Probably the biggest news to hit the haunt world lately is that global superstar the Weeknd has officially announced a Horror Nights House at Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood for their annual haunt events.
If that didn’t already make it clear, Halloween is indeed upon us — so if you haven’t started buying your tickets already, better start saving that coin for HHN, Knotts Scary Farm, and Halloween at Disney Parks. Here’s your weekly guide for this upcoming Halloween season and more at theme parks, immersive experiences, and beyond.
The Weeknd After Hours Nightmare
What? Like Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath didn’t also have houses based on their music. If their HHN houses made you feel like you were on acid, the Weeknd’s version, named for his 2020 album After Hours, looks to have more of a designer drug feel — perfect for a glossy and gory Hunter S. Thompson fever dream by way of Kubrick. This was my dream house announcement ever ever since that “Blinding Lights” Super Bowl moment turned into a meme.
More from the Weeknd
“I always wanted my own Halloween Horror Nights haunted house as Halloween has always been significant to my music, so this is a total dream come to life. I feel like my music videos have served as a launching pad for a collaboration like this, and I cannot wait for people to experience this madness!” the Weeknd (real name: Abel Tesfaye, in case you’re wondering who Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood’s John Murdy is referring to below) said in a press release.
What excites me most about this project is expanding the boundaries of our event and of horror in general. I hate when people try to put a genre in a box. Abel’s music extends beyond genres & this experience is created in the same spirit. Whatever you think this is…think again!— John Murdy (@john_murdy) July 26, 2022
After Hours Tracks for HHN
For a preview of the coming attraction’s horror palette check out the music video for “Save Your Tears” (above); for more, watch the NSFW ultra-violent and horror tinged “In Your Eyes,” which has some heavy Brian De Palma vibes. The After Hours tracks that will soundtrack the After Hours Nightmare frights include: “In Your Eyes,” “Heartless,” “Blinding Lights,” “Save Your Tears,” and “Too Late.”
While we’re excited for the groundwork of the twisted mind of the Weeknd to come from these tracks, the house won’t just be a music video walkthrough in a soundstage. “It’s not literally the music videos for After Hours but that’s a good start. They’re all connected. It’s pretty cool,” Murdy shared on Twitter.
This weekend’s Halloween convention is almost sold out! Get your tickets now if you can!
The West Coast’s immersive theatre Halloween mainstay Enter Delusion returns with a tease to sign up for updates on its site for the fall’s hottest ticket.
Knotts Scary Farm
Scary Farm is set to return on select nights September 22-October 31. The West Coast’s original haunt unveiled its slate of mazes:
The Gore-ing ‘20s
Ghost Town Streets
Fantastic Fest 2022
Fantastic Fest is back for its 17th year. The biggest genre film festival in the U.S. will unleash upcoming horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action, and more in Austin, TX from September 22-29. Get your badge now and stay tuned.
Summer of Darkness at Alamo Drafthouse
Alamo Drafthouses around the nation are hosting John Carpenter screenings this summer.
Bluey Is the New Paddington
At least until Paddington 3 comes out. Really though, this feel-good animated series, available on Disney+, is pure and is having more events in the states, where the obsession with the Aussie Heeler dog family is starting to take hold. The first of hopefully many more events will take place August 6 at the Century City mall in Southern California hosted by Camp. It’s only a matter of time before they’re at Disney Parks, we hope!
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
The annual family friendly event on the East Coast is back on select nights August 12-October 31. Tickets here.
D23 Expo Theme Parks Panel Announcement
We’ll find out more about the future of Disney Parks and Resorts at the upcoming D23 Expo. Wonderful World of Dreams is comprised of pavilions and panels filled with Disney Parks magic from around the globe. Imagineering will have a big presence at the expo with behind the scenes looks at Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, Epcot’s expansion, new Frozen-themed experiences, Disney Cruise Line, live entertainment, retail shopping and more.
Here’s the listing of officially announced panels:
Inside Look at the Society of Explorers and Adventurers
Friday, Sept. 9, 10:30 a.m., Backlot Stage
An inside look at the continuing development of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers — what it means in the Disney Parks and how these stories continue to grow. Disney Imagineers are joined by Julie Kagawa to talk about her first two books in a series of novels that tie into the lore of S.E.A.
A Peek Behind the Curtain at the Walt Disney Imagineering Illusions and Special Effects Development Lab
Saturday, September 10, 10 a.m., Walt Disney Archives Stage
Learn about the legacy of Walt Disney Imagineering’s Illusions and Special Effects Development Lab, including the work created by Yale Gracey for the Haunted Mansion and other early projects, plus a behind-the-curtain look at the present-day magical process that is so unique to Imagineering.
Uncovering Treasures from the Marty Sklar Collection
Saturday, September 10, 12 p.m., Walt Disney Archives Stage
Join Walt Disney Imagineering Ambassador Bob Weis and Leah and Leslie Sklar, the wife and daughter of the late Disney legend and Imagineer Marty Sklar, as they discuss some of the treasures they’ve discovered while going through Marty’s collection from his more than 50 years with Walt Disney Imagineering.
Magic in the Air: 30 Years of The Muppet Christmas Carol
Saturday, September 10, 1 p.m., Premiere Stage
Celebrate 30 years of The Muppet Christmas Carol with the Muppets and other special guests.
Dreaming, Designing, and Bringing to Life the Disney Wish
Saturday, September 10, 4 p.m., Backlot Stage
Walt Disney Imagineers fresh off the launch of the newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet — the Disney Wish — talk about their experiences bringing this ship to life. From the wondrously themed spaces, imaginative kids’ clubs, and the first-ever Disney attraction at sea, the ship brings to life fantastical stories you know and love like never before.
Walt Disney Imagineering: 70 Years of Making the Impossible, Possible
Sunday, September 11, 1 p.m., Premiere Stage
For seven decades, the magic-makers at Walt Disney Imagineering have blended limitless imagination with cutting-edge technology to create groundbreaking experiences that bring together families and friends to form lifelong memories. Join Imagineers past and present as they discuss the core elements of storytelling and innovation that bring dreams to life for guests from all around the world.
A Boundless Future: Disney Parks Experiences and Products
Sunday, September 11, at 10:30 a.m., Hall D23
Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro will take to the Hall D23 stage to share a look at new details of highly anticipated projects in development around the world. The fan-favourite presentation is sure to feature see-it-here-first moments and special surprises.
The World of Duffy & Friends Revealed
Sunday, September 11, 4:15 p.m., Hyperion Stage
Disney Imagineers discuss the origin and continuing popularity of Duffy & Friends, including the newest friend who has become a global phenomenon — LinaBell!
Want more Gizmodo news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.