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Universal Studios Hollywood extends Horror Nights beyond Halloween

Universal Studios Hollywood's annual Halloween extravaganza has been such a hit this year that the park is extending the event beyond Halloween.

Halloween Horror Nights, which launched Sept. 18 and has sold out five nights this year, was scheduled to end Nov. 1 but instead will continue to Nov. 6 and 7. It marks the first time the 10-year-old event has been extended a week beyond Halloween.

"The success and growth of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood over the past 10 years has been phenomenal," said Xiomara Wiley, executive vice president of marketing and sales at the park. "We're excited to expand the sold-out extreme-horror experience to meet the demand of our fans and guests."

Halloween Horror Nights, a collection of mazes teeming with actors in masks and makeup, plus dance performances and rides, was cited last year by the theme park's parent company, Comcast Corp., as contributing to a 30% jump in theme park revenues, compared with the previous year.

Among the six mazes at Universal Studios Hollywood this year, the theme park includes for the fourth straight year a maze based on AMC's popular series "The Walking Dead." This year, the maze was extended to twice the length of last year's maze, adding additional zombie characters.

Universal Studios is not alone in enjoying a financial boost during Halloween.

For the first time, the Queen Mary in Long Beach reported selling out on its Halloween event — Dark Harbor — on the first Saturday of opening weekend this year, drawing 8,000 visitors.

Since the Halloween event at the Queen Mary launched in 2010, annual attendance doubled to 120,000 visitors last year.

To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow me on Twitter at @hugomartin.

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