A look back at Halloween: HK Disney & Universal Studios SG (2017)
While Halloween is just about a week away now. Had this chance to visit two theme parks during the Halloween month of October. Usually, at this time of the year theme Parks like Disney and Universal Studios will organise Halloween Theme events. Not to forget that it is widely celebrated as a day of “Treat or Tricks”.
A bit of history on Halloween
Halloween or Hallowe’en (a contraction of All Hallows‘ Evening), also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve, is a celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.It is widely believed that many Halloween traditions originated from ancient Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain; that such festivals may have had pagan roots; and that Samhain itself was Christianized as Halloween by the early Church.Some believe, however, that Halloween began solely as a Christian holiday, separate from ancient festivals like Samhain.Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related guising), attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories and watching horror films. In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows’ Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular, although elsewhere it is a more commercial and secular celebration. Some Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows’ Eve, a tradition reflected in the eating of certain vegetarian foods on this vigil day, including apples, potato pancakes, and soul cakes.
Now with some background information on the festival, we look deeper into what happens in 2 theme parks for this Halloween. While it was not a planned visit to both theme park this year, it just happened on two weekends.
Disney Halloween Time at Hong Kong Disneyland
A day entry ticket includes the specially added Halloween Theme events. The Halloween activities are located around the theme park.
Some of the interesting Highlights during my trip to HK Disneyland are as follows:
- Ironman Experience
This is a new motion simulation ride that opened earlier this year. There is a total of 8 simulators at the attraction. As such, it should be quite a breeze to clear the queue and take the ride with Iron Man to tour Hong Kong. Meanwhile, you will need to wear the special eye-wear during the ride.
- Maze of Madness: The Nightmare Continues
This is still my favourite room of all. Getting to meet the “Mad-Matter” before moving through the rooms searching for the “mad-professor”. Quite an interesting storyline, though spoken in Cantonese, it is quite an experience for sure.
- Villians Night Out! Chapter 2.0
There are the returning characters from last year Disney Halloween as well as new characters. Unfortunately, I was late for the parade as I went to take the Iron Man experience ride.
While not to forget the Disney Halloween decoration surrounding the park. In comparison to Disney Halloween Time in 2016, I spend a much lesser time in the park, but it was equally enjoyable. Though watching some returning characters in the same costume, but it brings back nice memories too.
Halloween Horror Nights 7 at Universal Studios Singapore
The park is open during its usual timing but ends early in preparation for the Halloween Horror Nights – which is a separately ticketed event and begins at 7:30pm till 12:30am or 1:30am. However, you could also purchase a combination ticket.
Some of the interesting Highlights during my trip to Universal Studios are as follows:
- Happy Horror Days
One of the interesting walk through zones is the Happy Horror Days. Over here the various local and international holidays are presented in an alternate world interpretation – which in this case is the Horror version.
We cycle through from the Lunar New Year, Valentines Day, April Fools Days, Easter, St. Patricks Day all the way to Christmas Day. Quite interesting, and at the same time get ready for some scary-time here.
- Pilgrimage of Sin
This is a walk through the zone and at times we see different scare-actors moving around and you can get some photos taken with them – but enter with caution. They don’t bite, but they do scare you at times…
The Pilgrimage of Sin covers the 7 Sins – which is the theme of Halloween Horror Nights 7. I have them captured in photos below.
There are also other rides in the park which are open too apart from the 2 shows, 3 scare zones, 4 Haunted houses. In terms of crowd management, it is a lot much better compared to the HHN5. I did not attend the HHN6, as I was away during that period.
Which is for who?
A good question perhaps without an answer. Since the target audience will be very different. And of course, the level of scariness vary too. Universal Studios Singapore infuses their own Singapore flavour of horror houses with western themes, while Disney continues its villains series to make its mark on the Halloween event.
Were you in any of the theme parks? Do share your views which you like more in the commnets box :).