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matthhn last won the day on October 25 2012

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  1. I agree with the OP and some others. The event has lost its appeal for me. I noticed this a few years ago and stopped going but decided to take a trip with my girlfriend on Sunday night. Mostly because of the Krampus house (I loved the movie). To clash, who said it feels more like a "night club/dance party" - I think that's 100% accurate. The core atmosphere no longer feels like a horror event to me. It's hard to describe but it just feels like something was lost over the years. Some perspective: I've been going since 1997 way back when I was a kid. Back then the event wasn't well known and they limited crowds to a small amount of people. Ever since then I went every single year up until 2013. Back in the early years the event seemed special. I can't put my finger on it. It's as if the quality was on another level. It was also far more intense. You would actually get a feeling of impending doom walking into the park with Midnight Syndicate playing in the background. The entire park would be lit up in different lighting. The environment felt very creepy. The sound effects they would play while walking through the park would send a chill up your spine. Crowds were sparse so you could really take in the atmosphere and get a lot of interaction from the scare actors walking around. At times you felt really alone. It was very eerie. The lines would be no longer than 45 minutes at the most (peak times). They would only let small groups through the houses at a time (no slow moving conga line effect). Often you had to navigate the houses on your own since no one was in front of you. I remember getting freaked out before some intense houses, hoping they wouldn't cut the line off in front of me as I didn't want to go through on my own, lol. Back to Sunday night.... We get there early and the crowds are out of control. I'm not exaggerating. I expected it to be pretty crowded since it was a Sunday night but not like this. I'd describe my entire night more as a cattle simulator. I actually felt like livestock being herded around. Walking in I hear pop & hip hop music blaring with Chance talking in the background. As we walk toward the back of the park I notice there's a lot of people taking selfies with the scare actors on the streets. At one point through the Dead Mans Wharf scare zone it became a bottle neck and the crowd was at a stand still. Think of one giant mass of people not moving (I have no idea what was going on). People squished up against each other. I heard a few girls panicking because they were claustrophobic. We got stuck like this and couldn't move for 20 minutes. We couldn't even go back since the crowd piled up behind us, trapping us in the middle. People were starting to shove through other people and yelling was ensuing. This felt like a HUGE safety hazard. We got about half of the houses in. I had no complaints about the houses, they were really well done and the actors did a great job. I especially liked Krampus. Bill & Ted's was a huge disappointment. No surprise there. I checked the review thread for it and everyone seems to agree. It was horrid. People were even leaving early. Apparently in 2012 they got a new writer. It's become even worse since then. A complete incoherent mess. There is no longer any discernible plot. I think I only chuckled once or twice during the whole show. After that we left. I don't see myself coming back anytime soon. The feel is different, the crowds are different (I'm in my early 30s along with my girlfriend and we felt old there. I couldn't believe how young the crowd was. At one point I commented to my girlfriend that this feels like a "Grad Night" type event), the music is different. Maybe the event just isn't targeted for people like me. What would I like to see different? I would like to see them going back to limiting crowds to a smaller amount of people. I'd love them to partition the crowds going through the houses. I'd love for Bill & Ted's to go back to its roots. I'd love them to bring back the creepy atmosphere instead of the dance party vibe. However, it seems like corporate sees it as a money making machine and are milking it for all it's worth. Those changes would hit their bottom line. As I mentioned, something happened in 2012 that really changed the event. Maybe new management? Trying to pinpoint it (using HHNCrypt) matches to around 2012 when they started to push the IP stuff. I felt bad for my girlfriend because it was her first time going. She didn't enjoy it. I wish I could take her back to experience the past days of HHN. Guess it's just different times for different people. Maybe I'm just getting old (and cranky) haha. Based off last night it felt like they are primarily targeting younger Millennials. And the crowd reflected that. Like the OP said, not bad, not good, I appreciate all the work that went into the event and the job done by the scare actors...but it just isn't for me anymore...time to branch out and try new things.
  2. Hi there! I read a few times on this forum and some others that this year there are budget cuts for HHN? Is this true at all? And if so what kinds of things do you think will be affected?
  3. It seems that everything they are announcing so far is from TV shows or movies. Is there going to be anything original this year? I kind of like the original houses and they typically end up being the best. I guess they have more freedom of what they can come up with rather than following a TV show
  4. That's exactly how I feel about the event now. I've been going since almost the beginning and their is a MAJOR difference in the intensity. I have to say that it has lost its feel. Seems like a lot of people here have not experienced the earlier years so they can't compare it. It seemed more "adult" themed, less of a party environment like it is now. The music from Midnight Syndicate. The feeling of just walking in the entrance of the park was unsettling. They would cut off the lines when wentering the houses instead of having one slow moving conga line like it is now. The scares and houses were much more intense. Where did all of that go?
  5. That's pretty cool. I don't remember anything specifically but I do remember them pulling people out and putting them in mock torture situations like you described. I also remember they would really chase down people with the chainsaws, like people full on sprinting
  6. I respect the hard work that all of the scareactors put in but I was just telling it as it was and what I experienced that night for that particular house. I'm sure they were just having an off night
  7. It definitely was a much darker, vicious event in the 90s. It was gorier, scarier, the scareactors were allowed to be much more aggressive, the houses generally had queue videos which set the mood, and the crowds were under control allowing them to split up people in the houses like I mentioned. Unfortunately because of our newly sue-happy society and the popularity of the event they had to tone everything down and try not to offend anyone. Like I said, I still like HHN but I'm sad the direction it has gone. It doesn't have the same feel that it once did, and at $220 for two people for one night it's not worth it for me anymore. In 2001 they had the RUN house which was an actual chain linked fence maze filled with chainsaws. Try doing that these days.
  8. Calm down. I watched the show on the 11th before they apparently changed the script. The portrayal of both candidates was extremely awkward. Yep, we get it, Romney is a woman-hater, evil, greedy, rich and Obama is awesome, hip, and cool. It was blatantly one-sided and biased. In the past Bill & Teds on election years they made fun of both candidates. Bush and Kerry in 2004 and McCain and Obama in 2008. I believe the reason is that NBC now owns Universal, which they acquired in November 2008. NBC also owns MSNBC which also heavily leans towards the left. Thus, the reason, I believe, the large bias in the portrayal of the candidates. You simply shouldn't do that in a comedy show show at a theme park though, where 50% of your audience is divided politically. They should have at least made an effort to crack jokes at both candidates. It wasn't a big deal for me and I'm not going to boycott them, I just think it was a bad move where they had potential to really make it a funny part of the whole show like previous years.
  9. I've attended every HHN from 1996 with the exception of the past 3 years. So I've been going when the houses and streets were more extreme and when they still broke up the lines for the houses. This may affect my opinion from someone who has only been recently attending HHN. I have to say that I think the event has really gone downhill and has been tamed and watered down from the past. I'm not going to sugar coat this review just because I'm a fan. Despite that, I'll try to be fair from my own personal experience. First of all, I went on a Thursday night on Oct 11th. Don't even think of going without buying an express pass. In the later hours, the park was so packed that you could barely move or see the scareactors, the streets were literally a sea of people. I guess this could be because so many of the park areas were closed off including Amity. I'd hate to see the park on a weekend. I went with my girlfriend and since we were staying at the hotels we were able to get into the park at 6. Even then it seemed like large crowds were pouring in and they were all heading left towards the soundstages so I decided to take us to the right. The first 3 houses we were able to go through with no conga lines: House of Horrors - Despite many of the bad reviews of this house this one was actually my favorite of the night, not based off how elaborate it was or the set, but just off scares and fun. Perhaps us walking through it by ourselves contributed to it. This house was DARK and I like dark houses (Pitch Black from 2001). For a few moments I couldn't even see where I was walking at all. Then out of nowhere a light would flash and the scareactors were right in our faces. This was pretty awesome. I give credit to the great scareactors in this house, my girlfriend was screaming the whole way through. There was also a really interesting part that I never seen in a house before . 9/10 Alice Cooper - Not much to say here, barely any scares, and the concept didn't seem to work out. The music was there and some of the effects but it didn't come together. 3/10 Penn and Teller Nuked - I was excited about this one because I like "fun" houses. The 3D effect did not work at all. The house seemed poorly put together. No good scares. Seemed cheap and cheesy. I understand that it was going for a fun and entertaining feel but it didn't seem to pull it off. 2/10 After that the lines started getting really long (1 hour+ wait for regular lines). Good thing we had Express or I think we would have only been to see the rest of the houses. Bill and Teds - My hopes were up since I read some reviews on here saying how the show has really improved and was so much better than previous years. Maybe that was for the Hollywood show. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case in Orlando. I've disliked all of the Bill & Ted shows ever since they changed it from a stunt/comedy show to a dance show with pop music. This year was just terrible. Also the portrayal of the political candidates was very awkward. They had a chance to really make that a funny part of the show and make fun of both candidates like past years and blew it. Overall, the jokes fell flat, the "conflict" was weird, no real good pop culture icons and the show was all over the place. This was absolutely the worst one I could remember. 1/10 Walking Dead - I thought the house design was awesome but that's where this house ends. It felt short, didn't flow together, and anti-climatic. Was expecting a lot more for this year's flagship house. A lot of others on here seem to express disappointment too. 5/10 Dead End - The feel, look, and the effects were great. I think this one has a lot of potential but maybe we didn't have the timing right in the line since we didn't get a lot of scares. The video effects were really neat though. 7/10 Silent Hill - This house was BRIGHT. You could see everything. Combined with the slow moving conga line we didn't get one scare since you could see where all the scareactors were at ahead of us. Also the last 1/3rd of the house has no scareactors, maybe because of a rotation, but it was very anti-climatic. The positives: the design and feel of the house was very well done, I liked the siren sound effects, and the detail. If they would darken the house a bit and have some better scares I think it would be a lot better. 4.5/10 Gothic - I had high expectations from this one from reading the reviews for this house. It fell flat immediately though. All I got from this was a "pretty" set design. There was no immersion. It wasn't scary (probably the least scariest house of the night). It was bright in a lot of parts. The scareactors didn't seem to be putting in much effort on this night either. 4/10 All in all, the prices have gone up ($230 for my girlfriend and I with express passes and discount), crowds have gone up, houses have been toned down, there was barely any street scenery, and it just doesn't hold that feel of some of the previous years. It was as if they were working with a much smaller budget when creating this event. I don't think I'll be going next year unless they make some serious improvement, but when something becomes too commercialized and popular, the opposite usually happens. It's as if they cut their budget and tried to squeeze as much profit as they could this year. I still had fun but the event just seems to have lost its magic.
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