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  • [Hollywood] HHN 2019 Mazes

    I went on a very crowded Saturday night without an Express Pass and with someone who is so wonderful that I was happy to go along with her desire to see Jabbberwokeez (Spelling?) for the second year in a row. After going through Stranger Things with our early entry, we went to the lowest section and saw a 130-minute wait for Ghostbusters and never went through, though after midnight would've been the best time unless you hit it first.

    We arrived at Universal Hollywood at about 1pm on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019 and got a large part of our $27 parking fee (Damn you, Universal.), refunded by seeing "It: Chapter 2" at AMC's multiplex. We loved it!

    Then we had an excellent meal at Karl Strauss--my favorite restaurant on Universal's property, though The 3 Broomsticks is also fun. They served us quickly because we wanted to get into HHN early. Fantastic service, and the Red Trolly Ale was good as always. I've been here at least ten times and every meal was delicious!

    First maze--STRANGER THINGS. My daughter LOVED it last year, but the 2019 version was the most disappointing maze I've EVER experienced--and I've been to U, Knott's, and the Queen Mary over a dozen times combined. Many small AA demogorgons were scattered around and sat by themselves in the walls--mostly the same size--all boring. I thought it might be good to hit this maze first because the soundstage could keep out the daylight, but you could see the ceiling high above--I owe Small World's ceiling an apology. Just a totally boring maze. Maybe a bunch of scare actors were on a break. Unless you are really, really into Stranger Things, I urge you to skip this and go to the lowest part of HHN and go straight to Ghostbusters, then Killer Clowns.

    Frankenstein vs. Wolfman was OK. The first time we see the Wolfman he's changing, and just in a mask but the mask was cool. After that the wolf men didn't look very impressive. There was a much better one in the Creepshow maze. I didn't like that Frankenstein's Monster's lower teeth jutted out on one side & thought it just made him look silly.

    The Creepshow maze was fun. Every maze should have entertainment while people wait in line like this one did. (Cheap TV show clips projected against screen on a wall. Better than nothing.) Like with Pandora's Box (see below), the narrow passages gave the monsters a home court advantage and increased their ability to scare us. We laughed a lot.

    The tunnel to get from the lower lot to the lowest lot had some actors in a loud atmosphere I wouldn't' want to spend an hour in, but they were impressively energetic. One was funny and liked to dance with people before scaring them.

    Both Starbucks were open and had short lines.

    "Us" was another maze with a super-long line (2+ hours) we failed to get to.

    We LOVED Pandora's box! So perfect. It seems they enjoy creating mazes like this when they aren't supposed to be recreating a big big-budget movie with a muuuuuuch smaller maze budget. The line turned out to be 20 to 30 minutes longer than the posted time, but it was worth it. So beautiful & creative. Amazing monsters with many effective scares.

    The Jabberwokeez (Spelling?) show was lively and different from what I remember last year. It's impressive, but what is it doing at HHN? They could at least try to make it a Halloween-themed show. So there is ONLY ONE SHOW at HHN and it ISN'T EVEN HALLOWEEN THEMED IN ANY WAY?! WEAK!

    Bring back "Splatter World" in the Water World theater, and show the Dark Arts Harry Potter show 3 to 5 time each night during this event, then obviously have Hogsmeade a foggy scare zone with dementors and insulting Slytherins. I know Rowling's contract currently prohibits some things. RENEGOTIATE.

    We liked the Holidays in Hell Maze. Creative & fun, and let us out into a scare zone. Short line too. Mrs. Claus in the scare zone scared the $%!+ out of me. Not my most impressive moment.

    There was also a short line for the Walking Dead. We were here during the day a couple of weeks ago and did not notice that they'd plussed it with extra zombies for HHN. Weak.

    Scare zone monsters were fun on a whole, but I think the Queen Mary has the most impressive scare zone monsters, Many seem to be real actors there. And Knott's has my favorite Scare zones in S. California.

    So if we return next year, will skip season 3 & 4 of Stranger Things, and skip Japperwalkeezyyawn3, and see if we can hit 7 or 8 of the mazes on a Saturday night. I'm too cheap for U's expensive Express Passes, but I wouldn't do the Queen Mary's Dark Harbor without it. And I always hit Knott's Scary Farm's Boo-fet with its early entry.

    I think replacing the Terror Tram with two more mazes was a very good move.

    This was the nicest HHN crowd I've been around. (I think this was my 4th or 5th HHN.)

    I wish U. had a themed moderately priced hotel or two on their property, and a few more non-Universal hotels off property near the bottom of the hill, or still really close with great transportation to save the parking fee would be nice. Universal, eminent domain that gold course! below.

    The CMs monk robes are perfect costumes. They're appropriate for Halloween and give the CMs a peaceful gravitas.

    So re recap. my advice:
    Arrive to the resort at 1pm.
    See the movie "It: Chapter 2" at AMC & get your partial parking refund.
    Eat at Karl Strauss.
    Early Entry.
    Skip Stranger Things--don''t even glance at this maze all night. Pretend to spit in its general direction.
    Instead rush to Ghostbusters & Killer Clowns,
    then go to US & Pandora's box.
    Then take a coffee/tea break at Starbucks, then try to hit the other mazes.
    Then sleep.
    Then report back to us, please.

    Sorry for the many typos when I first posted this, and that I've probably still failed to fix.
    Last edited by jcruise86; 09-24-2019, 08:47 AM.

  • #2
    I was there the night before, Friday the 13th. It was SOOOOOOO crowded, but I did everything but Pandora's Box (and I am kicking myself for missing it). I got in early at 5:45 and was still in line for my last maze at 2 when it closed. I had never been to one of these haunt/Halloween/what-have-yous before so I am not sure how anything I experienced compared to other years or locations (but I did buy a ticket to Scary Farm the next day, so you can tell that I enjoyed myself!). Here's what I did in order and my thoughts:

    1. Creepshow. I was in the second or third group let in of the night. It was kind of incoherent. Not overly scary. And it was way too bright - wished I had experienced it later in the evening. Since this was my very first maze EVER, I was kind of worried - I payed $69+$27 parking for this?
    2, Ghostbusters. Got in line before the maze actually opened since I figured it would be busy later. Still waited about 45 minutes. This was also a bit of a letdown. I did appreciate some of the ghost special effects, but I felt overwhelmingly neutral about the whole experience.
    3. Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman. 30 minutes. An incoherent mess. Near the bottom of the list - not scary and just weird.
    4. Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Said it would be 45, was closer to 80. This one was actually very fun. It reminded me of the movie - it has been years since I saw it - and I had a great time. Highly recommend.
    5. Holidaze in Hell. 75 minutes, right on the nose. This was the highlight of the night for me. It was just silly and ridiculous and very funny. Easter and Thanksgiving were my favorite holidays represented.
    6. Stranger Things. Quoted 3 hours, but it only took 1 - thankfully! What more can I say that isn't captured by the scathing review from jcruise86 above? Brutal misstep.
    7. JABBAWOCKEEZ. I like them. I've seen them in Vegas, I've watched them on TV. I don't know why the word "Halloween" was entirely absent, but other than that it was fun. And it was the first time I had sat down up until that point.
    8. Us. 90 minutes on the nose. I like the movie - the movie really isn't all that scary. It's more Twilight Zone than horror. The maze was very impressive in its attention to detail. But it is hard to bring a not-scary movie to life (and be scary). I would have preferred just to walk through the sets and take some photos and not have people jump-scaring.
    9. Walking Dead. 25 minutes. I know this is a permanent scare maze, but I had never done it before. And I'm never going to do it again. Because it is dumb and not scary and dumb. It is the Heimlich's Chew Chew Train of horror mazes. (I'm apparently an expert now)
    10. House of 1,000 Corpses. 45 minutes. I saw this movie in the theater - it was kind of stupid and bad. The maze improved on the movie significantly. You could tell you were in that universe and it was creepy and silly (and scary). I liked it so much, I even cranked some Rob Zombie music on the way home (helped me stay awake on my two hour drive at 2:40 AM).

    Other thoughts:
    - I was so hungry I bought a $12 hot dog. That is outrageous.
    - The marijuana smell was aggressive throughout the night.
    - The original short horror movies they showed in the Us queue (the tram line) were very fun. They looked like the little vignettes that they would film on that SyFy reality show Face Off (about making monster makeup effects).
    - Wished they had some Holidaze in Hell merch. It was overwhelmingly Ghostbusters/Stranger Things, and Hot Topic and that comic store in CityWalk had cheaper/better variety if that was what you wanted to represent.


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    • #3
      We went on Saturday the 14th and utilized the RIP perks to their fullest. Our reservation was at 6PM we arrived at 530 and met our tour guide.

      First order of business was to walk and board our VIP trolley where it took us to the back lot for a picture in front of the Bates house with Norman. We also got to sneak some pictures of the plane crash from war of the worlds. They then took us through some of the lower lots on the way to the back lot mazes. We did Wolfman, Ghostbusters, Creepshow and the Scare zone while down there.

      Wolfman VS Frankenstein was our first maze. We enjoyed it as it had some of the best scares. Loud and in your face. The part where you walk between them was really cool. The atmosphere of the maze was very nicely done. I do have to say though I preferred it last year with all of the universal monsters.

      Ghostbusters we loved the firehouse as the entrance. The maze itself was just ok to us as it was too humorous and not scary. it looked nice and I love the movie but I don't know something about the maze didn't work for us. We did enjoy the parts with Slimer of course he looked cool!

      Creepshow was another fun maze and not too scary. It had 3 stories from the 1982 orginal film and 2 I think from the new series coming out next week, I enjoyed the Crate section the best as I love the way that creature looks.

      the Scare zone All hallows evil was fun to go through once but nothing really special there.

      After that we boarded our trolley again where it took us to Stranger things and Killer Klownz

      Stranger Things was even weaker than last year. We didn't care for it this year. the sets seemed very low budget and rushed. the Demigorgons were lame. I did appreciate the ones sticking out of the wall to scare us.

      Killer Klownz was probably one of our favorite mazes. It really nailed the feel of the movie and the clown masks were so cool looking. the maze was really colorful. The entrance being the tent looked super cool. Also this maze had great yummy smells going on. popcorn gun anyone?

      We then took the escalators up to have our free buffet meal as part of the RIP tour. We got an hour break there and ate decent food considering it is a buffet. I ate 6 warm cookies from the cookie warmer LOL!

      We then walked over to House of 1000 corpses, Walking Dead, and holdayz in Hell.

      House of 1000 corpses was nothing new as it has been at HHN a couple times before. I still appreciate this one though as i love the movie. We even saw the 3rd one this week 3 from hell. So this maze really got us in the modd with all the captain spaldings!

      The Walking Dead. Well what can i say you can go on it during the day and for HHN you get a couple more walkers. I love the show but this needs an update.

      Holidayz in hell. To us we liked the way it started off. I really thought there would be a scene for each month/holiday. It was sort of a jumbled mess this is one of 2 mazes we didn't utilize our express pass to do multiple times.

      Next up we walked with our tour guide to US/pandora's box

      US had a great entrance and also we thought was well done and very creepy. This was probably my favorite maze this year.

      pandora's box was another original maze like holidayz but this one was AWESOME!!!! Probably my 3rd favorite maze we felt it was very well done and nice colors going on. Black and gold dot rooms were cool!

      After this we broke off from our tour guide to start our way back on to the lower lot and take full advantage of being able to go on mazes multiple times. We went down the escalator and went to the lower lot RIP area for our 4 photo ops and free drinks and desserts. the 4 photo ops were. Ghostbusters, Stranger Things x 2, and US. After that little break we made our way through the toxic tunnel to the 3 mazes in the back lot again. I will post what a RIP unlimited FOL pass helps you accomplish in a night below and the order I enjoyed the mazes. One complaint we had was the way the US and Pandora lines were organized. The placement of the mazes seemed so forced. We did appreciate though they were able to add more mazes by doing it though. We skipped Simpsons as it gives me an instant headache every time. We also skipped for the 3rd year in a row the jabbowackeez.


      Rankings and amount of times we experienced each attraction

      US (3 times)
      Killer Klownz (4 times)
      Wolfman VS Frankenstein (3 times)
      Pandora's Box (3 times)
      House of 1000 Corpses (2 times)
      Ghostbusters (3 times)
      Creepshow (3 times)
      Holidayz (1 time)
      TWD (1 time)
      Stranger Things (3 times)

      Mummy (1 time)
      Jurassic World (1 time)
      Transformers (1 time)



      Last edited by biggsworth; 09-21-2019, 11:21 AM.
      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


      • #4
        After 4 Nights.....I have done all then Mazes

        The Best
        1) Ghost Busters (just the most energy and maybe best effects of any mazes I've seen at HHN in Hollywood) Also the only Maze with a Full Q (yeah yeah but the NY sets are always there...don't care its by FAR the best Q they have ever done) Anyway Love this maze, not the scariest but it's energy and design more than make up for that.
        2) Holidays in Hell - I just like the Idea of the maze, enjoyed it as a mini maze last year. Only thing I wish was Halloween and Thanks Giving had more sets but overal I love this maze. Kinda wish they used Projections to give the Q area more life.
        3) Us, it has a cool front to the building. It's got a lot of different sets and really think they did a great job with this maze.....would have been cool if they could have had like a BIG outside set near a "lake" but still really well done.
        4) Creep Show - Never heard of this before...but dam its cool. I really liked this maze and would love to have the sequel be used for the set up next year or maybe the new TV. I really liked the Idea of all the different scenarios.
        5) Pandora's Box - When this was announced I had no interest...but man it won me over. Loved the Spider Parts and just how dark some sections got.
        6) Killer Clowns - Its a Fun Maze, love the colors and think the clowns costumes were many times unsettling. Too bad it opens at 7 meaning it will always have a line unless you have an express pass
        7) The Hallows (Scare Maze) Honestly...I kinda want this up higher on the list but its a mini maze but honestly I'd love 1-2 More of these kinda mazes. They have almost no line and have awesome costumes. Honestly I would do this twice in a row whenever I could because its sooo much fun.

        The Meh to Bad
        8) Wolfman Maze - I like the idea and many of the sets. The cast does it best to scare you but maybe its just because of how old school they are I just am never really that scared of these characters. But its not a bad maze...just not in my top favorites or worth a wait over 30 mins.
        9) House of 1,000 Corpses - It feels like it has some reused parts from the maze that was there last year.....its....its fine. It had a 5 min line on a few of the nights I went and is easily worth that but if its over 30 mins SKIP. I like the first version back in the T2 Q much more.
        10) Stranger things -t it had some fun monster Scare at the end....but overal meh....just meh. The Q is boring, its always a long line....the sets are fine but nothing you need to see...and the fact the Florida maze had such a COOL monster just makes this maze even more lame. I'd skip it...go on Ghost Busters instead
        11) The Walking Dead...I swear to god a week before HHN, I went on this with friends and they were trying some new scares but then I went on it and it was not that filled with monsters and all the normal spots. They need to do a Cross over maze or something next yet......make it Resident Evil...especially since most if not all days its closed during the day anyway
        DO something new next year....something anything



        This year is a solid year....BUT it has many things that hold it back. The bad Crowd Control, not enough open paths to walk, they need more attractions/shows open they also just need to let you in and ALL mazes are open when the first people get there, this lining people up and only SOME mazes are open sucks it just makes it where early people don't really save much time. I heard people complain about the Terror Tram, I only want it back if they TRY if its just the same layout then I don't want it back.
        If i could snap my fingers and be in charge next year would be 9-10 mazes. Walking Dead with either a Cross over or Resident Evil themed. Have Two Mini Mazes. Have the Dream Works Theater Showing something either Shrek Scary Stories or something they cut together maybe something to both Advertise the new Saw film but also reap the other films and use the in house effects to try and scare you or Maybe a Chucky Show with a Live Actor (in some way Bring Chucky on all days, he's great)
        More Photo Ops things people MUST take pictures with and get lines to once again spread out crowds, this costs almost nothing.
        The Simpsons Characters dressed up for Halloween and you take pictures with and maybe project some things onto the Springfield stores like a mini show with creepy things from the Tree House of Horrors. Bring Back Bill and Ted, a new films out and no one really cares about the new show you have now, who talks about it EVER?
        Have Potter Land Over and even if the rides can't be open let people walk through it and meet death eaters (along with another path for quests to walk in) I'd Love the Dark Arts Show....but doubt they will do it.
        Have SLOPS and Despicable me open....they will have lines the Simpsons do so will these.

        That's it, with Oggies Party being soo amazing at DCA I hope this puts a fire under Universal to do more next year and stop being just ok with being ok at everything else besides the mazes. YES the mazes were great but with so many issues who care's without a VIP pass you cab;t do everything without staying until like 2 AM and waiting in so many lines it becomes just no fun.

        PS: Sorry this is so long but I'm passionate about this event I've been going for about ten years and honestly this might be my last...I just hate how for over ten years they have let this get bigger and bigger yet in no way try to solve any issues.
        Happy Halloween!!!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by biggsworth View Post
          We went on Saturday the 14th and utilized the RIP perks to their fullest. Our reservation was at 6PM we arrived at 530 and met our tour guide.

          . . . . After that we boarded our trolley again where it took us to Stranger things and Killer Klownz

          Stranger Things was even weaker than last year. We didn't care for it this year. the sets seemed very low budget and rushed. the Demigorgons were lame. I did appreciate the ones sticking out of the wall to scare us.

          Killer Klownz was probably one of our favorite mazes. It really nailed the feel of the movie and the clown masks were so cool looking. the maze was really colorful. The entrance being the tent looked super cool. Also this maze had great yummy smells going on. popcorn gun anyone?

          We then took the escalators up to have our free buffet meal as part of the RIP tour. We got an hour break there and ate decent food considering it is a buffet. I ate 6 warm cookies from the cookie warmer LOL!. . .
          COOL! Now I can claim to know someone who did the RIP Tour!

          Six cookies? Do you run marathons? Do you have amazing metabolism? Did a fly enter the transponder before your "successful" experiment?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cookie Boat View Post
            I was there the night before, Friday the 13th. It was SOOOOOOO crowded, but I did everything but Pandora's Box (and I am kicking myself for missing it). I got in early at 5:45 and was still in line for my last maze at 2 when it closed. I had never been to one of these haunt/Halloween/what-have-yous before so I am not sure how anything I experienced compared to other years or locations (but I did buy a ticket to Scary Farm the next day, so you can tell that I enjoyed myself!). Here's what I did in order and my thoughts:
            . . .
            6. Stranger Things. Quoted 3 hours, but it only took 1 - thankfully! What more can I say that isn't captured by the scathing review from jcruise86 above? Brutal misstep.
            ....
            9. Walking Dead. 25 minutes. I know this is a permanent scare maze, but I had never done it before. And I'm never going to do it again...It is the Heimlich's Chew Chew Train of horror mazes. (I'm apparently an expert now.)
            Good review, and I'm glad you also went to Scary Farm. Please review that in the Knott's section on the mazes thread.

            I also recommend the Queen Mary's Dark Harbor, and if you go I recommend getting the reasonably priced Fastpass option.


            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jcruise86 View Post

              COOL! Now I can claim to know someone who did the RIP Tour!

              Six cookies? Do you run marathons? Do you have amazing metabolism? Did a fly enter the transponder before your "successful" experiment?
              Dude warm cookies and me are dangerous I do run half marathons though LOL! Dark Harbor is our favorite event down south!
              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

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