Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios is woo­ing Lati­nos

The theme park adds La Llorona, a wail­ing soul from folk­lore, to its Hal­loween cast.

Los Angeles Times - - Daily Market Roundup - Hugo Martín hugo.martin@latimes.com

This Hal­loween sea­son, for the first time, Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios Hollywood in­tro­duced a char­ac­ter based on the Latin Amer­i­can myth of La Llorona in its an­nual Hal­loween Horror Nights in an ef­fort to con­nect with South­ern Cal­i­for­nia’s siz­able Latino pop­u­la­tion.

The leg­end of La Llorona has gone through many vari­a­tions over the years. It is a folk­tale about a woman who drowned her chil­dren af­ter she was aban­doned by their fa­ther. Tor­mented by what she has done, the woman’s spirit wan­ders the earth, cry­ing out for her dead chil­dren.

She re­turned from the dead as La Llorona, Span­ish for “the Wailer.”

At Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios Hollywood’s an­nual Hal­loween event, the char­ac­ter of La Llorona, a shriv­eled woman in a veil, joins bloody ghouls, ax mur­der­ers, de­mented clowns and armed freaks who wan­der the park and jump out at guests who have en­tered spe­cially de­signed mazes at night.

The move makes sense. The Hal­loween Horror Nights have be­come a profitable way for Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios to draw guests to the theme park af­ter the tra­di­tional sum­mer tourist sea­son is over.

Dis­ney­land in Ana­heim and Six Flags Magic Moun­tain in Va­len­cia also re­dec­o­rate their parks and hire ac­tors to draw vis­i­tors dur­ing the Hal­loween sea­son.

Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park (known as Knott’s Scary Farm dur­ing the Hal­loween sea­son) is be­lieved to be the first theme park in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia to give it­self a Hal­loween­themed makeover nearly 30 years ago. The park draws about 15% of its guests dur­ing the Hal­loween sea­son, ac­cord­ing to Knott’s Berry Farm of­fi­cials.

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