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The Master

Universal Halloween Horror Nights 2012

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Just got back from my Orlando trip tonight (Friday). It's probably the warmest night I ever flew back to Philly in Oct which was a surprise since it was unusually cold when I flew out. Usually I go to Universal during the day to ride all the regular rides so I can focus on the mazes at night. While I saw Universal working hard on the second Harry Potter land and Transformers, I was disappointed by the decline in operations. Despite being more crowded than last year, the park was only loading one side on Mummy, ET, one screen of Simpsons, 1 Sherk theater, which really slowed down the lines, even with a hotel express pass. Last year they were running both sides of the rides I listed. They also reconfigured some of the express pass lanes to inferior setups such as ET and the Hulk coaster so the stand by lines block the splits. IOA did not seem to be running rides at reduced capacity like it's sister park. I really like the upgrades to Spiderman.

 

Most of the mazes were good this year, Silent Hill I thought was the weakest, though some of it is probably due to me not knowing anything about that game or film. Gothic I thought was best with The Walking Dead a close second. Dead End was good, Newkd Vegas I thought was going to be weak surprised me and was good. Welcome To My Nightmare I thought was a little weak while House Of Horrors was pretty good, it kept closing down and reopening all night because of the drunk smokers setting off the fire alarms. It was pretty busy for a Wed, wait times were up to 75 min long for some of the mazes. I was able to do all the houses twice (except House of Horrors which I could only due once due to it's problems) by doing both stand by and then using horror express tickets. The event never thinned out that night and the drunks were starting to get rowdy during the last hour which made me glad I wasn't doing a longer Horror Night. Unlike past years, Horror Night didn't have marked Scare Zones on the midways. Instead most of the scare actors were free roaming and could go inside of gift shops to scare people which I thought was not very smart of Universal. Scaring drunks in cramped shops with racks of merchandise is not going to end well for Universal's bottom line. Overall I had a fun time despite the long lines and rougher crowds.

Edited by The Master

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I heard they changed Express for Hulk so Express users can now wait for the front. I didn't mind giving up the front row to be able to have a 1 train wait. I haven't been there since the change but I hate the idea of having to force your way in to the line at the merge point (it has the potential for problems) and then still have to wait in part of the line

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I heard they changed Express for Hulk so Express users can now wait for the front. I didn't mind giving up the front row to be able to have a 1 train wait. I haven't been there since the change but I hate the idea of having to force your way in to the line at the merge point (it has the potential for problems) and then still have to wait in part of the line

 

You don't have to force your way in,the attendant at the merging point will stop the normal line for you to go.After that you have a choice to go left into the front row line or right for the line for rows 2 and on.

 

This year has be insane line wise,when I went it wasn't horrible in the last week of September but a lot of reports have been saying waits are averaging 2 hours and The Walking Dead house usually being at 2 1/2 hours.Insane.

 

Edit:Universal just announced the park is closed to anyone without tickets previously bought,they are sold to capacity for the first time since before 2006...

Edited by Mike13

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They don't always have an attendant at the merging point for Hulk. In the middle of the afternoon they seem to have one stationed there but in the evening they didn't have an attendant.

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They don't always have an attendant at the merging point for Hulk. In the middle of the afternoon they seem to have one stationed there but in the evening they didn't have an attendant.

 

Oh I stand corrected.I have never been at Islands at night so don't know how they work staffing wise on the night shift.

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It was my first time at IOA at night that wasn't a horror night at that park. IOA is staying open later this year than it has other years in the fall (except for the IOA Horror nights). I really miss the days when the Horror Nights used to be uncrowded. My first HHN back in 1999 was much less crowded than during the day! I rode BTTF 10 times in a row walk on that night.

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It was my first time at IOA at night that wasn't a horror night at that park. IOA is staying open later this year than it has other years in the fall (except for the IOA Horror nights). I really miss the days when the Horror Nights used to be uncrowded. My first HHN back in 1999 was much less crowded than during the day! I rode BTTF 10 times in a row walk on that night.

 

I've only been going since 2007 so I don't know what a less crowded HHN is haha.This year was by far the busiest out of any of the years I went.At least they are learning as the event goes on,the standards are going way up after this year,believe me.

Edited by Mike13

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Back then HHN was not that well known like it is now. It also wasn't a booze fest back then like it is now either. They didn't start selling booze until 2003, the second year HHN was at IOA.

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Back then HHN was not that well known like it is now. It also wasn't a booze fest back then like it is now either. They didn't start selling booze until 2003, the second year HHN was at IOA.

 

Alcohol is not going away,the revenue made in the first hour of the event in alcohol alone is an insane number.HHN might be back at IOA next year just for room for an 8th house and to be able to increase capacity and sell more tickets of course.

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I don't doubt that they make an insane profit off the alcohol sales. Wish it was like the Universal Hollywood's version of HHN which is dry. The drunks do get out of hand during HHN at times which is a problem. This year I saw when the House Of Horrors closed down because of the fire alarm, there were 3 guards surrounding a smoker by the emergency exit for it. The smoker probably lit up inside the maze setting off the alarm, the A hole. No smoking signs are meaningless during HHN, everyone lights up everywhere.

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I don't doubt that they make an insane profit off the alcohol sales. Wish it was like the Universal Hollywood's version of HHN which is dry. The drunks do get out of hand during HHN at times which is a problem. This year I saw when the House Of Horrors closed down because of the fire alarm, there were 3 guards surrounding a smoker by the emergency exit for it. The smoker probably lit up inside the maze setting off the alarm, the A hole. No smoking signs are meaningless during HHN, everyone lights up everywhere.

 

That's not just at HHN,that's anywhere.Great Adventure's crowd I would say is an even worse group of people.

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When it comes down to it it's an ADULT event, and serving drinks is part of it. The Universal Orlando parks cater much more towards the adult market overall which is because they were built when Universal was owned by Seagrams. I know I was at first disturbed by the restaurants in Universal having full bars (mostly because I came from the Great Adventure mindset of people getting drunk in the parking lot being a major problem), but overall I see relatively few problems at the Universal parks with serving alcohol, even at HHN.

 

Really the worst cases of drunken idiots I've seen is in EPCOT where is seems the only way some guests can soak up culture is to "drink around the world".

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I've never seen anyone who was drunk get out of hand at the park during the years I've been going.Granted a few have been slightly annoying at most,but when something does happen because someone was drunk like hit an actor or smash props,etc. that's when you hear about it.99% of the people that go to the park don't cause problems.

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I have seen people getting out of hand during HHN at Orlando over the years I have been going which is more than you (1999 vs 2007). While HHN is an adult event, drinks do not have to be a part of it let alone a major part of it like it is now. As I stated before, pre 2003 HHN was not a drinking event like it is now. Even the HHN in Hollywood is still dry, they do not serve alcohol like the Orlando version. During HHN I have seen drunks wacking other guests with plastic swords, stampeeds of drunks flying down midways knocking other people over, drunks screaming at guards for telling them to stop smoking in line, drunks stopping dead inside a maze not letting anyone go by until guards escort them out, etc. As I said they had to shut down a maze for a few hours because of a drunk smoking inside the maze this year, first time I seen that happen.

 

Universal sets up portable bars all over the place and have girls in sexy nurse outfits selling shooters in all the lines, they really push drinking too much. In 2006 I was splashed in the face and eyes with alcohol by a drunk and was temporary blinded by the pain. My friend had to get first aid for me and I spent a couple of hours there before my vision returned. The medics said they have to treat for that alot during the HHN season. My friend was so disguested by what happened she won't go back to HHN and thinks I am nuts that I still go. Probably I am LOL, but I now avoid the really busy nights, also because I can't afford those nights either. Universal does know the drunks are a problem since they drive their 50s cars away from Mel's to the backstage areas for HHN and station double skippers on the hotel boats and check for room keys before they let you board.

 

Now just to be clear, I have never seen any problems with drunks or drinking during normal hours in Oct at Universal, or Feb or May, only during the HHN events. Like most Halloween events at parks it draws in a rougher crowd than normal. But all that alcohol draws in even more rough people and makes them behave worse since the park pushs drinking so much during HHN.

 

I still don't know how this topic became so derailed, all I said was HHN didn't used to have so much drinking and people seem to overzealously defend it. I rather be talking about the good things about HHN and not about the problems or defend my stance and experience.

Edited by The Master

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I have seen people getting out of hand during HHN at Orlando over the years I have been going which is more than you (1999 vs 2007). While HHN is an adult event, drinks do not have to be a part of it let alone a major part of it like it is now. As I stated before, pre 2003 HHN was not a drinking event like it is now. Even the HHN in Hollywood is still dry, they do not serve alcohol like the Orlando version. During HHN I have seen drunks wacking other guests with plastic swords, stampeeds of drunks flying down midways knocking other people over, drunks screaming at guards for telling them to stop smoking in line, drunks stopping dead inside a maze not letting anyone go by until guards escort them out, etc. Universal sets up portable bars all over the place and have girls in sexy nurse outfits selling shooters in the lines, they really push drinking too much. In 2006 I was splashed in the face and eyes with alcohol by a drunk and was temporary blinded by the pain. My friend had to get first aid for me and I spent a couple of hours there before my vision returned. The medics said they have to treat for that alot during the HHN season. She was so disguested by what happened she won't go back to HHN and thinks I am nuts that I still go. Probably I am LOL, but I now avoid the really busy nights, also because I can't afford those nights either. Universal does know the drunks are a problem since they drive the 50s cars away from Mel's to the backstage areas for HHN and station double skippers on the hotel boats and check for room keys before they let you board.

 

Yeah they were doing that when I was going back to Portofino from HHN this year,I don't remember them doing that in the past at all.The new management is all about the profits so don't expect much to be done about the drunks except possibly hiring more event staff next year.

Edited by Mike13

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I have seen people getting out of hand during HHN at Orlando over the years I have been going which is more than you (1999 vs 2007). While HHN is an adult event, drinks do not have to be a part of it let alone a major part of it like it is now. As I stated before, pre 2003 HHN was not a drinking event like it is now. Even the HHN in Hollywood is still dry, they do not serve alcohol like the Orlando version. During HHN I have seen drunks wacking other guests with plastic swords, stampeeds of drunks flying down midways knocking other people over, drunks screaming at guards for telling them to stop smoking in line, drunks stopping dead inside a maze not letting anyone go by until guards escort them out, etc. As I said they had to shut down a maze for a few hours because of a drunk smoking inside the maze this year, first time I seen that happen.

 

Universal sets up portable bars all over the place and have girls in sexy nurse outfits selling shooters in all the lines, they really push drinking too much. In 2006 I was splashed in the face and eyes with alcohol by a drunk and was temporary blinded by the pain. My friend had to get first aid for me and I spent a couple of hours there before my vision returned. The medics said they have to treat for that alot during the HHN season. My friend was so disguested by what happened she won't go back to HHN and thinks I am nuts that I still go. Probably I am LOL, but I now avoid the really busy nights, also because I can't afford those nights either. Universal does know the drunks are a problem since they drive their 50s cars away from Mel's to the backstage areas for HHN and station double skippers on the hotel boats and check for room keys before they let you board.

 

Now just to be clear, I have never seen any problems with drunks or drinking during normal hours in Oct at Universal, or Feb or May, only during the HHN events. Like most Halloween events at parks it draws in a rougher crowd than normal. But all that alcohol draws in even more rough people and makes them behave worse since the park pushs drinking so much during HHN.

 

I still don't know how this topic became so derailed, all I said was HHN didn't used to have so much drinking and people seem to overzealously defend it. I rather be talking about the good things about HHN and not about the problems or defend my stance and experience.

 

I'm starting to think you have bad luck or something because I have never heard anyone come back from HHN with tales of woe like this.

 

 

 

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Well this is the first time I have heard of drunks at Epcot so we both learned something unpleasant. I probably can't find it but I know I read on a forum somewhere about someone being attacked by a drunk after HHN in the Royal Pacific lobby. I did find this helpful article http://www.examiner.com/article/dealing-with-drunks-at-halloween-horror-nights-don-t-let-them-ruin-your-event, a guide for dealing with drunks at HHN so I am not the only person seeing a problem with the drinking.

 

They have been having double skippers on the hotel boats for HHN since 2005, the key thing is new this year and is a good idea. One time I overheard a pair of skippers talking how they hate having the post HNN shift.

 

Back in 2004 when I went to take an elevator at the Portofino after HHN there were two lost drunks sitting in it. They asked me the way to the parking garage but were too drunk to even stand, don't know how they ended up in the hotel like that. I will say the park has not been pushing drinking as hard as they used too and there are not as many rowdy drunks in the last two years either. I have not seen drunks in any of the Universal hotels since that one time in 04.

 

Getting booze in the eyes will ruin your day, I learned that the hard way and I don't even drink. It felt liked being maced which is what I thought happened to me at first.

 

I have heard that Knott's Haunt serves booze like HHN Orlando and they kick out 1000 drunks every season and that they have more problems than the Hollywood HHN which is dry. The big problem is alot of people can not stop themselves and end up $hitfaced.

Edited by The Master

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