Friday, November 02, 2007

Carnival of Carnage Review

Oct 24th, I hopped in a car with Jenny, Amber (her niece) and Ricky (Amber's bf) and drove four hours North to Orlando. Our friends Claude, Meg, and Laurie met up with us over there. Once again it was time for Halloween Horror Nights (HHN). Unfortunately the little camera that could...couldn't anymore, so I had to take my old camera hence the sucky pictures.

Crappy camera + they don't really let you photograph inside the houses + there were no scare zones = I didn't take more than 5 pictures that night. Jenny and I were discussing what haunted houses we liked better than others (Dead Silence, Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Psychoscareapy) a couple of days later and we decided that we needed to make a little video on youtube of us sitting at a table drinking coffee and discussing the pros (lots of houses) and cons (no scare zones!!!) of the event and then we decided that we needed to be in a focus group for Universal so we could tell them what we thought about their event (because we really did sit and discuss details and such) and then we decided we needed to get a life.

The haunted houses were great (except there weren't enough people to scare you inside of them) and the Bill and Ted's show was fun (especially the SAW and Michael Myers bits), but the fact that there was only one quasi-scare zone really sucked. I look forward to getting the crap scared out of me on the streets of Universal because unfortunately, I've become somewhat immune to the haunted house scares, so not having that made the event feel somewhat incomplete. Oh well, at least I still had the backstage tour to look forward to.

The following day, we headed to Universal again for our behind the screams tour of HHN. We were in the far left lane of the parking entrance, and unfortunately the preferred parking entrance was on the far right (can we say BIGGER SIGN people? especially since the day before the prefered parking entrance was on the LEFT), so of course I missed it. We had to go up and down the parking garage and out all over again and wasted 10 minutes. Because of this we got to the tour late and some guy named Philip was quite mean to us. He treated us like children that had misbehaved "you're two minutes away from not going on the tour"...yeah OK dad. Last year we arrived to the tour on time and they had us waiting for a couple of minutes, so we assumed that the same relaxed attitude was in play here. Wrong. Philip the drill sergeant was going to make sure we were put in our place.

Thankfully we had David as our tour guide again (we requested him from last year since he was so nice...unlike Philip). When we finally broke free of Philip, Dave was just outside the door and was calmly telling the rest of the tour group about the history of HHN and was not on his way to the haunted house and was not angry because he was waiting for us to get there and we were not holding the group up (like Philip had led us to believe). David greeted us nicely "hey, it's nice to see you guys" and it almost seemed like he remembered us. I figured that was impossible since he must see thousands of people a year while leading tours. He must say that to all his guests. So the tour began on a crappy note, but nothing was going to kill my buzz because I love HHN.

Our first stop was the Dead Silence Haunted House (eeeeek! jumps up and down with excitement). The attention to detail was awesome and they had some pretty cool effects with mirrors and such. This is the only house that really startled me the previous night. I was taking furious mental notes to see what I could incorporate into my own haunted house. I was pleasantly surprised to see that many of the scenes that I had planned for my house were also in this one. Their wall of dolls left alot to be desired though.

After that we saw the wardrobe and makeup areas and then headed towards the next haunted house, Psychoscareapy: Home for the holidays. This is an old favorite of mine, so we really enjoyed getting a closer look at this one. The premise was that the asylum patients were on a field trip when their van crashed into a community of homes, letting loose all the wackos within it (including the one standing by the door in this picture). This was a pretty cool house because the whole time you really felt like you were in someone's house. The path would lead you in and out of different homes. It was very effective and I was able to get the perfect picture for my Christmas cards this year. The only bad thing about this house was the lack of asylum actors (I think it has to do with what night of the week we went though).

Side note: On our way to the haunted houses David our awesome tour guide asked me if I was having a haunted house again this year. Can you believe that people? He remembered my crazy ass a year later? That's pretty impressive.

Our next stop was a lovely home on Elm Street (oh look it's for sale!). Our favorite scene from that house was Johnny Depp's bedroom (not for the reasons you're thinking) because they had completely turned it on it's side and had you walk right through his bloody bed. Pretty neat effect. I never got a sense that I was in the boiler room though, and the Freddy masks were kind of cheesy. I mean, if you're going to use $5 Walgreens masks, then at least don't shine any lights onto your actors...keep them in the dark please so I can at least imagine that it's real for a split second. At the end of this haunted house Philip was bugging David on the phone that we had to hurry up, so we went over to a little museum they had set up for HHN freaks fans such as ourselves.

The museum had little stations set up for each house where you could see the wardrobe and floor plans of each house. My first love was architecture, so I wanted to pocket the floor plans, but unfortunately I wasn't wearing a trench coat, much for that. Oh and Philip was there once again ranting to poor David about how he thought we would be done by now (you know, since it was 1:01 and the tour was slated to end at 1:00pm and all). Put a sock in it really put a damper on our tour experience (can you tell I didn't like Philip too much at this point?).

After the tour we headed over to the Twister Ride, the Mummy ride (awesome) and to the Jaws ride. We all had a good laugh later when we were comparing pictures because Meg and I had more pictures of the tour guide than of the shark. After this we went on a couple more rides and then it was time to leave. I wanted to hide in the bushes and stay for another night of HHN, but I don't think everyone was on board with that plan (there's roaches in the bushes). We hung around for as long as possible, but the security guards had their little kick-everyone-out-parade and that was the end of that (Noooo, but it's only 6pm!).

After Universal Studios, we headed over to City Walk to grab some dinner. While we waited for our table at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., we heard that Thriller was playing on the loud speakers outside so of course Jenny, Meg and I did what anybody in that position would do and broke into a choreographed Thriller dance in the middle of City Walk (oh, you mean you wouldn't do that?). The song played three times in a row until they finally noticed that there were lunatics dancing in the street decided to change the CD for some reason.

Once inside Bubba Gump, we got a lovely table with a view of the whole restaurant. I quickly picked out my favorite waiter to stalk admire and shared him with the rest of the ladies at my table (aka Mr. hot-shrimp-waiter-man from hereon in), but unfortunately he was not our waiter. Jenny and I never have the same taste in men, but she grew fonder of him as the evening passed and repeatedly got busted staring at him. This situation led me to share a humorous story with my tablemates (which I will also now share with you) about the time that I was 15 and my friends and I went to Bennigans to celebrate my friend Ayleen's birthday. We had a cute waiter named Dan and the whole evening I kept talking about Dan and how cute he was and how I wanted him for dessert (you know stupid 15 year old stuff). When Dan actually came to ask us what we wanted for dessert Cristy's mom pointed at me and blurted out "well she wants YOU for dessert". I have never wanted to be swallowed by the earth as much as I did that day. Fast forward 17 years and there we were sitting at Bubba Gump and I knew I shouldn't have shared that story because I had paid too much attention to our waiter that evening. I had a feeling that would bite me in the ass later.

At this particular restaurant, they have signs on each table that you're supposed to flip when you need the waiter to come. This is pretty cool because ANY waiter that passes by has to come and help you regardless of whether he is your waiter or not. You can see where this is going right? Well, someone had immense luck and good timing and flipped the sign at a moment when NO other waiter was in sight and Mr. hot-shrimp-waiter-man was walking by. He stopped at our table and everyone pointed to me saying that it was my birthday and that they should sing happy birthday to me. I denied the birthday accusations and refused the proposed serenade. But alas, my tablemates were not satisfied because they noticed that they had not embarrassed me, so of course they threw this little gem in at the end of the conversation "...oh and she wants YOU for dessert". It's amazing what 17 years will do to you. I wasn't embarrassed at all this time and found the whole thing to be hilarious as did Mr. hot-shrimp-waiter-man.

After our lovely dinner. Claude Meg and Laurie headed back to the hotel because they were driving home that night. Jenny, Amber, Ricky and myself went to the movies at CityWalk and we watched the Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D. I think that was the perfect end to a wonderful Halloweenyfied weekend! Sigh. Goodbye Universal...see you next year (maybe)!

ps. I didn't forget to get gas before leaving this time.

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Blogger AmandaDufau said...

Your wall of dolls was better!
Looks like a blast! Maybe I'll join you next year...

1:42 PM  

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