Getting the chance to take a behind-the-scenes maze tour at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights was always something that interested me. So I was over the moon when actually invited to attend one. I had the chance to take a walk-through of both the Stranger Things and Trick r Treat mazes while still under construction. So, I entered the studio through an employee-only gate and got carted down to the backlot. Now, we were only able to take photographs of certain parts of each maze, but I tried to get the best shots I could for you guys.
Trick r Treat
Located in the same spot as The Shining was last year, Trick r Treat sets out to recreate various scenes from the cult classic horror film. It accomplishes this in a similar style as The Shining did, using spartan, black hallways with chapter titles on the walls to introduce the scene guests are about to encounter. The maze goes through most of the big chapters of the film, and it should please fans of the movie. Guests who have not scene Trick r Treat may feel a bit lost – my advice to them is, naturally, SEE Trick r Treat! It is an amazing horror film that has become a yearly part of my Halloween tradition. One of the standout scenes we previewed was the school bus that was driven off the cliff and into the quarry. They have fabricated an entire school bus front end and the set dressing is amazing. They even have “Rhonda” there holding her lit Jack-o’-Lantern.
Stranger Things is going to be outstanding. Not only does it represent the first time the studio has allowed a maze to be built inside a sound stage, but the production value and design going into it look top notch. This maze is housed in Stage 29, which was used by a large number of movies including To Kill A Mockingbird, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and even Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Its tall ceiling allows for very big sets to be built within and can definitely see plenty of room to accommodate a “Mind Flayer” hovering above guests should the maze return next year. This year, however, is all about season one of the hit Netflix show, and the maze takes you through all the locations of the season – from the woods to the Byers house and even Hawkins elementary school.
We had a great time getting the chance to see early looks at both of these mazes and can’t wait to check out the finished product later this week!