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I'm so excited to be planning this trip. I've always wanted to go but never had the opportunity. This year I'm making it my business to plan it early so I can make it a reality. Does anyone have any good tips for me? I'm planning it the last week of September when my NYC public school kids have a nice 2 day break.
 

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A Wee Bit Wicked
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:) Yay! Lucky you, you are going to love it. I would definitely spend the extra money for the VIP pass. It's $100 per person, but very well worth it. You get taken around the park by a guide in a small group, like no more than 15 people, and you go to the front of every line, you don't miss anything, and it makes the experience first class. Both times I have attended, I have done the VIP tour and had WONDERFULLY fun guides, and I would never do it any other way.:D
 

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If you're visiting the parks during the day, get a Stay & Scream ticket if they offer them this year (it's cheaper than buying a ticket on its own). I also highly recommend the Express Passes. They're not cheap, but no matter what day of the week you go there WILL be long waits for all of the attractions, and if you're only going for one night, this will guarantee that you are able to see each attractions at least once. That being said, Wednesdays (if available), Thursdays, and Sundays are the best days to go, crowd-wise. So if you can plan your trip during the week, you'll definitely be better off. Also, the earlier in the month you go, the less crowds there will be.

Once at the event, I would line up for the most popular attraction(s) first (or the ones you're most interested in) to guarantee a shorter wait. That way, if you have the Express, you'll be able to experience at least one or two attractions twice with little wait.
 

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I second the VIP passes. I've been a couple of times and only been to All of the houses once. The other times I waited in line for up to 3 hours (at least the house was worth it though!). Don't worry about scare zones until it gets dark, go straight for the houses. It also might help to check out their fan pages on Facebook, Twitter, etc to see which ones are hyped the most (those will be the most crowded).
 
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