How can HHN run this year?

We’ve had a lot of messages over the last few weeks where fans of HHN and the wider theme park communities have pondered the various restrictions that will likely be in place once the theme parks reopen.

As of yet, no concrete reopening date has been announced for Universal or Disney (though some analysts are stating they shouldn’t reopen until 2021), however, when they do reopen they will surely have a number of difficulties to overcome.

So what with the popularity of HHN, we thought we’d have a look at what possible changes are likely to occur if the event returns this year:

  • Team Members may be subject to temperature checks and health screenings by onsite health personnel.  A number of the Asian parks have tested temperature checks for both staff and guests, so it is likely Universal will have to ensure that their processes to judge their team members’ fitness to work are more robust to take account of Covid-19.
  • Everyone will possibly have to wear face masks, which is currently against HHN rules, however, this modification will likely be required for everyone.
  • Upon entering the event, with points throughout the park, and at the entry to every house, there should be hand sanitizers.
  • Attendance caps and a possible reduction in Frequent Fear Passes.  Universal will need to control the numbers of guests entering the event and will likely have to cap the capacity numbers, which could also lead to Universal extending the dates of the event into November.
  • No shows and less scarezones:  Stage shows encourage gatherings, which surely won’t be permissible and scarezones need to either be reduced in scope or made larger to allow for more social distancing.
  • Plans are already afoot to maximize mobile food ordering.  Therefore, the number of vendors with lines you can just walk up to will be reduced and guests will be encouraged to mobile order, even for orders that contain just drinks.
  • Virtual queues might be implemented.  Similar in scope to the boarding party lines that Disney used for Rise of the Resistance.  Essentially, for houses and food, the Universal app is likely to be essential.
  • Lines for houses will likely utilize social distancing, therefore, the lines will be bigger and more of the backstage areas will probably be used (even some of Islands of Adventure’s backstage areas might be used).  The lines should be kept to a minimum if the boarding party systems are used correctly.
  • More custodians will likely be employed throughout, not just to the park, but also into the houses.
  • Scareactor makeup and costumes will likely be adjusted to allow for Personal Protective Equipment to be used (masks under masks for example).
  • Staggered seating on select rides will be used, with pre-shows such as those in Gringotts not used for the duration.
  • Any themes to plagues, viruses, even zombies will likely be toned down or removed outright.
  • Inside the houses, SIF (stuff-in-face) and any items within the route of guests are likely to be pulled, with the possible addition of wider corridors to prevent guests from touching as much as possible.

These are just our thoughts on how the event can return if Covid-19 is still prevalent.   Universal has yet to announce what measures will be in place when HHN returns or for when the theme parks reopen.

Are you still planning to attend HHN this year?  Will these possible restrictions impact your experience or not?  Let us know in the comments!

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