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HHN Tips & Tricks

Discussion in 'Halloween Horror Nights 29' started by corey, Aug 12, 2019.

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  1. corey

    corey Newcomer

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    This year will be my first time attending HHN and I'm sure I'm not the only one on here trying to plan the best night possible. I wanted to create a thread where people can share their tips that they've learnt over the years so that us newbies can learn a thing or two and not make as many schoolboy errors.

    So what are everyones best tips to surviving Horror Nights? Any planning advice you can give? Or anything you do now that you wish you would've known about on your first trip?
     
  2. UniversalRBLX

    UniversalRBLX Veteran Member

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    If you will be inside the park during the day, obviously do Stay & Scream.

    Now, last year I saved Stranger Things for last and waiting to enter the queue the moment the park closed, making my group the last people in. We waited about 45 minutes, wait time was posted 90. So, if you don't mind doing that... avoid Stranger Things and head for what will be the 2nd most popular maze - Ghostbusters. After that you can hit all the other houses with minimal waits for the first 2 hours. After that, wait times will soar immensely. BTW, the last hour of the event is golden, especially on 2Am closing nights... all the originals end up getting 5-15 minute waits.

    If your not doing Stay & Scream, avoid Stranger Things and head to Ghostbusters first. Stay & Scream will make Ghostbusters an easy hour long wait at park open.
     
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  3. Tobias

    Tobias Member

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    Having gone to the event for the 1st time last year, I'll happily echo that Stay & Scream is a must. It's a real good way to get some of the more slammed houses out of the way (Stranger Things and I presume Ghostbusters), or from what I hear, it's also a good way to hit up the tent houses a good amount before it's open to the masses.

    Having Express is also recommended, as that can not only make it easier to see all ten houses in one night, but on the more crowded nights, it could be a flat-out necessity! Now if you have Express, I generally don't recommend using it during Stay & Scream, that'll be a waste of a Express when it's more valuable during the middle of the night when lines are longer. However, there is one exception...

    If you think you're not going to hit up Stranger Things more than once, then I'd use Express on ST the moment you're let out of the Finnegan's holding area. That's what I did last year, and I passed a monster general line into a downright empty Express queue, getting the house out of the way very quickly.

    Also, a very helpful tip for Stay & Scream. SUNGLASSES. It's still going to be daylight when you're let into the houses, and I've read more than one occasion where people learned the hard way that their eyes won't adjust in time in a house. You want to be wearing your darkest pair during the day, and when you get close to a house entrance, you want to close one eye for at least 30 seconds or more. Keep that eye closed when you get in the house and remove your sunglasses, and once you're in a scene or two, open it. You'll be able to see much better and enjoy the house. An of course, have your sunglasses at the ready to put back on once you're out of the house.
     
  4. SeventyOne

    SeventyOne Veteran Member

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    Will be my 19th year. To an extent, everything is subject to change, because they tweak every year, nut here are some things to keep in mind:
    • If you can afford it, buy Express. (Or an RIP tour, which is even better.) If it's a bit rich for your blood, at least consider the after 10/11 Express, which is half-price. Remember you can buy that earlier in the night so you can be standing outside Stranger Things ready to go at 9:59.
    • Know when local schools are out--skip the nights before. Skip opening weekend, unless you have a multi-night ticket.
    • Friday will have surprisingly light crowds IF you can stay-and-scream or at least rope-drop. See everything you can in the first two hours, but 8:20 the crowds will begin pouring in. Sunday had terrible crowds, and they are there from stay-and-scream; there's no getting an early jump on them. Wednesdays and Thursday in September should be the slowest times this year, but that's like discussing the slow days during Christmas Week.
    • Stay & Scream at Simpsons is generally more relaxing than Finns. Also you'll be rewarded with shorter lines. Remember you can usually go right as well as left, you'll likely have the Kid Zone house to yourself. Guests at Finns will form a rudimentary line for the most popular house at like 4, which defeats the whole purpose of Stay & Scream.
    • As @Tobias said, wear the darkest sunglasses you can, do the one eye closed trick, both really do help.
    • Back of the park in particular usually clears out the last hour.
     
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  5. corey

    corey Newcomer

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    Thanks guys, this is exactly what I needed.

    We're going opening weekend as that's the only time our vacation overlaps with HHN. We have express for the Friday (opening night) and will be doing Stay & Scream. We're expecting heavy crowds and will be trying our best to get every house done once, starting with Stranger Things or Ghostbusters and quickly moving between houses depending on what wait times are like. I'll also try and save the express until lines get crazy so we might be able to do some houses twice.

    What time do you recommend we get to Stay & Scream? 4? 4:30? I heard Finnegans was crazy busy last year, can we still get drinks there whilst we wait (either inside Finn or at carts in the street) or is it now the case that people form a line for ST that you can't move from?

    Also great tip about the sunglasses! Cheers
     
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  6. Spaulding

    Spaulding Rookie

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    Do house wait times get added to the Universal app? I believe you can check ride wait times, so that would be cool to be able to see from anywhere in the park.
     
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  7. Captain Tragedy

    Captain Tragedy Premium Member

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    Opening night, I'd say get there as early as you can. 4 shooouuuld be fine, although this is the first year I might be doing opening night as well, so I don't have much first hand knowledge for that night. Finn's will be open even during the transition from regular park operations to HHN, so you'd be able to get a drink. Not sure when they change over from being able to hang out in the bar area to an actual queue for drinks, however. I'd assume it's after crowds clear for opening.

    They do set up barriers outside to "corral" people and they have a permanent drink stand in the park area of New York next to the lines. If people aren't getting a drink, they'll hang out in the barrier'd area. As for leaving and coming back in the line to get a drink, I think you'll have better luck outside. It'd be way too much of a hassle to try to get to Finns and back. There was a really nice map someone made last year explaining crowd flow for the stay n scream Finns area. I'll see if I can find it and edit this post later.

    Edit: Here we go. You don't have to follow that red line exactly. That is where they had us wait last year. I added the orange line as that's the route I normally take to get to Finns. Also circled the drink stand outside. Keep in mind, this is how they ran ops last year, so it might change. I do believe that this way of handling crowds was super smooth though. hhn.png
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  8. Robert Bliss

    Robert Bliss V.I.P.

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    Yes they do

    edit- though not sure how accurate they are up to the minute.
     
  9. UniversalRBLX

    UniversalRBLX Veteran Member

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    Last year's NY Stay and Scream was a mess on opening weekend, I expect a change in operations. Hopefully they figure out a way to separate the Ghostbusters crowd from the ST crowd, that way there's no mass confusion.
     
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  10. Returning-The-Reaction

    Returning-The-Reaction Member

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  11. corey

    corey Newcomer

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    Thanks Captain! Whats the yellow square in that pic? Is that where they release everyone? Am I also right in thinking the Stay & Scream location is basically an open area where you can sit/wander etc until they release everyone?
     
  12. Returning-The-Reaction

    Returning-The-Reaction Member

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    The yellow square is where you enter the barricaded Stay & Scream area and where they scan your HHN pass.
     
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  13. Captain Tragedy

    Captain Tragedy Premium Member

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    The yellow square is the actual entrance to the stay and scream area. They'll have ticket scanners there which lets you into the area that's barricaded off from the rest of the park. Using my master paint skills, I've redone the map a bit. The stay and scream area, I believe, covers everything in that blue outline. I remember being able to hit a branded HHN bar (Orange circle) and then get back into line. The green star is where they actually start lining up and release the crowds. There is another line of barricade that actually split Park Ave down the middle. The red line down it behind the green star is actually a good representation of that split.

    What happens is they'll fill up the left side of that split, close it off, then the right side. When releasing, they'll release left side first and then right side. This is to make sure the crowd flow isn't too crazy. I believe that everywhere else gets sort of filled in after the right side of that split is full. Not too sure as I was usually pretty early to at least get in on that right side. You can wander up to a point, but usually that area on Park Ave fills up pretty quick, and I would imagine quicker than usual opening night. Again, this is what happened last year and thought it was the best they could do, ops wise.

    *Edited to clarify release of crowds*

    hhn2.png
     
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  14. corey

    corey Newcomer

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    Wow thank you! Thats great, I didn't even know where the S&S entrance was so I really needed this. We'll plan to get there at 4 or before (probably having late lunch/early dinner in CityWalk first) to try to be in that main section. Fingers crossed we have easy access to that bar lol
     
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  15. Brian G.

    Brian G. Staff Member Administrator

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    There used to be a couple of solid game plans. Now... all bets are off. 3 of the major IP's are right at the front, with crowd-favorite Klowns at Shrek. To put it mildly.... I've finally invested in Express....

    Good luck this year. :lol:
     
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  16. UniversalRBLX

    UniversalRBLX Veteran Member

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    At least the originals won't be hectic the first 1-2 hours of the event!
     
  17. corey

    corey Newcomer

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    Well, count me in as officially stressed :afraid:

    My aim is to just get all the houses done on opening night with express and I'll be happy with that, hopefully its not too much of a stretch. We also got the BOGOF offer so we have tickets for Sunday to come and get the houses done that we didn't do the first time.
     
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  18. Brian G.

    Brian G. Staff Member Administrator

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    With Express, you’re good.
     
  19. Joe

    Joe aka TestTrack321 Staff Member Moderator

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    Yeah.

    Also with opening night there WILL be operations issues. There always is and everyone says its the end of the world and Universal is incompetent but then by the end of the weekend it's totally resolved. Don't sweat it you'll be fine.
     
  20. truejonas

    truejonas V.I.P.

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    Use that EP on every house. I was over confident last year and decided we could wait in the standby line if it was under 30 minutes (I had the grand idea of going back through houses we liked the first time with the left over EP). Yeah, don't be like me. :)
     
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