Thanks for the report. My son is determined to do the running of the Hagrid bulls at rope drop on Sat. I'm ok with that since it isn't at the crack of dawn and we are just flying in this evening, not doing HHN until Sat and Sun, so we should get to bed at a reasonable hour. I'll let everyone know how it goes.
We thoroughly enjoyed HHN. The props were all top notch and it was really nice to experience some haunted houses that were properly staffed and the atmosphere was awesome. I wish they did not have to send everyone in a steady stream, I get why they have to. Otherwise on busy nights the lines would be undoable. But it really does detract from the scary factor when you have a heads up from the commotion ahead of you that something is happening. Not sure if they do smaller groups on less crowded night or not. Also, the amount of non scare actor staff in the houses takes you out of the theming a bit. Again, I get why but too bad.
Also, for future planning....we did not enter HHN either night until about 8:30 and by 12:30 were able to get in half the houses, one show and whatever rides were open. Relaxed and no frantic running from place to place or having to be stuck in the stay and scream. If you can afford it totally the way to go. We were told Sat night was a sell out but other than Stranger Things which had a 120 min wait, the next highest wait was 75 min. We never waited more than about 30 minutes with the express pass.
Our experience with Hagrid's: We arrived at the IOA turnstiles by 8:15 Sat, Sun, and Mon mornings and got in pretty quick. We were some of the first in on Sun and Mon by the simple act of lining up in the middle queues where the umbrellas are and not under the queues on either side where the permanent structures are. The other lines were 20-30 deep and no one was at these. Funny what habits the people will have.
On Sat we were told as we entered that Hagrid's was experiencing and extended delay so they lined everyone up in the Lost Continent and in front of the old Sinbad theater. Front of the line was under the arch right behind the talking fountain. They were very good about letting people go out to get food and use the bathroom and we all set up the refugee camp that the line became. The ride opened at 11.
Sunday, same as Sat except it was 11:30 when it opened.
Monday, ride was ready at park opening and we were on first train of the day. And then literally had Hogsmeade almost to ourselves for about 30 minutes which was incredible.
Each day the wait went almost immediately to 60 min and then within a half hour was up to 90 min and then shortly thereafter at 120 for the rest of the day. I believe they closed the line about 3 each day but cannot swear to that exact time.
Is it worth it? Well that is really subjective. For us, yes because we have ridden everything else multiple times and HHN didn't start of course until the evening. If you have one day and don't want to sacrifice the other rides, maybe not. I can tell you that this is one extremely fun coaster that we enjoyed immensely and from the reactions of the masses it is a huge hit. And I did a lot of talking to people while in line that A) normally didn't do coasters but were trying this one and B) had never waited this long for a ride before but stuck this one out. Take that info however you want.
Of course there were employees all the way in asking people not to run and were absolutely being ignored, as I think they expected to be. No one was actually trying to make people walk.
The fountain was quite entertaining for anyone near the front of the line. On Sunday when we heard them start to test a huge roar went up from the crowd and the fountain was all "what is that? what's happening behind me?" and when told he said "Oh sure, Hagrid gets all the press" Snarky. I liked it.
One detail that I realized I forgot to report. The pre-show was not operational any of the 3 days we rode Hagrid's. I don't know if that is because something was wrong with it or if they just didn't turn it on until the line naturally backed up to that point. I'm kind of guessing the latter so they could minimize the early backup.
I've been wanting to go to Halloween Horror nights for a very long time now but I finally got to attend last night. The place was crowded but we still managed to do all 10 houses plus universal monsters a second time since that was my favorite and watch both shows and even had time to eat and drink in between without an express pass. All of the houses were absolutely incredible with the details and sets and costumes. Universal monsters was by far my favorite though with a combination of great scares and awesome sets and costumes.
I don't care for the conga line type walk through myself but it's something I fully expected and understand. We definitely missed a few scares here and there because of the timing but it really doesn't detract from the night. I also understand the need for the security inside the mazes but I wish they would hid them a bit better to where they come out if only need be.
The only thing that I thought was lacking were the scare zones. I can't compare it to past years but I was expecting a little bit more out of those. The actors that were in them though were great.
Ride wise we didn't do much, we have annual passes now so we got there around 3 to process those and just get into one of the holding areas to avoid the lines outside. The only ride we went on was the new fast and the furious ride. Now the ride itself is fine but just really feels like they could have done so much more and since it's just an overlay of the old rides it's hard not to think about the old rides that were there like earthquake that had practical effects.
We were on the fence about the fast passes, I didn't realize they only get you into each house once and for $179 plus tax I just couldn't justify it. That plus the cost of the ticket for the day and it's pushing $300 a person for one day. That's almost most than our annual passes at that point. If it was unlimited we probably would have sprung for it. I really don't care for waiting in long lines anymore but all of them were really manageable and the longest wait we had was stranger things at 70 mins.
Overall a really great time and I'm definitely going to try to go again next year.
The Universal Orlando Resort has sent us a press release formally announcing the debut of The Bourne Stuntacular at Universal Studios 2020 in Spring 2020.
Today, Universal Orlando Resort revealed that The Bourne Stuntacular will debut at Universal Studios Florida in spring 2020. This cutting-edge live-action stunt show based on Universal Pictures’ blockbuster Bourne film franchise will blur the lines between stage and cinema in a hybrid form of entertainment that has never been seen before.
The Bourne Stuntacular will follow the character of Jason Bourne around the globe as sinister characters pursue him. Everything fans have come to expect from the action-packed Bourne film franchise – thrilling chase scenes, punishing fistfights, death-defying leaps and danger at every turn – will happen right in front of guests with live performers, high-tech props and an immense LED screen, making it impossible to discern where the live action ends and the cinema begins.
Universal Orlando places guests in the heart of powerful stories and adventures with some of the world’s most entertaining and innovative theme park experiences. And now, the addition of this edge-of-your-seat live stunt show brings an unprecedented level of action-packed excitement for every member of the family as the character of Jason Bourne attempts to evade capture time and time again.
The Bourne Stuntacular will be located on the streets of Hollywood at Universal Studios Florida, in the former location of Terminator 2: 3-D. Stay tuned – more details about the exhilarating new experience will be revealed in the coming months.
I'm not a big fan of the Bourne franchise (it's just ok), but I'm excited they're keeping the "never been seen before" hybrid screen/live actor thing from T2.
This cutting-edge live-action stunt show based on Universal Pictures’ blockbuster Bourne film franchise will blur the lines between stage and cinema in a hybrid form of entertainment that has never been seen before.
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