Universal canceling Halloween Horror Nights because of virus

National News

(WFLA photo)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — It’s hard to scare the bejesus out of someone in a haunted house while socially distancing, which may explain the decision by Universal to cancel its Halloween Horror Nights this year at its U.S. theme parks.

The company said Friday it wouldn’t be hosting the celebration of all things scary at its Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood so that it could focus on operating its theme parks for daytime guests under pandemic restrictions.

“We know this decision will disappoint our fans and guests. We are disappointed too. But we look forward to creating an amazing event in 2021,” the company tweeted.

Halloween Horror Nights typically lasts more than a month starting in September, but it’s planned for more than a year. Each haunted house is a small, temporary attraction, elaborately designed and themed, built with studious attention to details and populated with “scare-actors” who chase but never touch the thousands of patrons passing through each night.

Last month, Walt Disney World canceled its annual after-hours Halloween party at Magic Kingdom that typically begins in mid-August.

Both theme park resorts, as well as others around the U.S., closed in March because of the new coronavirus. Universal Orlando reopened last month, and Disney World started welcoming back visitors two weeks ago.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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