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clipper6

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clipper6 last won the day on February 23 2015

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About clipper6

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  1. I think we are in for a few years during which Universal will have to get creative with what they do for HHN. WB properties are likely out of the picture if they decide to bring back HMH. Might be interesting to see if they’re willing to license their IPs to Orlando only. Disney will control the Fox properties. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Disneyland adds a scary, but not gory maze to their Halloween event in the next year or two. Hong Kong Disneyland already does mazes for Halloween and that park is pretty much a testing ground for Disneyland as both Ghost Galaxy and Paint the Night debut there before coming to Anaheim. Disney’s Halloween parties are moving to DCA next year due to Star Wars. They might look for something to beef up the attraction lineup at DCA, plus I don’t think they’d mind skewing a little older now that they’re in the park that sells alcohol. Sony has the Grudge reboot and Zombieland 2, however the original films in those franchises had mazes at Knott’s. It’ll be interesting to see if Universal goes after them or if Sony again decides to team up with someone else so that their IPs are more prominent. Knott’s and Queen Mary come to mind, but maybe Magic Mountain might be in the mix as a deal with them could also mean placement in Six Flags properties worldwide. Six Flags Magic Mountain is also rumored to be going hard ticket this year for Fright Fest. So for HHN 2019 I can imagine Universal digging into their own library again since they won’t have to worry about rights plus they saw the success of Universal Monsters. Nightflyers could be a possibility if it is popular since it will be on Universal owned Syfy. Also they’ll keep relying on production companies they have a good relationship with such as Blumhouse and maybe Lionsgate. Plus they’ll keep looking for new partners such as the streaming services (although I don’t see them chasing Amazon or Hulu while Netflix is around), cable channels, musicians, and video game companies. The other major media companies they could try and work with are Sony and CBS. Sony, as previously stated, has chosen to work with other events in the past. CBS does open up some possibilities. While highly unlikely, if they wanted to do Star Trek Discovery, the number of extra tickets they’d sell to die hard trekkies would probably make it the most attended HHN of all time. Of course, they can also do original mazes. Mexican urban legends or maybe some of the Asian myths that HHN Singapore has done. If they want to think totally out of the box, they could do a maze based on anime. Ultimately, I think next year will be a year where they’ll try to figure things out now that some IPs may be more difficult to get. I think ST season 2 is a sure thing unless ST becomes permanent. I also think The Purge comes back one more year and is based on the show. Blumhouse 3 I think will be the Happy Death day series although the Jordan Peele movies (Get Out and Us) and the Unbreakable series might be possible but not likely in my opinion.
  2. https://abc7.com/queen-mary-shuttle-chaos-bus-driver-says-he-was-simply-lost/4605306/
  3. Great review Zombieman. I agree with you that this is a good event and I hope they expand without trying to emulate the other haunts too much. My group all preferred the mazes at WB over the ones at HHN and we did them both the same night. However, HHN had a better energy to us. Part of that I think is just the larger crowd, but also HHN is just more fun at this point. WB just currently doesn’t have enough to do and after a few hours I think the most popular attraction was the Conjuring beer garden. If they want to continue charging what they charge, there needs to be enough to do to fill up a full night without having to rely on the museum, which is admittedly awesome, but will have less and less repeat value in coming years. I think they should keep a high price point which also has the added benefit of attracting a slightly more mature crowd. They need probably 2-3 more mazes/attractions to spread the crowds out so something unique like The Conjuring doesn’t get slammed. Maybe bring in some carnival games with fun prizes. They had one of those high striker games this year, but there weren’t any prizes on display and I think if you wanted to play you had to buy tickets in the gift shop. Bring in a fun house or carnival dark ride (no way I was going on a drop tower after 3 drinks in Fangtasia). Have food that is actually fun instead of boring pizza and burgers (Reagan’s pea soup was a nice touch). I think with the lower number of tickets they’re purposefully selling they can do some unique things that would be harder for a larger event. Maybe a gun maze like Knott’s Spec Ops or the Resident Evil one that Universal Japan did (actually might be kind of fun if HHN tried this with a Purge theme). They could even do an escape room lite similar to the Saw attraction in Las Vegas. Someone on another site posted a survey from WB asking for opinions on a number of IPs they’re considering for next year. I got the same survey yesterday. They’re looking at I Am Legend, Westworld, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Castle Rock. If I had to guess, I’d say Sabrina is almost a lock as long as the show is successful and Westworld seems likely. There was a limited time Sabrina experience in LA similar to how IT was originally a limited time experience on Hollywood Blvd. I can see them expanding upon that and bringing Sabrina to the event next year. Westworld had a good off site experience at San Diego Comic Con that I can see being adapted for HMH and the concept of the show lends itself so well to this type of event. Don’t really want to see I Am Legend unless they somehow do an awesome superhouse that represents Vincent Price, Charlton Heston, and Will Smith versions. I’m not familiar at all with Castle Rock. The DC and Harry Potter areas of the museum were off limits during this event. I wonder if that was cost cutting or if it was a contractual issue with Six Flags and Universal respectively as they license the theme park rights for those IPs. They’re ok in the daytime when WB is a guided tour and not a themed attraction. Arkham Asylum might have been ok as it is based on the game.
  4. 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.
  5. I have posted reviews for both events in the appropriate areas. WB: Did all mazes, museum, and probably could have done the drop tower had we wanted to. Missed the drag show and the makeup demonstration. HHN: Did all mazes, TT, and Walking Dead. Missed all rides and shows. For anyone crazy enough to try and do what we did, it is absolutely doable, but you will need front of line at this point in the season unless you do a Thursday or maybe a Sunday. My advice for those trying to do both: At WB, IT or Arkham are the only ones you should try and do twice. The ride out to Crystal Lake will eat up a lot of time. Conjuring gets a long wait even for VIP. In theory you can do Exorcist twice, but I wouldn’t want to. We spent way too much time in the museum, but still ended up ok on time. If you are VIP you can get both your free drinks at the same time to save some more time. Also, the photo location near the entrance for the tour will have a shorter line than the one in the museum. Depending on how much time you spend in the museum, you can easily do everything in 2-3 hours. At HHN, consider skipping TT unless you really want to do it. If the trams take too long to pick up, you will lose much precious time. If you are ok not doing everything, I would skip the express pass. I think wait times are slightly inflated to get people to upgrade. Blumhouse had a posted wait of 20 minutes but actually had zero people in line. Trick r Treat and Universal Monsters were around 15-20. You can cherry pick the mazes with low wait times. You will probably have to decide between Purge, Halloween, and Stranger Things. Halloween was listed around 150 minutes at 1:30 and I think they closed the line early. Thanks again to you all for your advice!
  6. 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. Scarezones 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.
  7. For a first (or second depending on how you look at it) year event this was decent. People forget how little there was to do at HHN in 2006. I think if the cost was lower, it wouldn’t be getting trashed online as bad as it has been. WB is currently involved in a dispute for hiring non-union construction workers. This has caused a lot of their social media to be flooded with bad reviews so I wonder if this may also be the source of some of extremely negative reviews. There’s a decent number of scareactors wandering around the lot, but due to the lack of a dedicated scarezone, they felt spread thin. Aside from a Georgie and some bullies from It, they were mostly generic clowns. This was kind of disappointing as the videos from the media preview showed Pennywise, Freddy, Jason, and some Batman villains mingling with the crowd and posing for pictures. Either we missed them all or they’ve cut back. The DJ was mostly ignored and the Lost Boys arcade was tiny and not every game inside was 80s. Love tester machine stole my quarter. Food didn’t look appetizing mostly because there didn’t look like there was anywhere to sit down and eat. I would have liked to try the soup in a bread bowl, but who wants to walk around this type of event with a bowl of soup. We did have multiple drinks in Fangtasia and that was good, although oddly when you pay with a card there wasn’t an option to tip your bartender. One thing they did get right was a lot of great photo ops. This is something I’ve wondered why other attractions (aside from Disney) haven’t focused more on. It’s so hard to get good photos at a lot of these events due to low lighting and the fact that the characters don’t stick around. I would have paid really good money to have had a picture with Sam at HHN this year, for example. WB has a ton of great photo ops. Lots of people were buying. Places like Universal and Knotts already have the infrastructure in place to do this, so I don’t understand why they don’t make it more of a focus. Now on to the maze/attraction reviews. Devil’s Drop Tower - There was no line all night. They sent workers around to the other lines trying to talk people into riding it. We skipped it. Just thought I’d mention it. The Conjuring - Half hour line with Losers Club VIP. I actually had a lot of fun in this house and got some good scares. That said, I would absolutely sacrifice the guided tour aspect to alleviate the long lines. 30 minute VIP line and 2+ hour standby is crazy for this event. There was nothing that would not have worked as a standard walkthrough maze except for the finale which could easily have been moved to the beginning and run as a preshow like Knotts does for many of its mazes. The Conjuring doesn’t deserve the hate it’s gotten in some reviews, but should have been a regular maze. Nightmare on Camp Crystal Lake - Being a movie buff, I kind of liked that they did a mini tour of the sets you drove by. I remember when Universal kind of talked a bit about the studios’ history on Terror Tram before giving up and just playing a theme video each year. I think our first tour guide just wasn’t into it. The guy that drove us back was great. The maze itself was fun and given the small number of people per tram, you really felt alone and exposed in the forest. Scareactors were OK interacting and posing for photos. Not sure where I read it, but on another review someone said this was what they wished Terror Tram would be and I agree. The one scare a lot of people hyped up was not there when we went through though. Jason is my favorite slasher so I’m likely super biased. We spent around 45 minutes in the museum afterwards. IT - If this was at HHN, people would be calling it the best maze of the year. It’s a great maze. My only complaint is that all the guys playing Pennywise must have called in sick. The only Pennywises we saw were projections or mannequins. There were generic clowns inside, but no Pennywise. I’m wondering if the actors didn’t show up and they grabbed some of the generic clowns from outside and stuck them in the maze. Arkham Asylum - Guys taking your mugshot at the entrance we’re kind of rude. Not sure if they were in character or just rude. Best actors of the event worked this house. It was fun, but very light on scares. This could have worked and been a great way for WB to differentiate themselves from other haunts, but the very anti-climatic ending was a let-down. Exorcist - The crowd reacted very well to this. As it was ending I was hearing a lot of people commenting that they were surprised how well the movie has held up. For me, most of the scares were just from being able to watch scenes from a well-made movie. Everything else was kind of disappointing for me, but probably awesome of the people sitting next to the effects. Try and get within the first few rows for this. Absolutely nothing happened near us in the back, but I could see how some of the effects that happened in the front would have been terrifying up close. Overall, I liked the event, but I’m not sure I’d do it again in the near future unless they either added much more to do or slashed the price dramatically. While there is plenty they can improve on, I do not understand some of the negativity towards the set design and costumes. Those were the two stronger aspects of the event in my opinion. They need to decide what they want to be. If they want to compete with HHN, they need to add a whole lot more to do and become more like a traditional haunt. If they truly want to be an alternative, they still should add some more, but also play to their strengths. They could go fully immersive, have longer mazes, add escape room elements to some of the mazes, branching paths, and do other stuff that Universal and Knotts (which have to revert back to family friendly theme park during the day) can’t do. Make this the event for people that don’t like huge crowds and techno music.
  8. Mission accomplished. Will post reviews for both events soon.
  9. Thanks for the info man! From what I remember, in the past they sold the after 11pm express (or after 10pm) even on sold out nights because by that time of night most of the express passes will be used up. Still with us getting there that late, I don’t know if those will sell out by the time we get there. Im actually kind of considering just getting the RIP at this point instead of taking the chance express won’t be there. Member of our group is dead set on Stranger Things and I’m not waiting 3 hours in line. Arriving that late we would miss the tour, but to be honest I’ve bought VIP and skipped the tour before in the past. Might still be able to get the meal I think. Edit: upon further thought, maybe I should just HHN first? HMH does close an hour earlier though...
  10. Our group usually does RIP, but I think the latest they will allow it is 8:30.
  11. I would upgrade if it was just the two of us, but I’m bringing her family this year so it’s be almost $700 more. Was really hoping to save some money with the after 11pm express. Might just have to bite the bullet at this point...
  12. What are the odds of me being able to get after 11pm express or even just to pay full price for a full upgrade when I arrive? I’m probably crazy enough to just upgrade to express now, but I know others in the group would be hesitant since it is a $250 night for express. TrT is probably my favorite of the properties. Disappointing that the maze isn’t getting great reviews, but I still want to see Sam. ST is completely for another member of the group that is a huge fan. If left up to me, it would be skipped in favor of Poltergeist. I used to do HHN every year, but I’ve been alternating with Knott’s for a few years. This was supposed to be a HHN year, but the line up didn’t appeal to me and Knott’s I have a hard time doing two years in a row due to lack of new content from year to year. Thought it would be a good year to do WB and maybe a smaller haunt like Sinister Pointe, but the reviews for WB got me to consider this last minute HHN addition. Kind of considering Fright Fest next year. Can’t find anyone willing to go to Dark Harbor since everyone seems to have had a bad experience in the past (so did I, but that was years ago; guess I’m more open to second chances than others). Would love to go to Orlando, but time off in October is difficult where I work.
  13. I went ahead and got GA tickets to HHN. We will be there Saturday so it’ll be busy. I’m really hoping after 11pm express will be available. Based on reviews I’ve been reading, WB can easily be done in 1-2 hours with VIP. The X factor might be how long we stay in the museum part. Gotta get our pics on the Friends couch. Might hit the True Blood bar early on to enjoy my 2 free drinks. Looking at getting to HHN around 9-10, hopefully getting express passes, will probably want to eat at that point since WB food is getting bad reviews, and hopefully hit most mazes before 2am. Since I’ve been doing HHN for years, missing TT wouldn’t be the end of the world. I think if we manage to do ST, Blumhouse (I’m actually a big fan of Unfriended), TrT, and Monsters, I would be satisfied.
  14. The after 11 express is only on sale at the event right?
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