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).