The first scary thing I encountered in Orlando happened before I even got in the park - and that was trying to figure out what tickets to buy and in what kind of package. I ended up buying a frequent fear pass for HHH - which meant we could have went any Wed, Thurs, or Sun during the entire run. A more expensive pass was available that included Fri or Sat nights as well, but since everything I heard and read prior to going said the weekend nights were crazy, we decided that we'd avoid those nights.
I couldn't even buy tickets before we left because the whole thing was so confusing that I got paranoid that I'd buy the wrong thing for the wrong times - but a very nice and experienced person in our hotel was a huge help and steered us in the right direction. We also bought a four day pass to Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure, since it was only an additional $5.00 to upgrade from a four day to a three.
I'll talk more about Universal in another post - and the horror related things they have during the day - every day of the year - at the park.
HHH had six haunted houses, six 'scare zones', two live shows - in addition to a handful of regular rides that were open. I would have liked to have ridden Jaws at night - but it really took us all of two nights just to do what we did.
Since Grandma Firefly is the Queen of HHH - she goes every year - I took advice from her and also paid the extra $$ for the fast pass - which allows you to skip ahead of the lines - and believe me, even on a Wednesday night, they were amazingly long. However, most of them said a half hour wait - if that's true, I can't imagine how long they were on weekend nights. So we focused on the haunted houses that first night, which were spread over the park.
It took pretty much all of that first night to cover those houses - we didn't see any shows and missed most of the scare zones so we could take advantage of the fast pass and see all of the houses.
One of the houses was a tribute to the first 20 years of HHH - this one was jam packed with all kinds of great props and while it looked really cool - this was the last house I made it to, and, honestly I was too exhausted to really enjoy it. I wish I'd started on this side of the park and went the opposite way.
Out of the other five, there was one haunted house called The Orfanage (sp) that we thought did a good job on creating a creepy ambiance using props, music, sound effects, and costuming.
Otherwise - I thought the haunted houses were all very similar - and an awful lot of walking to keep repeating the same experience over and over.
However, the scare zones were a lot more fun - and we literally spent hours in them, hanging out, having a drink, and watching the actors do their thing. Zombie Gras was probably my favorite - and I really do have some pictures - I'm just having a terrible time downloading them.
Zombie Gras had a float sitting off to one side, mardi gras music playing, and it was as the title suggested - Mardi Gras given over to the walking dead. Zombie musicians, partiers and more than a few dead clowns stumbled around, growled, played with body parts, and terrorized people walking through.
Other scare zones had an area where monsters from years past and present (representing the last twenty years) wandered around and terrorized guests. One particular monster - a pig demon guy dressed in overalls - decided he'd make me one of his personal favorites one night. On the second night I was there, I went through this section about three or four times, and every time I did, this guy would stop what he was doing, point at me and then stalk me for a while.
|Yes, he is pointing at ME.|
It's kind of funny considering the week before we went to Orlando, the P. Cash and I were driving around Milwaukee late at night, looking at houses for sale, and drove by one that I remarked looked like 'Jodi the pig demon was probably sitting up there, rocking the night away in her little chair'. Of course he didn't get it, but anyone of a certain age will probably get that reference from the original Amityville Horror. At this time in my life, I think the Lutzes were probably running more from a mortgage they couldn't afford, but the idea of Jodi the pig demon in her rocking chair will always give me the heebie jeebies. Add to that seeing Motel Hell at an impressionable age, and you've got enough to have Mr Pig Demon Dude stalking me to make me more than just a little freaked out. So thank you, Mr Pig Demon guy.
The costumes and the actors that were in the other scare zones -a creepy, dark, foggy area filled with witches both ugly and beautiful - and a kind of day glo Day of the Dead -did a terrific job. And if you don't like being chased by men with chainsaws, well, then consider yourself warned- because that is one thing that the park definitely doesn't skimp on - and when I can not only download my own pictures, but access P. Cash's as well, I'll showcase some of my favorites in all of these places.
I also enjoyed the Bill and Ted's Adventure show - more of a comedy thing making fun of pop culture and celebrities - and the Magic show. Had I known that the Magic show featured two different shows, I would have went to both. Unfortunately, I didn't realize this until we actually saw the show - which was the last one we could attend.
All in all, I'm glad I finally got to see and do this - I was slightly disappointed in the haunted houses - I think I'd have been fine with maybe just going through half of them - but I also realize that Universal has to get people through these houses fairly quickly - and so that limits what they can do and how interactive they can make them. The big houses I used to go to in Flint as a kid were long (they took about an hour to go through them) and also followed a storyline and used lots of actors and made you completely stop in certain rooms so they could terrorize you and bring you into the story. These lines are amazingly long as it is - if they slowed down the amount of time it too to go through them, people would spend most of the night in line and not get to see a lot of the park - which would be very frustrating considering you're paying one price for everything.
And - unless you're young, full of energy, and walking all day and night doesn't tire you out, it's REALLY tough to go to the park all day and then go back and do HHH till midnight. So pace yourself accordingly. We only did two nights - although we could have done another one with the pass - it was the same price as buying two nights individually, so we didn't lose out on any money - AND with the pass, we were also able to choose which night to go back.
Here's a short video on YouTube showcasing the scare zones.
|What you see just before they get you.|