Published: October 1, 2006 at 8:47 PM
Just wanted to share a few comments about the opening weekend. We did Friday and Saturday night. Overall, I would say it was above average, but not spectacular. First,we were routed to the left down Rodeo Drive. Everyone had to go that way. I am sure it's to control the crowds. Unfortunately, we didn't want to go that way Saturday night because we had done all four
houses on that side of the park Friday night (Psycopath,People Under the Stairs,Dungeon of Terror, and Run). So we doubled back around Mel's and headed to Psychoscareapy, All Nite Die-In and Screamhouse.
I would rate Psychoscareapy as the best, but we missed its debut a few years back so it was all new for us. In fact, it seemed that the three houses we did on Saturday were just far better than the four we did Friday. In People Under the Stairs, I was the lucky guy in our group to wear the lighted hard hat. And I have to say they actually adjusted it to fit my head like a vice. I found it quite amusing considering I am 6'2 and I had to stoop down to get the guy to put it on my head. The scarezones were adequate (liked the Harvest of Souls the best), the Bill and Ted Show was quite funny and Sweet 16: The Director's Cut Lagoon show...well, let's just say I could take it or leave it.
We did enjoy the event and had fun but I liked last year's much more. I think Universal,not IOA, is the place for HHN but the Festival of the Dead Parade was sorely missed.
The one truly surprising thing we noticed was the staggering number of people with Express Passes. For the past three years we've bought them we've never had to wait at all; we just walked right up and went in. Of course we have always gone mid-October and paid premium price for them, so that may have something to do with it. We did not buy them this year and I am glad because it was quite a shock to see the length of the lines for Express holders. Granted, they were getting to the houses faster than us, but they were waiting far longer than I would have liked and we overheard some who seemed a bit peeved about it.
Overall, we had a couple of fun nights and I know it was opening weekend but I have to say I don't like the "working out the kinks" defense that I read about when the event seems to be lacking. Universal has had 15 years to perfect HHN and I know it's different each year but whether it's opening night or Halloween, the experience should be the same. It just did not seem to be as inspired as it has been in past years.
Of course this is all just opinion and I will be interested to see how others rate their experience. Hope everyone has a great time and gets some good jolts.