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Universal Studios Japan (USJ) Discussion Thread

P. 45: No Limit! Parade announced featuring Mario, Pokémon & more

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^ Yea you beat me to it. A lot of tour groups went around Halloween week. One of my middle schoolers just came back from going last week during normal park hours and she said although Harry Potter was around 90 minutes, the line for Backwards Hollywood Dream (being one of the only rides that isn't an option on any of the express passes) was 4 hours long!

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I guess they really like HHN in Japan!

 

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/11/02/business/corporate-business/usj-drew-record-number-visitors-october/

 

SAKA – The Universal Studios Japan theme park in Osaka had its best month ever in October, drawing around 1.75 million visitors as Halloween events attracted a large number of non-Japanese and families.

 

The figure surpassed the previous record of approximately 1.46 million posted in October of last year, operator USJ Co. said Monday.

 

“According to our analysis, we drew the highest number of visitors among theme parks in Japan in October, exceeding the figure for Tokyo Disneyland,” USJ executive Tsuyoshi Morioka told a news conference.

 

The count was boosted by the continued popularity of the Harry Potter attraction that opened in July 2014 and Universal Wonderland, which was renovated in March to attract children and parents.

 

If the number of visitors increases at this pace, the total figure in fiscal 2015 is expected to top the record of 12.7 million recorded in fiscal 2014.

 

Not sure I believe the TDL comment but 1.75 million people in a month is insane!

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I guess they really like HHN in Japan!

Not sure I believe the TDL comment but 1.75 million people in a month is insane!

 

I would be surprised if it did beat TLD and I don't know about people in Japan and I only have Korea to go off here but for Halloween, Everland is packed even on weekdays compared to the other parks during Halloween, people really lap up the horror mazes even though they are the exact same ones every year. It's always one of the busiest months by far even more than during vacation time (the summer people crowd the water park so the park is actually quite quiet) It's not like back home where there are many options for haunts. Even here, HHN has a reputation as being the one you have to try, but the family friendly Disney style doesn't seem to get as much international recognition.

 

Not sure how much attendance would go to Korea or other Asian tourists but there's also the fact I don't really see many Disney adverts, mainly because they really don't need to, but USJ have really been pushing hard to promote, using the internet here in Korea I see USJ adverts all the time. Over the years I've seen a lot of friends or older students who go across for the long weekend (we have a couple of public holidays in October and sometimes a 3 day holiday on top of that) and it's nearly always Osaka for the short breaks since it's just over an hour by plane. Tokyo isn't that much further but I do tend to see a pattern that a lot of people do Tokyo on the big vacations and Osaka for a long weekend/4 day trip.

 

My teachers recently went and I need to find out their tour group since they got express passes before they went. Whenever I check the English groups it always tells me park only and I've heard that since Harry Potter opened in busy months like this they are sometimes gone before the park even opens its gates.

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That looks sick. I love the placement and steepness of the intial rolling. It makes a sharp enterance and continues to crest as it rolls a second time. My guess is that this will provide an odd sensation of delayed airtime/forces relative to a typical zero-g roll / lie-to-fly.

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That looks sick. I love the placement and steepness of the intial rolling. It makes a sharp enterance and continues to crest as it rolls a second time. My guess is that this will provide an odd sensation of delayed airtime/forces relative to a typical zero-g roll / lie-to-fly.

 

Absolutely agreed. This looks AMAZING! I hope B&M incorporates this into more designs.

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I LOVE that drop! But I'm kinda upset with all those twists... I want airtime or floating-time on a flyer, not rolls that have no purpose than to be disorienting and make me sick.

 

To me the point of a flyer is to be "disoreinting" and not know where the hell is up or down and where are you going. The forces should be part of them too. Airtime would work better on non flyers or non inverted coasters.

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To me the point of a flyer is to be "disoreinting" and not know where the hell is up or down and where are you going. The forces should be part of them too. Airtime would work better on non flyers or non inverted coasters.

 

I agree. The "flying" sensation should be a lot more than just feeling like I'm attached to a hang glider gently floating through the breeze. I WANT to be disoriented.

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Just back from Japan, and thought I would add a report about my trip to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Japan.

Firstly, the place was extremely crowded. Maze lines weren’t too bad, between 40 minutes and 70 minutes all day long (the mazes actually open at 12, which was nice since the park closed at 8), but the rides that had horror movie versions of them didn’t open until 6, making it very difficult to do those. Regular rides were mostly around 2 hours a piece, except for Potter, which topped out at a 6 hour wait at one point. I ignored all regular rides to focus on the HHN stuff.

 

First up was Nightmare on Elm Street , which was held in what I believe was normally a restaurant. Groups of 7-8 entered this maze holding a rope single file, an interesting way of doing the maze, which seemed mostly due to the fact that the pathways were very narrow. All the mazes let people enter in smaller groups ,then used a stopwatch to pace out the next group, which was nice. Lots of twists and turns through the passage walls. Some cool scares. Several Freddys mouthing dialogue from the movies over a sound system. Go through the Elm Street house first, followed by the boiler room. Some nice pop out scares with bloody people, one covered in a sheet. The sink scare was probably my fav, the room completely empty minus a sink, up ahead you could see a shower curtain with a sexy lady on it so you eyes were focused on the expectation of Freddy being behind the currtain, all of a sudden there is a loud cracking/smashing noise as Freddys glove comes through the sink mirror (projection effect). Very nice and extra surprising due to the shower distraction. Also go through a morgue, one body sits up and screams, followed by a room with lots of benches and people, one person is real and provides a nice scare. Another cool projection effect of glove cutting through a hallway wall as you walk by it, dragging along the whole length of the wall. The maze kind of just ends without a big finish (but there is a final Freddy waiting outside to scare those who are relieved the maze has ended). Overall a very fun maze though. 8 out of 10.

 

Next up was Alien versus Predator - Held in a backlot area. Not as detailed or intense as Hollywood, didn’t seem to be a lot of actors in the maze and it was shorter than Elm Street by far. Some cool effects though, including an Alien bursting through a waterfall and a part where you duck down, an alien bursts out at your feet. Near the end you go into a room with a bunch of larvae, followed by the giant queen. Two girls in front of me got scared at the very first thing and wanted me to go first. The both ended up clinging to my arms and shirt, cuddling closer when scared. They both thanked me when we got out for taking care of them. It was sweet. 6.5 out of 10

 

Finally was Chucky - favorite maze, not as many good scares as Elm Street, but was fun. - There was a funny "drunk" guy during the last part of line who would come out once in a while and interact with the crowd. Upon entering the maze there were mutilated dolls. People jump scaring out of doors with Chuckys on their backs. The best actors were this girl chained to a steel drum near a guy who was chopping up a body and scaring people with the severed head. They were amazing at interacting with the crowd. Lots of Chuckys popping out behind tiny clanging doors that would drop quickly, often in pitch dark hallways, nice jump scares. It had a duck down part similar to AvP. The ending was pure genius and something I wish they could try more of at Hollywood. We were rushed into a dead end room by a guy saying he would protect us (there was actually two of these identical rooms to keep the line flow moving, you would go into one or the other depending up on which was full at the moment). After the actor realizes we are all locked in, the lights go out, you hear a chainsaw, and when the lights come come back on there is a chainsaw guy behind some bars, and another guy in the room with a Chucky on his back (with a mini chainsaw). Chucky cuts the guys head off and rushes towards trapped guests until another door opens to let us out. It was a neat effect. I’m guessing there was a guy in a headless costume, who also operated the Chucky as a puppet to take off the head. Whatever, it was surprising and a great way to end the maze. 8.5 out of 10)

 

Didn’t get to do the Biohazzard maze/lazer gun thing. Sadly, tickets were all handed out within 15 minutes of the park opening.

As noted above, some rides (Back to the Future, Terminator, the 4-D movie theater, Backdraft, and Space Fantasy) all changed to horror versions from 6-8PM. BTTF was Grudge, the 4-D movie was a haunted school film, and the others were all based on The Ring. Lines were around an hour each. Sadly I only had time to do one ride, due to the fact that USJ apparently closes their lines based upon wait time instead of closing lines at the actual listed park closing time. I guess this is to ensure the park closes on time? So for example, if there is an hour wait for BTTF at 7 they would close the line at that point so everyone will be through by 8. So by the time I got off my one horror ride, all other ride lines were close. Wish they were open a bit later as I feel I missed out on some stuff. But the one I did do was fun.

 

BTTF/Grudge - loved the way they messed with the normal que videos, ghost croaking sounds, static, humming, and the little boy (Toshio) appearing, interrupting the Future Institute of Technology vids. In the ride prep room, when the power goes out and Doc (in the video) turns his flashlight on, Grudge girl Kayako is behind him (awesome, that got a big reaction from everyone). Ride starts the same, until the first time jump (through the clock tower), we end up in Grudge house, go up some stairs (the effect of the car going up stairs is very bumpy) and run into ghost girl, try to go down stairs but she is coming up towards us. Ride "malfunctions" and upon dropping down croaking gets very loud all around us. Ride worker tries to rush us out to safety but Grudge girls are in the hallway stalking us out the exit. 7 out of 10

 

Streets – Instead of scare zones like Hollywood, there were instead random scenes spread out around the park. Some nice make-up effects. There was a zombie on car eating a guy. Zombies going in and out of houses on the streets. Thriller dancing would break out every half hour from the zombies. Loud orange flashes and bangs from time to time all around the park. The best was this one guy with chainsaw slowly wandering and laughing crazily then quickly rushing someone with chainsaw revving. At one point a guy ran into this cage set and got chainsawed (he was a plant, but it took me a minute to figure it out, at first I was all “oh, no, that guy ran into a “no entry” area, he is going to be in trouble, oh wait, he’s in on it”), spraying the crowd with water blood. These mini shows are another thing that I think it would be nice for Hollywood to pick up and do in the scare zones. 7 out of 10.

 

Overall, I enjoyed my time at the USJ park for Halloween, but wish I could have done more. If I ever return at this time of year, I’m guessing earlier in the month might be better for crowds (I did hear that there was a lot of tour and school groups that came the last week of October (I was there on the 28th)), and I will certainly pick a date in which the park is open later than 8 PM (most other days were 9, with 10 on the weekends) to get more nighttime rides done. But I would not trade the experience I did have for the world. It was a unique experience, some pluses and minuses from Hollywood, but certainly worth a visit (or two).

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Sadly I only had time to do one ride, due to the fact that USJ apparently closes their lines based upon wait time instead of closing lines at the actual listed park closing time. I guess this is to ensure the park closes on time? So for example, if there is an hour wait for BTTF at 7 they would close the line at that point so everyone will be through by 8. So by the time I got off my one horror ride, all other ride lines were close. Wish they were open a bit later as I feel I missed out on some stuff. But the one I did do was fun.

 

I feel like this happens a lot at Japanese parks, I've always been unlucky with my trips to TDS and the lines are around 3-4 hours long until the very end. On one trip where I was there late, I found a few lines closed after the end of fantasmic, I guess they didn't want the crowds pouring into the lines that were still at over 2 hours in length.

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CTiW9H4UsAAJVgL.jpg

Source and more pics on Made in USJ twitter

 

Wow that curve and twist

 

There's an empty footer in the water I thought maybe it would curve back up like a half loop but then wouldn't the footer be further into the water as in closer to the JP boat ride? This layout looks incredible so far.

 

If only this could be miraculously open for my February trip.

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So . . . this thing curve drops to left, 540 degree inline roll then a immelman w/o inverting at the top (half loop)! That's already a winning combo!

Indeed! Looking really nice.

I quite enjoy flying coasters and it's great to see these different layouts.

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