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Everything posted by simtanic8

  1. Before I start, I will say that I am a potter fan. So if I sound insane, biased, and am just "fanboying" all over the place, you know why. Reading the books, watching the movies, and then actually being able to live the world is a dream come true. Even to non-potter fans, it's hard to deny that this whole land is beautiful and amazingly detailed. In my opinion, you "Leave" Universal and enter a whole new world. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is mind blowing. The ride system is fantastic and the "coaster" sections are indeed short like Robb said but they pack a punch for the first time. If you want to not be lost in the story and want it to make sense, go through the regular queue. In single riders you bypass the entire preshow and the lift. To me the lift makes the Stretching room at Haunted Mansion seem like a county fair ride, I was mind boggled both times I got on the lift. To non potter fans, the preshow explains why you're at Gringotts. You're here to open an account and the goblins are going to take you to your vault, but in good old Universal fashion, something goes terribly wrong. After riding through and returning to the station my entire cart erupted in applause. The show scenes are massive, filled with detail and beautiful transitions. I was lucky enough to ride twice, once with no wait, second with about 45 minutes. First time in the back very back row, second in the very first row. I arrived at Universal around 5:50 or so. Not a car in sight, even the toll plaza was empty. They were prepared for the rush that just didn't come at that time. They had barricades running from Fossil all the way to IOA and back. Lined with staff and carts, but still not many guests in sight. Park was open to let guests in, but still not many to be seen. Barricades and staff wrapped around Simpsons and MIB, but I finally made it. about 500 or so in London, everyone else waited outside. My view point of the opening. The ceremony was short and sweet. The fireworks set off were in the colors of the four houses which I thought was a nice touch. Looking back, shows just how many guests arrived after me. With the ceremony finished, we were let in. They gave us the red carpet treatment, literally. Confetti was flying everywhere and the streets were lined with all the shop keepers. The amount of tears shed around me was astounding. I threw my bag in the fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo and darted for the single riders queue, which at this point no one was using. Everyone darted for the regular queue, which was at a 75 when I entered. They only had 2 rvs, but each rv has two carts with each holding twelve. My first time and I went straight on with no wait. So I went back in line and rode again, this time waiting for 45minutes. Leaving after my second ride, the wait time jumped to 300. There was even a wait for the fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo. I saw nothing but organized chaos when I left. No pushing, shoving, no angry guests. I was shocked thinking I was in a dream, but I think everyone was just high off of Butterbeer ice cream. Required fire dragon shot. Confetti, Confetti everywhere! After leaving, the line wrapped backstage into the queues for HHN and all the way to Transformers. Now for some random shots taken from the past few days. Overall, I give it 23.5 out of 10 stars, Universal definitely stepped up their game. .
  2. Spiderman hands down for me! So much better than Transformers in my opinion. Spiderman keeps that superhero feel that everyone has as a kid. As far as coaster, I got to say Hollywood Rockit, and not just because I work at it but because it has good airtime and you get to listen to music. Hidden song list please!
  3. Team Member Preview was last night, and even though it was a rehearsal, Horror Nights was pretty amazing. One word..... FOG! The streets are absolutely fantastic this year, the scare zones are back along with a "mini-house" located near Mel's, Hershel's Barn. They really increased the amount of fog machines in the entire park, not only that but the entire lagoon is misting up and covered in fog. There were points where you couldn't see two feet in front of you! The Walkers can get pretty big in numbers in some areas such as the Clear and Atlanta, but others it felt empty and lacking. The houses were mind blowing in the amount of detail put into the sets. All of the houses pack a punch, each in their own way. Though some felt like they were not as populated as they should be, every house is a winner in my book. I won't give any spoilers but, if you have seen any episode of The Walking Dead Season 3, you will LOVE the Walking Dead house! Even if you haven't, the scares are great and the sets are phenomenal! Here are a few photos I took, apologies for the poor quality. iPhone plus night lighting = bad. Waiting to get in, a LOT of people showed up to the preview. The amount of fog was overwhelming, you couldn't escape it. This was one of the scare zones, the Clear. Lighting was top-notch this year! And here is the Arch in all of it's glory! I HIGHLY recommend taking a trip to Horror Nights this year, just be careful though. This was the Preview and we just barely got all eight houses done by closing time. Plan smart, hit the back houses first and work your way to the front.
  4. I think I was just very VERY lucky last year. The first time I went was a Sunday, and I only got to do about 4 houses that night and saw three of the roaming hordes. The second time was a Thursday I believe, and I did every single house and saw every single roaming horde all in the first three hours without an express pass, but after the last house everything got to a 70+ minute wait. Just have to get there VERY early and also, not on a weekend.
  5. Working at Universal has its perks, and one of those is being able to go to the Team Member preview night next week. Will definitely give a report and opinions on the houses as well as everything I am able to do that night. This year already looks incredible just like the others, plus there is an army tank outside near Mummy.....so you know....that's a thing.
  6. Two more houses! Witness the brutal vengeance of his victims as they turn his afterlife into an inescapable hell... This fall, 2000 volts of electricity are going to send serial killer, Bobby “The Blade” Galleta into a horrific realm of suffering at HHN23 in this new, original haunted house, Afterlife: Death’s Vengeance WARNING: In this all-new original house the train convoy has derailed and the bloodthirsty maniacs are loose. Escaping them this time will be a hard feat…the “Dogs of War” return to HHN23 in this sequel house, Havoc 2: Derailed.
  7. Yep! Rockit is still closed as themeparkguy said. Tech members are working on a few blocks right now.
  8. I'm heading over to the park now with a friend, so I can try to find out more once I head to the studios side. This happened on my day off, but from the article and that it was a minor injury to one guest, what most likely happened is that the RV was heading into a block and stopped suddenly causing her to hit her head on the back of the seat. I will find out more today though if possible.
  9. I think I am one of the few who are excited for this. The Walking Dead is what got me into the "horror" scene. Last years Walking Dead house was my favorite, it seemed to never end and the actors really got me in the house. Having an entire park dedicated to the zombie apocalypse!? Now that is what I want to see! I am a little sad though that there will not be different themes to the zones, but at least they brought the zones back.
  10. Rocky Horror is back? Maybe I will finally get to see what all the fluff is about. Also, I am pleased to announce that I have been hired at Universal, and will be an attendant at the Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit!
  11. See this is what happens when you're a game artist, you just keep making random things all from scratch. [vimeo] [/vimeo]
  12. Not an exact duel but still greatly timed. Seems like it opened for a bit yesterday or some time. Wish I was back in England!
  13. You beat me to it! I'm mostly excited about Moe's Tavern, also Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl just because it's another ride to get on.
  14. Will also be attending Friday and cannot wait! Going to the other parks first then will end up at Magic Kingdom.
  15. It's newer than the originals, but Mulan at Pleasure Beach Great Yarmouth is still standing. Canopy and everything!
  16. The render of the flat ride looks nice, good amount of detail and material differences. Can honestly say that I am looking forward to how this game improves over time. I would send an email right away if it were not for being in my first month of my final months where four hours of sleep is all I get each night from all the work. Might send one in just to see if I am applicable.
  17. Longest I have waited for any attraction is 90minutes, and that was for the Inbtween at HHN Orlando. Actual ride wise would be for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey which was 70 minutes. There is no ride worth waiting five hours for in my opinion.
  18. I am thinking of surprising my sister by taking her to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, and was wondering if anyone could let me know what to expect as far as crowds go and wait times, also any tips for the visit. I've only been the the Magic Kingdom once and that was during the summer two years ago. So far the plan is to go on a Sunday night but if there is a better day to go please let me know. I want us to enjoy everything that we can, and I do know to expect some crowds due to the New Fantasy Land opening in less than a week. Thank you!
  19. I personally love it when people scream. Only annoying thing that bothers me is when people have loud conversations on rides, that is what ruins it. I personally do not care that someone spilled coffee on your new rug, you're at a park in the middle of a ride!
  20. Great costumes everyone!!! Some guy pushed my head through a glass window
  21. I've noticed that Mummy has issues when it comes to lighting. Some visits the lighting throughout the queue and ride are very dark, dark enough to where you have to have your hand in front of you so you're not running into things. Other days the lights are very bright as Bryce stated I could see a lot of the screens and catwalks.
  22. Meant to post my review a while back but just got.....lazy. I went on two nights, the 7th(Sunday) and the 12th(Friday) On the Sunday I went with one of my friends Anna, and we arrived around 5pm. At first it seemed like a good idea to go on a Sunday because everyone having school and work the next day but I was wrong. We only got through five of the houses the entire night. We technically could have gone through the other two but the lines were so long that we decided not too. Plus we were tired and had class the next morning. We did get to see every legion that night just by walking up and down from MIB to Transformers twice. The shortest house wait was 30minutes, not bad. Then it gradually increased to 90 minutes by the time we left the 5th house, Penn & Teller. Which we waited 60minutes for. The second time I went was a Friday with my roommate and a friend. We got there around 530 because I knew what the lines would be like. TO my surprise, they already were allowing people through the detectors at the gate. We got in line and entered the park. We met another friend who just got off from working at Rip, Ride, Rocket and went through the first house, Silent Hill. Wait time? 10minutes. But wait...it's a Friday, why is it 10minutes? Next up Gothic, again.....10 minutes. Then Dead End, 15 minutes. Walking Dead, 20 minutes. Penn&Teller, 20 minutes. House of Horrors, 10 minutes. Alice Cooper 10 minutes. This was a Friday night and the longest wait was 20minutes, surprised the crap out of me. The fact that we got through all the houses three hours into the event was incredible. The longest wait we waited for was the Mummy, which was a 40 minute wait. By the time we left the park, we had walked through every haunted house, seen every legion, and rode every ride at the park. All by midnight, and the park wouldn't close for another two hours. Houses: In order from best to worst(on my experience) 1. Silent Hill By far my favorite and the best one both nights. Going through at the very beginning we stopped a lot in the entrance but by the time we turned the first corner we had plenty of room. I did see half the scares in front of me but that did not stop the actors. All of them got me! The sets were greatly made and the Nurses scared me the most. Not to mention that Pyramid Head was actually leaning over me swiping down at us. Though the second time I went through he wasn't there. And I am sad that I did not know about Pyramid Heads knife being near the ceiling, but I still loved this house! 2. House of Horrors The fact that this entire house is all black and white made it very unique. There were a lot of times at first when we stopped and couldn't go anywhere but soon after wards we were running through the house. The last scene with the film strips was so disorienting, every actor in that room was getting me really good and kept blocking any paths out. Then that Frankenstein's monster scene, WOW! Awesome scares from classic films! 3. Walking Dead For a house based on zombies this one was awesome. First time through I enjoyed it, but the second time. Oh man! I was out of breath from screaming so much. It was gross, amazing, and terrifying! Through the barn scene there were countless times when the actors had their arms in front of me inches away from my face. I would turn and there would be another zombie in my face. Awesome scares! 4. Gothic This one was a bit iffy for me the first time. The sets are beautiful but I missed a lot of the scares. The organ scene was brilliant though and I really enjoyed the roof distraction where you looked down into a room. The second time through was better. I got to see the flying gargoyle, and that was really cool! Had to be one of the most unique scares. Liked the house and loved the sets! 5. Penn&Teller The first time going through we waited an hour for the house. Though I will admit it was worth it. The color theory used in this house was great. The walls were popping out at me a lot and the flowers in the chapel used the 3D effect very well. The scares weren't as good as the In-Between last year though, and the advertising pictures somewhat ruined the house for me. Not a lot of other scenes were in the house other than the ones shown already. I did enjoy the gags used in this house though. 6. Dead End Crazy right? This house is the second to last on my list even though its on the top on others. Do not get me wrong, the house is Beautifully made and the rooms were phenomenal. Just the scares....they didn't work for me...well the ones I was ABLE to get. Both times through the house was the worst case of "conga lining." Constantly stopping in every room at a minimum of two times. The scares I got were ones I saw, and even then I only was scared by ones that distracted me. The second time around was better, but still had the constant stopping problem. The only time I got really scared was in the greenhouse/garden scene by ONE actor. Sets are awesome, conga lines.....not awesome. 7. Alice Cooper Not a fan of him and not really a fan of the house. A few scenes were so dark I had to stop just to try to see were I was going. The scares were good but only because half the time stuff was hanging in front of my face blocking my view, so I guess those did work. Going through I didn't get a sense of story or really anything. Seemed like a mixture of Walking Dead doctors and random asylum stuff with high school bleachers thrown in. I left not really being scared as much as I left feeling disgusting from the mattresses. Streets: 1. Iniquitis These guys go above all others just because of their costumes. They are stunning! The winged stilt walker is by far my favorite! What I would give to just have that costume, and how their jaws actually move and are not just a simple mask. Then the ones with two heads and those with glowing eyes.....man they were the coolest characters this year. Just something about seeing a pair of red eyes in the fog creeps me out, and these guys do it very well. 2. Prisoners by far the most energetic and creepiest group. The way they talked, gah! Creepy! I still remember one saying "A little Jumpy aren't we" as she chased me. Then in the Hollywood area one of them set the chainsaw off, which caught me completely off guard so I ran. And she followed me! Then as I turned while running another one started to chase me. After stopping and turning back I saw people laughing and the prisoners going after those laughing. Then there was a time when Anna and I were walking towards Mels and they were marching by us....well...they actually marched around us. Trapping us in the middle of them. All were snarling at us and setting their chainsaws off! Thank you prisoners for making that night one to never forget! 3. Traditionals Scary? No, but they are full of energy and very into character. The fox girl had to be the best one of the group! And I loved how they had cow bells and horns, very neat! 4. Warriors Did not get a lot of time with this legion, but the time I did was good enough. Going through Hollywood and seeing them just appear out of the fog was terrifying. Then how some would be just crawling on the ground and hiding behind props. Woah! I swear i saw that girls face distort in a way no has done when one came after her. The lack of a great "costume" didn't stop their energy, fantastic group 5. Vampires. I am very happy with Universals take on vampires throughout the centuries. Seeing the traditional vampires mixed with the new age "sexy" ones was different. Also, Kudos goes to the vampire in the red robe who scared me in the Universal Store. Did not see you come up behind me while waiting in line to pay. 6. Beasts These guys were cool, Beasts is a very fitting name. Incredibly intimidating to see following you or coming after. But, they don't really interact much from what I experienced. Other than the occasional Lunge, they just walk away. Then again, that was when a group of girls came through who were very easily scared. So going after them was a lot more entertaining than going after us. Thank you Beasts! 7. Walkers Leaving the Walking Dead I was still scared from all the zombies and this legion, well more like only scare zone, is perfectly placed. Carrying around legs, arms, and other body parts was disgusting but fit so perfectly. My second Halloween event ever and I want to go back so bad! Love the event this year and I really REALLY want to go back. Maybe next year I will be able to audition to be apart of it.....
  23. So far from what I have read everyone has mixed feelings about each house and the street experiences. The main thing that is ruining each night is the weather. Bad weather = no streets and upset guests. I am going tonight and extremely excited. It's only my second time to any type of Halloween event.
  24. Entrance arch anyone? I can't wait to see it at night with all the lighting on!
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