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3 Hours of HHN


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Arrived just before 11pm and saw that after 11pm express was available. Grabbed those and wandered for a few minutes when our express passes became valid. 


Maze Reviews


Terror Tram - Wish we had skipped it. It wasn’t a bad year and as always the cast has a ton of energy (being outdoors probably doesn’t drain you as fast as being in a hot, stuffy maze all night), but they really need to change things up. Not sure why people loved the video; it was a little too cheesy for me. It wouldn’t have been that bad except for some bad operations that caused delays between trams arriving to take you back to the park which caused a huge backup at the exit. I think TT is probably still a highlight of the night for first time visitors, but it’s become a chore for me.  


Stranger Things - Not a big fan of the show, but I’ve watched it. I was expecting this to be a disappointment, but it was solidly above average and this being a middle of the road year, it ended up being one of the better mazes. Demogorgans were actually pretty mobile and got good scares despite bulky costumes. Probably the best sound design this year. There could have been more variety in the scares, but that’s a minor complaint. This was a pleasant surprise and I enjoyed it. 


The First Purge - This should have either been in Blumhouse or they should have based it in The Purge TV series. The First Purge is a prequel so a lot of the iconography of the series couldn’t be used. The movie was also very political, but, not wanting to be controversial, that is ignored which deprives the maze of some of the better villains that should have been in this. I think one of the rooms was the single worst set design I’ve ever seen at a HHN and I’ve been attending since 2006. The finale of the movie takes place in a claustrophobic apartment complex, which they could have totally done here instead of the black hallways. Worst maze of the night, but again, the talent did the best with what they had to work with. Never saw Skeletor. If this is back next year I’d like to see it based on the TV series which has a ton of stuff that would work in a maze. 


Poltergeist - Facade lighting didn’t seem to be working while we were there. I was looking forward to this house, but it didn’t impressed me until the last third. That last third is the reason I think this house is so highly rated. Classic case of leaving them with a good impression. The coffins scene might be one of my all time favorite rooms of any haunt. This was an above average house saved by a great finale. One thing I’ve always felt Knotts did better than HHN was they would at least attempt some sort of grand finale in each maze. Hopefully HHN is learning. 


Blumhouse 2 - This literally had no line. Maybe the scareactors decided to take a break. There was no one in all of ToD until the final scene. Well I guess there was one person who was literally running to their hiding spot as we walked in. Unfriended was really good though, but I consider that movie a hidden gem. I would like to see them do a whole house that pokes fun of social media. The Girl was good and was a good way to end the house. Lots of really good scares in that section. My complaints about The Girl are mostly nerdy nitpicking. I didn’t think she looked at all like the girl in the Blumhouse intro and I don’t get why there was a demon. If we weren’t trying to get everything done in 3 hours, I would have gone through again to see what was up with ToD. Not sure how to really rate this maze since it was good, but some sort of staffing issue kept us from seeing it at full potential. 


Trick r Treat - I think this might be the love it or hate it maze this year. Those in our group that have seen the movie loved it and those that didn’t hated it. That might be the risk taken when adapting a movie with a semi-anthology style. People that haven’t seen it get confused about the story. Fans of Sam will be happy to know you will see a lot of him. The room introducing each scene were cool but also seemed like ways to sneak in a few extra black hallways. I loved this maze, but it divided our group. I was bummed there weren’t any Sam plushies like Orlando had. 


Universal Monsters - Consensus favorite of the night at HHN. Mixed opinion on whether it was better than the IT house at WB. Black hallway ending ruined it for some, but I thought this was the one house where they worked. I was actually looking forward to going down each hallway knowing a different monster was hanging out in each one. One thing I’ve found is that every time they make a big deal out of a special musical guest for a house, I end up completely not noticing the music, except for that one year HoH was a rave. So didn’t really notice the Slash soundtrack on this. My favorite maze this year. Wanted more Gilman though. 


Halloween 4 - Not being the biggest Halloween fan, this confused me because I wasn’t sure what movie this was supposed to be about. I loved the nod to Season if the Witch, but wish the TV actually played the jingle. This had the longest wait at the end of the night and was reasonably well done. I’m just not big enough of a Halloween fan to get excited for it (but oddly I loved Season of the Witch so I’m a weirdo). 


If if I had to rank:

1) Universal Monsters

2) Trick r Treat

3) Stranger Things

4) Blumhouse

5) Poltergeist

6) Halloween 4

7) The First Purge

8) Terror Tram 


We also did Walking Dead, but not ranking it since it is year-round. Not sure if people working in that one have a chip on their shoulder since it’s kind of the forgotten attraction, but the energy was much better than any of my previous daytime visits. 




Hells Harvest - Due to our late arrival there was pretty much nothing going on here. 


Trick r Treat - If you have not seen the movie, this was just confusing to you. Such a prominent location should have been given to a more well known IP or concept. 


Holidays in Hell - This was more a mini-maze. Enjoyable for what it was. 


Monsters Masquerade - I’ll go against the grain and say I enjoyed this more than Holidayz in Hell. 


Toxxic Tunnel - I would have preferred an empty tunnel. Monsters have no places to hide so it’s just a long tunnel full of guys standing still and waving their knife in your face when you walk by. 


Due to our late arrival we didn’t linger in any scarezones. They have never been a strength for HHN compared to local rival Knotts. This year did seem particularly weak for the two entrance area scarezones. 


Even in a middle of the road year like this year, HHN continues to have great energy. Hoping that increased competition from WB and Six Flags (which is rumored to go hard ticket next year) forces them to change things up a bit. Specialty menu items were cool this year, but I wish they would put specialty items around the park instead of just at certain places. I feel they are leaving so much money on the table with lackluster merch, lack of food variety, lack of photo ops, etc. That’s extra money that could go to improving the event. Also, they should have opened something else this year. Either DM or show something in DT. Loss of JP was a hit to capacity. TF going down last night meant a huge increase in wait times for everything else. Wait times were a lot higher than Friday, which was also a sell out. 


PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Don’t buy the Amulet of Fear. Might be awesome in Orlando, but it barely did anything here. 

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So glad the Express worked out for you!  How much was it, BTW?


Good review.  I think people are getting Poltergeist reviews between Orlando and Hollywood mixed up.  Orlando=GOAT and Hollywood=Meh.  At least I haven't read many glowing Hollywood reviews for it.

Great comment about Toxxic Tunnel!  Empty would have indeed been better.  That is possibly the worst job for a scareactor.

I have been rewatching all of the Halloween series, and I don't remember Season of the Witch being that good, but I REALLY liked my latest viewing.  Better than most of the Michael movies...  It grows on you.


Could not agree more about the Amulet of Mediocrity. 

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On the micechat poll, Poltergeist is rated number 1. I've seen a lot of good reviews for it in Hollywood threads. I don't quite understand them either, but then again, I'm mostly alone in loving TrT (although clipper liked it and I'm glad since they were looking forward to it!)

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After 11pm Universal Express was $59 and absolutely necessary to pull off all mazes and TT in 3 hours. That being said, I think we could have pulled off 6 mazes without it with the right gameplan. Around 11pm no maze had a wait time listed of less than 85 minutes. I truly believe that was inflated to get people to buy the After 11 Express. TT ate up around 40 minutes just because it was a 10+ minute wait between trams. We were luckily almost to the boarding area when the backup began, I’d estimate at least 4 tram loads of people behind us with more still working their way through the maze. This was their first sold out weekend since opening weekend, so I think they failed to anaticipate the rush of people right before TT’s 11:45 closure. The more die hard crowd that shows up opening weekend probably isn’t as into TT as the general public. 


After TT, most mazes were listed as 25-50 minute waits with the exception of Halloween (150), Purge (120), and ST (85). I’d say those longer wait times were all accurate. Not sure why those 3 mazes would end up with the longest waits. Without Express it might have been possible to hit ST and then do Purge right at closing to get 2 of the 3. Halloween started handing out tickets and was only taking ticketed guests at the end of night, but we were let in with Express. Poltergeist was listed as 50, but looked shorter; maybe around 30. Blumhouse and Walking Dead were walk-ons (Blumhouse listed as 20). TrT was 10-15 max (listed as 25). Universal Monster was listed as either 15 or 25. It looked about 25, but 15 just sticks in my head, because I remember the staff outside trying to wave people in and saying “short wait”. They were the funnest, most energetic crew of the night.


So if my math is correct, I think we could have done 6 of 7 mazes without Express. Not sure how the tickets worked at Halloween and when they stopped handing them out. This was a sold out Saturday night. In hindsight, I would have skipped TT and either caught Jabbawockeez (which I have never seen in all their years at HHN), rode Mummy (TF, which I prefer, was down the whole night), or done second runs on TrT and Blumhouse. 


I loved TrT, but I’m a huge fan of the movie. That being said I can see why some hated it. If you haven’t seen it or are a casual fan, the maze was probably confusing. For example, you’d expect to be in a school for the section titled The Principal, but then you end up seeing a man with a puking kid sitting on the porch. The wolf scene could have been so much better if they had some cute sorority girls distracting you while wolves snuck up. The way they had it set up, if you hadn’t seen the movie, it would be confusing as to why there is suddenly a werewolf scene. Having the scarezone closer to the maze might have helped or even queue videos like Orlando. 


I think Poltergeist just ended so strong people forgot how unmemorable the rest of the house was. The coffin scene was great and felt like every other coffin had a live actor. Taken as a whole though, I actually preferred WB’s Conjuring maze to Poltergeist. 

Edited by clipper6
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11 hours ago, clipper6 said:

After TT, most mazes were listed as 25-50 minute waits with the exception of Halloween (150), Purge (120), and ST (85).


Halloween is at the front of the park and doesn't open to early entry.  So 7-10 it gets slammed as its the first thing people see as they enter the park.  The late surge is people who entered early and started in the backlot, along with everyone hitting this on their way out.


Purge is beyond me.  That location has not automatically had large wait times, so it must be the IP.  You would think people would have Purge burnout by now.


ST is, well, ST.  It consistently has highest consistent wait time for both Orlando and Hollywood.


The house that seems to have consistently LOWEST wait time this year is TrT.  This location usually had high wait times because it was at the fork between back lot and lower lot.  Heck, even when it was This is the End it had higher wait times than TrT.  This puzzles me.  Most every house that has ever been in Mummy overflow is a love it or hate it with customers.



Poltergeist is the definition of a slow burn movie.  Truly surprised Murdy decided to do such a slow burn house.  I still can't get over that highly detailed full sized entry room where absolutely nothing happens.

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I feel like the TrT location has been getting shorter wait times since TiTE, with the exception of The Exorcist. The Shining oddly underperformed, imo. I was reading a theory that it basically has to do with crowd flow. Everyone is heading to the backlot mazes, and the exit of the backlot takes you to the stairs, far away from the TrT/Shining entrance. So by that time, people end up skipping it because they've already hit 3 mazes and it's getting late and just wanna do a short line, like the Terror Tram, then get to their most anticipated mazes, like Stranger Things or Halloween. I'd say that spot probably has the lowest conversion rate of the entire park, maybe like 50% at most. While Stranger Things this year is 100%, along with Terror Tram.

As for the Purge, it was getting low lines the first two weekends until they moved a sign right after Holidayz in Hell directing people to go toward it. Basically, it just came down to "the first thing I see," because before people were heading to the highly anticipated Poltergeist or the real first thing they saw, HOB. Now First Purge hogs up the whole backlot because one sign told people where to go, and naturally, the sheep followed.

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