An all new Upside Down is coming to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights


Stranger Things is returning to Universal Halloween Horror Nights, and you’ll want to watch season 3 before entering this Upside Down.

Ready to enter the Upside Down, again? Stranger Things returns to Universal Halloween Horror Nights after a hugely successful initial experience. While the Netflix series has fans binge watching episode after episode, Universal’s Halloween maze experience had fans literally shrieking in fear.

In last year’s maze, fans journeyed through iconic scenes from season one. From moving walls to school hallways, the dreaded Demogorgon was hiding around every turn. While Eleven didn’t reveal herself till the final room, the highly anticipated maze was hugely popular. On some nights, wait times were over the two hour mark.

Noah Schnapp, Caleb McLaughlin, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Sadie Sink, Charlie Heaton, Natalia Dyer – Stranger Things (2019). Photo Credit: Netflix

One of the reasons why the Stranger Things maze was so hugely success was the attention to detail. When you walked past the couch, it felt like you were actually in the living room. As you entered the Upside Down, the floating debris transported you to another world. Once a person crossed that threshold, they weren’t at a theme park, they were part of a haunted series experience.

As Universal fans countdown till Halloween Horror Nights 29, Universal just announced that the Stranger Things maze is coming back again with a whole new storyline. This new experience has fans jumping to 1985. While the poster references scenes from season 2, the maze will include scenes from the highly anticipated season 3.

Given the poster, it seems likely that a few of the “rooms” will include pumpkins of some sort. Last year’s maze included forest scenes where the boys rode their bikes. Walking through a destroyed pumpkin patch seems likely.

In that type of scene, Universal could build some suspense at the beginning of the maze. It would set the tone for the whole experience. Starting with something eerily quiet builds the fear. Additionally, this type of scene could offer some interesting plays on pumping in aromas, something that Universal is playing with in its theme park bathrooms.

Beyond the poster itself, Universal’s reveal that scenes from season 3 are included is quite exciting. Universal partners with Netflix on these haunted maze experiences, which means that Universal’s team must know some key facts about the upcoming season. Since it takes over a year to plan and build these haunted attractions, there are some important people at Universal who are holding some big secrets.

Given the Stranger Things previews for season 3, it seems likely that mall scenes will be used in this haunted maze also. The mall aspect could have the maze juxtapositions of bright light to dark. That scenario is startling to the experience and hypes the feat factor.

Additionally, the 1985 time frame could offer some great music background to the experience. Last year’s maze used the songs extremely well. Since music plays a role in Stranger Things, those popular songs could be integral to the experience.

Noah Schnapp, Caleb McLaughlin, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Sadie Sink, Charlie Heaton, Natalia Dyer – Stranger Things (2019). Photo Credit: Netflix

Loudness creates fear in a haunted attraction. It is part of the disorientation which makes the experience alarming. When a known song comes on, it brings a sense of familiar which can quickly turn into a shock around the next corner.

Given that Stranger Things is set in the 1980s, it will be curious to see what other haunted attractions will be coming to Halloween Horror Nights 29. Last year’s event was very ’80s centric. From licensed properties, like Halloween, to original Universal properties like Slaughter Sinema, the ’80s vibe was woven throughout the whole event.

Since Universal always tries to over-delivery year after year, the announcement of the Stranger Things maze assumes even more big announcements over the next couple of months. Looking at Universal’s recent horror themed releases, Happy Death Day 2U is a possibility.

Even more exciting, could Us, Jordan Peele’s recent blockbuster, become a Halloween Horror Nights experience? It is a Blumhouse Production, which has a long history with Universal and Halloween Horror Nights. Just think of the long, long lines at this year’s Universal’s Halloween event if all of these properties make an appearance.

Stranger Things returns to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights this September. The experience will open at Universal Orlando Resort on September 6 and September 14 at Universal Studios Hollywood.

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Are you brave enough to enter the Upside Down, again at Universal Halloween Horror Nights?