To the surprise of many, the Beetlejuice Halloween Horror Nights house opened on Halloween at Universal Orlando today. Many arrived as early as 6 am to see if the rumors were true.
Indeed, the Beetlejuice house showed up on the Universal Orlando app today. Lucky guests who were there at park opening snagged a virtual pass to enter the house. Some even have already gone through several times since the app allows each guest in the park with an app to reserve a time slot for multiple guests at a time.
Just like other virtual line attractions, Universal Orlando has pulsed out other time slots throughout the day. This still means you have to constantly keep checking and be in the park to do so. While some guests got lucky others are pissed.
With no official announcement from Universal, many fans didn’t believe that the Beetlejuice house was going to be open at all. I read all kinds of crazy theories as to why our article didn’t make sense. “It’s only for filming”… “they are doing some sort of training”… “it won’t be until next week”.
Despite us trying to give fans a heads up about Beetlejuice, many didn’t believe it. This is totally understandable since Universal Orlando still hasn’t advertised the house being open even as of today. (Responding to tweets about hours and complaints isn’t advertisement – please save your comments for something else)
Yet, just over a week ago Universal sent out a statement saying that the parks are far busier on weekends than weekdays. Thus, it asked guests to try and visit Monday through Friday when the parks were less crowded. With the new capacity, Universal Orlando has been closing pretty early in the morning on most weekend days the last few weeks.
However, it just so happens that Beetlejuice is ONLY open this weekend! How deceptive! How rude! They sent out that letter asking guests to avoid weekends just so they could keep Beetlejuice to themselves! Get out those pitchforks and let’s storm Guest Services!
Or you can take a more rational approach? With or without Beetlejuice, Universal expected crowds this weekend just like they have been getting for weeks now. The point of the letter was not to keep people away from Beetlejuice, but to try and meet expectations of a busy park regardless of the house opening.
Plus, and I know this may be hard to believe, this was kept extremely quiet right up until October 30 for 99.9% of Team Members who work at Universal Orlando. It may sound crazy, but this was kept tightly under wraps for quite some time. Thus, when the letter went out about park capacity on weekends, the people who wrote that probably didn’t know about Beetlejuice opening Halloween weekend.
I’m actually on the side of Universal Orlando on this one. Let’s say they did announce the Beetlejuice house a few days in advance. Why create a stir to where you’re absolutely going to fill the park to the new reduced capacity. Then those guests who are turned away is angry mob #1.
Angry mob #2 is those who actually got into the park, but couldn’t snag a virtual queue return time to get into the house. There is only so much capacity in a haunted house, especially under the current conditions. Now you’ve got two groups of people who are storming Guest Services. So why now just open for a week or more and let more people see it?
I know this sounds crazy (and I can explain it in a future article), but Universal Orlando didn’t want to open Beetlejuice this year. However, they really really didn’t want to not be able to open the house for Halloween Horror Nights in 2021. This was a contractual obligation to keep Warner Brothers, a partner they very much want to continue working with (Harry Potter) happy. The deal was: open for two days in 2020 and you can have the rights for all of 2021.
If you didn’t get to Universal Studios Florida this weekend and/or didn’t get a virtual line for Beetlejuice, I understand your frustration. Just try and look at it from Universal Orlando’s perspective. I don’t know if I would have handled it any differently. Your thoughts?
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