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Universal's building on horror

Orlando Sentinel

Original Article »

September 24, 2007

The "Carnival of Carnage" rolls into Universal Studios this week, complete with some of the most notorious slasher-film villians and what is expected to be a creepy-circus atmosphere.

This year's Halloween Horror Nights after-hours shows, with the carnival theme, open Friday and run select weekend nights through Halloween weekend.

The annual extra-ticket event, which draws large crowds, is a major source of revenue for Universal Orlando -- particularly for the company's fiscal third quarter. Last year, the company reported a record gate of nearly 500,000 visitors for those Halloween Horror Nights, accounting for almost one of every 12 visitors to Univesral Studios .

Consequently, Universal continues to expand the event. This year's 23-night run includes more haunted houses (eight) and stage shows (four) than in any of the previous 16 Halloween Horror nights. It also will feature, for the first time, several licensed movie characters -- Leatherface, Jason and Freddy Krueger -- and a show based on The Rocky Horror Picture Show. General admission tickets are $64.95 each.

Last week, construction moved swiftly on stages and decor, including a set of old carnival rides that will be operational but not open to actual riders.

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