Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 623: Universal's Mardi Gras 2023 details announced!

Recommended Posts

^I did that with two friends (one of whom was in a wheelchair) the first time I ever visited Universal. This was before they offered Express Passes, and we were completely beat by the end of the night--and we missed a number of mazes.

 

I don't recommend it, either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you SHOULD. I'm sure a lot of us have done both parks and HHN in the same day and it's just not as enjoyable as spreading it out. If you only have one day and you want to do it, then go for it as it's doable, but it's going to be hot and tiring!

 

Thats the thing though, its really not that bad. Mornings at IOA in September are dead, you can leisurely stroll through and hit the big rides. By the time it gets hot, itll be time to grab some lunch and an ideal time to hit the shows and DA at USF. Now, I dont know what the poster's preferred method of park touring is (if he goes hard and only rides the big rides or if he goes slow and absorbs in all the details) but either way, the resort really isnt that big. Having done both parks and HHN all in one day several times before, I can tell you its NOT that bad at all, and because of how busy the parks are, theres ample opportunity to rest along the way. Obviously if you think you cant handle walking around all day from 9am-12am then you probably shouldnt follow this plan but Im guessing since he asked/considered it he is perfectly capable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^I did that with two friends (one of whom was in a wheelchair) the first time I ever visited Universal. This was before they offered Express Passes, and we were completely beat by the end of the night--and we missed a number of mazes.

 

I don't recommend it, either.

 

I can imagine having to push around a wheelchair would be a huge damper on your day and affect your touring efficiency.

 

Also, yes, including the water rides does make it a lot more difficult because you'll want to change. It means a lot more back and forth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^I did that with two friends (one of whom was in a wheelchair) the first time I ever visited Universal. This was before they offered Express Passes, and we were completely beat by the end of the night--and we missed a number of mazes.

 

I don't recommend it, either.

 

I can imagine having to push around a wheelchair would be a huge damper on your day and affect your touring efficiency.

 

Also, yes, including the water rides does make it a lot more difficult because you'll want to change. It means a lot more back and forth.

 

I'll be staying at the resort for a few days and spending two days at IOA and USO, including Halloween Horror Night. I enjoy a more "leisurely" pace at parks, but to each his or her own.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Went to the Universal Team Member preview for a couple of hours tonight. Stuck to mostly the scare zones to get photos & video as we'll be going again on Friday night for the mazes and shows. Here's a few sneak peek photos and then we'll have our full report up after Friday's media event!

 

Great video of the Face/Off scare zone from Attractions Magazine! I was REALLY impressed with this area. I was worried that you'd never get to see the awesome characters from the show, but they really did it right! They had several minor characters running around scaring, but the main characters from the show they had on sets which were well lit so you could really see the makeup and costumes, and they would gladly take photos with you, which I thought was AWESOME! There are eight different characters and they are presented in sets of four that seem to swap out about every 30 minutes or so.

The Purge scare zone also had these awesome "streetmosphere" moments that really set this area apart from other scare zones. The actors they got to play the parts were fantastic! Check out this video from Attractions Magazine:

MASKarade: Unstitched was a homage to the "Phantom of the Opera" theater theme. Was a great area. The costumes were great and stilt walkers seemed to be having a good time with their characters.

Bayou of Blood was my least favorite of the four scare zones but it still had some impressive stilt walkers and a really fun dark and disturbing theme to it.

 

BxxXfr3CYAAwzAG.jpg:large

Tonight is preview night of HHN24!

 

BxxbRTJIgAAIkRQ.jpg:large

Personally, I'm all for The Purge!

 

BxxjUFUCYAA4S-z.jpg:large

The creatures from @FaceOffSyfy at @HorrorNightsORL look AMAZING! I mean... Horrifying!

 

BxxmEJeIQAApzrN.jpg:large

For theater fans MASKerade: Unstitched @HorrorNightsORL was freakishly amazing!

 

BxxrRZuIMAAQBX6.jpg:large

The host of The Purge @HorrorNightsORL was awesome! Auctioned off her victims to the DEATH!

 

BxxtE96CAAAuVmH.jpg:large

I support anything when there is fire and explosions!

 

[vine]

[/vine]

Preview of the MASKerade: Unstitched scare zone for #hhn24

 

[vine]

[/vine]

A preview of the #faceoff Scare Zone at #hhn24

 

[vine]

[/vine]

A preview of The Purge scare zone at #hhn24

 

Bxx2CoIIYAAdiYS.jpg:large

Wow! The @FaceOffSyfy creatures @HorrorNightsORL are seriously amazing! Love the setup so you can get pics!

 

Bxx4bfaIcAAE9Ei.jpg:large

The Purge taking away another victim! Poor girl. She probably deserves it!

 

[vine]

[/vine]

Stilt walkers in Bayou of Blood

 

Bxx8aELCUAEVvYk.jpg:large

AVP maze @HorrorNightsORL! No photos allowed so you'll just have to come experience it yourself!

 

BxyBNLTCEAA1sH8.jpg:large

Now that's a sign you're not gonna see very often!

 

BxyBjgOCAAEv9IV.jpg:large

The characters & costumes in MASKerade: Unstitched were just wonderful

 

BxyBZpZIMAAVtpZ.jpg:large

This year's Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure set. No photos during the show, as always.

 

BxyGxxXCcAISVgH.jpg:large

Pretty sure this girl from The Purge wasn't gonna give me her number!

 

BxyNe2OCcAA2Nhk.jpg:large

I'm pretty sure she's not giving me her number either! lol

 

BxyPItHCIAAUC6I.jpg:large

Wait times for the mazes are about back to normal

 

BxyXq4bCQAAQD6h.jpg:large

Hey look! Turns out she DID give me her number after all!!! I'm in love!

 

BxydABlCEAAxBlZ.jpg.943caa93178e3adecdb17750585ccb53.jpgReally loved the photo ops with the @FaceOffSyfy creatures @HorrorNightsORL

 

Huge thanks to Attractions Magazine and Adam Roth for the additional photos & videos!

Edited by robbalvey
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just got back from the preview...I focused on the houses and did all 8, but missed Bill and Ted. Next time.

 

No real spoilers:

Walking Dead is this year's OMFG can't miss it house. I thought it was absolutely bonkers for many reasons. And I have never watched or been interested in that show. AVP and Halloween are everything you would want them to be, a ton of detail in each. I thought Dollhouse was exceptional, very creative scareactor choices and scenes there. Giggles of Gore is also a solid house with some interactive moments. Roanoke Cannibal Colony and Dusk Til Dawn both seemed a little underpowered other than some awesome set-pieces in Dusk. Dracula unfortunately just wasn't very good in two trips through, I hope to see that one improve a lot.

 

As far as lines it looked like the major IPs Walking Dead and AVP were bringing in the biggest crowd.

 

Overall maybe a tiny bit more uneven than 2013, but real scarezones are back too and that's a big plus! Enjoyed the event as always. It wasn't even opening night so the event will improve in quality as it goes along.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A mini-TR with some short random notes of my incredible visit this past week.

 

Finally got to check out Diagon Alley this past week and I'm thoroughly impressed. It had been 3 years since I was last at Universal, so new to me were that, the Spiderman update, DM, and Transformers...definitely all great additions! I had ridden Transformers in Hollywood last year, but being able to ride that and Spiderman so close to one another was pretty cool. I actually like Transformers slightly better, and think it's an under-looked gem of an addition, overshadowed by Diagon Alley a bit.

 

One thing I had a blast doing this trip was trying to get a higher and higher score on MIB. In the beginning of the week I wasn't even breaking 100k, but the last day my highest was 340,925 without the bonus. Definitely one of my go-to rides at USO, and top contender for one of my favorite shooting rides, along with Toy Story Midway Mania.

 

The rain Friday made for an interesting ride on Dragon Challenge. Red was HAULING around the course!

 

One last little note that impressed me was that they let us stay in Diagon Alley Friday night until 8, even though the rest of USO "closed" at 5 for HHN. Kudos to them for that, as we basically had the whole area to ourselves, and Gringotts was a walk-on for over 2 hours.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One last little note that impressed me was that they let us stay in Diagon Alley Friday night until 8, even though the rest of USO "closed" at 5 for HHN. Kudos to them for that, as we basically had the whole area to ourselves, and Gringotts was a walk-on for over 2 hours.

So how exactly did they do this logistically? How did they get people from IOA into Diagon Alley and what did they do to stop you from leaving Diagon and just entering the park during HHN?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One last little note that impressed me was that they let us stay in Diagon Alley Friday night until 8, even though the rest of USO "closed" at 5 for HHN. Kudos to them for that, as we basically had the whole area to ourselves, and Gringotts was a walk-on for over 2 hours.

So how exactly did they do this logistically? How did they get people from IOA into Diagon Alley and what did they do to stop you from leaving Diagon and just entering the park during HHN?

 

Around 4:30 they put up barriers at both sides of London with employees posted, only letting people in who had park hopper tickets. If you had one they gave you a blue wristband. Around the same time, or shortly after, employees started walking around the whole area and asking people who didn't have a wristband if they needed one, or informed them they had to leave at 5 if they didn't have park hopper. They were pretty strict about this, there were employees even posted up outside the restrooms in Diagon Alley.

 

Around then is also when they closed off the Gringotts line (posted 30-minutes) to non-wristbands. It seemed as though anyone with that wristband could freely travel back and forth on the train pretty close to 8:00, although I'm not sure what they did about the people over in IOA. I left DA a bit after 7, and there were still people getting off the train from IOA, so they must've had some type of system. The only way out of London/DA, however, was the train...I don't know what would've happened if it had broken down.

 

All in all it was a very smooth process. As soon as I found out what was going on, I was cringing at the thought of what could become of the whole situation, but they handled it well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, thanks for that info. I saw this happening around 6:40PM tonight and was confused why Diagon Alley was open. Very interesting.

 

Side Note...Walking Dead did not have it tonight, the scareactors were much more in sync and in your face on preview night. AVP or Halloween are the best houses this year. The Bill and Ted show is great, even better a second time around when the impressions make more sense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just officially got done with a great opening weekend of HHN. Overall, I think this year is a great improvement over the last two years--in some aspects, its so much better this year that it feels like a return to form...almost. I'll explain that later; here are the house/scarezone reviews, after going through each at least twice over the weekend. (SOME SPOILERS)

 

AVP (9/10)--I wanted to LOVE this house, and I think my expectations were set unrealistically high. My first run-through was very disappointing as I felt it lacked actors and effects. However, my next few runs were much better as everyone got into synch, and once I had my expectations in check, it ended up being a solid house thats one of my favorites now. The sets are incredible and there are some good effects. The Predator costumes are AWESOME and the alien puppets are everything I hoped they would be...the problem is I wish there were more. I know that the quantity of actual puppets/Predators is ok, but things like the static alien in the ceiling and the Predator who is always out in the open make it feel like the actual scares in this house are lower than they could be quantity-wise. However, the scares that ARE there are intense. I think after some work, the scares could get to that level of relentlessness they ought to be, but for now its a good house for the amazing sets and the intense scares that are there. (Also, can they get rid of that stupid crawl tunnel please?)

 

Dracula (4/10)--I hated this house. The scares are almost nonexistent. The story is incoherent. The source material doesnt seem inherently scary. I enjoyed the sets and details, but as a haunted house I feel that it fails.

 

The Walking Dead (8/10)--I thought this was a great house, honestly. The sets were phenomenal with how packed with detail they are. Now, Im not a fan of the show so a lot of it was lost on me. But the scope of it was enough to make it enjoyable to me (speaking of which, its very easy to tell this is HHN's biggest house ever). I also loved how this house seemed packed with actors--they came out from everywhere! As much as Im ready for HHN to move on from Walking Dead, I really thought this house was a star.

 

From Dusk Till Dawn (6/10)--Ive seen the movie and the first half of the show's first season, so I kinda knew what was up. Like every other house this year, I loved the set design, the scale in this one was great and it felt very organic and "real". But the vibe in here felt off from the show...it didnt seem as quirky as it couldve been, or as "cool" as it should have been--other than the magnificent set design and scanty costumes, it was barely different from any other vampire house. Also, I thought the scares were light. Great final room though!

 

Roanoke (7/10)--I liked this house a lot...it had a few great scares, some good makeup/mask work, a great facade/final room, and a solid original story. I also loved the gory effects and how well the actors blended into the gory parts (something that has been lacking lately). But for some reason every time I left I felt like there was something to be desired. Maybe the actor energy is low? Im not sure what its missing, but its something. Im sure it'll find its stride and improve though. It has all the ingredients of a stellar house, it just hasnt pulled it all together yet.

 

Dollhouse of the Damned (9/10)--holy hell. This is a CREEPY house. Very creepy. The crib room is disturbing. The woman with the melted/morphed doll face furiously combimg the doll's hair is the single most disturbing and resonant image Ive ever seen at HHN since starting in 2007. HHN has been missing this kind of thing and its so good to see it back. Overall, the scares and sets were just good, but the immensely creepy tone really makes this house stand out. The amazing disturbing atmosphere gives such a surreal and intense feeling of dread that makes it something else

 

Halloween (10/10)--my favorite house. Now, I may be bias because Halloween is a dream house of mine and Im in love with the Carpenter film. The crazy faithfulness with which the house followed the movie is phenomenal. The sets are straight out of the movie. Its claustrophobic. There are actual scenes of Michael attacking victims (something thats been missing for way too long), and pitch-perfect music cues straight from the movie. And best of all, Michael is AGGRESSIVE! I could have sworn he was micrometers away from making real physical contact several times. The hall of Michael Myers' is one of the most intense scares Ive ever gotten at the event. This is a gem.

 

Giggles and Gore (9/10)--I had low expectations for this one, but they were far exceeded. First off, the rumors of this house being the shortest ever are nothing to worry about--the house feels perfect in length. And its very dark--theres a creepy-ass opening scene that really sets the tone for a dark and gory house...its not a fun house-type deal. Also, I felt the actors were pretty aggressive. Overall, this is a very solid house with good actors/makeup and scares, but the true star is the creepy environment its set in.

 

 

Maskerade--cool idea and I like the chandelier, but the scares are lacking.

 

Face-Off--if you didnt know what Face Off was, this zone would be no more than a photo op with a few actors thrown in. I am familiar with the concept of the show but didnt really *get* the zone. I thought there would be more of an interactive element, or some makeup effect, but it was just a photoshoot.

 

Bayou of Blood--I personally got no scares here but I see the potential. The props and atmosphere are great. The ritual is cool and is reminiscent of the scareamonies and side shows that they used to do which was nice. I liked it, but didnt think it was overly intense.

 

The Purge--great scarezone, but could be amazing with more actors. For such a big area, the actors they have are worn too thin. If they could staff more people, this could be a scarezone for the ages. Its still got a good atmosphere and impressive props, though.

 

 

Bill & Ted--hated it. I cracked a smile a couple times but overall the jokes were forgettable. Also, the shots at Disney seemed kinda obnoxious (as true as some of them may have been). I think the days of funny Bill and Teds are over.

 

 

 

All in all, HHN 24 is a fantastic event. EVERY house had fantastic sets and atmosphere--seriously, every single one. The emphasis on detail down to the smallest thing is more amazing than ever. To be honest, I kinda thought that the event was missing some of those big expansive breathtaking facades/sets the event has come to be known for, but I'll take the incredible detail and intimacy over the over-the-top grandiose stuff any day. I also really freakin liked the darker feel to the houses overall this year--theres more gore, less humor, and more intensity overall. Its great, and I like to see HHN getting more comfortable with letting loose and going crazy even with their new surge in mainstream popularity. Also, I LOVE the return of "victim scenes" and actual gags using humans (for example, the girl in AVP penetrated by the alien claw/the Michael Myers stabbing Laurie watching TV scene). I have been lamenting the absense of those for the last 4 years or so and I loved seeing them back. Hopefully, the gore and dark themes are making their way back for good.

 

As satisfactory as the houses were, despite them approaching their old school flair, theyre not there yet. First off, the scarezones were understaffed and overall not anything too special. But most importantly, the event still feels more disjointed than before. The lack of icon, backstory, meaningful build-up, interactive website, etc. has turned HHN, a formerly completely-immersive Halloween experience into a basic haunt event with really freakin elaborate houses. I miss the old environment story-driven coherent HHN's used to create. If they could take the incredible quality of the newest houses, and mix it with the creative stories that defined old HHN's, I think we would have the perfect Halloween event on our hands. Time will tell what happens.

 

Either way though, HHN 24 is a great time. There are some dont-miss houses this year, and the incredible amount of detail in each one means repeats are going to be very nice. Go as soon as you can!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With most of the attractions being indoors at Universal Studios Florida, the park handles the rain quite well, with the exception of Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit!, the Woody Woodpecker roller skater and the Universal's Superstar Parade. Islands of Adventure is a little more difficult since many of the major attractions are outdoors (Dr. Doom, Hulk, Dragon Challenge, Seuss Sky Trolley, etc...). Both parks will typically run their rides in the rain and will most often shut them down when lightning has been reported within a relative distance from the park.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^Listen to Adam, the Florida parks know what they're doing with rain. They'll run until the last minute, open back up as soon as they can, even if it's not till late at night after being closed all day.

 

Lightning is the biggest issue, but other than Busch Gardens I can't think of any park that has closed early in Florida due to weather (other than a hurricane).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of my best memories on any coaster came from riding Chinese Fireball in the pouring rain. We were on the last train to dispatch before they shut the ride down, and it was pretty intense. Definitely made me fall in love with that ride even more. I believe Universal shuts the outdoor rides down with lighting seven miles outside the park, and like others have said they are definitely on top of it with their weather policies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my experience, the rides are shut down literally moments before the heavy rain hits. Even though I'm only at the FL parks annually, it's happened to me multiple times now where I'll be in the station waiting to board, the ride gets shut down, and I can't make it out of the station before the downpour hits. Can't really cut it closer than that!

 

 

That's also one of the most fun parts of visiting the FL parks - they don't have completely asinine weather policies like CA parks do. CA parks will freak out and totally shut down at the hint of drizzle, and the surrounding traffic acts worse. Disneyland does ok with it, but even they will sometimes make some head scratch-worthy calls. FL parks just roll with it. They hunker down when the rain hits, then open back up basically like nothing ever happened about as soon as it's done. It makes for a much less stressful way to consider a park day when the weather forecast isn't so great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • coasterbill changed the title to Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/