Don't know how this one flew under my radar...
Earlier this month, Universal Studios Hollywood opened "Universal's House of Horrors," a walk-through attraction featuring the monsters made famous by the studio: Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, etc. This is set in what used to be called "Van Helsing: Fortress Dracula" and much of that old attraction remains intact. New rooms have been created to add more variety, offering a sort of tour through the history of horror movies, both classic and contemporary. There are also supposed to be sections devoted to LAND OF THE DEAD and other more recent horror offerings.
The theme park's official website describes the new attraction thus:
Universal Studio Hollywood's House of Horrors is a frightening, scream as you go, walk through experience inspired by some of the greatest Universal Studios horror movies of all time. The most feared characters - like Dracula, Frankenstein, Chucky among many others -- will take you by surprise while you attempt to navigate your way through an ever-changing, terrorizing maze.
Last Halloween, the old Van Helsing: Fortress Dracula housed a walk-through maze that was titled, not coincidentally, "Universal's House of Horrors." You can check out our video of the Universal's 2006 Halloween presentation, which includes a walk through the House of Horrors. [UPDATE: The video now shows the 2008 version of House of Horrors, during the Halloween season. This is a more accurate reflection of the year-round attraction than the old video.]
According to TheStudioTour.Com, Van Helsing: Fortress Dracula closed last November to make way for the new attraction, which incorporates many old elements like Frankenstein's lab and the spinning tunnel while adding new set pieces that can be put to good use during the Universal's annual Halloween Horror Nights event. The familiar route contains some new surprises, with changes round every corner.
So, what we have now is basically a year-round version of this Halloween attraction. That certainly makes the annual 365-day wait until next Halloween easier to bear - hell, I'm starting to think that year-round studio pass might not be a bad idea, either!
Anyway, you can read the complete press release for the new attraction over at E-Splatter.Com (you may have to scroll down a bit).