Universal Studios Hollywood Finalizes 2019 Halloween Horror Nights Maze Line-Up

Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal City, CA

As we get closer and closer to Halloween season this year, the haunt news is coming in hot and heavy, and today, we’re going to look at the remainder of Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights’ maze line-up for 2019.

This year, Horror Nights Hollywood will boast a record ten mazes—two more than last year, which itself was a banner year. This will help shoulder capacity for the crowds that continue to pack this event year after year, and incidentally, it meets one of the suggestions we recommended a few years ago after a particularly taxing trip where the stagnant and unending lines ended up directly hurting our guest experience.

Incidentally, Universal Studios is also implementing another thought we had to help crowds—separating media night from the normal operating nights in order to preclude regular guests from the maze shutdowns that happen on media night to accommodate celebrity walk-throughs—which would be frustrating for those who’ve already waited for so long. This year, Horror Nights is offering a Fan Preview Night that will also double as a media night. So that’s a positive gesture.

Since the last maze announcement of Creepshow at Midsummer Scream, Universal has unveiled three more mazes. They are:

  • The Curse of Pandora’s Box

  • House of 1000 Corpses

  • Jordan Peele’s Us

Lets take a look at what these last three new mazes will entail!

The Curse of Pandora’s Box

The first and latest (and final, while we’re at it) of the above mazes is an original maze—the second of this year in addition to Holidayz in Hell, and third if you count the Universal Monsters: Frankenstein Meets Wolfman maze, since that one is inspired by the movie icons but not actually meant to replicate any specific movie. We love that greater attention to original mazes, since they bring a freshness and different interest compared to Halloween Horror Nights’ usual IP-based mazes, which seek to recreate and replicate. The original stories offer greater opportunities for creativity in set design and scare tactics, and drive up anticipation, since fans can’t rely on simply expecting a certain movie scene to show up next and effectively reveal the progression of the experience. This fun twist on a traditional Greek myth is one of the most exciting attractions in my book for this year’s Horror Nights!

Image courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywood.

Image courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywood.

From the press release:

Universal City, CA – Temptation is unleashed in “The Curse of Pandora’s Box,” Universal Studios Hollywood’s all-original “Halloween Horror Nights” maze that spills the evils of humanity across this twisted ancient Greek mythology-inspired experience, beginning Friday, September 13.

Greed is the underlying theme of this all-new maze, resurrected from Universal Studios Hollywood’s vault of masterful storytelling that transports guests from the land of the living into the nightmarish netherworld of Hades. The scene begins with “Pandora’s Cabinet of Curiosities,” a dilapidated storefront set in modern times that is, nonetheless, eerily reminiscent of a structure that belongs in the dark and dangerous back alleys of Victorian London.

Amid every occultist artefacts and forbidden relics known to man, the bizarre shop houses an all-consuming collection of evil trapped behind glass-encased cabinets, including a giant, ornate box inlaid with human bones and adorned with the silhouette of a mysterious woman clasping her body with skeletal arms.

As guests pass through the shop they will hear a faint, yet seductive voice echoing the words, “anything can be acquired, anything our hearts desire,” beckoning maze-goers to tempt fate, just as a cataclysmic earthquake erupts, shaking the shop and swinging open the ornate box to awaken a demonic voice whispering in a foreign tongue to “come inside.”

Once Pandora’s Box has been opened and evil unleashed, it can never be closed again.

House of 1000 Corpses

Rob Zombie’s violent horror hit gets its second iteration at Halloween Horror Nights, following the original 2010 version was Horror Night’s first foray into 3D mazes. The 3D ZombieVision of that maze proved to be so popular that it brought back the following year—one of the few Horror Nights mazes to have ever gained that honor. Fans of the bloody movie are sure to expect a messy gorefest here. It should be interesting to see how different the Captain Spaulding’s Museum and all its unfolding terrors will be this time!

Image courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywood.

Image courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywood.

From the press release:

Universal City, CA, Orlando, FL – Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort take guests on a relentless tour through multi-platinum recording artist and filmmaker Rob Zombie’s twisted “House of 1000 Corpses,” inspired by Lionsgate’s 2003 cult classic horror film, as part of this year’s “Halloween Horror Nights” event, beginning in September.

The terrifying “House of 1000 Corpses” mazes bring to life the movie’s offbeat roadside tourist attraction, Captain Spaulding’s Museum of Monsters and Madmen, and introduces guests to some of the country’s most infamous serial killers, including Dr. Satan, a demented surgeon who has gone mad. 

Without a moment to catch their breath, guests will venture to the chaotic home of the Firefly family, a sadistic clan of psychotic killers, where the psychosis deepens and the depraved thrive. It is a chilling journey into the netherworld of terror that weaves its way through a cavernous network of dark tunnels within the bowels of the house.  Populated by the degenerate victims of Dr. Satan’s debauched operations, legions of tortured creatures shuffle about as Dr. Satan continues his twisted medical practice, eagerly awaiting a new installment of victims. 

Jordan Peele’s Us

The addition of Us is an interesting choice as well. Many fans clamored for Jordan Peele’s incredible Get Out to be made into a maze last year, but that movie wasn’t really conducive to a typical haunted house design. Us, however, literally features a fun house of mirrors—which should allow for plenty of great scare opportunities—and paces itself through more jump scare moments that would work better in a maze. It certainly has the potential to be the surprise maze of the season!

From the press release:

Universal City, CA, Orlando, Fla., August 7, 2019 – The reality unearthed in Universal Pictures’ global horror film blockbuster, Us, from visionary Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Jordan Peele, becomes perilously tethered to Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort in all-new terrifying “Halloween Horror Nights” mazes, debuting this September.

Featuring the unnerving labyrinth of underground tunnels that stretch from coast to coast below America, to the disorienting and the ominous uprising of “The Tethered”— doppelgängers of every living man, woman and child in the country—the “Us” maze will place guests at the heart of this living nightmare where they quickly realize they are their own worst enemy.

The journey begins circa 1986 as guests follow in the footsteps of the young girl they first meet as Adelaide Wilson as she innocently ventures through a mirror funhouse at the Santa Cruz boardwalk and has a fateful and traumatic encounter with her tethered doppelgänger, an event that will forever alter both of their lives.  The harrowing experience will then transition to present day, thrusting guests into the chaos of “The Tethered” uprising as they emerge from their tunnels to murder their privileged doubles in a nationwide coordinated act of rebellion.

"It's very exciting to know that fans of Us will get to experience firsthand the terror of being stalked and tormented by ‘The Tethered.’ It’s been a lifelong ambition of mine to create a monster that would scare people on Halloween, so having ‘The Tethered’ join such esteemed company is a dream come true,” said Jordan Peele.

Image courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywood.

Image courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywood.

“Jordan Peele has put his indelible stamp on a new genre of psychological horror films with the Academy Award®-winning movie, Get Out and the critically-acclaimed film, Us,” said John Murdy, Executive Producer, “Halloween Horror Nights,” Universal Studios Hollywood.  “And, it’s an honor to have the opportunity to work with him and his talented team to bring his unique vision for Us to life as a ‘living horror movie’ as part of ‘Halloween Horror Nights.’”

“The idea that ‘we are our own worst enemy and the visuals around that notion are what made the story of Us so compelling, personal and exciting for our design team to translate,” said Michael Aiello, Sr. Director of Entertainment Creative for Universal Orlando Resort. “Surrounding our guests in that horrific world of duality Jordan Peele created is a perfect fit for Universal’s ‘Halloween Horror Nights.’”

This year’s 10 mazes include “Us,” based on Jordan Peele’s critically-acclaimed blockbuster film; the iconic pop culture classic “Ghostbusters;” the Netflix original series “Stranger Things;” the 1980s film thriller, “Killer Klowns from Outer Space;” “Creepshow,” inspired by the 1980s cult classic film and the new anthology series airing on Shudder; Rob Zombie’s “House of 1000 Corpses;” “Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man,” inspired by Universal’s original cinematic monsters and the movie studio that invented the horror films; the all-original “Holidayz in Hell” maze and “The Walking Dead.”

The record-breaking number of mazes and the additional focus on original mazes represents the biggest change to the Horror Nights format in Hollywood since, arguably, the event’s relaunch in 2006. This year’s line-up may be ‘80s-heavy with Stranger Things, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Creepshow, and Ghostbusters, but the various themes of all the mazes represent a great amount of diversity in ideas and atmosphere. A lot of mazes also seem to carry a sense of scary fun that will hopefully be refreshing twist on the typically hyper-intensity-laden style of traditional Horror Nights mazes.

This season of Halloween Horror Nights definitely looks to be the most intriguing in the event’s history. We’re excited to see what it brings and can’t wait for HHN to kick off the 2019 Southern California haunt season!

Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.