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Halloween Horror Nights 22 Reviews & Photos

Tbad556

Veteran Member
Aug 17, 2009
6,373
With Employee Previews tonight and Opening Night Friday, it's time for this thread again!

Post your event photos and reviews here!
 

frenzy88

Member
Jul 11, 2012
804
Orlando Fl
Just got back. Experienced Silent Hill, 20 Penny, Walking Dead, and Penn & Teller. Dead End and Gothic were closed when we walked past. Silent Hill was a lot of fun, those nurses and the ash falling from the sky! 20 Penny is a raunchy riot! I saw a guy bring out his 7-10 year old after the first minute! Walking Dead wasnt as good as I wanted it to be. I would've liked to have seen the changeover though. We decided that Penn & Teller would be our last item of the evening. The first half of the wait was horrible, but it was mainly because the pre show projector wasnt on/working. They got it working half way through. That really changed the mood. Maybe it was the humor plus scares that really ups the ante. I'll try to hit up the rest of what I missed opening night. The traditionals roaming the streets were my favorite. Didn't see the chainsaw gang that I wanted. I'll be going again soon. Really looking forward to Bill and Ted and House of Horrors!
 

futuredisneyceo

Jungle Cruise Skipper, Haunted Mansion Butler
Premium Member
Aug 3, 2009
21
NJ, Orlando
sorry! realized i posted this in the wrong place:

Thoughts on TM Preview:

I was able to go through 3 houses..Walking Dead, Alice Cooper, and House of Horrors..walked around the park a few times to experience the roaming hoards, all around the place was packed and the lines were ridiculous...going over an hour for each house.

WALKING DEAD
This house had a ridiculous wait, going on 90 minutes towards the peak of the event. Overall, I absolutely loved it, lots of nods to the show and was CREEPY more than jump out scary. I love zombies and this was a must hit, and was able to watch about 100 zombies leave the house at once and fill the street, absolutely breathtaking. Definitely not house of the year but it was a lot of fun for watchers of the show and any fan of zombies. Has a lot of potential, especially with the understaffed end barn scene.

ALICE COOPER
This was my first house of the event and overall, I was a bit underwhelmed. The storyline was impossible to follow, it was a very long house and only had a few moments of good jump out scares. Overall visually striking and interesting but still one to watch improve.

HOUSE OF HORRORS
I came into this house not expecting much..excited for the homages, but not knowing much at all. I was absolutely blown away in every aspect. Visually, it was magnificent, knowing the characters and seeing them implemented in amazing ways, and the actual layout was RIDICULOUS. I won't give any spoilers but I was scared multiple times and awestruck even more..definitely the best I did tonight, and contender for house of the year.

ROAMING HOARDS
Not what i expected at all, but that doesnt mean it was bad. As expected, the hoards were not completely free roaming. They would go together ushered by a team member with a blue glow stick to different areas. Seeing them travel all together however was very cool. I love the traditionals costumes, very creepy and very scary, definitely got me a few times. The prisoners were great as well, saw a bunch of people scream their heads off XD..and as for the Inquitius i thought they had the coolest costumes of the event, and were scattered around the park directing the madness.


OVERALL
Being TM Previews, I expected things to go wrong, but I was shocked by the amount. I was evacuated from two seperate lines, P&T(fire alarm) and Dead End(fire alarm), this just shows that the effects in the house are not properly being dealt with yet. This will be worked out by Friday. But in all this is the year not to miss, between the extraordinary houses, hoards, atmosphere(music and cine) and all around feeling of the event, its the best its been in a long time. Any of the kinks that need to be worked out will be worked out and I cant wait to venture back on Friday for Opening Night...remember..there is NO ESCAPE


FutureDisneyCEO
 

Scarletwebslingr

Veteran Member
May 4, 2009
1,862
Windermere
Silent Hill- Most underwhelming house I experienced. The ash effect was not on, the scares just weren't frequent, and I'd swear Pyramid Head was going out of his way to avoid me. There were a few good moments, but this one seems to ride more on the novelty of being a popular franchise.

Gothic- This was the most impressive house aesthetically, technically, and in scares. While it was little more than a darker Hunchback of Notre Dame, complete with Quasi., this house didn't need an original story to carry the weight. The costumes were great too, I might add.

Dead End- A close second to Gothic in regards to presentation, technical points, and scares. The story is intriguing here. It's of an introverted husband and wife who lived an otherwise normal and content life until death. From the society around them, however, arose wildly morbid speculations and fabricated stories about what the couple did inside that house. Long story short, the more people believe in a story, the more it will physically manifest. So, while the couple weren't evil, all the crap made up by the townies has now taken physical form (according to the R.I.P. explanation, anyhow). Neat stuff.

Alice Cooper- So we literally walk into the head of Mr. Cooper and experience his twisted nightmares. The house isn't as incoherent as it first appears (at least I don't think it is). Most of the scenes seem to deal with the horrors of his past. Child neglect, domestic violence, school bullying, drug abuse, etc. most of which are the lyrical meat of many of his songs. It has some strong and very creepy imagery but isn't high on scares (only drugs).

House of Horrors- It's a black and white romp through Universal's classic horror films. It was a neat idea but a lot of the scenes fall pray to poor lighting. I walked through the Wolfman scene, for instance, unable to make out what he was until the very last second. He just looked like some bulbous-headed creep from what I could see. There were not a lot of scaractors involved in this one. Or perhaps I was walking through a switchout? The maze itself takes some interesting turns, so style points for you, HoH! It isn't a terrible house and will likely have a reoccurring short line so take advantage of the A/C if nothing else.

Penn and Teller- Funny as absolute hell. I was rolling all through this maze. Start to finish I was finding things to laugh at (the tiger about killed me). It's pretty much what most people would expect it to be. This house didn't take as much advantage of 3D as the 3D house last year, so that's really the only complaint. The wait wasn't the worst and the queue video squeezes in some pre-game laughs while your wait. This was my favorite house because I like fun over scares/gore/pretty much anything else. That's my way of saying it might be a turn off for more serious Haunt-goers.

Walking Dead- No character cameos, which was not expected and a bit of a let down. That isn't to say there aren't Easter eggs like the bunny slippers and dufflebag of firearms, but I'd like to have seen Rick, Dale, and the rest of the crew. You hit one or two scenes from the show and the rest is just your run-of-the-mill zombi house. I had higher hopes. Not worth the 90 sober minutes I waited. Much like Zombiegeddon of '10, the house dumped into a street full of zombies- again giving that borrowed/tired vibe. It was not a bad house, it was just generic. Very generic.

Roaming Streets- I did not like this and here is why; unlike the zoned and highly themed streets of days past, we have eight less "must visit" areas of the park. It's all just a grab-bag of unrelated horrors moseying around the occasional graveyard prop. With the event already having one less house to mark on your map, the lack of themed streets just made me feel like I went everything too quickly. I wanted MORE to experience and it just wasn't there. It also didn't help that the same scareactors seemed to follow my group every new location we went. It could be worse with NO streets, but I prefer the formula of previous years.
 

Vyrus

The man with the master plan
Premium Member
Feb 11, 2010
6,440
Miami, FL
OK question, going next Friday, and my wife WILL be coming with me, she's not someone who likes going into the houses (don't ask how a 30 y.o woman is scared of people in costumes), but I think I finally convinced her that she should at least try the Penn and Teller house as it seems to be this years "fun house" Would I be correct in saying that its more fun than scary correct?

Also it seems like the hordes in the streets are no where near the level of our traditional scare zones as far as the effect that they have.
 

dmkrc5

Member
Nov 7, 2009
629
Central Florida
I got to go into gothic last night and it was amazing! The sets were incredible and those gargoyles were on fire. This housed used so many ariel and scale effects and I was just in awe the entire walkthrough of the house. 10/10-easy. Oh yah and this...

The famous 50ft tall catwalk scene is back and it's the best one yet- it looked incredibly real
 

quickfire609

Member
Jun 30, 2012
516
OK question, going next Friday, and my wife WILL be coming with me, she's not someone who likes going into the houses (don't ask how a 30 y.o woman is scared of people in costumes), but I think I finally convinced her that she should at least try the Penn and Teller house as it seems to be this years "fun house" Would I be correct in saying that its more fun than scary correct?

Also it seems like the hordes in the streets are no where near the level of our traditional scare zones as far as the effect that they have.
Towards the end of the night it REALLY picked up. At first they only had reapers walking the streets, then the walking dead walkers came out, but around 12:00 the warrior and chainsaw girls were out as well. Just seemed to take a little while, but yeah it probably wasn't a perfect run event.

I also noticed cinespec was being used sporadically. Random horror scenes/intense music would play every once in a while, and I couldn't pin down how the frequency worked.
 

Jakemeister

Premium Member
Feb 1, 2008
5,830
Central, Fl
The more I think about the hordes the more I feel meh about it. They're going to have to condense them and make them more into scarezones than they wanted to. It's just far too spread out currently. It's very easy to avoid a scare if you want to because there's one actor 10 feet from you, and then another one 20 feet away. There are a few hordes that are much more scarezone esque that were better. Walkers and Traditionals. I'm still not sure if the hordes move around set to set and other hordes stay in one location. Point being, for the most part it's just too damn spread out with actors. I really hope they realize this and condense things. Just not enough actors for what they're trying to do, but a much better attempt at it than 2007.

And yes, for those concerned, there is intentional dead space.
 

maxairmike

Veteran Member
Jul 18, 2012
1,366
In the thick of it
Ok, so I'll preface this by saying that for my very first HHN event, going to the TM preview probably wasn't the greatest idea, but I wanted to try it out before possibly buying a pass. The biggest thing is that I probably didn't temper my expectations to allow for a slightly understaff test night. That said, the short of it is that I was rather underwhelmed, even compared to Cedar Point's Halloweekends and Kings Island's Haunt.

My girlfriend made it as far as Mel's and just couldn't handle it, so she left and I was on my own (this also probably affected my enjoyment, but I'm used to doing parks solo). My first thought was that, while possibly a good idea, the free roaming of the hoards is going to be a little weak. I have gotten used to specific walk-through zones that have extremely dense fog and enjoyable/disorienting effects (Fright Zone and CarnEvil at Cedar Point specifically), and I found that the majority of the paths had unfortunately great visibility so there was very little surprise from the roaming hoards for the most part. The chainsaw gang was funny as I always seem to find that gag, and like usual I was not singled out for scares (part of me prefers that, so I can concentrate on watching people run screaming for their life from the actors :lol: ). On my way to the 9:15 Bill & Ted I walked through 3 different Hoards and were rather underwhelmed by all but the chainsaws.

Bill & Ted: Amazingly funny, exactly what I expected, could possibly be worth the price of a pass just to go see it a few more times. There were some moments I didn't care for (the Presidential rap battle came off as an endorsement of Obama rather than a humorous, unbiased skit which I thought it should have been), but overall a fantastic show that I want to see a few more times.

After B&T I wandered over to Walking Dead where I encountered the longest wait during the preview at an hour long. The line layout for this is ridiculous, and they had the line stretching almost back to one of the backstage security gates! Oh, and construction on both SS44 and Potter 2.0 was active, but nothing loud or heavy. I'm going to guess they won't use the super extended version I experienced except for their peak days, as it goes right into the backstage utility work and will instead use a lot of the switchbacks at the front they didn't use last night to keep the backstage construction areas away from prying eyes. As for the house itself, it was very long and fairly elaborate. Like someone mentioned earlier, it was pretty much your run of the mill zombie house with a popular theme. For the record, I've never watched the Walking Dead series. Overall grade; B+. Exiting into the zombie hoard was kind of cool, although again, the "free roaming" nature of the hoard made for a slightly underwhelming experience.

Next up was House of Horrors, and I was very much looking forward to this house. I was rewarded with walking the arduously long path backstage to find absolutely no line to speak of. My first thought upon entering the house was that it reminded me very much of the older Cedar Point houses in the decorative style, so I did feel kind of "at home" in a sense. I thought the execution in this house was wonderful, and the layout had some really good surprises with great scare points, including one which was completely different and unexpected. Overall, it was easily my favorite house of the night and gets an easy A from me. If I go back with a pass, I'm hoping the entrance being tucked away in the back of KidZone means I can do it with minimal waits.

The HoH exits through Barney and the entrance/line for Alice Cooper is literally on the other side of the rope, so of course I just did a 180 and walked the line to find a minimal 10 minute wait. I'm a big 80s music fan, so this was on my must-do list, and I was already happy with the short wait. Inside the house it is definitely a fast-changing, hard to follow mix of scenes, and even though I didn't really know the story for the house, it was still a lot of fun and my third best house of the night. It also reminded me of Club Blood at Cedar Point.

The exit for Alice Cooper conveniently dumped next to the Penn & Teller entrance, so my next choice was obvious, with a posted 30 minute wait. The line ended up being a little longer, and you realize just how huge the MIB building is when you walk the length of the back wall 5 or 6 times! The video for the line was ok, but not all that funny. Maybe I would have appreciated it more if I weren't sober (what is it with Halloween events and drinking)? I think the best part is when Penn is telling you about the 3D glasses. The entrance to the house was kind of cool with the toppled Vegas sign and the New(kd) Vegas sign behind it. The house is definitely very colorful and reminded me a bit of Disaster Transport's line (RIP) with some of the 3D. I thought the use of 3D was pretty solid for the house, and the lights were rather trippy even sober. The highlight is definitely the ending though, and I came out laughing rather hard at the groups behind and in front of me. Second best house of the night for me.

As I made my way from MIB back down by Mels to head to Silent Hill I noticed that the Hoards were completely gone by that time (about 12:15), so I was a bit disappointed (again, used to walking through zones that are staffed all the way until park closing at Cedar Point). It was starting to sprinkle by the time I got over to Silent Hill, so I decided that between the threat of rain and how tired I was, it would be my last. Again, I've never seen or played Silent Hill, so I wasn't very familiar with the franchise/story. However, I had heard and read plenty about how creepy the movies/games have been and was looking forward to what I hoped would be the first house to truly creep me out/scare me at a Halloween event since Happy Jacks at Cedar Point (you will never look at plush and dolls the same again). While it was a pretty impressive house in size and visuals, it wasn't as creepy as I was hoping/expecting. It did give me a few moments of pause, but nothing that made me yell, scream, or left an impression after exiting.

Overall it was a bit of an underwhelming night for me, and I can't decide if I want to get one of the passes and give it another shot during a "full" night, and to pick up Dead End and Gothic. It sounds like I may have ended up missing out on the two houses I would have enjoyed the most besides HoH, so that may push me to get a pass in the end. Also, the level of themeing around the park just seemed...non-existent. I remember walking through the park during the day in 2010 and seeing tons of cool-looking props in the zones and wishing I could get the time off and money to check it out. What I saw last night didn't seem to come close to that level. I think the most elaborate decorations were on the entrance arch. Comparing it to the only other Halloween park events I know (Halloweekends and Haunt), last night HHN came out at best even with them.
 

bciech8

Rookie
Jan 2, 2011
149
Orlando
Well, I came here to say this year seems like a complete toss up thus far besides the house of horrors being awful, but everyone that's posted here so far seems to love it! Usually theres at least SOME houses/shows people agree on and favor towards more but I don't see that at all, at least not yet. Literally, every other person told me something different about a house. One person would rave and rave and the next would tell me not to waste my time with it. This went on all night, about every house and every show. I'm confused to say the least, or maybe employees are just picky? I can't wait to read the first GUEST review.
 

maxairmike

Veteran Member
Jul 18, 2012
1,366
In the thick of it
Well, I'm not a Universal TM, I was there as a guest of one, so I think I count as a "guest." :wave:

I did overhear a lot of the same stuff you just just mentioned, though. Employees can be very picky, but from my impression I think it is a bit of a toss up.
 

katiekinzakat

Newcomer
Jul 9, 2012
5
I suppose I shall preface my review by saying that this was my very first HHN. I had been to HOS a couple of times before moving to Orlando, so that's all I have to compare it to. I am pretty sure I am being quite forgiving in my thoughts, though that should change after I go to the event when it's fully in swing.

Overall, I made it into 5 and a half houses, plus Bill and Ted. Had there been no technical issues with fire alarms I probably would have gotten to do them all. Not bad, considering I left at midnight.

We started at Kids Zone, hoping to hit at least one of the houses there. Alas, it seemed as though they were late opening them as they hadn't even opened the queues yet. Not discouraged, we headed towards Penn and Teller, as their queue was open and seemed to be moving. Unfortunately they had a fire alarm go off while we were in line so we had to exit and sadly never made it back due to large wait times (90 minutes at one point due to the proximity of Bill and Ted perhaps?)

The Walking Dead was our first actual house of the night and was the longest line that we waited in. We ended up entering the line at around 7:30 and stood around awhile waiting for the house to actually open. Somebody in line near us suggested that there was a delay in applying make up, but I cannot confirm or deny whether this was true. When the house was finally opened, it was still a little light outside, which may have affected my enjoyment of it. It seemed really bright in parts and there were few actors. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt as we were some of the first people to walk though, so they were probably still finding their groove. I have not seen any episodes of The Walking Dead, but I do not think that I lost much. Zombies are generic enough that I still understood what was going on. The guy in front of us was a fan of the series and kept pointing out props and such from the show, so I guess it was good.

Dead End was our second house, and I was very impressed with the first few rooms. After we exited the hallway tunnel, however, all of the lights came on and the fire alarm went off. Needless to say, the rest of the house wasn't as good due to lack of actors, lighting, and effects and due to the fact that we were being evacuated. We never made it back that night because we already knew how it ended but I look forward to walking though it in its entirety as the little bit that I actually got to see was quite impressive.

We went to see Bill and Ted next. Overall, it was an amusing show, though I have no other years to compare it to. It seemed a little long, though it did get a late start so we were in the stadium longer than we would have been otherwise. The audience seemed to enjoy it though and definitely laughed the hardest at the Team Member specific jokes. My brother was lost during the show because he's not into pop culture, as I imagine would be the case for anybody else like that.

We headed back to Alice Cooper, which I admit was my most anticipated house, based solely on the fact that I walked by the facade all the time at work, and was incredibly excited to walk though it. This was one of my favorite houses. I am not a big Alice Cooper fan, as he is definitely out of my time yet I loved the music and energy in the house. It seemed that it was the most colorful house that I went through and what it lacked in coherent story it made up for in visuals. Overall, this was an extremely fun house and we were tempted to do it a second time. I must say that it was a little weird walking through the Barney theatre in the queue but the Barney fountain is mega creepy in the dark.

I was a big fan of the House of Horrors. It wasn't quite what I was expecting but it was great nonetheless. The visuals were incredible, though there were a few kinks that should hopefully be worked out. I noticed an absence of fog in the house which would have helped conceal some of the scares as it seemed that a lot of the actors were just hanging out in the open. Nonetheless, I enjoyed this house and look forward to revisiting it later.

Silent Hill Was definitely my least favorite of the houses that I went in. I haven neither played the games nor seen the movie so all of the references were lost on me. The ash effect was not working when I went though; there was one piece of "ash" floating around and I was disappointed to see that it was just snow machine bubbles. The entire maze smelled like Rome burning at Epcot which started to give me a headache after a little while because you started to smell it pretty far back in the queue. It seemed to rely on visuals more than scares, which did nothing for me. Pyramid Head was there but he just kind of stood there and walked back and forth. Unlike the Walking Dead, I don't think that this maze translated for those unfamiliar with the franchise.

Gothic was our last house and was visually stunning. It was definitely my favorite based on set design alone, it was gorgeous. I did get startled a few times which rarely happens to me so the scares were good as well. The couple in front of us was hilariously terrified. This was one of the top houses of the night for me, though it wasn't as fun as Alice Cooper, nor was it meant to be.

I was not as disappointed in the hordes as others were. I liked running into them, and depending on where you hit them, it was very hard to avoid them. The best one of the night was the first time we encountered the chainsaw horde. It was on the pathway between La Bamba and Animal Actors and the fog was so thick you could barely see three feet in front of you. Needless to say, many were startled when a chainsawer jumped out at them. I am pretty sure that most of the hordes moved around because the second time we encountered the chainsaws they were in front of the Mummy. The only horde that seemed to be situated in one particular area was the walkers outside of the Walking Dead. Everybody else seemed to move around which was nice, because you never knew who you were going to encounter and where. I thought it was really fun to have a bunch of different characters everywhere. It definitely added to the atmosphere. I did not think that they were as easy to avoid as some have said. I generally tried to stay out of the way and still had people in my face. The only places that we did not encounter any hordes were Production Central in front of the entrance and in the area formerly known as Amity. Though I do miss scare zones, I cannot say that the atmosphere on the streets was subpar. There was lots of fog and some of the scareactors were very good at blending into groups of people before going in for a scare.

I caught a couple of glimpses of the Cinematic Spectacular-esque show, and I really liked what I saw. I did not stick around to watch the entire set due to crowds, but I did see part of the Alfred Hitchcock and Classic Monster shows. Both were good with lots of fog, lighting effects, fountains, and lasers. The Classic Monsters package was very similar to the clips shown at the Horror Make-Up Show when they explain the history of make-up effects. Needless to say, I am pretty sure I annoyed my brother narrating that part.

Overall, I was very impressed with the event and look forward to watching the kinks being ironed out. I am anxious to return and experience Penn and Teller as well as Dead End in its entirety.
 

sethg

Rookie
Jun 2, 2010
155
St. Cloud, FL
I had the pleasure of attending Employee Preview as well. The group I was with was able to do all of the houses and see B&T once. The major thing I took away from the event is that, like many others are saying, a lot of kinks need to be ironed out. The most glaring of these is the street experiences. The streets being flooded with people (since several houses went down throughout the night) and the fact that there weren't many props/themed zones like years past together made for a rather lackluster experience (I'm sure it won't be as crowded this weekend as it was last night though).

The houses, thankfully, were pretty spectacular. I personally liked Penn and Teller the best; it was incredibly off-kilter and humorous and there were several memorable scares. Silent Hill was extremely creepy as I had thought it would be (loved the nurses and the first scene). Gothic was a beautiful house; the architecture itself made for a great distraction for the scareactors. In Dead End, I felt like we missed many of the scares because there were not that many when we went through (might have been a cast change though). The Walking Dead was awesome; if you like the show at all, you will love this house (like me lol). Alice Cooper was a surprise, much scarier than I anticipated. House of Horrors was really cool, it was like Dead Exposure meets Silver Screams, which was sweet.

As for Bill and Ted, some of the references were hilarious, but I did not like the plot too much. Overall, it was a fun night but I look forward to see what they decide to change about the streets, if they do at all.
 
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Tbad556

Veteran Member
Aug 17, 2009
6,373
Early, brief review from tonight. I'll try to give a larger one after tomorrow.

First things first, expect to hear a lot of talk about the rain today. It was a terrential downpour out there from 5 PM - 8:30 PM. Insanity.

Houses

- Alice Cooper: First house of the day for me. It was still a bit bright out, but I really couldn't get into it. It truly is hurt by its lack of a plot and will definitely have to become an actor driven house for it to be a success. The second time through, however, it was a completely different house. Very fun, very entertaining, and the cast was very into it. The house had a 5 minute wait almost all night.

- Walking Dead: Another victim of the daytime/rainy curse. However, even with the heavy sunlight coming through, I could tell that this house was very good and far better than I expected. My cast (around 6:30 PM) was on top of their game and really brought the house to a high level. Hopefully, I can give it another shot towards the end of the night tomorrow to get a better feel of it.

- Gothic: The sets for this house are definitely phenomenal. There are some very good scares in this house and I think it'll have a lot of potential throughout the event.
The stilts actor was insane!
Be sure to look up!

- Dead End: While I didn't get too many scares on my one run through, the effects were incredible.
The room where you could look down into the dining room(?) was crazy and the ghost effects were interesting. I can't say the giant screen scare was very effective, but I was also stuck in that room for a good minute or two.

- House of Horrors: I'm still very mixed on this house. I may have caught it at an off moment, but I didn't end up seeing to many scareactors. And for the ones I did, they weren't timed too well, but you could tell they're starting to get it down. I ended up going through in front of an operations manager and he mentioned that they changed the timing from random at the Employee Preview to timed with the thunder now, so that the scareactors know when to come out. I enjoyed the duck through room despite the complaints I've heard and thought there were some good moments. Overall, this house will be one that definitely improves at the event goes on and the employees get used to the timing.

- Silent Hill: This was my final house of the night and ended up being a disappointment on the scares side of things. I'd definitely say my timing played a large factor in it, but I may have gotten one good scare throughout the whole house. The theming, however, was extremely well done. The facade was quite unique and I enjoyed seeing some of the scenes from the movies. I'm sure with a second run, I'll become a much bigger fan of this one.

- Penn & Teller: Definitely a fun house. I don't know that it lived up to my hype, but I still really enjoyed it. Didn't get the chance to see them at the end though.
The lights room was by far the highlight of the house for me and one of my favorite rooms of the event.

Street Experience

- Despite the very negative reviews, I loved the street experiences. Once the rain let up, I rarely saw any dead zones. Not only that, but hordes even interwined at times creating some killer scares. They also march together with the rest of their groups every now and then creating quite a cool experience. They may have been one of the main high points of the night for me.

Bill and Ted: Let me preface this by saying that I enjoyed both the 2009 and 2010 shows despite the generally negative reviews of them. However, this show was quite rough. I couldn't get into the plot at all, the jokes fell flat quite often, and it was just quite odd at times. It had some few good moments (
The afro circus throw in at the end was pretty freaking funny and I enjoyed the Katniss moments. The FLE joke was pretty good too.
I enjoyed it to an extent, but I can't say I loved it by any means.
 

Andy

aka Hatetofly
V.I.P.
Mar 16, 2010
11,095
Here is a brief overview of my initial reactions. I also want to point out these are initial reactions and things change over the course of the event. Now onto it.

RAIN SUCKS!!!

Skip ahead 3.5 hours

Walking Dead was my first house. I'm a huge fan of the franchise but I have to be honest this house fell flat for me. Now granted they did have some unique effects but of all the zombie houses this one just ehhh is missing something. Of all the houses in the Disaster queue over the years this one ranks among the bottom.

My second house was Dead End. I really enjoyed this house and its effects. The costumes and scares were ok but overall the sets are what made the house. I really feel like this house has a ton of potential and just needs some tweaking and cast work.

Next I wandered over to Gothic. Quick rant here, Universal address the express pass issues you had tonight. I had to wait 40 mins in that damn express line because Danny the retard couldn't figure out how to operate the scanner. Worse then that, it was obvious their is an issue when the regular line is moving at twice the speed. Time and time again people would complain only to be given the answer, Express just guarantees your wait is shorter than the regular line. It was a train wreck and a poor show on Universal's behalf. Now as for the house I really enjoyed it but again their is something missing. It has all the potential to be a house of the year candidate but I still walked away feeling a little let down.

Then their was Silent Hill and thank god for that house. Great sets, actors, and scares the whole way through. Easily the most complete house of the night and I have no knowledge of the franchise. I have a feeling this could be the run away hit this year.

After grabbing a quick bite at Louie's I started to grab some photos as the rain had finally started to let up. As I was heading through Battery park (mind you I'm completely alone) I started to set up for a few quick across the lagoon shots. I heard a slight shaker can swipe coming from behind me. Only to turn around to find this guy stalking me. Two things though, first I wish the damn photo would of turned out and second whoever this guy was, was VERY good. I rarely get the actual creep factor but this guy gave it to me. The two of us interacted for roughly 5 mins and then I got the hell out of there. Whoever you are well done!



After my encounter I headed over to House of Horrors, and for the first time ever the parade building has let me down. This house is basically Dead Exposure 1.5. And while I really enjoyed Dead Exposure this house to me seemed thrown together and it didn't click for me. I did however enjoy the last two rooms a bunch.

Once I finished HOH, I ran into Briman and his GF. We chatted for a few minutes and as luck would have it the lagoon show started right in front of us. I thought the show was a nice touch. The lasers kick ass and I can't wait to see that incorporated into Cinespec. We witnessed the Frankenstein segment and it lasted for roughly 5 mins. Again its nothing over the top but it is an overall nice addition.

Finally we headed over to Penn and Teller. I am not sure what to say about this house because I think I missed out on a ton of scares and pranks. So while I was a little disappointed with it overall. I am pretty confident this will work its way up into my top 3 over the course of the event.

I missed Cooper tonight and will hit it up tomorrow.

One last thing, the jury is out for me on the roaming hordes. The actual hordes are cool but I feel like having these hordes takes away from the event. I much prefer SZ's by far. Their was to much dead space and just entire streets with nothing in them aside from fog. It was pretty sad. I would compare it HHN 16 very quickly.

So after night one here are my overall rankings and scores. I also want to point out so far I am not impressed. It will be interesting to see where everyone stands because IMO their are no stand out haunts this year. Their are some real good haunts but no clear cut top of its class house. I'm sure things will change over the next month but as of right now I'm disappointed.

Silent Hill 8/10
Dead End 7/10
Gothic 7/10
P&T 6/10
HOH 5/10
WD 5/10
Cooper N/A

And here are a few pictures I took tonight. Lousy night with the camera BTW. I took 450 pictures and this is all that was OK and I wouldn't feel embarrassed sharing with all of you.



























 

John321

Member
Jan 11, 2012
729
I think Alice Cooper you need to know a little about his life in order to understand the house.
 

snoman

Veteran Member
Feb 15, 2008
1,817
Deltona, Florida
I know you don't see me on here much these days with my work schedule, but I am a HHN veteran take my word for it! I took the family, yep, I'm one of those idiots that take kids, mine are 11 and 13 now so not too young, but totally get into the event every year. This is only a partial review because due to the weather we really didn't get to see too much and cut out a little earlier than expected. It literally downpoured for about 4 hours and we were soaked to the bone. With that the roaming hordes weren't out at all until about 10pm or so and we were headed out. We're going back tonight so hopefully will check that out then.

Penn and Teller-did the house 3 times and absolutely loved it all 3. The first time in the line Penn and Teller actually walked by us and were headed somewhere off property. It was pouring rain so we couldn't get a picture but we were yelling for Penn and he did come over and thanked us for standing out there in the rain. Silly moment but still cool that he acknowledged the fans! Now on our third time through later in the evening Penn and Teller were actually in the house, really cool moment!! We also were totally lucky in that Teller and a RIP guide cut into the line for Walking Dead right in front of us so we went through that house with him. No, he still didn't talk, lol! Loved the Vegas house though, only opportunity is the scareactors are scarce and weren't doing a whole lot. I won't spoil anything but if you see any button, switch, rope, anywhere, push it! 9/10 Oh, yeah, video outside if pretty funny and a nice touch.

Alice Cooper-going through the facade, the music blasting really set the mood and I was actually excited for this house. This was our first of the night and it was very light outside which may have tainted the experience overall but I was underwhelmed for sure. Cast was trying but I was totally lost what was going on. I'm not an Alice Cooper fan and the story was totally lost on me and the family. Kids thought it was decent, got a couple good scares, I got one. The last room had potential but not if the cast is taking a nap. Maybe it was just our timing, we'll try again tonight. There was not video going outside when we were there but again it was still light. Anyways, 5/10

Walking Dead: Dead Inside. Despite what some have said so far we must have had good timing because I loved this house. It was dark when we went through. Now I have never seen an episode of Walking Dead so the huge video on the side of the building was awesome for me, it really set the mood. The entrance was fantastic and with the rain the fog just sat and takes a while to disperse upping the scare factor big time. Got numerous really good scares and I loved the sets. If I had to critique it was the definitely the finale scene. I am hoping it was a timing issue and maybe they were switching out a cast at that moment because it did nothing literally?
Anyways, that aside 8/10

Bill and Ted
We were planning on skipping it because over the past years it has really gotten bad, not inappropriate bad unfortunately, just really stupid and not many laughs bad, IMO. As luck would have it we were passing the fear factor stadium during another monsoon and they were letting in the RSVP passholders, which we were, early. So in we went. Meh. I would say it was better than last year because I didn't spend most of the show just wishing it would end but it still wasn't very good. I did get some laughs and my kids were laughing more than me. Granted as a 40 year old man maybe some of it was lost on me, but I think it was moreso that too many of the bits just missed the mark. Not gonna spoiler but they could have done so much more with a certain movie about kids fighting to the death. One note, some great pyro use this year! 4/10

Silent Hill-loved it! Great sets, great scareactors, tons of scares. The effects are really good, some of the best I have seen from an HHN house. The line video though, how about something actually to do with Silent Hill besides an old PSP Vita commercial? Most people are not versed in Silent Hill and could of probably benefited from maybe at least a trailer for the new movie or something to start setting the mood. Not an issue just a good suggestion I think. I won't spoil the house but be sure not to miss it!
10/10

Unfortunately due to a soaked to the bone and cold family we kicked out a little early and did not experience Gothic, Dead End, or Classic Monsters or whatever it's called. Also missed the 20 penny circus but honestly I don't really care about seeing it anyways. Also with the weather there were zero scareactors on the street until right when we left. Heading back tonight though so more review fun to come later!
 

YETI PINTRADER

Veteran Member
May 9, 2008
2,839
South Florida
After last night house rankings
1. Alice Cooper - best scares, sets, and soundtrack, what more could I ask for. To show how much I like this house I even went ahead and got the shirt.
2. Dead End
3. Silent Hill
4. Gothic
5. House of Horrors
6. Penn and Teller
7. Walking Dead
Full review will come later, just wanted to put my stake in this year's thoughts.
 

SeventyOne

V.I.P.
Jul 1, 2010
2,816
Orlando
I think Alice Cooper you need to know a little about his life in order to understand the house.
For me, the house was good enough it makes me want to sit down, listen to the album and learn more about the story. Sort of like people who pick up the Potter books after visiting WWoHP.

As to other houses...

Went through Gothic again, holds up, if not even better. Top 5 house of all time there, do not miss it.

Penn & Teller was alright, but didn't really make the most of the 3D, which makes it pale a little compared to The In-Between, the best 3D house ever, last year. Honestly, I would have preferred to walk through some of the sets, like the backstage area, without having to wear the glasses. Also, until the finale room, the humor seemed less vicious (for lack of a better word) than previous dark humor houses. There's nothing sadistic until the finale, it's just neon-colored mutants jumping out at you. Compare that with Leave It to Cleaver or Bloodengutz. I realize that's an aesthetic choice, but it does make the house feel different.

[Still not sure what to make of the gag in the finale room. Won't spoil it, but even I was kind of offended--and nothing offends me. Shockingly funny, the highlight of the house, but I'm surprised P&T let their names get attached to it.]

House of Horrors is the biggest disappointment for me. Feels thrown together at the last minute. Minimal sets, costumes look like rubber masks from a costume store airbrushed dayglo white. Also, for whatever reason, this is the slowest moving conga line I've seen in 11 years. The wait times are severely underestimated. Went through twice, had friends go through another time, line said 30 but ended up being an hour. The attendants scream at people to keep moving but there is just a solid line through the house with nowhere to go. I think the crawlspace and the strobe lights slow people down.

Saw B&T again, timing improving slightly, ending still a little weird but made more sense the second time around, just a great show. Love the digs at Disney. And fake Black Widow may actually be hotter than the real ScarJo.