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Official Halloween Horror Nights 2018 thread

mergatroid

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Just back from Orlando yesterday. Had out Frequent Fear passes this year and did a Friday/ Sunday/ Thursday/ Sunday visit. Managed all 10 houses over the 4 trips getting there an hour before opening each visit to queue and staying a couple to three hours a night. Really enjoyed it as usual and still think FFP is the way to do it if you can do it (and is very affordable). We also purchased a refillable cup this year for $30 which covers the entire HHN period for that price for drinks and icees, man we hammered those refill stations :cool:
 

Animaniac93-98

Well-Known Member
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Just back from Orlando yesterday. Had out Frequent Fear passes this year and did a Friday/ Sunday/ Thursday/ Sunday visit. Managed all 10 houses over the 4 trips getting there an hour before opening each visit to queue and staying a couple to three hours a night. Really enjoyed it as usual and still think FFP is the way to do it if you can do it (and is very affordable). We also purchased a refillable cup this year for $30 which covers the entire HHN period for that price for drinks and icees, man we hammered those refill stations :cool:
FFP is definitely the best value. If I were to go to HHN again, I would get that ticket and go a few nights over the course of my Orlando trip.
 

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
Just back from Orlando yesterday. Had out Frequent Fear passes this year and did a Friday/ Sunday/ Thursday/ Sunday visit. Managed all 10 houses over the 4 trips getting there an hour before opening each visit to queue and staying a couple to three hours a night. Really enjoyed it as usual and still think FFP is the way to do it if you can do it (and is very affordable). We also purchased a refillable cup this year for $30 which covers the entire HHN period for that price for drinks and icees, man we hammered those refill stations :cool:
Only way to roll. I do RoF and spend 7 - 8 nights so there is 0 pressure to "get it done". I leave by 10 or so and am ready for the next night without feeling wiped out after a few.
 

mergatroid

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Only way to roll. I do RoF and spend 7 - 8 nights so there is 0 pressure to "get it done". I leave by 10 or so and am ready for the next night without feeling wiped out after a few.
Indeed, time to stop at Cowfish afterwards too :cool:. Have to agree with last Sunday being hammered as several have commented on, even Gringotts had a 50 min wait when we looked around 8pm, unheard of in our previous visits. We left around 9pm that night and the queue to get in an already crowded park was extremely crazy at that time, felt really sorry for those whose only visit was that night.
 

danpam1024

Well-Known Member
Just my 2 cents... I thought the original houses were exceptional this year-Carnival Graveyard and Slaughter Sinema being my 2 favorite. We did 9 of 10 with EP- missed Trick or Treat. The scare zones weren't as "scary" as normal, which makes me think they are trying to appease the people bringing little kids (I really hope that's not the case). And I don't understand why twisted taters aren't available EVERY day. $8 for a potato- what's the profit margin there $7.75!
 

celluloid

Well-Known Member
Just back from Orlando yesterday. Had out Frequent Fear passes this year and did a Friday/ Sunday/ Thursday/ Sunday visit. Managed all 10 houses over the 4 trips getting there an hour before opening each visit to queue and staying a couple to three hours a night. Really enjoyed it as usual and still think FFP is the way to do it if you can do it (and is very affordable). We also purchased a refillable cup this year for $30 which covers the entire HHN period for that price for drinks and icees, man we hammered those refill stations :cool:
They also work during daytime hours throughout both parks.
 

Tom Morrow

Well-Known Member
Just my 2 cents... I thought the original houses were exceptional this year-Carnival Graveyard and Slaughter Sinema being my 2 favorite. We did 9 of 10 with EP- missed Trick or Treat. The scare zones weren't as "scary" as normal, which makes me think they are trying to appease the people bringing little kids (I really hope that's not the case).
Yeah, I noticed the scare zones are becoming more and more of party zones and photo ops than anything else, but it makes sense in the age of social media. I doubt it has anything to do with appeasing families with children. This is Universal's biggest moneymaking event by far. There's no way they would give that up.
 

SSH

Well-Known Member
anyone go last year on Halloween? Just wondering how busy it was compared to a weekend. I figured it would be a little less busy - since it's the only night parents and kids can go trick or treating and a lot of parties on that night, plus a weekday night with 2 other nights before and after. But noticing UO jacked up express pass a lot that day.
 

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
anyone go last year on Halloween? Just wondering how busy it was compared to a weekend. I figured it would be a little less busy - since it's the only night parents and kids can go trick or treating and a lot of parties on that night, plus a weekday night with 2 other nights before and after. But noticing UO jacked up express pass a lot that day.
You are correct. Don't go by the express price, they know they have a hit this year so "dynamic pricing" just like all the big boyz.
 
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Tom Morrow

Well-Known Member
I don't believe actual Halloween is typically all that crowded, but I may be wrong. Also, this year has been a bigger draw than previous years and might be the most successful HHN year ever. Generally, the higher the ticket and express pass price, the more crowded they anticipate the night to be.
 
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raven

Well-Known Member
Halloween last year wasn’t bad. More tourists than locals visit that night so it isn’t so bad. And usually the crowd is in decent spirits for the occasion.
 

Tom Morrow

Well-Known Member
^ That's a great recap of every year.

I went last night for the third time this year. It was originally not a scheduled event night and I suspected it would be a relatively quiet night, and I was correct. No house reached over an hour wait and for most of the night their wait times were only an average of 25 minutes. It was also the calmest HHN night I've ever been to, everyone was laid back and quiet and nobody was loud or belligerent - a very welcome change from my typical HHN experience. I noticed many houses were missing several scareactors, but again since this night was added only a few weeks ago, it's not surprising.

There are a few more days of the event, but I won't be going again, so here are my closing thoughts on this year.

Scarezones: Over the last few years, it seems they have evolved the scare zones from being areas people who are scared might want to avoid walking through to glorified meet & greets and photo ops. It makes sense with current social media-obsessed culture, but it does detract from the overall feel of the event. I used to describe HHN as feeling like "a theme park has descended into hell", but I don't get that feeling walking around anymore. I miss the extremely atmospheric scare zones of the past that were actually intense to walk through as opposed to everyone just taking selfies with the monsters now.

I'm probably in the minority here but I really strongly dislike Vamp '85 - it's as loud as an actual rock concert and drowns out everything else from Louie's all the way to Fallon, and the announcer/DJ drones on endlessly trying to get the crowd to "MAKE SOME NOIIIIISEEE" - it never ever relents. It's also essentially pre-packaged to cater to theme park entertainment types to inflate their own sense of unwarranted self-importance. Every time I walked through this zone, every performer, if not on stage, was clearly just chatting it up with friends and coworkers of theirs.

Final house ranking:
1. Slaughter Sinema - Just completely dripping with detail and creativity and I would say the most energetic and fun house to walk through.
2. Poltergeist - In my opinion, this year's most intense house (although the "clown" scene is a little lazy and too long).
3. Dead Exposure: Patient Zero - Makes the top of the list for also being very intense, but 3rd for being a bit short and bare bones.
4. Carnival Graveyard: Rust in Pieces - Not very intense, but insane detail throughout. In my opinion, would have benefited from having the overall ambient light level reduced a bit.
5. Trick 'r' Treat - Also low on scares and intensity but has a really cool, nostalgic Halloween-y vibe that I really like.
6. Stranger Things - Almost no scares, but again cool to see a creation of a beloved current hot property. Unfortunately, it's pretty obvious that Netflix had a tight grip on what they could do and didn't allow for any creative liberties whatsoever, which I think would have improved the experience.
7. Seeds of Extinction - Felt a bit dull to me, but props for a very creative concept and again, detailed sets.
8. Scary Tales - I originally ranked this much higher, but changed my opinion - it's somewhat short and "what if fairy tales but the most obvious dark twist" is kind of lame, honestly.
9. Halloween 4 - Other than the cool electrocution scene, really lacking in energy and intensity. Half the time Michael is already standing in the room awkwardly.
10. Blumhouse - the almost unanimously ranked worse house of the year. If you haven't seen "Happy Death Day", the first half makes no sense. The rest feels like they're just going through the motions.

I do agree with the sentiments that this year is somewhat tamer than normal. I can't really think of a single moment in any house that was as gory or disturbing as stuff they used to do. Serious PG-13 vibes this year whereas it used to be an obvious "R". I guess I'm okay with it. I doubt it will ever be a truly family friendly event like the rumor mill is suggesting.

One last note - I think Universal should work on placing the house attendants more strategically. I understand their necessity, but when they're standing in the center of key scenes, it does kill the vibe a bit. If I walk into a room and Michael Meyers is standing there just three feet from a house attendant, any psychological sense of threat is stifled. The attendants should be kept to scene transition areas.
 

bhg469

Well-Known Member
^ That's a great recap of every year.

I went last night for the third time this year. It was originally not a scheduled event night and I suspected it would be a relatively quiet night, and I was correct. No house reached over an hour wait and for most of the night their wait times were only an average of 25 minutes. It was also the calmest HHN night I've ever been to, everyone was laid back and quiet and nobody was loud or belligerent - a very welcome change from my typical HHN experience. I noticed many houses were missing several scareactors, but again since this night was added only a few weeks ago, it's not surprising.

There are a few more days of the event, but I won't be going again, so here are my closing thoughts on this year.

Scarezones: Over the last few years, it seems they have evolved the scare zones from being areas people who are scared might want to avoid walking through to glorified meet & greets and photo ops. It makes sense with current social media-obsessed culture, but it does detract from the overall feel of the event. I used to describe HHN as feeling like "a theme park has descended into hell", but I don't get that feeling walking around anymore. I miss the extremely atmospheric scare zones of the past that were actually intense to walk through as opposed to everyone just taking selfies with the monsters now.

I'm probably in the minority here but I really strongly dislike Vamp '85 - it's as loud as an actual rock concert and drowns out everything else from Louie's all the way to Fallon, and the announcer/DJ drones on endlessly trying to get the crowd to "MAKE SOME NOIIIIISEEE" - it never ever relents. It's also essentially pre-packaged to cater to theme park entertainment types to inflate their own sense of unwarranted self-importance. Every time I walked through this zone, every performer, if not on stage, was clearly just chatting it up with friends and coworkers of theirs.

Final house ranking:
1. Slaughter Sinema - Just completely dripping with detail and creativity and I would say the most energetic and fun house to walk through.
2. Poltergeist - In my opinion, this year's most intense house (although the "clown" scene is a little lazy and too long).
3. Dead Exposure: Patient Zero - Makes the top of the list for also being very intense, but 3rd for being a bit short and bare bones.
4. Carnival Graveyard: Rust in Pieces - Not very intense, but insane detail throughout. In my opinion, would have benefited from having the overall ambient light level reduced a bit.
5. Trick 'r' Treat - Also low on scares and intensity but has a really cool, nostalgic Halloween-y vibe that I really like.
6. Stranger Things - Almost no scares, but again cool to see a creation of a beloved current hot property. Unfortunately, it's pretty obvious that Netflix had a tight grip on what they could do and didn't allow for any creative liberties whatsoever, which I think would have improved the experience.
7. Seeds of Extinction - Felt a bit dull to me, but props for a very creative concept and again, detailed sets.
8. Scary Tales - I originally ranked this much higher, but changed my opinion - it's somewhat short and "what if fairy tales but the most obvious dark twist" is kind of lame, honestly.
9. Halloween 4 - Other than the cool electrocution scene, really lacking in energy and intensity. Half the time Michael is already standing in the room awkwardly.
10. Blumhouse - the almost unanimously ranked worse house of the year. If you haven't seen "Happy Death Day", the first half makes no sense. The rest feels like they're just going through the motions.

I do agree with the sentiments that this year is somewhat tamer than normal. I can't really think of a single moment in any house that was as gory or disturbing as stuff they used to do. Serious PG-13 vibes this year whereas it used to be an obvious "R". I guess I'm okay with it. I doubt it will ever be a truly family friendly event like the rumor mill is suggesting.

One last note - I think Universal should work on placing the house attendants more strategically. I understand their necessity, but when they're standing in the center of key scenes, it does kill the vibe a bit. If I walk into a room and Michael Meyers is standing there just three feet from a house attendant, any psychological sense of threat is stifled. The attendants should be kept to scene transition areas.
I wish I could have gone but hopefully by next year I will be a Floridian and I will be able to at least spend a few days on site and experience it. I feel like the loss of Bill and Ted or a really good show, was a huge loss in a year where people raved about a majority of the houses. There wasnt much to pull people away from the houses for an hour.
 

ChampDisney

Well-Known Member
I attended this past Friday with my Express Pass in hand. I gotta admit that the scares weren’t all there this year. The Stranger Things house was a neat maze to go through, loved the scenes but it wasn’t all that frightening. Trick ‘r’ Treat... a movie I purposely watched for the event (I have never seen it) was again, a very neat maze but not frightening... though I’m glad I saw the movie anyway. Seeds of Extinction was absolutely terrible. Really don’t know what Creative was thinking about with that one. Scary Tales was fun and I had a few jumps there, Hansel jumping out reciting the line “Get in my belly!” — or something to that extent... whatever the fatboy said was hilarious. Poltergeist may have been the scariest house of the event, very eerie and chilling. Halloween 4 was another great maze but at times felt like it was a bit of a Michael Myers mess, seeing 2-3 Michaels at a glance.

Didn’t get to do every house as I also rode a few rides. Suprisingly with the Express Pass, there was more of a wait time for the rides than the mazes. I don’t know how that happened but hey! Overall, I still had a great time with great friends. Another HHN event in the record books for me!
 

Tom Morrow

Well-Known Member
Halloween 4 was another great maze but at times felt like it was a bit of a Michael Myers mess, seeing 2-3 Michaels at a glance.
Yep, I forgot to mention this in my post. There are definitely several instances where you can see more than one Michael Myers. Sometimes he is just standing there next to a house attendant. Very uninspired design.
 

Animaniac93-98

Well-Known Member
I'm probably alone in thinking this, but Halloween 4 was the wrong one to do a maze about, despite the meta reference of The Return of Michael Myers the same year a new movie is out. I would have picked Halloween III (referenced in the Hollywood maze) and shown different homes with the children victims before going into the Silver Shamrock lab.

You could have the queue be a department store with TVs in the window playing the ads and then having the masks and other novelties on the store shelves.
 

Rob562

Well-Known Member
For those who didn't see it, today they announced a new one-day special event "Stranger Things Day".

This Tuesday, Nov 6th, they're opening the Stranger Things house to all day guests from 11am to 7pm. Full house experience with actors, not the lights-on walk-throughs that I vaguely recall reading about about a few weeks ago. Plus, Passholders get express to bypass the queue.

https://blog.universalorlando.com/extras/stranger-things-day-hhn-2018/

For once, a special event happening during my trip! (We fly down this Sunday)

-Rob
 
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