No icon for Halloween Horror Nights 2017?


As fans around the country – and the world – await more announcements regarding this year’s Halloween Horror Nights, it turns out that one of the more notable ones may have just slipped right past most observers.

With only two houses revealed thus far (that would be American Horror Story and The Shining, of course) and one show (the stalwart Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure, which has just started its audition process but which remains technically unannounced by Universal), Horror Nights devotees have been eagerly anticipating having the rest of the event’s roster of nine haunts, five scare zones, and two shows be filled in (we might be able to help with the last category, actually, as it’s looking increasingly likely that Academy of Villains will be making a return appearance for the second time in a row). But even more important to the faithful have been HHN 27’s overarching theme and its icon, that larger-than-life character who both represents and presides over that year’s story, productions, and marketing.

Earlier today, a major hint seemed to be dropped: Universal released a cryptic message and video, asking users to commit their souls in order to join an “Elite Legion.” Looking beyond the call for email addresses to be registered in order to activate a rewards program, the online theming community believed they could parse the most tantalizing clue yet as to the icon’s status from the message’s aesthetics, imagery, and allusions.

It didn’t take long for such fervency to get noticed by the official Halloween Horror Nights – Orlando Twitter account, which seemed to come right out and let the bombshell drop: it appears there’s no icon for Horror Nights 2017.

On the one hand, the news – if we’re reading the social media statements correctly – isn’t that big of a surprise; although icons have long been part of the HHN legacy over the past 26 years, the most recent swath of events has routinely ignored them, starting in 2012 (the year that The Walking Dead first arrived for Halloween in Orlando) and going all the way through to 2014.

On the other hand, however, 2015’s event, which doubled as the special 25th anniversary celebration, saw the return of the most infamous icon of them all, Jack – and his presence, in turn, helped set up Chance’s starring role for the following year. Just when a number of fans suspected that icons may never return, the situation appeared to suddenly flip, with the characters now seemingly back to stay. (Given that the height of the icons’ presence, from 1999 to 2011, also doubles as the longest run in Halloween Horror Nights history, it’s only natural to assume that they can’t be kept out of the proceedings for too long.)

If this development is, indeed, true, it might cause the community to pause, take a step back, and reappraise its initial assessment of 2017’s event – or, at least, their expectations for it.

Find out everything you ever wanted to know about Halloween Horror Nights – plus more! – in our insider’s guide.

And be sure to follow Orlando Informer on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest news, tips, and rumors at Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World, and other Orlando attractions.

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July 1, 2017 8:02 am

We should take care with this discussion?

July 5, 2017 4:01 pm

I don’t care about the icon at all. It doesn’t add anything for me.

About Marc N. Kleinhenz

Marc N. Kleinhenz is the former editor of Orlando Informer.

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