So you decided to go to HHN in a group…

In my first post on HHN Unofficial, I want to focus on the pros and cons of making a trip to HHN a group activity. Attending with only two or even three additional people can be easy to deal with, but what happens when you have a group of five, six, or more?

Congrats, you just bought your ticket for HHN 27! You’re so excited that you post about it on social media and people are liking your status. It’s a great confidence boost until you start to see comments and texts rolling in from friends, family, and acquaintances who are also going…on the same day…and now they want to meet up with you. Maybe it’s that you have social anxiety, or you just hate having to host a get together where you could potentially split up, whatever it is, its scaring you more than any chainsaw could.

Never say, “I’ll be right back,” because you won’t. 

The first step to going in a group is accepting that YOU WILL SPLIT UP. This is one of the biggest cons of going in a group. You might agree to stick together before you enter through the turnstiles but inevitably, someone will decide they don’t want to go to that house or will want to eat something or they might run into other friends along the way.

The best way to deal with this, if you want to stay together, is to make a game plan to reconnect. Make sure you exchange phone numbers for texting and agree to meet up. Make sure you stay with at least one other person from the group in case your phone dies or you lose service.

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The walkway or courtyard of Bill and Ted are great places to gather your crew after you split.

Shows are perfect places to meet because once the show ends, everyone filters out into the same general area. Take Bill and Ted, for example. The show takes place at the Fear Factor stage. Ever since Amity moved out and Diagon Alley moved in, the area has been the perfect empty space, void of scareactors and lines, to gather your friends after splitting up. There are bathrooms, a water fountain, food and beer stands in this area as well, so you can keep everyone happy.

No one likes a line jumper.

But what if you want to meet up at a house? Well, the short answer to this is DON’T. The problem with houses are the lines. Plenty of people think “I can just skip the line and meet my friends”, but HHN security does not play well with people who decide to jump the line. The risk of getting expelled from the park is far too high to leave to Chance (see what I did there) so just DON’T. You may run into people who aren’t too keen on line jumpers in front of them, so even if you get past line security, you won’t fool these folks.

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Everyone else is waiting two hours, why can’t you?

If by some miracle all of you want to enter the same house (typically only happens for the first few houses of the night before you separate), enjoy! Play a game on your phone (if it doesn’t waste too much battery) or go over what houses you want to see. It’s the perfect place to create a game plan without wasting time in a scarezone and it will help you forget about the wait. *Hint* This is one of the biggest pros of groups!

Operation: Human Shield

Now, what happens when you enter a house? We all can see by the promotional photos that the typical set up is single file lines. The house attendants will advise you of this before you even get in. It’s safer for both the actors and the guests but as we all know, there’s going to be some crazy scary stuff and you will want to run.

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No one’s hanging on yet, but once you get into the house, you better hope you have your human shield.

The best idea here is to not make yourself one long, vulnerable line. Scareactors will descend on you like vultures and someone will break off and leave you to figuratively die. If you get scared easily, have two friends be human shields for you, one in front and one behind. Although you’ll still get a scare, you’ll have your buddies to push you along. If you are a brave one, be first in the line, that way you’ll see the scares ahead and can guide everyone through.

My friends are flakes, now what?

I know what you’re thinking, “this sounds great but what if my friends are supposed to meet me after Bill and Ted and they missed the show and now they’re in line for a house that has a wait time of 120 minutes, what do I do?” I won’t mince words here: ditch ‘em.

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With crowds like these, its easy to get separated.

Essentially, they did it to you first and if you have a one night only ticket, you don’t have time to wait for people to meet up with you if they aren’t going to be there in less than 10 minutes. By ditching, I don’t mean for the whole night, just for one house. The ultimate goal of a one-night ticket is to get as much in as you can, so if that means you have to stay apart for another two hours, so be it. Just make sure to adjust your meet up plan if you plan on staying together before the night ends.

You know what they say, if you set something free…

Remember, you WILL split up. Keeping that in mind will prevent frustration and will make you take stock in who you plan on going with. If you know you do not want to deal with organizing people, the alternative is splitting up at the start and meeting at houses that everyone wants to go to. Afterwards, you can meet at the exit on the way out, talk about what houses you saw and grab some late night grub at Citywalk. Just keep in mind, the point is to have a good time!

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Guaranteed way to not split up…

Buy a RIP tour ticket or grab yourselves an exclusive RIP tour with just your buddies – Universal will backdoor you into so many houses and attractions that you’ll never need to split up!  Tickets for RIP tours are not on sale yet, however, please see their official site for more information.

Have you visited HHN in a group of 5 or more?
Have you ever done a RIP tour?
Let us know your experience in the comments!