A Beginners Guide to Not to Be an A-Hole at Halloween Horror Nights (Light): 2020 Pandemic Edition

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WHILE I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION: Are you registered to vote? Check or update your registration at www.vote.org before reading on. Use your damn voice and vote cause if you don’t there’s a pretty good fucking chance that we won’t be getting a full HNN next year. Don’t be that asshole.

For those of you not familiar with this ongoing series you can view “A Beginners Guide to Not Being an A-Hole at Halloween Horror Nights: 2018 Edition

PROCEED:

When the news broke that Halloween Horror Nights would not be taking place this year I, like many, was heartbroken. I knew it was the right call for Universal to make but boy did it hurt. Mostly because if our country had gotten it’s shit together sooner we wouldn’t be in the position we are today. More so if everyone had learned from just about everything being cancelled this year- we wouldn’t still be facing down the barrel of economic disaster not only in Orlando, but the entire country.

Oh fuck, I forgot my normal disclaimer about foul language in this post.

WARNING: I’m probably gonna say bad things. You’ve been warned.

Universal made the wonderful decision to give us all a much-needed serotonin boost but announcing that they were going to test out of a light version of HHN this past weekend. I wasn’t 100% on board with going but my friend Mellie peer-pressured me into it and I’m really glad shit did. We met up an hour before park open and joined the every growing line of people waiting to get in. We were lined up early enough that we were by the arches but from what I’m told the line went well into City Walk.

It was also the moment that we learned that people have no idea what six-feet looks like. There’s definitely a “size” and “penis” joke in there somewhere.

All said Mellie and I ended up having a wonderful day. Both of us thought we’d be in and out by noon, not anticipating wanting to stick around too long on what promised to be a busy weekend day. The universe had other plans for us and we ended up there until around 4pm. Not a bad thing.

A big part of it was because, despite being there early, we weren’t able to get virtual line tickets right away. When you’re battling a bazillion people for a spot, it’s totally understandable. As the day progressed, we managed to get spots to see both houses. I wasn’t too concerned about it because Mellie had been to the preview the day before and was able to do them both. I was just happy to be out of the house and getting some much-needed vitamin D.

Ultimately we were able to visit the houses, enjoy the new Skeleton Bar, visit the Tribute Store, partake in the Scarecrow Stalk (kinda) and laugh til our sides hurt at the Horror Make-Up Show in an effort to get all our spooky fix in! Additionally we rode Revenge of the Mummy (my body had completely forgotten what roller coasters feel like…) and finally saw The Bourne Stuntacular.

In an effort to keep the serotonin flowing, Universal announced this weekend that Halloween Horror Nights (Light) will continue this next weekend and then beginning daily operations in October. This is really exciting because we get a taste of the season while remaining safe and it’s at no extra cost beyond your day time ticket.

But here’s the thing. (What, did you think this was going to be all sunshine and rainbows? This is me we’re talking about)

While we had a great time on Saturday there were some less than ideal moments over the course of the day. It you saw my twitter feed at all, you’d know that I had a lot of emotions leaving the park for the day.

Here’s what that looked like (click for the full thread):

Luckily for the internet my phone died while we were at the park and I had some time to cool down. (yeah that rant was me cooled down). I also waited a couple days to write this post because I was still pretty heated following our day at the park.

Here’s some things I think people should know moving into this light version of our favorite Halloween offering:

Understand How the Virtual Queue Works and Don’t Be a Dick About It

Like I mentioned, the virtual queue opened and filled very fast on Saturday. Like, we were in the park and ready to go and still didn’t get spots. Not to be dismayed, we continued about enjoying our day and regularly checked the app to see if we could get spots. Ultimately it happened and, you want to know something, we didn’t have to scream at team members.

I was BEYOND disgusted at the behaviors of people frustrated with the virtual queue filling up and saw many a vlogger being an asshole about it. Actually, most of my rage and aggression on Saturday was towards those ass-hats shoving cameras in everyone’s faces.

Over the course of the day Universal rolled out more spaces in the queue allowing us and many others to get in to see the beautiful houses. Turns out patience is a virtue.

Moreover understand the point of a virtual queue. It’s to keep people out of line. We’re living in a time when we need to be distant from others so the less people in line the better. Many people were expressing frustration at the near-empty queue space on the music plaza (is that what that’s called?) and getting very vocal about it.

Here’s the thing.

If that queue space is empty it means that the virtual system is doing its job. You have a time to come back and not have to a) wait in line and b) be near other people especially since many of them are too stupid to properly wear masks or social distance. More and more spaces opened up during the day so please just be patient and give it time. Sorry if it doesn’t fully line up with your plans but if 2020 has taught us anything- don’t even try to fucking plan stuff.

Ultimately, don’t be an asshole to team members who have no power or control over these systems. They’re just trying to do their jobs and allow you to have some fun and stay safe. Believe me, I have no qualms about calling you out on your shit should you be an ass in front of me.

Wear Your Fucking Mask and Do It Properly

If I had a dollar for every time that I witnessed team members having to tell people (sometime the same person multiple times) to pull their mask over their nose or just to wear them period- I’d be fucking rich. At one point I watched four, FOUR, different TMs tell the same man to pull up his mask and he ignored each and every one of them. I offered to kick him in the back of the knees and no one seemed to object to it… it was tempting.

Here’s the thing- I completely understand that wearing a mask for extended periods of time is uncomfortable. Wearing them outside while in Florida, even worse. But you made a choice to come onto this private property and spend your day there. So respect the rules. More than that, respect the health and safety of those around you. They have “mask-free” rest areas for you. Go there. Do that.

If you can’t handle it then please leave. And if you don’t want to listen to TMS, that’s fine- I don’t work there and I’m gonna tell you the same thing and be a hell of a lot less nice about it.

We were waiting in line for the Horror Make-Up show and man came right up to less than a foot away from us with his mask pulled down and asked if we knew what time the next show was. Me, ever the asshole, looked down at my watch and said, “Yeah it’s right around the same time you decide to wear your mask over your nose.”

I was just as schocked as him that I said it but at that point my rage with people was spiking and I needed to get it out. I had to witness friends that work as TMs get verbally assaulted by guests and one TM (who I didn’t know) was on the verge of tears because of how someone was treating her. It’s unacceptable and I won’t stand for it.

If I ended up getting myself kicked out of the park for getting into a fight with someone over being an asshole- it will have been worth it. Frankly if that guy had punched me I would have welcomed it because I would have become a GOD. At least in my own little twisted version of the world. It would have sucked but been hilarious all at the same time.

My point is- if the performers at Bourne Stuntacular do all the things they do while still wearing masks- you can handle it to.

Stand on the Social Distancing Markers Dumbass

I completely understand that over basically our entire lives we’ve stood a lot closer to each other in lines. If you’re a theme park person your brain wants to fill in all the available space. But we don’t live in that world anymore and to help us, they put fun little markings on the ground for us to stand on.

FUCKING STAND ON THEM!

Each of those markings are set at 6 feet away from the other which is the recommended distance for us to maintain from other people. If you look down and that marking is three feet behind you- you’re doing it wrong. Understandbly in some cases, maybe markings aren’t available. We had this with Skeleton Bar because the line extended beyond what I’m sure Universal had anticipated (something they were working to fix while we were still in line). At this point I’ve gotten pretty good at eyeballing six feet and when in doubt, I’ll put a little room between me and the party in front of me. This didn’t seem to be the case for the couple standing behind us who seemed keen to be right up my ass. Even as we entered space with markings- they couldn’t be bothered.

My favorite part was at one point when I was looking back and forth between them and the marking they should have been standing on instead of being inside my rectum and the girl mistook my horrible pantomime for “I want to talk to you.”

I didn’t. I never want to talk to you. Why must I have a face that says, “please talk to me, I’m going to love it”.

This is especially important in ride queues with a lot of switchbacks. Some of those markings are over 6 feet away and it’s because they are also distancing you from parties on either side of you. It’s not just front and back. It’s 360.

STAND ON YOUR MARK! And while we’re at it, just because you’re in line doesn’t mean you can take your mask off. I know that belongs up above but I’m still mad about it.

When you’re in the houses make sure you’re staying back from the party in front of you. For the most part they have team members to keep you separated but there were a couple times when they couldn’t. On our walk through of Bride of Frankenstein the guy behind us was right up my butt while we were stopped near the beginning of the house. He even felt the need to lean into my ear and comment about the bride screaming to which I replied, “yeah, she’s telling you to get the fuck away from me. Six feet dude.”

I clearly wasn’t trying to make friends.

Appreciate What You Have

Vloggers and so-called “theme park insiders” have been lacking in content for months and they are looking for any reason to create click bait (I’m looking at you WDWNT)- so many of them are creating content surrounding their “disappointment” in parts of the offerings. Namely the plexi-glass that was installed as an extra layer of safety for the performers.

Personally I had no issue with it. Hell, if anything I enjoyed that we were being pulsed into the houses and, at times, having to stop for the party ahead of us to advance further away. It gave me time to really take everything in. I also noticed that some plexi-glass was installed as an intentional attention-grabber to keep you from seeing the actual scare coming. Genius!

Hell, I was so happy to be in the soundstages and taking in the smell of Halloween horror nights that I was too overwhelmed with gratitude and happiness to notice plexiglass.

Fuck, I was happy with just having the tribute store and merchandise.

Has this year taught us nothing? Appreciate things. Universal didn’t have to open up these houses and offerings to us. They could have charged extra admission to the houses. They could have done any number of things but they chose to give us some happiness in these painfully shitty times.

So appreciate it and don’t be a dick.

Also can we appreciate how restrained I was while writing this… it’s why I waited four days to actually do it. I still have plenty of thoughts on some other things but I’ll keep them to myself for now.

But know that the floodgates of my word vomit have been opened and if people want to keep coming for me in my DMs then know that I’m not going to roll over and be quiet.

You’ve been warned.

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