Where do the Halloween Horror Nights props go?

by on Jan.05, 2012, under Haunted Houses, Haunting Ideas, Syndicated from the Web

By Allison Walker, Entertainment Reporter/Anchor

13 News
Serious Art of Make Believe

Have you ever wondered what happens to props and costumes once Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights or holiday events end? Do you want to know how the iconic characters and haunted houses are created or built? For the first time at the Orange County Regional History Museum, Universal is exposing what really goes on behind-the-scenes.

“The Serious Art of Make-Believe” reminds me of a marquee graveyard in Las Vegas. You might recognize the “Gog” pumpkin, “Anger’s” costume, or a Mardi Gras mask, but it could take a minute to remember exactly where or when you saw those items inside the theme park. All of this stuff — including a door from the old Ghostbusters show, a 2010 Halloween Horror Nights “Esqueleto Muerte” costume, and an absurdly large plastic ice cream cone — was once part of an attraction, show or event. Universal artists and creative designers let the museum sift through their warehouses.

“We tried to bring some of the variety to show you some of the strange things they have there,” the museum’s assistant director, Andrew Sandall, told me.

In addition to these “strange” things are dozens and dozens of doodles displayed on the wall. Seven-year-old Evelyn Cooper of Orlando, who was visiting the museum Wednesday, learned that most props and characters begin as a sketch.

“I think that’s instructions to make, like, a jack-o’-lantern or something for a ride,” Evelyn said, pointing to a sketch of the “Gog” pumpkin on the wall.

Sandall says it’s rare to see this much of Universal’s creative process.

“They will start with basic pencil drawings, little sketches, little ideas, or doodles that’ll sometimes end up being big, full haunted houses,” Sandall said.

As you walk through the exhibit, you’ll also learn that heavy-looking objects are actually made of foam, or that many costumes are redrawn for other uses. For instance, the 1996 Kali Shoulder Piece was used for both Halloween Horror Nights and the Mardi Gras Parade.

Little Evelyn was inspired.

“I want to be an artist when I grow up,” Evelyn said. “I would love to be with theme parks, so, to draw rides.”

“The Serious Art of Make-Believe runs through April 29.

The cost is included in general admission. Adults are $9, seniors (60+) are $7, students & military are $7, children ages 5-12 are $6, and kids younger than that are free.

The History Museum is at 65 East Central Blvd. in downtown Orlando.

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