Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando have decided to cancel this year's Halloween Horror Nights. The annual event brings in fans from all over the world to experience the best in terrifying mazes and scare zones inspired by some of the biggest horror franchises ever released. The Ghostbusters stepped up last year's event in Hollywood, while the Stranger Things maze continued to scare and excite fans of the hit Netflix series. "This pain is temporary. Halloween Horror Nights is forever... and will come again," according to Universal.
With cases still surging across the United States, especially in Florida and California, Universal knew they had a tough decision on their hands. Halloween Horror Nights kicks off in September, so construction work would have to start up around now in order to be fully operational, though planning for this year actually started while last year's event was still up and running. You can read a statement from Universal below.
"Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort have made the difficult decision to not hold Halloween Horror Nights events this year. Universal Studios Hollywood continues to face ongoing business restrictions and uncertainty around its opening timeframe. Universal Orlando Resort will be focusing exclusively on operating its theme parks for daytime guests, using the enhanced health and safety procedures already in place."
Universal Studios Hollywood has been closed since the middle of March, while Universal Orlando opened its doors on June 7th, with new safety protocols. While this is certainly disappointing, it was to be expected and it looks like Universal is already planning Halloween Horror Nights 2021. "We know this decision will disappoint our fans and guests. We are disappointed, too. But we look forward to creating an amazing event in 2021," said Universal in their statement.
When thinking of Halloween Horror Nights, it would be nearly impossible to make the event safe during this difficult time. Large amounts of people are often put into small HHN mazes as they slowly make their way through, screaming nearly the entire time. Current public safety concerns simply would not be able to be addressed, so it seems like this decision is for the best and points towards a pretty grim Halloween season this year. With that being said, every day is almost like Halloween these days, without the fun, candy, or Universal Monsters.
It's hard to predict where the United States will be in October, but it doesn't look like this is going away anytime soon. Movie theaters are hoping to open their doors by the middle or end of next month, though it's unclear if they will be able to do so, or if they'll be any new movies to go see when the time comes. For now, we'll have to continue to be patient while practicing social distancing and hoping that Halloween Horror Nights, movie theaters, concerts, sporting events, and other large gathering get back to normal soon. You can read the official statement above, thanks to the Halloween Horror Nights Twitter account.