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HHN 2018, too crowded to be frightful.

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  • [Hollywood] HHN 2018, too crowded to be frightful.

    This is less on the quaulity of the mazes, the three of which I was able to go through were fun but mainly how Universal needs better crowded control.

    This is mainly a warning, ive gone so many years to this even and this might just be my worst year. Mainly because even though I aprrived in the parks at 4 PM and was waiting in line for a maze at 5 PM, it felt as if too many early tickets were given out. By the time we finished Stranger Things and Tricke or Treat (around 6;30ish) some mazes were already hitting 70+ mins. The event offically opens at 7 and mazes are already over an hour?
    Something is going very wrong.

    My suggestions for next years
    Add another show, Use either the animals actors stage or Water World to have a show to get people more spread out.
    Kung fu panda should be open, literally no reason for it not being open.
    I know it costs a ton but the events seemed packed, have Potterland at least open if not the rides then at least the shops and resturant because once again we need more area for people to roam.

    Anyway, if you have a front of the line pass you should have a much better time but unless things have changed you can do most mazes at Knotts if you there on time and that park has over ten mazes. So I don't know, feel like the issue with Universal is the lack of other things to do besides mazes and didn't help Jurassic park was closed and they had only two scare zones from what I could see open.

    So anyway, if you already have tickets just be aware you might not hit all the mazes without being there until 2 PM and waiting in hour after hour lines.
    Happy Halloween!!!

  • #2
    There's a few things happening. One, early entry is tough because you're simultaneously fighting the daytime crowds that are exiting the park, creating huge bottlenecks.

    But the biggest reason is that most people are getting wise to the fact that if you want to see everything (with out an Express Pass), you pretty much have to do early entry. So now, the early entry crowds are really increasing out of necessity. This wasn't really the case before.

    They can't use Waterworld, because the queue for a maze wraps around there. It's doubtful they'd open Kung Fu Panda, because it wouldn't really draw crowds. They once did have Minion open a year or two ago, but stopped because it was basically running virtually empty... people don't really come to HHN for Minions or Kung Fu. If they did, then that's when they should get the day/night combo ticket.

    A lot of people would love to see HP open (as would I), but word is it make the already very high demand attraction (energy and mechanically) stressed out for running so many continuous hours. In terms of food, there's already quite a few food options.

    Yes, in a way, HHN is a victim of it's own success. But at least we have better crowd management than Orlando, where on opening night, they closed off the line to Stranger Things at 12:30 (they were open till 1am that night), and told all the people who had already been waiting in line 1-2 hours to leave without any warning or compensation.
    Does anyone even bother with signatures anymore?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JesterMn View Post
      There's a few things happening. One, early entry is tough because you're simultaneously fighting the daytime crowds that are exiting the park, creating huge bottlenecks.

      But the biggest reason is that most people are getting wise to the fact that if you want to see everything (with out an Express Pass), you pretty much have to do early entry. So now, the early entry crowds are really increasing out of necessity. This wasn't really the case before.

      They can't use Waterworld, because the queue for a maze wraps around there. It's doubtful they'd open Kung Fu Panda, because it wouldn't really draw crowds. They once did have Minion open a year or two ago, but stopped because it was basically running virtually empty... people don't really come to HHN for Minions or Kung Fu. If they did, then that's when they should get the day/night combo ticket.

      A lot of people would love to see HP open (as would I), but word is it make the already very high demand attraction (energy and mechanically) stressed out for running so many continuous hours. In terms of food, there's already quite a few food options.

      Yes, in a way, HHN is a victim of it's own success. But at least we have better crowd management than Orlando, where on opening night, they closed off the line to Stranger Things at 12:30 (they were open till 1am that night), and told all the people who had already been waiting in line 1-2 hours to leave without any warning or compensation.
      So it does come down to Universal just having bad event planning.

      They just need to come up with something or I really have no interest in going back, Nintendoland could help but thats yearsssss away.

      Happy Halloween!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Sorry, but I can't quite agree with you. I did early entry as well and finished everything just fine by 1:30 AM. Most years I finish by 10:30-11:30, but I had slightly poor judgment as to what hit first. First of all, you gotta have a better game plan and it sounds like your biggest problem was you did TrT second. I also did ST first, but I immediately went to the backlot after. Now I learned that for my next trip, I should do ST last instead of first. Looks like we both initially thought, "oh get it out of the way before the line gets longer because everyone will go here first," which turned out to be inaccurate -- everyone still headed for the backlot first which means those three mazes will reach an hour by 6:30-7. ST will become 3 hours by 8 PM, so just wait until 10 minutes before closing and just head in line.

        Either way, you mention you did 3 mazes, two of them being immediately and then all the mazes jumped to 70 minutes. So are you saying you did one more maze and gave up? Even if it was 6:30, you waited 70 minutes, it'd only be 7:40 by the time you're out -- there's 6 more hours left of the event. Even if every maze was a 2 hour line after, that's still time to do 3 more mazes, making it 6. I will also note the line times are notoriously wrong. I went in plenty of lines that said 60-90 minutes but were only actually 20-30. Did you even attempt to do the Terror Tram? It's not Universal's fault you gave up. They give you adequate time to at least see a majority of the event, and with the right planning (you do participate in these forums, so there is plenty of info as to what the best game plan is around here), you can easily finish eeeeeverything. I imagine I would've been done by 12:30 if my group didn't want to take an hour dinner break in the middle also. 11:30 if I did backlot first and waited until 1:30 to get in line for ST. I admit, if I were a newb who had never gone before and showed up at 7, yeah it would suck. But as a theme park veteran, especially one that roams the forums, doing your research and homework is always key. Sure you can get through all of KSF's mazes, but majority of them suck, so it's not really that much of a win on their part.

        With that said, I think you should go back. Not because it's such a great year or anything, but just so I can show you it's possible:

        - Do the backlot first (line up for whatever everyone is lining up for, then hit whatever has the shortest line, then get in the second longest line)
        - Holidayz in Hell scarezone opens at 7. (Stick around to see it, it's worth it. Toxxic Tunnel also opens at this time. Not worth it but you have to go through it)
        - Head back to the lower lot and do TrT. (However long the line is, just do it. Park is opening right now so everyone is swarming the upper lot, the backlot and ST -- this should be the least hectic maze -- I've also noticed this maze spot for the last 2 years is a walk-on after 12 AM for whatever reason, so consider that an option as well and just go straight to the next step if you feel like chancing it).
        - Head back up and do the Terror Tram (Alot of people still do this first because the line isn't too bad early in the night compared to the mazes, so you'll be right there with them, except you'll have finished half the mazes already).
        - Now do the upper lot (either UM or Halloween, whichever maze is shorter first -- in theory, the longer line will just keep getting longer).
        - Now that you've finished everything (unless you wanna see Jabba),
        - Return to lower lot for ST (it should be 11:30-12:30 at the latest, 1:30 if you got dinner and/or saw Jabba, but you still have time to get in line... you're fine as long as it's one second before closing).

        The "start in the back and work your way back up" method has worked for me since 2010. Whether that's the lower lot or the backlot, times have changed and you gotta adjust. 2007-2009 were simpler times where I did Terror Tram first, but there were only 3 mazes, so it was easy to see everything. In recent years, when the park has been super crowded, I've left some mazes on the backlot or lower lot for last, but maybe only twice tops (I think I did this for Crimson Peak 2015 and I think the first Insidious year 2013).
        Regardless, I have never, ever missed a maze. No matter how crowded it got or what night I went. I've gone on the emptiest Thursdays and peak night Saturdays.
        I have gone alone and I have gone with 20 people. And still... with my method... I have never missed a maze.
        Usually I even have time for at least 2-3 rides. And I usually see the show.
        Again, this year I thought things would change because of ST, so I didn't get in rides or Jabba, but I still finished the important thing, the mazes.
        Also you gotta prepare yourself to improvise in case something unplanned happens, like a news crew going through and shutting down a maze to film in it for 15 minutes.

        Here's some other cheats, but they cost some money. I've never done them, but these are options:
        Go up to someone at the front of the line and ask if you can cut, slip 'em a $5 to pretend you were a friend who had a bathroom emergency.
        After 11 PM, they sale Express passes for $50, pretty cheap if you ask me.
        All else fails, get a wheelchair. I think it's $25 the whole night.

        Do it, I believe in you!
        Last edited by dth316; 09-26-2018, 02:46 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          I've Universal many times and done my home work, this is not the first year mazes got to extreme levels of crowd.

          It seems like its not for me like Knotts, yes some mazes there get insane waits buttttt not all, and most rides are walk on or very low at Universal there seems to just not be enough for how many people they are letting in and id assume more Front of the line passes sell at Universal as well.

          Went to Stranger things and the lower lot first because those mazes were getting the most waits, did three down there and it was already past 70 mins for the others by the time we eat food lines in the upper lot climed and the Terror Tram was not only more packed than I've ever seen but it broke down.

          Just not an impressive year for me or my friends and when I could go to Fright Fest and pick up the Front of the line passes for dirt cheap or go to Knotts and have more to do, just seems a waste for me unless they can provide more things to do to spread out crowds.
          Happy Halloween!!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Well if you've done your homework and if you've gone before, then you should know to not start in the middle section part of the park first. And get dinner after you've hit your first 4 mazes within the first 2 hours, or else you run the risk of lines getting longer and then you're screwed. There's a systematic way a park fills up. I feel like maybe there's something left out of the story here.
            Because it still doesn't make sense to me why you only did 3 mazes. Wait in an hour line, it won't kill ya. Talk to your friends, play some games, meet a stranger, listen to an audiobook, watch a movie.
            Yes, Uni needs better crowd control, but if you're in with Early Entry, you should be golden. And if you know it gets crowded, then don't go on a crowded day: go on a Thursday or a Sunday, or in November. If you know this is a problem for the last five or so years, then the issue is masochistic in nature.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by dth316 View Post
              Well if you've done your homework and if you've gone before, then you should know to not start in the middle section part of the park first. And get dinner after you've hit your first 4 mazes within the first 2 hours, or else you run the risk of lines getting longer and then you're screwed. There's a systematic way a park fills up. I feel like maybe there's something left out of the story here.
              Because it still doesn't make sense to me why you only did 3 mazes. Wait in an hour line, it won't kill ya. Talk to your friends, play some games, meet a stranger, listen to an audiobook, watch a movie.
              Yes, Uni needs better crowd control, but if you're in with Early Entry, you should be golden. And if you know it gets crowded, then don't go on a crowded day: go on a Thursday or a Sunday, or in November. If you know this is a problem for the last five or so years, then the issue is masochistic in nature.
              No one including my self wanted to wait an hour, we can in early for a reason literally in the park before 4 PM

              People we're hungry so we ate, yes would have been better if we could have waited but the fact is they must be letting too many people in early if the event starts at 7 then no wayyy by then should the lines be that bad besides Stranger Things which we hit first, if say they didn't let people in until 7 we would have easily hit all the bottom mazes and then toughed longer lines up top but most people were just done after waiting and hour for the Tram and it breaking.
              It was fine but once again, I perfer other events compared to this one because the value seems lower honestly.

              Less rides and less mazes, sure most are quality but they are all filled to the brim meaning not many surprises when its just a line of people in the mazes.

              Anyway just warning people this yeah is just as busy as ever and even getting in at 4 Doesn't help that much
              Happy Halloween!!!

              Comment


              • #8
                I totally get that waiting in a line for an hour, especially after you planned to get everything done quick, is annoying. But isn't it more annoying to spend $70 and then not just tough it out?
                And again, unfortunately you did the wrong game plan. Historically, it's always do the backlot first. I get doing ST first, I made the same mistake, but right after you should've headed to the backlot.
                If you check my trip review, I think the only long line we waited in was for Halloween at 75 minutes. Everything else was advertised as higher but actually much shorter. If you guys would've tried, you probably would've found that to be true also and did everything. I usually put the advertised wait vs. the actual wait to help people so they don't feel so intimidated, or to feel rightfully intimidated by a theme park's operations. Here's the final break down of advertised vs. actual for every maze I did that night, plus the times I hit the mazes at.

                STRANGER THINGS
                Advertised Wait: Didn’t give one. I think it just said “closed.”
                Time in Line: 5:00 PM
                Time in Maze: 5:29 PM
                Actual Wait: 29 minutes

                HORRORS OF BLUMHOUSE: CHAPTER TWO
                Advertised Wait: Didn’t say. Just said “closed,” which is annoying
                Time in Line: 5:47 PM
                Time in Maze: 6:02 PM
                Actual Wait: 15 minutes

                POLTERGEIST
                Advertised Wait: 60 minutes
                Time in Line: 6:10
                Time in Maze: 6:40
                Actual Wait: 30 minutes

                THE FIRST PURGE
                Advertised Wait: 85 minutes
                Time in Line: 6:45
                Time in Maze: 7:27
                Actual Wait: 42 minutes

                TRICK ‘R TREAT
                Advertised Wait: 60 minutes
                Time in Line: 8:50
                Time in Maze: 9:50
                Actual Wait: 60 minutes on the dot

                UNIVERSAL MONSTERS
                Advertised Wait: 30 minutes
                Time in Line: 10:02
                Time in Maze: 10:28
                Actual Wait: 26 minutes

                TERROR TRAM: DREADTIME STORIEZ
                Advertised Wait: 90 minutes
                Time in Line: 10:40 PM
                Time in Tram: 11:23 PM
                Actual Wait: 43 minutes

                HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS
                Advertised Wait: 85 minutes
                Time in Line: 12:10 AM
                Time In Maze: 1:25 AM
                Actual Wait: 75 minutes

                As you can see, half of the mazes were only half the actual advertised wait. While the other half had a deviation of being 0-15% accurate. Chances are, by the flip of a coin, you'll be pretty okay if a wait is 30 minutes or less.

                30 minutes or less = 4 attractions
                45 minutes or less = 2 attractions
                60 minutes or less = 1 attraction
                75 minutes or less = 1 attractions

                So between 5PM-2AM, we waited roughly 4 and a half hours during a 9 hour event. Only about half the time of waiting in lines. I went on a VERY busy Saturday night also on opening weekend.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The one thing that is annoying is they close the Minions area and the Shrek sound stage. People need more options. WWoHP should be open as well. They could easily invest some money into a Halloween themed Minions experience and have another Halloween show in the Skrek theater. Also a little investment into the Simpsons ride would help Treehouse of horror for HHNs would create more pople wanting to go on it.
                  These are some of my favorite TRs I have posted

                  DL 55th BDAY trip report
                  My company had a special night at the park
                  WdW trip report with WWoHP
                  NYE 2011 trip report
                  Mice Chat 7th anniversary
                  Leap year 24 hour report
                  New DCA trip report
                  NYE 2012
                  HKDL trip report

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JesterMn View Post
                    They can't use Waterworld, because the queue for a maze wraps around there. It's doubtful they'd open Kung Fu Panda, because it wouldn't really draw crowds. They once did have Minion open a year or two ago, but stopped because it was basically running virtually empty... people don't really come to HHN for Minions or Kung Fu. If they did, then that's when they should get the day/night combo ticket.

                    A lot of people would love to see HP open (as would I), but word is it make the already very high demand attraction (energy and mechanically) stressed out for running so many continuous hours. In terms of food, there's already quite a few food options.
                    Kinda already covered a lot of those points. I assume you mean Dreamworks Theater... Shrek hasn't been around for a year. I did hope they'd put a Halloween themed movie in there. But based on the crowds I see at HHN, which are largely college age and up, I don't know if many would really visit a "cute" movie based attraction.

                    Treehouse of Horrors for Simpsons would be fun, but if they haven't invested in it so far, I don't really see it happening. Besides, Simpsons is not exactly a huge capacity attraction... Transformers and Mummy are better in the department, and that's what they keep open. Even then, generally they don't get much of a line.
                    Does anyone even bother with signatures anymore?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dth316 View Post
                      I totally get that waiting in a line for an hour, especially after you planned to get everything done quick, is annoying. But isn't it more annoying to spend $70 and then not just tough it out?
                      And again, unfortunately you did the wrong game plan. Historically, it's always do the backlot first. I get doing ST first, I made the same mistake, but right after you should've headed to the backlot.
                      If you check my trip review, I think the only long line we waited in was for Halloween at 75 minutes. Everything else was advertised as higher but actually much shorter. If you guys would've tried, you probably would've found that to be true also and did everything. I usually put the advertised wait vs. the actual wait to help people so they don't feel so intimidated, or to feel rightfully intimidated by a theme park's operations. Here's the final break down of advertised vs. actual for every maze I did that night, plus the times I hit the mazes at.

                      STRANGER THINGS
                      Advertised Wait: Didn’t give one. I think it just said “closed.”
                      Time in Line: 5:00 PM
                      Time in Maze: 5:29 PM
                      Actual Wait: 29 minutes

                      HORRORS OF BLUMHOUSE: CHAPTER TWO
                      Advertised Wait: Didn’t say. Just said “closed,” which is annoying
                      Time in Line: 5:47 PM
                      Time in Maze: 6:02 PM
                      Actual Wait: 15 minutes

                      POLTERGEIST
                      Advertised Wait: 60 minutes
                      Time in Line: 6:10
                      Time in Maze: 6:40
                      Actual Wait: 30 minutes

                      THE FIRST PURGE
                      Advertised Wait: 85 minutes
                      Time in Line: 6:45
                      Time in Maze: 7:27
                      Actual Wait: 42 minutes

                      TRICK ‘R TREAT
                      Advertised Wait: 60 minutes
                      Time in Line: 8:50
                      Time in Maze: 9:50
                      Actual Wait: 60 minutes on the dot

                      UNIVERSAL MONSTERS
                      Advertised Wait: 30 minutes
                      Time in Line: 10:02
                      Time in Maze: 10:28
                      Actual Wait: 26 minutes

                      TERROR TRAM: DREADTIME STORIEZ
                      Advertised Wait: 90 minutes
                      Time in Line: 10:40 PM
                      Time in Tram: 11:23 PM
                      Actual Wait: 43 minutes

                      HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS
                      Advertised Wait: 85 minutes
                      Time in Line: 12:10 AM
                      Time In Maze: 1:25 AM
                      Actual Wait: 75 minutes



                      So between 5PM-2AM, we waited roughly 4 and a half hours during a 9 hour event. Only about half the time of waiting in lines. I went on a VERY busy Saturday night also on opening weekend.
                      Well it just didn't happen and really I rather just have fun at an Even not once have I gone to Knotts and felt they didn't provide more than enough.

                      I've been going to both events for almost ten years now and i used to be able to do the show Bill and Ted and all mazes with less time but now the event is even more popular and they have no clue how to spread people out.
                      Its just too popular for its own good and honestly this year wipped me out also honestly the mazes weren't all the special to me besides Stranger Things which was fun but not really that scary and the Witch part of the Blumhouse maze...nothing was that close to me anyway. If Halloween 4 was out maybe I'd have more love for that seris but its not, Purge is wayyyy over done, The monster maze looks cool but once again not really scary to me.
                      I'd wished I'd just went to the WB studio event which has It and Batman, those are IP's I love and care about.

                      Anyway its my personal take, if people have fun and want to go...enjoy but I'd advise people to got pretty much anywhere else unless you have a front of the line pass.
                      Happy Halloween!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Another option is to go on a Wed or Thursday night... generally, lines never get much more than 30-45 minutes at peak, and most will be 10 minutes or less all night long. We arrived at an early entry at 5, and did every single maze by 8:30pm.
                        Does anyone even bother with signatures anymore?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JesterMn View Post
                          Another option is to go on a Wed or Thursday night... generally, lines never get much more than 30-45 minutes at peak, and most will be 10 minutes or less all night long. We arrived at an early entry at 5, and did every single maze by 8:30pm.
                          I might try that next year, just got back from Fright Fest....upgraded to VIP (only 15 bucks for me since im the highest AP there) and totally worth it.....didn't all 6 mazes in under an hour and a half and then redid 3 of them....went on 3 rides and just had a good time.
                          But maybe next year I might head there by myself, on a weekday to get everything done
                          Happy Halloween!!!

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