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HHN 22: Employee Preview (9/19/2012)

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EMPLOYEE PREVIEW

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

(7pm - 1am)

If you attended Employee Preview and want to post a somewhat "spoiler free" review. You can do so here.

Edited by WESKER69
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Alright so that was without a doubt, the worst. EP. ever. Yes EP is techically a dress rehearsal, but just from tonight, I would have to say that this year's event sucks "Shia Labouf" (for those who aren't familiar with B&T 2009, that is the substitute for "ass"). Seriously though, I was really regretting buying my FFP earlier tonight. I kinda wanted a refund. Anyway, I'll get to the "suck" in a bit...

I'll post the house reviews at the end.

So 4 of the houses opened at 7pm, the other 3 at 7:30pm. We headed straight to "Alice Cooper: Welcome To My Nightmare", however when we arrived (3rd in line), we had to wait at the queue entrance.... and wait... and wait... and wait.. they didnt even have the damn queue line set up yet. So we didnt even get to enter the queue & then the house until 7:25pm. So ridiculous.

After that house, we planned on hitting "Penn & Teller", however that house had a fire drill, so it wasn't even open yet... and this was at 7:30pm. On top of not being open yet, the line outside the queue entrance was also pretty long already.

Went over to attempt "The Walking Dead: Dead Inside"... this line was already 30+ minutes long, so skipped that. By this time, the "Walkers" (zombies) were out infront of Disaster. It was basically "Zombie Gras 2.0".... except too. freaking. dark. Seriously, is lighting too much to ask for? They did have a neat effect in nearby windows that looked to be on fire inside. Plus the telephone pole between the bus & station wagon had a sparking effect. And there were also two fire blasts on the roof of Disaster. (so yes, we actually have a REAL non-roaming sz)

After this we walked through NY (surrounded by vampires)... "Dead End" wasn't open yet... and it was well after 7:30pm. There was a long line outside its queue entrance that went all the way down to the Twister giftshop. Didn't even see the line for "Gothic" because trying to cross over there would've been too much effort. "Silent Hill" already had a long line as well...

By this time, we headed to "Universal's House of Horrors"... Only waited roughly 20-25minutes. After this, we hit "Alice Cooper" again due to the short line. Unfortunately "Penn & Teller" was already at a 30+ minute wait. So skipped that and hurried over to catch the next showing of "20 Penny Circus". This show was such a waste of time. The show is NOT worth seeing. If you've seen Brian Brushwood or anything like that, you won't find anything new here. They should either cut this show or relocate it to animal actors & have Beetlejuice at night... eitherway, don't waste your time seeing it.

After the show, we saw that "TWD" was at a 90minute wait, so skipped that. Attempted to do "Dead End" which we were told at the queue entrance, it had just reopened. We didnt even make it all the way past the NY Library facade before another staff member was telling people to "go back. this house is not open".

After that failed attempt, we split up to go do whatever. "Penn & Teller" was now a 75minute wait, so I went to go do "HoH" again, but that was a 45minute wait. Instead of that, I hit up "AC: WTMN" for a 3rd time. They said 30minutes, ended up only waiting about 15-20.

I ventured off to meet up with Lizz & our fried Ron at Monsters, then met up with some other friends and we got in line for "Gothic" since it was only a 15minute wait... which ended up being more like 30mins..

After that, I hurried back over to "AC: WTMN" and did that 3 more times due to the zero wait. Then I hit up "HoH" again. I ran into other friends who were heading into "AC: WTMN", so i ended up doing that again with them. They were headed to "TWD", but i figured that would be a long wait still, so I went back to "HoH" two more times before the EP ended.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Alright... now for the reviews of stuff...

The "NEW STREET EXPERIENCE" was a complete joke. Seriously, whoever thought this was a good idea needs to be fired. The streets were AWFUL! Now the scareactors themselves were pretty decent, but some seemed rather bored. One of the main issues is the casts are too small for such large areas. It was pretty much how I predicted it would be. There was seriously MORE dead space in the streets this year than there is when they have regular stationary scarezones. I would rate their "NEW STREET EXPERIENCE" as a complete failure (mostly due to lack of scareactors). Oh and lets not forgot how random the cemetery set pieces are with scareactors that AREN'T "Grim Reapers" or "Vampires".

Two other issues with the streets. One of them being- its. too. freaking. dark. They really need to splurge for more lighting because there is no point in having cool costumes when you cant even see them. Big fail on the lighting.

The other issue...

This year, there is ONLY ONE PATHWAY... what do i mean? I mean if you want to go to NY, Hollywood, Kidzone, World Expo... you have to go ALL THE WAY AROUND. The entire center of the park is walled off/barricaded. No Shrek Alley. No South Street along the Production Central side of the lagoon. No more quick bypasses to the soundstages or Disaster.

One other fail i forgot to mention, the queue line entrance signs failed to work tonight. So only like two were on, the other 6 were not even on tonight. That was fun always having to ask what the waittime was.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

HOUSES:

"Alice Cooper: Welcome To My Nightmare" - Went through this house 7 times tonight. It was actually a somewhat decent house and has potential. Some scenes sort've fail to be "scary". One of the coolest effects in the house is the stained glass window that we saw concept art for. There is a pole-dancer stripper scene in the house, BUT the girl seriously needs to learn how to use a pole.

"Universal's House of Horrors" - Went through this house 4 times tonight. I have to give the scareactors A LOT of credit. For having a crappy rehearsal due to unfinished sets, lack of costumes, and no lighting effects... They did very well tonight for what they had to work with. The house definitely looks/feels unfinished, which is ashame becuase it is a great concept. Hopefully UNI does more to it, otherwise people are going to rip this house to shreds. As for the costumes, they could use more paint in order to show up better when the light flashes. The Mummy scene is actually the "duck/crouch" scene and it has a decent scare, however, I see guest injuries in the future due to this. Phantom got the shaft once again. Dracula provided a good scare when timed right. CFTBL is nifty. Bride of Frankenstein needs a new "wig" because her hair is not high enough. The house finale is EPIC!

"Gothic" - Only went through this house once tonight. I know MANY people loved this house, but i found it to be lackluster and rather dull. Also most of the set details get lost in the darkness & house lighting. So if you're wanting to really see how nice the sets look, go take the UTH tour. Anyway, I really expected more from this house. I just wasn't really impressed. On the upside though, I got attention from a stilt gargoyle which made up for the "meh"-ness of the house.

______________________________________________________________________________

Signature Drink Name: "Dead Walker"

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It was definitely one of the rougher EPs that I've done, especially in terms of organization. I think it was just a lot of new ideas and changed protocol to absorb/implement in a single night.

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I was told that even though it was packed, they "cut off" people for B&T, and the theater ended up not even being full for the shows. Completely ridiculous. I'm honestly glad I didn't attempt seeing the show last night.

It was definitely disorganized. Hopefully opening weekend is smoother, otherwise its not going to be pretty.

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Thanks to clayi was in attendance tonight! Now, I have never been to preview night so I had no real expections. It kinda set the tone when none of the 7pm house open at 7pm. Went over to kids zone to find one line that leads to both maze, so I formed a mutiny with some guest and we made a linefor alicecooper.

I don't know much about cooperso I was kinda lost in the house. Set was great. I'm astonish with what they can do in those tents.

Afterthat, ran into a guy name gave, who had the same 1997 shirt as me...we hanged the entire night. Went in all house except penn and teller. Actually, gothic fire drilledwhen we were going thru it. Overall wesker has my sentiments when it came to the house. And the roaming hordes really failed. The thing is, they were roaming as we were roaming. It was like walking side by side!

My highlight was chatting with kenny babel!!

Was gonna get the rush of fear...now I'm not. Hollywood needs to give orlando the event back..

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What a shame, sounds like our fears about the streets are going to be true. *sigh* ...hopefully they can do something about this quick. I know it was just EP but ....

Edited by Rikku
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Easily the worst employee preview of the last 5 years.

We waited almost an hour to even get into the park and then were greeted by 60 to 75 minute wait times for houses, the streets were completely underwhelming, while the crowds were completely overwhelming. We were home by 10pm.

Didn't see a single house, this "no safe zone" street experience...yeah, about that.

Unless a shit ton changes, this year is going to go down as a completely unorganized mess. All I can say is, make paying guests wait almost an hour to even get into the park and see what kind of hell they raise.

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It seems the concept was less house, more bars. I try to tell myself, because the rides weren't open that contributed to the crowd but c'mon uni....having a bar right in front of house entrances and exits is not a smart thing to do...talk about a major clusterfuck of people.

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All I can say is, make paying guests wait almost an hour to even get into the park and see what kind of hell they raise.

Why was it so hard to get into the park? Just crowds and disorganization?

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Why was it so hard to get into the park? Just crowds and disorganization?

Crowds and the fact that the security company they hire to man the metal detectors works at a snails pace.

And mind you, they had EVERY arch at the entrance open with two metal detectors per arch, so they were working at maximum capacity in regards to open entrances.

Disorganized is a "nice" way of describing the clusterfuck that was last night :)

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It seems the concept was less house, more bars.

I can assure you... there are NOT "more" bars. There is infact LESS. Trust me, if anyone would know, it is me.

And their placement is awful. especially the one shoved right next to the photo-thingy next to Disaster across from Lombards. You come through Amity & BAM! There is a wall of people... which is a line for the bar. Genius idea.

They really need to take a step back from Transformers & get that new "london" waterfront finished so there is more space for guests by doing away with that construction wall.

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I can assure you... there are NOT "more" bars. There is infact LESS. Trust me, if anyone would know, it is me.

And their placement is awful. especially the one shoved right next to the photo-thingy next to Disaster across from Lombards. You come through Amity & BAM! There is a wall of people... which is a line for the bar. Genius idea.

They really need to take a step back from Transformers & get that new "london" waterfront finished so there is more space for guests by doing away with that construction wall.

Same goes for the placement of the bar adjacent to the entrance of the soundstage house at music plaza. WHO thought up THAT mess?!

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Well I saw more bars than I would wanted to and less house. Can I have my opinion and not speak as concrete fact? Great, you know how many bars they were, were not, had planned, had scrapped....

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To me, alice coopers house doesn't seem to be that house it was hyped to be in hollywood. As wesker mention, house of horrors seemed unfinish. Walking dead seemed to lack walkers at the end. Nothing that can't be fixed...

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Well our Alice Cooper house was NOT the same as Hollywood's house. It shared the same name, but the scenes were completely different. As far as out house goes- some scenes worked, others have potential and then you have the... well this is lacking, can we replace this scene?

I do know there is one scene in AC that had issues with a specific scare, so it wasn't present last night. Hopefully that will be fixed by tomorrow.

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Ok so basically we can expect at least decent houses, anyone catch B&T? I know 20 Penny is said to be awful... or at least not worth it... and the Streets might be presentable by mid October... getting around is horrible... uhhm so the best possible scenario is that by mid to late October we get a slightly better than mediocre event?

Oh also has anyone gone through Penn & Teller? Was it good? Bad? Meh?

Edited by CelioCantos

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I would just like to say that after last night I have a newly formed immense respect for scareactors. They were going hard despite all the challenges they faced!

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uhhm so the best possible scenario is that by mid to late October we get a slightly better than mediocre event?

That seems incredibly unfair and short sited based on a PREVIEW meant for employess. The whole point of last night was to find what does and does not work.with the event and fix it before the GP see it. I'm not reading the reviews because I don't want to know till I go. But anything can happen. Bars can be moved, Street experience will be fully staffed in the actual event, and houses can be tweaked.

If fact, I don't form a full opinon on the event till I've experienced it twice. So, once I've been Friday and Saturday, I will review it. But Cmon... the event sucks based on a rehersal? That's jumping the gun a bit don't you think?

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Kind of disappointing to hear how bad EP was, especially in regards to the street experience. I mean I had a feeling it would be not be perfect, but it sounds like this new concept is a complete disaster (or at least in the way they went about implementing it this year.)

I know it was just EP, and things are not completely ironed out yet, but do you guys think that there is any way to improve it, or is it kind of too late to save this?

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Kind of disappointing to hear how bad EP was, especially in regards to the street experience. I mean I had a feeling it would be not be perfect, but it sounds like this new concept is a complete disaster (or at least in the way they went about implementing it this year.)

I know it was just EP, and things are not completely ironed out yet, but do you guys think that there is any way to improve it, or is it kind of too late to save this?

This is what I meant, from reading reviews, I didn't attend I'm just attempting to summarize the general feeling everyone is giving off.

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I'm sorry you guys had a bad time and that there were fire drills but would you rather us not have them and then have all the scareactors burn cause they cant get out? It was annoying for us as well but most of the people i saw coming through the house were having a fun time. Theres no need to be so negative its the first night the event is going and its an employee preview because they know that it will be all jumbled up. Its not their fault the lines were so long. if you didnt like it dont go then maybe some people wont have to wait in a 60 minute line. And how can you judge an event when you only did 4 of 7 houses? Get over yourself wesker

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I do know there is one scene in AC that had issues with a specific scare, so it wasn't present last night. Hopefully that will be fixed by tomorrow.

It was fixed by the last set last night chris. Good effect wasn't implemented well at the start of the night.

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That seems incredibly unfair and short sited based on a PREVIEW meant for employess. The whole point of last night was to find what does and does not work.with the event and fix it before the GP see it. I'm not reading the reviews because I don't want to know till I go. But anything can happen. Bars can be moved, Street experience will be fully staffed in the actual event, and houses can be tweaked.

If fact, I don't form a full opinon on the event till I've experienced it twice. So, once I've been Friday and Saturday, I will review it. But Cmon... the event sucks based on a rehersal? That's jumping the gun a bit don't you think?

I think we are all just being honest with our opinions from last night. I'm not going to sugar coat it and say it was amazing. I've been to a ton of employee previews and this one was by far the worst. Ever.

For everyone who is going, I hope they have an amazing time. For me, personally...again, this is MY opinion, there's going to be have to be a LOT of changes made for things to improve.

Kind of disappointing to hear how bad EP was, especially in regards to the street experience. I mean I had a feeling it would be not be perfect, but it sounds like this new concept is a complete disaster (or at least in the way they went about implementing it this year.)

I know it was just EP, and things are not completely ironed out yet, but do you guys think that there is any way to improve it, or is it kind of too late to save this?

I'm sure improvements can be made, but like I said above, there are going to have to be a LOT of changes made for that to be so. With EP being so close to opening night, I would have figured last night would be a major dress rehearsal...because every other year there is usually a week between EP and opening night.

Here we go again, everyone doubting universal, everything will come together

We aren't doubting them, we are just stating our experiences from last night. I hope for the sake of everyone who goes that it does come together and everyone has a great time.

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