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Unmasking the Horror Tour

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Some other things to add....

 

We were told that all single tours would be doing Ghost Town, both AM and PM.  Makes sense since it's the only one you're allowed to take pictures in, but not sure what house gets left out of the generally accepted lineups stated at the beginning....or if they just add it to the tour that originally didn't cover it.

 

Also, the AM/PM combo was a bit different year, we did Krampus, Halloween II, TCM, and Excorcist in the AM.  We were then brought back to Blueman Group and had about 80min for lunch out in City Walk (lunch isn't in the park this year).  We then did AHS and Ghost Town in the afternoon.

 

My guess is because AHS is so big and popular and Ghost Town is the only place you are allowed to take pictures, they wanted to give you as much time as possible in those two houses.

 

We were also brought back to Blueman Group at the conclusion of the tour and not the usual "I assume everybody here has day park tickets, so we'll just break up here" thing they've done every combo/PM tour I've done before.

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22 minutes ago, Oysterhead00 said:

We were also brought back to Blueman Group at the conclusion of the tour and not the usual "I assume everybody here has day park tickets, so we'll just break up here" thing they've done every combo/PM tour I've done before.

 

That's awful. It was a nice perk to stick around. 

 

Yeah, not worth doing the tour anymore. 

 

FYI HHN 26 is getting scathing reviews online.

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16 minutes ago, criticalanalysis said:

FYI HHN 26 is getting scathing reviews online.

 

Where are you seeing that?  If you say Twitter or FB I'll just laugh, because a majority of those people are trolls who just like to complain about everything....so I'm sure that's how you found it :) 

 

I thought this year was stellar as far as the event goes.  Yes, I'm pissed about the UTH ordeal and that I had to shell out $80 more for my ticket this year (but Express was truely express this year, didn't wait longer than 20min for a single house), but the event itself was top notch.  Other than Chance, all the houses were amazing.  The Scare Zones were really strong.  Bill and Ted's was great and Academy of Villains was amazing and a great change of pace for the event.  The HHN Store/Museum was fantastic.  They tied for the most houses ever and introduced something new with the VR upcharge house (I won't include in that in my house count as it was an upcharge and not part of the event itself).  They got rid of the ridiculous security that would take an hour to go through, got rid of the flashlights that all the ushers had, and actually had a house shirt worth buying this year.  Hell, The Walking Dead is getting great reviews even from people who were dreading it.  They had 3 awesome event mixed drinks and greatly expanded the draft beer options at the beverage kiosks.  They brought back the 3D projection technology and introduced amazing new FX in the Halloween house.  By all measures, the event is a rousing success. 

 

Google Halloween Horror Nights 26 Reviews and these are the first 5 reviews that come up (well, there's a hit at #4 that isn't really a review, so I skipped that one).  Not me picking and choosing to prove my point, rather picking the first 5 actual reviews to show up on the search.

 

http://www.zam.com/article/1103/universal-orlando-halloween-horror-nights-26-review

 

http://www.icflorida.com/news/entertainment/attractions/halloween-horror-nights-26-maze-reviews/nsc7n/

 

http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/09/25/ranking-the-mazes-at-universal-orlandos-2016-halloween-horror-nights-26

 

http://www.insidethemagic.net/2016/09/halloween-horror-nights-2016-house-by-house-review-american-horror-story-leads-an-all-around-frightfully-good-time-at-universal-orlando/

 

http://orlandounited.com/2016/09/halloween-horror-nights-26-review/

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On their FB :)

 

I respect your POV and am surprised you said that because you went to some great years! None were standout to me, though I did love TCM. Felt zones were average, at best, since only 2/5 did anything for me. I'll write a full review later.

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A few pics from what you were allowed to take

 



 

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TWD wasn't part of the tour, but our Tour Guide brought us by the Facade since that's all we were allowed to take pictures of.

 

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dsc_1255_ps_29469156203_o_zpsqt9ffola.jp

 

 


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When you book your UTH tour you can request specific tour guide if you like.

David is THE BEST.  Had him all years save one since it began.

 

There is no fixed house order or split for the AM and PM tours.  It is very fluid and can change from day to day.

In fact, the guides discuss their agendas before they call out the parties.  Every day brings a new number of people and different goings on behind the scenes, parade schedules, etc.  

 

I did the AM/PM tour and we saw all houses except Chance's and Tomb of the Ancients.  I think that will probably stay that way for the duration.  Tomb is narrow and dark; work lights don't help much.  Chance's is 3D and therefore not prioritized.  

 

I figured we would do the houses as they were grouped (i.e. the soundstages in AM, and tents/parade in PM).  Not so.  We criss-crossed the park several times.  Tons of walking.

 

And yes, the new policies are:

No photos in any IP houses

No video in ANY house

No exit within park after PM tour

 

That last one is a real bummer, because I liked being able to hang out at Finnegan's and get early entry.

 

 

my tried and true approach to making the most of a tour:

Do an HHN night (pre-tour)

Do the UTH tour

Do another HHN night (post-tour) and have a whole new perspective.

 

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I'm still really on the fence about doing the tour this year. I always really like to see the lights on stuff and things I wouldn't normally see. But the not being able to take pictures is a huge bummer. 

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David is THE BEST.  Had him all years save one since it began.

 

He's the shorter dude who is really passionate about the event, right? The few times I went to the tour he was my guide and I loved him.

 

No video in ANY house

 

I guess so that people don't record it, post it, and say "Eh, don't have to worry about doing it now!"

Edited by criticalanalysis

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On 10/8/2016 at 0:29 PM, killswitch22 said:

I'm still really on the fence about doing the tour this year. I always really like to see the lights on stuff and things I wouldn't normally see. But the not being able to take pictures is a huge bummer. 

 

It is a huge bummer indeed.  Many people have ignored the rules and  strayed form the group and taken pictures anyhow.  They are not going to kick you out on the first offense so go for it.

 

I just submitted my survey for the tour and they clearly worded questions to sniff out how important pictures and video were.  Never seen that before. 

Anyhow, I ranked photos at the top of the list of "why I attended UTH".  I made it clear that this could be a dealbreaker for me in years to come.

 

I really wonder what property contract forced this.  There's no way they decided this in a vacuum.  In the past, we've been able to take photos in TWD, Halloween, TCM (ah - repeats.  HHN is getting to be so much like Howl O Scream, isn't it?)  And we know we can take photos in the three original houses even though the tour only goes into one original.

 

So who was it?  Exorcist?  AHS?  Krampus?  I don't really see Krampus being the party pooper.  Something is telling me AHS.

 

Such are the handcuffs that come with those beloved, expensive, and predictable IPs...

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56 minutes ago, zombieman said:

 

It is a huge bummer indeed.  Many people have ignored the rules and  strayed form the group and taken pictures anyhow.  They are not going to kick you out on the first offense so go for it.

 

I just submitted my survey for the tour and they clearly worded questions to sniff out how important pictures and video were.  Never seen that before. 

Anyhow, I ranked photos at the top of the list of "why I attended UTH".  I made it clear that this could be a dealbreaker for me in years to come.

 

I really wonder what property contract forced this.  There's no way they decided this in a vacuum.  In the past, we've been able to take photos in TWD, Halloween, TCM (ah - repeats.  HHN is getting to be so much like Howl O Scream, isn't it?)  And we know we can take photos in the three original houses even though the tour only goes into one original.

 

So who was it?  Exorcist?  AHS?  Krampus?  I don't really see Krampus being the party pooper.  Something is telling me AHS.

 

Such are the handcuffs that come with those beloved, expensive, and predictable IPs...

 

They've NEVER allowed Videos.  Years ago we had a guide say something along the lines of, "If you want to take a quick 30sec video to show the transition from (this particular) room to room, that would be fine."  When asked what the deal was, they elaborated "This tour is considered a performance, and much like other performances (think it was only Bill and Ted and the one magic show that year), this particular performance is for this group only so we cannot permit recordings" or something along those lines.  

 

Rumors are it wasn't a particular IP that raised hell (they'd have substituted Chance or Tomb if that were the case or "due to multiple venues having the rights to Krampus we're unable to permit photos during the UTH tour" clause and remove that one or, "Due to the current running TV shows of TWD, AHS, or The Exorcist we have to restrict photography") but rather the context of pictures being taken, the fear of complaints/litigation/whatever from multiple IPs, and HHN itself opting to go scorched earth.  The forums hinted at that, but someone that I think would have been in the know mentioned that when we were at the event (as well as a LOT of budget cuts this year which I personally couldn't notice, so maybe they were full of crap).  I'm a nobody that is a 22 hour drive away from the event so I don't know anything about anything, but just passing on what I read and what I heard from what I'd consider a "reliable source" that I won't even hint at.  

 

It was too easy for HHN to make up some bullshit excuse that, "Due to current TV obligations, pictures in AHS/Exorcist houses are not permitted" and given the whole Scream fiasco it would have been completely believable.  The fear of xxxxxx (litigation, refusal to have houses at the event, whatever) had the powers that be worried enough that pissing off people and giving 33% refunds (based on the number of people who punched out on my tour) was the lesser of 2 evils.

 

I'd expect the picture option to be back next year with some new signed contract with IPs along the lines of "Your houses are the property of HHN while the event runs and we reserve the rights to generate revenue based on the houses...any photos, depictions, whatever of the houses are the responsibility of the photographers/videographers/etc and Universal bears no liability for the context in which they are used" or whatever legal bullshit mumbojumbo they need to include.

 

And yes, I received the survey today and I never took so much time and effort filling out an online survey before :)

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I did the tour this past Sunday and had David once again. He truly is an asset to these tours, and he's probably what made the tour worth it even without photos. Much like others have reported, we did (in order) TCM, Tomb facade and entry room, Halloween, Krampus, lunch break, Exorcist, Ghost Town, TWD facade, AHS. 

 

The tour was super insightful, and the Easter eggs always make it worth it. My favorites are the Amityville Horror house inside the snowglobe in Krampus, and the AHS inspired Devils Night invite list in Ghost Town. 

 

If you're in the fence, I say still do it, request David. You'll have an awesome time and learn so much about the event. 

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What time can I expect to be done the unmasking tour in the afternoon (doing the combo tour). I am hoping there will be time to get back into the park before it closes at 5 so I can get to one of the holding pens. Thanks! And yes, I have a regular ticket for the park - have a day left on a multi day. 

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Just now, Dog67 said:

What time can I expect to be done the unmasking tour in the afternoon (doing the combo tour). I am hoping there will be time to get back into the park before it closes at 5 so I can get to one of the holding pens. Thanks! And yes, I have a regular ticket for the park - have a day left on a multi day. 

 

Wasn't looking at my watch, but you have PLENTY of time.  We went to the NBC Sports Bar for a drink or two, and then went back into the park like 15 min before closing (we were worried about when they'd stop letting people in) with no problems.  They had the right gates lined up for HHN people, left gates had zero lines for people with day tickets.

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53 minutes ago, Dog67 said:

What time can I expect to be done the unmasking tour in the afternoon (doing the combo tour). I am hoping there will be time to get back into the park before it closes at 5 so I can get to one of the holding pens. Thanks! And yes, I have a regular ticket for the park - have a day left on a multi day. 

 

Tour wraps up between 3:45 and 4:00; however - they will end the your outside the park grounds.  If your leftover entry is for daytime you'll be fine, but will still need to walk back to the entry gates.  I'd hustle over there quickly before the bullpen starts filling up with HHN early arrivals.  There will not be many daytime guests trying to enter at 4:15...

 

Alternatively, get there at park opening and enter using your ticket.  Then get handstamped and exit the park for your UTH tour.  That way you can go straight to handstamp area  - OR if you have a particularly nice tour guide they MIGHT just let you leave the group before the UTH tour enters the Blue Man theater.

 

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43 minutes ago, zombieman said:

 

Tour wraps up between 3:45 and 4:00; however - they will end the your outside the park grounds.  If your leftover entry is for daytime you'll be fine, but will still need to walk back to the entry gates.  I'd hustle over there quickly before the bullpen starts filling up with HHN early arrivals.  There will not be many daytime guests trying to enter at 4:15...

 

Alternatively, get there at park opening and enter using your ticket.  Then get handstamped and exit the park for your UTH tour.  That way you can go straight to handstamp area  - OR if you have a particularly nice tour guide they MIGHT just let you leave the group before the UTH tour enters the Blue Man theater.

 

Thanks for the replies - appreciate it!

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On 10/10/2016 at 10:18 PM, Oysterhead00 said:

 

I'd expect the picture option to be back next year with some new signed contract with IPs along the lines of "Your houses are the property of HHN while the event runs and we reserve the rights to generate revenue based on the houses...any photos, depictions, whatever of the houses are the responsibility of the photographers/videographers/etc and Universal bears no liability for the context in which they are used" or whatever legal bullshit mumbojumbo they need to include.

 

Grain of salt, but heard a clause permitting photography was accidentally dropped from IP contracts 2 years ago. Not that IP holders wouldn't still have been pissed, but would've taken away Universal's fig leaf, why they instantly pulled the nuclear option.

 

In any case, now that the genie is out of the bottle so to speak, I don't see any IP holder agreeing to that clause. Holders are fiercely protective of their product. No one wants suggestive/questionable photos with their horror icon. (Doubly true when that icon is a recognizable actor with a publicist.) I hate to say it, but like scare-zones, i think the backstage tour will end up being another casualty of the cell phone camera era.

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