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zombieman last won the day on November 14

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About zombieman

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  1. I've seen those plaques in multiple years. Might be a tease; I doubt we will make it through 30 without an appearance by at least Jack.
  2. When I read this, what came to mind was some of the very cool houses and scarezones they have done in HHN Singapore, based on Asian folklore. This site has great detail of every year as well as photos and video. Although I've never been to any of them, HHN4 is the one I wish I could have attended. What they did for an icon was so cool, complete with media gifts, and an incredible opening ceremony. They have shied away from IP for the most part (but of course they did Stranger Things). This place is on my bucket list, for sure. They used Jack one year but otherwise use original icons, and they usually have website games like HHN Orlando used to. Really, USS HHN is like the golden age of Orlando - no corporate synergy to dictate what you can and cannot do. What I'm getting at is - there is a lot of untapped potential of ideas that have been successfully presented in Universal parks besides Orlando and Hollywood.
  3. Damn! I went near opening weekend, so I missed the sign and of course Boingo. Yes, that definitely sounds like the end. Thanks
  4. Some breaking Knott's news totally unrelated to Scary Farm. Well, maybe indirectly related: Voyage to the Iron Reef is CLOSING in Jan! The ride was pretty popular, low maintenance, and had a really cool steampunk theme and adjacent store. I'm really not too excited for what will be going in it's place: Knott's Beary Tales 4D shooter... Not joking. It's a re-skinning of the ride and presumably the store. For those that are not old, here's the history: Way back in 1975, a dark ride was built in that location called Knott's Beary Tales. It was not a shooter. Just a dark ride with singing animatronics. The ride closed in 1986, and became Kingdom of the Dinosaurs a year later. That, too, was not a shooter. It was a dark ride with the same track layout, but it had a time travelling theme with animatronic dinosaurs. Think Epcot's Dinosaur!, but without the motion base cars. Kingdom of the Dinosaurs was used for Scary Farm from 1987-1996, usually as a ride in darkness, but in several years with the dinosaurs visible. In 2004 KOD as it was known closed and remained shuttered for 11 years until Iron Reef took over. So now we are going full circle - back to the original theme. It will be closed for a quick transition, so it should have same track layout. Just new skins. and videos. Unless we get to kill bears (unlikely), it's gonna become a kiddie ride - Bear Story Mania, so to speak. This will open in 2020. Here is an excellent article on Beary Tales.
  5. I'll second the suggestion to look up the story behind the event. It was incredible. This was when HHN took place in IOA, yet they used three of the nearby soundstages. Everyone was coming off of the Lord of the Rings trilogy along with the second Hobbit movie released the year before, so as the site was coming to life, many (including me) were rolling our eyes saying it looked like they were trying to do a LOTR themed event. It was anything but. Between the look of Jurassic Park area and Lost Continent (before potter moved in), the park was ideal for what they did. They even managed to make it seem like you weren't in Marvel Island (mostly). HHN 30 must - MUST - have some reference to Terra Queen. Even though they came up with this under Michael J Roddy (who preceded TJ Mariano who preceded Mike Aiello) the people currently running HHN are well aware of the prophecy and won't let the 30th go by without paying homage. I have zero doubt about that. Personally, I'd love it if they somehow were able to use Lost Continent area of IOA for HHN 30 - had it become Terra Curentus complete with a house, even though there was no house in that area for HHN 15. But they do have the Sinbad theater at their disposal... And since it's so near, imagine if they had Hagrid open during HHN. A guy can dream...
  6. It should be mentioned that Universal sent out a survey during HHN this year. Among the questions was: Have you seen the Bill & Ted show at past HHNs? You don't put a question like that on a survey if you are just teasing people. So personally, I think there is definitely hope. As for The Hanging, I know there is speculation (I noted it in my Haunt review). Where have you heard that it is officially done?
  7. "Scary" means a whole lot of things, depending on who is being asked. To someone new to haunts, everything is scary, and by scary I mean they feel like they will chicken out at the last second or not make it through. My daughter experienced Scary the first time I took her to a haunt at 14. Now she's 16 and not much scares her. To haunt veterans like us, is there really anything scary anymore? Or do we now go through the houses watching others' reactions to gauge scariness? Or do we go through to see how they pulled off the magic? I have done magic for a long time and am a member at the Magic Castle. When I first got into it, and learned how much of it was done, the idea of "magic" was lost forever. Instead it became watching to see how well moves were hidden. It's a different degree of wonder, but I use that analogy as to why we still go to HHN today, even when it no longer scares us. I don't really get "scared" anymore in haunts - even the "extreme" ones. About the best I can hope for is startled, and that usually happens when my attention is diverted. I think hands down, the "scariest" house this year is Graveyard Games, and I was startled in it each and every time. The reason being is that the house has an much larger than normal number of scare options for actors - and they tend to use each and every one. In 15 years of HHN I cannot recall so many boo holes crammed into one house. The last time I was legit scared in a haunted house was around 2008 at Erebus in Pontiac, Michigan. They had this one room that had a fantastic acrophobia effect. At least, this was the way I recall it... The room is nearly pitch black. You are walking along a dimly lit path on the floor. Suddenly lights below the floor turn on to show a very long drop on either side of you. The path ahead narrows to just a few inches wide. Blowing fans helped to make you feel like you were balanced on a beam. I came to a sudden stop when the lights turned on and I was convinced there was a drop on either side. I mean, I knew there was no way it could be real - it was a mirror effect - but my mind was doing serious battles with my feet. I think they even had various breaks in the path, urging you to jump from one to another. I bet the actual room was not much like how I remembered it, but I bet many of the "scary things" we remember from houses did not actually happen the way we recall. The In-Between at HHN 21 had a similar effect in the "Christmas Light Room", where they simply had a mirrored walkway and a sanded "path" you walk on. I got a similar sense of vertigo in that one. But that's me. I don't think I'm afraid of heights, but put me on a ledge and I will have a problem. Clowns, monsters, noises, etc. Doesn't phase me. Concerning IP vs Original, if an IP scared the hell out of you as a kid, then a house will have a great chance of scaring you. But an original will be an unknown quantity to all, and history has shown that the scariest houses are almost always originals. To me, Poltergeist was GOAT because that clown in the movie scared me as a kid. But A&D took that clown - that had a screen time of under a minute - and turned it into the last 1/3 of the house. They were able to tear the scab off so many scary memories and make them fresh. It was essentially an Original wearing an IP mask. That's the way all IP houses houses should be.
  8. Returned to Haunt on 10/26 - arguably the busiest night of 2019 Purchased general admission + Fright Lane/Fast Lane ($180 total) Lines for all houses were upwards of 90 minutes all night long. Fright Lane made that wait under 5 minutes per house (usually a walk on). I've said it before - Fright Lane is the way to go. Worth every penny, even on the most crowded night. And it was crowded. Had to wait a full hour in line just to get carne asada fries. Changes since start of season: Wax Works: First scene was to have had a rotating turntable (before/after scene) with scareactor. They briefly had the turntable working at start of season. It was not by the end of the season. Wax Works: First scene also had a scareactor controlling a spotlight on a stand. Was able to shine it in your face. End of season - light was gone. Empty stand remained. No actor. Wax Works: All three guest activated buttons still worked Depths: The elevator room is gone. Don't know what happened, but you go through the original path once again. Depths: The ship was rocking a lot less. Depths: The ground mist in the Kraken room is just not working. Wasn't working at beginning of season, either. I'm guessing the room is just too big and hot so the hazer cannot keep up. Dark Entities: A few puppets were gone Dark Entities: Discovered that they have several guest activates triggers in the house. Look for rectangular iPad shaped panels with a grid of green lights. Press center to activate lights/sounds Dark Ride: Discovered they have guest activated buttons in the Surveillance Room. There are three large buttons (Green, Yellow, Red) right there on the console. I pressed the Red one and it triggered some lights and sounds. Once you trigger one, it takes about 30 seconds to reset. Puppet Up: The really toned down the show, simply by "not hearing" some of the dirtier suggestions or by saying ahead of time they've heard every dirty suggestion imaginable, and to suggest some funny ideas. Still way more extreme than anything Knotts has done before. I imagine this will be returning for many years. Makes sense as people eat it up, and show holds up regardless of time period. In all, there seemed to me to be about 1/4 of the scareactors missing from mazes. Even so, they really seemed to be pulsing the lines even with this crowd. I found myself alone in the mazes quite a lot. Dark Entities really improved for me. Mostly from finding those triggers, but it just seemed more fun for some reason. Origins just gets better every time. So many new things to see. Next time you go through, check out that scene where you look into "ghost town streets". Fog rolls down the whole street. You round a bend and see it from a different angle, looking down the length. Turn your head to the left and using a simple mirror it seems to extend another 100 feet in the other direction. Look up and you will see you are entering The Haunted Shack. So damn good. My favorite Haunt maze ever. I went through this around 5 times in 30 minutes - as the normal wait was 75 min. Thanks Fright Lane! Didn't do Pumpkin Eater or Special Ops this time. Focused on my favorite mazes. 7:30: entered park 2AM left park Wax Works: 2 times Depths: 3 times Paranormal: 2 times Dark entities: 3 times Origins: 5 times Shadowlands: 1 time Dark Ride: 2 times Pumpkin Eater: 0 times Special ops: 0 times Log Ride: 0 times Hanging: 0 times Conjurers: 1 time Puppet Up: 1 time Wait for food: 75 min (it's not a Knotts trip without carne asada fries. They give you hope for mankind) Iron Reef: 1 time (15 minute wait, as Fright Lane dumps you out upstairs in queue. Standby was 60 min) Montezooma's Revenge: 1 time (15 minute wait, as they build up Fright Lane line until it can take an entire train. Standby was 60 min) Other Rides: none Total time spent waiting in line for mazes: About 30 min Spent about 30 min in Bizarre Bazaar, looking at haunt artwork. Most of the pieces were sold. They do have prints near the checkout counter that range from $10-$50. I bought "the Hanging" - $15, "Wax Works" - $20, and the one that looked like the Haunt version of the stretching portrait room - $30. The original Wax Works piece by Daniel Miller is still available for $200. Also, discovered Boysenberry Caramels. 3 for $2. Damn, they are good. Had no idea about the boysenberry until the first one. Subtle, but good. Even with seemingly missing scarectors, Knotts haunt 2019 has the strongest lineup ever. Far and away better than anything HHN Hollywood has done in quite a number of years. In my opinion, it is THE best California based theme park haunt around, and a heck of a good deal for the money (go on an off night and you don't need Fright lane to have fun). The only theme park haunt that is better is HHN Orlando. This coming weekend: HHN Hollywood. Honestly, still no big desire to go. But my daughter likes it... Murdy has murdered it for me.
  9. Cool review. Late is better than never! I especially liked the reviews for the IP houses where you had not seen the movie. Happy Death Day and to some extent Trick R Treat at least to me seem like houses that wold be very confusing if one had not seen the movie. It says a lot about A&D that you enjoyed the houses despite not necessarily knowing the plot. Scary Tales was the house that had the witch flying overhead at the facade, Wizard of Oz, Hansel & Gretel, The Three Pigs, Red Riding Hood, Miss Muffet, Humpty Dumpty, Rapunzel, and Little Mermaid.
  10. So they gave you a printed (scannable) Express pass? Was it one time per house, or some sort of unlimited use? Yes, I got the same survey. Was very surprised to see several B&T related questions. Crossing every appendage they are able to bring it back in some way. As great as the HOTC facade was, the only thing I kept staring at was that phone booth.... Wanted to climb in it and dial *69
  11. I don't recall ever seeing one. Good Youtube channel here of HHN commercials, but 1999 is event footage from Attractions Magazine
  12. The other being Depths of Fear. We were told that on the tour - that we were crushed by the station imploding, but that really didn't come across in the house as clearly as it did in GG. Was there an effect after the monster in the fog at the end that I missed?
  13. I asked during my UTH tour and the answer was a definitive YES. You die at the end. They worked very hard to make that black hallway soundproof, so the only things you heard were the whispers of the dead calling to you. I don't think that's a spoiler for anyone. This house is right up there with Poltergeist as GOAT. So funny, because I didn't expect either to be all that good before I went in. Usually I go through houses with a big grin on my face. But for these, my mouth was hanging open from start to finish. Was so blown away by the visuals and storytelling. After that, the big stupid grin appeared every walkthru.
  14. When I started reading, I was saying "this didn't happen. What the...." not realizing it was Hollywood. While your post isn't spoilerish, it is interesting to see what I will experience. Orlando chose different ordering and different elements in many cases. HOTC reads exactly like the 2010 house. Murder Ride was completely omitted from Orlando except for the ride facade. Even so, the Orlando version was very good. If I had your steel trap memory. I'd make a room list of Orlando, but I bet I'd get it wrong...
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