Showing posts with label haunted houses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label haunted houses. Show all posts

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekend Adventure: Halloween Horror Nights

So for the past, I dunno, 7-ish years, hubs and I have made the trek down to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida to attend their Halloween Horror Nights. We cannot get enough.
 Don't hate me, but I as I write this here blog post, I am on this magical and amazing thing called Fall Break. That's right, for a whole week, no more pencils, no more books, no more kiddo's dirty looks. Nothin' but pajama parties and craftathons. That is until hubs and I take off on an adventure to Lalaland. I'll fill you in on that trip in another post. 

In the meantime, here's a slightly belated post on a trip we took a couple weeks ago to Tampa and Orlando. Every October, we travel down there to attend Busch Garden's Howl-O-Scream and Universal Studio's Halloween Horror Nights. This year we also visited Busch Garden's Williamsburg's Howl-O-Scream and I chatted about that trip here. Because we attended Universal's event several nights, I thought I'd share that spooktacular experience with you.
Just like the Walmart Greeters, these creepy dudes met us at the entrance of HHN (because I'm too lazy to type out Halloween Horror Nights, I'm abbreviatin'). They towered over the crowd at about 14' tall.
 So, lemme tell you how HHN works. It takes place at Universal Studios (not Islands of Adventure, aka Harry Potter World). At around 5pm, they kick everyone out of Universal to prep the houses and the scare zones. If people have paid to "stay and scream", as it's called, then they get to hang out in a holding area until the gates of doom are open. Those lucky folks get to enter a pinch early and experience the haunted houses first.
'Bout as friendly as a Walmart Greeter too.
 That's how we did it. My hubs is crazy about going through these houses, so he has our whole route mapped out: skip all of the houses at the front where the crowds head first and run straight for those in the back. There were seven different haunted houses to go through, with lines up to 45-100 minutes long. So it's good to have a hubs with a plan. And a front-of-the-line pass, if you can swing it.
 One of the most popular houses (though not my personal fave) was the Walking Dead. This haunted house was created by the dude behind the AMC show. I've only caught snippets of the first episode online (we don't have a telly) and this house made you feel as though you were walking right through the set. It was frighteningly amazing. 

These zombies were not in the actual haunted house as they won't allow photography. They were apart of something called a scare zone. Scare zones are areas within the park where scare actors continue to frighten people...which means no where within the park is safe. This zombie-themed scare zone was right outside of the Walking Dead house.

We had the most beautiful weather while we were there. During HHN, all of the rides continue to run. Which means you can stop screaming at spooky stuff long enough to go scream on The Rip Ride Rocket or The Mummy.
Only during HHN do they change the sign to read Mel's DIE-IN. Love it.

Most of the haunted houses are in sound stages, meaning they are inside buildings used for filming. Universal Studios is an actual working studio. Those particular houses are usually the best...but lack an outdoor entrance worth photographing. This particular house was designed by the magicians Penn and Teller and was not inside a sound stage. It's theme was that a nuclear meltdown had happened in Sin City. Best part? The casino girl with three ta-ta's.

Alice Cooper also designed a house called My Nightmare. This entrance was hands-down the best. Alice's songs were blasting through this house along with some very nightmarish things.
Me and a super cute Jell-o Shots girl. They sell the shots in those hilariously nasty blood bags.

Did you notice I'm wearing The Horror Flick Dress? We went with some friends and family to HHN and I shamelessly wore the dress Every Single Night. The joke became that the scariest thing about HHN was the smell comin' from my dress. Thank you Jen of Peachy Tuesday for crafting me a matching headband!
Oh, my bad. They were friendly enough to stop for a photo.
 Hubs just looked over my shoulder at these photos and said sadly, "I can't believe our trip came and went so fast." It's truly our favorite thing. If you can't make it to such an event, then get yourself to your local haunted house. You seriously won't regret it!

Read more »

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Weekend Adventure: Wicked in Williamsburg

This webby bridge is one of the only means to enter or exit the spookiness of Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Howl O Scream. A family that was desperately trying to leave the park (their wailing children just couldn't take it anymore) was getting no where fast when their little girl refused to exit the park via the "scary" bridge. Knowing the will power of a wee one, that fam might still be there.
 A couple weekends ago, hubs and I took a weekend trip to Williamsburg, Virginia, aka Colonial Williamsburg. And while I'm mildly interested in history, we didn't go there to see how butter was churned or how America came to be. 

Oh no, we went for something much better than that:

Haunted Houses. 

Particularly the ones found at the Busch Garden's Howl O Scream event.

Now, I'm sure you've heard of Busch Gardens...but did you know that there are two? The one in Tampa is probably more famous because of it's proximity to Disney. It has an African theme. The one in Williamsburg has a European theme. This Big Ben-esque clock tower can be found at the front of that park. I love the spooky bird decorations. Hitchcock woulda been proud.
 We decided to hit the park first thing on a Saturday morning. They have a brand new roller coaster, the Verbolten, that we wanted to check out (and by "we",  I mean hubs and a reluctant me). I actually had a pretty embarrassing scream-fest-freak-out on the ride when it zipped into a dark tunnel. I just knew it was going to blast off from zero to eighty miles per hour (it didn't), so I flipped the Crazy Switch, complete with high-pitched wailing and arm/leg flailing. Hubs kept yelling, "What? Am I missing something?" The dad and his kid in the seats in front of us turned around and laughed at me. 

So embarrassing.

After that experience, we hit the coaster Griffon, which is easily one of the most frightening (at 205', it's one of the tallest coasters in the world) and best roller coasters I've ever been on. For a look-see, check out this youtube video (particularly minute 1:15) to get the idea.

 I love that every corner of the park was decorated for the occasion. Inside the building on the left was a fantastic dinner show that was like a spooky cabaret set in the 1920's. On the right is the French area of  Busch Gardens that looked as though it was been taken over by a rat-infested plague.
I debuted my Horror Flick dress at Busch Gardens. I was thrilled when folks complimented my dress. It was such fun to wear.

 After a short trip back to the hotel for some rest (we knew we would need our energy for the half dozen haunted houses and shows that evening), we returned to find a pretty spooktacular event. It was great fun and the perfect start to our tour of Halloween Haunts.
Hubs and I waiting for a show to begin.
 I just hollered up the stairs to hubs, "how long have we been going to these Halloween things, anyway?"

"Hmm. Not sure. A long time. Maybe 10 or more years?"

You'd think after that amount of time, being chased by a dude in a leatherface mask wielding a chainsaw would get a little, I don't know, redundant. And, to be honest, the chainsaw dudes don't actually freak me out anymore (but just to be kind, I do give 'em a good scream. It's the right thing to do). But there's always something that does. Freak me out, that is. That's what keeps us coming back for more.
We did do our time in Colonial Will'burg the following day. The weather was perfect and the sights were so sweet...the complete opposite of the previous evenings horrors.

Like this cute shoeless milliner crafting a hat. In a haunted house, he would have been creating the hats out of faux flesh and wielding a chainsaw. Just sayin'.

Or these lovely Colonial style hats...that would have been worn by zombie Colonial girls slashing the air with axes and carrying headless dolls. For example.

Precious scene of a carriage ride from long ago, you think? In a haunted house, the carriage driver would be headless, the horse would be a skeleton and the passengers would be fluffy McDonald's-eating tourists. Hey...wait a minute...

Delightful debutantes out for a Sunday stroll? That's what you think. Just wait until they turn their green witchy faces around and...

 Oh, my bad. Musta been thinking of those other demonic debutantes. Sorry, ladies. How 'bout a picture?
We came upon this fun farmer's market, complete with an impromptu hoedown.

...Little did we know, they were playing "The Devil Went Down to Georgia", waking up this beauty of a beast. Dude, maybe we should play "Devil Went Down to the Dentist." Just sayin'.
 Wait a minute...are you STILL reading this blog post? Now that is frightening. 

Thanks for dropping by. I hope this has inspired you to check out your local Halloween haunts or even the bigger ones at places like Busch Gardens or Universal. I promise, you won't regret it!

Read more »

Sunday, September 16, 2012

What the Art Teacher Wore #34

Monday, Monday: top: vintage, gift from a friend; skirt: vintage, scooped up at Regal Retro; shoes: when am I not in these shoes? By Indigo by Clarks.
 I don't know what life has been like in your world this past week but mine has been crazy. Cruh-A-Zee. And the crazy doesn't appear to be slowin' down any time soon. Which I suppose is okay. Keeps me off the streets. Or off vintage shops on etsy which are equally as dangerous in my (pocket) book. 

So instead of showcasing art work or featuring an artist along with my outfits this week, I'm giving you a peak into my world. It should explain a lot. Or not. I'm too chuck-full-o-crazy to decide. 

 Oh! and thank you for taking the time to vote and leave a comment about my latest dress alteration. I appreciate your thoughts...especially since they appear to be leaning in my direction. And if you've not made yourself heard, there's only two days left to vote. What are you waiting for?

Chat with you soon!
Holy French Painter! This skirt was meant to be mine. Such a perfect fit for this year's theme.
Pack Your Bags Tuesday: This skirt came in so handy when chatting about luggage tags, suitcases and travel stickers. black tank: Target; sweater: Ann Taylor, thrifted; belt and shoes: Anthro; skirt: PastTimesVintage
I shared with you a sneak peak of the kids' self-created passports here. Full lesson to come, I promise. I just knew the kids and their crazy art teacher would lose those little we've been creating these portfolio suitcases complete with a passport pocket! They have loved carrying them around the room and stamping their passports. We are almost ready to jet off to France!
Wednesday: sweater: Target, years ago; belt: Anthro; beret: from a doll's hat, made by me; dress: gift from a friend, altered here; shoes: Indigo by Clarks
In a feeble attempt to get my room ready for this coming week's Open House, I've been staying late into the afternoon. No biggie, I love it. I have missed my usual routine of catching up with friends in the afternoon though. So it was kinda funny that one of my "little friends" inscribed this message on my car window this week. I'm just glad it was done in lip gloss...not nail polish as I feared. I've yet to find the culprit.
Picture Day Thursday: Last year the theme in the art room was Ancient Egypt. One week I dressed as King Tut. A month later, I spent the week dressed as Queen Nefertiti. It just so happened that Picture Day fell during Queen Nefertiti Week which resulted in the photo below. This year's theme isn't nearly as dramatic, but I did decide to go Parisian this Picture Day. beret: made by me; dress: bought in Germany; belt and shoes: you know...I am a repeat offender with these items!; scarf: vintage, thrifted
My ID badge from last year. The photography folks were not happy with me when I sat down. The girl said: Take the hat off. I told her it didn't come off. She rolled her eyes and snapped this photo. You don't mess with Queen Nefertiti (or Never-Teetee as the kids and I took to calling her).
Freaky Friday: We made it to Williamsburg, VA for the opening night of their Halloween event (they call it Howl-O-Scream) at Busch Gardens. We had a great time there and at Colonial Williamsburg. More details to come. And my dress was quite the hit! dress: Horror Flick Dress; my theme park shoes of choice: Chacos
Being a huge fan of Hitchcock's The Birds, I loved the entrance of Howl-O-Scream. Super Spooky! So looking forward to more weekends of haunts.

Read more »