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P. 604: Mardi Gras 2021: International Flavors of Carnaval announced

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There's a new 8-minute video on YouTube from Attractions Magazine that has Mike Aiello discussing all the houses and scarezones in detail. I'd post it but I still can't include links.

 

Anyway- sounds great! His enthusiasm for the event is infectious. You can tell he's totally into HHN and loves what he does. Cannot wait!

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I like how they build a roller coaster in the same time it took them to built new lockers for Harry Potter.   

On Sunday I ventured out to the Universal Orlando Resort for a chance to see the new holiday offerings at the two parks. This year is a little different thanks to COVID-19, but Universal has still man

The Universal Orlando Resort has put out a press release announcing this year's modified Mardi Gras event, Mardi Gras 2021: International Flavors of Carnaval.  Universal Orlando Resort cele

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I noticed in an email from Universal Orlando that they are trying out a VIP lounge this year.

Be a part of the newest Halloween Horror Nights experience - the Halloween Horror Nights VIP Lounge. The famous Cafe La Bamba Cantina has been transformed into a ghoulish getaway featuring "Secrets from the Past" - 20 years of concept art and memorabilia from some of the most famous and infamous Halloween Horror Nights ever. This exclusive area also features VIP drink service served by cocktail waitresses, and prime views of the "Fear Revealed" Scare Zone - perfect for watching the terror take over unsuspecting victims.

 

The cost is 9.99 (which isn't horrible) but doesn't buy you much on most nights except a chance to look at concept art and not have to wait in lines for drinks. However on a few nights they are having some special presentations which seem pretty interesting!

SECRETS OF THE PAST

Halloween Horror Nights is created by amazingly talented artists. Most of their designs make it into the event. But some don’t. Learn from the creators themselves, the secrets of Halloweens past (and some from the present and possibly the future).

 

 

EXTREME HOUSES

September 30, 2010 - 8pm & 10pm

Some favorites of the Art & Design team were the EXTREME HOUSES, which were fully designed (one even started but cancelled at the last minute) to be truly terrifying adventures that would have isolated guests, and allowed them an opportunity to face their worst nightmares by themselves.

 

 

LEGENDARY TRUTH - THE JOURNAL OF MARY AGANA

October 7, 2010 - 8pm & 10pm

An in depth and revealing review of the astonishing details that went into the telling of the odd doctor’s bizarre and horrifying story. COLLECTIVE operatives successfully tied together the elements of the event and solved a major mystery as to why they took place.

 

 

TERRA CRUENTAS

October 14, 2010 - 8pm & 10pm

This was the first time all Halloween Horror Nights elements were written, designed and produced to relate to each other through a detailed and complex legend of Terra Cruentas (World of Blood). Totally original and unique characters from 5 distinct realms depended on each other for survival, ritual and sacrifice to their Terra Queen.

 

 

THE THING

October 21, 2010 - 8pm & 10pm

Originally proposed to be a part of HHN 2002 the THING HOUSE wouldn't be built until 2007. The various concepts originally envisioned were modified greatly in the second design. You know what was included, now learn what did not make the final cut.

 

 

THE ICONS

October 28, 2010 - 8pm & 10pm

Halloween Horror Nights fans know all of the infamous iconic characters that hosted the event. BUT, there are others...that you may have heard about but do not know. Meet the creators who will describe how and why their creations were altered, hidden and/or resurrected in different form.

 

I have always been fascinated by the extreme houses and would love to see that presentation!

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I have always been fascinated by the extreme houses and would love to see that presentation!

 

Isn't it odd how they kept attempting the extreme houses at HHN and it kept getting cancelled. Then JM Roddy left universal, went to Busch Gardens, and this year they have the very first extreme house. Hmmmmm.

 

BTW- so jealous of all you who get to be there for opening weekend! Cannot wait until 10/7!

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Don't forget - Universal Orlando will be doing a live feed of the Opening from 6-6:30 eastern time and a house from 930-1100 eastern time.

Here is the link - www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com/orlando/news_index.html

Click on the WATCH LIVE FEED button on the upper right when it is time.

 

Also - check back all throughout the weekend for TPR's OFFICIAL opening weekend coverage of the event! We will have multiple photo trip reports with lots of cool info!

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So who all is coming tonight? I'm gonna be at the pass holders event. Always up to chit chat and hang out. Who knows, T.J. Manirino might escort us to a house like he did last night...

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^^ Welcome to TPR! I'm not going on the 21st but here is some advice for this years event...

-You are going on a Thursday so the lines shouldn't be THAT bad - but if you want to see everything you really do need to get an express pass. That way you will also have some time to do your favorites a second time waiting in line.

- GET THERE EARLY! Plan to be there by 6pm at the gate and in line. They generally open the gates around 6:15 or 6:30. Head immediately to the "tent" houses that are back by Men In Black and Barney. Once you do those two (Havoc and Catacombs) head to the Jaws Queue and do Orfanage. If the lines haven't gotten long at this point do Zombiegeddon in the earthquake queue.

- First Bill and Ted generally has the shortest lines of the night. If you have Havoc, Catacombs and Orfanage done by the first show - then see bill and ted. If you got there late do the last show of the night.

 

Enjoy! If you have time we would love to see a trip report when you are done!

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Nice running into you say erik! Hope you guys had a nice time!

 

Hey TPR members, I was just wondering if anyone would be attending HHN on Oct, 21. If so that would be awesome...Going alone on this trip and some advice will be appreciated as well.

Its always good to have options so im gonna give you mines! I presume you are doing the stay and scream? If you are PERFECT! You would want to stay in the kids section. From there you can hit hallowed past which lets out right by catacombs, catacombs lets out righ by havoc, then head to the orphanage. From there zombiegeddon then psychoscarapy. After that head to hades the legandary truth. I was able to do all house by following that order without an express pass (but when I got there fri night and all night sat the average wait was 20 mins. And you would want to go back and do the tent houses (well catacombs is no different at night its not that great lol) and que line house.

 

Also some people like to work in reverse and do the soundstage house first since they are gonna be automatically dark inside and do the other house later when the sun sets.

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Hi everyone,

 

I am coming down from Philadelphia (with friends from Providence) to do HHN on October 20th. Being a Wednesday night I was wondering what the crowds will be like. I've heard on this board that Thursdays aren't too bad, so i didn't know if Wed. would be the same or slightly less crowded. Is it possible to do it all in one night? We may come back on the 21st depending on if we can or not. I'm used to standing in lines for Halloween-related stuff, so anything under an hour doesn't faze me (although I'd prefer a shorter wait time, especially with so much to do).

 

I've already gotten some good info off this board (like where to hang out and wait when you have Stay and Scream), so thanks for what I've learned, and in advance for the above and any other stupid questions that may come to mind!

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^I would get an Express Pass regardless of how crowded it will be. We went on Thursday the 12th last year, and the lines were insane! You really can't predict what the crowds will be like especially that late in the month even on a weekday.

 

If Express Pass is not an option, do what others have suggested and use Stay and Scream as a way to stay ahead of the front gate crowds.

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I think you went during hell week. this year hell week is the week of the 16th. Its really your call man but I can stress the fact that I have been to the event every night of the week except on a sunday and didnt need an express pass. Now granted, I didnt go during times when school was out and such but when I left the park around 830 sat night they were still selling express pass, after I had already did 6 house.

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^I would get an Express Pass regardless of how crowded it will be.

I would agree with this. Even if the lines for the mazes are only 20 minutes, why wait 20 minutes when you can wait zero minutes? Add up all those 20 minutes you can save with the express pass and that's a lot more you can do during your visit.

 

I would not recommend anyone go without them.

 

--Robb "Worth every penny!" Alvey

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Thanks for all the advice! My friend and I toyed with the idea of an Express pass, so it might have to be revisited. Do you have to get them in advance or can you get them at the park (without waiting in the outside line, of course)? Thanks for putting up with a newbie.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A review of HHN is in this weekend's Tampa Bay TImes:

http://tampabaytimes.fl.newsmemory.com/

 

I kind of agree with some of her points.

 

FROM BOO TO BLAH

 

 

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights lacks the thrills of scare zones past.

 

By Mina Asayesh-Brown

 

tbt* correspondent

 

After 19 years of creating elaborate mazes designed to make people scream, the only thing left for Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights to do was pit the fans against Fear himself, master of all things terrifying. It’s a novel concept for HHN, an interesting attempt at adding some dimension to its displays of gore. After all, isn’t the only thing we have to fear “fear itself ?” Sounds like a good time.

 

Unfortunately, facing Fear — which takes form as a very tall guy on stilts with a face that’s all veins and rotten teeth — isn’t nearly as scary as you’d hope. I didn’t even scream once (unless you count the one time when the random guy in the line next to me yelled, “BOO!”).

 

HHN has been wildly successful in the past, so what’s different this year? Are there not enough scare-actors? Are the scare-actors just not very good? Maybe when the promising story ideas fall victim to poor execution, fans of HHN are left with an unremarkable, bland experience and none of the paralyzing fear they’ve been looking forward to.

 

For its 20th anniversary, HHN’s goal has been to branch out, with eight all-new haunted houses full of things we’ve never seen before. My friend and I entered Legendary Truth: The Wyandot Estate, expecting to lose our souls to the ghostly spirits inhabiting it. Too bad the ghosts in Wyandot are about as scary as Casper.

 

As the night went on, it became clear that this year’s HHN lacks the creative genius and horrific edge of years past (think back to 2008’s Scary Tales haunted house, which had Alice from Alice in Wonderland kneeling on a table and feasting on the insides of the White Rabbit. Now that was something).

 

In contrast, this year the majority of the eight houses ranged from just plain bad to boring. The point of walking through a haunted house is to be worrying about what’s going to hit you next, and at most of the HHN houses, you don’t really care. Even Catacombs: Black Death Rising was a let down. With a story based on a real-life plague in France in 1534 and actors dressed as plague doctors, Spy vs. Spy style, it had the potential to be both cool and creepy, but ended up another failed attempt.

 

The only haunted house this year that had any real merit was Horror Nights: The Hallow’d Past. While still not scream-worthy, it was the lone representation of what higher quality HHN used to be like; it captured the glory of 19 years past, with rooms from the different themes all brought together in one house (including a tribute to Alice and her rabbit feast).

 

Universal has spent a lot of time and money hyping up Halloween Horror Nights. The press release tells us “fear that truly consumes us comes from deep inside our souls, stirred by something we don’t always understand and rarely have the chance to confront.” That’s where they’re wrong. It turns out that fear from within simply isn’t enough; HHN needs to do more of the work itself.

 

 

 

 

 

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I think the main problem with Halloween Horror Nights is that it's at the top of its game. I truly believe that there's not much more they can do at this point. When you're putting on a Halloween event 20 nights with 40k people each night there's just a limit and I fear they may have reached this limit.

 

From what I've seen this decade versus last decade is that they're turning more towards 'story' and 'amazing sets' as opposed to actually trying to scare people.

 

Aside from doing a HoS style upcharge house or putting scaractors EVERYWHERE I really don't see much more they can do.

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I guess I'm new to Orlando HHN, and I'm learning.

 

I did USO HHN Sunday and last night (Thursday) and using this year and last year at USH HHN as a comparison point, I didn't think the mazes were very scary. They were so dark at times it was difficult to make out what it was that was scaring you, there was plenty of artistry and detail in the mazes but the scare actors mostly just bob out, boo, go back. By comparison I thought the scareactors at HHN had intent like they really wanted to get you, albeit they probably had instructions to do so and for sure, the events are drawing from different pools of scareactors.

 

I thought the crowds were breath taking, crikey, I think they must be at the crossroads capacity wise. Perhaps they need to create a separate event at IOA to split the crowds and deal with what I presume will be increasing crowds in the future.

 

I got to spend an hour with the main creative guys on a behind the scenes tour on Wednesday and their ethos is to create original stuff rather than use movies, and sometimes that works. I guess because I'm new to it, the whole story telling thing hasn't grabbed me yet, and I find I really connect with mazes based on movies especially one's I love like Halloween. Best answer to a question: "How many hours a day do you work?" A: "All of them".

 

Oh well, I'll check out Howl O Scream tonight and see how the extreme house goes.

 

Here's one photo I liked, I ran into the main HHN creative guy last night, and he loved it too.

HHN.jpg.35d4a94399c9787f28be93ad61a3f503.jpg

"I'm way better than that Sylvie b*tch at HOS" (okay, okay I believe you).

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I think the main problem with Halloween Horror Nights is that it's at the top of its game. I truly believe that there's not much more they can do at this point. When you're putting on a Halloween event 20 nights with 40k people each night there's just a limit and I fear they may have reached this limit.

 

From what I've seen this decade versus last decade is that they're turning more towards 'story' and 'amazing sets' as opposed to actually trying to scare people.

 

Aside from doing a HoS style upcharge house or putting scaractors EVERYWHERE I really don't see much more they can do.

 

I think it tends to cyclical. For a few years, it's all about gore and general grossness, followed by a concentration on "storytelling" and general atmosphere. Both approaches are OK. (My answer to the the "How do HOS and Haunt in Virignia compare?" is to say that BGW is like a Hammer movie while KD is more like a Sean Cunningham or Rob Zombie flick.)

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