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Old 10-26-2012, 08:13 AM   #1
Trollingforthimbles
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HHN Was A Total Letdown...

We (my two friends and I) went to HHN last night and I thought I'd tell you guys our take on the whole thing.

We arrived in Universal Studios about 7pm got some food at CityWalk and then went on to HHN. It was pretty crowded right off the bat and only got more crowded as the night went on. None of the three of us however, really mind large crowds so that wasn't a problem (at first).

Going in we headed straight for The Walking Dead themed house. While I don't consider myself a "diehard" fan, I do enjoy the walking dead and watch it whenever I can. When we got there the line said it had a 60 minute wait, so we waited. It took longer than that though, we were actually in that line about 90 minutes.

So, we enter the house and... nothing special, at all. It was such a cookie-cutter Halloween House, nothing special, nothing unique, nothing to even remind you of The Walking Dead other than the zombies, which without the Walking Dead signs could have been any regular zombies from anywhere.

We are funneled though the house pretty quickly in a massive line and then exit after about 3 minutes.

My friends and I didn't really talk about the house after leaving it, we just continued on through the scare zones and around the park until we reached the Penn & Teller house.

We stand in line for another hour and a half to be let into another run-of-the-mill Halloween House, very similar to any other one but with 3-D glasses (which made it no better) and black lighting. We are once again funneled though in a massive line and exit about 3 minutes later.

After that we went to the bakery across from the I Love Lucy store and got something to drink. Where we talked about the night so far.

To make a long story short we all agreed it was a let down and the houses were what you'd find at a county fair. By this time the lines had increased with wait times upwards of 100 minutes.



We left, and aren't going back.
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:59 AM   #2
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Sounds like you didn't have a touring plan to begin with.

Too bad you didn't follow some of the suggestions in other threads about using the stay-n-scream waiting area and purchasing an express pass. Either one (or both) would have allowed you to visit more houses and hopefully increase your enjoyment of the event.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:39 PM   #3
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Sounds like you didn't have a touring plan to begin with.
If you come to vacation with no set in stone agenda especially here, you find yourself overwhelmed and lost.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:27 PM   #4
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Count me in the camp that found it just so-so.

Not bad but not great - I still felt like the lines were really long even with the express pass - but of course, the regular lines were all around 150-180 minutes (and this was on a Thursday night).

I did Howl-O-Scream for the first time this year, and I have to say it felt scarier than HHN. It's less expensive as well.

None of the houses stood out for me - except maybe Gothic. I did like the puking animatronic in front of Nuked Vegas though. (And the girl with the three...)

I've been a regular since the Director was the host (missed a host this year as well) and think I may lay off for a year or three until the craving comes back.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:20 AM   #5
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Out of control crowds

My niece and friends drove up from Jacksonville and spent the night for this event on Sun Oct 14. They know the drill about arriving early , etc. They did not have express passes did not have passes because usually Sun nights are okay and they did not want to pay an additional $60 pp ( I think they were mistaken about the price), they only got into two mazes and the Bill an Ted show. They left pissed, she said she had never seen crowds of this size on a Sun. She said everyone was complaining all around them. I told her that unless they make changes she may as well budget an express pass into the trip price next year.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:53 PM   #6
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It sounds like the crowds are getting worse and worse. Universal may have to limit the number of passes sold.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:24 PM   #7
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I must admit also,this year was boring.We only went one night doing the RIP tour with the Dis crew.Alot of good sets but the feel of fear was not there for us.Having no theme did not help either.

The last time they had a great theme,imo,was fractred tails(sp-so what).Since then its been downhill to me.I think Universal needs to bring back some of that HHN magic I have come to love>>RODDY,that would help.

This brings me on another story on my night there.Doing the private RIP tour,I dropped a big dime on doing this.We are giving glow sticks to wear around our necks.Now turns the end of the night I left the group 'cuase my back was hurting and I needed to sit down for a spell.Cuaght up with DW and DD outside RRR.I was feeling better and asked DD if she wanted to ride it with me,the answer was yes.Walked up to a TM,showed our glowsticks and he said go in this way.Kool<I thought.Got to the top and another TM said "that glowstick means what to me,you have to get in the reg line."Very angry I got and went to GS,they said the samething.

On that note,thank you Uni for ruining a already ha-hum night!!!Not the peeps I was with,I love you all,the tude I got From that TM and GS!!!
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:01 AM   #8
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I can obviously tell the size of the lines knocked down whatever enthusiasm you had for the houses.I have AP's and always stay in the Stay and Scream area to get a jump on the houses before the size of the lines get crazy.This year I was with people who don't have AP's but they bought the $20 add on ticket that lets you in either park at 3pm and you can go into the HHN area at 5:45-6pm,before the regular entrance even opens.I went this past Saturday which was one of the days they expected the biggest crowds with a $100 express pass,I think only two nights it was this much.Well without express we did all 7 houses by 9:30pm.I would agree with you that this wasn't the greatest year,houses were OK,they removed scare zones to have scareactors all throughout the park instead of 6-7 themed areas in the streets.I've been to HHN like 18 of the 22 years and while this wasn't the worst year I would put it between the middle to the bottom third.The Bill and Ted's show however was probably right near the bottom.I still enjoyed my night and I'll keep doing HHN every year that I can.I would suggest next time you do HHN to get there early or buy the express pass or maybe try Howl O Scream at Busch Gardens as you'll see pretty much all these events are similar but what makes HHN stand out is the amount of money they put into the houses and atmosphere and how they come up with new houses and experiences every year,it probably doesn't look like that if you see costumes like the trick or treating catgirl with a plastic mask this year but overall over the years they do it right.Look at Howl O Scream or Knott's Scary Farm in California and you'll see how some houses and themes are used multiple years,there's a reason people come year after year.I remember doing that Six Flags one in Atlanta one year,that was a joke,I still enjoyed it but it couldn't compare to HHN.I also feel the Universal park lends itself very well to this event when compared to other parks.
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:41 AM   #9
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I haven't gone, but from all that I read, you visited 2 of the houses that get mediocre reviews.The houses that seem to have gotten the good reviews have been : Gothic,Dead End and Silent Hill.Also the crowds reports have been HUGE all season, I think going without a good plan and paying extra for the express pass probably hindered alot of people this year
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patster734 View Post
Sounds like you didn't have a touring plan to begin with.

Too bad you didn't follow some of the suggestions in other threads about using the stay-n-scream waiting area and purchasing an express pass. Either one (or both) would have allowed you to visit more houses and hopefully increase your enjoyment of the event.


i was disappointed in WD too, mostly because they didn't have rights to characters but loved a few of the other houses and the roving scream zones were great.
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Old 10-26-2012, 02:02 PM   #11
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i was disappointed in WD too, mostly because they didn't have rights to characters but loved a few of the other houses and the roving scream zones were great.
We didn't get to see the roving scream zones because of the torrential rains during the night we went. That was disappointing, but Universal can't be blamed for that.

I enjoyed all the houses, but thought WD wasn't as good as it could/should have been. I heard the bike zombie was there, but I didn't see her.

Favorite house had to be Gothic simply because of the set design. That layout was completely fantastic. One of the best I've seen at any halloween event.
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:24 PM   #12
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So many people that don't realize they have to be there at gate open or even earlier in S&C have similar reports. It's a shame that impressions are negative due to crowds and being unprepared.

But, at the same time I get the person that goes one time during the season and not able to see much due to crowds being upset. Most of us on here know better and are better prepared, but not those that have never been.

This years event was oversold IMO. Even with express we had issues. I think that too was oversold for my dates. If it weren't for the VIP tour I would not have seen it all.

I am a staunch Universal fan but HHN 22 fell short for me. I attribute it to the construction, the massive crowds, and lack of line control and direction in the opening weeks. The wait times were way off.

I know when you go at the beginning the kinks need to be worked out, I expect that. I also forgive it.

I will be there next year with bells on! Excited just like I was this year. But I still understand the disappointed peoples reviews I have been reading.

Overall I was happy with most of the houses. Gothic and Dead End were just amazing and my HUGEST scare came from House of Horrors.

No matter what I'm always gonna love this event. I'm still sorry for those that didn't feel like it was worth it.

So, sorry it wasn't all that for you but maybe you could give it another shot.
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:19 PM   #13
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FWIW, I think it was a mistake to take the time to eat at CityWalk and wait to get in the park. The event has been very busy this year, and this is probably the busiest week of the entire run. Also, you went to two of the poorer houses (especially Penn and Teller). There's no way anything other than a major entertainment company could pull off the design and effects employed in houses like Gothic and Dead End.. certainly no country fair could pull that off.

It's unfortunate that you had a bad experience, but it really wasn't given a fair shot. I have my own gripes with HHN this year, but it is always worth it.. at least for me.
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:00 PM   #14
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FWIW, I think it was a mistake to take the time to eat at CityWalk and wait to get in the park. The event has been very busy this year, and this is probably the busiest week of the entire run. Also, you went to two of the poorer houses (especially Penn and Teller). There's no way anything other than a major entertainment company could pull off the design and effects employed in houses like Gothic and Dead End.. certainly no country fair could pull that off.

It's unfortunate that you had a bad experience, but it really wasn't given a fair shot. I have my own gripes with HHN this year, but it is always worth it.. at least for me.
This. Exactly this.
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:55 PM   #15
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Universal studios wasn't our favorite

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trollingforthimbles View Post
We (my two friends and I) went to HHN last night and I thought I'd tell you guys our take on the whole thing.

We arrived in Universal Studios about 7pm got some food at CityWalk and then went on to HHN. It was pretty crowded right off the bat and only got more crowded as the night went on. None of the three of us however, really mind large crowds so that wasn't a problem (at first).

Going in we headed straight for The Walking Dead themed house. While I don't consider myself a "diehard" fan, I do enjoy the walking dead and watch it whenever I can. When we got there the line said it had a 60 minute wait, so we waited. It took longer than that though, we were actually in that line about 90 minutes.

So, we enter the house and... nothing special, at all. It was such a cookie-cutter Halloween House, nothing special, nothing unique, nothing to even remind you of The Walking Dead other than the zombies, which without the Walking Dead signs could have been any regular zombies from anywhere.

We are funneled though the house pretty quickly in a massive line and then exit after about 3 minutes.

My friends and I didn't really talk about the house after leaving it, we just continued on through the scare zones and around the park until we reached the Penn & Teller house.

We stand in line for another hour and a half to be let into another run-of-the-mill Halloween House, very similar to any other one but with 3-D glasses (which made it no better) and black lighting. We are once again funneled though in a massive line and exit about 3 minutes later.

After that we went to the bakery across from the I Love Lucy store and got something to drink. Where we talked about the night so far.

To make a long story short we all agreed it was a let down and the houses were what you'd find at a county fair. By this time the lines had increased with wait times upwards of 100 minutes.



We left, and aren't going back.
We just got back from our 11 day vacation. We went to discovery cove, Disney (4 days all parks including MNSSHP) sea world and universal studios.

Our least favorite wad universal studios. The rides were good, but the wait time for rides was ridiculous! I'm not sure the rides were really worth the wait.
This is a less crowd time of year too.
We also thought the fact that they have a " fast pass" but, you pay additional money for it was a real joke too. You pay enough for your tickets, you shouldn't have to pay more money yet for this.
There were a couple different rides that people who had paid extra for universals fast pass version, were in the same exact spot in line, as we were ( and we didn't pay extra for the " fast pass". In fact, a couple times we ended up in front of these people and got on before they did.
There were some of these folks loudly voicing their opinions about that too. One guy said, this was a joke, he felt he had wasted his money on this, as he was still standing and waiting a long time and even being passed by non paying fast pass people.
I can't blame him, I would of been annoyed too. And, I'm glad I didn't spend the extra money for the 5 of us in my family!
The other complaint is that we paid full price for our tickets and had to leave early ( 5pm) so the Halloween horror nights could begin. Another joke! 5pm, really?
Between the long wait times, the fast pass thing, and closing the park at 5pm, we won't go back!
Also, in addition to all that, the people who work there have poor attitudes, and are not very friendly either. Sone if them seemed darn right grumpy! That topped the cake for us!
Universal studios have some things they could learn from the other parks!!
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