HHN Fans Want HHN30 Cancelled

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:

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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?

Wider Tourism:

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.

 

International Guests:

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)

 

Florida Locals:

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.

Other States:

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:

 

Universal accepting applications for HHN roles:

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Christopher Ripley also posted this sage advice:

 

Conclusion:

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!

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Rumor: Big Changes to the Scares at HHN

Our good friends at TPU posted a fascinating rumor article this week that highlights a number of changes possibly coming to this year’s HHN which will likely impact how and when people attend the event.

The rumored changes being reported were:

Big Reduction in Scareactors:

Due to social distancing guidelines, guests will probably interact far last with a much-reduced lineup of scareactors.  The TPU article states that Universal is possibly looking to hire a much-reduced company of scareactors, a “skeleton crew” if you like, so as to comply with social distancing measures.

Capped Attendance:

The major theme parks in Central Florida have all been showcasing their reopening plans over the week we all of them ensuring that gate numbers remain low.  If this is to continue into the fall it will likely see a vastly reduced guest number with caps on how many patrons can enter each night.

The Official Universal App will Control Your Visit:

According to the article, virtual queues will be used throughout the houses (something HHNU first rumored back in March when this all started to happen).  After leaving the parking structure guests are likely to be put through security and health screening (for temperatures, as they are doing during the day), the app will then notify them which houses they can go to and when even including whether to use their Express passes; it’ll supposedly all be done via the app!

Jack to be the Digital Icon:

According to the article, Jack will be your digital guide every night via the app.  So instead of choosing the houses or experiences you want to visit, the app will guide you and give you limited choices based on the numbers of guests at each experience.  Jack was brought back to reassure us all at the HHN in 2001 and so he’s likely back again to do the same again for 2020.

New Activities to Replace Traditional HHN Mainstays:

To replace the possible cancelling of shows and limits to house numbers, we have heard that a number of added experiences will be used to occupy the guest’s time at the event (the TPU article also states this).  Jack as your digital psychopathic guide will lead you around the park to undertake scavenger hunts, set-off special effects, possibly win prizes and answer trivia questions.  The added experiences will likely be undertaken to replace or reduce the traditional scarezones and to keep guests under control if the houses and attractions are full.

So there you have it, would you welcome these changes?  Let us know in the comments!

Remember, these are just rumored changes coming to HHN30, nothing is official just yet!  Though we do expect an official announcement very soon!

To read the TPU article for yourself please go here.

 

 

 

 

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!

Universal considers options for re-opening that may affect HHN

Universal sent out a survey yesterday that had a number of options contained within it that, if implemented, will have far and wide implications for its possible re-opening; implications which may last into the haunt season and affect HHN.

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They include:

Team Members:

  • To be tested every 24 hours for Covid 19
  • Closing of all indoor attractions
  • To have their temperatures taken
  • Touch-free payment only
  • Remove all security x-ray machines
  • To wear face masks
  • To wipe down all attractions before use

Shows:

  • Suspend all shows
  • Suspend all nighttime shows and parades
  • Only seating guests every other row and every other seat
  • Remove all 3D glasses from shows

Guests:

  • All guests to wear face masks
  • Requiring all guests and team members to social distance themselves by 6 ft from each other
  • Enhanced sanitation throughout the parks
  • Limit attendance each day to 75%
  • Limited attendance each day to just 25%
  • Remove all 3D glasses from attractions
  • All guests to have their temperatures taken
  • Test all guests for Covid 19

 

Would you welcome these precautions?  How will HHN operate if some or all of these restrictions are in place during the haunt season?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

 

Rumor: Is this the secret 2nd HHN for 2021?

We reported last week on a rumor that Universal was supposedly considering making a second HHN type event for 2021.  If it happens, it was rumored to be held in the summer months and would be a mixture of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Anime and Gaming.  HHNU affectionately labeled the proposed new event as “Sci-fi Summer Nights.”

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However, working with our buddies at Screamscape who have also received similar rumors, we can confirm that Universal has also trailed a similar event between 2016 to 2019 at Universal Studios Japan, named Universal Cool Japan.

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Event map

The Universal Creatives created a number of temporary mini-attractions for the extra-hard-ticketed event in Japan.  These special attractions included: Godzilla, Sailor Moon (plus many other Anime shows), video game Monster Hunter, Detective Conan, Final Fantasy and Resident Evil.

The Godzilla 4D looked very cool:

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Where the rumors and surveys for Universal Orlando have differed from the Japan offerings is that they have included more horror and sci-fi elements plus many mentions of Nintendo (which Universal is now in partnership with).  Screamscape reported that the full IP list that was contained in the survey was:

Movies: Lord of the Rings, Back to the Future, Fantastic Beasts
Series: Westworld, Dr Who, Star Trek, Black Mirror, Game of Thrones, The Witcher
Games: Final Fantasy, Minecraft, Pokemon, Dungeons and Dragons, Fortnite, Legend of Zelda,
Anime: Dragon Ball, Death Note, Spirited Away, Attack on Titan, Naruto,

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So hopefully this will give us a taster of what devilish plans are in store for us soon!

Would you like a 2nd HHN every year that was more focused on science-fiction and video game properties?  Let us know in the comments!

Remember: these are just rumors and nothing is confirmed until Universal says otherwise.

 

Tickets for HHN30 are on sale

When purchasing tickets for this year’s HHN we highly recommend buying directly.  Hollywood’s event is yet to put their tickets on sale, though Orlando’s are available right now.  The two types currently for sale are (click on the title to book now):

General/US Tickets:

Buy an Event Night, Get a 2nd Event Night Free – Limited Time Offer – Purchase by June 3rd
Get your tickets early and you can enjoy two nights of terror for the price of one. Purchase your Halloween Horror Nights ticket now through June 3rd and you can come back a second night for even more frights. Online only. Select nights, blockout dates and restrictions apply. $84.99 plus tax

Halloween Horror Nights Flex Promotional Ticket
Choose a night to experience The World’s Premier Halloween Event, now in its 30th terrifying year. Purchase by Jun. 3 and come one select event night from Sep. 10–Nov. 1, 2020. Online only. Select nights, blockout dates and restrictions apply. $84.99 plus tax

HHN Hotel & Tickets Package
Scream all day. Scream all night. Then rest in peace. Convenient packages offer the best way to experience all three Universal Orlando Resort theme parks and the World’s Premier Halloween Event.

Package includes:

  • 4-Night Hotel Accommodations
  • 3-Park 4-Day Park-to-Park Promotional Ticket 1 to Universal Studios Florida AND Universal’s Islands of Adventure AND Universal’s Volcano Bay (Book now–8/13/20)
  • 2020 Halloween Horror Nights Flex Plus 1 Night Free Promotional Ticket8 (Book by Jun. 3, 2020 and use any 2 nights Sept. 10– Nov. 1, 2020. Blockout dates apply)
  • Early Park Admission2 to one (1) Universal Orlando theme park as determined by Universal Orlando one hour before the parks open (valid theme park admission required; select attractions)
  • Access to select live entertainment venues1 at Universal CityWalk

Special add-ons:

  • HHN Express Pass:Skip the regular lines one time at each haunted house and participating attractions. (Separate event admission required; pricing varies by date, subject to availability. Restrictions apply.)
  • RIP Tour: Be one of the first to book this killer tour when you purchase a Halloween Horror Nights Hotel & Ticket package. Join other fans and get a guided V.I.P. walking tour of the event. See more with front-of-the-line entry to haunted houses. (Separate event admission is required; pricing varies by date, subject to availability. Restrictions apply.)

Starting prices at Universal Orlando Resort Hotels are based on Sunday–Thursday travel Sept. 10–Sept. 24, 2020.  Prices start at $135 per person plus taxes.

UK only tickets:

Halloween Horror Nights 1-Night Ticket

  • One night admission to Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights 2020 on any Sunday to Friday event date
  • This year, time twists and turns on itself—ripping cinematic greats, cult classics and even original nightmares from decades past into a new era of fear with more terrifying houses than ever, sinister scare zones and outrageous entertainment!
  • From £72 including VAT.

Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights Frequent Fear Plus Pass

  • Admission to Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights 2020
  • Opportunity to live the horror again and again on select event nights from 10 September to 1 November 2020
  • Experience More Houses Than Ever!
  • From £85 including VAT.

Halloween Horror Nights Buy a Night, Get a 2nd Night Free

  • Admission to Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights 2020
  • Opportunity to live TWO nights of horror on any Sunday to Friday event dates from 10 September to 1 November 2020
  • From £72 including VAT.

Have you purchased your tickets yet?  Let us know in the comments!

 

 

Walking Dead Actor alleges staff were assaulted at theme park

A scareactor from the now closed Walking Dead attraction in Universal Hollywood is alleging physical and sexual assault whilst working the former attraction.  The report by a number of sites states that the scareactors allege they were groped and physically threatened whilst working the now defunct attraction, with the theme park reportedly nothing doing anything (or very little) to stop it.

Kurt Logan filed a lawsuit against the company this past week with the Los Angeles Superior Court saying that he was personally punched by guests and saw a number of female scareactors be groped and sexually assaulted in the horror maze. “Universal actually incites its guests to fight the employees,” the lawsuit states.

A Universal Studios Hollywood spokesperson declined to respond to the specific allegations, they were reported as saying : “We don’t comment on pending litigation, however, the safety and security of our employees and guests is always our top priority,”

The attraction is now closed, with some online whispers being that this pending court case was the ‘nail in the coffin’ for the attraction.  An attraction that was reportedly set to return for their HHN this fall; though that is now surely in doubt.

The case notes that the majority of badly behaved guests were those that were possibly drunk.  Logan alleges he was punched in the face in July 2019 and then again by different persons in the August of the same year.  In January another drunken guest supposedly punched him in the stomach, for which he reported it to his supervisor and was reportedly told to take a break and then just go back to work.

The case reports that a number of female scareactors had their breasts and buttocks groped.  Scareactor Lisa Molenda who was working within a cage inside the attraction had a guest grab her breast.  She reportedly told her manager about the incident but was supposedly told that she “could have done to better protect herself.

Another scareactor, Josiah Steele, was reportedly hospitalized after a guest punched him so hard that he was knocked to the ground.  He supposedly took the matter further with Universal but they informed him that “most performers don’t press charges.”  The case also states that complaints by team members about their safety with guests inside this attraction go back 2 years.

Team Members and guest safety should be paramount during any experience such as this.  We must all play our part to report, ban and prosecute any persons who assault any team members or guests.  

 

 

Speculation: How Might HHN30 Change This Year?

We’ve seen a number of reports coming unofficially from Universal that everything for HHN is business as usual and that the event is still being constructed and planned for September this year.  Builders are apparently still building, organizers are organizing and designers are designing the scares.  Here’s a few:

On that basis, we thought we’d look at how the event might be affected this year:

Please note that these are just our thoughts on this virus issue with Universal saying nothing more than the event will definitely be running this year.

Reduced Peril and No Virus Houses:

It goes without saying that houses or zones featuring any form of virus or zombie type connotation will be altered (if indeed they were ever planned as zombies have featured heavily in the last decade); for example, a house like Dead Exposure won’t be seen at HHN for a long time.  After the events of 9/11 all gore, blood and any dust was removed from all houses (the event’s icon was also famously changed) and travel was severely reduced.

Likely Lower Attendance:

As the travel industry has been hit hard during this time and many people who have either lost their jobs or been furloughed has rapidly increased, it is likely that many out-of-state and international guests will probably not be able to attend HHN.  During the 2001 HHN it was said that for the first time since the early 90s the event was virtually attended by just the locals of Central Florida.  It is likely that many of them will still attend the event they love, however, if the virus is still present it might limit the number of times people visit and possible put the older generation of fans off completely.

Possible PPE & Social Distancing:

As it is unlikely that a vaccine can be ready by September, we can therefore only hope that the virus is diminished enough by social distancing that it won’t be prevalent during the fall.  If it is still with us by this time it is possible that the event organizers may insist on all guests wearing masks and washing their hands regularly.  Lines might be physically longer with more pulsing and less “conga” lines of people running through the houses, with people less corralled with a 4ft to 8ft rule of space between parties, which might also lead to less scareactors in the houses with more special-effect types scares deployed.  It is hard to say exactly what will be required as we just don’t know how prevalent the virus will be in 6 months’ time.

HHN30 – Part 2 The Revenge in 2021:

Some events around the world which have either been rapidly reduced due to the virus or have been cancelled with for rescheduling for the following year.  We know HHN returns every year, so it is possible as HHN30 is an anniversary year that any special festivities or experiences that get cancelled due to the virus will likely be re-run in the following year.  Therefore, don’t think that this year’s event will be “one and done” because they missed the calendar anniversary, this is Universal and they live by their own rules – they will happily extend what we love if there is guest demand.  Look at Disney when they celebrate anniversaries, this Disney World 50th anniversary will probably go on and on and finish with a special cupcake in 2023!

Conclusion:

Nobody knows for sure what will happen 6 months from now.  All we can hope is that social distancing and frequent washing will purge this nasty virus enough that it goes away quickly.  If so, there might little to no change in regards to the coming HHN and it will be another record-breaking year for the world’s greatest Halloween festival.

All we can do is follow our respective state, federal and government guidelines and wait this out.  Wherever you are in the world we hope you stay safe and healthy.

Do you think the virus will be gone in 6 months and it’ll be business as usual or do you believe it will have a lasting impact that might not go way to until after HHN?  Let us know in the comments!

Rumor: Are Bill & Ted coming back for HHN30?

We’ve been hearing a number of rumors in the last few weeks that Universal might be considering bringing back the bodacious duo for one, final, final goodbye at HHN.  From these speculative rumors we thought we’d look at why this might be the case with 3 reasons to bring them back…

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1. New Movie

In case you’re the only person in the world to not know, Bill & Ted are returning to our screens this August with the third long-awaited instalment of their franchise.  Bill & Ted Face the Music will be seeing the duo face the challenges of growing up whilst also a visitor from the future tells them that one of their songs can save life as we know it and bring harmony to the universe.  As the franchise will once again be popular and will require lots of marketing, where better to market it then the Halloween event that has kept it going all these long years!

2. Weird Instagram Post

Yesterday on the official Orlando HHN Insta account they posted the following image:

Which is a weird photo to post, not least because Universal no longer has the rights to use the Bill & Ted image as the contract to use them was confirmed by the IP owner as being ended?  So if they’re now using the images of them again, does this mean they have brokered permission to use Bill & Ted once more?  Say perhaps for one last show in this big year….

3. Anniversary Year

HHN30, like HHN16, HHN20 and HHN25 is a big anniversary year for the event and 29 years since the duo were last on the big screen!  It would be a sad anniversary if the time-travelling duo were not present for one final outing at the world’s greatest Halloween event.

Honorable Mention:

The actors who played the duo and the supporting cast of characters nearly all still work for Universal, and as this clip shows, they would all be superb and fitting for a return!

So there you have it, our top 3 reasons why this rumor could be happening!  Would you love to see the duo back or are you happy to leave them in the past?
Let us know in the comments!

Remember: these are just speculative rumors and nothing is confirmed until Universal Orlando confirms otherwise!

The HHH: Episode 9 – Alfred Hitchcock WORLD EXCLUSIVE Interview Footage plus interview with Hitchcock Interviewer & Expert Sandra Shevey

Join us for more spooky fun as we go all Hitchcockian with some exclusive audio footage never heard before of Alfred Hitchcock, plus we interview Sandra Shevey a renown expert on the good man and possibly the last person to interview him 1-2-1. She also discusses her time with John Lennon and her amazing London tours which can be booked here: sandra_shevey@yahoo.com or visit http://www.alfredhitchcockwalk.wordpress.com

She also is on YouTube where you can hear clips of her other interviews at sandrasheveyinterviews, please visit, like and subscribe!

Starring Christopher Ripley, Boston White aka Amanda and The Spooky Voice Guy. Producer: The Amazing Aaron Adams.

This podcast is apart of the After Dark Podcast Network and HHNUnofficial.com — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

Available on Apple iTunes, all good podcast apps or below: