Night Out: Warner Bros Horror Made Here
Surprise, surprise, a blog about a Halloween-themed event, how out of character for me, right??
Let me start by saying that I'm a tough critic of these types of events as I do large scale events for a living, I have been going to Universal Halloween Horror Nights & Knott's Scary Farm for 6+ years, and I am a total lover of all things Halloween. That all being said, I cannot give high enough praises to Warner Bros for Horror Made Here. Let's break it down: 1) You can't directly compare this event to HHN or Knott's overall. Why? Because those are THEME PARKS. This is a studio back lot that is putting this on from the ground up. This event clearly has a target audience, and I think they are doing a fantastic job in catering to that demographic. You can however compare the mazes, guest experience, food and beverage, and in all those areas, I am giving WB high marks. 2) This event is worth the price. Events of this scale cost money to produce. Every staff person, every set piece, every perk we get to enjoy costs money. Would I love to pay less, sure, but I can understand the price structure as it stands. 3) The staff was INCREDIBLE. From the parking experience (which was seamless, and very clear), to the entry line/security/entrance which was organized and dare I say, orderly - - we were very impressed. The staff was friendly, and I had multiple people ask me how I was doing throughout the night, say hello as we walked by, smile, ask if we knew where we were going, etc. Coming from a job where we are focused on guest experience, I was really pleased to see this level of organization - especially when I have NEVER encountered anything similar at another Halloween event like this. 4) The mazes/experiences were a blast. We had a chance to do all of them, and I was so impressed with the experiential quality of all of them. You felt like you were a part of the movie, rather than being in a conga line stuff side by side with people going through a maze. They carefully only let a certain number of people in at a time, which I think is a great way to really enhance the experience for the guests. The Exorcist movie experience in the Church and the IT house were probably my favorites, but they were all wonderfully designed with great actors, scare actors, set design and props. 5) Additionally, I loved that Stage 48 was part of the experience. We got to see the whole Tim Burton/Corpse Bride/Beetlejuice display which was AWESOME, in addition to the rest of their amazing collection. We also got to visit and take a photo on the Friends couch in Central Perk and walk through the gift shop, which was a nice added bonus. 6) Next up is a very important component of an event like this - the bars! There are several bars set up throughout the backlot, with a lot of different offerings. My favorite bar was Fangtasia, right near the entrance, that offered custom cocktails, blood bags and many photo opportunities inside. The bar was dimly lit, with red lighting, and the blood bag was way better than the similar option at Universal, because this one has alcohol in it for almost the same price! We opted for one of those, and came back later in the night to try to Skeleton Key cocktail which also packed a punch. 7) I know this may have been a coincidence, but I have to say I enjoyed that this was mostly an adult crowd. It gets difficult being an almost 30-something trying to enjoy a night out when you're surrounded by screaming middle-schoolers at some of these other haunted events. Overall, I cannot speak highly enough of our experience at Horror Made Here. Couple with the fact that we just bought a house down the street, I am a fan and hope they continue doing this for years to come. It will become our go-to Halloween event.