Taking a Bite Out of “Vamp 85: New Year’s Eve”
Last year was my thirteenth consecutive year experiencing the world’s premiere Halloween event, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights. I will never forget the experience last year of turning into a scareactor and being set loose in The Hive haunted house. It was the end of a lifelong dream of participating in the event.
This year, Halloween Horror Nights is bigger than ever, with 10 houses, five scare zones, and another incredible show by Academy of Villains. Naturally, I wanted to try my hand at scaring in a house again, but there was one scare zone that really grabbed my attention…Vamp 85: New Year’s Eve!
I’m a child of the 80s and was always fascinated with the great vampire films of that time. Relive the dark fun of those films AND celebrate New Year’s Eve? Count me in! I had to step out of the haunted houses…and into the streets.
When I heard that I would be receiving the first class makeup treatment, including prosthetics, I was hoping that Eric Garcia—former Face-Off contestant and Universal Orlando makeup artist—would be performing the application. Fortunately, when I arrived on set, he was ready to transform me once again into a vampire, straight out of the 80s!
I was surprised at how different the approach of scaring on the streets was than scaring in a haunted house. The amazing entertainment folks really took their time explaining to me what to do, what not to do, and how important the guest’s safety and overall experience is. Their attention to detail and concern for the scareactor’s well being is super impressive and was very much appreciated. After the instruction and introduction to those I was working with, it was time to hit the streets!
As I approached the scare zone, the familiar smell of fog filled my nose and the screams of unassuming victims pierced my ears, causing my adrenaline to pump and my excitement to build to epic proportions! I was going to be a scare zone scareactor, and I had never been happier to be walking the streets of Halloween Horror Nights.
Once I stepped onto the scene, I became that 80s vampire, snarling and showing my fangs to those walking by. I took pride and joy in hiding in the rolling fog, only to jump out seconds later, making guests scream and run for their lives. It was incredible to interact with my fellow vamps, pointing out our next set of victims and commending each other for a scare well done. THIS was the ultimate Halloween Horror Nights experience and I wished it could last forever.
Being a member of The Hive last year was a dream come true, and becoming a scareactor was the ultimate high for a lifelong horror fan. But the freedom of the streets was absolutely liberating! Vamp 85 could be my favorite scare zone of all time, combining all of those elements that kept me hooked on horror as a kid. But being a vampire in Vamp 85 is definitely my favorite Halloween Horror Nights experience of all time!