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Photo TR: Opening Night Halloween Horror Nights Orlando!


disneyfan1313
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As is a tradition every year - I go to the opening night of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando. I enjoy going on the first night both because the events usually change quite a bit by the end of their run (both creatively in the mazes but also usually bits are changed in the shows), and also it is a great way to kick off the best month to live in Orlando - October!

 

A word of advice that is good to repeat every year for those of you who are planning on attending. BUY THE EXPRESS PASS.... seriously. Do you want to wait 60+ minutes per house and only get to see 3 or 4 per night? I didn't think so.. BUY THE EXPRESS PASS! Or... you can do what we do and buy the frequent fear pass - get there right at 6pm and hustle at rope drop to get 3 or 4 houses done before the majority of the folks arrive at 7pm.

 

This year HHN seems to be about average - more houses and shows but WAY less street entertainment, theming and only one real scare zone in the whole park. I will have to see how it feels after I get to experience the remainder of the houses and once the scareactors get more into their role. Before I move onto the pictures - here is a quick summary of my thoughts

 

We did 4 out of 8 houses and saw 3 out of the 4 shows - most folks seem to be running right to the soundstage houses ( Nightmare on Elm Street, Dead Silence and Psychoscareapy) at ropedrop and these quickly had a 90 minute wait. Avoid the crowds and head back to the tent houses behind back to the future.

 

Houses -

The Thing - Really?!?! WTF. Every year HHN has a house which is all style and no substance. This is that house. Lots of large rubber costumes and Marines which are both protecting you and shooting/scaring you at the same time. Huh? No real scares but some cool visuals.

 

Friday the 13th - Camp Blood - Whatever you do... DO NOT DO THIS HOUSE BEFORE DARK. This is in the Jaws queue and when we did it, it was still light out and you could see EVERYTHING through the skylights into the maze. The scareactors were not even trying since you could see them a mile away. It was a very short maze which was OK.

 

Texas Chainsaw Massacre - Pretty damn good! Lots of great scares, cool effects and a great use of both indoor and outdoor segments. A lot of the scenes had been used in previous houses..but it did a very good job at telling a story and setting the scares up.

 

Vampyr - Blood Bath - A vampire rave concept that was never really fleshed out.... A couple of great vampire scenes mixed in with random people trying to get you which don't even look vampireish. Although really anything will pale in comparison to the first year they had the one in the soundstages with the flying effect.

 

SHOWS -

 

Bill & Ted - Awesome as always. Lots of T & A, loud music and really funny references - what more do you want! This year it includes a DeLorean, Figure skating, transformers and much much more!

 

Rocky Horror Tribute Show - New for this year and about 10 minutes toooooooo long! Really only for fans of the movie...lots of folks walking out during the show although the performers did a great job covering the hits from the movie and acting out many of the scenes.

 

Jack's Carnival of Carnage - Meh - basically the welcome show for this year next to Mel's Die-In. Cheezy magic tricks and lots of blood and of course jack.... watch it as you walk by but not worth stopping for.

 

Anyways - those are my thoughts so far for this year. This really is the premiere Halloween event and every year brings lots of new surprises.

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Goodnight HHN! Get some sleep!

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Bill and Ted preview shot ....yummy!

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Clowns on bumper cars that drive around = cool

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The scariest thing all night was my fear they were going to show the craptacular universal 360!

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They had a random ferris wheel that spun throughout the night by MiB.

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The train from BTTF runs on RAINBOWS!

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InGen? They stole the truck from Jurrasic Park! It was holding the second dino!

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Ugh ,... I hate the houses in tents.. totally destroys any semblance of an illusion.

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WHERE on earth is the haunted house! Past the barney fountain?

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Hit the first house of the night with only a 5 minute wait.. CHA-Ching!

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Stacey is trying out for her role as a clown in next years HHN!

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The one and only scare zone in the park this year...no clowns in it yet though. Whew!

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Stacey HATES clowns..so this year is perfect for her!

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The bikers this year are clowns and their motorcycles are unicorns?!?! WTF?!

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And the sea of humanity waiting to get in at 6:15.

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Ugh - this sweaty guy should tell you how hot it was waiting to buy tickets.. This doesn't feel like Halloween!

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They really did a great job theming the entrance this year.

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Great job. Thanks for the report

 

Just curious, I've been going every year on the 2nd weekend of October for the last 4 years. It usually ends up being Oct 6, 7 or 8th ish. And just the same, I'll be there next Saturday night. However, last year after getting pissed at myself for not getting the express pass, I went back the following Wednesday night to finish what I missed and it was noticably different. There wasn't nearly the same about of streetmosphere or scareactors and it just didn't have the same vibe going on. Do they really scale back the number of scareactors on the weeknights vs. Saturdays or did we just hit a off night? I presume this could be a lack of staff issue as well.

 

Regardless, I'm totally cool with it because Bill & Ted's show and the Jello shot waitresses alone make it worthwhile lol.

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Great job. Thanks for the report

 

Just curious, I've been going every year on the 2nd weekend of October for the last 4 years. It usually ends up being Oct 6, 7 or 8th ish. And just the same, I'll be there next Saturday night. However, last year after getting pissed at myself for not getting the express pass, I went back the following Wednesday night to finish what I missed and it was noticably different. There wasn't nearly the same about of streetmosphere or scareactors and it just didn't have the same vibe going on. Do they really scale back the number of scareactors on the weeknights vs. Saturdays or did we just hit a off night? I presume this could be a lack of staff issue as well.

 

Regardless, I'm totally cool with it because Bill & Ted's show and the Jello shot waitresses alone make it worthwhile lol.

 

I would not say they significantly scale it back - but there are always less street scaractors, earlier park close time, less general atmosphere entertainment (random walking around specialty acts), fewer show times and less rides/attractions open. For the average person it would probably not be noticable because the park does not feel as crowded and the lines for the houses are not AS bad. I would always prefer to go on a non-peak night - it's just an overall better experience (and generally less rowdy crowd)

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That would be behind Back to the Future and MIB. Both of the tented mazes are back there. Thing seems to be more behind BTTF and Jack's Funhouse seems to be more behind MIB. For the tented mazes this year, I think they're trying a little harder on them. With the maze's themes, both Thing and Jack's funhouse, they both logically could be placed in a tent if the situation call for it in real life. The Jack one obviously because it's a carnival fun house and the Thing for being a Biohazard tent. The facility has the tent around it for people's safety. Though I wish they'd do something on the side of it to make it a little more interesting than just white.

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Just because you didn't like something (The Thing House) doesn't mean that everyone else will share your opinion. This house is doing something a little different than what people are used to in a haunted house and not really depending on the scare actors to frighten you. With The Thing house, Universal this year went in the opposite direction with puppetry and imagery and animatronics to tell the story and to see how people would react to these images rather that just have people randomly jump out and scare you. If you saw the movie than you would understand that the images along with the acting told the story and that is what Universal is trying to do with this particular house. Remember how Star Wars looked before it went all cgi on us? Don't get me wrong, cgi is wonderful but if you use too much it can ruin a wonderful thing. Think of special editions Star Wars. If it ain't broke, don't fix. Maybe I'm just too old school.

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Just because you didn't like something (The Thing House) doesn't mean that everyone else will share your opinion. This house is doing something a little different than what people are used to in a haunted house and not really depending on the scare actors to frighten you. With The Thing house, Universal this year went in the opposite direction with puppetry and imagery and animatronics to tell the story and to see how people would react to these images rather that just have people randomly jump out and scare you. If you saw the movie than you would understand that the images along with the acting told the story and that is what Universal is trying to do with this particular house. Remember how Star Wars looked before it went all cgi on us? Don't get me wrong, cgi is wonderful but if you use too much it can ruin a wonderful thing. Think of special editions Star Wars. If it ain't broke, don't fix. Maybe I'm just too old school.

 

You're exactly right. Another thing to keep in mind is, a lot of the puppet effect needs to reset so not everyone can experience every effect with one walk through.

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Just because you didn't like something (The Thing House) doesn't mean that everyone else will share your opinion. This house is doing something a little different than what people are used to in a haunted house and not really depending on the scare actors to frighten you. With The Thing house, Universal this year went in the opposite direction with puppetry and imagery and animatronics to tell the story and to see how people would react to these images rather that just have people randomly jump out and scare you. If you saw the movie than you would understand that the images along with the acting told the story and that is what Universal is trying to do with this particular house. Remember how Star Wars looked before it went all cgi on us? Don't get me wrong, cgi is wonderful but if you use too much it can ruin a wonderful thing. Think of special editions Star Wars. If it ain't broke, don't fix. Maybe I'm just too old school.

 

Huh?!?! I never said everyone should or would share my opinion. I simply stated my opinion as someone who enjoys HHN and has been almost every year since the 1st one. I personally thought the house was lacking in scares and the rubber puppet f/x were pretty cheesy - that being said.. the worst houses at HHN far outshine any other haunted event. I will give the house another try as well - often times it takes the scaractors a few weekends to find the good ways to scare and they will sometimes tweak f/x as well.

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^So disneyfan1313, why complain about the house if you are gong to back and check it out on another night? You went on opening night and of course there are going to be little snafus here and there to be worked out. Like I said, not everyone will share your opinion. Some people will like it, some people won't and there is nothing wrong with having an opinion about something. Again Universal went in a different direction regarding props in this haunted house, not just relying on actors to scare you. I value your opinion just like I value everyone else's on this website regarding theme parks and events such as HHN. No hard feelings then okay?

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^I don't agree with his opinion JT300, but I certainly value and respect it. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion and I respect that. Like I said some people will share his opinion and some people won't and there is nothing wrong with that. And if he wants to complain, he has every right to complain. I'm not here to tell people what to do or say, I'm glad that we all have a website with forums that we can discuss and debate about the things we a share a common interest in. So I apologize to anyone I have offended with my comments,especially disneyfan1313 who started this thread.

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