I am very happy to share this guest blog by the awesome Jonathan at Hung Up On Theme Parks,he makes great content over on YouTube and I am a big fan of his podcasts! He has left his social media platforms below so please give him a follow on Instagram and subscribe to his YouTube channel,for top quality vlogs and podcasts!
- By Jonathan (Creator of the Hung Up On Theme Parks Podcast)
Why do people remember the scent of the Halloween Horror Nights fog?
Think about that for a second. It’s a simple fog effect, nothing particularly special about it. However, people swear that no candle has been able to recreate the smell you get while walking through the streets of Universal Studios Orlando late in the night.
The answer is simple: Halloween Horror Nights has seeped deep into their soul. They have become hooked, almost like a drug, longing for the next year’s event. They crave it, posting day after day on social media about what the next event is going to include. It never stops, becoming a seemingly endless selection of videos and photos we all have gotten to look at and enjoy. It doesn’t just end there. Moving away from social media, we have YouTube videos, Spotify playlists, podcasts, and even the creation of people’s own haunted houses that all relate to this one event. How can a haunt be this powerful?
The people make it powerful. The IP’s featured at the event, various haunted houses, scarezones, and even shows are all temporary. Very rarely is a house or scarezone repeated, and a show is never the exact same thing each year. The people don’t change. The scare actors and guests create the overall fun vibe the event gives off. It’s through their interactions that memories are made. You can have the most beautiful haunted house based on your favorite property, but if you don’t make a memorable moment with a scareactor in it, what’s the point?
For example: why was Ghostbusters from HHN 29 not as popular as it should’ve been? I mean, it’s GHOSTBUSTERS for crying out loud! The reason was they toned the number of scare actors that were able to do their own thing down, therefore lowering guest satisfaction.
Notice how I said nothing about whether or not it was scary. A house doesn’t have to be scary to be universally (puns… I crack myself up) loved. We’ve gotten many non-frightening houses, such as Killer Klowns from Outer Space and Stranger Things (Season One), that became massive hits. In order for a house to be memorable, it needs to have interactive elements, mainly the classic pop outs that make you jump, to really bring you into the world the creative team has built from scratch. The reaction you get from these sudden bursts of movement lets you know that the house or scarezone you are in is a real place. The scare actors have made it their home. It’s such a much more intimate feeling that normal rides can’t give off because of their lack of real people.
With real people you can make friendships (yes, even with scareactors). After a while they start to recognize your face, which generates more frightening encounters. There’s a unique relationship between the scare actor and the guest that can’t be matched, growing with each house you visit and each street you walk through. It’s that personal touch that has seeped into the souls of millions. It’s why we long to go back every waking minute of our lives, even if we aren’t actively thinking about it.
Without scare actors, the event would be pointless.
Let me say this again: without scare actors, the event would be pointless. Intellectual properties, sets, and effects are cool. The better they are, the more likely guests will want to go visit. However, the scare actors will make them want to stay. It’s them that create the memories that last a lifetime. It’s the people that make the event what it is today. After all, they’re the reason we remember the scent of the Halloween Horror Nights fog.
To celebrate Horror Night’s 30th year, let’s all go and tell the people who frightened us, made us jump, encouraged us to run, and threatened us with (fake) weapons that we appreciate what they do. The event wouldn’t have lasted this long without them.
I can’t wait to walk through the fog filled streets once again, but until then, the memories I’ve made will keep HHN close to my heart.
Stay safe out there guys,
Jonathan (Creator of the Hung Up On Theme Parks Podcast)
Hellllllo there! My name is Jonathan and I am a MASSIVE theme park nerd. I have been going to the theme parks since I was two, and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. I have recently started a podcast, the “Hung Up On Theme Parks Podcast”, to talk about my love for all things theme park related in Orlando! I would really appreciate it if you guys gave it a listen. It would mean the world to me. I have also started up a YouTube channel recently that contains the podcast and A LOT more, including vlogs and special exclusive podcasts that aren’t available elsewhere. You can find the links to all of these things in the description. I can’t wait to get in touch with you guys! To end this off, a big thank you to thestudiosgirl for letting me write something for her blog! As Doc Brown says, “Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one”. Bye guys!
YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm6VHTlw5UeoA8gCHW3OYMg
Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast…
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Jonathan’s Instagram: @hunguponthemeparks
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