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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 620: "The Horrors of Blumhouse" HHN house announced!

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My local theater is a Cinemark with the luxury loungers, and it is phenomenal. They feel like you're in your living room. I honestly stopped going to the movies for a few years because of how expensive it was getting to uncomfortably watch a movie in sub-par seats, but these brought me back!

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Our nearest Cinemark is a really great theater in a really terrible location (the remains of the former Artegon/Festival Bay mall). I've always felt like CityWalk's AMC was one of the weaker theaters in town despite the location, so I'm hopeful this change brings the theater up to speed.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Here's a "first look" at the new Stranger Things Maze coming to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood, Orlando, and Singapore...


Universal City, CA, September 5, 2018 – Universal Studios reveals first look images from the “Stranger Things” haunted mazes coming to “Halloween Horror Nights” 2018.


For the first time ever, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Singapore are partnering with Netflix to bring “Stranger Things” to life at their “Halloween Horror Nights" events. Each park will feature its very own maze that will give guests the chance to brave the Upside Down and encounter iconic scenes, characters and environments from season one of the critically-acclaimed series.


The images showcase some of the eerily-authentic environments guests will encounter at “Halloween Horror Nights” 2018 – including the Byers’ living room adorned with an erratic display of flashing Christmas lights, Hawkins National Laboratory in the Upside Down, Will’s makeshift fort called Castle Byers and more.


“Halloween Horror Nights” begins Friday, September 14 in Hollywood and Orlando, and on Thursday, September 27 in Singapore. Tickets and vacation packages are on sale now. For more information about “Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Orlando Resort or Universal Studios Singapore, visit http://www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com.










Edited by robbalvey
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I liked Season 2 way more than season 1 and think it's a pretty fun show, maybe not as great a some think but still worth watching.....


.....but these pictures look absolutely stunning. I really wasn't planning on going this year but might have to try to squeeze in one night to check out this maze.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm not going to belabor myself posting a lengthy opening night TR since I'm sure TPR will do an even better job, but I can speak from my own experience.


It was our first Orlando HHN and we had a great time! Did not splurge for a Fast Pass so we accepted that we'd be waiting a while for everything and not get much done. Met a cool couple during early entry and ended up having a blast together just goofing off during our waits. Yes, we were those people last night.


Ended up getting two rides in and 4 (1/2, more on that later) mazes, plus plenty of beer runs! Was definitely glad that Orlando is not a dry event, like Hollywood is. Maze lines topped out around an 60-80 minutes for everything but Stranger Things. Stranger Things was 2+ hours the whole night.


So the one bittersweet thing that happened (which maybe you've heard about if you look at their socials):

We saved Stranger Things for last partially because we like saving the best for last and partially because it was a 2+ hour wait all night. Got in line for it 30 minutes to close, and they still were letting people get in line up until close. At around 1:30 (after we waited an hour, but others had waited much longer) we start to see them sending everyone home. There were droves of people all confused and frustrated being told that Stranger Things was closed. Basically, we heard the employees were under a certain contract but that per their contract they didn't have to stay past a certain time (which seems kinda weird and confusing, but whatever). So, since employees were leaving they could not keep Stranger Things open. The line to Guest Services was ridiculous. For the most part people were disgruntled and confused, but not belligerent. They ended up giving us signed business cards stating we could have a comp HHN ticket for any night as well as a Stranger Things fast pass.


I came all the way from Ohio to visit friends and go to this, so I'm definitely very thankful they gave us this comp. I'm lucky that we have time in the schedule to go again, so it will work out pretty well because we can hit the mazes we missed, including Stranger Things.


I'm still very confused why this happened. My experience with theme parks is either A. as long as you get in line before close, they let you do the ride/experience (shout-out to Disney's Flight of Passage crew!) or B. they anticipate the length of wait time and close it off correspondingly before closing, which is frustrating if you thought that A. was going to happen, but at least you can go do something else until park closing. I definitely don't think the park expected this to happen.


So now, we'll go again either tonight or Sunday and make sure to do Stranger Things early in the night. Those of you planning to go in the near future (esp if you don't get a fast pass): I'd recommend doing Stranger Things early or at least ask staff if they are going to close off the line early. I'm sure the park is going to make sure this is NOT going to happen again.


TL;DR : Unexpected things happen in this hobby, but drink plenty of beer and take a chill pill if they don't work in your favor.

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I'm still very confused why this happened. My experience with theme parks is either A. as long as you get in line before close, they let you do the ride/experience (shout-out to Disney's Flight of Passage crew!) or B. they anticipate the length of wait time and close it off correspondingly before closing, which is frustrating if you thought that A. was going to happen, but at least you can go do something else until park closing. I definitely don't think the park expected this to happen.

Yeah, I can most certainly say this was probably an "opening night anomaly" as I can tell you that I regularly go to HHN after 11pm and will always jump in a line for a house right at park closing, and I've never seen them turn away guests. Even if they have to send team members home, they'll put people through that maze even if there are only three scareactors left! lol


So I'm wondering if this was just something different, an unexpected issue, etc.


At least they gave you the comp and did the best they could to fix the situation. And thankfully you're understanding enough to know that "opening night" for anything can be filled with longer than normal waits and unexpected issues.


Hope that gets resolved though or they will have to start cutting the line off early.

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I was in line for ST when it was shut down and I wanna shout out to the employees. I saw one lady getting verbally abused by a guest but she was still smiling. I couldn't imagine doing that especially at 130 am.

Was it this batshit crazy lady who went off on us on Twitter this morning?



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Halloween Horror Nights 28 - Opening Night Media Event!


TPR was at the opening night media event of Halloween Horror Nights 28 and with a record breaking 10 houses and 5 scare zones, this is the year to be here! The theme this year is really more of an "aesthetic" (as the kids today would say) of the 80s and it stretches through many of the houses, the scare zones and even into the shops and food stands! While I still miss having an "icon" as they have in years past, this is a fun and different way to approach the event.


I have been attending HHN since the very first one, 28 years ago and even though they added a 10th house, they didn't take away from the quality of any of the other houses and they all stand solidly on their own. Stranger Things is the house that will get top billing this year on most "lists" and it deserves every bit of praise. Incredibly detailed and true to the story, this is worth the wait.. whatever it is! The original property houses dreamed up by the creative minds at Universal Orlando are also top notch. Carnival Graveyard and Scary Tales might be some of the most detailed they have done in years. Everyone has their favorites for different reasons and multiple run throughs can get you very different experiences, which is why I recommend going multiple nights to make sure you see it all!


Halloween Horror Nights is really the premiere Halloween event in the country. It goes for a record breaking 36 nights from September 14th through November 3rd this year and features 10 NEW houses, 5 new scarezones, 1 show and 2 roaming hoards of chainsaw killers! There are also a great selection of rides open with minimal waits throughout the park. Before we start off with the pictures, just some friendly tips if you are planning on going to the event!


- The event officially begins at 6:30pm,but they almost always will open the gate at 6. If you have tickets for the day, do "stay and scream" and get a head start on the crowds running to the mazes.

- If you have only one night and want to try and fit it all in, you will need to get an Express Pass or RIP guided tour. Both are *WELL* worth the money and I have done both many times throughout the years.

- If you have multiple nights then you really should get the "Frequent Fear Pass" - this is a great deal and is basically an "annual pass" for the event. There are different levels of this that include various days and some even include express passes.

- If you are buying a one day ticket, don't pay full gate price. There are MANY discounts out there that are available.


Take a look at the TPR highlight video of the Stranger Things house and also our photo trip report of our night!





Checked in and ready to go for the event! I love the themed lanyards.


I love being able to be some of the first ones escorted in and seeing the scaractors getting ready for their first scares!


Hiding and ready to go! Getting daylight pictures is one of the best reasons to get to the event early.


The first scare zone as you enter the park sets up some of the IP houses that you might visit during the night.


Spoiler... there is a clown in the Poltergeist house... a LOT OF CLOWNS!


I saw it hit about 120 minutes on opening night, so 65 right at opening for the Stay and Scream folks isn't bad!


But at the same time you can do Carnival Graveyard for only a 5 minute wait while everyone else runs to Stranger Things... decisions, decisions...


Universal Studios media events always have great food that is themed really well. First stop, the desert table!


Who is going to be the brave one to take the first slice of clown cake?!!?


Who is going to be the brave one to take the first slice of clown cake?!!?


I love the 80s theming even at the food stations!


Oooohhh! I bet something might happen here soon....


For a year without Jack as an icon, there are an awful lot of clowns...


On this stage we learned all the incredibly detailed stories behind the houses from the creators themselves!


Then, characters from each of the houses came out to their backdrop.


OH YEAH! You can imagine the applause in the room when eleven came out!


Picture time! Then off to get scared!!!!

Edited by disneyfan1313
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Time to hit some houses! Pictures below...


We started off the 10 houses with Scary Tales! This is the telling of fairy tales in a very twisted way. The facade of this soundstage house is insane and the Wicked Witch flies over you.


So many gruesome fairy tales gone wrong in this one!




I was very excited to see the return of HHN bear!


We moved on to Carnival Graveyard, where carnivals go to rust to pieces. Great original house and it has a hidden Jack the Clown!


I *do not* want to run away with this carnival!


The detail in these soundstage houses is just amazing.. and creepy!


We then took a walk through the Vamp 85 scare zone. Straight out of the 80s with tons of recognizable "characters" from that era.


The NY Street scare zone is epic each year, they have so much room to roam, and you don't have places to hide!


They also have a number of show scenes and kills that take place throughout the night. Can't wait to go back and see it in more detail.


We then hit the mini scare zone of Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Very detailed costumes and true to this B movie classic!


Cotton Candy made of PEOPLE!?!!?!?


I don't think I want any treats from you, thank you very much!


Oh, hai mr clown...


Uh... what is happening...


This is the last thing you see before you die...

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Time to hit more houses!


OMG! Stranger Things was AMAZING. So detailed and true to the series.


There are SO many demogorgons in the maze, you can't escape them!


Spoilers! You know what Eleven is doing here!


Poltergeist was next and while the first 1/2 is true to the movie, the second 1/2 was done almost like the 1/2 half of the Shining house, a creative interpretation with (in this case.. ) TONS OF CLOWNS!


The Revenge of Chucky scare zone has Chucky bringing all of your favorite children's toys to life!


Oh no! What happened to the Cabbage Patch Dolls!


Care Bear SCARE!


The Twisted Traditions scare zone was next where all of your favorite Halloween traditions get gruesome!


I see you! Don't take my candy!


There is no Bill and Ted show this year, but Academy of Villains brought the energy to their stage. It is a great show and worth seeing, but I do feel it is better served as a street show.


Blumhouse House is next... who gets this reference from Happy Death Day?


The Happy Death Day portion was awesome! Hopefully the Purge portion gets a little tweaked as the run continues.

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Time to finish up this epic night!


The "zombie house" this year was Dead Exposure. A prequel to a zombie house of the same name from years ago.


Hey Mr. Zombie... don't eat my brains!


The "comedy house" this year was Slaughter Cinema. An homage to B movies that were never made.


I love the fake movie posters they made up for the transitions between each scene!


Demon Baby stole my heart... AND OUR SOUL!


Seeds of Extinction is in a brand new building WAY in the back of the tent house area. This is all about killer plants that take over the earth and it is incredibly detailed and while I didn't find it that scary, many are rating it as their scariest house!


It is filled with these guys and really cool puppets.. VERY hard to see where the scares are coming from.


Trick 'r Treat brings this popular Halloween movie to life, just like the scare zone last year!


NO SAM! Don't stab me with your lollypop!


Halloween Horror Nights sets itself apart from its competition by these amazing movie quality costumes, sets and lighting.


Time to finish another epic Halloween Horror Nights media event! Can't wait to come back many many times this year!

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That lady complaining on Twitter is mind boggling. Me and my fiancé did 7 out of 10 houses with a 100min wait for stranger things (worth it) plus academy of villains. We also left 15mins early or we could of queued for Carnival but we have frequent fear so we decided to get it on Sunday. She easily should of done all the houses last night with express. Stranger things was the only house I saw with an Express line wait

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Demon Baby stole my heart... AND OUR SOUL!]


Demon Baby! Oh no! Could it be?? Say it ain't so. It looks like: MAN-CHILD! Now THAT's scary!


(GREAT report and photos. Lots of works of art in those characters and costumes! So much to see!)



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It is absolutely incredible to me just how different Orlando and Hollywood's HHNs are. Orlando always seems to be at the top of their game, throwing a ton of money into the event and really getting into it. Hollywood just seems like a pure cash grab with a ton of empty space in the haunts. Such a shame.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So we went to HHN and USO/IOA last weekend, and it was a great time!

HHN was alot of fun, the fast pass was absolutely worth it, did all the houses and had time for rides and a show, still made it back to the hotel at a reasonable hour to boot.

We did make a mistake of doing the parks during day, then HHN at night. We were destroyed the last couple of hours, and the last few houses were not as enjoyable. Lessons learned for next year.


That said, was a fun time. HHN was good and the parks are still fun. Great detail on the houses, good selection of themes/movies and the scare zones are always a blast.


As for the parks I recall last year thinking the Mummy was surprising, and it did have some legit airtime. Last year the Hulk beat my head to a pulp. This time, did 2 rides on 2 diff days and it was perfectly fine. So who knows. Glad it was smooth, because that could be a top 15 ride, what an intense experience!!! The Harry Potter worlds are still mindblowing even having seen it a few times already, and I really love those rides, esp the Forbidden Journey.

So, nothing new really, just was glad the Hulk is either back to smooth (or maybe I just had a bad day last year) and we tackled HHN in a much better manner.

Oh, got my coaster hating gf to ride Hulk once, and shockingly she didnt hate it. Didnt care for it, but "I didnt regret it"


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

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