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Dark Horizon

MrRoamer

Premium Member
May 20, 2013
2,112
Local
Went with a friend last night (10/18). We bought the Happy Haunting Hour for $25 plus fees online. Parked at 6:30 and was at the front gate by 6:45. I had read opening ceremony was at 6:30 so we thought we missed it, but they didn't do anything until right at 7.

Overall, we had a really good time. It wasn't very crowded (I think the weather had a role in that as it drizzled the entire time). What was really cool for me is there is a level of interaction and personal experience that just isn't possible at a massive event like HHN. We did each house more than once and it was cool to have the scareactors recognize us and interact with us like they knew us. Since their break area was all the way in the back of the event, house scareactors were constantly walking through the streets. They'd stop and talk to us still in character, almost like a continuation of how they talked and interacted with us while in the house. That aspect was really cool as I felt like I was part of their story in a way.

We also got lucky with the secret bar. One of the street entertainers came up to me randomly and asked if I had heard of it. When I pointed in the right direction, he handed me a coin and gave a clue on where to go. That was a nice surprise.

I really hope this even does well here. I have been following Dark Harbor for a few years and I was excited when I heard the company was coming to Orlando. While this year was good, I know they will take lessons learned from this year and next year will be better. It's worth checking out for sure.
Do you know if we need to print out tickets or is it fine to show image from our phones?
 

sjago13

Premium Member
Feb 26, 2014
1,357
Kissimmee
Do you know if we need to print out tickets or is it fine to show image from our phones?
Phones work for both parking and getting in.

I guess I'll give a quick review as well. Went Friday and really enjoyed it for what it was. I wasnt sure if it was gunna be partially indoors in some convention space or what so it was interesting that all the houses were outside with a mix of outdoor sections and parts under black tents.

Not sure if it was the weather or people just dont know about it yet but it was empty and I'm glad I didnt spring for express because I would have felt ripped off if I did. No waits and went through alone most of the times with my fried and I giving space between each other for full resets.

The cast interactions in the houses and on the streets were really fun and they have the latitude to kinda follow you around in the house within reason when it wasnt busy. I actually got some good startles in both voodoo and murder island. Voodoo was the most polished house with the coolest effects and murder island was really creepy but was less polished. The pirate one was ok but the weakest of the 3. I did get to do the slide once on the first run before it began to rain harder.

Shows were a nice distraction while enjoying a beverage and the beverages seemed strong and were reasonably priced. 16 for a 32 ounce mixed drink which must have had like 5 shots worth of vodka in it and 8 for a craft oktoberfest.

Big thing going forward is will the expand or replace houses or just bring the same ones back with minor modifications? Assuming the current houses get demoed I would hope each year they come up with new concepts. If so this will be a fun little event that I will continue to support in the years going forward.
 
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MrRoamer

Premium Member
May 20, 2013
2,112
Local
We went last night, overall it was definitely fun and hope it will be around next year. We bought our passes around the time it was announced so it was on sale for like $20 or so each. Express definitely wasn't necessary as there may have been like 200 people there (being very generous). The longest line we waited for was the bar.

You can definitely feel the new-ness and budget of the event with the most strange one being that you could see people going to their hotel rooms in some spots, I'm really not quite sure who it was more weird to though. The scavenger seemed really cool, but we couldn't find the first item (the scroll) and then just kind of gave up on it when we found out that we could buy a shirt and get a coin.

I describe it like this -
HHN has plenty of money and is well scripted with triggers and everything being just right with well trained actors. I think everyone knows what HHN is and what to expect

Howl O Scream has some money for good sets and costumes but give the ability and rely on strong cast interaction with moderate to well trained actors. HHN of old with a twist

Dark Horizon has limited space and budget with actors that feel like they are given a part and then give it their all and are very aggressive. I felt like the actors really made all this come to life, but some of them lingered a bit too long (especially the in house pulse ones) and some interactions felt dangerous with several props (axes, clubs, pick axes) being swung very violently towards your face. Some of them flex a bit too so it was a little unnerving with I'm not quite sure if either of us know if you're going to smash me in the face with that.
 

dmmgp2000

Newcomer
Sep 14, 2019
7
I agree. You can definitely see the potential here. The night I was there was also very lightly attended. I chalked it up to the constant light drizzle/rain that night, but it seems the rest of the weekend didn't fare much better crowd-level rise. I have been telling anyone who will listen that they need to check it out. The actors and performers are incredibly talented and giving it their all. I'm not sure what they could be doing different to get more people in the door. Maybe the Orlando Halloween/Haunt market is maxed out? Is the parking situation keeping people away? ?Not sure, but hopefully they find an audience as we get closer to Halloween.
 

MrRoamer

Premium Member
May 20, 2013
2,112
Local
I agree. You can definitely see the potential here. The night I was there was also very lightly attended. I chalked it up to the constant light drizzle/rain that night, but it seems the rest of the weekend didn't fare much better crowd-level rise. I have been telling anyone who will listen that they need to check it out. The actors and performers are incredibly talented and giving it their all. I'm not sure what they could be doing different to get more people in the door. Maybe the Orlando Halloween/Haunt market is maxed out? Is the parking situation keeping people away? ?Not sure, but hopefully they find an audience as we get closer to Halloween.
With the location they are at, they really need to market it to people going on vacation somehow. With the different haunts scattered around, I would assume its tough for a non-lifestyle local that goes to HHN 1 night to decide to come here instead or to go to multiple haunts out that way. However there is an insane number of people right around there with money they are planning on spending. They could either spend it on an extra couple drinks, a new shirt, or a totally different experience.

The primary reason we went was because it was Queen Mary, which meant exactly 0 to us 5 months prior, but while we were on our Disneyland trip, our tour guide (that we used for a cheaper and more fun ride back to the airport) was super into haunts and mentioned the must do haunt scenes in Cali are Knott's and Queen Mary. Had it not been for that, there was little chance we would have come.
 

SeventyOne

V.I.P.
Jul 1, 2010
2,748
Orlando
So months late here, but chatting with a friend tonight who had done the media preview, she said all three houses were specifically themed to Florida. One was St Augustine, one was somewhere in the Panhandle, and the third was about a real-life serial killer in Key West. I can't believe the promotional material and every review I remember reading failed to highlight this. Not saying I would've 100% gone --- free nights and disposable cash were in short supply last October -- but it would have greatly peaked my interest in what otherwise sounded like a generic event.
 

Tbad556

Veteran Member
Aug 17, 2009
5,889
Orlando, FL

It is with heavy hearts that we can now confirm the 2020 seasons of The Queen Mary's Dark Harbor (Long Beach, CA) and Dark Horizon: Point of No Return (Orlando, FL) have officially been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and in line with federal, state and local guidelines.
As always, maintaining the safety and security of our guests, actors and crew is of the utmost importance.
With the uncertainty that lies ahead in the coming months, these unfortunate decisions could not be avoided.
We look forward to the 2021 haunt season and will share more about the future when we are able.