It’s officially Halloween Horror Nights news season as haunted houses are already under construction at both Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood. With permits filed for 5 mazes so far in Orlando, and work started on 4 in Hollywood, speculation is rampant for what properties we may see this year.
Let’s dig into which house locations are starting work, and what they could be based on, in today’s news update. Be sure to check out the video version of this story for additional visuals.
While dates for Halloween Horror Nights in 2022 have not been announced yet, work on the haunted houses has already begun. Here in Orlando, we have seen 5 permits submitted to the City of Orlando website, along with several Notice of Commencements with the Orange County Comptroller.
Permits describe interior work for two soundstage locations, the two sprung tents, and the parade building. There are reports that plywood for the mazes has been brought in to some of these locations already, so Universal is not wasting any time.
The soundstage permits are for stage 24A and B, which housed “HHN Icons: Captured” and “Revenge of the Tooth Fairy” during last year’s event. Sprung Tent 1 was home to “Puppet Theatre: Captive Audience” and Sprung Tent 2 was home to “The Wicked Growth: Realm of the Pumpkin.” And the Parade Building, building 79 in the permits, was home to “Beetlejuice.”
While the permits themselves are light on details, describing the work as “Interior Alteration,” some of the notice of commencements do list contractors that have been hired.
The soundstage notices list “Fake Productions LLC” as the contractor. They’ve worked on HHN houses for years, developing scenic elements. Most recently, they were responsible for installs at last year’s Beetlejuice house.
We are still awaiting more permits for the remaining houses, but there are still some unknowns for two locations that have been utilized in recent years.
Ongoing construction for the replacement for Shrek 4-D may mean that that house location will be out of commission for this year’s event.
Even though a large portion of the building is expected to be allocated for HHN house use in the future when the rumored Minions Villain-Con attraction opens, probably in early 2023, they may not be able to utilize the space while construction is happening this year.
Another unknown is related to the MiB tent, which is located between the Fear Factor Live stage and Men in Black: Alien Attack. Originally, an expansion for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was expected to be happening this year, but recent permits show that project as canceled. If it had gone on as planned, some believed the MiB tent spot was going to be utilized for construction trailers and equipment staging.
With that project no longer active, some believe that that house location may be back in play… However, with planning already having taken place before they knew they could use it, they may already be locked into alternative house locations for HHN31.
What would these alternate house locations be? Whether they need an a different location for one or two houses is still unknown, but one rumor points to Fast and Furious Supercharged as an option for one new house spot. According to the rumor, not only would a section of the attraction’s massive queue be utilized for a new house, but so would the ride’s actual ride path.
Since it is a trackless experience, guests would literally be walking the ride’s route in a new house, if this rumor is true. We should learn more soon, because if it is true, the ride will have to go seasonal for months leading up to the event, and close temporarily.
— Kevin Ciracha (@Kevin_Castro22) March 15, 2022
At Universal Studios Hollywood, house construction is already visible for two main locations: the Mummy Queue, which is where “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” was located last year, and Curious George Tent 1 , where “The Haunting of Hill House” was last year. The Curious George location seems to be getting some sort of barn-like facade.
Prep work has started on the Parisian Courtyard area, where “Bride of Frankenstein Lives” was located last year, as well as inside of Soundstage 29, where “The Exorcist” house was.
Rumors and speculation have kicked into high gear now that work is actually starting on houses for both coasts. While Universal has not yet announced any of the houses for HHN 2022, that hasn’t stopped the community from throwing their guesses into the ring.
Some of the more popular guesses include a house based on another Netflix property, such as the new season of Stranger Things or last year’s Fear Street trilogy. The company has worked with the event in the past, with multiple houses for Stranger Things, and last year’s Haunting of Hill House.
Another front runner appears to be Jordan Peele’s NOPE. The new horror/sci-fi film hits theaters this summer, and with the Peele’s US having been made into a haunted house for both coasts back in 2019, it’s certainly a possibility that his new film could be considered this year.
Many are expecting another house based on the Universal Classic Monsters, which has become somewhat of a trend in recent years. The the classic Mummy film from 1932 is a front-runner at this time. After Revenge of the Mummy’s large refurbishment at Universal Studios Florida, which is supposed to end this summer, many have Imhotep on the brain.
Other speculation includes the new Scream sequel, Gremlins, The Last of Us video game series, and, strangely enough, something featuring The Weeknd.
It’s not clear if The Weeknd would be getting his own house, or would be providing music for a new show, like the lagoon show, for example, but his name has come up on everyone’s speculation list in recent weeks, so it is something worth keeping an eye on.
Original houses have also been speculated on, including one based on Scary Tales, another based on the cryptozoological legend of the Chupacabra, and one featuring the unused icon, Nathaniel Crowe—or something having to do with scarecrows, that may tie into that barn facade being constructed in Hollywood.
Horror Night Nightmares, known for their infamous speculation maps, just released version one for this year’s event. The maps for Orlando and Hollywood confirm many of the most popular rumors, but keep in mind, these maps tend to change as we get closer to the event.
While permits and visible construction progress are things we can confirm, none of the rumored or speculated house concepts have been confirmed by the company at this time, so take these ideas with a grain of salt.
We’ll be keeping you updated with news for HHN in Orlando as it happens. While we wait, be sure to check out the full line of Halloween Horror Nights inspired candles and wax melts from Souvenir Scents. They just released 4 new scents, including ones based on the Krampus house, Scarecrow, and Yeti! Use my promo code PARKSTOP to save 15% of your entire order at SouvenirScents.com.
Be sure to check out the video version of this story for additional visuals, and stay tuned for more HHN31 news and rumors as they happen.