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^Still a consideration. Time is money when doing post production, so the less time wasted re-dubbing and removing unwanted background noise the better.

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Inside Universal has posted an update:

 

New park map showing construction barriers. Gone is Curious George, Studio Souvenirs, Flintstones Carnival Games, and Gibson Amphitheater!

 

 

New temporary entrance/queue for Shrek

 

 

 

More can be found:

 

http://www.ushforums.com/index.php?/topic/341-september-6-2013-photo-update/#entry9533

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  • 2 weeks later...

I went last night. Overall, very happy with what was there. I got there at opening and ran strait to transformers. The "back first" strategy didn't seem as effective this year, partly because 4 of the park's mazes are accessed through the lower lot. I think I would hit El Cucuy first. The line was not very long when we first entered. There also seemed to be a heavier delay because of people with FoL passes. I don't know if that was mainly attributed to the media or if there was a stronger demand for the passes this year. I hit all the mazes except for Monsters Remix and (regrettably) Evil Dead. I didn't think Bill & Ted's story line was as clever this year, but it was good over. Generally I enjoy it more then I've ever enjoyed the hanging. Had a great night. Look forward to seeing TPR post everything that went on with the Eyegore Awards.

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Caught this man going into the Black Sabbath maze with his family and bandmates.

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I agree, Bill and Ted was more entertaining last season, this year's felt rushed and almost as if they ran out of ideas. (Come on, the Justin Beiber jokes are beating a dead horse) Best zone of the night for me went to Curse of Chucky, they all seemed to be having the most fun out of all the scare zones. Worst maze: El Cucuy, not sure why they decided to have such long empty hallways filled with nothing but fishing wire..

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^That was the transition into the boogeyman's lair if I remember right. Probably a necessity due to the weird space the maze was built inside.

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Friday night was the media event for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood. Check out our full report below!

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This was the first time Spears and I have ever been to Horror Nights. We’re scared to find out what awaits inside!

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Right after entering we were greeted by some go go dancers. I like this event already!

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We were then chased away from the go go dancers by men with chainsaws.

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Fire! Ooh, ahh.

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Our first maze is El Cucuy: The Boogeyman.

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This was the line for the maze. We highly recommend getting a front of the line pass if you don’t want to wait in lines!

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The entrance to the maze.

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You walk through a theater, and can’t tell who is alive and who isn’t.

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Our favorite part of this maze was the boogeyman’s hands that shoot out from under the bed.

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There are lots of creepy details.

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Pumpkin headed creatures.

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And swinging body bags that you have to squeeze past.

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After the maze, you are released into the Cirque Du Klownz scare zone.

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Where you are terrorized by creepy French clowns.

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Spears didn’t notice the clown behind her mocking her.

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Beware, they will hunt you down!

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There were lots of nice details in this scare zone.

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Creepy!

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Next up, Terror Tram! You board a tram, and it drops you off into a wilderness invaded by zombies.

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You also get to walk by some famous horror sets.

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Such as the Bates Motel.

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You enter a zombie infested deer cooler.

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Then take a dark walk up a hill.

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The walking dead blend in with the corpses on the ground, so you never know who will jump out at you.

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Fortunately many of the zombies are imprisoned. So everything is good as long as they don’t break free! (Foreshadowing)

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There’s a truck full of dead corpses.

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You pass by the Psycho House.

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Outside you can pose with Norman Bates.

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Then you tour a plane wreck filled with corpses and walkers.

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Universal takes full advantage of the movie sets they have.

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After your terrifying walk, you re-board the tram and are taken back to safety.

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Or so you think! You’re never safe... not even on the escalators!

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Lets take a look at the wait times. Almost 2.5 hours for The Walking Dead: No Safe Haven and Black Sabbath: 13-3D! Like I said before, front of the line passes are HIGHLY recommended!

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The next few pics show some of the merchandise available at the event. Here’s the event tee.

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Sugar Skulls.

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You can get a scary caricature drawn.

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Stuff to die for!

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Moving on, here’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure.

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At the beginning of the show, a Sharknado destroys LAX. This sounds like Robb and Elissa’s wildest dream come true!

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The show is reminiscent of The Hanging at Knott’s in that it pokes fun at pop culture. But overall, the two shows are pretty different. The Hanging emphasizes gore and fighting, whereas Bill & Ted’s has more of an emphasis on sexiness.

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Here are Bill and Ted. This year the show was themed to The Wizard of Oz.

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There are lots of funny moments in the show.

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Lots of craziness.

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There’s an appearance by a racist Paula Deen.

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Superman strikes an awesome manly pose.

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Nicki Minaj shows up, meaning the show is Piers-approved!

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There are lots of special effects.

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What does the fox say?

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There are some acrobatics.

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Ron Burgundy does some reporting.

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Michael Jackson joins in on the fun.

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They read from The Book of the Dead.

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There’s fire.

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There’s the most horrible thing you’ll ever see.

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There’s something for the men.

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And something for the ladies. (Who am I kidding? This is TPR... this pic probably appeals to the men more than the ladies here)

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Overall the show is a lot of fun.

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Don’t miss it if you go to Horror Nights!

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Down on the lower level of the park, here’s the Scarecrowz scare zone.

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Several tall scarecrows wander around scaring people.

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You also have to watch out for the terrifying Spears running around.

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While getting soaked at night isn’t really my kind of thing, Jurassic Park in the dark is available to those who desire an unacceptable amount of wetness.

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Or if you prefer to stay more dry, several other attractions are open during the event.

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But lets get back to the mazes!

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This isn’t even a maze! This is an alley you have to walk through on the way to The Walking Dead and Black Sabbath mazes.

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Here’s Black Sabbath: 13-3D.

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Normally 3D mazes are fairly cheesy and in-effective, but this one was done quite well.

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This maze had a very unique style.

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It ended up being one of my favorite mazes. Not the scariest by any means, but it was a lot of fun.

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Next lets check out The Walking Dead: No Safe Haven.

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This maze was great! There were some neat effects like these zombies who lunge out at you.

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This guy got a knife to the head.

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There were lots of details that fans of the TV show will love.

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Next up, Insidious.

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You enter into a fairly normal looking house.

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But inside things get creepy. These rocking horses rock themselves.

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There were lots of effective scares in this maze.

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Things get creepier and creepier the further you go.

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Here’s Evil Dead: Book of the Dead

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You begin by taking shelter in a remote cabin in the woods, but someone has read the words from the Book of the Dead, and the demons have been released.

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Be careful or you might get sprayed too!

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Avoid the shower!

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Everyone is possessed!

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Watch for demons in the floor.

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Somebody should really clean this place up, it’s a mess!

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A peek at the final scene.

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Finally, here’s Universal Monsters Remix: Resurrection.

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This maze is a permanent, year-round maze that gets extra scare actors and some small tweaks for the Halloween season.

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Boo!

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There are some tall monsters.

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And some small ones. Watch out for Chucky!

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There’s a lot of detail in this maze.

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Spears hates the spinny tunnels!

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Details everywhere you look.

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They’re able to pack more detail in this maze since it doesn’t have to come down after the halloween season.

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You’ll encounter all sorts of monsters.

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Roar!

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So that’s Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood! The event is a lot of fun, and we definitely recommend it! Just make sure to get a front of the line pass so you can spend your time having fun rather than waiting in lines!

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As we left we were chased out by a gang of chainsaw carrying scare actors! What a way to end the night! Thanks to Universal Studios for inviting us to attend, and thanks to you for checking out our report!

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I think I agree with El Cucuy being a weaker maze. Especially given how great La Llorona was the past 2 years, it seemed like a step back. It partially felt like one of the better done knotts maze, but it still seemed like it was a tad bit less thrilling then the rest. hindsight, I wish I could have done the evil dead maze. Great report.

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I went on Saturday night. Here are my observations. The lower lot strategy first does seem to work, partially. Went straight to the lower lot. Walked onto Transformers to get a ride in. Exited Transformers and then started the walk to "Walking Dead". It is interesting that you walk quite a bit to get to the tram stop for the Walking Dead/Black Sabbath mazes. You take the special tram, and drops you off in the city backlot. It is pretty rare that toursits get a chance to walk these backlot sets, and I loved the use of them for the event. Waited 15 minutes for Walking Dead, which is effective.

 

After leaving the exit of Walking Dead maze, you essentially circle the perimter of that maze to reach the Black Sabbath entrance. It is here you will appreciate how massive of a crowd they are expecting, the line queque is mind boggling huge. Entered Black Sabbath maze in about 15 minutes of waiting in line. Thought the maze was disconnected from the music, and freakishly warm. Bizzarely colorful, with some instances of good use of 3D. The 3D glasses are free, which is a nice touch.

 

So then after another mildly long walk to get back to tram, the Walking Dead/Sabbath maze tram drops you off near-ish the back of the Mummy building, near where the Evil Dead maze exits. After rejoining the rest of the lower lot, walked onto the Mummy Coaster for a ride, zero wait. After that, went to find Insidious. Now this is quite a line. You go up and over Jurrassic Cafe, back down into the JP normal queque, and then wait for about 20 min. Not a bad wait. Thought this was the most suprising of the mazes, some good twists / scares. And man, does Universal love stenches. The last room just reeks of bowel movements.

 

When you exit Insidious, you are suprising distant from the park, bit of a walk to get back onto lower lot. Moved through sea of people to reach Evil Dead. Guests I noticed get highly confused if they are line for Mummy or for Evil Dead. They had an announcer trying to help remind people of which way to go. Wait wasn't too bad, took about 20 min. While I disliked the remake of the movie for it's lack of style, the theme worked well for a maze. After leaving Evil Dead maze, surpise, back at the rear of Mummy building. Not exactly a short walk to do twice. Kind of muggy out, so rode JP "in the dark", and only a 10 min wait. Thought the boat stalled out, while listening to "Welcome ot The Jungle", before the final drop, mild wetness ensued. Went back up to the uper lot. By this point, it was only 9pm. Stopped for some food from Mel's. Hmmm, not the best to say the least.

 

Terror Tram was a walk-on after dinner. Effectivly long, and the 2nd experience themed to Walking Dead. It was just okay and bizarrely redundant after seeing two other Walking Dead sections. Rejoined the upper lot for El Cucuy, which I enjoyed, and a 10 min wait posted, but probably more like 20. Then off to Monsters Remix, which was better than last year, and literally walked right into it with no wait.

 

We decided to go back to lower lot instead of wait for Bill and Ted. Had another walk-on experience with Transformers (posted wait time of 20 minutes, but actually no waiting), and did the Evil Dead maze a second time because of the 20 min wait. By this point, the Walking Dead maze, depending on what sign you looked at, was either 50 minutes or 80 minutes. Opted to skip that, and moved our way back up to upper lot. Watched a few minutes of the "Purge" skit, and called it a night.

 

My observation is that we didn't need the gate "A" / FOP pass. It would have been a serious waste of money for our crowd levels on Saturday night. The lower lot strategy worked well in our case. I think on a crazy busy night closer to Halloween, the VIP pass would be a better value.

 

And Walking Dead is the appropiate theme for the event. I don't think I have ever walked so much of Universal Studios as a tourist as I did that night.

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Guests I noticed get highly confused if they are line for Mummy or for Evil Dead. They had an announcer trying to help remind people of which way to go.

 

Did you mean JP and Insidious, since those queues almost overlap? Evil Dead and Mummy enter in two completely different areas, and only line jumpers get them confused...

Edited by Jew
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I think it's mostly a matter of "have you been to HHN before" vs. "my first time". If it's your first time, you'll most likely find it fairly impressive. But for those of us who have been there year after year, you can really spot all the recycled materials... literally and figuratively.

 

I do feel the Scare Zones have been really uninspired for a while. Granted, a few of the locations don't allow for a lot of options (London or Paris). But especially the opening zone has been basically the same concept/new costumes every year. It's getting very predictable.

 

I'm surprised how many people are saying they like 13. That's the most recycled maze to me, it's basically House of 1000 Corpses/Alice Cooper thrown together with leftover props from Saw. Literally, I could identify specific props from specific mazes. Not just a few times, but a lot. It's almost a game to figure out where a given prop has come from rather than enjoying the maze for what it is. To me, the best mazes are the ones that feel newly built.

 

It also seems to be the year of "hang things down from the ceiling for people to push through." Ugh.

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^ I think this is an issue for anyone who has attended Halloween events over and over and over.

 

I'll be honest, I'm jaded. Totally jaded when it comes to Halloween Events. I went to Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando the other night, and while I was impressed with what I saw and how other people responded to it, I was not "scared" by anything, not even startled, and all of the sets and props, even if I hadn't seen them in other mazes before, they all *felt* very similar to things I had seen before.

 

And I don't think there is anything wrong with that as the event looked *FANTASTIC*, I just think that for me, I've been going to Halloween events very regularly now since the late 90s, sometimes multiple events each year, and multiple visits to the same event. I've seen the sets and props at IAAPA and photos and videos of other "haunt" trade shows. I've been a scare actor a couple of times and have seen things from the "monster side" of the maze.

 

So it's very rare that I now come away from any Halloween events blown away because I feel like I've seen it all before. So your there isn't anything wrong with your reaction, but I'd offer the same advice to you that I offer myself - perhaps it's time to take a year or two off from Halloween events to be able to appreciate them again.

 

Thoughts?

Edited by robbalvey
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Guests I noticed get highly confused if they are line for Mummy or for Evil Dead. They had an announcer trying to help remind people of which way to go.

 

Did you mean JP and Insidious, since those queues almost overlap? Evil Dead and Mummy enter in two completely different areas, and only line jumpers get them confused...

 

Actually saw that happen in both locations. Whe in line for Evil Dead, some "guests" took down the rope to head to the Mummy. While in line for JP briefly, saw people just step over the rope to join the Insidious line. Generally, with the lack of security at some points in these extended lines, pretty easy to do line jumping. I will say that however that it seemed like the crowd was pretty well-behaved and orderly which was great.

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Guests I noticed get highly confused if they are line for Mummy or for Evil Dead. They had an announcer trying to help remind people of which way to go.

 

Did you mean JP and Insidious, since those queues almost overlap? Evil Dead and Mummy enter in two completely different areas, and only line jumpers get them confused...

 

Actually saw that happen in both locations. Whe in line for Evil Dead, some "guests" took down the rope to head to the Mummy. While in line for JP briefly, saw people just step over the rope to join the Insidious line. Generally, with the lack of security at some points in these extended lines, pretty easy to do line jumping. I will say that however that it seemed like the crowd was pretty well-behaved and orderly which was great.

 

Sucks for those guests---they wasted their one time use at Evil Dead then!

 

Universal ejects line jumpers from the park so long as someone reports it or an employee sees it.

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I'm looking forward to HHN, even though last year (which was my 4th straight year of doing Halloween events, including H'wood HHN each of those years), I really started to see familiar props from previous years.

 

I imagine the lower lot is going to be quite congested on busy nights given the majority of the attractions are down there. I've got VIP both nights I'm going, but I'll probably hit the lower lot first if my VIP tour isn't too early. I like to do mazes over and over and really take everything in, so I tend to marathon the same maze until I'm done with it.

 

I think they've done a good job finding a number of new locations for mazes this year.

 

Is there any truth to the rumour that JK Rowling will not allow any Halloween stuff near her Potterverse?

Edited by downunder
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I have never been to HHN before but have been wanting to go since 2008. That year was also my first year at Knott's Haunt, and I've been going there every year since. HHN looks amazing, but the crowds and wait times REALLY discourage me! Are there any nights that you can go where you can do every maze, tram, and Bill & Ted without waiting too long? The front of the line pass is way out of my budget, considering how expensive admission is to begin with. The last 5 years I have gone to Knott's on a Friday night within the first 3 weeks of the season and have never had a problem with wait times. We're always able to do all 12-13 of the mazes and see at least 3 shows! We're always at the front gate by 5:30 so being able to hit everything early really helps there. Would that be the same at HHN? I don't care about getting on rides, only doing the Halloween attractions.

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If you spend the full night at the event, you can easily see everything. Maze wait times are only high in the middle of the night. From opening till around 9pm, they are all under an hour wait. They also die down very quick towards the end of the event, so the last hour of the night the wait times are also 30 minutes or less. Most of the wait times are actually over posted as well---last year Silent Hill would have a 2 hour wait posted and was 60-70 minutes.

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^ I think this is an issue for anyone who has attended Halloween events over and over and over.

 

I'll be honest, I'm jaded. Totally jaded when it comes to Halloween Events. I went to Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando the other night, and while I was impressed with what I saw and how other people responded to it, I was not "scared" by anything, not even startled, and all of the sets and props, even if I hadn't seen them in other mazes before, they all *felt* very similar to things I had seen before.

 

So it's very rare that I now come away from any Halloween events blown away because I feel like I've seen it all before.

 

 

Just curious here Robb, but do you ever get around to checking out any stand alone "non-theme park" haunts, and if so did any of those ever impress you or scare/impress you more than the park haunts?

 

The reason I ask is I'm kind of in your boat where I've been to HHN and Hallowscreams style park haunts enough (not nearly as much as you have, but enough) that those style haunts don't really scare me anymore. I still appreciate them and enjoy the events as a whole but they do all kind of feel the same to me now.

 

However, last year I checked out a local haunt here in Jacksonville (Night Terrors) that I wasn't expecting to be anything special but instead I was just completely blow away by how awesome and fun it was. It was long and had some really unique scares (different than anything I'd ever seen in the parks), some sections you had to crawl through and climb ladders then go down slides and stuff, and since we were in a group of like 8 the timing for every effect and scare was perfect. It was a blast.

 

It was kind of refreshing to have something thoroughly exceed my expectations which were mainly based on park haunts.

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^ It's not included. Have you read the FAQ on the HHN page yet? It's right there:

 

http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/hollywood/2013/faqs.php

 

Q: Does my daytime park admission allow me to stay for HHN?

 

A: No, unless it's a "Day/Night Combo" ticket that includes daytime admission to Universal Studios Hollywood PLUS same-day evening admission to the Halloween Horror Nights event. Visit Tickets page for more info.

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www.hypable.com/2013/09/25/universal-hollywood-kicks-wizarding-world-construction-tears-major-theater/

 

Universal Studios Hollywood is preparing itself for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

 

On Tuesday a major step forward took place: The Gibson Amphitheater, the long-standing venue which played host to major events like the MTV Movie Awards, was torn down. A photo shared by a Universal executive on Twitter proves the take down:

 

USHTeardown.jpg.7c635e0add51e5d6bd290ca99a33958a.jpg

Source: https://twitter.com/MikeSington/status/382577636662210560/photo/1

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"Major events like the MTV movie awards"---LOL!

 

Curious George and the Studio Souvenirs gift shop are also completely demolished.

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