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Universal Orlando Resort (USF, IOA, Epic) Discussion Thread

P. 625: Dark Universe revealed!

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Should have been a Sharknado ride.

 

This comment goes so well with your avatar!

 

Personally I am happy with this addition. I hope they incorporate the Ew show somehow into this attraction because this is my favourite section of the Tonight Show.

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2 arrested in Halloween Horror Nights attacks reported at Universal

ORLANDO, Fla. -

 

Police made two arrests for violent attacks on Universal Orlando team members at Halloween Horror Nights.

 

Police told News 6 that William Nunnally, 28, is accused of purposely punching a scare actor in the face in "The Walking Dead" house. It happened on Oct. 21. The man stated to law enforcement he might have "accidentally hit" an actor but denied punching.

 

Karla Rondan-Diaz, 32, attacked a stilt walker on Oct. 23 and faces a battery charge, according to police.

 

The report said the stilt walker was kicked twice, causing him to fall to the ground. Police noted she was argumentative and intoxicated.

 

The arrests come days after News 6 reported about two scare actors quitting Halloween Horror Nights after being attacked.

 

Over the weekend, a 21-year-old Ft. Myers man kicked an actor in the face, police said. Orlando police said they would be filing a simple battery charge with the State Attorney's Office against the guest who attacked the actor.

 

A representative for Universal Orlando told News 6, "The safety of our team members and our guests is our most important priority. We have a zero-tolerance policy that can include prosecution of anyone suspected of compromising the safety of our team members. Our scare actors receive special safety training, and we staff our event with uniformed law enforcement officers and team members whose role is to keep everyone safe."

 

Universal spokesperson also told News 6 that while attendance has gone up, incidents have gone down.

 

News 6 spoke to other actors off camera, who claimed they have been trampled, smacked, shoved and even sexually harassed.

 

Mark Krise goes to the annual event six to seven times a year. He posted a YouTube video, asking for a stop to the abuse after witnessing it himself on opening night.

 

"Out of nowhere, this random lady just shows up and hugs right behind, and the nurse (actress) had to duck under to get away from her," Krise said.

 

He said selling alcohol at the event isn't helping.

 

Universal said they have struck a balance between alcohol and safety. The Hollywood location does not serve alcohol.

 

News 6 bought a ticket to the event to see what the interaction was like between guests and scare actors. Most guests seemed to embrace the characters, with the occasional verbal jabs.

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I'm not sure if the laws are different in Florida, but for any misdemeanor charges in California, unless the officer witnesses it themselves they are unable to make the arrest. They are technically making arrests on behalf of the victim who has to press charges. More often than not, the monsters won't want to press charges because it will require their time to go to court as well.

 

It doesn't have anything to do with alcohol. When I worked at Knott's as a monster (2003-2008), the event was dry and there were still plenty of obnoxious guests who touched, groped, tried to act tough, etc. to impress their friends or girlfriends. It's an unfortunate hazard that comes with the job.

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I think alcohol makes asshats even more of an asshat, but like you say, unfortunately there are people who just like to play the 'big man' and end up ruining it for everyone. Unfortunately when you have a park open at night full of tens of thousands of people, one or two people will misbehave. Hopefully the fact they've been arrested will make them think twice in the future.

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The situation with the attacks on scareactors is definitely a complicated one. On one hand, the costly, complicated solution to the fact that the public seems to lack self-control at these events, would be to install CCTV cameras in the houses so that the police can review footage after an alleged assault. But buying enough cameras/DVRs and equipment for every house that could also be removed and re-used for the following year would be incredibly expensive both in terms of equipment and set-up each year. Plus, that wouldn't solve incidents like the cited one in the above article that happened to the stilt actor.

 

I asked some questions to a few people I know that work in HHN and/or the resort, and what I've gathered from them is that the uniformed park employees situated close to scareactors in the houses are tasked with their security...however, they're also tasked with ensuring guests don't take pictures and keeping the line flow moving through the house, with a heavy emphasis on the latter to keep the outdoor queues down. They can be telling one person to put their camera away and miss the moment when someone punches the actor in the face.

 

I think one of the simplest ways that Universal can improve in this area is by having some kind of audible warning in the outdoor queue for the house, even though it would be annoying to have to listen to over and over. Have it threaten arrest and lifetime criminal trespass from the resort if aggravated physical contact with a scareactor is made, then find a way to better publicize arrests made for this to show that they're serious. I paid attention tonight when I was there for warnings about physical contact with the scareactors and the best ones I could find were on the house entrance signs, which of course guests don't even seem to glance at whatsoever.

 

I think eliminating alcohol would be a financial blow to the event. Despite charging a separate admission, it's got to be a huge cost to set-up, advertise, recruit, train, and staff the event. Alcohol sales are huge for restaurants and often keep them afloat, so I'm sure that alcohol profits out-weigh all other purchases and admission.

 

I wish people knew how to conduct themselves in public. If you're the kind of person who knows that your likely "automatic reaction" to having someone jump out at you is to punch them in the face, why are you going to horror nights? And not to further rant, but why can't people think beyond their own life and consider that the scareactors are people who will happily work for a not-so-high wage, give up their nights and weekends during one of the most event-filled time of year, and do the physically-tasking job of running around and jumping out at you for several hours? Everyone that I've met there, even if just for a second for a photo-op, has been happy to put their scareactor weapon next to your head for a photo and seems to enjoy just being part of it all. I'm thankful that those people are there to make this event fun for me.

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We do have full "SCAREveillance" which we highly publicize at all of our attractions, including many signs about surveillance and "DO NOT TOUCH THE ACTORS". Some attractions also verbally tell guests to not touch the actors at the entrance. It generally doesn't help prevent anything. Although it's very useful later on. People are still jerks who try to push their luck or look tough for their girlfriends. They also seem to forget that there are actually people in the houses. Some of whom aren't necessarily 18. I can guarantee that that assault on a minor charge will make them rethink their attitude.

 

If I were to guess, alcohol does play a part in it, but not selling it in the park won't help. People come into the park intoxicated or sneak it in. Which (IMO) would be a big deal, but I really doubt being sober would stop most of these people.

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Here's a video of the very last show of Twister at Universal Studios Orlando:

Thank you to budsdre for sending us the footage!

 

Aaand they did not waste any time removing the sign by 9am the next morning...

CS0IWZlWcAAyfe6.thumb.jpg.2abf30d8f3e4ac3215801264c9531696.jpg

Photo by Jon Locke

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Yet something else the GF and I will miss out on during our Orlando trip in DEC.

To be fair, you're not missing anything. You probably would have gone in there and went "Wow, what a waste of our time...we could have ridden Mummy again..."

 

I actually haven't been inside Twister in well over ten years. We never even bothered to take Kristen to ride it! lol

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Yet something else the GF and I will miss out on during our Orlando trip in DEC.

To be fair, you're not missing anything. You probably would have gone in there and went "Wow, what a waste of our time...we could have ridden Mummy again..."

 

 

I felt the same way when I finally rode "Disaster."

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Twister wasn't amazing by today's standards but I'm sure it was a hit when it was released. I'm grateful for getting to experience it a couple weeks ago but I could see why it was time to replace it. Hopefully they have something good in store.

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What was the "Back to the Future" ride? None of my friends/colleagues have/had been to Universal when this was open.

I was a BIG fan of the movie, so I am presuming the ride would have been pretty smart?

 

It was a simulator in the same building where the Simpsons ride is now. What happens is that Biff Tannen steals a time-traveling DeLorean, and you have to catch him and bring him back.

 

Here's a video of the Universal Japan version.

 

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Twister wasn't amazing by today's standards but I'm sure it was a hit when it was released. I'm grateful for getting to experience it a couple weeks ago but I could see why it was time to replace it. Hopefully they have something good in store.

 

Not so funny story - It wasn't a hit at all!!! It had to delay opening after we had some very deadly (for Florida) Tornadoes come through right before it was supposed to open. When it finally did open, some people were still upset and said it was too close to the recent deaths.

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What was the "Back to the Future" ride? None of my friends/colleagues have/had been to Universal when this was open.

I was a BIG fan of the movie, so I am presuming the ride would have been pretty smart?

 

It was a simulator in the same building where the Simpsons ride is now. What happens is that Biff Tannen steals a time-traveling DeLorean, and you have to catch him and bring him back.

 

Here's a video of the Universal Japan version.

 

 

And the English version is on most of the BTTF blu-rays. I just found it included on BTTF 3's bonus features. There's also a new short on the 30th set starring Christopher Lloyd about why 2015 is so different now from the movie version but I haven't seen it yet. Not sure it really needed an explanation apart from the future is crappier than people thought it would be.

 

Bonus fact: I had no idea Peyton Reed (Ant Mans director) was the writer of the ride. My wife got me the new blu-ray box set that had the animated series and he also wrote some of the episodes on that.

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It was a simulator in the same building where the Simpsons ride is now. What happens is that Biff Tannen steals a time-traveling DeLorean, and you have to catch him and bring him back.

 

Awesome, thank you. Is this a fondly remembered ride at Universal or had it reached the end of its shelf life and people are happy that they moved on (especially given how popular the Simpsons became).?

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