The house that sounded the most fun to us based on all of the information that we had read was "The People Under The Stairs." Supposedly you were divided into groups and one person would be randomly designated the "leader" and this person would lead the group to try to find the way out of the house.
So we waited in line and what do you know, I was randomly selected as the "leader" and given one of those helmets with a light. As we entered the house we saw that we were not in any kind of group, everyone was in a single file line like in any other haunted house with someone wearing a helmet approximately every 10 people. The house was not a maze or anything, you just followed the path like any other haunted house.
It got to the point that I even thought the helmet light was an annoyance since I would look somewhere and the light would of course shine in that direction and it would often "reveal" one of the actors ruining their hiding place. Finally I just took my helmet off and covered the light with my hand. Then it was a tad darker and people got a few better scares.
The "Dungeon of Terror" involved actors just standing around and staring at you. I didn't get it.
The Halloween 360 show was about 10 minutes, mostly a collection of movie clips with a couple randomly shot fireworks and people didn't even know when it was over. Everyone stood there and I kept hearing "that was it?"
The scare zones were pretty decent, but short. There was so much wasted space all over the park.
We ended up leaving hoping that they'll improve it. We have the Frequent Fear Pass so we didn't feel we had to do every haunted house that night. We'll return and hopefully have a better time.
I would like to add that Bill & Ted was "Excellent" (Queue Guitar rift). Nice little video before the show with previous years clips.This for me was the highlight of the evening.
Superb acting, sexy women, great spoofs and Tom "I love her Oprah" Cruise. Well worth the mad rush to grab a seat.
Anyway, back there tonight so any changes will be reported right here, at themeparkinsider.com
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.
just wanted to add my two cents about HHN16. I have been going for the past 5 years and was recently there Friday and Saturday night. Overall I think that they did a nice job of mixing up the past with the present and it brought back some good memories. Bill and Ted show was excellent as usual. I thought that Psychoscareapy and All Nite Die-in were by far the best. A little dissapointed in the scare zones--especially deadtropolis. Harvest of the Souls was really creative and had good atmosphere. The Arrival area really left me wanting more. I had the Express pass and didn't seem to wait that long --at best maybe 10 minutes. The chainsaw brigade was there and the rat lady in the casket roamed through near MIB, accompanied by a "dead man band". The Directors cut was interesting but I also agree that I was left saying to my frineds "That was it?". I did enjoy myself as I always do but feel that the atmosphere at IOA is better. It was pretty packed so even though having it in both parks seems like you walk forever it really spreads the crowds out and makes the scare zones not seem like you are a shooping cart line at WalMart 'shudder'. Anyway---hope you all have a great time--enjoy the moment!!