Eeeekkk...is there any holiday more entertaining than Halloween when things that go bump in the night actually go bump in the ... More
Halloween Horror Nights
Eeeekkk...is there any holiday more entertaining than Halloween when things that go bump in the night actually go bump in the night?! That's more or less what goes on here at Universal Studios' Island of Adventure, when the witching day rolls around and the fertile imaginations of folks who really know how to put a scare in you go into gear. No costumes allowed, and note that this event is really scary and probably not appropriate for very young children.
Last night was horribly oversold. We arrived Oct 26th at 6:30 and left at 11:45 after seeing a total of THREE houses, no shows and no rides. We spent literally over five hours standing in lines that were back in the service areas, winding around warehouses and parking lots with zero theming. The park was miserably crowded with little crowd control The minimum wait time for ANYTHING was posted as 30min although I should note that posted wait times were off for everything we did - if it said 45min it was actually 90. This was our first visit to HHN and probably our last. Essentially, we paid $100 between tickets and parking to stand in a backlot for the whole night. This event was highly anticipated and we left feeling totally ripped off.
We go to HHN every year (since we live fairly close) and after last year-very crowded, scare zones rather uninspired) I really thought we might skip this year, but tickets for pass holders were pretty cheap, so we went. I truly enjoyed this year better than the past several years. We went on a Thursday night and the lines were very short-no more than a 10-15 minute wait at the houses and sometimes only 5. I thought the "scaractors" were far more interesting and seemed to interact with the visitors more than ever. The only problem that I agree with is the drinking. The younger people get totally wasted and ruin alot with their behavior. I don't think Universal cares one bit about all the drunks because they must make TONS of money on alcohol sales. My husband and I enjoyed this year more than ever.
First off, i have been going to this event 6 years in a row now, and this is the best year i have gone. Yes the lines are long but if you plan everything right you dont have to spend extra money to buy an express pass. The night after opening night i went in all the houses twice, and saw the Bill and Teds show. You just can't waste time walking around, and eating. You have to have a plan of where you are going to go, and i recommend starting at the back of the park and then working around. All the houses were very scary, which is really good becuase normally only one of the houses are really scary. The houses you have to go in are 1) Dead exposure 2) Scary tales and 3) Doomsday but only go at when it is dark. Trust me these houses are worth the whole experience. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME IN CREATURES! It is a waste of you time.
You absolutely have to buy the express passess! We got there around 6:15 pm on a Thursday night (Oct. 9th), and we did manage to get through all the haunted houses, and see one show, and that was with the express pass. However, we only took a short break to have some ice cream, and stayed until closing. The alcohol consumption is out of control, and the real scary part is that all those drunks are going to be driving in that condition. I guess only when Universal gets slapped with law suit for being responsible for killing someone will they curb the alcohol problem. Every year HHN gets less and less fun, and its a shame, because it used to be a great event. Sooner or later people will stop going and only then will Universal care enough to make the event as good as it used to be. I don't know why Bloody Mary is advertized all over the place since you NEVER see her at HHN.
We used to go every year and have a great time, but we skipped last year's due to bad feedback we got from friends. So we figured that a new theme would improve it this year, however we were wrong. We never saw "Bloody Mary," the houses were crappier than ever, all the extra scare zones were not scary at all, and there weren't many characters. We recall that the last year we went they even had a parade, and that wasn't the case this year. The only good thing is that I got in for free, due to my job, and I was able to get cheaper tickets for my friends, but still I would not spend the money to go again. And it seems like every year the prices keep going up, but the event is not worth the money. Safe your money for something else!!!
I went with my mom and dad, we had to push him in a wheelchair. My mom had to push him all the way up the hills,and she was getting tired, I voulenteered to push him, and nearly had my knees go backwards into themselves it felt like. anyways when we got there, we had to go all the way around to get into a wheelchair accessable access thing into the park, we had bought our tickets recently at Publix. We got in and walkd towards the first thing, nice fog effects, just wish it wasn't so smoky. there were lit up pumpkins on the tree's and it was fun. We waited in line for a lot on some of the rides and houses, but in the end, I forgot we waited so long, it was so fun, made me scream like a girl =P, I'm thirteen year old boy, but this was so much fun, you would NOT believe how fun it was, its damp, its cold, its dark. Thats another thing. My mom couldn't push my dad in the wheelchair in some of the houses because it was so dark and she could not see well. I remember hitting my shins a couple of times in the houses becuse you just could not see sometimes. Overall it was good. We went on nearly all of the rides and houses. one thing I wish they would do something about is the crowds. hundreds maybe even thousands of people were at HHN, and that made it hard to push a person in a wheelchair when your going against the flow of people, we couldn't go on the sidewalks, they were crowded. people were drinking alcohal and getting drunk and crazy in some lines. screaming things to peple, arguing with people two lines away. also the amount you had to walk was sort of insane. Nothing else was open except for a few rides and attractions, but there should not have been for a line, three minutes of walking along pathways following paths and then you get to the point of 45 minute waiting time. its unreal. my feet were deffinitly hurting after all that walking, but thats allright, I understand that it is universal. Anyways, I had an average time. The number of scare-actors was...not enough, there were large crowds, but the only thing that they did was walk around in masks, only two people came and scared me with chainsaws. Pretty much nothing else but scenery. overall I had fun, a lot of fun. I had been waiting for this since I was eleven, and now I am wondering if it was all that I expected it to be, nope it was not, but it was fun. I would maybe reccomend it to somebody who is looking for a night of fun, possibly terror, and a good time.
My husband and I were extremely disappointmented and frustrated with Halloween Horror Nights. I realize Universal is a business and out to make a profit, but if the company cares at all about customer satisfaction it has GOT to do something about the ridiculous wait times!
On the night of my visit, Saturday, October 11th, wait times for the horror houses averaged 90 minutes. In some cases waits were listed at 150 minutes. Two and a half hours! Are you kidding me?! My husband and I only made it through two of the houses before we left the park in disgust. What makes it worse is that the houses we did see were excellent, making it all the more disappointing that we couldn't see more.
If Universal is going to charge customers $60-70 per ticket, $12 for parking, $9.00 for beer, etc. (exorbitant prices as it is) it shouldn't force guests to spend over 90% of their visit in line. It's insulting and it's a rip off! Even the hot dog vendors had long lines. I am aware of the Express add-on, but frankly paying $140 per person ($280 per couple) for one night is out of the question. There are so many other (better) things I could do with that kind of money.
Unless I win or am given Express tickets, I will never visit Halloween Horror Nights again, even though I love Halloween events and think the horror houses at Universal are excellent. I feel so strongly about this because I truly believe Universal knows the wait times are out of control but does nothing about them because that would mean making less money. There is definitely a major problem when it takes guests less time to drive from Tampa to Orlando than it does for them to get through one line for one house!
This is our first time to horror night, my Son & I went, we had such a fantastic time. We was glad of the queues which were not that long really, but there was no way we would go in those houses without plenty of people going in, in front & behind us. The shows were great the zones were great & the houses were amazing, it was good to see lots of police & security, because there was agreat deal of Alcohol being consumed. All in all it was worth every bit of soiled underware we came out with after. If you are in orlando when this is showing, make a point of booking it you will not regret it. We travelled from the UK, not especiallly for this, but we will make sure when we go back again it will be this time of the year. WELL DONE UNIVERSAL
I've gone to Halloween Horror Nights since I was 13, and never missed a year. I think this past year (17) was the most fufilling with excitment. I've never had trouble with prices, lines, or drunks. Yes, I hate that they sell so much alcohol, but every year I go, there are police everywhere escorting the overly drunk out of the park. If you use the discounts and buy your tickets online, you save tons of money. Just for the ticket this year, I'm spending $30, and saving $30 from just using the discount button.
I love the effort the staff puts in to make the best...well worst...experience for everyone.
I, also, have never bought a fast pass, and I did every house by waiting in line. I get there at 6, and I plan to stay most of the night. I, honestly, think that the line makes a better experience because you're waiting and you get anxious.
If you plan on getting all of them done, and not spend most of the night, buy an express pass, yes it is worth it. It is Universal, and its a special event which offers discounts to people, so yes, there are going to be a lot of people, and there will be lines. Dont be suprised.
I will always go to Halloween Horror Nights, and maybe one day even be one of the people scarying you!