Published: October 12, 2008 at 2:09 PMBut their decorations are awesome! I wish Universal would have done more. They did have one lane with lit up pumpkins that was really cool. They should have done more of that. Guess the park being open during the day as a "non Halloween" park gets in the way.
Published: October 12, 2008 at 7:01 PMEven though I have never gone to a HHN, I badly wanted to go this year. Why? Because Universal did such a fantastic job with the website. The Orlando site's "Enter Reflections of Fear" animation was amazing, some of the best advertising I've seen for any event/attraction.
But it left me wondering ... how are they going to live up to the hype when the advertisement was so immersive? They make the event seem as if the park will look nothing like it does during the regular season. And then, sure enough, when I previewed the scare zones on YouTube (specifically the Orlando Attractions Magazine videos), the sets looked rather empty. A couple of props here and there, but really not as I had pictured it.
It seemed that there were an unnecessary amount of houses, as well. I understand that more houses limit the lines at each attraction, but it seemed that a lot of them were just thrown together as last minute ideas. I think I would prefer more time put into the scare zones and have fewer, more focused houses.
On a final side note, "jumpy" horror has never been as good as truly creepy, psychological horror in my eyes. The best horror movies rely less on blood and gore and more on suspense and timing. I always wonder, then, why some houses can't just use creepy visuals, rather than hidden scare actors, to create a great Halloween experience. Anyone with me on this?
Published: October 12, 2008 at 9:34 PMSunday Update - Went back to HHN on the 12th. The crowds were even more insane! Plus, the park turns into "drunk fest 2008." There were so many obnoxiously intoxicated people that the scares existed more outside of the houses than in. We witnessed a domestic dispute, a shoving match and a passed out girl pulling a Lohan/Spears wardrobe recommendation.
Express was once again a lifesaver. Even with Express, Dead Exposure was still a 30 minute wait (and still the best and totally worth it!).
I must correct myself on the "hanging heads" in Doomsday - they were actually in The Hallow. And The Hallow really was strong this evening - moving up in my ranking. Don't miss it!
Reflections of Fear and Interstellar Terror continued to disappoint although Creatures ended up besting the two of them - but still not great compared to the other 5.
Also caught Rocky Horror and thought it was fabulous - great performers with good voices.
But why do people bring small children to this event???? Kids were crying as they were being dragged in and out of the houses. And a family of 4 left Rocky Horror midway through in disgust due to the sexual content. Hello people! Do they not know what they're in for!?!?
The sets in all the houses are still amazing, but I agree with Joshua that a bit more attention to the outside would make the event even better.
Published: October 13, 2008 at 9:49 AMAny idea if the Wednesday nights will be as crowded from past experience? We're traveling from Missouri to Florida this Friday and have tickets to the Wed Oct 22 HHN. I haven't spent the extra on the express pass (already dropped enough for week passes plus HHN add on) but if someone closer to the event strongly recommends it, I probably will. (Of course that will be the first time in 2008 it is on Wednesday - so I realize it is pure speculation I'm seeking.) Help anyone?
BTW, thank you VERY MUCH for the review of the houses. I'm sure it will help guide us.
Published: October 13, 2008 at 12:08 PMTodd - Based on Thursday's crowds, HHN is THE event of the year in Orlando and the locals come out in droves regardless of "school night" or not. This was my first time, but I was kissing my Express passes both nights I was there and I treated them like precious gems that needed protecting in my hands. I would imagine that Wednesday may be a bit lighter than Thursday, but expect long waits. Take the IOA cross over in Seuss Landing at 5:45 p.m. as they'll let you in to HHN prior to the official 6:30 opening. Run to The Hallow, Scary Tales and Dead Exposure first - then work yourself back around to Doomsday and Body Collectors.
Published: October 14, 2008 at 6:17 AMWe went to HHN in Orlando last Saturday Night and we were overall pretty happy with this year's event. The biggest disappointment for me was the supposed "Bloody Mary" house- Reflections of Fear. The video at the entrance of the park was fabulous.... Mary looked a lot like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. After seeing the video we were compeltely excited for her house but she was in VERY FEW scenes within the house itself. In fact there were so few scare actors in the house it seemed like we were going through at breaktime or something. My favorite houses this year were Body Collectors and Scary Tales.