One of the only real disappointments of Halloween Horror Nights XV was that the regular attractions weren't tricked out for the occasion. Would it be that hard to replace the "Hulk" launch sequence with something a little more creepy? How about tossing in a bloodied up dino victim in Jurassic Park River Adventure?
No, I'm not asking for too much. I remember back when HHN first started out at Universal Studios Florida that the attractions did get in on the fun. The ET silhouette of the kids riding bikes against the moon was replaced by a witch on a broomstick. The pre-show holding area for Back to the Future featured bloodied up lab assistants running up and down the hallways in distress. Then again, there may have been just 2 haunted mazes at the time. The Bill and Ted show was in its infancy, with a cast of maybe 8-10 performers.
Why the setup? That's because this is as close as Universal came to living up to its dolled up attractions of old. That's because this haunted house took advantage of its location inside Poseidon's Fury. Guests enter through the water vortex chamber. If you are familiar with the daytime attraction, this is the part where you walk through a tunnel of water, granting you safe passage to Atlantis. It's a neat effect. It's a loud effect. It's neat how you start there, then walk through the main staging area (where the two Greek gods duke it out) with blankets to your left partially covering up the fireball explosions and water cannons that go on during the show, programmed to run continuously. To your right, that's where the scare actors would occasionally bolt out any try to grab you. It's a limited locale, because obviously all of the human scares are taking place to your right as the watery stage is to your left. Perhaps they could have used the water screens to broadcast some creepy images, but I won't complain all that much because it was at least a half-hearted attempt at marrying an existing attraction with the theme.
Every few guests, one person would be fitted with a miner's hat (with a shower cap beneath it so they could quickly be recycled with a new shower cap for the next party). The light is activated by darkness, so it gave the attraction an extra layer of uncertainty as the miner lights would flicker on and off. Yes, the maze itself was awfully short as it basically extends the length of the water vortex, front row of the final battle sequence and the brief path to exit the attraction. However, it gets kudos for originality, even though it was the lightest of the lot when it came to actual scares.
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