Greetings internet dwellers!
So with confirmation that HHN XXV will have a record 9 houses, speculation as to where this 9th house will go has reached a fever pitch. Honestly, if you really think about it, where is the room for 9 houses? While two locations have been been debated front and center, there are actually a few places that give HHN some options.
Some places may not be as practical as others, but they would get the job done if they really needed the space. So let us break down all the possible locations that a 9th house can go, shall we? Remember, these are just my ideas for a 9th location. Nothing is official, and I am just spit-balling here.
THE MEN IN BLACK OVERFLOW QUEUE
When rumblings of HHN having 9 houses cropped up in the past few months, this was a rumor that began to gain some traction. Men In Black: Alien Attack, has an extensive overflow queue to the side of the building. If you attended the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Diagon Alley last summer, you actually stood in part of the overflow queue line. That is, if you went while it was still very busy.
Like another attraction we will talk about later, I personally don't see this queue used very often these days. I'm not even sure how often it is used anymore. I myself have in fact waited in the overflow queue line. During my first visit to HHN, we waited close to 3 hours in that part of the line. But that is a story for another time...
The rumors suggested a few things. Quite possibly, another Sprung Tent being constructed on the space, was being discussed for instance. Perhaps more reasonable, would be for the space to be transformed like the one in the Disaster! overflow queue. Throw up some walls, an viola.
Honestly, the house could be placed anywhere in the orange shaded area above. However, there comes with this location, a few questions and concerns. Where would the entrance be? Where would the exit be? One spot, could be down Exposition Blvd. in between the Fear Factor stage, and MIB.
An entrance and exit could realistically be placed anywhere where the arrows are. In an extreme case, they could even have the entrance around the other side of the MIB building, where the queue for Sprung Tent 2 is. Just cut off the line that is closest to the building, and place the entrance at the front edge of the building. With the Diagon Alley opening, they were holding people at the back edge of the the MIB building as well, before sending them around. If they really needed to do that, it could possibly be done.
That would be a lot of walking for guests though, and I don't think they would ever do something like that. More than likely, an entrance would be where I said before, down Exposition Boulevard. However, something like this can conceivably be done.
Another option, is put the house entrance to the left of the Fear Factor stage, next to Diagon Alley. The house queue would wrap around the back of the Fear Factor stage, and you would enter the house from Backlot Drive.
You could also reverse the above way by entering where the exit would be, and exiting where the entrance would be. However, for me this spot would not be ideal at all for a house. One word: CROWDS. When the Bill & Ted show lets out, it turns into an every man for himself fight to walk around back there. On really busy nights, it would be total chaos with the show letting out, plus people entering/leaving a possible house in that same spot.
Rumblings suggest that any plans that may have been drawn up for a house in this location, have been nixed. And I don't blame them. I just don't see a house working in that area. It really is just too damn crowded, and would be even worse on busier nights. Let's move on to the next area that seems to have gained some traction recently.
SHREK 4-D SPARE THEATER
This location, has gained some steam in recent days. Current rumblings suggest, a house will be built in the spare Shrek theater. If there was a debate between having a house in the MIB overflow queue, or here, this would be my choice. While transforming the spare theater may be the hard part, it's much better in terms of crowd control and logistics. Let's discuss.
Putting an entrance and exit to the house, is much easier here, than by MIB. It's a much simpler option, than over there. If I had to guess, the entrance would be in the alley (usually a smoking area), next to the Lucy Tribute building. The exit, would be in Shrek Alley.
Shrek also has a pretty sizable overflow queue line, that is barely used these days. The same goes for the spare theater, which is also barely used. You could keep the attraction open during the day, but still have the house in there. You could even still use the overflow queue if needed. I don't think that would be themed for HHN.
Now, you could also reverse the way, which would be a more "extreme" option. Put a street queue for the house in Shrek Alley, enter from that side, and exit in the smoking alley next to the Lucy Tribute building.
Horror Nights has put queue's out in the open like this in the past. Vampyr: Bloodbath, the last house to be used in Nazarman's, used a street queue. The area in between Finnegans, was used as a queue. It is one of the spots where they hold guests for Stay and Scream these days.
So, it wouldn't be earth shattering if they did something like that. Since the construction of Transformers, HHN hasn't used Shrek Alley for anything. So they wouldn't be taking away something if they made a queue there, or even had people exit in Shrek Alley.
Some have expressed concerns that with a house in this area, Production Central would be insanity. However, at least here, there is something you can do to attempt to avoid a super-duper cluster of people. Just close off access to Shrek Alley from Production Central.
Will there be an increased flow of people in Production Central? Yes, especially if there is a scare zone in the area. However, I don't see it being as bad as having Bill & Ted, a house, and Men in Black riders, all converging at one point. It is a little different scenario, and at least you have SOME control over the crowds.
With the possibility of five houses at the front of the park, a scare zone, Rockit, and Despicable Me, it's probably going to be a little cramped no matter what you do. But, if they had to take over an area, Shrek's spare theater seems to be the best option. And if access is indeed closed off to Shrek Alley, I don't think it would be as bad as some make it out to be. All that other stuff is pretty par for the course.
Not only that, but taking over the spare theater, gives them a little bit more of a controllable environment to use for a house. It's a pretty sizable space; perhaps not as big as a soundstage, but a little bigger than a Sprung Tent. And based on the last few years, HHN can work wonders with those. So I wouldn't be worried if this is indeed the case.
IDEAS FOR AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE
SPLIT THE PARADE BUILDING
This option, would never happen, but in an alternate universe, it possibly could. With the parade floats being housed in B-79, the space is already limited. Universal and HHN, would have to find a place to put the floats.
One house could enter through the front of the parade building (which until recently used to happen all the time). The other house could enter around the back (where the entrance to houses has been for the past few years). The exits to both houses, would remain in the same place.
ANOTHER SPRUNG TENT OR STRUCTURE
Over by the Sprung Tents currently, there is enough space to possibly build another Sprung Tent. From what I gather, I think this option has been scrapped in the past because of cost. Those things are supposedly very expensive to purchase.
If you have ever waited for a Sprung Tent 2 house, you know they have some open space back there. Another tent would fit perfectly. However, as of right now, I think they use the space for construction equipment and such. Perhaps in the future, something permanent may need to be placed back there.
If for sake of argument, they ever got rid of the Parade Building, there's ample space to build another structure back in that area to house the floats, and could make use as a structure during HHN. Perhaps it may even be pertinent to build another permanent structure back there, specifically for HHN, as the event grows.
Truth be told, the space back there could also fit another attraction, if they so decide to build something. Perhaps, they want to preserve most of the space for that reason. Still, there is plenty of room to perhaps fit another permanent structure the size of the Parade Building, and another large attraction. So, I digress.
Ah. The old two park rumor that pops up every year. Realistically, a two park HHN these days has some problems. While a few rumors suggest that J.K. Rowling has gone back on her initially feelings on having Potter anywhere near HHN, there is no evidence to support this.
In IOA, getting around the problem is easy by opening the "temporary bridge" into Jurassic Park. Seuss Landing, also has the issue of no spooky things in that area, but they got around this in the past. I actually liked the idea of having The Grinch roaming around a foggy Seuss Landing during Halloween Horror Nights.
There are a plethora of places to put Halloween Horror Nights houses in IOA. One such place, is the one specifically built for HHN, but only used three times. I speak of course of the Carnage Warehouse, or its actually name, B285A. By splitting the event into "two" parks, it just opens the door for more space.
However, the two park thing for HHN, while a good experiment, didn't quite work out too well. For starters, it was expensive to do. Granted, these days I think they have a bit more money to work with. Still, it would probably eat into the design budget. Which I think today, wouldn't fly.
And, it wasn't even really two parks. Having both parks open in full, would be a nightmare, and very expensive. So aside from using the idea for the space, it really isn't worth it. However, it could be an option later on down the road, if space becomes a huge issue.
OTHER ATTRACTION QUEUE'S
For HHN XXIV, the Legendary Truth experience utilized a section of the Revenge of the Mummy building and its queue, for the little experience. Is there another attraction at Universal, that could possibly give up its queue for HHN? Well, not really. Most everything else utilizes its queues during the day, and some fill them up.
I have fever dreams sometimes, of E.T. using its queue for an HHN house. I mean, by and large, just add crap to the forest. Boom. Horror Nights house. However, E.T. is a pretty popular attraction, and its queue is kind of part of the experience. I guess if they ever decide to close E.T. during regular park hours, they can use it. Perhaps, schedule its annual maintenance during the months of Halloween Horror Nights?
Revenge of the Mummy, while it too barely uses its HUMONGOUS overflow queue these days, it still generates quite a lot of guests. The ride is also pretty popular during HHN itself. While the Legendary Truth experience utilized a sizable portion of the Mummy building, I don't think much more of it can be excised in favor of an HHN house.
Aside from grossly splitting the soundstage houses, realistically, they are pretty much out of room.
IN THE YEAR 2000
As we move forward, rumors would suggest certain places may be going the way of the Dodo. Some of these places, are locations for HHN houses. Perhaps with a never before used location for HHN XXV, this will give the team some ideas to make up for possible lost space in the future.
Where those locations will be, is anybody's guess. However, I would think that at some point, with possible new things being built, HHN is being considered as well. Time will tell as we march on into the future.
HHN LEGACY OWNER