Last year, the WB Studio Tour Hollywood’s Horror Made Here event was an unexpected and welcome surprise during the Halloween season. Building a haunted attraction around the historic Warner Bros. studio lot was a brilliant idea that left me speechless when the night was over with. Now back in its third year, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour’s Horror Made Here event is back, but can it maintain its identity as a movie studio while also balancing being a haunted event? Read on to find out!
This year saw the return of The Conjuring Universe. This experience takes guests on a demonologist-led tour through the Warren’s Occult Room. A certain cursed doll has gone missing from her box. At this point strange occurrences start happening- objects flying off shelves, pictures falling on the ground. If you’re a fan of Annabelle and The Conjuring, then this one is for you. The queue line gets pretty backed up due to the guided tour, so I would hit this up before it gets too crowded.
IT (It knows what scares you) was my favorite maze of the night! This is a completely new experience than the Niebolt house was last year. The set designs were spectacular. Guests are treated to an immersive maze which includes Ben’s bedroom, Beverly’s bloody bathroom, and more. Also, don’t get me started on the floating kids – incredible. They did have the same three doors that you pick from room from last year, and this created a little problem. There is a placed Pennywise in there to guide you through. However, it gets really backed up in that small area. I think the scare actor was having a difficult time wrangling guests through. At one point, people just started to push the doors open to get out. That could cause a problem for future nights.
Escape from Arkham Asylum was the least scary maze of the night – but I am not a huge fan of comics (please don’t hurt me!) so it was a little lost on me. I did appreciate the character designs as well as seeing The Joker (with a terrific makeup job) up close and personal.
Nightmare on Camp Crystal Lake was a double edged sword for me. On one hand, walking outdoors around the historic jungle set of the Warner lot was great. But, they turned what used to be the abbreviated, Horror Made Here studio tour into a taxi service to take guests to and fro. Warner Bros. has such a storied history, the event needs to not lose sight of the things that make them unique against places like Universal Studios or Knott’s Berry Farm. I hope they bring the abbreviated studio tour back for next year. It’s one of the things that makes this event special and losing it was a felt loss.
The Exorcist: Forbidden Screening was an unexpected surprise. Guests are taken into the church in large groups and greeted by nuns and priests standing on the sides of the pews. Crosses are hanging everywhere. After a lecture about how blasphemous we all were, they played movie clips from The Exorcist. While this is happening, objects in the room start moving around, matching what’s happening on the screen. Then other stuff happens – scary stuff. Also, enjoy a bowl of pea soup from the food cart outside!
The Lost Boys Arcade was a fun pit stop to get away from the crowds. This 80’s themed arcade is a host to some of the classic video games. Also, it had terrific atmosphere with a killer soundtrack. Before you leave the arcade, don’t forget to check out all those missing person posters on the walls….
The Devils Drop is a free fall ride that they brought into the middle of the Stars Hollow town square. Again, this is a sort of double edge sword for me. It replaced the historic gazebo from the town square where last year a DJ setup shop. That gazebo is very much a part of the identity of that area of the studio lot. It’s seen in tons of movies and TV shows. I would have rather seen it there with some sort of cool photo opportunity inside than it replaced with a carnival ride. But, I digress…
The Little Shop of Horrors is the Horror Made Here merchandise shop and they are selling everything from shirts, candles, magnets, and even beanies.
The Crave Inn Cafe was small food vendor in one of the lot’s store sets. It’s a grab your food and go kind of establishment that features good pizza and fries as well as cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, salads, and hot dogs.
Ed and Lorraine’s Beer Garden was a snack stand located right next to The Conjuring Universe and hosts a variety of bottled beers, draft beers and wines. They also have snacks like corn dogs, and macaroni and cheese bites!
Fangtasia is a 21 and over True Blood themed bar that served lots of fun and spooky alcoholic drinks. The blood bag drink was a menu favorite. The bar entrance hosts a vampire bouncer checking ID’s (sorry folks, must be 21 years old to enter this fang bang) and Fangtasia dancers to greet you. If you want your Vampire fix, this place is for you.
Also happening on the lot were make-up demos. Have you ever wondered how these monsters are created? Well, now is your chance. You can attend a class and watch how it’s done. There were three demo times throughout the evening when we attended. But, this can change. If you are interested in attending this, check the times when you get there.
Stage 48: Script to Scream is always a fun experience on the studio tour, with great photo opportunity’s through out. This year, the horror theme is from the works of Tim Burton. Guests are greeted to a variety of props and costumes from Beetlejuice, The Corpse Bride, and Sweeney Todd. My favorite was the actual model village of the town used in the movie Beetlejuice. Of course, you can still take your picture on the recreated Central Perk set of Friends. Speaking of that, you can find a working Central Perk coffee shop on the way out of Stage 48 where you can grab a coffee, or pumpkin spice drink. They serve a variety of cold or hot beverages. They also have sandwich’s, cookies and cupcakes!
Overall, the WB Studio Tour’s Horror Made Here event was a lot of fun with a variety of things to do and see. It also featured a good selection of food and drinks and makes for a very nice evening of spooks and scares. Horror Made Here runs Thursdays through Sundays in October. Ticket information and more can be found at the event’s official website.