Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby Erik Johnson » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:56 pm

I got my tickets for this year so I am ready to go. I am now on a once every three year cycle. Like Robb said, if you are only going for one night you must get Express passes, otherwise you will be spending most of the night waiting in queues. That makes it impossible to see everything.
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby DoinItForTheFame » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:39 pm

So sad we didn't get to make it out to HHN this year. We are hoping to be able to make it out there next year, if not then 2019 at the LATEST.

As always the mazes look a-MAZE-ing!! Thanks for all the great, and continuous coverage Robb!! :)
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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby Hilltopper39 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:20 am

I was interested to see what they did with the shining house to see how they portrayed that film but it looks like they nailed it.

When they announced the Blumhouse attraction it seemed kind of lazy to me like they just said eh lets just throw in 3 random movies into one house. I've never seen any of those movies but seemed like that attraction was getting quite a bit of buzz on social media, I guess it worked.

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby kenban » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:11 am

ViperGTS500 wrote:I will be going to both IOA, USO, and HHN between Thurs Oct 12 to Sun Oct 15. How are the crowds on these days for all the parks? Is the specific days I should go to any of these? May do the the deal of IOA and USO 1 day combined then HHN another night. Will I need fast passes for any? Would like to ride and see everything! Any tips/strategies?

In previous years there has been a late night express pass for HHN which is not advertised. Just talk to one of the people selling the express passes and ask for the after 9 or 10 pass, they can sell them at any point but it is not valid until the stated time. I always buy it first thing and do shows, shorter lines, etc until the time I can use it. What time they start working is based on the closing time that night so it does vary but typically it is only good for the last 3 hours of each night. The advantage of doing this is that they are half the price of the regular express pass. These are only available at the park the night of the event.

There is only one way I know of to get all the houses in one night without an express pass and while I recommend doing this, it is still a good idea to get an express pass. First make sure you are in the park when it closes, you can go wait in one of several holding pens, typically the first houses will open 15-20 minutes before the gates open, often there are 2 or 3 extremely early houses with the house next door opening a about 10 minutes later. I have gotten 3 houses done before the general public even enters. If you hurry between houses and rush to them before the crowd builds you can sometimes get a large number of houses done very quickly. Last year I had one night where I had done 6 houses in the first hour of the event. But warning this is not normal, and I go multiple nights and still buy at least one express pass every year.

So how do you see the rest of the houses? Sometimes waiting in lines but also the crowds die down towards the end of the night. Experience and understanding what the hot properties are helps. Do not show up an hour after the event starts and be surprised you see almost nothing. Saturday nights are more expensive for a reason, the park is packed, friday nights are not much better.

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby djmadmanray » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:37 am

Perfectly said! I'm just not sure about the late night express pass..didn't see anything about that this year. We went down last night (Sunday night) at 8 pm and got through 3 of the houses in an hour, left the park at 9:30, but it is still way early, especially since its the opening weekend. The best way to try and get thought them all is, like was said, is to be there and in one of the holding areas before the park closes, you'll be sure to get through at least a couple before it gets crazy. Also, the express lines seem to merge further back then in the past, so there is still a minimum wait at each house even with the express. It was incredible, especially the American Horror Story house! You're going to have a great time!

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby disneyfan1313 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:05 pm

Halloween Horror Nights 27 - Opening Night Media Event!

TPR was at the opening night media event of Halloween Horror Nights 27 and this year is EPIC! The producers of the event this year went away from having a set icon as they have done in the past and went for a basic theme of "Festival of the Deadliest". While some might miss an icon or a theme that stretches throughout the park, this years very strong lineup of houses quickly put any of those fears to rest for me.

I have been attending HHN since the very first one, 27 years ago and this is an incredibly solid year with both IP and non IP houses. The Shining, Saw and American Horror Story are the houses everyone is talking about the most but Ash vs. Evil Dead and the original houses of Dead Waters and Scarecrow the Reaping would also be top houses any other year.

Halloween Horror Nights is really the premiere Halloween event in the country. It goes for 34 nights from September 15th through November 4th this year and features 9 NEW houses, 5 new scarezones, 2 shows and chainsaw clowns to terrorize you. 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.

First off - take a look at some of our videos from the event.

We are checked in and ready for the Halloween Horror Nights 27 Media Event! Love the cool credentials this year!
It is always strange walking into the event before it is officially open. You see everything set up, you hear the music... but its light out and no scareactors!
Stay and Scream allows day guests a chance to hit some of the popular houses before the event officially begins. If you don't have an express pass this is the ONLY way to do everything.
They brought back the store in the old Mummy extended queue. Great idea and location!
The nightly purge is ready to happen... just don't wait for the alarm to sound!
Time for the media event to officially begin! The skull at the top of the logo is named "Bone" and you can see him in the Festival of the Deadliest scare zone.
Universal always does a great job with their event setups. Awesome theming and great food!
Delicious deserts... with a side of skulls?
They had these little photo ops set up throughout the room where you could take photos with or without the respective characters.
Love the invasion one with the cool effects!
The characters from the different houses and scare zones came around to take pics and scare unsuspecting victims!
Victim located!
It was super creepy and awesome how they would approach you!
I'm creepy animal skull guy! Give me some candy!
Uh-Oh... Stacey HATES clowns... this was not a good moment!
The event began with Bill and Ted announcing their farewell tour. After 26 years of the show, Universal has decided to go in a different direction for entertainment for next year.
The producers of the event then came out and described each maze in terrifying detail!
Then it was time for our RIP tour of the event to begin! An RIP tour is the BEST way to see the event. You get in each house even faster than Express Pass and you are told the storylines, history, etc.
Dead Waters was first. This house is based on a scarezone that starred the Voodoo Queen from a few years back. She is out to get you as you travel through her world down by the bayou.
Lots of good scares throughout this one and beautiful theming!
The Fallen was next and this featured the eternal battle of Light Vs. Dark with TONS of cool effects including a bungee one that is not to be missed!
These soundstage houses are always the best. The sense of scale they can pull off is insane!
We come out of those houses and The Purge has started! 4 different show scenes throughout this zone makes for one you want to pass through multiple times.
While some of the scenes are fan favorites from the last time they did a purge scare zone, there is lots of new stuff based on the 3rd movie.
Like this purger, hiding out in the dark!

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby disneyfan1313 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:20 pm

Want to see more of Halloween Horror Nights 27? Of course you do!
One other huge benefit to the event is the minimal waits for the attractions! Walk on for Transformers? Yes please!
We check out Saw next - this has some of Jigsaws most gruesome contraptions.
Uh oh- the timer has already reached 0! You know what that means!
Anyone claustrophobic?
I bet you can hear his laugh in your head right now....
Invasion! is a kitchy 60s sci-fi themed scare zone. Tons of awesome photo ops! Pro-Tip - if it feels too crowded, just wait a few minutes for the crowds to thin out.
Time for the farewell show of Bill and Ted... BOGUS!
The show was actually really great this year.. while no photos or video are allowed, there are a ton of references to old shows, the movies, etc. Make time to see this!
The BlumHouse was next and features scenes from Sinister, Insidious and Purge. While each of these deserve their own house, this was a worthy homage.
The Lipstick-Face Demon from Insidious is especially terrifying!
Better run! She is coming to get you!
Scarecrow - The Reaping is awesome! Claustrophobic and filled only with scareactors over 6'2 - you are sure to be freaked out throughout the house!
Dude! I'm not a corn stalk... stay away!
Ash vs Evil Dead was up next! While I have never seen the movies, they have now been added to my must watch list after this house. Hilarious and scary is an awesome combo..
This book is totally cool to touch... right?
We made it out... Time for a party in Jacksonville!
The Hive is a maze filled with the deadliest vampires around... these aren't the romantic, cute ones!
LOVE the Trick 'r Treat scare zone! So many awesome photo ops, beautiful lighting and fun characters. Another movie added to my viewing list!
The Festival of the Deadliest scare zone is still a slight work in progress due to Hurricane Irma, but the scaractors are sexy and spooky... my other favorite combo!

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby disneyfan1313 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:27 pm

How about a few more videos before we finish off this report?

Time for American Horror Story! This is their MEGA house once again.. it is INSANE how long this house is.
From Asylum, Santa is ready to give you a present... or death!
There are just an insane amount of scaractors throughout the maze.
Tons of bad juju as you go through the scenes from Coven!
OMG! This guy is HUGE and creepy!
Can anyone guess what our last house was?
What an amazing homage to The Shining.
Almost every scene is faithfully re-created.
What a great night! We have already been to the event 3 times and we know there will be a lot more scares before the end of the run! Check it out.. if you dare!

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby Philrad71 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:30 pm

What a great collection of haunts this year - thanks for sharing!

I hope to make it down for one of these events in the future. Judging by the wait times mentioned, budgeting for the express passes would be a must.

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Re: Universal Orlando Resort (USO, IOA) Discussion Thread

Postby Visionist » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:05 pm

A little late to the Dueling Dragons indignation myself, I'll post my own experience with these sadly departed beasts; I rode Ice, once, in March 2007, not in the front row either. I was with my drama class and after walking through the (magnificent, and then empty) queue line, they didn't fancy doing so again to let us all switch sides. The first duel with Fire scared me, the sucker was barrelling right towards me like a deranged lunatic then we flipped away at the last moment. I distinctly remember not really noticing the following two duels. Sucks I never got to ride Fire, or indeed even try the front row at all, but at least the duel was on that day. I feel the claustrophobia of the queue was meant to contrast with the freedom of flying.

A casual HP fan myself, seen the films once or twice, haven't bothered buying them yet. Read all the books once. A simulator is no replacement for this complete, satisfying B&M experience. Is it really a simulator we're getting? Sheesh


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