Universal announced Friday that its annual Halloween Horror Nights would be canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

By Ally Mauch
July 24, 2020 03:26 PM
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Both the Universal and Walt Disney World theme parks are canceling this year’s scheduled Halloween events due to concerns surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Universal announced Friday that its annual Halloween Horror Nights event will not be taking place at Universal Studios Hollywood in California or Universal Orlando Resort in Florida.

During Halloween Horror Nights, Universal's signature seasonal event and a longtime fan favorite, the parks operate as normal during the day and then undergo a terrifying transformation at night.  The Halloween-themed spectacle typically takes place in September and October and features numerous elaborately themed haunted houses and "scare zones" as well as live entertainment.

“Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood have made the difficult decision to not hold Halloween Horror Nights events this year,” the company said in a statement. “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.”

Credit: @horrornightsorl/ Universal Studios

The statement noted that the Florida location will be "focusing exclusively on operating its theme parks for daytime guests, using the enhanced health and safety procedures already in place." The California park has yet to reopen and faces "ongoing business restrictions and uncertainty around its opening timeframe.”

Universal Orlando reopened in early June. Both parks closed in March at the onset of the pandemic in the U.S.

Walt Disney World in Orlando had previously announced that its annual Halloween event will be canceled for 2020.

“We have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party,” reads a statement on the park’s website.

However, those missing the annual Halloween party can still experience some of the magic. Back in May, Disney released a previously recorded version of its Not-So-Spooky Spectacular fireworks display (above)..

The show, which is MCed by The Nightmare Before Christmas's Jack Skellington and his ghost dog Zero, follows Mickey, Minnie and the gang as they have an adventure through a haunted house — Cinderella's castle outfitted with elaborate projections — and incorporates special effects, lasers, lighting and of course, fireworks.

Credit: Gerardo Mora/Getty

Disney World began a phased reopening to visitors July 11, after closing in March.

Disneyland in California announced that it had "no choice but to delay" its intended July 17 reopening date after the state government did not grant approval and guidelines in time to arrange it.

There is still no opening date for Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. Downtown Disney reopened with new safety precautions in place on July 9.

Florida and California are two of the states currently being hit hardest by COVID-19. Cases have surged in both locations in recent weeks and California has reinstated its shut down to help stop the spread.

As of Friday afternoon, Florida has had more than 402,304 reported cases and 5,652 deaths. California has had 433,508 cases and 8,202 deaths, according to New York Times data. On July 23, the most recent date for which data is available, both states had more than 10,000 new cases in a single day.

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