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Halloween Horror Nights 22 Reviews & Photos

Scarletwebslingr

Veteran Member
May 4, 2009
1,862
Windermere
FYI House of Horrors isn't finished yet
...why wouldn't it be finished before official open?

I really need to go through Silent Hill again. My first time through was terrible but I'm hearing all these great reviews. The sirens went off at the very beginning in the only scene where I saw absolutely no scareactors (opposite of what is supposed to happen) and Pyramid Head circled around his area with his back turned to me the entire time so that was a let down. I know every walk through isn't a winner (usually, anyway) so I need to hit this one several more times to get a clear perspective.
 

Jymmymack

Veteran Member
Jan 8, 2010
2,685
San Francisco
I just wanted to point out that "Welcome to My Nightmare" (both the album and maze) are NOT based on Alice Cooper's life. It is a fictional story about "Steven" a psychopath who believes he is still a child. Steven and his alter-ego "The Spider" reappear in Alice's albums over and over.
 

frenzy88

Member
Jul 11, 2012
804
Orlando Fl
Personal House rankings so far
1: Gothic
2: Penn & Teller
3: Silent Hill
4: House of Horrors
5: Walking Dead.

Dead End and Alice Cooper still have to find a place. Maybe I'll stop by today and knock them out.
 

SeventyOne

V.I.P.
Jul 1, 2010
2,851
Orlando
FYI House of Horrors isn't finished yet
On the one hand, it feels unfinished--particularly the sets. On the other, I know a few people doing Rush of Fear who are maybe doing one more night beyond this weekend. Seems kind of crappy not have it ready by opening night.
 

Andy

aka Hatetofly
V.I.P.
Mar 16, 2010
11,095
I just wanted to point out that "Welcome to My Nightmare" (both the album and maze) are NOT based on Alice Cooper's life. It is a fictional story about "Steven" a psychopath who believes he is still a child. Steven and his alter-ego "The Spider" reappear in Alice's albums over and over.
It got some rough reviews last night but I will be my own judge tonight. I'll let you know how it stacks up against last years :thumbs:
 

Andy

aka Hatetofly
V.I.P.
Mar 16, 2010
11,095
Alright here are my thoughts after opening weekend,

The streets IMO are just flat, I don't care for them at all. Scarezones used to be like an attraction you had to visit before you left. Now its usually actors just marching by you. Hell I think they spend more time walking then they do scaring. Also the theming in the streets just sucks. The reason their SO MUCH FOG is because their is nothing to it. A couple of props and some lighting. Mix in the worlds supply of fog with marching bands of dead people and you have the streets this year.

Huge improvement from Dead End and Penn and Teller for me tonight. Gothic is kicking ass and Silent Hill is another great SS house. On the other end I am sad to report Alice Cooper while not a "bad" house didn't live up to my expectations at all. The one in Hollywood last year was much better overall and I feel like Universal missed the boat here. The Orlando event has a much bigger budget in every way but failed to live up to a house that was a huge hit and major surprise to everyone last year. Also, what the hell! Thats all I can say about House of Horrors. Not a fan. I'm really trying to hang in their on the Walking Dead but the house is ehhhh at best right now.

Overall Rankings after opening weekend
1.Gothic
2.Dead End
3.Silent Hill
4.Penn and Teller
5.Alice Cooper
6.Walking Dead
7.House of Horrors

I will leave you with a few pictures from tonight as well.























 

SeventyOne

V.I.P.
Jul 1, 2010
2,851
Orlando
Made it to Silent Hill and Walking Dead tonight. Silent Hill was completely lost on me, but friends familiar with the game seemed to like it. Walking Dead felt like an average zombie house with a couple TWD sets pasted on--unfortunately, in doing so, the house misses the whole point of the series. Too tired to expand on that now, tho. Overall I have to say, take out Gothic and at least 6 of the 8 houses last year would be a shoo-in for House of the Year in 2012. Yes, 2011 was an unusually strong line-up, but I had hoped that was the start of a trend.

Finally got to see scareactors going into stores and Finns tonight. It was fun to watch--tho I get the sense the staff didn't necessarily appreciate it--but I don't know that it makes up for the total lack of scare zones. I think the ideal would be a hybrid between the two formats (say, 4 set zones, 2 roaming hoardes). I never realized how much the scare zones add to the event but I definitely feel their loss.

- - - Updated - - -

Alright here are my thoughts after opening weekend,

The streets IMO are just flat, I don't care for them at all. Scarezones used to be like an attraction you had to visit before you left. Now its usually actors just marching by you. Hell I think they spend more time walking then they do scaring. Also the theming in the streets just sucks. The reason their SO MUCH FOG is because their is nothing to it. A couple of props and some lighting. Mix in the worlds supply of fog with marching bands of dead people and you have the streets this year.
You've managed to articulate this perfectly. It just feels like a step backwards.

Haven't done Dead End since preview night, I think I need to go back to see what I missed that everyone else is getting out of it.

Cool shots, btw.
 

Andy

aka Hatetofly
V.I.P.
Mar 16, 2010
11,095
Made it to Silent Hill and Walking Dead tonight. Silent Hill was completely lost on me, but friends familiar with the game seemed to like it. Walking Dead felt like an average zombie house with a couple TWD sets pasted on--unfortunately, in doing so, the house misses the whole point of the series. Too tired to expand on that now, tho. Overall I have to say, take out Gothic and at least 6 of the 8 houses last year would be a shoo-in for House of the Year in 2012. Yes, 2011 was an unusually strong line-up, but I had hoped that was the start of a trend.

Finally got to see scareactors going into stores and Finns tonight. It was fun to watch--tho I get the sense the staff didn't necessarily appreciate it--but I don't know that it makes up for the total lack of scare zones. I think the ideal would be a hybrid between the two formats (say, 4 set zones, 2 roaming hoardes). I never realized how much the scare zones add to the event but I definitely feel their loss.

- - - Updated - - -



You've managed to articulate this perfectly. It just feels like a step backwards.

Haven't done Dead End since preview night, I think I need to go back to see what I missed that everyone else is getting out of it.

Cool shots, btw.
Only 5 for me and not in any order :lol:

H.R. Bloodengutz Presents Holidays of Horror
Nevermore: The Madness of Poe
The Forsaken
The In Between
Winter's Night: The Haunting of Hawthorn Cemetery

Dead End was a huge improvement for me just from last night

Thanks btw :skellington:
 

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
23,012
Orlando
I don't really feel like writing a book here, so i'll try and keep it short. Overall, Dead End, Gothic and Penn & Teller were my favorites. Dead End being my favorite. Penn & Teller was very fun though. Alice Cooper is right behind. It's a tough one for me and am still on the fence about it. I went through Cooper for a third time today as I only had to wait 10 minutes and really just took it all in this time and appreciated some of the nods more. It's definitely actor driven (like most houses), but there were some good gags along the way. It's my fourth favorite. Here's where we start to go downhill a bit. Silent Hill, The Walking Dead and House of Horrors were my least favorite (in that order). Again these are pretty much all actor based (House of Horrors especially). HoH was very plain to me. Felt like there needs to be more props added, things to touch, play with, etc. It was just like walking through an empty room and occasionally someone would jump out at you. It felt very hald-assed imo. The Walking Dead sort of seemed like more of an experience to me than a haunted house. Trying to appeal to the Walking Dead fans who want to "live the show". It was very underwhelming and a lack of actors as well. Again, i've only done it once so maybe they were in the middle of a change, but to wait 60 min+ for that just isn't worth my time imo. Silent Hill was...ok. Again, depending on actors or who you're with, it could be a completely different experience.

Bill & Ted: From someone who has never seen the show in person before, I enjoyed it and it seems like most of the audience did as well (unlike what i've heard about 20 Penny).
 

Roll N Fear

Premium Member
Feb 1, 2008
1,404
Lake Worth
Anyone use Express last night? I saw a post on FB saying that the Express lines were almost as bad as the regular lines? I just got a new job and can't take any days off now so I was going to try and go on the 13th. I'd rather not drop $100 on an Express Pass if it doesn't do what it's supposed to do.
 

snoman

Veteran Member
Feb 15, 2008
1,817
Deltona, Florida
We RSVP'd for the passholder event and they actually opened Penn and Teller on time last night. We had done every single house by 8pm. Later in the event I could see the need for express on a Saturday maybe but all I could think last night was how the people who through down $$ on express got ripped off last night! The express lines were shorter sure but not by a ton and the regular house lines were totally manageable. Longest I saw was Walking Dead cleared 60 minutes but that wasn't until 10pm. Longest wait we had the entire night was our last house, Dead End, at 20 minutes.
 

Jimpossible87

Rookie
Dec 1, 2009
113
SALEM,MA
Anyone use Express last night? I saw a post on FB saying that the Express lines were almost as bad as the regular lines? I just got a new job and can't take any days off now so I was going to try and go on the 13th. I'd rather not drop $100 on an Express Pass if it doesn't do what it's supposed to do.
Coming from Ma every year to go to HHN we always get the express pass so we get to see all the houses. Never had that kind of an experience with the Express and not worried about it. It always has done what it implies. Its worth the money
 

Roll N Fear

Premium Member
Feb 1, 2008
1,404
Lake Worth
I've been going every year since 2001 and started buying Express the year it first became available which was 2002. I only go one night so it's always a must for me and I've never had problems seeing everything. However, I've never had to pay $100 for one so that's what's I'm worried about. Hopefully, this was just an isolated incident and will get better as the event progresses....
 

Eric

Premium Member
Mar 3, 2010
398
Orlando
A couple of my thoughts from the event...

The roaming hoards are just dumb in my opinion. They aren't scary and don't add a whole lot to the event. Every single time I see one they just end up walking right past me. There needs to be a lot more interaction with the hoards. Street entertainment needs significant improvement.

Gothic is by far the best house. The effects, set design, overall feel, score...everything is well thought out and cohesive. Loved it!

Dead End was another great house. Scare actors need some work (pretty much in all the houses), but I enjoyed it regardless.

I didn't like Alice Cooper at all. Even after reading up on him and listening to some of his music before I went through, the whole house seemed like a mess.

I haven't seen the movie or played the games for Silent Hill, so I will reserve full judgement then, but right now, it's simply a solid house with some neat sets.

I don't get the love for Penn and Teller. I walked through expecting some great gags and scares, and was left with nothing. There wasn't a lot of chromadepth effects which I was hoping for and thought most of the rooms were blah. I've already gone through it 3 times...not sure what I'm missing.

Walking Dead was just blah. Nothing that great. I was really disappointed with the incorporation of the movie sets to the house sets. Nothing in the house resembled the movie. I expected much better from Universal.

House of Horrors wasn't anything special. The whole black and white idea wasn't executed well and I had a hard time following which room was devoted to which movie/monster. Hoping this gets better as I was really excited for this one.

My rankings...

1. Gothic
2. Dead End
3. Silent Hill
4. Walking Dead
5. House of Horrors
6. Penn and Teller
7. Alice Cooper

Also a note on express. The problem with express are the stupid scanners they use. When a team member scans the express pass they're supposed to wait for it to say that its a verified ticket. This takes time. Then, it could come up with an error message saying that usage has been exceeded, invalid ticket, etc...This creates confrontation with a guest which can hold up the line. I know Gothic had some serious issues with this Friday night. I have noticed leads trying to just sign and verify the express to help keep the line moving. Hopefully it will definitely get better as the event progresses.
 

YETI PINTRADER

Veteran Member
May 9, 2008
2,839
South Florida
So after last night my ratings are staying the same but I'm giving Alice Cooper and Silent Hill a mulligan for their lackluster performances. The actors were dead and it killed the houses. I did do Alice Cooper after 11:00 but I also did it around the same time Friday and that was the run that cemented it as my number one house. Actors that had moved around and created a good sense of unease Friday night were just standing still and growling. Actors in both AC and SH who were creating some great scares last night were standing in their boo holes holding onto something and standing there. Not even trying to scare, reset into their spots or regroup, but standing there for a while. I've had runs in years past that start after the park closed, most likely the time when actors are ready to be done, and it's been my best run of the event. Rant over, just wanted to let out that people who may have had runs that seemed below par in some houses to give them another chance because yesterday was an off night. Hoping everyone is back in the grove come next week.
 

Andy

aka Hatetofly
V.I.P.
Mar 16, 2010
11,095
Anyone use Express last night? I saw a post on FB saying that the Express lines were almost as bad as the regular lines? I just got a new job and can't take any days off now so I was going to try and go on the 13th. I'd rather not drop $100 on an Express Pass if it doesn't do what it's supposed to do.
On Friday night I waited 35-40 mins in the express line for Gothic. People were complaining like crazy so it was fixed last night. But then again last night I had to wait roughly 40 mins in the express line for Cooper. There are two problems their having in the express lines. 1. Their are issues with staff not being trained correctly. They don't understand the pulse nor are some of them familiar with the scanner. I witnessed numerous times this weekend where the team member would just let the stand bye line have free reign and force the express line to trickle in. 2. The scanners and tickets are having major issues. The scanner is having issues picking up the barcode on express tickets when they are in the lanyard sleeves they sell. On top of that their are a large amount of express tickets bought online that are being rejected.

I personally would still invest in express because if last night is any indication the lines this year are going to be insane!
 

April

Member
Feb 11, 2010
670
Orlando, FL
Here's how I feel...

House of Horrors was originally my most anticipated house. I like it, but I don't think it's one of my favorites. It's a fun house to go through though and there definitely are some scares there. I do agree with others and I wish that there was more there for us to see and such.

Alice Cooper is one I'm still meh about. I believe it was one of my least anticipated houses. I agree with others that it is very actor driven. I've had some good walkthroughs with a good amount of scares, and others not so much. It's one that I'm probably going to have to do multiple times to get a complete feel for it.

Penn & Teller is just a lot of fun. I have seen people complain about how you can see most of the scareactors before they can scare you, but I still feel like they can still scare you, they just have to be creative about it. Isn't that what the streets usually are? I enjoy hitting all the buttons in the house and just looking around at everything. I don't really see the point of having 3D really. I'm going to try a walkthrough without the glasses on and see how much different it is. I feel like I'll end up seeing more, but we'll see.

Walking Dead was kind of eh for me on preview night. I've never seen the show so for me it was kind of a bland experience. I didn't get to go through it on Friday, so we were anxious to hit it again on Saturday. My friends and I were some of the first people in the house and there was literally nobody in front of or behind us. My two friends scare easily so this was easily one of the best walkthroughs I've ever had in a house. Every single scareactor attacked us and it was so much fun. I'm going to obviously have to go through the house again with the normal conga line to see how I feel about it, but I have a new found respect for it now.

I hit Dead End on preview night and we missed most of the scares, but enjoyed the house aesthetically. We went in again last night and it was so good. My friends and I got lots of scares and we just really enjoyed ourselves. The casts in this house are on it! This house just has so many cool things going on. Definitely a favorite.

Everyone in my group loved Gothic the other day and last night was no different. It seemed darker in the first two rooms, but it could've been because it was still daylight outside that our eyes weren't adjusted yet. There's just so much to look at in this house, and they always get you when you're not paying attention. So much fun and such a pretty house.

Silent Hill was the one I was really scared of. On preview night, I just ended up screaming the entire time because I'm always scared in my first house of the year. So I knew I had to go in it again and get a better opinion. I went in it on Friday and Saturday night and it's definitely not as scary as I made it seem on Wednesday, but it's still fun. I think it could be a bit scarier, but I am sure the actors will find their groove and really get some good scares. I've heard that others have gotten many great scares, but I think my group just seems to miss them. There's some, but not as many as I would like.

I saw 20 Penny Circus last night and it was alright. Probably only something I could watch once, but it was fun to see. I never saw Brushwood so I can't really compare/contrast. It was a fun way to spend twenty minutes and rest my feet though.

On preview night, I didn't really care for Bill and Ted all that much because it was so different. I've seen it three times now and it is slowly growing on me, as it did last year. The ending is still a little corny for my tastes, but it's Bill and Ted's and it's just a classic tradition for me.

The street experiences are getting better. I have only really truly interacted with the traditionals. Most of the other groups we have kind of just walked through without getting much recognition. I have yet to see the beasts. I guess I must just miss them every night? We went through Walking Dead during the daytime, so the walkers were all very visible when we got out and while they got in our faces, we didn't really get too many scares. I'm going to have to devote some time soon to just walking around the park and taking in the street experiences to form a better opinion.

There's some tweaks that could be made, but I feel like is going to be an enjoyable year.
 
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