Jump to content
zombieman

Halloween Horror Nights Orlando 29 Discussion Thread

Recommended Posts

While it doesn't warrant an entire review, this year's HHN felt off to me.  It's now fully commercialized and only a couple of the houses go for real scares.  There was a sameness to the houses and I didn't get that same level of excitement as I have in the past.

 

The private RIP was fine for speed, but Uni screwed me on my guide.  I had been with the same guide for years and they bait/switched me at the last minute with someone new.  He was a total dud.  His energy was off the whole night and it killed the event for me.  It felt like $3500 somewhat wasted.

 

Moreso, when you're charging those rates, the experience suffers when you cram a ton of people into La Bamba.  It felt like a Walmart.  

 

Bottom line, they're making so much money off this event that it's clear they don't really care about improvements.  Perhaps it's time for me to put that cash elsewhere and just retire future HHNs to better past memories.

  • Sad 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I do really like this year, I will admit that something just feels... Off. I don't know what it is though. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vamp 85 was an anchor for me last year. No matter where I was going I'd cut through Killer Klowns then Vamp for a good time. Now I avoid parts of the park because they are too packed (Hellbilly) or just boring (Zombieland). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been a lurker on here for a long time and decided to finally sign up. I've been attending HHN for 16 years and slowly I have recruited friends to come along. I will say this year is DEFINITELY off in terms of anticipation for me. I've seen posts on here stating the same thing and people speculating as to why - I really do think Universal realizes how much they make off the event regardless so they have slacked off in areas. I remember back in the day, just the HHN website by itself would get me hyped - They had a great graphics department, the sites were interactive (Flash Days) and it felt like there was so much more build-up. I definitely saw more commercials and billboards. As many have mentioned, the use of so many IP's has "dumbed it down". While I have no complaints about crowd levels because I do the RIP tour - the longest line was around 200 mins for Stranger Things and about 120 mins for US on 10/12 - in 2018 Stranger Things was posting 300-400 min waits and Poltergeist was around 180 when we went. Our guide said that this was the busiest night so far this year for HHN.

 

The past (2) years our group has done the Non-Private RIP tour which is 10000x worth the price (About $150 more than doing ticket + express with an AP), just for the fact that you do not have to wait in any lines, ANY! With that being said, there are definitely some improvements that can be done even for the RIP Tours.

 

Pros:

- Our guide this year, Brittany, was awesome - very passionate about HHN

- Front of the line, no waiting

- Cafe La Bamba for us was not crowded (8pm tour) and this year there were 4 different scareactors who were very interactive with everyone. Last year, I only remember seeing 1-2

- Free bottled water which saves you about $5 for each one you drink (will also be a con)

- The added stop at Fallon's rooftop lounge was great

- They got rid of AOV during the tour, but you can still go through a priority entrance after the tour if you want

- We made a stop at Cafe La Bambe after the tour so we could get some snacks and rest for a little. Last year we only met here and never went back so it was a nice change

 

Cons:

- Let the RIP guests in the park before general admission, even if it's only a few minutes

- Bottled water should be free during the entire private tour

- I don't drink soda, but a few members in our group do, so at least include it at Cafe La Bamba

- If the bar is private and the intentions are so that we do not have to stand in lines and wait, have them staffed a little better

- While there is no way for universal to control crowds, this year and last year were irritating keeping up with the tour guide while everyone pushed in front of you in congested scare zones separating the group

- More time in scare zones!!! I understand there is a schedule to keep, but extend the tour by 45 mins and give us 10ish minutes in each scare zone to take photos - Some might say you can do this after, but if I am already walking through the zones - it would just make more sense.

 

On a side note, I also think there should be security in areas where the tours pass through. There were instances where we cut through a line so they would drop the ropes and a member of the staff would stop the line. People were getting angry and saying some crazy things - arguing with the guide etc. Nothing happened, but I could see something quickly escalating. Last year people were boo'ing us while we walked up to stranger things and while we found it funny - drunk people do not think logically.

 

With all of that being said, our group will be back and we will continue doing the RIP - if raising prices means a better experience, I'd gladly pay more - just show me the value for my dollar.

 

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to HNN!

Very good write up.

 

Question about the non-private RIP - when the tour ends, does your necklace (or whatever they give you) act as an Express pass?

 

I've been to tours at Howl-O-Scream where it did, and to the A&D tour a few years ago at HHN where you did not have post-tour Express privileges.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/16/2019 at 6:48 PM, zombieman said:

Welcome to HNN!

Very good write up.

 

Question about the non-private RIP - when the tour ends, does your necklace (or whatever they give you) act as an Express pass?

 

I've been to tours at Howl-O-Scream where it did, and to the A&D tour a few years ago at HHN where you did not have post-tour Express privileges.

 

Yep - express pass is included with the non-private tour. The express pass works before and after the tour so we book an 8pm tour which gives us 2 hours before to knock out the rides since some close early.

 

Interesting to note. I've been receiving several surveys via email and the one today asked the following "You mentioned you attended Halloween Horror Nights in 2017. Did you attend Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure during that year? "  Hoping the rumors of Bill & Ted making a return for next year are true!

Edited by 85HHN
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So it's almost Halloween and I wanted to post some final thoughts before my last night in attendance. This year has had some of my favorite houses ever. Surprisingly for the first time ever my list really didn't change from most anticipated to what turned out to be my favorite. The only exception was Nightingales briefly, but what a comeback they had!

 

A couple of people have commented that this year seems 'weird' or 'off'. I think a better term for this year would be experimental. There are some amazing houses that really clicked with what I wanted from the event. In addition US, Ghostbusters and Killer Klowns were amazing film-to-house adaptions. In my personal opinion an issue some of the fans had with these houses were not with their quality but their scare factor - that's not anyone but the IPs fault if that was an issue. Quite frankly Ghostbusters, US and Killer Klowns are not scary films - especially when compared to IP houses such as Halloween or Poltergeist which achieved being the best adaptation and one of if not the scariest houses in their respective years.

 

I now understand one of the reasons why we've gotten Halloween 4 times over the past few years. Michael Myers is scary and the character works regardless of the quality of the film it's based off of. One of the reasons the originals ended up being so much scarier than other houses is the same reason Nightingales went from a rough house to a worthy sequel. The actors could find their groove and intensity to develop an already scary creature and environment into frightening experience. No matter how good a Ghostbuster is at filling his role, he will simply never get scarier. Ghostbusters (and Stranger Things last year) are some of the best theme park attractions Florida has seen in years but are only decent Haunted Houses. A final note on the issue of IPs: Us is so different and ridiculously good at the end of the night/ when it's empty. The scare actors are incredibly creepy and its unlike anything I've seen at HHN.

 

With all of the above said, adaptation preference is simply that - a preference on what elements the event has. The REAL issue this year was the scare-zones. This is where the experimental issues were the most present. It's like every different zone had different testing elements. I do truly feel that they're trying to figure out how to proceed with scare zones now and into the future. I expect them to eventually hit the mark, after all, HNN does this event better than anyone else. I still don't like a single thing about Vanity Ball though (and I really don't like saying anything like that about a part of the event. I know A&D and the actors work very had to make the event so fun).

 

I had a great time so far this year and can't wait to go back for a final trip. I loved hearing everyone's experiences and stories and I appreciate all those who post who keep me coming back to this forum. Happy Halloween everyone! Make sure to follow all the rules and avoid a visit from Sam because it's almost speculation season again!

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Conversely, after the past 3 nights in attendance, Vanity Ball is 100 percent my favorite scare zone in the couple of years I've attended so far. My best friend was in attendance the past 3 nights & also loved that zone, she found it so much fun while still being respectful to the "ball" scene. The main actors were so interactive with us and anybody else who would actually hang around & watch, while the doctor & nurse actors were always on the move & jumping people aggressively. Again, a lot of fun to people-watch there. 

 

My zones are probably:

1. Vanity Ball

2. Hellbilly Deluxe

3. Zombieland (horrible shows, but a really awesome cast; I dug this so much more when I ate at Finn's last night, the cast performing in front of the windows was hysterical)

4. Vikings Undead

5. Anarch-cade

 

Houses:

1. Universal Monsters

2. House of 1000 Corpses

3. Yeti: Terror of the Yukon

4. Depths of Fear (Overhead puppet almost hits me every time & I'm here for it lol)

5. Us

6. Graveyard Games (Just had a bad 1st walkthrough of this. Hoping to get better ones as the week goes on.)

7. Nightingales (A couple of scenes are waaaay too timing dependent. Though I really liked the UTH tour of this house! Now I can spot the hidden bear!)

8. Killer Klowns

9. Ghostbusters

10. Stranger Things

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Midnight Detective said:

So it's almost Halloween and I wanted to post some final thoughts before my last night in attendance. This year has had some of my favorite houses ever. Surprisingly for the first time ever my list really didn't change from most anticipated to what turned out to be my favorite. The only exception was Nightingales briefly, but what a comeback they had!

 

A couple of people have commented that this year seems 'weird' or 'off'. I think a better term for this year would be experimental. There are some amazing houses that really clicked with what I wanted from the event. In addition US, Ghostbusters and Killer Klowns were amazing film-to-house adaptions. In my personal opinion an issue some of the fans had with these houses were not with their quality but their scare factor - that's not anyone but the IPs fault if that was an issue. Quite frankly Ghostbusters, US and Killer Klowns are not scary films - especially when compared to IP houses such as Halloween or Poltergeist which achieved being the best adaptation and one of if not the scariest houses in their respective years.

 

I now understand one of the reasons why we've gotten Halloween 4 times over the past few years. Michael Myers is scary and the character works regardless of the quality of the film it's based off of. One of the reasons the originals ended up being so much scarier than other houses is the same reason Nightingales went from a rough house to a worthy sequel. The actors could find their groove and intensity to develop an already scary creature and environment into frightening experience. No matter how good a Ghostbuster is at filling his role, he will simply never get scarier. Ghostbusters (and Stranger Things last year) are some of the best theme park attractions Florida has seen in years but are only decent Haunted Houses. A final note on the issue of IPs: Us is so different and ridiculously good at the end of the night/ when it's empty. The scare actors are incredibly creepy and its unlike anything I've seen at HHN.

 

With all of the above said, adaptation preference is simply that - a preference on what elements the event has. The REAL issue this year was the scare-zones. This is where the experimental issues were the most present. It's like every different zone had different testing elements. I do truly feel that they're trying to figure out how to proceed with scare zones now and into the future. I expect them to eventually hit the mark, after all, HNN does this event better than anyone else. I still don't like a single thing about Vanity Ball though (and I really don't like saying anything like that about a part of the event. I know A&D and the actors work very had to make the event so fun).

 

I had a great time so far this year and can't wait to go back for a final trip. I loved hearing everyone's experiences and stories and I appreciate all those who post who keep me coming back to this forum. Happy Halloween everyone! Make sure to follow all the rules and avoid a visit from Sam because it's almost speculation season again!

I feel like this year was a good one to do experimental stuff with. Year before anni, what’s to lose?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll join in with my top 10! Got back to the UK last Sunday & did HHN 4 times whilst we were in Orlando. I'll start with houses...

 

1. Universal Monsters

2. Nightingales: Blood Pit

3. Graveyard Games

4. House of 1000 Corpses

5. Yeti: Terror of the Yukon

6. Us

7. Ghost Busters

8. Depths of Fear 

9. Killer Klowns

10. Stranger Things

 

I do think its worth saying though that every house was incredible in their own right, i loved the whole set design in Stranger Things and also in KKFOS but they just weren't my favourite. For scarezones...

 

1. Rob Zombie's Hellbilly Deluxe

2. Vanity Ball

3. Zombieland

4. Anarchade 

5. Vikings Undead

 

I think if they had put Vikings in a different location i would have enjoyed it much more, i love the design but always use it as a walk through and it always seems so busy. I know the same could be said for Rob Zombie, but the energy and the performances (Living Dead Girl in particular) were so energetic and i honestly just loved the vibe so much. I think its so interesting seeing where everyone else ranks their houses & scarezones and just goes to show how great the event really is when something that's number 1 on one persons list can be number 10 on someone else's. Hope everyone attending enjoys their last few nights!! 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My husband and I went two nights. I agree with others who felt it was an off year. We still had fun, but it was just not great. We went on a Friday night and it felt very understaffed which was unusual. Our Sunday night was much better. We loved House of a Thousand Corpses (we're old metal heads so kind of biased) as well as Hellbilly Deluxe scarezone. For me, scarezones can really impact the event. Walking into Anarchade was a big let down. One of the girls on stilts literally was holding onto one of the arcade machines the entire time she was out, propping herself up. And the weird Christmas light flowy things were just cheap. Zombieland was boring overall. Friday night, we weren't even sure if some of the scare actors were in fact actors or just guests as they just kind of meandered through the crowd. Vanity Ball was much better on Sunday. On Friday, they did not even have anyone on the stage. The Viking one was cool.

I'm really hoping they are saving their best for next year. We hated Depths of Fear. Bloodpit was ok. Graveyard Games was probably our favorite original. Us surprised us by being one of our favorites and gave us some good jump scares, but it really depended on where you were in the line. Killer Klowns was cute, but I thought worked better as a scarezone. Ghostbusters was fun. Not my favorite, but I wasn't super excited about it to begin with. Overall, we just felt like there were too many just ok experiences and not enough great ones, if that makes sense. Excited for next year!!! Can't wait till you all start speculating so I can sit back and lurk!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

6 walkthroughs and I FINALLY got hit by "RUN, RABBIT, RUN" Otis at the end of H1C.  :otis:  I hope I didn't holler "DOG WILL HUNT" too aggressively back at you! I was very excited.

 

So excited for tonight. I've been battling illness this week but I'm not missing anything, I'll rest when I'm dead lol. Happy Halloween everyone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if anyone saw the Christmas and HHN Protesters outside last night, it was pretty funny, pretty short but funny for sure lol and also this: 

 

Edited by HorrorUnearthed
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Asking this AFTER HHN has ended, but still wondering...

Do they still have the Stranger Things experience up and running in the old T2 gift shop exit?

If it's not open, does the exterior still look the same?

 

I mean it's not HHN related, so it would make sense if it was still there and they were still gathering research data.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had a blast listening to all the podcasts tweaking their top ten lists.

 

What seems to be consistent from these were:

  • A lot of high praise for this year.
  • Monsters & Graveyard Games are at the top of everyone's list.
  • HOTC was much better than everyone expected - even if it wasn't their cup of tea
  • Yeti was quite high on lists.
  • Stranger Things seemed to disappoint.
  • HUGE polarization on Nightengales, KKFOS, GB, and Depths.  You loved it or hated it.
  • Us seemed to grow on people, to where it was high on lists.
  • AoV did not disappoint like last year.  Complete redemption.
  • This year's Fallen award seems to go to Vanity Ball.  A lot of people said it started strong but just petered out over the season.
  • There doesn't seem to be a single soul that was even indifferent to the Lagoon show.  It is an instant classic which puts a crapload of pressure on the pour soul who programmed it.  I'd get started on 30 now if I was him/her...  How do you even match it, let alone top it?

 

Anyone else who went at both start and end of the season want to comment on changes?  Effects that went missing?  Houses/zones that improved or declined?

 

I also heard something mentioned by exactly one podcast that conflicted when all else I heard.  That was that Graveyard Games was the last house that was directed by Mike Aiello.  I thought Charles and Patrick each took 5 and directed them.  If it was Mike behind the scenes - what a way to go out, right?  

  • Like 1
  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, zombieman said:

I've had a blast listening to all the podcasts tweaking their top ten lists.

 

What seems to be consistent from these were:

  • A lot of high praise for this year.
  • Monsters & Graveyard Games are at the top of everyone's list.
  • HOTC was much better than everyone expected - even if it wasn't their cup of tea
  • Yeti was quite high on lists.
  • Stranger Things seemed to disappoint.
  • HUGE polarization on Nightengales, KKFOS, GB, and Depths.  You loved it or hated it.
  • Us seemed to grow on people, to where it was high on lists.
  • AoV did not disappoint like last year.  Complete redemption.
  • This year's Fallen award seems to go to Vanity Ball.  A lot of people said it started strong but just petered out over the season.
  • There doesn't seem to be a single soul that was even indifferent to the Lagoon show.  It is an instant classic which puts a crapload of pressure on the pour soul who programmed it.  I'd get started on 30 now if I was him/her...  How do you even match it, let alone top it?

 

Anyone else who went at both start and end of the season want to comment on changes?  Effects that went missing?  Houses/zones that improved or declined?

 

I also heard something mentioned by exactly one podcast that conflicted when all else I heard.  That was that Graveyard Games was the last house that was directed by Mike Aiello.  I thought Charles and Patrick each took 5 and directed them.  If it was Mike behind the scenes - what a way to go out, right?  

What podcasts did you listen to? Always interested in some new HHn podcast finds 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Hhnsophmore said:

What podcasts did you listen to? Always interested in some new HHn podcast finds 

I search for anything Horror nights related or haunt related that included HHN 29.

In order of my favorite downward (purely my opinions):

Orlando Informer - by far the best Uni podcast around

Scarezone (the first and second season had some amazing HHN guests - worth searching for)

Universal After Dark - This one is going monthly, as Amanda is starting a new HHN podcast in a few weeks

Unofficial Orlando 

Inside Universal

Dis Unplugged Universal edition (Would be at the top except I can't handle Ryno for more than two minutes at a time...)

Season Pass - primarily west coast based.  They also do Knotts. 

 

Other ones that are new (to me)

HHN 365 - a startup podcast.  Not bad.

Catacombs of Horror - They've been around for a long time.  They have extensive historical walkthrus.  I mean room by room that we have all forgotten.  It's like they have old blueprints or something.

Creepy Kingdom - only tried it for the HHN reviews.  They are West coast based.

  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I stop listening to any HHN podcast where the hosts struggle to remember simple trivia like what the houses were last year or what the names of this year's scare zone are. Just write them down if you're making a podcast!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think most of us would choke on recalling trivia if we were hosting a podcast. Most of those guys are madly looking up the answer on a laptop while they are vamping.

 

My short term memory is pure crap, and I failed to recall Vanity Ball several times during conversations with friends.  I resorted to "where Chucky was last year".  Partially because it was a far better scarezone.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...