30 Years of Fear – A History of Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights: 1992
Welcome back to 30 Years of Fear – A History of Halloween Horror Nights. Today, we’ll take a look at the event’s second year, 1992.
1992 – Halloween Horror Nights
1992 brought many changes to the event, including the official debut of the Halloween Horror Nights brand. The event is often called “Halloween Horror Nights II” in modern references.
This year, the event expanded to five nights and added a second haunted house. Admission jumped up to $33, and Universal began offering Florida Resident rates starting at $22.95. It also marked the debut of “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure,” which would become an event staple until its final performance in 2017.
The event had no story or icon in 1992, but it did have Robosaurus. (Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like.)
Universal predicted the Halloween season would grow to span 10 days back in 1992. 2021’s season is set to run for 42 nights. I’d say that bet paid off.
The Dungeon of Terror
The dungeon returns! Repeat houses were more common in the early years of Halloween Horror Nights when the event was just getting off the ground.
The People Under the Stairs
Based on the Wes Craven film of the same name, The People Under the Stairs utilized actual props from the movie. It was housed in Soundstage 23, which has continued to play host to haunted houses over the years. It was considered a very gory house, with decapitations, cannibalism, and 4D effects that simulated blood splatter. And, for fans of It’s Tough to be a Bug!, there were hidden air cannons to simulate roaches.
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure
Based on the cult classic Bill and Ted series, the Halloween stage show would later build a cult-like following of its own (I mean that in the most non-heinous way, as the show is a personal favorite of mine). Though the show included topical references, it wasn’t quite the same lambasting of pop culture it would become in later years.
On the Wild West Stage (currently known as the Fear Factor Stage), Bill S. Preston and Theodore “Ted” Logan end up in the past accidentally. Their phone booth-time machine is stolen by the outlaw Black Bart, but Doc Brown and the DeLorean show up to help save the day. When Bill and Ted summon their phone booth back, it brings Black Bart, Jason Vorhees, Freddy Kreuger, and The Terminator. After a wild chase culminating in the death of Black Bart, Bill and Ted perform as the Wyld Stallyns, accompanied by Madonna, MC Hammer, The Blues Brothers, and Elvis.
Robosaurus was a 4-story, 30-ton robot dinosaur that could breathe fire. It terrorized the streets of New York by eating and burning cars. Robosaurus was originally built for Steel Justice, a television series that would never air.
It seems a shame that we don’t have Robosaurus merchandise. Universal, if you’re reading this — you know what to do.
The Midway of the Bizarre
Officially considered a “show collection,” this was the first use of cohesive theming around the street entertainment, a precursor to scare zones, if you will. Mini shows scattered around the park included illusionists, sword-swallowers, fire-breathers, and other carnivalesque performances.
Halloween Horror Nights had four “overlays” to attractions that operated during the event.
Alien Forest: The E.T. Adventure queue with scareactors.
Voyage into the Unknown: The Back to the Future: The Ride queue with scareactors.
Terror Underground: Earthquake: The Big One with scareactors. The water in the finale scene was dyed red also.
Tramway of Doom: Kongfrontation with scareactors in the queue and the ride. Guests were also allowed to walk through the sets underneath the ride.
We’ll see you next time when we take a look at 1993’s Halloween Horror Nights III.
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