Universal Studios creates an industry monster with Halloween Horror Nights - Quick Telecast Universal Studios creates an industry monster with Halloween Horror Nights - Quick Telecast Universal Studios creates an industry monster with Halloween Horror Nights - Quick Telecast

Universal Studios creates an industry monster with Halloween Horror Nights

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Knott’s Berry Farm may have invented the after-hours Halloween theme park event. But Universal is working hard to make its brand synonymous with Halloween from coast to coast.

As popular as Halloween Horror Nights may be at Universal Studios Hollywood, the event’s scale and attendance is dwarfed by its sibling at Universal Studios Florida. Theme Park Insider readers voted Florida’s Halloween Horror Nights as the world’s best theme park Halloween event last year, and Universal Orlando continues to outpace the competition with more original houses and scare zones than anyone.

So together, the two form an unbeatable combination for theme park fans who love haunts. Universal does not dilute its brand with kid-friendly Halloween events during the day. This is the studio that popularized the monster movie back at the start of the 20th century, and Universal is sticking to that identity.

It’s that legacy that helps give Universal an advantage over Six Flags Fright Fest, its nearest competitor for nationwide Halloween brand dominance. Six Flags puts on its Halloween event at far many more locations than Universal’s two U.S. resorts. But Universal’s access to popular movie and television properties helps draw millions of lucrative out-of-market visitors to its events.

Where does Knott’s fit in this? The park is part of the Cedar Fair chain, but I suspect that only the most dedicated fans and industry analysts actually know that. Cedar Fair has deferred to branding its parks individually rather than creating a national brand to unite its properties, a la Disney, Universal, Six Flags and SeaWorld.

That legacy now extends to Halloween event branding. At one point, Cedar Fair began using the “Halloween Haunt” brand across its parks’ Halloween events, but Knott’s now opts for its Scary Farm branding, taking a chainsaw to any attempt by Cedar Fair to create a national Halloween brand to compete with Universal and Six Flags.

Speaking of SeaWorld, the company last year jumped into the game by introducing its old Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream brand across five U.S. theme parks, but it will need years of market exposure to catch up to the head start enjoyed by Universal and Six Flags in this space.

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Knott’s Berry Farm may have invented the after-hours Halloween theme park event. But Universal is working hard to make its brand synonymous with Halloween from coast to coast.

As popular as Halloween Horror Nights may be at Universal Studios Hollywood, the event’s scale and attendance is dwarfed by its sibling at Universal Studios Florida. Theme Park Insider readers voted Florida’s Halloween Horror Nights as the world’s best theme park Halloween event last year, and Universal Orlando continues to outpace the competition with more original houses and scare zones than anyone.

So together, the two form an unbeatable combination for theme park fans who love haunts. Universal does not dilute its brand with kid-friendly Halloween events during the day. This is the studio that popularized the monster movie back at the start of the 20th century, and Universal is sticking to that identity.

It’s that legacy that helps give Universal an advantage over Six Flags Fright Fest, its nearest competitor for nationwide Halloween brand dominance. Six Flags puts on its Halloween event at far many more locations than Universal’s two U.S. resorts. But Universal’s access to popular movie and television properties helps draw millions of lucrative out-of-market visitors to its events.

Where does Knott’s fit in this? The park is part of the Cedar Fair chain, but I suspect that only the most dedicated fans and industry analysts actually know that. Cedar Fair has deferred to branding its parks individually rather than creating a national brand to unite its properties, a la Disney, Universal, Six Flags and SeaWorld.

That legacy now extends to Halloween event branding. At one point, Cedar Fair began using the “Halloween Haunt” brand across its parks’ Halloween events, but Knott’s now opts for its Scary Farm branding, taking a chainsaw to any attempt by Cedar Fair to create a national Halloween brand to compete with Universal and Six Flags.

Speaking of SeaWorld, the company last year jumped into the game by introducing its old Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream brand across five U.S. theme parks, but it will need years of market exposure to catch up to the head start enjoyed by Universal and Six Flags in this space.

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