Woohoo! Another trip to Universal Studios! My absolute favorite place to go on vacation. Everything is so close, the rides are amazing and the food is great. I stayed at the Royal Pacific Resort. It was the first time I didn't stay at the hard rock. The Royal Pacific was.... eh. Not as nice as the other two hotels but it did the job and it was clean. Plus it still has the free express passes included. I got a four day pass which is a MUCH better deal than getting a one day pass. All the rides were in great shape and the parks really look nice. Here's my ride count on this four day adventure:
Universal Studios: Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket: 10x Revenge of the Mummy: 13x Transformers: 4x The Simpsons Ride: 2x Men In Black: 3x Kang and Kudos: 1x E.T: 2x Woody Wood Pecker Nuthouse Coaster: 3x Fiffel's Waterslide: 3x Gringott's Bank Coaster: 2x Shrek 4-D: 1x Despicable Me: 1x
Islands of Adventure: Incredible Hulk Coaster: 18x Doctor Doom's Fearfall: 5x Spiderman: 5x Stormforce Acelatron: 2x
High in the Sky Trolley: 1x Cat in the Hat: 2x One Fish Two Fish: 2x
Diagon Alley: Okay so here it goes, Diagon Alley. I love this area, the detail, the theme and the complete movie look. It really felt like you were there. The little alley ways were so cool, the indoor part is amazing. The stores were very nice and looked spot on. The dragon was INCREDIBLE. It blows out fire and is pretty loud. I loved the secret entrance way to the new area.
New Rides that I haven't been on yet:
Gringott's: Awesome ride, even better queue line. I love the unique, spinning trains on the ride. The themeing is incredible and it really feels like lord voldemort is gonna kill you! The ride is quite short though. I was really hoping for more, not a whole lot of coaster, so don't get your hopes up for that. The first scene was crazy! 10/10
Transformers: One of the best rides in all of orlando. This ride more than exceeded my expectations, I hate to say it, but I prefer this over Spiderman. Transformers is action packed and thrilling. It's amazing how long of a ride they could make in such a tight building. 10/10
Despicable Me: It was already open last time I visited. Finally got to ride it. Wasn't a fan. It was very dizzieing and blah. I loved Jimmy Neutron, so sad it's gone. The introduction video laster forever, it was so boring. I don't understand why they haven't added a spongebob ride yet, so much spongebob retail, no ride! 6/10
Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket: So many haters, such a fun ride. I really like this ride, it doesn't have the craziest elements but it's just one of those " throw your hands up and have a blast" rides. Blasting rollin' by limp bizcut and Bring me to life by Evanecances! Theire is several very forceful spots on this ride, and it runs like 24/7 right now. It opens early at 7 for the hotel guests and closes after 2am when Halloween Horror Nights ends. Some train work would be nice but other than that, I like it still. 9/10
Revenge of the Mummy: I still love it! Easily my favorite indoor coaster! The ride is thrilling, it has awesome detail and it looks so believable. I just wish it was longer! 10/10
Notes on USF: Springfield is INCREDIBLE! The food is spectacular, the themeing looks awesome and the new Kang and Kudos ride really compliments the main attraction. I wish the saucers would have spun though... oh well. The simpsons ride is still one of my favorite simulator rides out there. The queue line got some nice new paint too!
Woody Woodpecker area really wasn't in that bad of shape, in fact, it was pretty popular still. I love the area! The waterslide is so much fun along with the huge playground and rollercoaster. So much fun with the family!
E.T was in much better shape than I remembered. Such a nice relazing ride and if I reacall, it's the last original ride in the park. Only a couple scenes could use some work. It still pulled an average wait time like the others during the time I was there. 10-20 minutes.
Halloween Horror Nights was well underway. This park was basically up 24/7. They open at 7 and close late at night after HHRN. I really wish I went, the Michael Myers house is being praised as the best and scariest house there ever was. AVP is supposed to be amazing too.
All the areas were in much better shape than last time I was there.
Men In Black is still my favorite shooting game and is still drawing big crowds! I'm sure it'll be more popular with Diagon Alley and Springfield right next door. Easily the best A/C in the park!
Transformers building is very impresive and is a perfect addition to the park.
Spent the past week down in Orlando for HHN... Overall, very good year! We ended up going through 41 houses in 4 nights at the event.
I think the house line-up was not as strong as last year but the zones were fantastic. Dusk till Dawn, AVP and Halloween were really good houses. Dracula, Dolls of the Damned and Gore and Giggles were at the bottom of my list. The others fell in the middle somewhere.
I hope this can be the last year for Walking Dead, it is just so uninspired anymore. The house was decent, but zombies are just not exciting...
While Halloween was a fun house, I think it is a bit overrated myself. It was far from scary and more-so cool just because the movie is so iconic. It was well done though, for sure.
Roenoke is a really "pretty" house, but scares are lacking. Also, it is a very gory but you hardly see any of that unless you do the lights on tour. Incredible detail throughout, but it just fell flat in terms of experience.
Alien vs. Predator I looked forward to the most... It did not disappoint at all! Amazing detail. Loved this one! I wish we had more houses of this caliber at the event this year.
Dusk till Dawn ended up being the house we went through most (10 times)... I am a big fan of the series and this house was awesome. I can see others not being impressed, especially if they never saw the movie or just wanted something more scary... But IMO, it was just a fun, solid house. High energy and great scares. Tied between this and AVP for top house.
Bill and Ted was pretty weak this year... Or I am just clueless to this past years pop culture, not sure.
All the zones (except Face Off, if you could call that a zone) were well done. I enjoy the unique zones over a park-wide one for sure. The interaction with the crowds in the purge zone was really awesome, especially during the auction.
Overall, not my favorite year... But still really good.
I am working on all my photos (and video) from the event.. We did both lights on tours, so plenty of shots within the houses will be included as well. Some previews on my FB page if interested (here!) but I plan to do an update here once I get them all uploaded with a better TR.
I'm sure you've been seeing us post about Halloween Horror Nights 24 to our Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube channel, and now it's time to put all those photos, videos, together, with a few more we've added for one giant "HHN 24 Update!"
It's that time of year again and terror has taken over Universal! Halloween Horror Nights still proves to be one of the top theme park haunt events in the USA if not the world!
Look, we know it's the third year in a row for Walking Dead, but it's a huge house with one of the longest lines all night. People love it, so why not?
"Hey, aren't you that weird guy that runs Theme Park Review???"
"GO AWAY!!! DIE! DIE! DIE!!!"
Apparently, they have rolled out the red carpet for someone...this looks like a good event to crash! =)
Elissa met some of our TPR trolls at the media night.
The Face Off characters looked absolutely AMAZING!
Elissa has found herself a new date!
We got to interview Laura Tyler, Face Off Season 5 winner and also a make-up artist for HHN 24! She was super nice and said she'd come babysit KidTums! (Who is also a HUGE fan of the show!)
Do these pretty girls look like they have an evil side? No? But they do! =)
"Hey, look! Me and Mike just hanging out..."
"Is this a theme park blogger or a monster? Can't tell? Neither can we!" =)
Loved this creature! One of our favorites!
Elissa: "I took all these photos in the last 90 seconds! This pretending to be a blogger is EASY!!!"
Hanging out with Mike Aiello, Creative Director for Halloween Horror Nights!
It's the "blogger elite!!!" (or...just a bunch of nerds...you decide!)
Time to go out in the streets and check out the event!
It wouldn't be HHN without Mel's Die-In!
Tonight we are on an RIP tour, which is an exclusive tour with front-of-the-line access to all the houses and a VIP tour guide! We highly recommend this experience and it can be booked via the website! (link above)
First stop...the PURGE!!!
I support anything that supports the killing of random people.
Either too much drinking or too much purging...
...I guess it was the purging.
Loved the little "show" they did with the van coming in from the streets...
...grabbing people and taking them away!
"Don't worry...this won't hurt much..."
And any scare zone with FIRE and EXPLOSIONS is instantly AWESOME!
The Purge "auctioneer" was awesome! One of my favorite characters of the event!
I have a feeling she's not the only one that wants to Purge me!
And then there is this guy...
"Oh, we shall!"
"Want to buy some blood?" These girls are everywhere...that's not a bad thing!
"Oh, no you just didn't take a picture of the sign that says no pictures did you?" "Yup, yes I did!"
Here's a photo of the stage and this will be the last picture you'll see of Bill & Ted since, as always, no photography is allowed.
EXCEPT OF US!!! Here we are enjoying Bill & Ted! (Well, at least sitting down before the show started!) =)
Bill & Ted were around for photos with pretty girls after the show. I was denied because my man boobs out cupped many of the other women at the event. (although I lost to several of the other bloggers!) ;)
Time for the Halloween house!
Trick or Treat!
I like where this is going....
I like to call this my "every Friday night!" ;)
He seems to love them women!
Dollhouse of the Damned was up next...
There were dolls...and they were damned!
Next up, probably my favorite part of the event... the Face Off Scare Zone!
Loved the detail of all the Face Off creatures.
And that you could actually get photos of them!
So many of the scare zones make it impossible to get pictures, but I think capturing some of this horror is one of my favorite parts of the event!
So man different Face Off creatures that we recognized from all the different seasons.
I kind of hope they do a scare zone like this again.
In addition to the creatures on display, there were plenty of other characters out in the zone jumping out at you.
Axe Girlfriend was by far my favorite!
The re-creations they made from the show to the theme park was outstanding!
This guy was offering me some head. I turned him down. I'm sure he'll have plenty of takers, though!
Thank you for the AWESOME Face Off section. Seriously loved this!
Wait times are getting up there! Glad we have the RIP tour!
Next house - Aliens Vs Predator!
Love this series and the house was one of my favorites of the event!
Lots of awesome touches from the films.
The scares and animatronics were fantastic!
Loved the little vignette's with the actors.
Dracula was just "ok" - Maybe if the film had been out and I'd seen it I would have liked it more.
Still some really nice set design and characters.
Plenty of scares!
Bayou of Blood was a voodoo-themed scare zone.
Witch doctors and black magic were all around.
Had a really cool vibe to the scare zone.
This took me back to my Oingo Boingo days!
MASKerade: Unstitched was like a ballroom gala gone wrong.
Loved the "theatrical" setting of this scare zone.
Kind of had a bit of a "Phantom of the Opera" vibe to it as well.
The costumes were amazing.
I heard some people complain that they didn't like that the scare zones weren't that "scary", but I honestly really liked the mix of scares and theatrics to all the zones. I liked that there were things you could get pictures of and really capture the event. I feel like some people don't realize the importance of that. I liked all the scare zones this year and hope that this sort of trend continues.
This ended up being my favorite maze of the event!
No, not because of this creepy dude out front trying to sell me girls...
but because there were lots of girls!
And they were nice to look at and I didn't mind them jumping out at me one bit! (or should that be bite?) =)
Walking Dead. I've never seen the show (I know, I know...) so some of this is lost on me...
I don't know if I just got a bad run through but my least favorite house was Dusk Till Dawn. It just wasn't that scary and it felt kind of ... cheap compared to the standards that I'm used to. (What with the curtains and all, I understand it fits the theme, but it just didn't do it for me.)
My favorite house so far (setting my bias for the Walking Dead aside as that will always be my number one,) was Halloween. (I've yet to do Dracula but will be very soon.)
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