Halloween Horror Nights Orlando Guide and Review for 2023

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This overview and review of Halloween Horror Nights Orlando will have you ready to face the 2023 season

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort officially kicked of the 2023 season last evening. The 32nd installment of the event has brought about 10 amazing houses, 5 immersive scare zones, epic entertainment, and some really good food and drink offerings.

I was able to experience all of the houses and scare zones, as well as try pretty much all of the food, as part of a media event hosted by Universal Orlando last evening. If you have never been to Halloween Horror Nights, or are wondering how this years event stacks up against previous years, than this guide and review is for you!

Related: Universal Orlando Hosts Team Member for Special Preview of Halloween Horror Nights 32


Spoiler Alert: This review will contain details about the houses and scare zones for this years Halloween Horror Nights, including some short videos and photos taken inside the houses.

Ticket Options

Lets get started with a review of your ticket options for Halloween Horror Nights. This is a specially ticketed event, so if you have a day ticket to Universal Studios Florida or a Universal Annual Pass, you cannot use that ticket or pass to enter the event. If you are a Premier Annual Passholder, you will have one Halloween Horror Nights ticket included in your pass this year, but that ticket is only good for the following dates:

  • September 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 24, 27, 28
  • October 4, 5
  • November 1, 2

You do not need to get any type of voucher to use your free ticket on one of the above nights, you can just show up and scan your annual pass. You will want to monitor the calendar carefully, as if you try to attend Halloween Horror Nights on a night other than one of those listed above you will not be able to enter the event using your pass.

If you do not have a ticket from your premier pass you can choose to purchase a single night ticket or one of the multi-night tickets. The multi-night tickets are a great way to ensure you can take your time exploring the event, take in every detail, and run through your favorite house more than once.

Multi-night ticket options include:

  • Rush of Fear Pass:
    • Provides entrance for the following nights: September 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
      • you must select your first night when you purchase, and you will not get any extra credit or refund for unused nights
  • Frequent Fear Pass:
    • Provides entrance for the following nights: September 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 17, 20, 21, 24, 27, 28
    • October 1, 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 15, 18, 19, 22, 25, 26, 29, 31
    • November 1, 2.
      • you must select your first night when you purchase, and you will not get any extra credit or refund for unused nights
  • Frequent Fear Plus Pass:
    • Provides entrance for the following nights: September 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 13, 14, 15, 17, 20, 21, 22, 24, 27, 28, 29
    • October 1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 13, 15, 18, 19, 20, 22, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31
    • November 1, 2, 3, 4
      • you must select your first night when you purchase, and you will not get any extra credit or refund for unused nights

To help you get the most out of your visit and avoid standing in line, you can also purchase add-ons to your admission tickets:

  • Halloween Horror Nights Express Pass: skip the regular lines one time at all haunted houses, plus at participating rides and attractions.
    • This is an add-on to your event ticket, both Express Pass and an event ticket is needed to access the event and use the Express Pass entrance
  • R.I.P. Tour: Provides Priority V.I.P. entry to haunted houses and participating park attractions (once per house, based on itinerary) while on tour with the R.I.P. Guide.
    • Guests will also get Commemorative R.I.P. Tour credential, lanyard and button, Complimentary Valet Parking, Pre-Tour Reception in Cafe La Bamba, Access to exclusive cash bar locations, Universal Express Unlimited ride access, and Reserved seating at select event show(s) during the tour.
      • Note the R.I.P. tour does not include admission to Halloween Horror Nights; you must purchase an event ticket and an R.I.P. tour to access the event and the tour.
  • Scream Early Ticket: admission to Universal Studios Florida theme park from 3:00PM until 5:00PM on the same day as the 2023 Halloween Horror Nights event ticket. This will allow you to get in line early for at least one house, often enabling you to enter a house before the rest of the guests gain entry to the park!
    • If you have an annual pass or a day ticket to Universal Studios Florida, you do not need a Scream Early Ticket to use this option, your pass or day ticket will provide access to the Scream Early holding areas.



Now that we have gotten the ticket options out of the way, lets start digging into the houses! In my humble opinion, NO ONE does a haunted house better than Universal. The lineup of houses this year at Universal Orlando Resort include a total of 10 houses, 5 based on existing intellectual property and 5 that are totally original for the event.

I was able to do all 10 houses on opening night thanks to the R.I.P. tour. I cannot say enough good things about this tour-you literally skip the entire line and enter the front door of each house! Your guide also provides details of the story of each house before you enter (big shout out to Kristie, you were AMAZING last night!), allowing you to enter with an understanding of the backstory behind what you are going to see.

I found all of the houses this year to be very well done, and recommend you see all of them. Like everyone, I did have houses that I preferred to others, but the ranking basically extends from great to excellent, and there are no houses that I would recommend you skip.

Details (and my thoughts) on the 10 houses, in order of my preference:

YETI: Campground Kills


This was actually my favorite house of the night. The original story line was great, the jump scares in the house were amazing, and I found the sets and theming to be very well done. In this house, you enter a campground deep in the mountains where peacefully campsites have been overrun by the formidable YETI. The legendary monster does not take kindly to the campers, and carnage ensues!

The Exorcist: Believer

As a fan of the original Exorcist movie, I had high expectations for this house (even though it is not based on that original film but rather a new film that will be released next month). The house essentially serves as a living trailer for the new film, and is amazingly well done. The house takes the original creep level of the original film and elevates it to the new level. The theme song from the original film is even present in the house, which sent a shiver right down my spine.


The Darkest Deal

The Darkest Deal provides a new twist on a timeless tale: a blues musician sells his soul for a chance at fame, and we watch as he makes the deal, rises to stardom, and then has to face the music as the devil comes to cash in on the deal. The story is well done, the jump scares are present throughout, the sets are amazing, and the scare actors really do a great job in this house.


Universal Monsters: Unmasked

I generally enjoy the houses based on the classic Universal Monsters, and this year provided one of the best. The monsters in this years house includes The Phantom of the Opera, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dr. Jack Griffin, aka The Invisible Man. The new twist Universal places on The Phantom of the Opera is a nice touch, and the sets in this house are beautifully done. The actor playing The Hunchback was clearly having a ton of fun hanging off of an elevated area lunging down at us as we walked below. An amazing showing all around!


Bloodmoon: Dark Offerings


Fans of period horror films like The Village will really enjoy this house, which tells the tale of a colonial cult who worships the blood moon, and ends the lives of those who don’t. The sets in this house really make you feel like you have stepped back into colonial times, and this is one of the few houses in which you will want to be sure you look up or you will miss some great details occurring above you. This really is a creepy houses that brings together all of the great elements of classic horror.

Stranger Things 4

I loved Season 4 of Stranger Things, and I really enjoyed this house. Many of my favorite scenes from the Netflix hit were present throughout, starting with the classic “Chrissy Wake Up” at the very beginning of the house. Vecna provides some great jump scares, and the sets throughout the house will make you feel like you walked right onto the set of Stranger Things.


The Last of Us

I was really looking forward to hanging out with Joel and Ellie, and this house lived up to my expectations. The live actors playing the star characters did an amazing job, and The Clickers were as creepy in the house as they are in the hit video game and show. This is a must-do house for all Last of Us fans. We even managed to get a clip of Neil Druckmann, co-president of Naughty Dog, and Mike Aiello, Universal Destinations Senior Director of Entertainment Creative Development discussing how this house came to Halloween Horror Nights this year:

Dueling Dragons: Choose Thy Fate


This is a super fun house that fans of classic Islands of Adventure will really enjoy. The house makes you feel like you are playing a real-life dungeons and dragons quest, and culminates in you needing to decide which path you will take. Each path has 2 possible endings, meaning the house has a total of 4 different endings for you to encounter! The sets in this house are AMAZING, and the costumes for the scare actors are some of the best I have seen.

Dr. Oddfellow: Twisted Origins

Dr Oddfellow is the icon that brings all of the scare zones and various elements of Halloween Horror Nights together this year. If you are not a fan of clowns, this house may be extra intense for you since there are a TON of clowns throughout. We even get to catch a glimpse of Jack the Clown’s back story, which is the reason with Origins is plural in the title of the house. There are some really well done scenes in this house that are brought to life by some very talented scare actors.

Chucky: Ultimate Kill Count

Fans of the Chucky movies and TV show will really enjoy this house. Chucky has been invited to take a tour of a house that was made in his honor, but in typical Chucky fashion he decides to start murdering everyone to bring a bit more realism to the event. Chucky’s twisted humor is present throughout the house, and there are jump scares around just about every corner.



There are five Scarezones for you to explore this year. Since the actors in the scarezones rotate, I recommend walking through them multiple times since your experience will be different each time! The 5 scare zones for this year (again, ranked in my preference) are:

Vamp ’69: Summer of Blood

This is a REALLY fun scare zone that is located over in front of Revenge of the Mummy. A 60’s music festival has been crashed by a group of hungry vampires let loose by Dr Oddfellow, and things obviously take a bloody and twisted turn. The music playing in this area brings an extra element of fun to this area.

Dark Zodiac

This was a very fun and creepy scarezone, and the one that resulted in the most people running away while I was walking through last night. In this scare zone, Dr. Oddfellow uses his power to transform the zodiac signs into horrifying horoscope creatures. It is a super fun and well done scarezone.

Shipyard 32: Horrors Unhinged

This was a really fun scarezone that had so much going on I had to walk through it several times just to catch everything. In this scarezone, crates and cages that once held Dr. Oddfellow’s collection of creatures are now empty, and the creatures are out for blood.

Dr. Oddfellow’s Collection of Horror

This scare zone is the earliest installment of Dr. Oddfellow, and we encounter him as he is beginning to become immortal. Guests traveling through this scarezone are invited by Dr. Oddfellow himself to share in his immortality, but it of course is a trick that he is using to steal your soul!

Jungle of Doom: Expedition Horror

This scare zone really lived up to its name, as I found it to be the wildest of the 5. You are walking through an area in which Dr. Oddfellow has combined various elements of nature and animals to create some really twisted and bizarre experiments that result in a bevy of vicious (and hungry) jungle creatures who have eyed you up as the perfect snack.

Food and Drink offerings

The food and drink offerings are again plentiful at Halloween Horror Nights. We have detailed the menus at each area here if you want to review them in detail. I managed to try just about everything on the menu last night, and my favorite meal item was the Left Behind Ravioli (served in a fun The Last of Us themed ration can), and the hands-down best dessert item is the Yuri’s Favorite (Chocolate cake with peanut butter mousse and Reese’s Pieces).

I unfortunately was not able to catch the latest installment of Nightmare Fuel Revenge Dream last evening, but the reviews from those who have been able to check the show out have all been very positive. The show runs several times throughout the evening, and does fill up quickly so if you do not have reserved seating via an R.I.P. tour package I highly recommend you get to the arena early to ensure you can get a seat.

We were able to do all 10 houses and all 5 scare zones last night thanks to the R.I.P. tour that was provided as part of the media event hosted by Universal Orlando Resort. As a long-time Halloween Horror Nights fan, I was honored and humbled to be able to take part in this years event as part of the media, and want to thank Universal Orlando for their amazing hospitality.

Related: More Terrifying Haunted Houses & Scare Zones Coming to Halloween Horror Nights

Halloween Horror Nights 32 is a must-do year, and an experience you will never forget. See you in the fog and remember, Never Go Alone!


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Chris is a Pennsylvania native who relocated to Florida to be closer to the magic in 2022. You can find him in one of the Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando Resort theme parks at least once per week. He leverages his extensive parks experience as a travel agent with Destinations To Travel. Reach out to Chris to start planning your next magical vacation today!
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