In 1992, the event was renamed Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights (advertised as the 2nd Annual Halloween Horror Night) instead of the previous Fright Nights. The 1992 year would add a new maze, The People Under the Stairs, in one of Universal’s soundstages.
Many of the attractions this year became “Horror-fied” and added a scary element to them.
Because of the success of the first year, Halloween Horror Nights would have a larger budget ($1 million) and would aim at becoming the number one Halloween event in America. Joseph Curley, Universal Studios Florida PR Manager at the time, stated that the 1992 year would be like Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
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The goal was to bring back everything that was successful the first year, plus a few new attractions, lots of pop culture references, and an emphasis on merchandise.
Halloween Horror Nights 1992 Story
HHN 92 saw Universal amp up the scare factor by adding an eerie presence to the park with scary music, keeping guests off-balance.
The Dungeon of Terror would return this year using the Jaws queue as its location again. The house would be improve from the humid, hot box to an air-conditioned scare that was longer in time than the previous year. More terrors were also added and a mirror effect only enhance the scares coming from the monsters inside the maze.
The People Under the Stairs was the new haunted attraction in the 1992 season. This attraction was based on the 1991 Wes Craven film with filming taken place before in one of the Universal Studios Hollywood soundstages. All the sets and props would later be carefully packed and shipped to Florida and reassembled inside Soundstage 23 for the maze.
According to Paul Geurts, producer of the event, they tried claustrophobic environments in The People Under the Stairs with great success so an open area was added at the very end of the attraction dressed in a night’s sky. Unfortunately, people would pause at this scene causing a back up in the queue, which led to the idea of “scare-moving.”
Scare-moving happens when guests arrive to a scene that needs to stay clear, and scareactors are placed in key lurking areas to jump out at select times in order to get the guest to run away quickly.
The haunted maze would take disturbing queues from the original film such as cannibalism and mutilation. Fake blood would be splattered everywhere even on guests, which led one guest to complain and this prohibited scareactors from improvising with their own props.
The Bates Motel was the official photo spot for the event with Pendragons Magic Show returning this year. Thunderdome debuted this year, loosely based off the Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome movie.
The “rat lady” also returned with several ads in the newspaper stating, “Wanted – Person to share small, dark, coffin with 100 live rats.”
Just imagine reading that line in the newspaper and responding to it as an applicant.
There were no official scarezones this year; however, there were monsters given the opportunity to roam the park. Most of the scareactors congregated around the New York, San Francisco, and Amity areas of the park.
Another show debuted this year, which would become a Halloween Horror Nights staple, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure. They would perform four shows each night with two different casts alternating for the event. The show started with a stand-off between a Sheriff and a bank robber. Bill and Ted would then be seen transitioning through their time-traveling booth meeting Doc Brown (from Back to the Future), the Terminator, and Freddy Kruger. All the while jamming to top pop artists of the time such as MC Hammer, Madonna, and the Blues Brothers.
Halloween Horrors Nights had officially made it mark and was now here to stay!
Halloween Horror Nights 2 Facts
- Year: 1992
- Dates: October 23rd, 24th, 29th, 30th, 31st
- Icon: None
- Theme/Tagline: None
- Claim to Fame: First use of the name Halloween Horror Nights, debut of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure, and the introduction of Robosaurus.
- Location: Universal Studios Florida
- Event Hours: 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.
- Ticket Prices: $12.95
- Dungeon of Terror Location: Jaws Queue Monsters haunt the halls of this dungeon.
- The People Under the Stairs Location: Soundstage 23 A trip through a cryptic movie set based on the film by Wes Craven.
- Scarezones: None
1992 PROMOTIONAL VIDEO
Halloween Horror Nights 1991 Shows:
- Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure Location: Wild West Stage Bodacious stunts and tricks through time with cameo appearances by the likes of Dark Man and The Munsters.
- Carnival of Horror Location: Hollywood A one-night costume contest held on October 31st.
- The Pendragons Location: Animal Actor’s Stage A magical illusionists and artists.
- Robosaurus Location: New York Streets A 30-ton robot terrorizing HHN guests.
- Thunderdome Location: Hollywood Streets Face to face with an evil army and its barbaric queen terrorize guests. HHN’s original gory stageshow that grabbed members of the audience and dipped them into oozing acid.
Universal Rides Opened During the 1992 Event:
Haunted “Horror-fied” Attractions Added This Year
1 – Alien Forest
- Location: E.T. Adventure
- Guests escaped from a ghoulish demon infested forest to an alien world. Complete with dry-ice and scareactors around every turn.
2 – Terror Underground
- Location: Earthquake
- This was a bloody tour through the former Earthquake attraction.
3 – Tramway of Doom
- Location: Kongfrontation
- Darkman haunted New York with guests trying to escape the deserted streets. Based on the film by Sam Raimi.
4 – Voyage into the Unknown
- Location: Back to the Future
- This was a deadly voyage into the fog with crazy mad scientists roaming about with bloodstained labcoats.
Regular Rides and Attractions
- The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera
- Hitchcock’s 3-D Theater
- The Gory, Gruesome, Grotesque Horror Make-Up Show
- Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Review
Fright Nights 1991 started the Universal Halloween craze and continues to usher in new fans today. I am excited to be able to experience the continued success of this Halloween franchise and hope that you’ll be able to experience it too.
Be sure to leave your own stories and comments below and let me know some of your favorite tips when going to HHN. Also let me know what your favorite Halloween Horror Nights maze and scarezone is of all time.
For more information on the houses, shows, pricing, policies, and times please visit the official Halloween Horror Nights website.
If you liked this article, then you’ll enjoy theses!
- My Solo Halloween Horror Nights Adventure
- Halloween Horror Nights Survival Guide
- More Halloween Horror Nights History
Special shout out to Halloween Horror Nights: The Unofficial Story & Guide, Wiki, HHN Crypt, HHN Yearbook, HHNightmares, The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights Podcast for the wonderful information!
Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!