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hilldog1378

Is 5 1/2 hour enough time without Express pass?

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Have been to the California Event once, but never the Florida one. Looking to go this year on either the 27th or 28th of September. I see the event on these days only run till midnight. My questions is, is 5 1/2 hour enough time to do everything, while having to wait in line?

Edited by hilldog1378

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I went on a Saturday last year and am so glad I purchased the Express Pass because the regular lines were enormous and I would have spent most of my night in them and probably would have not gotten a chance to see each house. I'm going on a Thursday this year and I already purchased the Express Pass because I don't want to stress out about not having enough time to see every house. If you have the extra cash, I highly recommend getting it because unless you are going multiple nights, you want to make sure you are on the shortest line possible. This leaves you with more time to enjoy the streets, shows, rides, and of course-drinking.

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Guest kiwisoup

I'd say since it's so early in the season there would be enough time...IF you plan it out well. I go about the same time during the season and I get there about an hour before they open and they start letting people in about a half hour before it officially opens, then i make my way around counter clockwise making sure to do the first two in the order that the exit drops off by the next entrance...i can usually do almost every house within 2.5 hours this way. you want to do the houses closest to Bill and Ted BEFORE the first show lets out and the wait times shoot up. when wait times start to shoot up high, you can text "TONIGHT" to 64644 and it will message you every half hour so you can keep track of any that are suddenly not bad. meanwhile this is the point where i'll do rides, food, shows, bathroom breaks, etc...then the last hour or so of the event you can easily do all the houses one more time. You can see them all twice in one night without express pass and I've done it...but it's exhausting haha.

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While others say it can exhaustively be done without the express pass. I prefer to be able to take my time and see specific houses multiple times or all of them if timed/planned right. So I recommend the express pass.

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While others say it can exhaustively be done without the express pass. I prefer to be able to take my time and see specific houses multiple times or all of them if timed/planned right. So I recommend the express pass.

But the express pass only allows one time in right?

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But the express pass only allows one time in right?

I haven't been in 4 years but yeah, you can only do each house once per night. I would highly recommend the express pass myself. If you don't get one you will have to rush in order to see everything. With express you can take your time and do all the rides/ houses/shows. Also you might have time to do 1 or 2 of your favorite houses/rides again.

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I always go on september and I always have time to at least get to see 7/8 of the houses plus the bill & ted show all before midnight. If your group doesn't care so much for the show (though it's pretty good and it's nice to have a seat and relax), then you should be able to see all the houses and have time to repeat one, maybe two of your favorites.

I've never used the Express Pass, I find it too expensive and not worth it, at least from my experience. I've heard of nights where everything is packed with people, but that's probably on October.

Edited by Dann93

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I would say no there's not enough time especially with the crowds that the event will bring back this year. I went last year thinking it would be less busy on a Thursday, in the pouring down rain no less, on the first week of October. Like full on torrential downpour for like 45 minutes..I couldn't even see the main gate to get in the parking garage. The rain finally stopped, but people were running down City Walk in it into Universal with lightning not far off. I sat at a bar and enjoyed quite a few $3 beers before going in and waited for the rain to let up a bit. So I walked in around 7:15 anf there was still 2-3 hour lines.

Bought an express pass immediately after waiting in the first line. I would say if you're only going one night, don't risk it and buy one.

Edit: Also sometimes at the end, they don't scan them depending on the house.

Edited by somebody85

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I went 4 nights last year. On those nights there was NO WAY you'd get to all the houses without the express pass. No way. The lines were retarded.

Like someone said above. Get the fast pass and get there early. When the gates open go counter clockwise. Try to get at least a couple houses in right away. Then use your fast pass for the rest and hit a house or two twice.

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Thanks for the advice so far.

My next questions would be, for the time before the event starts, is it better to get a pass for IoA, or a park hopper? Is all the attractions that are open at Universal during the day open at night?

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Thanks for the advice so far.

My next questions would be, for the time before the event starts, is it better to get a pass for IoA, or a park hopper? Is all the attractions that are open at Universal during the day open at night?

If you had to pick between the two, I would go with IOA over the studios. In answer to the ride openings question: not all of the studios attractions are open durning HHN but all the big ones (Despicable Me 2, Transformers, Revenge of the Mummy, MIB, The Simpsons, and Hollywood Rip Ride and Rock-it) will be operational. As long as you do not mind missing Shrek, Twister, Disaster, ET, and T2:3D get a pass for IOA.

All of that being said, I have done the park and then HHN after and let me warn you now, if you plan on doing this, you are in for a very long day. Depending on your group, you may consider getting Express Pass for the purpose of shortening your day a bit and being able to relax.

Edited by Cooger and Dark

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Trying to cram everything into one day isn't very smart in my opinion. I've done a day at Islands and then at night we did Horror Nights and it was exhausting. If you do that, an express is a must because you're not gonna want to stay all night. As for having an express in general, I think it's becoming more and more of a must with each passing year. The lines can be extremely ridiculous, and more than once I've gone and wouldn't have been able to hit every house without it because the lines were so dreadful. Getting there early helps, but honestly waiting till it's dark to do houses is what I've started doing because your eyes aren't adjusted to the dark yet when you first get into the park, which makes seeing the houses nearly impossible sometimes. That is, unless you have an express pass and can double back later in the night to hit the houses you did during the day without the express pass.

Express passes can really make your night more enjoyable as well. Standing in line when the wait time is over an hour long sucks and is very boring. Being able to just walk into the houses pretty much makes the night more fun in my experience.

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Ok so, I have a similar question, will 6 1/2 be enough to do all or most of the houses without an Express pass? I'm going Oct.13 and it runs until 1:00 A.M that night, I want to do all the houses but is it even possible?

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Ok so, I have a similar question, will 6 1/2 be enough to do all or most of the houses without an Express pass? I'm going Oct.13 and it runs until 1:00 A.M that night, I want to do all the houses but is it even possible?
If the crowds are even close to last year.... No. You'll really have to get the fast pass. I hate to say it but HHN is bonkers now. They are cramming as many people as possible in there.

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If the crowds are even close to last year.... No. You'll really have to get the fast pass. I hate to say it but HHN is bonkers now. They are cramming as many people as possible in there.

Dang. I'm taking to many people to afford for Express Passes. We are doing the FL resident deal and the addition of those express passes is like way to much.

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Guest kiwisoup

I have the same issue. I would do the Express Passes if I could convince even just one other person in my group to put down the money. Fortunately we get Rush of Fear passes so we can go up to 4 times in the time I am in town, but I still manage to see most houses twice every night I went. I agree about doing a park during the day...way exhausting on top of trying to see everything at HHN after you've already walked around a park all day. If you're gonna do just one day without an express pass and it's really not an option, then I'd skip the park during the day. As I said, it's possible with a lot of planning and a lot of exhaustion and rushing around. Going with a group that isn't completely with your plan can be an exercise in frustration. I remember last year I wanted to be lined up early one day and our friend had to go to his car, then we get in and one person wants to smoke, another is hungry, another wants a drink, people want to do rides before anything else...it was awful because this was the most important time to get short wait times in while you can. Anyways...good luck! If you find that you're having trouble, you can always upgrade to express pass that night, and after sitting in lines maybe your friends will be more prone to do the same!

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Goo convince your friends at least to have enough on them to buy an express pass. Going through one line up should be enough to change their minds.

Another thing you could look into, is that apparently if you are in the park when it closes for the day and have HHN tickets, you can stay in the park in a que. They open some of the houses 45 minutes early for the people in the que from what I read. They have done this in previous years but I haven't done this so can't speak to whether this an actual fact.

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It looks like the days I will be going to the parks have shifted over. I am driving to FL on the 27th(friday) and then will be doing the parks on the 28th and 29th (Satuday and Sunday). One day will be for disney, and one day for Universal/HHN. Which day do you guys think will be better for HHN? In terms of both crowds and experiences. Not sure if everything is open and running on Sunday?

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Dang. I'm taking to many people to afford for Express Passes. We are doing the FL resident deal and the addition of those express passes is like way to much.

Trust me, its worth the price if you stand in just one of those lines. You'll realize the money you spent (which might have been a lot) will be mostly waisted standing in line instead of experiencing the event. I think it's expensive too but there is no way I would do it without an express pass again even with the FL discount.

Sunday.

Saturday is usually the worst day to experience the event on any week. Sunday might close earlier and is hit or miss but I'd rather gamble then ever dealing with Saturday again.

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One thing I could never understand is this....

The park opens, regular Lines for houses are 5 minutes long, there is barely any line at all, maybe 5-10 people going in the house...

And then I see people using their Express pass to go on the house, that barely has anyone in it lol, I know sometimes it is hard to know wether Universal is lying with the wait times or not, but at the beginning of the event most houses don't have a long line. I don't know, If I had a pass I would probably want to use it when lines are getting longer, but I wouldn't use it as soon as the park opens. But that's just me.

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One thing I could never understand is this....

The park opens, regular Lines for houses are 5 minutes long, there is barely any line at all, maybe 5-10 people going in the house...

And then I see people using their Express pass to go on the house, that barely has anyone in it lol, I know sometimes it is hard to know wether Universal is lying with the wait times or not, but at the beginning of the event most houses don't have a long line. I don't know, If I had a pass I would probably want to use it when lines are getting longer, but I wouldn't use it as soon as the park opens. But that's just me.

I guess I never really noticed this weird phenomenon but my plan of attack when it opens is usually do as many of houses without the express. Then do some rides until it gets dark and my eyes adjust. Then come back and do all of the houses with the express pass.

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Dang. I'm taking to many people to afford for Express Passes. We are doing the FL resident deal and the addition of those express passes is like way to much.

If you cannot get express pass, you Could still do all houses if you have a plan. You do have to be waiting outside the gate for at least an hour. Before the park opens it does start to get crowded, But if you are near the front of the line you will be okay.

you would have to walk fast and don't stop for the scarezones at first. Most of the time the tents and the Parade Building house don't get as crowded until later that night, I usually leave those for last. This doesn't happen every time (Sometimes they do get long lines)

but last year I remember the least crowded houses would be Alice Cooper and the Universal Monsters house on most nights.

(Their lines were like 50-75 minutes, but that was much shorter than waiting 120-140 minutes for Walking Dead and Silent Hill..... Walking Dead and Silent Hill were Impossible to do after 8:30 PM)

I never use Express, I use FFP so I am able to go more than once, but I am still able to see every house most of the time if I want to. If I didn't get to do all houses it was because I got to the park late that day, Or there were people waiting inside the park already for HHN to open. (One night Silent Hill had a long line as soon as the park opened from people that were waiting inside the park, so it depends.)

Walking Dead had really really short lines at the beginning of the day last year. The lines would start to get long around 7 PM or 7:30. but then after 8:00 the lines would be like 2 hours...

Express Pass is ideal. But you could do all houses without it. It could be done....... You just have to be really quick going from house to house.

Edited by LV-426

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Yeah, I used to get express, even though I was only going on a Thursday, for the sole purpose of double-dipping: go through all the houses starting at opening time, then use express to go through again when the lines got longer. Last year, I went on Saturday & Sunday and realized how much it would suck to not have express on those nights. We only made it through two houses before the lines got ridiculous. Not a big deal if you're a resident and you can go multiple nights, but I'm coming from Chicago and trying to cram as many house visits as possible in a couple of nights.

Also, I've discovered that I actually prefer to go to theme parks ALONE. Few can withstand my relentless pace. Every year I've attended HHN, I have spent the whole day at Universal, from park open to near HHN closing time. My husband doesn't bother to come with me anymore. So, if you want to get the most out of HHN: 1. Get express. 2. Go multiple nights. 3. Alienate friends and family.

However, if you want to have a great time with a bunch of friends, see what you can in the time that you have, and relax. Even a little bit of HHN is pretty damn satisfying-- I can't see being there for 5-6 hours and NOT having fun. Even with all the disappointment and concern over the direction HHN has taken, I still think it's well worth the price.

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Goo convince your friends at least to have enough on them to buy an express pass. Going through one line up should be enough to change their minds.

Another thing you could look into, is that apparently if you are in the park when it closes for the day and have HHN tickets, you can stay in the park in a que. They open some of the houses 45 minutes early for the people in the que from what I read. They have done this in previous years but I haven't done this so can't speak to whether this an actual fact.

Oh my group knows that express passes are whats up. I don't have that problem. I've done stay and scream a few times, and while it does let you in to the houses early, it's still during the daylight hours kinda and it's VERY dark, which can be both good and bad. I went through the Hallow back in 08 all alone, and it was terrifying in the most awesome way. I couldn't see a damn thing. It's also cool when there's a dark house, like DE or Terror Mines because it amplifies the darkness a bit.

Personally I say just get an express pass. You can't really go wrong, it's worth the money. Even if you don't REALLY need it, you can still use it to hit your favorite houses for another time (or all of them!)

Also! If you don't end up getting express passes, you can still hit them all. You need to plan out everything and I mean everything. I used to start at the Parade building and make my around. But like 12 I'd have every house hit because most people start in the front of the park, so basically you're going against the flow of people. By the time you got to the front, most times weren't that bad because a lot of people were at the tents and parade building. Walk fast and stick to your plan and you'll do em all. Maybe not every show but at least B&T for sure. Times have changed though, obviously, so you may want to reconfigure your plan :)

Edited by Goo

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Yeah, I used to get express, even though I was only going on a Thursday, for the sole purpose of double-dipping: go through all the houses starting at opening time, then use express to go through again when the lines got longer. Last year, I went on Saturday & Sunday and realized how much it would suck to not have express on those nights. We only made it through two houses before the lines got ridiculous. Not a big deal if you're a resident and you can go multiple nights, but I'm coming from Chicago and trying to cram as many house visits as possible in a couple of nights.

Also, I've discovered that I actually prefer to go to theme parks ALONE. Few can withstand my relentless pace. Every year I've attended HHN, I have spent the whole day at Universal, from park open to near HHN closing time. My husband doesn't bother to come with me anymore. So, if you want to get the most out of HHN: 1. Get express. 2. Go multiple nights. 3. Alienate friends and family.

However, if you want to have a great time with a bunch of friends, see what you can in the time that you have, and relax. Even a little bit of HHN is pretty damn satisfying-- I can't see being there for 5-6 hours and NOT having fun. Even with all the disappointment and concern over the direction HHN has taken, I still think it's well worth the price.

lol about going alone. Yeah, Not for HHN, but going to other parks like Disney or Sea World with a big group can be a hassle. Everyone wants to do soemthing different lol.

I say, if you play it smart and you don't do the shows, doing the houses 3 times could be done. (Not all of them, but at least half) You do most of the houses you can when the park opens. You could use the Express pass when the lines get long. And then near closing time you might be able to do some houses again.

But, Like I was saying earlier, I see people using their Express pass when there is pretty much no one waiting in the regular line, I wouldn't pay that much to waste the pass like that...

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