Halloween Horror Nights 22 Discussion | Inside Universal Forums
  • Signing up for a Premium Membership is a donation to help Inside Universal maintain costs and offers an ad-free experience on the forum. Learn more about it here.

Halloween Horror Nights 22 Discussion

Hockeyman55

Premium Member
Aug 19, 2009
5,526
Palm Beach Gardens
Houses have had long lines as recently as 2008. 2008 was right around when the financial crisis was happening. I think a lot of newer fans were not around when the event was getting 100 minute waits opening weekend of 2006 and 2007, but they were there and we haven't hit that point again yet. I can remember seeing a picture of Friday 13th with a 100 minute wait on a non-peak night and I even remember Saw getting a 130 a few times. 2008 was just the last time that the houses were consistently getting 120 minute waits.
I remember those days and that is why in one of my earlier post I asked hasn't HHN always been super crowded and super busy through out the years, especially mid 2000 years. These crazy lines aren't something really that new or unexpected. I don't really remember but didn't they add more house over the years from 6 to 7 to 8 and im sure that was in response to the crowds and popularity each year?
 

Clive

aka Fallow
Staff member
Moderator
May 26, 2010
3,791
Talking Points:

I disagree with your piece Fallow. Universal is still listening to us. Surveys said that people wanted a more interactive experience. We were given Horror Unearthed. Surveys said people wanted more street actors. We get two new hordes.

Horror Unearthed is awesome, I want to emphasize that. I think it's great that the interactive games are returning. It's pretty obvious it doesn't have the confident backing of Comcast (or at least the budget that would accompany it), hence the reskinned games from X Studios. The in-park stuff is neat, though, and comparable to Legendary Truth (though despite the Iniquitus, lacks a compelling central character). As for the hordes... as much as I appreciate them doing their best, it appears to be too little, too late. It seemed to me people wanted scare zones, not more actors, period - we'll have to wait until next year to see if we get the zones. As far as listening in general? I think that was the case 2010 to 2011. We got a better marketed icon, a super interactive build-up website, tons of backstory pages, 7 strong houses that oozed originality with 1 understandable IP house, the return of show scenes, amped up gore (relative to 2010), evolving scare zones, projection effects in the streets... Was it a perfect year? No. Many of the streets were below par, Lady Luck still lacked a solid attraction (and needed a house), the marketing campaign needed to be scarier... But many of the flaws of 2010 were addressed. In 2012, we took many steps backwards, and I'm not just talking about one less house (which I still deem inexcusable, since that was the plan pre-SS44 demolition).

I haven't gotten yelled at this year by Ops, nor have I seen them using flashlights in houses.

You are VERY lucky. Take a look through comments posted on the FB page - they're filled with complaints about the conga lines and "employees" who stand in the houses. Last year, the ops had special crevices to stand in for the most part, out of peoples' way - and in all but a few instances they did not push people through so aggressively. This year, we literally have ops leaving their room to come find you and demand that you run, along with them being placed in front of set pieces (Nofasteru, spider room in Alice, etc.)

Houses have had long lines as recently as 2008. 2008 was right around when the financial crisis was happening. I think a lot of newer fans were not around when the event was getting 100 minute waits opening weekend of 2006 and 2007, but they were there and we haven't hit that point again yet. I can remember seeing a picture of Friday 13th with a 100 minute wait on a non-peak night and I even remember Saw getting a 130 a few times. 2008 was just the last time that the houses were consistently getting 120 minute waits.

I attended the event two nights in 08, and waits were relatively light - mostly, I suspect, due to the economic recession. Reflections of Fear always had the killer wait. The difference this year is the wait times have been increased artificially - true, I think attendance is up, but I don't think it's up that much. The loss of the 8th house and 0 scare zones to visit on a map has resulted in the bodies that would've inhabited those places being in line for other houses. 2007 had the benefit of Freddy, Jason, & Leatherface - really, the venerable ICONS of the modern slasher film - so I'm not surprised wait times were so crazy then. The crowds there are a well-documented peak for HHN that has yet to be reached again. It's worth noting that 2007 also had 4 shows, when now we can really only expect 2.

I think branding has hurt Howl-O-Scream. Simple as that. I like Howl-O-Scream, I have fun at the event but I can't go every year. The event just doesn't change enough and they've branded themselves as "Hey we're not HHN, but we're awfully similar and clearly trying to compete. If you have a change of heart come check us out." Which is great for all the locals who might be jaded, but not as great for the national market.

I've never attended Howl-O-Scream so I can't comment on that - but from what I can tell I actually mostly agree. When I lived in Florida I was actually closer to Howl-O-Scream, but never went. I had a Busch Gardens season pass for two years, too.

They still have drop doors, and they're still loud. I've seen them used in Dead End.

They're there, yeah, and the Dead End is one of the best uses I've seen of it lately. I know it's safer for the actors, but the automated ones aren't nearly as effective, IMO... appears more like an assembly line to me, though I know that's just opinion.

People have bodily functions in the houses more than you think. I'll leave it at that.

I'll be the martyr to the end if I have to be. If you guys want the same event as 2009-2011 then have fun. Those 3 years were stupidly similar to each other. It seemed like as soon as Universal got a decent formula they set it in stone and said "Hey, this worked good enough. Lets keep doing it." Atleast now they're trying to do new things. If you guys want more Fear and Lady Luck, that's on you. But, I can seriously pass on those lack-luster years, sub-par marketing, and lacking icons.

Let's not put words in our mouth. I've seen this argument from you before, and I really don't understand it. The formula in terms of 8 houses, 6 zones, 2-3 shows worked just fine - and often the content to fill those slots was great (though often one year had a stronger set of houses or streets). HHNXX was a huge disappointment, but I'm leaving that out of this argument. The greater issues since 2008 has been presentation - coming up with an overarching theme/icon that both marketing and A&D can get behind. 2008 was the last time we really saw that happen... Marketing didn't want Usher in 2009 so he got snubbed, FEAR was a last minute rush job, A&D didn't want Lady Luck in 2011. I'm yearning for what we saw in 2008 - amazing zones, strong houses (though some in 08 disappointed), incredible atmosphere (which I will concede 2012 nailed in some respect), a terrifying icon, potent marketing campaign, backstory laden-website.

The formula for 2008-2011 was perfect - it just needs the budget, cooperation and originality to flourish. You can tell this year's streets had almost no budget, with a good 70% of the costumes recycled. The $$ from that 8th house clearly went nowhere besides some executive's pocketbook.
Responses in bold.
 
Last edited:

Tbad556

Veteran Member
Aug 17, 2009
6,586
Talking Points:

I disagree with your piece Fallow. Universal is still listening to us. Surveys said that people wanted a more interactive experience. We were given Horror Unearthed. Surveys said people wanted more street actors. We get two new hordes.

I haven't gotten yelled at this year by Ops, nor have I seen them using flashlights in houses.

Houses have had long lines as recently as 2008. 2008 was right around when the financial crisis was happening. I think a lot of newer fans were not around when the event was getting 100 minute waits opening weekend of 2006 and 2007, but they were there and we haven't hit that point again yet. I can remember seeing a picture of Friday 13th with a 100 minute wait on a non-peak night and I even remember Saw getting a 130 a few times. 2008 was just the last time that the houses were consistently getting 120 minute waits.

I think branding has hurt Howl-O-Scream. Simple as that. I like Howl-O-Scream, I have fun at the event but I can't go every year. The event just doesn't change enough and they've branded themselves as "Hey we're not HHN, but we're awfully similar and clearly trying to compete. If you have a change of heart come check us out." Which is great for all the locals who might be jaded, but not as great for the national market.

They still have drop doors, and they're still loud. I've seen them used in Dead End.

People have bodily functions in the houses more than you think. I'll leave it at that.

I'll be the martyr to the end if I have to be. If you guys want the same event as 2009-2011 then have fun. Those 3 years were stupidly similar to each other. It seemed like as soon as Universal got a decent formula they set it in stone and said "Hey, this worked good enough. Lets keep doing it." Atleast now they're trying to do new things. If you guys want more Fear and Lady Luck, that's on you. But, I can seriously pass on those lack-luster years, sub-par marketing, and lacking icons.
Agreed on almost all aspects. I went through each of the houses quite a few times and never once was told to move along or shined with a flashlight and I tend to walk a bit slower than the usual guest.

I think everyone is jumping to way too many conclusions based off of one event which was greatly effected by quite a few unusual disruptions ranging from the closure of Jaws/the absence of the Jaws house to all of the construction going on. I strongly believe that Universal will return to the 8 house format next year and more likely than not, scarezones instead of hordes. As Jake said, they do listen to the guests and make changes that people tend to want.
 

Jakemeister

Premium Member
Feb 1, 2008
5,830
Central, Fl
Let's not put words in our mouth. I've seen this argument from you before, and I really don't understand it. The formula in terms of 8 houses, 6 zones, 2-3 shows worked just fine - and often the content to fill those slots was great (though often one year had a stronger set of houses or streets). HHNXX was a huge disappointment, but I'm leaving that out of this argument. The greater issues since 2008 has been presentation - coming up with an overarching theme/icon that both marketing and A&D can get behind. 2008 was the last time we really saw that happen... Marketing didn't want Usher in 2009 so he got snubbed, FEAR was a last minute rush job, A&D didn't want Lady Luck in 2011. I'm yearning for what we saw in 2008 - amazing zones, strong houses (though some in 08 disappointed), incredible atmosphere (which I will concede 2012 nailed in some respect), a terrifying icon, potent marketing campaign, backstory laden-website.

The formula for 2008-2011 was perfect - it just needs the budget, cooperation and originality to flourish. You can tell this year's streets had almost no budget, with a good 70% of the costumes recycled. The $$ from that 8th house clearly went nowhere besides some executive's pocketbook.
2008 was great, don't get me wrong. But 2008 was also a VERY different event from 2007. That is why 2008 worked so much. 2010 and 2011 both used the same formula as 2008 and 2009 and it was failing. We get a change in formula and while it's not perfect, it is something. People obviously want set scarezones so I'm expected a mixed Zone/Horde experience next year. People are complaining about lack of 8th house, so I expect that to return next year. People however are not complaining about I.P.'s and at that you only find people complaining about that in these niches. I.P.'s have bolstered attendance to new levels and we have had joint ventures with HHN:H before so expect that to return, probably just not as heavily.

My point with the formula is that, 2008 and 2009 literally had the same formula as 2010 and 2011 and those events are night and day to each other. There definitely are broken concepts about 2012, point being is that we're not in 2008 anymore. For some reason, you can blame marketing, and you can blame executives, but they're not the only people at fault for 2010 and 2011 being mediocre. The event needs a tweaked formula. I'd put money on next year, the event hearkening back to the formula 2008 and using some of the new concepts from 2012.
 

SeventyOne

V.I.P.
Jul 1, 2010
2,902
Orlando
I wouldn't bother being afraid of Disney, it would be about as scary as Zoo Boo...Busch Gardens on the other hand..if a budget increase is to happen for HOS this would be the time to strike. I have already heard mumblings from a lot of places praising how much better HOS is than HHN this year. They are growing
Interesting. I actually heard from some Sea World friends that HoS was almost on the chopping block this year, received a last minute reprieve. There seems to be a psychological barrier among many Orlando people about going to Tampa, which I think hurts attendance somewhat, but I agree, if they want to save the event, next year is the one to throw some money at it.
 

Jakemeister

Premium Member
Feb 1, 2008
5,830
Central, Fl
I do not think Howl-O-Scream is anywhere near the chopping block. I do think they are facing some of the same identity issues as Orlando. The amount they are charging for 'Alone' this year is OUTRAGEOUS. Even all of my die-hard HOS friends think so, and after talking to some people on Sunday night it's been watered down some and not as scary as it was initially. It seems that they have the mind set of "We were the first, it was great initially, people came with the price hikes last year. We can obviously raise them more." That might only be a small portion of the event, a part that many people might not even experience, but it still brings up the point that the thoughts are present and they know that they are in the market for mega-event.
 

Octobers Fade

DEAD inside
Premium Member
Jul 10, 2010
6,081
NoRemorse Cemetery
Interesting. I actually heard from some Sea World friends that HoS was almost on the chopping block this year, received a last minute reprieve. There seems to be a psychological barrier among many Orlando people about going to Tampa, which I think hurts attendance somewhat, but I agree, if they want to save the event, next year is the one to throw some money at it.
Yup it seems they are so affraid they will miss a night at HHNs.

- - - Updated - - -

I do not think Howl-O-Scream is anywhere near the chopping block. I do think they are facing some of the same identity issues as Orlando. The amount they are charging for 'Alone' this year is OUTRAGEOUS. Even all of my die-hard HOS friends think so, and after talking to some people on Sunday night it's been watered down some and not as scary as it was initially. It seems that they have the mind set of "We were the first, it was great initially, people came with the price hikes last year. We can obviously raise them more." That might only be a small portion of the event, a part that many people might not even experience, but it still brings up the point that the thoughts are present and they know that they are in the market for mega-event.
I have also heard the rumors...
 

Cecilia

Member
Jan 16, 2012
863
O-Town
This is a bit out of the blue, but does anybody know if the theory that wearing Disney merch earns you extra "attention" at HHN actually works? I want to test it out tomorrow night...
 

Jakemeister

Premium Member
Feb 1, 2008
5,830
Central, Fl
I have also heard the rumors...
If you or Spook have heard rumors than I'm much more apt to believe them. Duly noted.

This is a bit out of the blue, but does anybody know if the theory that wearing Disney merch earns you extra "attention" at HHN actually works? I want to test it out tomorrow night...
You have to be DECKED out in it. You might get an extra joke here or there with a Mickey shirt but if you're decked out, you'll get attention.
 

rhino4evr

Veteran Member
Apr 7, 2010
5,120
Looks like the event was extended until 2 am, that can only mean they have already sold a ton of tickets and are preparing for a peak night. Wish me luck all!
 

shiekra38

Legendary Member
Dec 13, 2009
12,972
Florida
Yup it seems they are so affraid they will miss a night at HHNs.

- - - Updated - - -


I have also heard the rumors...
The Christmas Town event worries me somewhat..I know it seems completely unrelated to HOS, but if more event money is thrown at that..less is thrown at HOS...this year at HOS did suffer somewhat from the repeated Dark Side of the Gardens theme, but I think they are still in forward motion..

HHN 2008 was amazing I must say..as was 2007 (although the streets were awful)..The houses transitioned well into the streets and the atmosphere around the park felt as if you were trapped in Mary's mirror, from the projections on the buildings to Mary greating you at the front entrance..the year had major creep factor...I think a combo of roaming hordes and zones would be killer..I'm not against trying new things and throwing new elements at the event, but you can't abandon some fundamental things that really strengthen your event..at the same time this year was simply a growing pain that we will just have to put behind us. The resort as a whole is improving..unfortunately the special events are less important right now than the resort as a whole.
 
Last edited:

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
23,871
Orlando
From what i've heard, many consider HOS better than HHN this year, but branding/advertising I think consistently hurts HOS as already stated. It always seems to be a slightly revised version from the previous year.

Also, I can't imagine Christmas Town being all too popular or them making that much money off of it at all, so I get concerns there.
 

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
23,871
Orlando
The Christmas Town event worries me somewhat..I know it seems completely unrelated to HOS, but if more event money is thrown at that..less is thrown at HOS...this year at HOS did suffer somewhat from the repeated Dark Side of the Gardens theme, but I think they are still in forward motion..

HHN 2008 was amazing I must say..as was 2007 (although the streets were awful)..The houses transitioned well into the streets and the atmosphere around the park felt as if you were trapped in Mary's mirror, from the projections on the buildings to Mary greating you at the front entrance..the year had major creep factor...I think a combo of roaming hordes and zones would be killer..I'm not against trying new things and throwing new elements at the event, but you can't abandon some fundamental things that really strengthen your event..at the same time this year was simply a growing pain that we will just have to put behind us. The resort as a whole is improving..unfortunately the special events are less important right now than the resort as a whole.
That's sort of what they have going on now. The two new ones and The iniquitis are always in the same area, while the rest roam I believe.
 

SeventyOne

V.I.P.
Jul 1, 2010
2,902
Orlando
Yup it seems they are so affraid they will miss a night at HHNs.
Not just that--even trying to get, say, "Disney" people out to Ybor or a Bucs game or the Hard Rock Casino--they're just resistant, as opposed to say Winter Park (maybe slightly closer) or Cocoa (about the same travel time). Just a regional tic that I think hurts HoS.
 

Clive

aka Fallow
Staff member
Moderator
May 26, 2010
3,791
That's sort of what they have going on now. The two new ones and The iniquitis are always in the same area, while the rest roam I believe.
Stationary actors do not make a zone - a true scare zone requires unique and coherent set pieces, lighting, costumes, and story. Not just a bunch of random actors in the same spot with generic wash lighting.
 

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
23,871
Orlando
Stationary actors do not make a zone - a true scare zone requires unique and coherent set pieces, lighting, costumes, and story. Not just a bunch of random actors in the same spot with generic wash lighting.
Unfortunately, it's as close as we're going to get this year. I agree with all that though, SPECIFICALLY with costumes and set pieces. Some of the costume choices with the new hordes seem just mix and match.