This past weekend HHNU’s Christopher Ripley ran a poll on Twitter to see whether fans wanted HHN30 to be cancelled or for it to be run. The results can be seen below:
As you can see, the majority of fans on this small poll want the event cancelled. But let’s look into why that might be?
It is hard to find exact numbers and breakdowns for attendances to the theme parks, both Disney and Universal often keep these as closely guarded secrets. However, we can look at other sources for clues. For example, data from Orlando’s MCO Airport website between the beginning and the end of HHN for 2019 will have just over 6 million passengers flying in from the other U.S. States and 1.1 million passengers flying in from international airports. You can then add in people who are travelling from neighbour States by car and the Florida State visitors, and this adds up to a significant number.
The TEA/AECOM Theme Index and Museum Index for last year believes that Orlando theme parks received a staggering 87.5m visitors, with Universal’s two main theme parks received a reportedly 19.8m visitors total. However, these figures are probably gate numbers, as the official Tourist Board figure for 2018 was 75m visitors.
And while these visitors aren’t all going to be visiting HHN, it should indicate how many people are coming to Orlando if there weren’t a global Pandemic happening.
From the MCO website, it has a league table of the makeup of the International guests, and while passengers are flying in from all over the world, the top 10 are:
1 London/Gatwick, England
2 Toronto, Ontario, Canada
3 Manchester, England
4 Mexico City, Mexico
5 Sao Paulo/Guarulhos, Brazil
6 Montreal/Dorval, Quebec, Canada
7 San Jose, Costa Rica
8 Bogota, Colombia
9 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
10 Nassau, Bahamas
According to data from Google/WHO Brazil has the second-worst infection rate in the world (second to the U.S.) in cases % per 1m of population, the U.K. is 5th, Mexico is 11th, Canada is 19th, and Colombia is 21st.
The land borders between the U.S. and Mexico and the U.S. and Canada are closed for all non-essential travel until at least 23rd July.
Currently, there is a Travel Ban for International Passengers where most of the list above are excluded from travel into the U.S. It is hard to accurately pinpoint the percentage of International Guests to Out-of-State Guests, but Visit Orlando believes it to be circa:
Florida & Domestic Visitors 60 to 78% (including people who drive in)
Other U.S. State Visitors 15 to 25% (people who fly in)
International Visitors 12 to 22% (people who fly in)
In the past when international travel bans have been in effect, or there has been a downturn in visitor numbers to the Parks, it has been the local Floridians, especially the local Orlando communities that have helped the Parks and especially HHN. However, the parks are currently open, and footfall is massively reduced. Likewise, since Florida started to reopen and lift restrictions, COVID cases have jumped fivefold in the last two weeks. Nobody knows for sure how many of these people will actually venture out for HHN.
Different States have different policies on COVID where some are still in Lockdown; others are slowly opening up. Currently, travellers flying to Florida from New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut must self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival. Universal Theme Parks are currently open but with increased restrictions and social distancing, with reports from local visitors indicating that footfall at the parks is incredibly low.
Is HHN still happening?
As far as we know, yes it is happening. Universal was reportedly testing the Lagoon Show for HHN this past weekend, yesterday on Twitter Universal was gaining permissions to use people’s tweets in a rumored announcement that is coming, HHN house construction is on-going and Universal is actively recruiting Scareactors. See below:
Lagoon Show Testing:
It’s over. Holy shit that made my night. We were watching a movie on the couch and heard music coming from the park. Paused the movie, heard Killer Klowns music and SPRINTED to the balcony. pic.twitter.com/RXlxUiqX8E
— Drew (@drubov) June 28, 2020
Universal accepting applications for HHN roles:
Christopher Ripley also posted this sage advice:
— Christopher Ripley (@christopherrip) June 27, 2020
Our poll was only small and gave a tiny snapshot. It was also conducted on Twitter which is not the friendliest or most pragmatic social media platform. However, when the above is considered, you can see why fans of HHN want it cancelled. If they can’t travel to the event they love, it will be heart-breaking for them. Likewise, what is the supposed to be the celebratory year of the 30th anniversary, people are equally miffed that the event can’t celebrate this achievement to the fullest due to all the likely restrictions that will no doubt be in the place for it.
Hopefully, if we do everything the “experts” tell us to do now, it will save Halloween. There will come a time when this wretched disease has gone; however, we want it to go as fast as possible so we can all return to normal! Let’s hope that normal comes soon and HHN will continue without this disease.
All of the data and restrictions were good as of June 29th 2020, and people should check current rules and restrictions before travelling.
So there you have it: do you agree with this poll? Will you still be going to HHN? Let us know in the comments!