One of the symbols of the Autumn season and Halloween is a pumpkin. Universal Orlando has become known for their excellent use of pumpkins in their Halloween Horror Nights scare zones. This year, the scary use of pumpkins has moved to an original house for Halloween Horror Nights 30 (HHN30) and it’s possibly the best house, called The Wicked Growth: Realm of the Pumpkin.
This is a tent style house backstage behind MIB attraction area. As the Universal promotion materials says: “An evil rot has taken root in the land. It’s time once again for the rise of the Pumpkin Lord who grows Halloween like a malignant vine. His minions are scouring the countryside, collecting unwilling sacrifices in order to summon the Pumpkin Lord.”
During our private group RIP tour, our guide Jim warned us that witches were trying to summon the return of the Pumpkin Lord. As usual, Jim’s introduction speech was dead on. The entrance area, which we missed via RIP tour entrance, was an impressive display of pumpkin. Now that may not sound very impressive to you, but it fits the theme perfectly.
Jim warned us to beware of pumpkin vines and he was correct. The vines seem to grow exponentially as you advance through the house. Some guests said they felt at one point that they were surrounded by pumpkin guts.
The fairly simple theming of this house is well done.
Rough, orange-colored bits are hanging from the ceiling and all around to add to this feel. The interior of this house is artistically pleasing. Of course, it is hard to notice with some odd ceremony playing out in front of you to resurrect the Pumpkin Lord. Oh, there were some clever jump scares to add to you distraction and enjoyment.
Depending on which guest you asked, there was a smell of pumpkin spice or dirt in this house. In my opinion, there was both, but I had been forewarned about the smells.
If you have seen any talk about “lil boo”, it is based on this house. I missed that element going thru RIP tour entrance but if you need a dose of cute within a haunted house experience, this house has it.
On the scare factor scale, it was reasonable high. There were arms and sickles coming at you often. The semi-controversial vinyl in place due to virus conditions did not take anything away from the scares in this house.
Now for me, this was the first house I encountered that I seemed to miss the scares. I now understand what veteran HHN people mean when they say they missed the scares. The scares build up to a finale that you can probably predict.
I have heard HHN veterans say this could be one of the best houses ever. I cannot evaluate that and do not want to oversell. There is no Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown in this house. Linus would not enjoy waiting in his sincere pumpkin patch for this Pumpkin Lord. However, you should make this house a priority on your trip to HHN30.
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