If you have never been to Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights than this is for you. I have been several times, and each time I learn something new that I can share with you.
Planning ahead is the key to having a good time. You will need to think about the details of your visit weeks before you arrive. For example when are you planning to go, how many nights, and what type of ticket you will need. Lost already? No worries, if you follow my planning tips below you are sure to have a scary good time.
Halloween Horror Nights which is sometimes referred to as “HHN”, is an event going on it’s 24th year that takes place on select nights from mid-September through Halloween night. The event is usually held at Universal Studios theme park, and is considered a hard ticket event which is not included in your regular park admission ticket. The theme of the event changes from year to year, so you never know “who” is out to scare you. It is not recommended for children under 12 years of age because of the intense nature of the event, and theme. During the event alcohol is served at select locations too, so it tends to get a bit rowdy at times which might not be suitable for younger children. Also costumes or masks are not permitted into the event to help avoid confusing park guest with the scare-actors.
Let’s talk about tickets:
If you plan on visiting the theme parks during the day, and Halloween Horror Nights on the same evening you could purchase a “Stay & Scream” ticket. With this ticket when the park closes for day guests it will allow you to stay in a select location within Universal Studios until the event starts. My favorite place to “hang” until the event starts is in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley. This area stays open a little later than the rest of the park, and tends to have less guests than during the day hours.This area closes at the opening of the event, so no seeing any Dementors during Halloween Horror Nights.
Halloween Horror Nights has several ticket options to choose from:
- The “Stay & Scream” add-on like mentioned above. This option is usually at a discount because you’re adding it to a regular admission ticket.
- Individual-Single Night Ticket
- Rush of Fear Ticket-Attend every event night for the first 3 weeks at a low price.
- Frequent Fear Ticket-Multiple nights for a low price excluding Friday and Saturday nights with the exception of the first weekend.
- Frequent Fear Plus Ticket-Get up to 22 nights for a low price excluding Saturday nights with the exception of the first weekend.
This is a rain or shine event, so if it rains don’t leave Universal will not issue a refund. Grab a poncho and have fun! The street scare-actors may not be available during the rain due to safety reasons but the houses will continue to scare if you can brave to rain.
Much like the regular admission tickets you can also add the “express pass” to your Halloween Horror Night ticket for an additional price. If you’re only going for one night I highly recommend the express pass. This pass will give you access to the express line to each of the haunted houses. One visit per house as well as the select attractions, and shows during the event.
For a truly unique experience might I suggest you try the Behind the Screams Tours. This is a lights-on peek of select haunted houses. Including your chance to meet some of the designers of the event.
Want a little “red carpet” treatment then I have just the tour for you. Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights R.I.P Tour is just what any horror fan needs. The RIP Tour Guide will escort you to the front of the line of each haunted house. You will also have select VIP, I mean RIP seating for a really funny show: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure. If that’s not enough you will also get the front of the line for up to 2 select attractions open the night of the event.These tours tend to sell out fast, and they have a few different options to choose from too.
- Arrive Early as the park entrance tends to get very busy for the opening or “Stay & Play.” In that case head to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley prior to 5:00 p.m, and explore this fun area prior to the event opening.
- Select the type of ticket that works best for your trip. Whether it’s the single night ticket or the Frequent Fear ticket make the most of your night.
- Purchase the Express Pass. Especially if you are only able to attend for one night.
- Visit the houses that seem to be the most popular early in the evening because within a few hours the wait times become very long. Unless you have the express pass then your wait may be very short as it has been in the times I have visited. Some say luck, I say it’s the express pass.
- Don’t forget to grab a park map once you walk in or you will surely get lost finding the locations of the haunted houses.
- Don’t forget to buy your specialty themed Halloween Horror Nights Merchandise before you leave.
- Go early in the season within the first 3 weeks and the crowds tend to be lower. The closer you get to Halloween it will get very very crowded.
- Go to the early shows for less crowds.
- Bring your own poncho because it’s Florida and it will rain!
- Don’t forget to bring your camera. You don’t want to miss the look on your family’s face when they get scared by one of the scare-actors in the scarezones.
- Be prepared to pay for parking: Full day parking is $17.00 and parking after 8:00 p.m is $5.00. Florida resident free parking is not valid during the event.
- Stay on property and book the Halloween Horror Nights Hotel & Ticket Package. Advance purchase required. Or commonly known as the “Stay, Play & Scream” package.
My name is Leigh Saleh. I am a Universal Orlando, Seaworld, and Disney Specialist for Chip and Company. I am also a Travel Agent with World of Magic Travel, the preferred agency used by Chip and the Disney Addicts. Email me today at email@example.com to book your next “Magical” family vacation to your favorite destination.
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