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Old 10-30-2012, 07:17 PM   #31
BrinkofSunshine
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Swirly girls, you are absolutely entitled to your opinion; however I disagree that Universal's TMs are the worst of the bunch. I've always had positive experiences.. or at least, I've never noticed anything genuinely rude.

The saddest/least enthusiastic I've seen are at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens.. Don't think I've ever seen attendants more miserable to be working.

I had the worst experience with a CM at Magic Kingdom. I won't really go into it, but it almost had me going to their guest services.. but I refrained, because I get that sometimes you just have a bad day.
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:36 PM   #32
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Swirly girls, you are absolutely entitled to your opinion; however I disagree that Universal's TMs are the worst of the bunch. I've always had positive experiences.. or at least, I've never noticed anything genuinely rude.

The saddest/least enthusiastic I've seen are at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens.. Don't think I've ever seen attendants more miserable to be working.

I had the worst experience with a CM at Magic Kingdom. I won't really go into it, but it almost had me going to their guest services.. but I refrained, because I get that sometimes you just have a bad day.
Well,perhaps we were there on an " off" day.
We had nothing but good things at all other parks. In fact, I was at Disney on my birthday. I was greeted with a happy birthday all day long, from every cast member. I also got special cupcakes at each restaurant we ate at during the day, and even a special decorated table and cupcake from the crystal palace. ( I wore a birthday button)
Just sayin
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:57 PM   #33
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That's great that you had a good birthday My friend and I went to MK last year for her birthday and she got a lot of attention, even the characters in the parade spotted her pin and wished her a happy birthday!

Don't forget that Universal also gives out pins for birthdays and celebrations!
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:24 PM   #34
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Well,perhaps we were there on an " off" day.
We had nothing but good things at all other parks. In fact, I was at Disney on my birthday. I was greeted with a happy birthday all day long, from every cast member. I also got special cupcakes at each restaurant we ate at during the day, and even a special decorated table and cupcake from the crystal palace. ( I wore a birthday button)
Just sayin
Happy late birthday.

As for your experiences with Team Members we've luckily had just the opposite experiences during several trips. A few even post here and I'm hard pressed to find nicer people but of course YMMV.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:30 PM   #35
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i don't get the statement about the TM's, darkside employees.

there are many people that work part time at both parks.
disney and universal.




swirly, if you want to discuss your opinions more, you can create a new thread.



and getting back on topic of this HHN thread, i just want to say that i hope many of you did the exit survey and gave your suggestions of what went right and what needed to be changed for next years HHN.

emails to universal also are helpful if you did not do an exit survey.


i doubt that the future years, hhn will be at both parks.
potter and seuss sections would not be included which would make a lot of walking at ioa if a few houses were put over there.

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Old 10-31-2012, 01:05 AM   #36
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I went HHN many years ago before I bought DVC and it was so disappointing I said I would never go back. You just expect more from a place is known for its theatrics and special effects.
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:50 AM   #37
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While I can't help but agree with most of your points, I do think the OP does bear some responsiblity for his dissatisfaction regarding HHN.

The challenges created by the construction, especially dropping the number of houses from 8 to 7, definitely impacted the crowds and queue lengths this year and this is something that I believe Universal should have taken into consideration when determining event capacity numbers.

However, I still believe that if you are spending the amount of money that Universal charges for a single night admission to HHN, you have the responsibility to do the research to find out how to make the most out of your visit. Waiting to enter the park until what was probably closer to 8pm than 7pm was a mistake on the OP's part. He entered just as or just after the biggest rush of guests was coming in and before people had started to leave. Long waits are to be expected.

And there are always going to be houses that fall short of expectations, especially when dealing with known properties such as Penn & Teller and AMC's The Walking Dead. Frankly, given that these are the only 2 houses the OP visited, I think he may have had unrealistic expectations due to the name associations for these houses.

Furthermore, while at least one house every year gets labeled as being the one that didn't live up to expectations, on the flip side there is always at least one house that nobody saw coming and just blows everyone away. Gothic fits that bill this year and the OP didn't make any effort to visit it, possibly due to being focused on the known properties. Had he started with one of the non-branded houses, he might have had a completely different experience but he'll never know because he gave up too quickly, IMO.

In any case, everyone's experience is their own and just because we disagree with their assessment, that doesn't make it any less valid for them. Hopefully, they took the time to share their feedback with the survey folks as they were departing so it can be used to create a better event next year.
well put

however, I've been to more than a few HHNs and was don't think my expectations were unrealistic to expect TWD to have acquired character licenses or even to just invest more effort in such a popular theme.

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It was my own fault for not realizing that it closed at 5pm.
However, it can't be argued that universals version of a fast pass is a big joke. I heard many people complaining about it who HAD bought, and paid extra for this pass.
Thank goodness I didn't waste money on it.
And, the attitude and demeanor of universal's employees was by far the worst out of all the parks/ places we visited.
Not many smiles, waves, hello, goodbye, thank you, nothing..... Not much personality at all.
Quite a difference from the way other workers treated us at the other parks ect. If they work for Disney, they must use up all the friendliness they have when they work there, because it is the totally opposite at universal. Like I said, they could, and should take lessons from Disney, sea world, and DC.

My goodness but people take this stuff so serious! Calm down, it's just our opinion and really isn't worth taking such offense to. Seriously.
It's serious (or as much as you can apply the term to a fun-filled vacation)stuff to those of us who devote a vacation each year to enjoy HHN. We spend big bucks and do lots of research to make sure our trips turn out optimally, let's just say we're invested in a good time and HHNs continued success.

that said, all the parks i visited were even more crowded than same time period last year (even aquatica!)...a continuing theme over the last five years. It's a very popular time to visit Orlando. The HHN express pass lines did look crazy long, perhaps they should sell less of them per night?

re TMs & CMs, can't say i've ever experienced a less than satisfactory one. Naturally, some are better than others and everybody can have an off-day. Honestly, not sure how they manage to maintain a pleasant demeanor in such a rather thankless job that imo is a labor of love.

it's cute as heck to see the CM's waving their giant mickey mouse gloves at me after my zippty do dah day when I exit the MK, but it's the last sort of thing i'd want to happen at Universal where I expect the TM vibe to be less intrusive/laid back except for the character roles.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:34 PM   #38
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I have been looking forward to attending HHN for 15 years, no lie. I was so excited that we were finally going to be doing it this year. Man, was I disappointed. We didn't realize it was a drinking/smoking/bad behavior party for everyone. I'm no prude, but we got through the line to crossover and a family from father to child were all drunk!! Sloshed!! And everyone was very intoxicated in all the lines we were in and smoking like no tomorrow, line cutters, bad language. No fun at all. We got out of the line to go to guest services an hour after we got there and we got our money back for the tickets. The very nice gal said it had gotten bad in the last couple of years and they really pushed the drinking thing, she apologized and even gave us two express passes for our other days in the park-- we were so disappointed in the lack of restraint and the free for all attitude of the guests. Not as advertised AT ALL. Universal should just come right out and say, "If you want to get drunk and PART-AY! Come on in!!" No frights from anything other than the other guests-- So sad. And then to think after drinking all night, they were then driving on the freeways!! EEK! Maybe that's the Horror of Horror Nights but certainly not the Haunted houses in the park.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:43 PM   #39
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I have been looking forward to attending HHN for 15 years, no lie. I was so excited that we were finally going to be doing it this year. Man, was I disappointed. We didn't realize it was a drinking/smoking/bad behavior party for everyone. I'm no prude, but we got through the line to crossover and a family from father to child were all drunk!! Sloshed!! And everyone was very intoxicated in all the lines we were in and smoking like no tomorrow, line cutters, bad language. No fun at all. We got out of the line to go to guest services an hour after we got there and we got our money back for the tickets. The very nice gal said it had gotten bad in the last couple of years and they really pushed the drinking thing, she apologized and even gave us two express passes for our other days in the park-- we were so disappointed in the lack of restraint and the free for all attitude of the guests. Not as advertised AT ALL. Universal should just come right out and say, "If you want to get drunk and PART-AY! Come on in!!" No frights from anything other than the other guests-- So sad. And then to think after drinking all night, they were then driving on the freeways!! EEK! Maybe that's the Horror of Horror Nights but certainly not the Haunted houses in the park.
Sorry you experienced that, I've heard those stories both from HHN and from the Food and Wine at Epcot on occasion. Having been 11 years to both, thankfully I've never experienced that.
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:21 PM   #40
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Sorry you experienced that, I've heard those stories both from HHN and from the Food and Wine at Epcot on occasion. Having been 11 years to both, thankfully I've never experienced that.
I guess I've been lucky too...I haven't experienced that kind of behavior either.
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:50 PM   #41
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I've gone to 18 of the 22 years of HHN as well as like the past 13-15 years of the Food and Wine festival at Epcot and sure that people drink,but I've rarely seen incidents that get out of control.These events are obviously more geared to draw a wilder crowd than what you'll see at the parks during the day but you must have known that before you visited,especially since you've wanted to visit it for 15 years,I mean the shows over the years at HHN include foul language and sexual innuendo,this event is not meant for young kids and families,it is what it is.I hear a lot of people complain about the behavior that they encounter at both of these events and I honestly believe these people are not knowing what to expect and this behavior might shock them when they encounter it.All I can say is I visit these events year after year and aside from the ocassional incident 98%-99% of the visitors behave fine.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:33 PM   #42
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It was ok and if we ever visited during this time of year I would pass on HHN. We went on 10/27 (SS) and the houses were nothing special with maybe the exception of Silent Hill. I had read the crowds would get busy at 10pm and they most certainly did!
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:21 AM   #43
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We saw several smokers but no drunks luckily. I keep hearing about all of the drunks at HHN and Epcot's Food and Wine but I must be oblivious because I never see any of it!
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:14 PM   #44
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We just returned home today from a 4 day trip. We did HHN last evening and had a really good time. This was our 3rd HHN - 2002 was our first and then 2007 our second. We took advantage of the S&S with an early dinner reservation at Finnegan's. We managed to do all of the houses and a couple of rides with no problem. We did purchase express passes and were very glad we did because the lines did become long very quickly.

After reading the boards for reviews of the houses and with the lack of scare zones we thought we might be disappointed but in actuality we had a better then expected time. We really enjoyed all the houses except for The Walking Dead which we thought was a disappointment - not enough zombies. We thought Dead End and Gothic were the best two with Silent Hill a close third. Unfortunately our experience in House of Horrors was affected by the fact we were directly behind a group that had a baby and 3 year old with them so the scare-actors seem to take it easy on them which made for a boring walk through.

Didn't really see any outrageously drunk, rude or obnoxious people --- just lots of people having a good time.

We did do the exit survey and gave our two cents worth.

Thanks to all the folks here on the board for all the great tips and tricks - the advice made our trip better for it.
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:02 PM   #45
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Thanks to all the folks here on the board for all the great tips and tricks - the advice made our trip better for it.
That helped us too and I think that this is a key element to making any trip better. I research everywhere in detail before I go and I'm still surprised when I read that some people don't.
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