i LOVE hhn... as you can tell from my name. i don't even live in florida and make sure to come a minimum of 2 nights a year (usually 3 or 4) since my first experience in 2004.
progressively, HHN is turning into something that is no longer fun and brings more frustration and maneuvering through crowds than it does scares. before i explain my HORROR of a situation that i had this year (this last Thursday night) let me explain ONE issue i had last year.
someone else posted something like this about their brother and a chain on his wallet. i didn't know that you couldn't wear a studded bracelet. a NICE, EXPENSIVE studded bracelet. i had no money to pay for a locker and had been dropped off so that i could drink... no where to put my bracelet. i asked one of the employees behind the merch kiosk after parking if they would hold it and they kindly obliged and put it behind the counter. i asked them what time they closed and they said "2". i came back at 1:15 to find it completely closed and security unwilling to help. i came BACK the next day before my flight left and magically, my bracelets were gone. HHN, a studded bracelet isn't going to hurt anyone.
i was pleased to hear someone else on here say that they were insulted and offended by virtually every staff member they came into contact with... this was my experience as well (excluding scareactors, of course).
my first issue was in the catacombs house where we were pulsed through. we buy express passes because i don't have the privilege of coming back for too many nights. after being pulsed through, I walked through at a normal pace (for a haunted house... surely i shouldn't be expected to sprint) and was rudely commanded by an OPS (i believe they are called). "KEEP MOOOOVING!". i said, "hey man, i paid $340 to be scared. i'm just trying to have a good time." he replied to me, "I DON'T REALLY CARE", shined his flashlight in my face and again commanded that i move forward. this was less than a minute after i was pulsed through the line.
i am a fan of pulsing. it is hard to be scared and almost pointless, imo, to go through in a straight solid line. even if you try not to, you can tell where all the actors are and it ruins the scare. an hour wait with pulsing, imo, is much better than a 45 min one in a straight line. but then again, i pay for the express pass now. a much easier way to get through the event.
after this (and this was still early in the night) we went to the house to the right [EDIT: to the LEFT] of twister (i can't remember the name right now). the express line didn't move for 15 min and my friend (who had been drinking a little, but was in no way belligerent) said, "this is supposed to be EXPRESS!" and then laughed afterwards. everyone around us laughed. then a female police officer, who obviously had nothing better to do since it was still so early came up to him and stood 6 inches from his face... like she wanted to fight. she said, "BACK UP!" and my friend did. then she stood there and didn't know what to do because my friend actually backed up. then she said, "BACK UP SIR!" again and i said, "he just did what you asked him." she looked at me and said, "LISTEN..." and was cut off by some of the other people in the line saying that he didn't need to be reprimanded and eventually she left. totally uncalled for. we had two drinks so far... MAX. i understand some of the people on this forum who have to deal with drunk people all the time, but everyone you see with a blinking glass is not drunk or rude.
the rest of the night was spoiled by OPS screaming at us or flashing their lights the MOMENT we finally were getting scared. i come to get scared, not to be escorted through a building by rude employees or to watch the people in front of me get scared. i would disagree with an OPS comment i read earlier in this thread that said, "for every 1 bad one, there are 10 good ones." i fount the ratio to be completely reversed. and i make sure to thank and be appreciative of the nice ones. because there aren't many.
i was pleased with the joke writing in the B&T show, although overall the entrance/exits of characters left the show wanting more. i always tip my hat to the scareactors and especially like the mardi-gras themed scarezone where i danced alone for 20 minutes at the end of the night and all the actors gave me beads when their shifts were over.
i stopped to complain about the female officer and the OPS in catacombs. the guy who helped me first was helpful, but then his boss came out. ETHAN. the rudest manager ever. who explained to me that they "have no corporate number" and that "this is as far as your complaint is going to go." so he thinks. i've already contacted HIS supervisor and his supervisors supervisor. that story is way too long to explain, but i have a hard time actually believing he is in charge of Guest Relations at the end of a night.
THEN I GOT TO CITY WALK.
i know that city walk is a completely separate entity from HHN, but... while i'm on this long rant anyway...
we get to the Whopper Bar @ 2:05. i quickly make friends with the employees and they decide to take our order as well as one lady after us even though they were supposed to close at 2. after waiting 20 minutes for the food that i already paid for they explained to me that... wait for it... wait... for... it... they ran out of whoppers. so i explain to them, "just give me whatever you can and then when i'm back on sunday, give me my food that i paid for for free." they obliged. then, BEFORE I GET MY FOOD, a security guard started kicking us out. i explained to him that i didn't have my food yet and he said, "not my problem." i said, "what do you want me to do? put yourself in my shoes... i haven't gotten what i paid for yet." he replied to me, "if i were you, i wouldn't be out this late..." insinuating that i'm irresponsible for being out this late. eventually i got my food and went out to eat. then they started kicking everyone out of the table area. i went up and asked who exactly he works for and he pointed me to his boss who i went up to and started complaining to. outside of everything he said to me, he was rude and on a high horse. his supervisor listened and was understanding until i tried to say that he didn't have a right to kick me out before i got the food i purchased. "actually, your wrong. we have the right to kick you out anytime." i said, "maybe on paper or by law... but that issue is between you and burger king who shouldn't have served me. as a customer, this is not my issue." anyway, more arguing ensued and i ended up leaving... and called city walk security the next day.
i know this was long... but all of these situations really made, what could have been a great visit to HHN, stressful and annoying. the OPS are completely ruining the experience... and none of the staff treat you like you actually paid hundreds of dollars TO BE THEIR GUEST! maybe universal needs to adopt some DISNEY smiles.
scareactors... i will be back tomorrow night (sunday) and i have a WHITE mohawk and will be traveling with an asian guy... scare me extra more when you see me... cause i love you guys.
thank you for this forum where i can vent and be so angry!
i still love HHN.
and i'll end on a positive note. Jim from Finnigans is the best bartender in florida. it's a little more expensive to drink in there... but you can taste (and feel) the difference!