HOS is killing HHN softly here. HHN has a gift of delivering realistic sets. Although awesome, it has also proven a downfall. Guests are too camera happy and scare actors love posing. It’s hard to be scared when you see a zombie freeze its undead features to mug for the camera with another tourist. HOS’s tight, tree-impregnated pathways make it a scarier walkthrough, especially with the fog machine abuse. Scare actors that look like bushes and others bungee jumping from trees are also a very creative and fool-proof scare. Plus HOS added roaming scare zones– not as scary, but entertaining to run into a pack of clowns while you wait for beer.
HHN sticks to the classic, recognizable icons—and people love it in the same way people perk up when a local artist covers a popular song but lose interest when he performs an original. HOS leans toward the “lame” everyday situations with a shot of scary. Even if the themes aren’t carried throughout the park, that’s how many visitors seem to judge the two events (“What? Bloody Mary? Duuuuude!” vs “A rocker chick cutting fingers off? Aww”) Plus in the day time, most people seem to like USO better than BGT… don’t let that judge the night!
HHN lines for houses somehow shoot to 1.5 hours. HOS lines, even though they can wrap around football fields, still somehow manage to stay below an hour… and no, people aren’t running through the houses either. Both offer skip-the-line passes for additional cost. HHN is innovative in allowing guests to receive texts stating the wait times for each house.
HHN’s staple “Bill and Ted” is hilarious by merely creating situations for pop culture icons to interact. HOS staple “Fiends” shows BGT’s love for singing (not lip-syncing) and dancing speckled with perverse humor. Other shows rotate yearly but are not really memorable.
I love Universal’s rides, but at HHN (especially this year) only four are available… although they are experienced goodies. Meanwhile, HOS has almost all of its rides open—including all five awesome roller coasters.
When it comes to VALUE—HOS is the winner. Especially for the $20 Thursday night deals, there’s definitely, WAY more bang for your buck (and if you can steal a friend’s pass, other night tickets are only $35)… BUT you’ll have to deal with visiting houses that are most likely repeats of last year. My only reason for visiting HHN will be to appease my visual curiosity for what insane, new, house they built and the crazy effects they use—which I REALLY enjoy. But is that alone worth the cheapest tickets going from $35 to $65?