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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread


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^Agreed. I think the newer Intamin lapbars are actually the best steel coaster restraint currently being produced. When comparing overhead lapbars on Taron and Blue Fire, I found the Intamin ones to b

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I think Dueling Dragons close in the first weeks of January, I do not believe that universal can afford not to exploit the pull of the multitudes of Disney in December.The closure of Dueling Dragons with the not opening of Hogsmeade would people to stop going to the Park.

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I agree. I really can't see Dueling Dragons closing before the end of the year. January and/or February would make the most sense, then they can have it reopen for the start of spring break or with Harry Potter in the spring.

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Yep, me too on digging The Usher backstory. This idea has a similar cool factor to the undertaker type lead character from a few years ago. I liked that one as well.

 

Looking forward to all the pictures from the events, especially the stilt walkers. Universal has always done an awesome job on those.

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^ Big thanks! Where can I find that? Would love to see it.

 

Just saw the website and Julian Browning is a GREAT and creepy character. LOVE IT!

 

Also wanted to mention Bloody Mary as another favorite lead character.

 

EDIT: Aha! Further looking in the Attractions section found it. And that is a smart twist on the traditional Frankenstory. Nice!

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Maybe I'm just beating a dead topic here, but really, whats up with this ride. They've had it open for plenty long now to have operations figured out. The ride still breaks down 7 times daily, only 3 of 6 trains on the track, and the moving loading platform seems to have been forgotten about. In addition all of the other media gimmicks seemed to have fallen through the cracks, I have only heard of the single on-ride camera and audio being implemented.

 

EDIT UPDATE: -updated number of times broken down today from 5-7 times.

-single rider line is ignored.

-only 1 train on course at a time, 2 trains always in station.

 

We can now officially tag this ride as FAIL!

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If coaster manufacturers and parks waited until their rides were absolutely perfect and had no issues, no breakdowns and ran max trains before opening...well, there would be very few roller coasters out there.

 

Give the ride a break, at least it's not more of the same like so many parks are giving us nowadays.

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I rode two times on the 19th. It was great! I liked it a lot. I was there at opening and used the single riders line, which got me on pretty quickly the first time. For my first ride, I chose #301, Float On by Modest Mouse and I was in the third row. There were a few jerks here and there, but it was completely tolerable.

I used single riders for my second ride, and since more and more people came in that line, it seemed interminable. When I finally got on, the device was already set on the Marrs song, but I selected Bring Me to Life *just* in time.

I totally agree with the people who said that Bring Me to Life went brilliantly with the ride! I loved how during the vertical lift, the piano introduction was playing right before the blare of the electric guitars as the train crests and drops. I was in the fifth row the second time, and I got more air than in the third row.

I can't wait to come back and ride it again in a couple of months!

 

* The seats in the fourth row of each train weren't used during the day.

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Honestly, if they do all their theme work off site and just install it on top of what's already there, I don't see why it would take more than a couple of weeks. They could wait until the very end of the WWoHP build and throw all their weight at the retheming project. I mean, they don't want DD down for very long and they probably don't want to open it with HP theming before the rest of the land opens...

 

My guess would be February, and that's assuming that the rest of the land progresses on schedule. I'll still be surprised if the park is open before April or May.

 

We're going to be in Orlando during our spring break (third week of March), but even if HP-land is open, I'm not sure I want to brave the "brand new park" crowds. We may have to hold off for a while until we can get down there again.

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Now that I think about it.. unless they are planning on repainting the track (and I hope they do) they may not have to close Dragons at all. There is pretty much a way to route the queue line to let them rework the castle one or two rooms at a time... the station all they would need to do is hang some banners.

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Wow you guys weren't kidding, this event was awesome. I can't wait to go back tomorrow night and then later in october

 

I loved the saw house, but it tied with dracula, for that one had alot of frights in it. I also thought wolfman and frankenstein were done very well, and I loved spawning. not to mention the awesome fright zones. an overall great night!

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My thoughts on this years HHN....

 

Keep this in mind while reading - I attend every year so these opinions might be a bit biased - and if it is your fist experience at the event you are bound to have a drastically different experience. It is also the first night and things change and the scaractors get more practice. With that being said - here are a few of my thoughts....

 

First of all - as always - GET AN EXPRESS PASS. Even if you are going on an off night you will not be able to get through all the houses and see all the shows without one. If you chose not to do that route than get a frequent fear pass and attend a couple of off-peak nights in order to see everything.

 

If you go on a peak night without an express pass you deserve the 2+ hour waits for the houses that you are going to get.

 

 

SPOILERS

 

Overall Theme

The movie theme worked well - although the icon was not very well integrated into the event. I think they wanted to promo the licensed movies a bit more and that kept them from using the Usher character that much in the park.

 

Scare Zones

Lights Camera Haction - Located in Hollywood in front of T2-3D, this had the chainsaw guys hacking up some of the production people on a film set. Simple yet it was funny and had some great scares. The best scare zone in the park that I experienced.

 

Horrorwood Drive In - Right in front of Mels drive in - very effective use of cars and distractions on the screen. Well themed and very compact.

 

Cirque Du Freak - Feels like an afterthought. Located in a very small circular area in front of the Animal Actors Stage it basically is a meet and greet with the characters where they try and scare you. Pretty poorly conceived.

 

Containment - OMG. Worst. Scarezone. EVER. Like - I can't think of a worse one in the last 10 years bad. Basically inflatable "things" that make an arch over the walkway and there are a few scaractors and smoke machines.... wow. Unfortunatly the first scarezone most folks in the park walk through and not a good first impression.

 

Apocolypse and War of the Living Dead - Didn't really walk through them enough to give an accurate opinion.

 

Houses

Silver Screams - This is the icons house and he takes you though some of his favorite movies. This one is located in the "shed" type building behind barney that was built a few years ago. Fun concept that was OK in execution. It didn't really give you enough time to enjoy any of the scenes so it felt a bit disjointed.

 

Chucky - Not bad..the full size chuckys were a bit impressive but the house lacked any real scares since it was SO bright inside.

 

Saw - By far one of the best houses of the night. VERY true to the movies, great FX and a few good scares. Wait is out of control since it is in the Jaws queue which is a low capacity house anyways. Hit this one early in the night unless you want a 75 minute wait.

 

Leave it to Cleaver - Surprisingly pretty friggin cool! I love how deep the backstory is on this (the queue film sets it up perfectly) and it is just creepy enough with the masks to be perfect without being overly distracting. The only bad part - Earthquake Queue = No A/C

 

Frankenstein - VERY cool and pretty inside this soundstage house. This is a much darker version of Frankenstein than we are used to. Lots of scares and some tight quarters - very steampunk looking.

 

Dracula - Probably the best house of the night - even though I think we missed some of the scares due to a set change out. Perfectly gothic with perfectly timed scares throughout. Jumped quite a few times!

 

The Wolfman - UGH. What a waste! Perhaps it would make sense if the movie had come out and folks had seen it. Right now it seems like a very confusing mix of rooms and stories with no apparent thing to tie them together besides an occasional wolf jumping out. No real scares... lame lame lame.

 

Bill and Ted It starts of a bit slow with an oddly chosen land of the lost theme but it picks up steam pretty rapidly and the star trek segment near the end is one of the best the show has ever had.

 

Overall You can tell they cut some corners this year - only 3 rides open (mib, mummy and simpsons) and not many scareactors on the streets. Overall though the houses were quite fun and continued the great tradition of detailed set design, amazing costumes and great lighting and f/x. It really is the best Halloween event in the country.

 

Except no RRR... LAME.

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Chainsaws vs. Production Assistants = Fun!

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Lights, Camera, Haction was pretty fun.

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This is Containment.. the WORST SCAREZONE EVER!

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Entrance is kind of "meh" this year.

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It's John C. Riley and some random emo teens!

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They had a special appearance by some of the actors from Cirque Du Freak

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Oddly shaped slice of pizza... hmm...

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The merchandise this year leans heavily to Saw and Chucky.

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Welcome to Universal Orlando - Please grab a shard of glass after you park your car.

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Thanks for the reviews and photos. From all the reviews I've read so far, I definitely think that I'm going to enjoy this year more than the last one. I was not a fan of the fairy tale theme, but I love the movie theme and it seems like it has been executed very well.

 

Going to go see "Dead Snow" tonight - the film that 'War of the Living Dead' was based on.

 

Oh all the Nazi Zombies?! Hahaha, nice!

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