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Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

P. 611: Full Halloween Horror Nights 2021 lineup revealed!

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^hope it's like that friday morning but I doubt it lol.  Can't wait for HHN to start.  Interesting enough they are not doing the passholders weekends for the first few weekends.  That should lessen the crowds hopefully.  That and the vinyl protectors lol lol.  

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People seem to think they may go on sale again next week.  Not sure if they are limiting capacity more, or if sales are just out of control.  The event is sold out tonight and I've hear Express is sold out for tonight and tomorrow already.

 

I'm also heard folks have been able to purchase multi-tickets by phone and the desks in the hotels on property today.

 

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On 9/3/2021 at 10:41 AM, tndank said:

People seem to think they may go on sale again next week.  Not sure if they are limiting capacity more, or if sales are just out of control.  The event is sold out tonight and I've hear Express is sold out for tonight and tomorrow already.

 

I'm also heard folks have been able to purchase multi-tickets by phone and the desks in the hotels on property today.

 

Hey! Thanks for the tip. I was able to order the multi-day ticket over the phone, and we enjoyed HHN 30 last night. Customer service said they were having an outage on their website, should be fixed on Monday. It was so much fun!

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Passes are available online again.

KT went the last two nights and we went last night and were very surprised at the lack of crowds for a "sold out" night. I really hope they're limiting capacity, but I wonder if we'll see it upped by next weekend. 

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If anyone is interested AEW Wrestling recently announced that they were going to start taping some episodes of their Dark and Elevation shows (both on Youtube currently) at the Universal Orlando Resort and the first event is this Saturday. Looks like this one sold out pretty quick (I think tickets were free but they're already gone), but if you're into this kinda thing it's something to keep an eye out for in the future as this should be a fairly regular, possibly weekly.  

 

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Went to Halloween Horror Nights for the second time ever tonight(last went in 2019) and we were able to do every house and watch the show in the lake without an express pass. It was definitely more crowded this time and closed at 1am instead of 2am the last time we went but the lines really weren't too bad. Longest we had was like 55 mins for Hill House. 

Overall I thought the original houses were way better than the IP houses. Case files and the pumpkin lord houses were our favorites. IP wise thought Texas Chainsaw massacre was the best. Bride of Frankenstein had a really awesome opening scene though. 

I would definitely have a frequent scare pass if we were closer but was really happy to get though everything again in 1 night without having to get an express pass. Happy to have the event back and didn't mind the actors being behind the screens but really looking forward to next year when we are hopefully back to a more normal world and  event. 

My only real complaint was that some of the staff inside some houses that had bright orange glow sticks like the airport tarmac workers use to wave people to go faster. Was completely unnecessary and distracting, even more so when everyone was in a close conga line to begin with anyway. 

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Just wanted to chime in and say that Velocicoaster is the real deal. The restraint system caught me off guard right away, the fact the the "lap" bar did not touch my lap at all and had several inches of room between me and the restraint. This provided an even crazier ride. I know people have watched the POV and know what to expect but POVs don't do the ride justice. I really really really really wish I could have rode it more than once. The ride closed around 10 or 10:30 am or so for weather. When the rain stopped after we had lunch it reopened, and when we walked by we saw an empty train going around the track. Turns out they were cycling people off and the ride was have a technical delay. We rode some other stuff and came back and just waited and waited and waited. There was nothing else left in the park I wanted to ride and we needed a rest so we just sat in front of the entrance for a few hours hoping something would start up. It never did.

We had Horror Nights to get to and the ride still hadn't opened by 5:30. It was so disappointing as there would be no other chance for me to ride it anytime soon.

Went over to horror Nights and did a few houses. I got an alert on my phone that the ride reopened. You have to be shitting me. I was in a long line for the house and debated my next move. I looked on my phone to see if they offered re-entry into Horror Nights but saw nothing on the official site about it. I also found a 2021 unofficial guide that said reentry is not allowed. I thought this was weird because I could have sworn people said they ate at City Walk and came back in. I decided to ask in a HHN Facebook fan group and immediately got answers that I would be able to get back in.

It was now 7:35, I was all the way in the back of studios near MEN IN BLACK and IOA closes at 8pm. I said F it and left my group behind (we were all in pain from walking around all day and they didn't think they could make it) so me and my Jell-O legs booked it as fast I could to the ride, hoping for the best. It didn't help my phone had 2% battery which was holding my tickets. Put it in airplane mode to conserve energy.

So I ended up making it by 7:55. The line was posted 45 min and single rider was closed. I waited it out and am so happy I did. For anyone wondering about lockers they work by scanning your ticket. I only had a digital ticket on my phone so I had no idea how this would work. Turns out they had little cards with barcodes on them to hand out for those in that situation. Phew.

Anyways, the ride is fantastic. The last inversion is absolutely bonkers insane. I loved it. Yesterday was a crazy day for sure.  I ended up in row 2 which made it very hard to see due to the high backs but I didn't care. I would love to try it again in the back I think I would have enjoyed it even more, but alas the ride closed for the day by the time I got off.

That's my story for now.

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^Back row gives you nuts airtime going into the drop off the top hat and is generally better for directional changes. Front car gives you more small pops of airtime in the first half as the rest of the train pushes you into the little high sections. But there really isn't a bad seat on the ride.

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9 hours ago, thrillseeker4552 said:

Velocicoaster really is perfect. I cannot find a single flaw with the ride. The layout, the trains, the restraints, the capacity, the theming - it all checks out wonderfully. Glad you managed a second ride!

Don't forget the queue. Free lockers and metal detectors IN the station instead of before, and uses your park ticket or annual pass to lock/unlock. Also stellar operations.

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Got 2 rides on Velocicoaster and then 1 on Hagrids in the last hour of the park being open. 

Can't possibly say anything that hasn't been said already but Velocicoaster is just absolutely incredible. Really impressed with the locker system and hope they do this on all future coasters. Such a better experience than what Dueling Dragons use to be like with the lockers and it is nice to not have to worry about getting smacked in the face with a cell phone.

Our first ride was in the front row and maybe took 8 mins, there was a decent line for the front row and the grouper was telling people it was a 30 minute wait but the staff here is absolutely booking it, it's just fantastic. Favorite part was definitely being completely out of my seat upside down right above the water. Such a wild experience. 

Only had been on Hagrids once before back when it opened and that was during the day. While we both liked the ride we both thought it was such a better overall experience at night. There were things that we simply missed during the day or didn't pop out enough themeing wise that were so much easier to notice at night, especially in the darkest part of the forbidden forest. I know it's more of a mental illusion thing but it just felt faster at night too. 

Earlier in the day we left the cell phones where we are staying and threw on  sandals so we could hit up the 3 water rides and not have to care about getting absolutely drenched. Jurassic Park really wasn't too much more than just having some wet hair but Dudley Do-Rights and Popeye & Blutos absolutely drenched us, especially Popeyes. I really forgot how much fun these rides are but typically avoid them since walking around with wet shoes and socks is just miserable lol we ended up doing Jurassic Park 1x and the others 2x. There was no line for Popeyes so they actually let us just stay on the ride to go back around again. Since it's been awhile I really forgot how great the themeing is on Popeyes and Dudleys. We left to go change after that since absolutely drenched really doesn't justify how wet we got on these rides lol

I really do love absolutely everything about these parks. Just wish I was in a reasonable driving distance from them and we would be here at least once a month. 

My only complaint is I simply wish they were open later. A 10pm close would make them perfect for me and it's something I keep filling out on the surveys they send and on the way out when the workers near the exits are looking for feedback. 

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My only ride on Bilge Rat Barges was years ago in October. They had turned off or toned down some of the water effects because it was cooler out. It didn't make any difference--still drenched from head to toe.

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25 minutes ago, Haymaker said:

Does Popeye's still have the covered center ring for shoes and other stuff? 

Dudley Do-Right's is a great flume unless you want to stay dry in my opinion.

Yes they did. I believe there was announcement about keeping your shirt and shoes on but don't quote me 100% on that. Another couple on the same barge as us did take their shoes and put them in there. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

A few quick thoughts from our visit this weekend:

- Royal Pacific has me spoiled. This was our first time staying on property thanks to a passholder appreciation deal but I'll probably do it again. We didn't take advantage of Early Entry since we had Express and having early admission to two rides with Express in the park that nobody wants to rope drop isn't worth getting up an hour and a half early but I'm glad it's a thing for the early birds.

- I highly recommend staying at a resort where you can take the boat or walk back from HHN. It's worth it just so you don't have to sit in that parking garage, Also, the walking path is really nice. It's amazing how this place is really in a very built-up area and hides it so well.

- HHN was a blast. I have no real "favorite" house. Everyone always explains the backstory and the legend and the storyboards and all that but if you're not familiar with the IPs I mean... you go in, the sets will be awesome, a bunch of shit will jump out at you, Everything blends together a lot. I don't care about the nuance of it but it's a blast. We actually did every house except one without Express despite a rain delay that closed most houses and most rides, even most indoor rides because the gift shops clogged up. At one point I think the only things open in the park were a few mazes up front, Gringotts and Men in Black. I think the only house that we didn't do was Horror in the Heartland. We had 10 minutes left before close and we were next to Mummy. We almost walked all the way back there but we had been in the park for 16 straight hours so we just walked-on Mummy instead. it was the only ride we did during the event but riding Mummy is never a bad life-decision.

- Tooth Fairy is a lot better this year than last year

- Hulk needs air conditioning

- Why can you buy a Coors light in Hogsmeade but not a coke or a water that isn't $6?

- Over the course of two days with Express we rode everything we cared to ride, plus multiple rides on Hagrid's and Velocicoaster. Velocicoaster is amazing. The more I ride it, the more I love it. I'm not great at ranking coasters and while I'm not *sure* if I'd call it my favorite, there's not a ride that I can confidently say is better either.

I think it's best in the front, but the back is also insane. Everyone knows that the roll is sick but that top hat... man. In the back, it's the coolest moment of floater ever. It's stong and weird. It feels like you're in outer space. Then during the drop it abruptly switches from wild, crazy, twisty floater to El Toro in 0.0001 seconds. Also, in the front you get ejector airtime while upsideown in a dive loop. That's normal, right? lol

- The Bourne Stuntacular is jaw-droppingly good. You couldn't pay me to watch those movies. I basically don't care about action movies at all. This doesn't matter. The Bourne Stuntacular is jaw-droppingly good and one of the best things at the entire resort.

Lines were short all weekend for most rides (of course, since we had free express passes) and nothing was generally over an hour, not even Hagrid's. I still believe that the best rope-drop ride is Hagrid's... It seems to be more popular than Velocicoaster though it's close. Note that if you're going soon, this does seem to be their "offseason" during the week. Rides like Gringotts, Hagrid's and Hulk were all running at reduced capacity on Monday and rides like River Adventure and Mummy were only using one platform. Lines still weren't bad, and maybe some of it was mechanical but it might make the waits a little longer than they should be so bring your patience. The Gringotts line moved painfully slow and every pre-show ended with an akward silence for 5 minutes before we were let out because the line ahead of us wouldn't clear. Being new, Velocicoaster is running at full capacity as are many other rides though so it's hit-or-miss.

Overall we had an awesome time. This is a great time to go to the parks.

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2 hours ago, coasterbill said:

- Why can you buy a Coors light in Hogsmeade but not a coke or a water that isn't $6?

- The Bourne Stuntacular is jaw-droppingly good. You couldn't pay me to watch those movies. I basically don't care about action movies at all. This doesn't matter. The Bourne Stuntacular is jaw-droppingly good and one of the best things at the entire resort.

They could and should be selling them for no more than $2 a bottle for water. Even at that price they would still be making a ton of money, most likely even more cause people would be buying it even more. One of my biggest pet peeves in all of theme parks / sporting events. 

I've never seen the Bourne movies either but this show was so awesome. I always enjoyed Terminator but it was definitely showing it's age the last time I saw it. This is a massive upgrade with some really cool stunts and tricks. 

The only slightest knock I have against it doesn't even have anything to do with the show. I selfishly just wish this was a James Bond show cause I've always been a fan of that franchise and I think if this was themed to Bond a lot more people would be talking about it. So many of these stunts and tricks would work for Bond, plus you throw in the classic theme song, catch phrases and cars and it would be literally perfect to me. 

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