Halloween Horror Nights 17 - Trip Report

September 30, 2007, 9:56 PM · Well I went, I saw, I was disappointed. (To sum up Halloween Horror Nights 17 at Universal Orlando very quickly.)

I got there at 6.30pm, I went straight onto what IU would regard as the best House, "Dead Silence." At 6.30 there was already a 75 minute wait. Now the house was good, very well designed, but for an "Off-Peak" night I think 75 minutes was way too long.

Bill & Ted. Great show but not as good as last year or the year before. Still worth watching and one can only hope it gets better.

Rocky Horror Show tribute. Great fun, VERY sexual. Not for kids. Sit near the front and you will get wet so cover your cameras and cellphones.

The Thing house. Very poor. I judt didn't get it, the scariest part was the queue as it wound through the Barney Show. Best part, the 0 Minute wait at the end of the day.

Scare Zone - Erm, where were they? My wife is petrified of HHN and only goes for me and she wasn't the slightest bit scared.

I didn't attempt any other houses as the average queue was an hour. As I have the frequent fear pass I will be going back and I hope it will get better, it can't get any worse after all.

[If you've been to HHN 17, add your observations in the comments - Ed.]

Replies (9)

September 30, 2007 at 10:42 PM · Thanks Gareth, maybe I'll wait until next year to revisit HHN.
October 1, 2007 at 4:28 AM · Im surprised you didn't like The Thing. Im not going but from what I've heard The Thing and Dead Silence were the two best houses. I've also heard good things about Nightmare on Elm Street and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I think this year so far has been VERY over hyped!!
October 1, 2007 at 6:25 AM · I liked the dead silence film and liked the house. They'd out a lot into it but the thing just seemed to much,
I'm going again this Thursday and I'll be there at 6.30 when it opens so I can go on a couple of houses with no, or little wait.

The scare zones just didn't exist.

I'll be taking in the Freak Show this Sunday.

It seems they've sunstituted scare zones for more shows this year, maybe to make it a bit more friendly, but this seems to take the whole point of a scary halloween away!!

Oh well, next update Thursday night!

October 1, 2007 at 2:06 PM · Sorry to say, but I was not impressed with this year's offerings. While they added an extra maze and a show, it was done at the expense of the scare zones and overall atmosphere of the park. With one exception, all of last year's creative scare zones were replaced with more food, drink and souvenir carts, and there appeared to be more waitresses hawking booze than scare actors. While they had a handful of not so scary clowns riding their bikes around (more annoying than scary) and a few other assorted street characters from last year, the overall park Halloween atmosphere was dialed way back to boring. The extra maze and show had no wow factor, and this year's rendition of Bill & Ted didn't draw many laughs. Even as I slowly shuffled through through the new maze (most of it was a cordoned off area that was used as a great scare zone last year), I heard lots of grumbling how about much better it was last year. Considering they expanded the number of event nights, it doesn't appear that Universal built on last year's success and while the marketing machine is in overdrive, the lack of creative effort is painfully apparent.
October 1, 2007 at 8:43 PM · We didn't hit all the houses, but I completely agree that this year was NOT good. I think Universal blew the budget getting these horror characters, then pathetically underused them. If you're going to go to the trouble of putting them in every bit of advertising, why the heck wouldn't you put together something (besides a house) that involves them? Completely wasted opportunity.

Scare zones were nonexistant, as was previously mentioned.

Batting around .600 on the live shows. Bill and Ted and Rocky Horror were both quite good (though the two Grindhouse gags in Bill and Ted fell flat on their ass. Did the Universal folks not take a look at the box office numbers?). The "Freak Show" was a false name for what was essentially a magic act. I liked the magician, but I don't think his particular style was appropriate for HHN. The crowds just really are too impatient to endure a lengthy set-up. The Carnival of Carnage show with Jack was annoyingly bad, since it should have included the three characters that are in every HHN ad...

Sunday night we hit HOS, and I was completely stunned by how much better it was. Apparently you don't need movie characters and a bar every three feet to put on a good Halloween event.

We're going to hit HHN again in a few weeks. Maybe the kinks weren't worked out, maybe 95 percent of the scareactors called in sick on Saturday, who knows?

October 2, 2007 at 5:37 AM · I did all the houses in less than 3 hours, and saw Bill and Ted. I've got to say, best year yet. The houses were unbelievably detailed, good scares in a lot of them. Yeah, there werent too many scare zones, but the whole place did have the atmosphere....in my opinion......of a freaked out circus. Bill and Ted had great laughs, a bit silly, but not as much as last year.
I was able to snag a RIP Tour, and I've got to tell you, thats the way to go. Not only did we do all the houses, but most of them we did twice. Our tour guide Bill was awesome, and moved us along at a good pace.
Like I said, BEST YEAR YET.
The night after we did HOS, and man....it was good, but compared to last year....it sucked. We were able to barely do all the houses, which were mostly the same as last year, the scare zones were all the same, and had virtually no people in them. They shut everything down an hour early, which made the lines even more unbearable getting out of the place.
I'll have a full review and vid up on HOS later.
And to anyone that went opening weekend, its ALWAYS BAD. They are fixing things that dont work, they are getting scareactors used to their stages, the media is there, VIPS are there, its really cheap, and it ends early.....if you are thinking about visiting, do it...dont listen to early reviews.
October 2, 2007 at 9:39 AM · My family went to HHN on Friday 9/28/07. We took our 14yr old and 12 yr old. It wasn't at all what we expected. The lines for the haunted house were WAY too long (most over 60 mins). Then when you finally get into the houses they rush you through so fast the actors don't have time to regroup to scare you because they've just jumped out at the people in front of you. My kids weren't scared at all. My husband thought it was a complete waste of the money we spent to get in the park. It seems they put more thought into selling beer and jello shooters than they did into the show itself. Just our opinion - hopefully it will get better as Halloween gets closer, I don't think it could get worse.
October 2, 2007 at 10:18 AM · I was so disappointed by HHN last year that I was wondering if I should skip it this year. It looks like it may be the right choice after all.

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