HHN reviews (possible spoilers)

Discussion in 'Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure Forums' started by phamton, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. phamton

    phamton The Other Orlando Themepark Moderator

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    I only went to 2 houses for employee preview tonight plus the Bill and Ted show:

    The In Between was OK. Very much like the houses in past years with the psychedelic lights, spinning tunnel, mirrors, etc. You wear 3-d type glasses in the house that they provide. It didn't seem 3-D to me but maybe made the black lighting better.

    Nevermore was freakin awesome to me. I loved the whole thing but I am a Poe fan. Lots of ravens and I don't mean Macraven either. These ravens were pretty darn scary. I just loved everything about this house. When I walked through, there was a tv camera crew filming right when I got a good scare from the Tell-tale Heart scene. I'm not sure if it was a commercial filming or one of the local tv stations.

    Bill and Ted were most excellent, as usual. References to Bin Laden, Smurfs, and Charlie Sheen, and several movies like True Grit, Super 8, and others. Bill danced beside me in the aisles and patted me on the head. I felt so special!
     
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  3. xApril

    xApril DIS Veteran

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    I felt the In-Between was just okay. I didn't wear the glasses because it was my first house and I wanted to be sure where I was going. :p I felt that there were some cool effects in the house but other than that, the costumes were a bit repetitive and I just didn't get that many scares, but there was a mega conga line since that was the first one almost everyone went to.

    I probably like H.R. Bloodengutz the most. It was a fun house and definitely the comedy one.

    I felt that the Thing was like watching the movie or something. I didn't feel as if they were aiming to scare us half the time, but maybe it's just the time I walked through that I missed some things?

    Winter's Night began pretty scary but kind of faltered halfway through. There were parts where no one was scaring anyone...

    Nightingales was probably the scariest for me. There was a lot of screaming from me. The water also caught me off guard.

    We missed Saws 'n Steam, Nevermore, and Forsaken but will definitely be trying them the next time we go.

    Bill and Ted was pretty good this year. :) Everyone I was with pretty much agreed it was better than last year's.

    I also enjoyed all the scarezones, although some were so-so on scares.

    I hope you don't mind me adding my two cents in. :)
     
  4. Metro West

    Metro West <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=blue> Moderator

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    I'll be going tomorrow night...as long as I don't have to swim home. Lots of rain coming.
     
  5. phamton

    phamton The Other Orlando Themepark Moderator

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    No I'm glad you did. I started this thread to get everyone's reviews. I wish I had gone to more houses but I was afraid I'd miss B&T. Last year during HHN preview night, I saw all of the houses and missed B&T so this year, I made it a priority to get to their show. I agree that this year was much better than last year's B&T show.

    I'll try to get around to the other houses on another night.
     
  6. Marquibiri

    Marquibiri HHN Addict!

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    What! really... major bummer!!!!

    Marquibiri :confused:
     
  7. Jason71

    Jason71 Brother to pirates and corsairs...

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    Thanks to some friends and the ADA, managed to see all the houses and B&T during preview night. Here are some first thoughts, roughly in the order I enjoyed the houses.

    • Winters Night: the cold/snow effects work very well here, great cast, top notch set design with a nice creepy Victorian atmosphere (kind of a “grown-up Haunted Mansion” feel). I’m surprised, but my favorite for house of the year.
    • Saws & Steam: Best Jaws house ever. Lot of scares from actors clearly enjoying their job, some very cool new effects.
    • Nevermore: A lot of people seemed to consider this their favorite, hard to disagree. Clever scenes, new design ideas, just an amazing house. The tents have come a long way. Speaking of which…
    • The In-Between: Biggest surprise of the night. Loved it, and I’m not a fan of 3D houses. The tunnel and the “floorless room” show how you can use 3D to make something unique and truly disorienting.
    • Nightengales: An intense house. Probably the most scares of the night. Still not entirely sure how the vampire nurses fit in, hoping there’s a queue video to explain a little more back story.
    • H.R. Bludengutz: Started off a bit slow for me, but by the time you get to the obscure holidays this house becomes inspired. Relies a little too heavily on TVs to set up each room, the sound was too low to really follow the story, but the escalating craziness is a lot of fun.
    • The Forsaken: I was really impressed with the sets, and the hurricane effect at the end is great. However, most of my group were not fans of this one. Two biggest complaints: lack of a coherent story (queue video may help this) and the glowing green eyes on the pirates give them away before they can scare anyone. Still, I’m anxious to give this one another go-round.
    • The Thing: Saw Winters Night first, so the cold/snow effect didn’t impress me like it might have otherwise. Ditto the gunfire, had just come from the war zone of Nightengales. Well-done, but nothing I haven’t seen before, I remember better creatures in the last Thing house. Could have used more actors as well, but it was late. Nowhere near the bottom 10 houses ever or anything like that, just not overly impressive in a year with three or four new classics.

    Bill & Ted was great, possibly the best since 2006. Back to basics, which the show needed. I was with a friend who knows the new writer, word is legal “cut a lot.” Legal is also the reason the show features a lot more real life celebrities rather than characters. Still, a ton of laughs (check out the fake ads in the preshow), and some interesting mash-ups in the dance numbers. Missed Death Drums, but the chatter was very positive.

    Loved Acid Rain projections, Canyon of Dark Souls worked better than I could've expected, the bat/bird one was quite good as well. Missed 7 because of the rain, didn't make it back in time, but love those stages. Only disappointing scare zone for me was Lady Luck--felt like a photo op where you couldn't actually take photos.

    Overall, a great year. Looking forward to returning almost every night I can with FFP.
     
  8. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead

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  9. Metro West

    Metro West <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=blue> Moderator

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    This thread is officially stuck! :thumbsup2
     
  10. Nicole786

    Nicole786 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the first reports! Never been to HHN, going for the first time Oct 2nd, can't wait!
     
  11. the Dark Marauder

    the Dark Marauder <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=green

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    Skipped B&T, as I heard it was mediocre at best. I was able to see all 8 houses, plus all 6 scarezones by 1015pm and never had to wait more than 20 mins for a house! I used the "go to the right (counterclockwise)" method

    In Between: 3D house with the spinning tunnel. Very fun and psychedelic. Loved the effects and had fun with this.

    Nevermore: Beautiful set design. Mediocre scares.

    Saws & Steam: Best Jaws queue house ever. Great design, lots of scares. The chainsaw guy at the end had perfect timing and scared my friend to bits!

    Holidays of Horror: Great setup and design. Creepy and entertaining, but weak in scares.

    Winter's Night: Cool house (literally, the AC was cold). Great design, mediocre scares.

    Nightingale (WW1). Weak scares. Plenty of water effects. Underwhelming.

    The Thing: Two good scares at the end, but otherwise only average. The 2007 version was far better.

    Forsaken: I was like :confused3 the whole time. Almost no scares and nothing made sense whatsoever.

    ------------------
    Scarezones: I can't review them as they all just felt horribly. weak to me.
     
  12. TheRealDrDisney

    TheRealDrDisney Fat Bald & Ugly Disney Nerd

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    I was wondering why you couldn't take photos. Seems like in years past that photos were OK in the scare zones - is this one different?

    Thanks!
     
  13. donaldduck352

    donaldduck352 <font color=red><marquee>Proud Redhead</marquee><b

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    Im a huge Edgar Allen Poe fan myself since I could read.Have read all his work.Poems,short storys and qoutes and love 'em all.

    Question,any hint of The Masque of the Red Death in the house??One of my favs.


    "And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all."
     
  14. macraven

    macraven Proud Redhead

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    Poe is my hero.
     
  15. phamton

    phamton The Other Orlando Themepark Moderator

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    I don't specifically remember it but could have very well been in the house and was too obscure for me to get it. There was a lot to take in on this house and feel it will get better the more times you go (kind of like that freaky Scary (Fairy) Tales house--was that last year or a few years back?) Scary Tales got better and you saw more stories the more often you went.
     
  16. RAPstar

    RAPstar <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=darko

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    Universal stated in one of their press releases that there are references to Masque in the house.

    Check out this video and you may see one of the references :thumbsup2

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aldH6kNXG3w&feature=player_embedded
     
  17. Jason71

    Jason71 Brother to pirates and corsairs...

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    Guess you could, but when I walked through, not really set up for it. Unlike, say, last year, or the year the icons lined Rodeo Drive. Cramped space, a lot of characters up on the balconies. Will take another look tonight.
     
  18. Jason71

    Jason71 Brother to pirates and corsairs...

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    Never a huge Poe fan, but one room in particular I assumed was the Masque. They seemed to stick the best-known works (Raven, Pit & Pendulum), so I assume that is what the red grim reaper-like figure is.
     
  19. TheRealDrDisney

    TheRealDrDisney Fat Bald & Ugly Disney Nerd

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    I see. Yes, I got some great pix last year - very nice setup.

    Look forward to reading more from you - thanks!
     
  20. BrinkofSunshine

    BrinkofSunshine DIS Veteran

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    Only got to do two houses preview night because my friends and I were all stuck doing an event until 11 :( Anyway, we went to Holidays of Horror and The Thing. I thought Holidays was fun, and The Thing had some better scares. If this is the mediocre side of this year's HHN then I'm very excited to see the rest of it! The Acid Assault projections were awesome, but no scareactors? Will they add them?
     
  21. Metro West

    Metro West <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=blue> Moderator

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    Here's my mini trip report from tonight:

    I arrived at the Studios around 4:20pm which is late for me. I had time to get a drink but not to eat since food service ends at 4:30pm. I walked around a bit and then headed for the holding area. I found a nice covered spot (in case it rained) and settled in for the wait. I spotted a guy walking around in a t-shirt that looked kinda familiar...then when I saw the name "Marquibiri" on the back, I realized it was Marco from Panama. I introduced myself while he was snapping a few pictures. We chatted a bit and then moved into position as the barriers were being taken down so we could head into the park and to the houses.

    We hit Winter's Night first (I'll give my thoughts on each house later) and then headed to The Thing. Next came H.R. Bloodengutz and finally Saws 'n Steam. There was a problem with Marco's Rush of Fear Pass w/Express so I insisted we head to Guest Services so he could find out what the problem was. We stopped at Lost & Found and I introduced him to Phamton. He went to GS and I stayed and chatted with Phamton a while. After Marco came back out...the rains came! I was stuck in the covered area beside the restrooms for 30-45 minutes or so waiting for it to stop. After about 20 minutes, Marco realized he only two nights to see everything so he put on his poncho and headed out alone.

    Finally...the rains stopped and I decided to continue on. My first stop was The Forsaken, then The In Between and Nevermore. It sprinkled a little but the really heavy rains moved on and it was a pretty nice evening. My last house of the evening was Nightingales. I hit the Universal Studios store on my way out for my yearly t-shirt with the house logos on the back and the glass shooter. As I exited, I was asked to complete a survey on the evening which took about 10 minutes then I headed to the car and home.

    Now...for my thoughts on the houses:

    The Forsaken:
    I liked this one...nice themeing and pretty decent scares. I would give this a 7 out of 10.

    The In Between:
    This is the 3-D house that's more of a funhouse than a haunted house. It was OK but nothing terrific. This one gets a 6 out of 10.

    Nevermore...The Madness of Poe:
    Great house with lots of themeing. Lots of scares and many references to his books. I would give this an 8 out of 10.

    Saws 'n Steam...Enter the Machine:
    Good house but hot. Do this one after nightfall. The line was backed up pretty early but overall a good house. This one gets a 7 out of 10.

    H.R. Bloodengutz...Holidays of Horror: I really enjoyed this house...funny scareactors but again hot. Another one to do after it's dark. This one rates an 8 out of 10.

    The Thing:
    I'm not a huge fan of the film but the house was pretty decent. The scares started off pretty good but faded over the course of the house. I would give this one a 7 out of 10.

    Nightingales...Blood Prey:
    I wasn't impressed with this one. The scares were mediocre at best but the themeing was good. This one rates a 6 out of 10.

    Winter's Night...The Haunting of Hawthorn Cemetery:
    This was my favorite by far and is also the Stay & Scream early entry house this year. The themeing was great and the scares were constant throughout. This one rates a 9 out of 10.

    I didn't see a lot of the scare zones since the rains drove all the scareactors indoors but Canyon of Dark Souls was pretty good...from what I saw of it. Nightmaze was weird and not really scary but hopefully it will be fully staffed. I did catch the end of the Death Drums show which looks really good. I will definitely catch the whole show when I venture over again next weekend.
     

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