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Universal Studios Japan General Discussion

Jan 4, 2020
104
Los Angeles County
Here's hoping we get something epic! I have high hopes for Universal after seeing SNW be a success! c:
 

BatCom

Newcomer
May 8, 2018
70
HHN trip report:

Disclaimer that this was my first HHN in Japan and so I don’t know what “normal” is for the event here. The only experience I have to compare it to is HHN Hollywood.

It wouldn’t even be accurate to call this “HHN Lite” it’s more like “HHN absolute bare minimum”. The “event” is a couple scarezones and one house starting at 6:00 PM, with the park closing at 9:00 (and even earlier on weekdays I think) so that’s at most only 3 hours worth of HHN stuff.

The scare zones are not what I was expecting. They basically block off a small strip of a street and allow guests to line up on the two sides of the strip. The scare actors then patrol up and down the strip like a corridor. Social distancing is strictly enforced by TMs nearby and I think I even saw some scare actors trying to get people to scooch apart. The actors looked straight up bored, in most cases there just weren’t enough people around for them to interact off of. The only scare zone that was getting a decent crowd was the clown one, but for whatever reason the actors there were hardly interacting with the guests at all, just walking around and interacting with each other. There were a bunch of dance parties earlier in the night including a huge one in front of Spider-Man which people were going absolutely ape over.

The one house looked pretty budget although it had some cool costumes. I’m a huge scardey-cat so the house was enough to get me but I’m sure anyone who’s a fan of American HHN would be disappointed.

The Sherlock theater show however, was great. Legit one of the best shows I’ve ever seen at a theme park. It’s genuinely creepy and tense with a great surprise scare ending. Highly recommended.

Not a lot to say about the rest of USJ, nothing out of the ordinary. SNW is still doing timed entry, it’s worth repeating that SNW really does help fill this park out. I noticed a couple broken things compared to last time I was here right after the grand opening: Yoshi was behind his tree and not moving, one of the clouds at the top of the hill was stationary, the Shy Guy is in B-mode; flapping his arms and turning around but not walking. Also think the Goomba pillar was missing. Cranes are up for Donkey Kong but you can’t really make much out.

Really glad they’re not charging separately for HHN cause that would be total robbery. All the social distancing stuff really killed it, I hope this Corona stuff is over soon.
 
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quinnmac000

Veteran Member
May 14, 2014
6,116
Seoul, Korea
HHN trip report:

Disclaimer that this was my first HHN in Japan and so I don’t know what “normal” is for the event here. The only experience I have to compare it to is HHN Hollywood.

It wouldn’t even be accurate to call this “HHN Lite” it’s more like “HHN absolute bare minimum”. The “event” is a couple scarezones and one house starting at 6:00 PM, with the park closing at 9:00 (and even earlier on weekdays I think) so that’s at most only 3 hours worth of HHN stuff.

The scare zones are not what I was expecting. They basically block off a small strip of a street and allow guests to line up on the two sides of the strip. The scare actors then patrol up and down the strip like a corridor. Social distancing is strictly enforced by TMs nearby and I think I even saw some scare actors trying to get people to scooch apart. The actors looked straight up bored, in most cases there just weren’t enough people around for them to interact off of. The only scare zone that was getting a decent crowd was the clown one, but for whatever reason the actors there were hardly interacting with the guests at all, just walking around and interacting with each other. There were a bunch of dance parties earlier in the night including a huge one in front of Spider-Man which people were going absolutely ape over.

The one house looked pretty budget although it had some cool costumes. I’m a huge scardey-cat so the house was enough to get me but I’m sure anyone who’s a fan of American HHN would be disappointed.

The Sherlock theater show however, was great. Legit one of the best shows I’ve ever seen at a theme park. It’s genuinely creepy and tense with a great surprise scare ending. Highly recommended.

Not a lot to say about the rest of USJ, nothing out of the ordinary. SNW is still doing timed entry, it’s worth repeating that SNW really does help fill this park out. I noticed a couple broken things compared to last time I was here right after the grand opening: Yoshi was behind his tree and not moving, one of the clouds at the top of the hill was stationary, the Shy Guy is in B-mode; flapping his arms and turning around but not walking. Also think the Goomba pillar was missing. Cranes are up for Donkey Kong but you can’t really make much out.

Really glad they’re not charging separately for HHN cause that would be total robbery. All the social distancing stuff really killed it, I hope this Corona stuff is over soon.
This isn't a good representation of HHN for Japan but they also never charge for HHN in Japan. Its always free with the exception of a 1 hour interactive theatre haunted house.
 
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quinnmac000

Veteran Member
May 14, 2014
6,116
Seoul, Korea
I never realized how much Detective Conan makes Universal until i read the press release released by PR times....

Escape Room for two people is ~77 dollars for two people (used to be free)
Restuarant show for one person is ~48 dollars.
The hollywood coaster is free
as well as the mystery around the park

But knowing how popular the escape room was in the past, they are printing money. (Based on when it was free, it definitely has that much value)
 

Cygnus

Newcomer
Sep 3, 2022
64
As per LinkedIn, there are a plethora of new job postings for a new USJ project that will be worked on in Orlando until about March of 2024, then will be relocated to Japan for at least a year (one posting mentions May 2025.)
 

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OrlLover

Contributing Member
Aug 8, 2018
946
As per LinkedIn, there are a plethora of new job postings for a new USJ project that will be worked on in Orlando until about March of 2024, then will be relocated to Japan for at least a year (one posting mentions May 2025.)
I wonder what this is ???
 
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OrlLover

Contributing Member
Aug 8, 2018
946
This is my guess as well. Several different attractions being made likely for Orlando and Japan, maybe Hollywood too. Orlando probably gets a land and the others get rides/Parade’s/Shows.
I’m excited to see what Pokémon attractions they come up with. I know Alicia talked about some earlier plans they had when initially pitching for a land.
 

BatCom

Newcomer
May 8, 2018
70
Gonna write up a trip report from today since I know this forum doesn't get much "on the ground" news from USJ.

Firstly, It was absolutely packed tonight, the most crowded I've ever seen USJ. Although not surprising since it's a 3-day weekend.

HHN is mostly back to normal. As much as I appreciate HHN in Japan I have to say that this park is not very fitting for a Halloween event because of how early the park closes. HHN starts at 6:00 PM (although the houses are open all day) and lasts for 4 hours, and possibly even shorter depending on the day. The very second the park hits closing time, all HHN stuff disappears immediately. Sadly this is just how things are in Japan due to train systems not running 24 hours.

I only did 1 out of the 3 houses (I know, shameful). Long story short I didn't plan my day that well and so ran out of time to do Chucky and I wasn't interested in the Resident Evil one. The one house I did, Universal Monsters, was okay but it felt pretty budget compared to U.S. houses. I've never been to HHN in Japan pre-pandemic so not sure how things usually stack up, but from my small experience in 2022 and 2021 things are at a pretty low bar comparatively speaking. I heard Chucky was the scarier house but unfortunately I can't comment.

Scarezones are basically back to normal although the ones up by the park entrance still felt a bit contained to me. IMO scareactors in Japan are a bit less aggressive compared to the U.S. parks. In Hollywood I was used to actors running up on your blindside and really going after people, but here they just kind of lunge forward and frequently pose for photos. The zombie dance parties are a HUGE deal here, it's hard to convey how absolutely ape people go here for these dance parties, it's total pandemonium. It feels like a lot of the scarezones are sacrificed for these dance parties (there's several per night), as the zones don't really get settled until the parties are over.

Not a lot to report on in the rest of the park. You can see Donkey Kong construction a little bit from Hogsmeade but there's no visible signs in SNW proper that anything is going on. One positive thing for SNW is that maintenance is much better than it was when I was last here a year ago. Last year I noticed several broken outdoor show elements, today almost everything was working properly including everything on Mt. Beanpole.

I ride Jaws every time I visit USJ with the feeling that it may be the last time. It would not surprise me any day now that they announce its closure. For better or worse, the attraction and land absolutely scream "relic of a bygone era".

Japan is still hopelessly behind the rest of the world on COVID protocols. Still masks required everywhere, although I was mostly left alone outdoors except for two times when a TM asked me to mask up. Also all HHN scareactors wear some kind of mask.

Lastly, just have to say that USJ's food is SO MUCH better than TDR's. It's kind of crazy the gap.
 

malice

Newcomer
Aug 2, 2014
85
Thanks for the report. Excited to return in a few weeks! The on-site hotels are booked solid the weekend I’m going. Im mentally preparing myself for the crowds of tourists rushing back now that travel restrictions will lift on the 11th.
 
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BatCom

Newcomer
May 8, 2018
70
Announced today that USJ will hold its all-night New Year's Eve event for the first time since the pandemic (TDR already announced it is not doing one this year)

Whole park will be open for the event, although Super Nintendo World will close early at 2:00 AM.

A lot of special entertainment including, weirdly enough, Hamikuma the icon from HHN who will be hosting an out-of-season dance party.