A tradition going back nearly 30 years, Universal Studios' annual Halloween Horror Nights is adding American Horror Story: Roanoke to its festivities this year. The event is held simultaneously at both Universal's Hollywood and Orlando theme parks, with a different haunted maze line-up featured at each. A horror fan's dream come true, Horror Nights has offered guests the opportunity to step inside some of the greatest horror films of all-time, including A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Exorcist.
In recent years, the event has also played host to several haunted mazes based on the best in horror TV, with the most prominent being The Walking Dead, which has been featured at multiple events. Mazes based on classic anthology series Tales from the Crypt have also popped up a few times. Last year, FX hit American Horror Story finally got translated to Halloween Horror Nights, in both Orlando and Hollywood. The maze allowed guests to journey inside the titular Murder House, the carnival from Freak Show, and the Countess' haunted Hotel Cortez.
So successful was American Horror Story's addition to Halloween Horror Nights that Universal has announced it will return this year on both coasts, but with a slight twist. The AHS Orlando maze was announced awhile back, and will feature sections based on the Roanoke, Asylum, and Coven seasons. The newly confirmed AHS Hollywood maze will focus entirely on Roanoke, allowing fans to get up close and personal with the carnage wrought during AHS' most recent season.
The events in Orlando and Hollywood have different creative teams, and often engage in friendly competition with each other. To that end, creative director John Murdy recently took to the HHN Hollywood Twitter account to elaborate on his decision to take a different route than Orlando this year, and focus solely on a single season of AHS. The reasoning is pretty simple: Murdy thinks each season has enough viable elements to support its own maze, so why not save other seasons for future events? From a business standpoint, it's hard to argue with that logic.
Meanwhile, while this fall's event is focusing on transporting viewers to Roanoke, FX will be premiering AHS season 7, which will be themed around the 2016 presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. However, the two candidates will only be seen in actual footage from the campaign, and not portrayed by actors. For many reasons, that's probably a good move.
Source: Universal Studios