Universal Studios Orlando offers two “lights-on” Unmasking the Horror tours of their HHN houses and, combined, you get a behind the scenes look at 6 of the 8 haunted houses of the event. I HIGHLY recommend checking these tours out (after you’ve seen the houses with the lights off) as you get a ton of insight into how the haunt experience works and all the hard work that went into each individual house.
You and your party, along with other Unmasking the Horror Guests, will be combined together to take part in a guided, informational walking tour providing an overview of this year’s event as well as a lights-on walkthrough of three haunted houses with the opportunity to take photos throughout. Along the way you’ll learn how Universal Orlando’s Art & Design Team take some of the world’s most popular movie, television and gaming properties and turn them into immersive Halloween Horror Nights haunted houses. You’ll also learn how the Art & Design Team create original haunted houses and characters that can only be seen at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights each year.
Due to the intensely graphic nature and lights-on viewing within the haunted houses, Unmasking the Horror Tours are not recommended for children under the age of 13.
Unmasking the Horror Tours last 2-2½ hours with combined groups consisting of no more than 15 guests per RIP Guide. Guests taking part in the Unmasking the Horror Tour will also receive a commemorative HHN lanyard.
For tons of lights on pics of the houses, as well as some spoilery trivia learned during our tour, check out more after the jump!
Some cool spoilerific trivia we learned from our tour guide:
- There’s no hidden “Croatoan” in the Roanoake: Cannibal Colony I asked. However, the crows in the house are a reference to the “Cro” religion that the settlers worship. It’s this religion that has turned them to cannibalism, and that cannibalism has turned them into Wendigos! Keep an eye out in the final scene of the house for the Wendigo creatures (and a skeleton of one hanging from the wall).
- The Dollhouse of the Damned is not meant to have a central storyline. It’s meant to address all different kinds of dolls. In the marionette room, look out for Billy from Dead Silence (there are two of them), and keep an eye out for Chucky (you’re not going to see him most likely with the lights off) in one of the other rooms. Also, if you look closely in the holes in the walls? Yes…you’ll see doll parts. The entire house is constructed FROM doll parts (well, and the usual building materials).
- There is so much to see in Halloween it’s silly. The word “Samhain” is written on the wall in blood, a reference to Halloween II. Look out for all kinds of references to the movie – the Howard the Duck comic on the couch, the crochet needles, The Thing playing on television, and every other memorable thing you can think of in the movie (including the kitten photo on the wall). The Michael Myers in the “car scene” isn’t real. He’s moved entirely by the actress pretending to be strangled. Freddy’s shirt is hanging in the closet, but you probably won’t see it unless you look at it with the lights on. When you’re in between houses (in the “clothes line” scene), keep an eye out for references to Halloween III.
- From Dusk Till Dawn is nowhere near as impressive with the lights on, but there are still some goodies there. The room right after the sacrificial chamber (known as the Snake Room) was designed by Robert Rodriguez. Sex Machine is the sacrifice on the altar. The playing cards in “The Twister” final scene are from the Penn and Teller Las Vegas house they did a couple of years ago. The human torso guitar is on the stage in the final scene as well.
- The Walking Dead has a ton of inside easter eggs for fans of the show, including references to Terminus. In the supermarket, the names of many of the products reference the creative team members of HHN. The names of the previous HHN icons are hidden on brick walls as names of various companies. Herschel’s head is sitting outside the prison before you get into the house.
- The puppetry in Alien vs. Predator is absolutely amazing. If you get lucky, you’ll have someone in the house with your tour showing you how the puppets work. The storyline of the house involves a crashed alien ship absconded by a Weyland-Utani research facility. Unfortunately, the xenomorphs invade the facility, and the Predators come to hunt them.
I’m sure there’s a ton more that you’ll see if you attend the tour. I highly recommend attending both of them if you’re a fan – there’s nothing quite like seeing how much hard work went into scaring you!
For more information on these tours, check out the RIP Tours page on the HHN site!
Pictures below come from Roanoke: Cannibal Colony, Halloween, The Walking Dead, Alien Vs. Predator, From Dusk Till Dawn, and Dollhouse of the Damned.
Special thanks to Eric and Rachel from Behind the Thrills for helping us out with the pics. Love those guys!