For a large number of reasons, we have a pretty long list of ‘the ones that got away’. It’s a bit of a frustrating hobby to have as we’re at the mercy of things like location and availability – the vast majority of attractions are temporary events which doesn’t help! Some of these hurt more than others but these are the five that we really would’ve liked to have experienced!
Yeah, we’re pretty ashamed to say that we never went through this one! I remember it being on the cards once or twice way back when but, for one reason or another, it never happened. Obviously, the appeal here is with the licensed property but also, considering that it originally opened in 1992 in Glasgow, it was way ahead of its time and a piece of UK scare attraction history… The other compelling feature about Alien War is that it actually looked pretty decent – the sets and creatures looked spot on, dispelling any doubt that this was a lazy cash-in! Of course, we don’t know what the actual content of the show was like but from all the publicly available material, we reckon we totally missed out with this one! Check out this dialogue-free trailer for the production to get a sense of the costume and scenic design!
ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter
Leading on from Alien War, we have ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter at Magic Kingdom, Orlando. We’ve been through the Lilo & Stitchified version of this and, supposedly, the shell of the experience is the same but with a far less threatening alien!
Apparently, it closed due to it being a bit too intense for your typical Disney audience although I’m not sure that I completely buy that explanation given that it remained open for eight years before being turned into Stitch’s Great Escape Experience. Seems more likely that Disney saw an opportunity to add a Lilo & Stitch experience to the park replacing the non-Disney IP of ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter. This tallies as Lilo & Stitch released in 2002 and ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter closed in 2003.
Anyway, we just love the idea that Disney had something on their parks that was decidedly not family friendly! Even more amusing is that, in the early stages of this attraction’s creation, it was actually supposed to based around the Alien IP with Disney eventually nixing that plan owing to the fact that Alien was absolutely an adult-oriented franchise. However, Disney had already acquired the rights to the Alien series, explaining the brief appearance of an Alien scene in The Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios.
Sadly, the closest that we’ll get to it is this video:
Sub Species: Operation Lockdown
A bit more recent this one and we’re also not sure why we never got here – it sat between our trips to LA and Orlando so we didn’t have an excuse! This, like the next entry on our list, was an escape room/scare attraction hybrid and we personally feel like this is a very potent combo! We’ve banged on enough times about how escape rooms offer free agency so we won’t this time around! We love Sub Species as a haunt and some of the things that they do in there already break away from the ‘on-rails’ feeling that you get in most scare mazes. So it was pretty suited to be expanded upon! We don’t really know too much about it but we hear that it wasn’t so much a completely free-flowing two or so hours as it was a collection of scenes with gameplay elements to them. But don’t quote us on that as actual detail out there is pretty scant!
There’s this trailer for the event which, sadly, tells you nothing about the experience but suggests that the story is massively different from that of the Sub Species haunt…
Whilst this is the most low-key of the events on this list, back in 2015, this thing sounded pretty unique. Again, why we never made it to this one is anyone’s guess – clearly, 2015 was a bit of a throwaway year for us!
Check out the trailer for the event here:
Resident Evil: Escape from Raccoon City
It does pain me to add this one onto this list as, to this day, we haven’t really enjoyed our time at either US incarnation of Halloween Horror Nights but, man, this is a potent license! Resident Evil 2 was a seminal horror game so there are tidal waves of nostalgia seeing recognisable sets and elements. To walk through a living version of this game would have been fantastic, even knowing the limitations that being at Halloween Horror Nights inevitably brings. The sets look immensely detailed and it’s great to see them chuck in iconography specific to the fact that the maze is based on a video game (the pause room and the game over screen). We bet that the ‘You Are Dead’ caption is most likely burned into players’ brains!
Full POV for this haunt:
And so concludes our list of regrets! We’re sure there’s 100s more if we really thought about it but those five particularly spoke to us for one reason or another. Do you guys have any? Did you manage to get to any on our list? Let us know!