It was a very pleasant surprise when I saw a link to Universal Orlando’s blog on my Facebook feed last week, which brought me to this:
I checked my calendar and fortunately, I was able to go. And I did :-). Here’s what I saw…
NOTE: I’m writing this with the assumption that you’re familiar with Halloween Horror Nights. If you’re not, this page of Wikipedia can be your friend ;-).
The park had opened at 10am and the house was scheduled to open at 11am. Wisely, they opened the queue at 10am, which meant a lot of people having to stand (or sit) in the sun for an hour, but also stopped a bottleneck of people crowding the street outside the queue.
As promised, the house had two lines – Annual/Seasonal Passholders were allowed to use the Express line, and those with regular tickets were able to use the regular line.
What were the wait times?
Not surprisingly, the waits were pretty long at opening (but not as long as during HHN, when the Stranger Things house [as well as others] was sometimes seeing waits of 135+ minutes), calmed down during midday and ramped back up again as locals got out of work in the mid-late afternoon.
Although probably not perfect, here are the times I logged while I was there, mixed in with what I read on the Universal Orlando Annual Passholder group on Facebook.
Oh, and if you never made it into the Stranger Things house, here are some of the scenes (all photos from Universal Orlando):
And finally, at the end of the house, to celebrate #StrangerThingsDay, Universal Orlando Team Members gave out stickers that said I FOUND WILL BYERS.
Just the same as the announcement of the house being open for 8 hours during the day, no HHN ticket required, the sticker was a nice surprise :-).
The big question remains: WHY did they do this? Was it a test to see how popular a HHN-style house would be year round, a’la The Walking Dead attraction at Universal Hollywood? Was it part of the contract with Netflix to be able to make a Stranger Things house? At this point, Universal is keeping tight lipped about the reason(s) behind why they offered the house “one last time,” and without a HHN ticket, to boot. So I’ll just be happy I was able to enjoy it, and hope something like this happens again one of these years.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary