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Universal will double down on Halloween Horror Nights scares this year

Universal
Published May 21, 2015

It's no surprise that after the gangbuster business Universal raked in last year for its Halloween Horror Nights, the theme park announced it is expanding the scare-fest to a record 30 nights and doubling the number of actors roaming the park to startle visitors.

Universal Orlando on Tuesday fired off an early Halloween Horror Nights 2015 tease, complete with video of Jack the Clown, an insane clown serial killer who has been a popular icon of the event over the years.

"Did you miss me?" he says.

This year's HHN will run Sept. 18 to Nov. 1, and Universal said it would produce nine haunted houses, more than in any previous year. And the streets of the theme park will have twice as many "scareactors" than in previous years. Their job is to terrify guests throughout highly-themed scare zones in the park.

The parks don't release attendance or sales figures, but industry experts estimate that Universal Studios will draw more than 600,000 visitors by Nov. 1 for its Halloween Horror Nights, easily more than twice the number of people who visit in spring break season. And Busch Gardens draws some 200,000 to 300,000 over the month of October at Howl-O-Scream.

Ticket prices haven't been released yet but Universal is selling HHN vacation packages that start at $165 a night per person. The 2014 edition had a price tag of $41 to $95.99, with the tickets getting more expensive each weekend. And with its popularity, front-of the-line express passes ran $59.99 to $119.99.

See halloweenhorrornights.com.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at swynne@tampabay.com. Follow @SharonKWn on Twitter.

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