Embark on Epic Journeys at Universal’s Newest Theme Park

Epic Journeys
Here is the Haunted Attraction Industry News for February, 5th.
If you would like to receive this in your inbox, CLICK HERE

Valentine Haunts

This month, haunted houses are opening nationwide; check for a haunt near you in our full list

Universal Epic Universe

Universal Orlando Resort (Orlando, FL) revealed more details about their new Epic Universe park, set to open in late 2025. The press release included gateway concept art for all the lands and additional details about Celestial Park, the theme park’s central hub. Celestial Park is the first area guests will see upon arriving at Epic Universe, and it serves as the gateway to the other areas, including The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic, Super Nintendo World, How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk, and Dark Universe. From the main entrance, guests will walk through the Emerald Gate. From there, they’ll encounter “the Chronos device,” the storytelling conduit connecting Epic Universe’s realms. “In our story, Chronos is this giant machine used to harness the energy of the universe that powers all of Celestial Park, allowing us to open the portals to other worlds,” said Adam Rivest, executive producer for Celestial Park. With acres of rolling gardens, chasing waterways and strolling pathways, Celestial Park puts the “park” back in “theme park.” Guests will wander through lush living gardens nestled along shimmering waters surrounded by stunning architecture inspired by astronomical and mythological elements. 

The release also teased what guests will encounter in each of the four “worlds” within the park. In How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk, guests will take to the skies and soar with dragons as they explore the colorful Viking village at the heart of Berk. They can participate in wild boat battles, feast like a Viking, and more. In The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic, guests will discover a different era of the wizarding world in an all-new land that blends 1920s wizarding Paris from Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Fantastic Beasts” films with the iconic British Ministry of Magic from the “Harry Potter” series. In Super Nintendo World, guests will experience a new way of playing, from challenging Bowser on the Mario Kart ride to venturing through Donkey Kong Country. Finally, in Dark Universe, guests encounter everything from Dr. Victoria Frankenstein’s experiments to the shadowy landscape where monsters roam in a world of myth and mystery. Delve deeper into the details of the press release in an article from Attractions Magazine.

Theme Parks

The “Monster Makeover: Become the Monster!” experience has opened at Universal Studios Florida (Orlando, FL). Located in the 5 & Dime at the Hollywood section of the park, this makeover-style experience allows guests to choose from 38 monster designs. The makeup is then applied by one of Universal’s makeup professionals – the same artists that create the monsters for Halloween Horror Nights. A full face application costs $125, a half-face design is $65. The full transformation takes 45 minutes (30 minutes for the half-face designs), and reservations are required. 

Tokyo Disneyland (Tokyo, Japan) announced the dates for their Halloween season at the park. Disney Halloween will run from October 1st – November 7th. The company teased that there will be new theming and entertainment, with specifics to be announced in the coming months.

Haunted Attraction Association

The Haunted Attraction Association has a full slate of activities and events at this year’s Transworld’s Halloween & Attractions Show. Visit them at booth 2023 to speak with HAA board members, the legal advisory team (Thursday – Saturday 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.), and the Emergency / Crisis & Public Relations Team (Thursday – Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.). Their CHAOS Seminar & Safety Track will occur on Thursday, March 7th, at 9:30 a.m. The State of the Industry presentation will take place Friday, March 8th at 10:00 a.m. – a full coffee bar will be available for attendees. The annual Auction will take place on Friday, March 8th, at 5:15 p.m. (doors open at 4:30 p.m.) The annual OSCARES Awards will take place Saturday, March 9th at 5:30 p.m. (doors open at 5:00 p.m.) – the Haunted Attraction Network is proud to be a co-chair and producer for this year’s event. Learn more via the HAA’s recent TransWorld 2024 Events & Details video.

U.S. Haunts & Events

The Edgar Allen Poe Speakeasy will be touring select areas of the US February – March including Bakersfield, CA (February 8th – 10th), Montgomery, AL (February 10th), Orange County, CA (February 15th – 17th), Augusta, GA (February 22nd – 24th), Raleigh, NC (February 29th – March 2nd), and Myrtle Beach, SC (March 7th – 9th). The Edgar Allan Poe Speakeasy is a chilling 90-minute cocktail experience dedicated to the stories of Edgar Allan Poe. The event occurs inside a dark speakeasy as four of Poe’s most famous stories will be retold and reimagined by Poe historians. The speakeasy’s lead mixologist will also transform each story into a 4-part cocktail experience. Signature drinks include Pale Blue Eye, Cocktail of Red Death, Edgar’s Twisted Brandy Milk Punch, and The Raventini. Tickets range in price from $45 – $69, depending on the dates/locations. The full slate of dates and locations and links to ticket sales can be found on the event’s official website


After 20 years of serving SoCal Halloween fans, Halloween Club (La Mirada, CA) will close its doors on February 12th. In a newsletter e-mail last Monday, Halloween Club announced they were holding a store-closing sale with deals up to 85% off. In an interview with All Hallows Geek, Halloween Club representative Jack Bhasin shared that the closure was due to rent increases at the warehouse that outpaced business growth. The store will seek to liquidate its inventory quickly, thus prompting the 85% off sale. In addition to merchandise, the store will also sell its fixtures, furniture, and more. Halloween Club merchandise will still be available at Aahs! & Halloween Club in the Buena Park Mall, Trendy Gifts by Aahs! in the Puente Hills Mall, and Aahs! in Westwood and Torrance. Bhasin hopes that in the future, Halloween Club will re-open at a smaller location, but plans have yet to be announced. 

Distortions Unlimited announced four all-new Halloween props for the 2024 season. The Scare Wolf Legend ($689) stands 6 feet tall, with a full head and neck, but is flat-backed. The unique and detailed werewolf prop is made of latex and foam-filled with posable arms and an armature inside. The 3-foot long sci-fi-inspired Alien Spider ($535) features legs that span 5 feet (depending on their pose). The hand-crafted and painted prop includes an LED FX light to create an eerie glow. The Scarecrow Wrath ($742) stands 7.5 feet tall with a full head and neck but is flat-backed. Its arms and fingers are posable, and the neck can be bent to position the head, which features lit eyes. Finally, the Wicked Witch Legend ($574) is fashioned after a classic green, old, and gnarled witch standing 5.5 feet tall. Made of latex, foam filled, and including an armature, the prop includes posable arms, a bendable neck, and a detachable hat. 

Film / TV / Books

Jagged Edge Productions, the filmmakers behind Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, plan to expand their public domain horror universe with the upcoming movie Peter Pan’s Neverland Nightmare. A recent article on the Bloody Disgusting website shared a new teaser sketch image. The filmmakers will work with The Prosthetic Studio’s Shaune Harrison and Paula Anne Booker-Harrison to design this twisted Peter Pan. “I am taking inspiration from French cinema while in prep for this movie,” said director Scott Jeffrey, “The film will be incredibly tense following Wendy as she tries to track down her brother, Michael, who has been abducted by Peter Pan. I would say it’s a mesh between Switchblade Romance and The Black Phone with our own spin on it. It is a nasty, violent and incredibly dark movie… Tinkerbell is not what you think. In our version she is hooked on heroin and convinced it’s Pixie Dust.” Filming is expected to start in May with a planned Halloween 2024 theatrical release.

Beetlejuice 2‘s official poster reveals the sequel’s name: Beetlejuice Beetlejuice. The long-awaited sequel has a September 6th, 2024 release date. It is currently in post-production, with filming wrapping in November 2023. Tim Burton is at the helm as director, and several of the original film’s stars have signed on to reprise their roles – including Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, and Catherine O’Hara. New cast members Jenna Ortega, Willem Dafoe, Justin Theroux, and Monica Bellucci will join them. 

Haunt (2019) is now streaming on Netflix. Written and directed by Scott Beck & Bryan Woods, the film follows a group of friends who encounter an extreme haunted house on Halloween night that promises to feed on their darkest fears. The night turns deadly as they come to the horrifying realization that some nightmares are real.

From Lisa Frankenstein to Terrifier 3, 2024 boasts an impressive slate of releases for horror movie fans

Conventions & Mixers

Creep IE con (a horror-themed convention) took over the Ontario Convention Center in Ontario, CA, this past weekend from Fen 2-4, 2023. Despite being a new show, the convention sold out weekend and Saturday passes. In addition to the celebrity appearances and vendors, this year’s show included a mini-haunt from Fear Farm, a horror museum from Art’s Sideshow, and a retro arcade. Philip was on location this weekend, and we have a video overview of the event.

HAuNTcon takes place this week, February 9th – 11th, at the Hilton Daytona Beach Ocenafront Resort (Daytona Beach, FL). The event features over 50 exhibitorspre-con haunt toureducational seminars & workshopsIndie Horror Show film screenings, and more

Upcoming Events: February - April 2024

February 9 – 11HAuNTcon (Daytona Beach, Florida) 
March 7 – 10Transworld’s Halloween & Attractions Show (St. Louis, Missouri)
April 12 – 24Fear Expo (Owensboro, Kentucky)
April 26 – 28The Spooky Swap Meet (Los Angeles, California)
April 27 – 28East Coast Haunters Convention (Oaks, Pennsylvania)

New Videos





Signup To Our Newsletter

haunted attraction network