. Guests will be the ones being tested, he said.

"As they progress farther into the maze, every step they take is causing and affecting the traps to be sprung."

Two houses will be devoted to Dracula and Dr. Frankenstein's monster. Two others are inspired by B movies based on a Midwestern, chainsaw-wielding family and "cannibalistic humanoid underground dwellers," Roddy said. The eighth house will highlight several horror films including Shaun of the Dead and The Phantom of the Opera.

The scare zones will spotlight corpses reanimated into super-soldiers, a toxic green mist, a chainsaw drill team, an abandoned drive-in theater and half-human, half-beasts. One zone will be devoted to Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, a Universal Pictures film also set to open Oct. 23.

Two stage shows return: "Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure" and " The Rocky Horror Picture Show: A Tribute."

Dewayne Bevil can be reached at 407-420-5477 or dbevil@orlandosentinel.com. Read the Theme Park Rangers blog at orlandosentinel.com/tpr.

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icon_STOPHalloween Horror Nights 19 - (8/28/09) A new press release from Universal Orlando confirms that this year’s entire event will be inspired by Hollywood’s biggest mega horror hit films and contains the complete list of attractions with three based on films that have yet to rip into the silver screen itself. There are 8 confirmed haunts this year:

SAW – F2009_0708_HHN_Artwork_600or years you have come to celebrate Halloween and to witness the weakness of others. The only way to gain redemption for this voyeuristic obsession is to truly know what it means to bleed, to feel weak; to experience pain. Jigsaw will give you this experience. Happy Halloween. Let the games begin.
The Wolfman – Pure. Animalistic. Rage. Take a journey through England’s countryside and come face to fangs with one of the most terrifying creatures to ever explode from the silver screen. Forget everything you thought you knew, and prepare yourself for the sights and sounds of the newest addition to Universal Pictures’ legacy of horror.
Chucky: Friends to the End – Ever wonder what happens when good toys go bad? Chucky has been hard at work, tinkering with your favorite childhood playthings. Nothing is what it seems as you step inside and experience what its like to live in Chucky’s world. This is no Child’s Play.
Dracula: Legacy of Blood – Welcome to Castle Dracula on the night of “The Calling.” Vlad Dracul bids you welcome – be you one of the chosen women who has been called or merely a mortal man. Those who have been chosen must decide whether to join the Dark Prince in everlasting life as his brides, or reject his offer and suffer for all eternity. The blood must be renewed. The fate of the legacy hangs in the balance – Dracula’s legacy of blood.
Frankenstein: Creation of the Damned – It has been a fortnight since his creation caused the castle to be engulfed in flames. Doctor Frankenstein now continues his work to perfect the art of resurrection and regeneration, surrounded by his creations. The Creature has also returned, to make the Doctor pay for the pain and suffering he has had to endure. The Creature will destroy everything in his path to gain redemption, and you are now caught in the middle of this epic battle.
The Spawning – Something “different” has moved in among the sewers of Wyandot County, Ohio. The locals claim that these creatures, these “Sculders,” are two feet tall, with the body of a snake. As a volunteer member of the local water district, it is your civic duty to venture into these pipes and restore the flow. But beware, the locals are wrong about the “Sculders” and the only thing that will be flowing is your blood as it leaves your lifeless body.
Leave it to Cleaver – Samuel Meetz works for the people of Carey, Ohio as a butcher, bringing them the freshest meat possible. With a steady livestock of transients and town lawbreakers with which to serve, and a staff of volunteers who will preserve their towns deadly secret by any means necessary, there is truly no end in sight for Samuel or his family business. As Sam always says: Meet Me at Meetz…The Z stands for cannibal.
Silver Screams – Julian Browning has been the usher in the Universal Palace since it opened in 1922, of course, he’s been dead since 1940, but he still commands respect for his most beloved films from every patron. Buy a ticket to the Universal Palace, and let Julian usher you into a realm where the horror on the screen is ripped away to reveal a world that is truly terrifying. Features “Shaun of the Dead,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “My Bloody Valentine 3D” and other popular horror films.

In addition to the two hit shows, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure and The Rocky Horror Picture Show: A Tribute there will be six awesome Scare Zones this year:

Lights, Camera, Hacktion!!! – Hollywood Boulevard is being used as a location for the filming of the next big horror movie to be released in October 2010: The CHAINSAW DRILL TEAM MASSACRE in 3-D. Lights, Camera, Hacktion! Our director, Mas Imair, noted horror film aficionado, is bringing the massacre to life in blood-red terrorcolor. But the actors seem to be taking their direction literally and are “hacking” through the cast and crew. It’s a close encounter of the worst kind as the backlot becomes a hacklot and the streets run red with blood. Are you ready for your close-up?
Cirque Du Freak – Inspired by Universal Pictures’ upcoming film “Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant,” which tells the fantasy-adventure tale of a boy who unknowingly breaks a 200-year-old truce between two warring factions of vampires. Pulled into a fantastic life of misunderstood sideshow freaks and grotesque creatures of the night, one teen will vanish from the safety of a boring existence and fulfill his destiny in a place drawn from nightmares.
Horrorwood Die-In – The Hollywood Drive-in has been closed for years, and some say the abandoned grounds are haunted, where late at night the dim flickering images of carnage and chaos, monsters and madmen leave the screen and enter the real world looking for fresh victims to star in their latest horrors.
Apocalypse: City of Cannibals – A whole civilization of war-like carnivorous humanoids emerges from the sewers and underground tunnels of New York, looking for fresh food. Half-humanoid, half-beast and ravenous, these tribal cannibals invade the streets of Manhattan. No one is safe!
Containment – When an experimental bio-nerve gas is accidentally released into the atmosphere, the streets are filled with a toxic green mist that turns anyone that comes in contact with it into an infected, melting glob of flesh and blood.
War of the Living Dead – On a remote island in the Pacific during the last days of World War II, German military attempted to create the unthinkable – a new breed of super-soldier made from the reanimated corpses of the dead. American forces quickly seized the island compound, but not before the reanimate agent was released. The island was quarantined and has remained a secret until now. Fifty years later, the two opposing dead forces are still locked in immortal combat with you caught in the crosshairs.

Still want more? Behind The Thrills managed to record and post today’s conference call with the producers of the SAW film series and Michael Roddy. And by the way… the all new HHN Website is now live, featuring that creepy movie usher character I’ve been telling you about for months now as this year’s host / icon character. Want to see something extra interesting? Check out the downloadable wallpaper at the Concessions Counter and look closely at the bottom of the Leave It To Cleaver and Spawning movie posters which include a Fangoria logo. A future announcement to come or did they back out of the deal and someone forgot to remove this extra from the wallpaper graphics? A good video about the making of the haunts has also been posted to YouTube and embedded below.

(8/25/09) The newest update to the HHN website wasn’t the big update I was expecting, perhaps revealing our host icon, instead it just added the next chapter, Electrocuted. Given the theme of lightning blasts, electrocution and organ harvesting, I can only guess that they are hinting at the Frankenstein haunt with this one. They have also dropped hints that new updates could start appearing very frequently from now on, and you may want to check out the official HHN page on Facebook, as they will be hosting an official Q&A session there on Thursday between 3-3:30pm EST with Michael Roddy.
(8/21/09) For anyone curious, a new trailer for the new Wolfman film can be found at
AintItCool, which actually gives a plug for Halloween Horror Nights at the end.
(8/19/09) Like most people, I’m afraid I’ve become a little disappointed with the rather slow progress of this year’s Halloween Horror Nights website. Compared to years past where we were treated to huge story building events online, this year’s attempt is moving at a snail’s pace and has yet to really draw me in. Of course, this has led some to wonder, just what happened to the whole Legendary Truth storyline from last year? After the Bloody Mary story evolved into the big investigation story during HHN itself from The Collective, many expected to see that story bridge the gap into this year’s event. So far... we’ve got nothing... or do we?
According to a post over at Behind The Thrills, they have made a great and possible connection between the old Legendary Truth site and this year’s site. It all has to do with the color coding of those little buttons at the bottom of this year’s screen and how they match up with what we’ve seen before.
(8/6/09) Screamscape sources have come forward with the names and basic themed of the unknown haunts. The Parade Building maze (codename: Flashlight) will indeed be themed as the haunted Universal Palace Theater and possibly use the name Silver Screams. Meanwhile the Disaster queue area (codename: Plea Sant Vielle) will indeed be given a quiet small neighborhood theme with various storefronts, and I’m betting a butcher shop may also be a big part of this. I’ve also heard that Fangoria is involved here in some fashion, possibly with the design, and the rumored name for this haunt is: Fangoria Presents: Leave It To Cleaver. Fangoria isn’t done there though, as they are also rumored to be involved with our last unknown maze in Sprung Two entitled, Fangoria Presents: The Spawning. I’ve still got no idea what the theme of that one may be yet however.
(8/3/09) I’m going to recap a bit on what we think we know about this year’s Halloween Horror Nights event. First off... lets talk about the mazes, rumored themes and locations. Over in Soundstage 23 I believe we have two mazes fully built right now for Dracula and Frankenstein. The nearby Soundstage 22 is also thought to be home to the Wolfman maze. The Jaws Queue area has been pretty much confirmed as the location of the SAW maze this year, though the Disaster queue area still isn’t entirely known. It was one thought that this may be the Universal Theater themed concept, codenamed Flashlight, but now that maze is thought to be the one going into the Parade building instead. So what is going into Disaster? A series of weird building facades... which we’ve heard was codenamed “Plea Sant Vielle”. I’ve also heard something about a possible butcher shop and pet stores being part of the scenery used here. Anyone have an idea? Finally this brings us to the two mazes in the “Sprung One” and “Sprung Two” structures betwee MIB and Simpsons. We know one of these has been confirmed as the Chucky themed maze but the other is still not known. The only clue was a codename... Civic Duty. Again... these are all still rumors for the most part, so anything is subject to change or not being entirely correct.
(6/29/09) While we still don’t know much more about this year’s Halloween Horror Nights, an early rumor we received a few weeks ago does now hold more water. At the time they claimed that this year’s event would be more ‘movie’ themed once again, and that this year’s icon character may actually be some kind of twisted old-fashioned movie theater Usher character with a flashlight. Time will tell if this rumor also holds water.


Resort News - (7/28/09) Good news today for those of you with with cheaper $99 “Season Passes” to Universal Orlando. According to the Orlando Sentinel Universal has lifted the blackout dates from those passes. The blackout dates however remain in effect for the Power Passes. By the way... check out the Halloween Horror Nights website again for a few new updates to the Theater site.
(7/2/09) Good news for Universal Orlando this week as a lengthy lawsuit between them and the Orange County Property Appraiser’s Office has reached a settlement that will give the resort a $1.4 million tax refund. Read more here.
(4/21/09) Bad news for Universal Orlando, as the Orlando Sentinel reports that attendance at the resort is down 20% so far for the year (Q1) compared to the same period the year before. This has been caused by a combination of the downturn in the economy as well as the moving of Spring Break out of Q1 and into Q2 this year.
(3/26/09) Universal Orlando has reported a $9.3 million decline in profits for Q4 (55%), dropping from $16.8 million in 2007 to just $7.5 million this past year. While the parks are only responsible for a 4% attendance loss, the company lost out the rest due to investment losses, and troublesome interest-rate swaps.



Future Resorts, Parks & other Expansions - (12/4/07) Screamscape sources


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have sent a piece of concept artwork discovered showing off what the proposed new 16-story tall 1,800 room hotel project may look like. As described in the master plan amendment, this hotel would go right across Hollywood Way behind the Jurassic Park building, between Turkey Lake Road and Adventure Way. We also have map over the overall new master plan, a small piece of artwork showing off what the proposed employee apartment building would look like. There is also a photo of the billboard showing off The Promenade (mixed use office/retail/restaurant) going in across from the Hess station as well as a construction photo of the site posted to OrlandoRocks.
(8/2/07) Today we have to discuss the fate of Wet ‘n Wild. It’s been a few years since anyone talked about this, but the latest rumors claim that the end of the road for Wet ‘n Wild may be in sight. For those who need a little history lesson, I confirmed a few years back that the property under Wet ‘n Wild is actually not owned by the park or Universal, but was part of a land lease deal signed by the creators of Wet ‘n Wild back before it opened in 1977.
Even today no one really knows for sure just how long the term of the lease was for, but shortly after I uncovered that fact one of the local Orlando papers did their own research to contact the property owners who confirmed that there was little chance of them signing a deal to renew the lease due to the increased value of the property and it’s key location on I-Drive that could be put to better (and more profitable) uses. An older article in the Orlando Sentinel about Aquatica once mentions that the terms of their lease start to change in 2007 and the price is expected to rise through the roof by 2012.
The bottom line… Wet ‘n Wild is living on borrowed time. This has led many to speculate about when and if Universal Orlando may take the next step to build their own new water park on their own resort property. It’s also been noted that all of the “new attractions” added to the waterpark over the last few years have either been rehabs of older attractions (The lazy river, The Blast) or larger above ground attractions (Storm, Disco H2O, Brain Wash) that would be fairly simple to move to a new location when the time comes.
These days the rumor mill has picked up once again claiming that 2009 could very well be the last summer for Wet ‘n Wild. If this is true, then my best guess may be that Wet ‘n Wild signed a 35 year lease possibly as early as 1975 which could come to an end in 2010. Remember that the park will need time to remove their property from the site, so you can see where the 2009 closure idea may be coming from.
Keep in mind that other than the fact that there is a ticking clock… everything else is just speculation right now. For all we know the park may have another 10 years left on their lease… or they could already be in some kind of overtime extension where the fees grow higher and higher each additional year. If the end is near, I’m sure we’ll hear more about this very soon and Universal is likely to promote this fact to drive up attendance in the final season when they find themselves up against the new waterpark on the block, Aquatica.
(5/15/07) According to a post at UrbanPlanet.org, Universal Orlando is asking for an amendment to their master plan to add Timeshare Units and Multi Family Residential units to their 800 acre property. Currently only 104 acres are undeveloped and this plan pretty much fills up almost all the rest of the holes. The Residential section of the plan will add up to 316 units along Vineland that are intended to be used as Workforce Housing, most likely in much the same manor that Disney offers housing for their International and College Workforce programs. A new four story tall office building will be added not far from the current office building(s) along Turkey Lake Road. Meanwhile it looks the plot of land next to the Royal Pacific will become home to an 800 room 8-story tall hotel property and the land between Adventure Way and Turkey Lake Road will become home to a 1,800 room 16-story tall hotel project. From the look of the new Masterplan Map, the river system will be expanded to allow for transportation to these two new hotel projects. Looks like those rumors last week about the new Premium and Moderate sized resort projects were right on the money. Meanwhile the only big holes left open for future development include what’s left of the property from the new 1,800 room resort down the South end of Universal’s property on Turkey Lake (enough room to build a new waterpark still) and the large plot of land between the Men In Black ride building and Universal Blvd where they set up a few mazes at last year’s Halloween Horror Nights. Here’s another look at the Sat Map showing off the various site plans.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Theme Park Insider news

By Robert Niles: I've been writing several articles about how parks can help themselves by earning more money from each visitor spends in the park during this recession. But my suggestions are designed not to lead to more nickel-and-diming, but to show parks ways to increase the value of what they offer, so that we will *want* to spend more money, and will get better deals in return.

Part Four: Improving food service throughout the day

Part Three: Sell all park merchandise online, too

Previously:
Part Two: Free water (or even free drinks)

Part One: Better breakfasts
Another Earnhardt-themed roller coaster?
Carowinds announced this week that its new $23 million (not $11 million, as previouly leaked) B&M hyper coaster for 2010 will be called... Intimidator.

That's right: a Dale Earnhardt theme. Just like Kings Dominion's Intamin giga, announced last week.

Carowinds' announcement that its version of Intimidator would be the tallest coaster in the Southeast also sparked a raging website debate over whether Virginia is part of the U.S. Southeast or not.

Check it out the comments (and watch some propotype ride video) at
http://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/200908/1361/
Photo galleries: The parade of silly theme park hats
By Robert Niles: I suspect that we are not the only family that finds great entertainment in going to theme park hat stores and taking many, many pictures.

See the photo gallery

More photos of the week:
The most unusual theme park job in the world?
Theme park cast member stories: Hablamos EspaƱol... Sorta
By Robert Niles: Sure, I took three years of Spanish in high school and college, but the only place I learned any Spanish that I actually remember was... working at Pirates of the Caribbean.
Thank you, again, for reading ThemeParkInsider.com!

Sincerely,

Robert Niles, Editor
Theme Park Insider

Wednesday, August 19, 2009





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