Final countdown: Halloween Horror Nights taking shape at Universal

Theme park to make one announcement per day leading up to event

Halloween Horror Nights Icons displayed for upcoming 2021 event (McReynolds)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Fans of Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights are counting down the days until terrifying screams return to the theme park.

Beginning Sept. 3, guests will experience haunted houses, sinister scare zones, outrageous live entertainment and some of the park’s most exhilarating attractions.

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Last year was supposed to be Halloween Horror Nights 30th year.

The popular event is one of the biggest events for Universal every year, but last year leaders were forced to modify the event by allowing a select number of guests inside three of its haunted houses during a daytime event.

Set pieces setup for Halloween Horror Nights, Aug 7,2021 (McReynolds)

Since last year’s event was technically “canceled” due to the coronavirus pandemic, officials are making sure this year is celebrated well.

Universal said Tuesday night on Instagram that its countdown to opening day will begin Wednesday. The post showed a Halloween Horror Nights-inspired advent calendar.

Universal has only announced a handful of the 10 haunted houses, including Beetlejuice, Netflix’s Haunting of Hill House, Bride of Frankenstein Lives and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Over the past several weeks, Horror nights fans have been screaming with excitement as a number of set pieces, stages, props and even merchandise have already begun showing up across Universal Studios.

Halloween Horror Nights Icons displayed at Universal Studios on Aug. 3, 2021 (McReynolds)

Near Universal’s “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” attraction, for example, scaffolding and a number of lighting trusses have been set up.

The event’s famous horror nights icons are also featured on two large 3D displays on both sides of the future scare zone.

Halloween Horror Nights set pieces on Aug. 3, 2021 (McReynolds)

Universal’s social team, known to respond in clever ways, took to social media Tuesday, addressing the new additions in the park.

It’s not just this area where guests are noticing changes.

Universal’s New York-themed area, near the “Revenge of the Mummy” attraction, is now under the eye of the so-called “controller.”

Truck and "Controller" sign on building at Universal Studios on Aug. 3, 2021 (McReynolds)

A stage has been set up across from the potential future tribute store, along with several props down the street.

Stage setup for Halloween Horror Nights on Aug. 3, 2021 (McReynolds)

A similar setup is already taking shape in the park’s San Francisco-themed area.

Set pieces for Halloween Horror Nights on Aug. 7, 2021 (McReynolds)

No scare zones have officially been announced by Universal.

The theme park is currently hiring positions for Halloween Horror Nights and other areas across the entire resort.

Click here to learn more about the Halloween event and to buy event tickets.

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About the Author:

Landon joined News 6 in 2017. He grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelors degree in TV and digital media. When he is not at work you can catch him at one of Orlando's theme parks or the beach. Before working at News 6 he worked for stations in Miami and Fort Myers.