When I put on my schedule to write a post about Halloween Horror Nights today, I had something completely different in mind for what I was going to talk about. I should know better than to try and plan anything in the year 2020. What a fool I am.
Because today we finally got an announcement about Halloween Horror Nights after months of agonizing silence.
Halloween Horror Nights has been cancelled.
Like many, my heart is broken but I’ll be honest in that I wasn’t sure I would have even gone to the event this year. This is a sentiment that I have repeated a lot over the past couple weeks as people have asked if I knew anything about HHN. My go-to thought was “I know how stupid people act during the event in normal times, I don’t want to see how they’re going to act now.”
FOR REFERENCE: How Not to Be An A-Hole At Halloween Horror Nights
While we know that construction and hiring for Halloween Horror Nights has been happening, we knew very little about the event itself with Universal remaining uncharacteristically tight-lipped about the event and for good reason. The world is ending. For those of us that are diehard fans of the event, it’s been hard to cope with not knowing anything with the start date inching closer and closer. We did see the façade for the Tribute Store go up this past week which inspired some hope.
I was cautiously optimistic because, again, I wasn’t sure at what capacity I would be participating in the event.
With the news breaking this morning that the event would not be taking place, all of this is rendered moot. I’m actually quite proud of the fandom of HHN for now going to the crazy Disney Passholder route of being angry at everyone and everything. Matter of fact the only in-fighting that I’ve seen so far has been someone accusing someone else of being racist for some reason.
I think we had all been slowly accepting that this cancellation was going to come all while holding on some hope. Naturally, there is a lot of disappointment and frustration but I think what’s important right now is to point all that energy towards those that let us get to this point.
Twitter seems to ge a different story where some people are PISSED and I have been snacking on their rage all day.
Regardless of how anyone feels, I truly believe that Universal was doing everything they could to bring this event to us this year, but the reality was it just couldn’t happen.
Who’s to blame? Look north to Tallahassee. Look even further to the White House. The disgusting lack of leadership in our state and country is what is to blame. People who refuse to wear masks are to blame. Please who have refused to take this seriously are to blame.
At this point I think it’s important to note that my anger right now isn’t just because of the cancellation of Halloween Horror Nights. This is all the pent up rage and frustration that I have felt through all of this.
I have found myself asking the same question over and over today from the first moment my phone rang with a local new outlet wanting my opinion about the cancellation-
How did we get here?
We are months into this pandemic and things are only getting worse. We have an administration both locally and federally that has not taken this seriously at all. Calling it a conspiracy and wrongly casting doubt upon experienced scientists in an effort to save face. An administration that has spent more time casting blame upon others rather than standing up and taking action to help protect lives.
I could also, EASILY, get into the anti-maskers and the Trumpers who seem to think this is all a hoax. And some day I would just LOVE to touch on the people touting “My body, my choice” signs who are also anti-abortion.
And let me just say that if you are more upset about a Halloween event being cancelled then you were for the murder of George Lloyd or Breonna Taylor then you are a shining example of the privilege that plagues this country worse than the Coronavirus.
That’s gonna be a whole other TEDtalk.
The biggest questions we need to be asking ourselves, on the whole, is-
Where do we go from here?
In Orlando, an event like Halloween Horror Nights brings the promise of hundreds if not thousands of jobs for performers, technicians, artists, bartenders, and support staff. Additionally the boost the local economy is tremendous.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is that once everyone has moved out of their mourning stage for the event it’s time to take action.
The cancellation of the event will leave hundreds still without a job and put a great many out of a job period. The additional federal money to subsidize unemployment ends this week with no extension in sight as the powers that be keep fighting like angry tweens.
So when we’re done being sad, let’s be angry:
Write your representatives and demand further direct aid for those economically displaced, our creative teams, techs, scareactors, and everyone else who have been working hard to make this event happen that no find themselves abruptly out of work. Remember that many families have lost a lot more than a Halloween event this year, and if you are so blessed to have your health at this time, be grateful. Recognize that until we set our selfishness aside and 95% or more of us wear a dual-layered mask or face covering in public, we are going to continue to lose ground in the fight against COVID-19.
Most importantly- FUCKING VOTE.
If you’re mad, frustrated and scared right now, remember the people who put us in this position and let them know in November that you aren’t willing to put up with their shit anymore.
For those looking for work who are not at risk, maybe consider looking into working at the polls. In order to make sure that we have polling places open for access to all, they need staff and normally this is done by elderly members of our communities. This is not really an option for them in these uncertain times so consider looking into that. There is still a need for census workers so that is also an option.
My thoughts are with all of you who are hit the hardest by loss. Let’s hope we can all work harder to do better and get us back to work!