Greetings internet dwellers!
Many Halloween and HHN fans, got their wishes granted this past weekend at Universal Studios. Friday, Universal allowed Team Members and Premier Passholders, access to two HHN houses during the day. Saturday the houses were opened to regular guests, with Virtual Queue access. The resort also had a plethora of seasonal activities, and decorations around the parks.
Saturday, was very busy. It was so busy in fact, that all three Universal parks closed due to their limited capacity. Many people arrived at the parks dark and early, to attempt to snatch up spots in the Virtual Queue. I personally, wasn't able to get their early and had to wait and see if the parks would reopen. They did indeed reopen, and I made my way down.
Universal is calling this a "test". If the demand on Saturday is any indication, I would say the test was successful. Besides the houses, Universal also adorned parts of the park with decorations. The La Bamba Cafe, was also transformed into a walkthrough themed bar, called The Skeleton Bar. There were food trucks, with some traditional HHN fare, like Twisted Taters. Islands of Adventure allowed trick r' treating for kids, and anyone could dress up in costumes.
It was nice to have all of this stuff. I don't need to stress how shitty 2020 has been. I've said it a million times. HHN, is a lifestyle for a lot of people. Myself included. To have just a small smattering of Halloween and HHN, is a nice welcome sight. However, I do have to make some personal observations.
I was able to do both houses, thanks to a lovely gesture. My favorite of the two, was The Bride of Frankenstein Lives!. I am very partial to the Universal Classic Monsters. Last year's house was my favorite for the event. I love the twist on the Bride story going on. It's a bit of a pseudo sequel, or continuation of The Bride of Frankenstein movie. The scenic was really top notch, and there were quite a few effective scares. There were some really neat nods, to other Classic Monsters as well.
Revenge of the Tooth Fairy, was an interesting original take. There is definitely a Scary Tales vibe, and I love the dark and twisted take that's happening. The "facade", or first thing you see, is really nifty. I went through the house during a cast change, so I missed a lot of the scares. The scenic is really great, and the house is solid.
While I appreciate everything that Universal, Art & Design, and the Scareactor's did to allow us to experience all of this, the houses just don't hit like they usually do. It's understandable with the pandemic and the precautions that have to be taken. For me, seeing Scareactor's behind plexiglass, just hurts. It's a constant reminder of how fucked up everything is. That's not to say the experience, isn't great. It's a welcome breath of fresh air to be able to walk through an HHN house; hell, any haunted house.
My thoughts are in a constant battle. I really love being able to do all of this. However, at the expense of the pandemic, I just can't help but feel a little sad. The state of affairs, continues to be awful. I worry about next year with all of this. The crystal ball is still murky, and it's hard to say what HHN will look like next year at this point. People are still losing their jobs. It's nice that the houses will offer at least, some financial benefit. However, I feel like this should be it. Just these two houses. Keep others in the back pocket, but cap it at these two. Yell at me all you want. I don't care.
That being said, if able to do it again I probably would. I really want to do Bride again. For a brief moment this weekend, I was wrapped in a bit of joy. Even if the shadow of darkness that is the year 2020, stalked me from behind.
Hasta La Bye-bye for now.
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